Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Whether court should suspend sentence of parents of husband for suicide of wife if they were residing separately?

 It is to be noted that nowadays the commitment of suicide by women, due to dowry harassment, are rising day by day. On the other hand, the in-laws are escaping from their liability saying that they are not living with their son, even though they are living separately, but, they are inducing their son for getting dowry, by way of, money, jewels, two wheeler, car etc., It is also to be noted that since the in-laws are not residing with their son and the victim women, and on that ground, they are seeking suspension of sentence, and this Court has also considered several petitions, on such ground. Taking advantage of that, a wrong message has gone to the Society that the parents can easily

escape from their liability and the alleged offence. It is to be further noted that mere giving a birth to a child, and providing shelter and good education, and motivating their child to get a job alone is not enough, and the first and foremost responsibility of the parents is that they should groom their children as responsible citizens.  {Para 6}

7. From the materials available on record, there are materials against the petitioners / accused 2 and 3 also, and the learned Sessions Judge, on proper appreciation of materials available on record against the petitioners / accused 2 and 3, convicted them for the offence under Section 498-A of IPC, and acquitted

them of the charge under Section 304-B of IPC.

8. Given the nature and gravity of offence committed by the accused, this Court is not inclined to suspend the sentence. Finding no merits, this miscellaneous petition shall stand dismissed.


MADRAS HIGH COURT

 Crl.M.P.No.2926 of 2021 in

Crl.A.No.114 of 2021


CORAM: P.VELMURUGAN, J.

Dated; 29.03.2021


The petitioners herein /accused 2 and 3 are the parents of the first

accused, viz., the husband of the deceased. The marriage between the first

accused and the deceased was solemnized on 20.06.2016. As the

petitioners/accused 1 to 3 beat and harassed the deceased by demanding jewels

and money, the deceased suffered mental agony and therefore, she committed

suicide on 29.09.2017. Subsequently, a case in Crime No.294 of 2017, was

registered by the respondent-Police against the first accused and the petitioners

herein / accused 2 & 3 for the offence under Section 498-A of IPC and 304 B of

IPC. After framing of charges and on completion of trial, the petitioners /

accused 2 & 3 found guilty under Section 498-A of IPC and convicted and

sentenced them to undergo Simple Imprisonment for a period of two years and

each of them to pay a fine of Rs.5,000/- in default of payment of fine, each of

them shall undergo Simple Imprisonment for a further period of three months

and acquitted them of the charge under Section 304-B of IPC.

2. Against such finding, the Criminal Appeal has been filed by the

petitioners / accused 2 and 3 alone. Along with, present Crl.M.P.No.2926 of 2021

has been filed seeking to suspend the sentence imposed on the

petitioners/accused 2 and 3, by judgment dated 22.01.2021 in S.C.No.236 of

2018, on the file of the learned Sessions Judge, Mahila Court, Cuddalore.

3. The learned counsel for the petitioners would submit that there are

several infirmities and inconsistencies found in the prosecution case. It is

contended that the deceased and the first accused were living separately from

the date of their marriage, i.e., 20.06.2016 and the petitioners / accused 2 and

3 have never lived under the same roof, and as such, there was no possibility for

demanding dowry and causing cruelty, as alleged by the prosecution, which was

also stated before P.W.13., the Revenue Divisional Officer. The brother of the

deceased was examined as P.W.1 and during the examination, he has not stated

any allegation against the petitioners herein / accused 2 and 3, and P.W.13-the

Revenue Divisional Officer gave a statement from the evidence of P.W.1, in

which, nothing has been elicited to implead these petitioners for the offence

under Section 498-A of IPC, and as such, the ingredients of the offence under

Section 498-A of IPC has not been made out by the prosecution. However, the learned Sessions Judge, without considering the same, convicted the petitioners,

and hence, seeks for suspension of sentence.

4. The learned Government Advocate (Criminal Side) would submit that

there is a clear overtact against the first accused and he has not filed any Appeal

and as against the Judgment passed by the learned Sessions Judge, Mahila Court,

Cuddalore, the petitioners / Accused 2 and 3, who are the parents of the first

accused and the in-laws of the deceased, alone have filed this Appeal and there

are materials to show that the petitioners have caused cruelty against the

deceased and also demanded dowry and therefore, the learned Sessions Judge,

on proper appreciation of evidence, rightly convicted the petitioners herein.

5. Heard the learned counsel for the petitioners and perused the

materials available on record.

6. It is to be noted that nowadays the commitment of suicide by women,

due to dowry harassment, are rising day by day. On the other hand, the in-laws

are escaping from their liability saying that they are not living with their son,

even though they are living separately, but, they are inducing their son for

getting dowry, by way of, money, jewels, two wheeler, car etc., It is also to be noted that since the in-laws are not residing with their son and the victim women, and on that ground, they are seeking suspension of sentence, and this Court has also considered several petitions, on such ground. Taking advantage of that, a wrong message has gone to the Society that the parents can easily

escape from their liability and the alleged offence. It is to be further noted that

mere giving a birth to a child, and providing shelter and good education, and

motivating their child to get a job alone is not enough, and the first and

foremost responsibility of the parents is that they should groom their children as

responsible citizens.

7. From the materials available on record, there are materials against the

petitioners / accused 2 and 3 also, and the learned Sessions Judge, on proper

appreciation of materials available on record against the petitioners / accused 2

and 3, convicted them for the offence under Section 498-A of IPC, and acquitted

them of the charge under Section 304-B of IPC.

8. Given the nature and gravity of offence committed by the accused, this

Court is not inclined to suspend the sentence. Finding no merits, this

miscellaneous petition shall stand dismissed.


9. The Registry is directed to call for records from the Court below within

a week, prepare the typed set of papers and list the appeal under the caption

for 'final hearing' on 28.04.2021.

29.03.2021



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