Sudarshan Kumar Vs. State
O R D E R
Heard learned counsel
for the appellant. This Appeal has been filed against the impugned judgment and
order dated 12th May, 2006 passed by the High Court of Punjab & Haryana
at Chandigarh in Criminal Appeal No. 71-SB of 1992.
The facts have been
set out in the impugned judgment and hence we are not repeating the same here
except wherever necessary.
The appellant was
married to one Sudesh who is said to have committed suicide on 23rd February,
1989. According to the prosecution Sudesh was married to the appellant in
April/May, 1980 but she could not conceive. The appellant had been maltreating
and beating Sudesh and saying that if she dies, he will be re-married. She was
physically assaulted and sent to her father's house where she stayed for one
and half years but due to the intervention of the panchayat members and the
promise of the appellant that he would not harass her again and his request for
pardon, she came back. However, it appears that she was again harassed and
tormented and ultimately driven to suicide.
The appellant was
convicted by the trial Court for abetting the suicide under Section 306 IPC,
and his conviction was upheld by the High Court and he was given sentence of
seven years rigorous imprisonment. Having heard learned counsel for the
appellant and having carefully perused the record of the case, we are not
inclined to interfere with the conviction of the appellant and the same is
hereby confirmed. From the facts disclosed, it is evident that Sudesh was
harassed and beaten because she could not have a child.
It is natural that
everyone wants children, but if a woman does not have a child that does not
mean that she should be insulted or harassed. In such a situation, the best
course would be to take medical help, and if that fails, to adopt a child.
Experience has shown that an adopted child gives as much happiness to the
adoptive parents as any natural child does. Hence, we see no justification to
condone such an act of harassing or tormenting a woman just because she did not
give birth to a child. It may not be the fault of the wife that she did not
have a child. At any event, that is no justification for tormenting or beating
her, and this reveals a feudal, backward mentality.
uphold the conviction of the appellant recorded by the courts below but
keeping in view the fact that the appellant has already undergone about five
years rigorous imprisonment out of seven years, as submitted by the learned
counsel for the appellant, we deem it appropriate to reduce the sentence to the
period already undergone by him.
The Appeal is
disposed of accordingly. By an interim order of this Court dated 15th May,
2008, the appellant was enlarged on bail. His bail bonds shall stand discharged
since we have reduce the period of sentence to the sentence already undergone
[CHANDRAMAULI KR. PRASAD]