Banarsi Dass and others Versus State of Haryana

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO(S). 534-535 OF 2012
Banarsi Dass and others … Appellant (s)
Versus
State of Haryana … Respondent (s)

The appellants faced trial under Section 498A read with Section 304B read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) (hereinafter referred to as ‘IPC’). The trial court acquitted them under Section 304B of IPC but convicted the munder Section 498A of IPC. The State took up the matter in appeal before the High Court against the non-conviction under Section 304B of IPC. The High Court allowed the appeal and convicted them under Section 304B of IPC also. During the pendency of the appeal, appellant no.1-father-in-law of the deceased and appellant no.2-mother-in-law of the deceased expired. Therefore, the appeals survive only in respect of appellant no. 2-husband of the deceased, appellant no.3-elder brother of the deceased and appellant no.4-younger brother of the deceased. The deceased Chander Kalan was the sister of PW-12-Mahabir and PW-13-Satpal and the wife of accused-Ramesh Kumar. The marriage was on 14.04.1995. The allegation is that on account of non-payment of the dowry as demanded by the husband and in-laws, she was being ill-treated. One such incident was on 01.01.1997 and she lost a couple of teeth. There was a Panchayat and the matter was compromised and therefore, the case then registered under Section 498A read with Section 323 of IPC was not pursued. It is alleged that even thereafter the attitude of the in-laws did not change. On 18.06.1998, it is alleged that she was beaten and pushed out of the house and at around 02.00 p.m., the accused sprinkled kerosene on her and set her on fire. She was admitted in the hospital by 05.00 p.m. and examined by PW-1-Dr. S.D. Goyal, who found that Chander Kalan suffered burn injuries which were approximately 45%. On his request, PW-16-ASI Jagdeep Singh recorded Exhibit-PM-dying declaration. Thereafter, she was admitted in the hospital of PW-9-Dr. Soni on 19.06.1998 and, on 17.07.1998, she was further shifted to the hospital of PW-5-Dr.SubhashVerma, where she died on 04.08.1998. PW-2-Dr. V.K. Kawatra conducted the postmortem along with Dr. Arun Gupta….read more