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Report No. 202

2.10 302 and 304 B of the I.P.C.:

2.10.1 Section 304B and Section 302 are clearly distinguishable. The court before framing of the charges should see and analyze that whether charge can be framed against the accused under Section 302 or not. Charge under 304B is made out in those cases where what is not clear is the cause of the death. The Section says where death is caused due to burns or bodily injuries or caused otherwise than under normal circumstances. This shows that it may be clear that the death was due to burns or bodily injuries or is otherwise than under normal circumstances (courts say this covers suicide also) so what is not clear is whether those persons who subject to cruelty or harassment are responsible for the cause of the burns or bodily injuries.

2.10.2 In Hemchand v. State of Haryana, 1994 (6) SCC 727, the Hon'ble Supreme Court has held that Section 113B of the Evidence Act says that when the question is whether a person has committed a dowry death of a woman and it is shown that soon before her death, such woman has been subjected by such person to cruelty or harassment for, or in connection with any demand for dowry, the court shall presume that such person had caused the dowry death. The Hon'ble Supreme Court has further held that proof of direct connection of the accused with her death is not essential. The absence of direct connection of the accused with death has to be taken into consideration in balancing the sentence to be awarded to the accused.

2.10.3 In Ashok Kumar v. State of Rajasthan, 1991 (1) SCC 166, the Hon'ble Supreme Court has laid down that motive for a murder may or may not be. But in dowry deaths, it is inherent. And hence, what is required of the court is to examine is as to who translated it into action as motive for it is not individual, but of family.

Proposal to amend Section 304-B of the Indian Penal Code Back

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