1 IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA, BANGALORE DATED THIS THE 5TH DAY OF AUGUST, 2014 :PRESENT: THE HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE MOHAN.M.SHANTANAGOUDAR :AND: THE HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE K.N. PHANEENDRA CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.729/2007 BETWEEN STATE BY SHESHADRIPURAM POLICE ... APPELLANT (BY SRI.B.T.VENKATESH, ADDL. SPP,) AND 1. B.M.BALAKRISHNA, S/O LATE MUNISWAMAPPA, AGED ABOUT 70 YEARS, 2. SMT.DHANALAKSHMI, W/O BALAKRISHNAPPA, AGED ABOUT 65 YEARS, 3. B.NARASIMHA MURTHY, S/O BALAKRISHNAPPA, AGED ABOUT 34 YEARS, 4. SMT.J.SUNITHA, S/O B.NARASIMHA MURTHY, AGED ABOUT 26 YEARS, ALL ARE R/AT NO.2/1, 2ND CROSS, R.V.SHETTY LAYOUT, SHESHADRIPURAM, BANGALORE-20. ... RESPONDENTS (BY SRI.M.T.NANAIAHFOR M.T. NANAIAH ASST. FOR R1, R2 SRI. M.N. NEHRU FOR M.N.NEHRU ASSTS. FOR R3, R4) THIS CRL.A. FILED U/S.378(1)&(3) CR.P.C PRAYING TO GRANT LEAVE TO FILE AN APPEAL AGAINST THE JUDGEMENT 2 DT.11.1.2007 PASSED BY THE ADDL.SJ., & P.O., FTC-IV, B'LORE, IN S.C.NO.494/04 - ACQUITTING THE RESPONDENTS/ACCUSED NO.2 TO 5 FOR THE OFFENCE P/U/S.498-A AND 304-B OF IPC AND SECs.3 AND 4 OF THE DOWRY PROHIBITION ACT. THIS APPEAL COMING ON FOR HEARING THIS DAY, MOHAN M. SHANTANAGOUDAR, J. DELIVERED THE FOLLOWING: JUDGMENT
The judgment and Order dated 11.1.2007 passed by Addl. Sessions Court, Bangalore City in SC No.494/2004 is the subject matter of this appeal. By the said judgment, the Trial Court has acquitted accused persons 2 to 5 of all the charges leveled against them and convicted A1 Muralidhara for the offence punishable under Section 498A, 304B of IPC and Sections 3 & 4of Dowry Prohibition Act.
2. It is relevant to note that as against the judgment and Order of conviction passed by the Trial Court against A1, convicted A1 preferred Crl.A.No.68/2011 before this Court, which came to be allowed by the judgment and order dated 29.11.2007. Consequently, Accused No.1 was acquitted. This appeal i.e. Criminal Appeal No.729/2007 is filed by the State questioning the acquittal of accused persons 2 to 5 by the Trial Court.
3. The case of the prosecution in brief is that the deceased Bagyalakshmi married A1 Muralidhar on 28.2.1999; the marriage expenses were borne by the parents of the bride; at the time of marriage, the accused demanded `.50,000/- cash and gold ornaments worth `.1,25,000/-; the parents of the deceased satisfied the demand of the accused by providing gold ornaments worth `.1,25,000/- and `.30,000/- cash. However, even after the marriage, the accused started torturing the victim proclaiming that the amount of dowry paid to A1 was inadequate and that she should bring additional amount of dowry. Being harassed, victim Bhagyalakshmi set herself ablaze along with her child and both of them lost their lives.
4. In order to prove its case, the prosecution in all examined 18 witnesses and got marked 23 exhibits and 12 MOs. On behalf of the defence, A1 is examined as PW1. As aforementioned the Trial Court acquitted A2 to A5 of all the charges leveled against them and convicted A1 for the offence punishable under Sections 304B, 498A of IPC and Sections 3 & 4 of D P Act.
5. This Court while allowing Cril.A.No.68/2007 filed by the convicted A1 has concluded that the allegations made against A1 to A3 regarding dowry harassment are unbelievable. Thus, there is already a finding in Crl.A.No.68/2007 that A1 to A3 are innocent and the material against them is unbelievable.
6. A2 and A3 are the parents of A1, A4 is the brother of A1, A5 is the wife of A4. All the inmates of the house are arrayed as accused. However, going through the materials on record, it is clear that the prosecution has concentrated its case against A1 Muralidhar. As aforementioned A1 was convicted of the offence punishable under Section 498A and Section 304B of IPC and Sections 3 & 4 of DP Act. However, this Court has already acquitted the Accused No.1 also in Criminal Appeal No.68/2007.
7. Since the accused No.1, main accused has convicted of the charges by the Trial Court assigning valid reasons for coming to the conclusion while acquitting the accused 2 to 5, as this Court in Criminal Appeal No.68/2007 has ruled that the allegations made against A1 to A3 are unbelievable in view of lack of legal evidence, we are of the considered opinion that the appeal filed by the State needs to be dismissed and consequently the judgment and order of acquittal passed by the Trial Court in favour of accused 2 to 5 is to be confirmed. It is also relevant to note that the judgment of this Court dated 29.11.2007 passed in Criminal Appeal No.68/2007 acquitting A1 since been not appealed, has attained finality. In the very judgment, it is observed that the materials on record are not sufficient to bring home the guilt against other accused. In view of the same, no interference is called for and appeal fails.