Pradeep Kumar Vs.
State of Haryana  INSC 670 (31 March 2009)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 516 OF 2006
Pradeep Kumar ..Appellant versus State of Haryana ..Respondent
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT,
in this appeal is to the judgment of a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana
High Court upholding the conviction of the appellant for offence punishable
under Sections 302 and 304(B) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (in short the
`IPC'). He was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for life for the
first offence but no separate sentence was imposed for the second offence.
alongwith two others faced trial. Each was charged for having committed offences
punishable under Section 304(B) IPC and Section 498A IPC. Appellant alone was
separately charged for offence punishable under Section 302 IPC.
version as unfolded during trial is as follows:
Kewal Krishan (PW 4)
is the complainant. He is a resident of Ambala City. He is the Director of G.G.
Flour Mills. He had four daughters and two sons. Marriage of his eldest
daughter Suman Rani alias Anamika (hereinafter referred to as the `deceased')
was solemnized with appellant Pardeep Kumar alias Raju on 19.10.1996 in Laxmi
Palace at Patiala. As per asking of the accused persons dowry and streedhan was
given according to the capacity of the complainant on the festival of Karva
Chauth, complainant's daughter Anamika along with appellant and, Anamika's
father-in-law and mother-in-law came to their residence. Sufficient articles
were given on Karva Chauth. On that day, Anamika told the complainant that her
husband Pardeep Kumar who was running a shop at Yamuna Nagar in the name and
style of New Punjab Tractors, wanted to take her to Yamuna Nagar. He demanded
colour T.V., washing machine, Godrej almirah and a refrigerator. Thereafter his
daughter went to her in-law's place in Village Dhanola, District Sangrur
(Punjab). Ten to fifteen days thereafter, complainant's daughter rang them up
from Dhanola that she along with her husband were shifting to Yamuna Nagar and
the articles demanded should be sent to her at Yamuna Nagar. Complainant Kewal
Krishan along with Mohinder Pal son of Bachan Lal resident of Ambala City came
to Yamuna Nagar. They purchased colour T.V., washing machine, Godrej almirah
and a refrigerator and handed them over to the appellant in his house.
was operated upon at Ambala for some ailment.
Anamika came to see
her mother. Anamika did not look well. Complainant Kewal Krishan enquired about
her health. Anamika stated that her husband, father-in-law and brother-in-law
Parveen Kumar were threatening that if she wanted to remain alive, she should
get Rs.2 lacs from her father, as they wanted to expand their business at
Yamuna Nagar. This demand was met and complainant gave Rs.50,000/- and
requested for some time so that he will pay the remaining amount after
arranging for it. This amount was given about a month prior to the death of
Anamika. About 15 days before her death, Anamika made a telephone call to the
complainant that her father-in- law Prem Nath had told her husband Pardeep
Kumar that if Anamika did not arrange for the remaining amount, she should be
eliminated, he would arrange for everything and perform his second marriage.
Again on 23.1.1997, complainant's daughter gave a telephonic call to the
complainant, that if 'the remaining amount was not arranged within 2/3 days,
she would be eliminated.
On 25.1.1997 at about
9.30 p.m., Anil Kumar (PW-3) gave a telephonic call to the complainant that
Anamika had got burnt by a gas cylinder. Complainant made a telephonic call to
his brother Suresh Pal and his father Rameshwar Dass at Cheeka to reach Ambala.
On their arrival from Cheeka, complainant along with them left for the house of
his daughter at Yamuna Nagar. On reaching there, he saw his daughter lying dead
on a double-bed. Besides her were lying a gas-cylinder, match- sticks and halt
undertaken and on completion thereof, chargesheet was filed.
As accused persons
abjured guilt, trial was held.
4 In order to
further the accusations fifteen witnesses were examined.
The trial court found
the appellants and the co-accused persons guilty. By the impugned judgment High
Court directed acquittal by the co-accused persons Prem Nath and Parveen Kumar,
but upheld the conviction and sentence of appellant as aforenoted.
The trial court and
the High Court placed reliance on the evidence of PWs 2, 3 & 4.
4. In support of the
appeal learned counsel for the appellant submitted that there was no evidence
of the appellant having committed offences as alleged. There is no direct
evidence to hold that the appellant has committed murder of the deceased.
5. Learned counsel
for the respondent on the other hand supported the judgment of the High Court
confirming that of the trial court.
6. It is undisputed
that the marriage took place on 9.10.1996 and the date of occurrence is
25.1.1997. The co-accused persons were the father and the brother of the
appellant. The only evidence adduced by the prosecution to substantiate the
allegation of commission of offence punishable under Section 302 IPC is that
the accused and the deceased stayed in the same house. That according to us is
not sufficient to hold the appellant guilty for offence punishable under
Section 302 IPC on the facts of the present case. However, the accusations
related to Section 304 B IPC are satisfied.
7. Section 304 B IPC
reads as follows:
Death - (1) Where the death of a woman is caused by any burns or bodily injury
or occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances within seven years of her
marriage and it is shown that soon before her death she was subjected to cruelty
or harassment by her husband or any relative of her husband for, or in
connection with, any demand for dowry, such death shall be called "dowry
death", and such husband or relative shall be deemed to have caused her
5. The necessary
ingredients of Section 304 B IPC are as follows:
(1) The death of the
woman was caused due to burns, bodily injuries or due to unnatural
6 (2) The death
should be within seven years of marriage.
(3) It is shown that
soon before death victim was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband
or any relative of the husband.
(4) The cruelty or
harassment was for or in connection with any demand for dowry.
8. Therefore while
setting aside the conviction for offence punishable under Section 302 IPC, we
uphold the conviction, so far as it relates to Section 304 B IPC. Custodial
sentence of ten years would meet the ends of justice. The appeal is allowed to
the aforesaid extent.
(Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT)
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