Vs. State of Karnataka  INSC 361 (29 July 1998)
Nanavati, S.P. Kurdukar Nanavati J
appeal arises out of the judgment and order passed by the High Court of
Karnataka in Criminal appeal No.85/91.
High Court confirmed the conviction of the appellant under Section 498-A IPC,
set aside his conviction under Section 302 IPC and convicted him under Section
304-B IPC. The order of sentence was also modified.
is held proved against the appellant is that his wife, Vijayalakshmi, died an
unnatural death within 2 years of their marriage and that before her death she
was subjected to harassment by him because she was not bringing from her
parents the remaining amount of dowry promised to him.
regards the demand of dowry and harassment both the courts have thought it fit
to accept the evidence. We do not find any infirmity in appreciation of the
was not only harassed by the appellant but was also ill-treated and beaten many
times. There is also evidence of P.Ws. 5 and 15 which proves that sometime
before the incident which led to her death, there was a quarrel between husband
and the wife and therefore she wanted to leave his house but because of pursuction
by R-5 not to leave at mid-night, she had agreed to remain there till next day
morning. Their evidence further proves that ten minutes after Vijayalakshmi had
returned to her room P.Ws. 5 and 15 heard some noise coming from the
appellant's room and when PW. 5 went there and enquired had happened the
appellant said "Sorry Sister" and closed the door. After some P.Ws. 5
and 15 again heard more noise coming from the appellant's room and therefore,
both of them again went there. At that time they found that some other neighbours
had also gathered there. The appellant then opened the door. It was noticed
that Vijaya Lakshmi was sitting under a tap with her body fully burnt. Their
evidence thus clearly establishes that soon before her death she was
ill-treated by her husband.
of the appellant was that she committed suicide. The High Court accepting the
version of suicide thought it fit to acquit the appellant under Section 302 and
convict him under Section 304-B because harrasments was proved and the death
had taken place within about a year and half from her marriage with the
appellant. we find that the High Court has correctly appreciated the evidence
and has given good reasons for convicting the appellant under Section 304-B and
appeal is, therefore, dismissed.