Dammu Sreenu Vs.
State of A.P.  INSC 1118 (28 May 2009)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 681 OF 2003 Dammu
Sreenu .... Appellant Versus State of A.P. .... Respondent
appellant herein filed the present appeal seeking for his acquittal from the
order of conviction under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code (hereinafter
referred to as `the IPC') whereby he was sentenced to undergo rigorous
imprisonment for three years.
appellant herein allegedly had illicit relationship with the wife of the
deceased Bitra Nagarjuna Rao. The wife of the deceased was also made a
co-accused in the same offence under Section 306 IPC and she was convicted for
the aforesaid offence and was sentenced initially to undergo rigorous
imprisonment for a period of three years which, however, later on was altered
to one year of rigorous imprisonment by the High Court of 2 Andhra Pradesh.
The said sentence of one year has been served out by Accused No. 2, the wife of
the deceased Bitra Nagarjuna Rao.
prosecution has alleged in its case that the present appellant had developed an
illicit intimacy with Accused No. 2, who was the wife of the deceased Bitra Nagarjuna
Rao. On the night of 31.12.1995, accused No. 2, the wife of the deceased went
out of her house and returned to her matrimonial home only on the next day. The
deceased, Bitra Nagarjuna Rao was unhappy with the aforesaid conduct and so,
naturally questioned her about her behaviour because of which there was a
quarrel between the two. Being disturbed and perturbed on account of the
behaviour of his wife (Accused No. 2), the deceased, Bitra Nagarjuna Rao called
the father of Accused No. 2 and asked him to take her away so as to give her
proper counseling. Accordingly, she was taken away by her father. On the same
day the present appellant (Accused No. 1) came to the house of the deceased and
when he was questioned by the inmates of the house of the deceased, he stated
that he had illicit relations with the wife of the deceased and that he would
keep coming to the house of the deceased so long she does not object to the
same. When he was told that Accused No. 2 had gone with her father, Accused No.
1 went to the house of the brother of Accused No. 2 and took her away despite
the protest of PW-5, brother 3 of Accused No. 2, in whose house his father
kept her. The appellant took her away and brought her back to the house of her
brother only after 4 days and to her parents' house on 06.01.1996.
come to know about the aforesaid incident, the deceased felt humiliated and
insulted. He committed suicide by hanging himself in the intervening night of
7th and 8th January, 1996. It is also to be noted, at this stage, that prior to
his suicide, the deceased, Bitra Nagarjuna Rao expressed before his brother
that it would be better to die as he felt very much insulted and humiliated.
The deceased having committed suicide, his brother gave a report to the police
which was registered as a case under Section 174 of Criminal Procedure Code,
1973 (for short `the CrPC') which was, during the course of investigation,
altered to a case of Section 306 IPC.
police after investigation submitted a charge-sheet against the accused. The
accused, however, denied the charge. Accordingly, he was tried under the
aforesaid charges. During the course of trial the prosecution examined as many
as 13 witnesses and the appellant-accused was also examined under Section 313 of
the CrPC wherein he denied his involvement in the offence.
trial court appreciated the materials available on record and, thereafter,
passed a judgment and order of conviction. He convicted the present appellant
under Section 306 IPC and sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a
period of five years with a fine of Rs. 100/- in default to undergo simple
imprisonment for one month. The trial court also convicted accused No. 2, i.e.
wife of the deceased, under Section 306 IPC and sentenced her to undergo
rigorous imprisonment for a period of five years.
aggrieved by the aforesaid judgment and order of conviction and sentence the
appellant as also the wife of the deceased filed a common criminal appeal in
the court of IInd Additional Sessions Judge, Guntur which was registered as
Criminal Appeal No. 32 of 1998. The said appeal was allowed in part and the
conviction and sentence awarded by the trial court was altered and reduced by
the learned Additional Sessions Judge to 3 years simple imprisonment.
revision the High Court maintained the order of conviction against the
accused-appellant but altered the sentence of Accused No. 2, i.e. the wife of
the deceased to one year imprisonment which she has already undergone.
this appeal is, therefore, filed only by appellant No. 1, who was convicted and
ordered to undergo simple imprisonment for three years.
An order to release
appellant No. 1 on bail was passed pursuant to which Accused No. 1 is on bail.
The appeal was listed before us for hearing during the course of which we heard
the learned counsel appearing for the parties and were also taken through the
to the learned counsel appearing for the appellant, ingredients of abetment are
totally absent as envisaged under Section 306 IPC read with Section 107 of the
IPC and, therefore, Accused No. 1 is liable to be acquitted. It was submitted
by him that on a proper interpretation of the facts as also the provisions of
Section 306 IPC it cannot be said that the appellant herein was in any manner
responsible for abetting the suicide committed by the deceased which was an
independent act of the deceased.
It was also submitted
by him that the appellant did not in any manner substantially assisted the deceased
in committing the offence of suicide and since there was no such participation
of the appellant in abetting the offence of suicide, the conviction and
sentence under Section 306 IPC is required to be set aside and quashed.
aforesaid submissions were, however, refuted by learned counsel appearing for
the State contending inter alia that there is a concurrent find of facts by
three courts below finding the appellant guilty of the offence under Section
306 IPC and, therefore, the said findings cannot be said to be in any manner as
untenable or unjustified.
fact that the appellant had illicit relationship with Accused No. 2, who was
the wife of the deceased, is an admitted position for which there was no
cross-examination on the point which was clearly stated by PW-5, who is the
brother of Accused No. 2, in his statement on 2.1.1996 which is reproduced
"On 2-1-1996 my
father brought A2 to my house at Tsunduru and he informed that she is having
illicit contact with A1 to change her behaviour brought her to my house to keep
some time. On the same day evening A1 came to my house and took away A2. Some
discussion take place between myself and A1 regarding coming to my house. Due
to fear, I could not resist for taking away A2."
have carefully examined the aforesaid statement of PW-5 and on perusal of the
statement we do not find that any suggestion was made to the said PW-5 that
there did not exist an illicit relationship between Accused No. 1 and Accused
No. 2. Besides, the close relatives of the deceased who were also examined as
witnesses had categorically stated in their statements that on coming to know
of the fact that Accused No. 1 has taken Accused No. 2 from the house of PW-5
and left her only on 06.01.1996 at her parents house, the deceased stated
before the said inmates of his house that because of the said insult and
humiliation he does not like to live. It is also proved that immediately
thereafter in the night intervening 7th and 8th of January, 1996 the deceased
The aforesaid fact
leads to only one conclusion that it is on account of humiliation and insult
due to the behaviour and conduct of Accused No. 1 and Accused No. 2 that he
proceeded to commit the suicide.
facts which are disclosed from the evidence on record clearly establish that
Accused No. 1 had illicit relationship with Accused No. 2 who is the wife of
the deceased. It is also not in dispute that Accused No. 1 was visiting the
house of the deceased to meet Accused No. 2 and that he even went to the house
of deceased when he came to know that the wife of the deceased was sent with
her father for counseling and advise. He loudly stated that he would continue
to have relationship with Accused No. 2 and would come to her house so long she
does not object to the same. He also took her away from the house of PW-5, her
brother and kept her with him for 4 days. Immediately after the said incident
the deceased committed the suicide. Therefore, there is definitely a proximity
and nexus between the conduct and behaviour of Accused No. 1 and Accused No. 2
with that of the suicide committed by the deceased. Besides, there is clear and
unambiguous findings of fact of three courts that the appellant is guilty of
the offence under Section 306 of IPC. Such findings do not call for any
interference in our hand. This Court also does not generally embark upon
reappreciation of evidence on facts which are found and held against the
the entire facts and circumstances of the case we are, therefore, not inclined
to interfere with the order of conviction as also the order of sentence passed
against the accused-appellant. We uphold the order of the High Court and
dismiss this appeal. The bail bond of the accused-appellant stands cancelled.
He shall surrender forthwith to serve out the remaining period of the sentence.
(Dr. Mukundakam Sharma)