IN THE COURT OF SUB DIVISIONAL JUDICIAL MAGISTRATE, HOJAI, NAGAON
G.R.Case No: 166 of 2010
u/s 498A, IPC
Sri Narayan Choudhury.
…….. Accused person
Present: Mr C.P. Talukdar, A.J.S.
Evidence recorded on: 30.04.12,
Arguments heard on : 19.10.15
Judgment delivered on: 13.11.15
Advocate for the prosecution: Ld Addl. P.P Md Abdul. Hasib.
Advocate for the defense : Ld Adv Mr. Y. A. Talukdar.
1. The case of the prosecution in brief is that the informant Smti Pranati
Choudhury of village-Natun Basti Tiniali under Lumding P.S. in Nagaon district lodged
a F.I.R. before the O/C Mariani P.S. in Tinsukia District on 15.02.10 stating interalia
that she had got married to the accused following all Hindu religious rites in the year
1995 at Lumding, Nagaon and from their marriage, they had a son. She states that
after about 2-3 years of her marriage, he husband started to torture her and asked
her to bring money from her home. On 07.02.10, at around 10 P.M, her husband
assaulted her and hit her and she had to suffer serious injuries including bleeding
from her face and eyes as she refused to get money from her father’s house. Finding
no other way out, she had to leave his home and come back to Mariani and
thereafter undergo treatment. She also states that her son was kept by the accused.
Hence the instant proceeding.
2. On receipt of the F.I.R, the same was later transferred to the O/C Lumding P.S.
who registered a Lumding P.S. Case No- 18/10 u/s 498A and entrusted one Sri P.
Nath, S.I. to investigate into the matter. The police after investigation submitted
charge sheet against the accused person u/s 498A, IPC.
On appearance of the accused person, copies were furnished to him under sec207
CrPC and after hearing both the learned counsel for the accused person and the
learned A.P.P on the point of consideration of charges, it appears that the accused
had committed the offence which is to be tried under Chapter xix of the CrPC.
Accordingly formal charges u/s 498A, IPC was framed by the learned processor
court. The charge was then read over to the accused and explained to him to which
he pleaded not guilty and claimed to be tried.
3. The prosecution side to prove its case examined five (5) witnesses. They are
Smti Jamini Das as PW-1, one Tez Bahadur Chetri as PW-2, Sri Rama Kanta Dey as
PW-3, Hari Bodo as PW-4 and S.I. Parimal Nath as PW-5. After closure of the
prosecution evidence, the statement of the accused person u/s 313 CrPC was
recorded and the plea was of that of denial. The defence declined to adduce any
evidence. I have heard both the sides at length and also gone through the entire
case records and perused the evidence recorded.
4. POINTS FOR DETERMINATION:-
(i) Whether the accused being the husband of the informant had subjected her
to cruelty and harassed her in order to meet his unlawful demands for dowry and
property subsequent to their marriage and thereby has committed an offence
punishable u/s 498A, IPC as alleged?
5. DISCUSSIONS, DECISIONS AND REASONS THEREOF:-
PW-1, Smti Jamini Das has stated that the informant and the accused had
been married for some 10 years and they had some quarrel over some medical
issues relating to operation of the eyes. She thereafter left him and her son is living
with the father. In her cross, she states that she had not seen any assault and that
the informant had a eye surgery.
PW-2, Sri Tez Bahadur Chetri has stated that that the accused and the
informant had been married some 15 years back and that he is not aware of how
their married life went but he knew that the informant had a eye surgery and she
went home but did not return. Later, the case was filed. In his cross, he states that
the informant used to come to their house but had never informed him that she was
tortured or that there was any problem with her husband. He states that he heard
that the informant had left her husband’s house and left her son too.
PW-3, Sri Rama Kanta Dey has stated in his evidence that the informant
used to go home after her marriage occasionally and her husband used to bring her
back but this final time, she did not come back. He states that he had heard that she
had an eye surgery. Later, he heard that a case was filed. In his cross, he states that
one eye had been operated and the other was to be done. He further states that the
economic condition of the accused was not sound.
PW-4, Hari Bodo has stated in her evidence that the accused and the
informant were married nd there were occasional fights between them and one day
suddenly, the informant went home. In his cross, he states that he had never seen
the fights or heard that there was ever any demands made to the informant.
PW-5, Sri Parimal Nath, who happens to be the I.O. has stated that he had
investigated the case and later filed the charge sheet. He exhibited the sketch map
as Ext-1 and the charge sheet as Ext-2.
6. Now, from the evidence of the witnesses, it appears that the accused and the
informant were married long time back but differences in their marriage crept up
after about 15 years and after having a son. Though, the victim complains that she
was tortured and assaulted by the accused as she had failed to meet his demands
for money, none of the other witnesses have even remotely supported her case.
That the victim did not turn up to adduce evidence also does not help the
prosecution case. Infact, what transpires from the evidence lead by the other
witnesses is the fact that the informant had an eye surgery and for some reasons
best known to her left her husband’s home and her son. The other witnesses
happen to be neighbours of the accused and also had a good relationship with the
informant who used to frequent their house as is evident from the testimony and
cross of PW-3 and the others and they have clearly stated that they had not known
of any complaints that the victim had. Further, all the other witnesses have
corroborated the fact that the informant left the house of the accused after she had
an eye surgery. The other prosecution witnesses have not supported the victim’s
story even one bit. Even if it is to be believed that such issues are generally not
known to the public, yet there must have been some witnesses to corroborate the
prosecution story to suggest that the accused had chased the informant out of his
house after torturing her to meet his unlawful demands for dowry. Mere allegation
not backed by concrete evidence does not hold much in the eye of the law. There is
also nothing in the evidence to suggest that the informant was driven by such
cruelty to take her life or that her life was put in any impending danger by the
accused. The learned advocate for the accused argues that there was a considerable
delay in filing of the FIR and even assuming that she went home on 08.02.10 as
mentioned in the F.IR, it is seen that she had filed the F.I.R only on 15.02.10 at
Mariani and did not even file any FIR at Lumding P.S. Now, it is seen that the delay
remains unexplained. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in State of A.P. vs M.
Madhusudhan Rao, passed in October 24, 2008 wherein it has reiterated the old
adage and observed that “a delayed report not only gets bereft of the advantage of
spontaneity, the danger of the introduction of coloured version, exaggerated account
of the incident or a concocted story as a result of deliberations and consultations,
also creeps in, casting a serious doubt in its veracity. Therefore, it is essential that
the delay in lodging the report should be satisfactorily explained.” However, it is
found that there is not much explanation in this regard as the FIR was filed only on
15.02.10 and she in her complaint has not shown any reasons of the delay in filing
the case. The fact that there was not a prompt lodging of the FIR cannot be brushed
aside if the allegation of the alleged atrocities are to be believed. What should and
would have been the normal course is that the informant and her guardians would
have visited the police station and filed the FIR.
7. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in Bhajan Singh @ Harbhajan Singh Ors
vs State of Haryana reported in 2011 STPL(web) 536 SC observed that “
Prompt and early reporting of the occurrence by the informant with all its vivid
details gives an assurance regarding its true version. In case, there is some delay in
filing the FIR, the complainant must give explanation for the same. Undoubtedly,
delay in lodging the FIR does not make the complainant’s case improbable when
such delay is properly explained. However, deliberate delay in lodging the complaint
may prove to be fatal. In such case of delay, it also cannot be presumed that the
allegations were an afterthought or had given a coloured version of events. The
court has to carefully examine the facts before it, for the reason, that the
complainant party may initiate criminal proceedings just to harass the other side
with mala fide intentions or with ulterior motive of wreaking vengeance. The court
proceedings ought not to be permitted to degenerate into a weapon of harassment
and persecution. In such a case, where an FIR is lodged clearly with a view to spite
the other party because of a private and personal grudge and to enmesh the other
party in long and arduous criminal proceedings, the court may take a view that it
amounts to an abuse of the process of law”.
Herein, it is evident that there is no satisfactory explanation
in this regard. Even assuming that the informant and her family members waited so
as to salvage the marriage, yet it is to be pondered as to why at a later stage they
felt the requirement to punish the accused. Further, even assuming that she left for
home the very next day that she was assaulted, she could have filed the FIR at
Lumding and then proceeded as she appears to be an independent woman who
having left for her father’s home at Mariani all alone, the very next morning could
have easily lodged a case at the nearby police station before going away. The
learned advocate for the accused has submitted that if at all such brutality was
committed, there would have been no chance of any reconcilement and hence they
would not have waited for long. This argument is not devoid of merits. There is a
complete absence of any materials in the evidence lead by the prosecution to
implicate him of any wrongdoing as alleged. Situated thus and in light of the limited
evidence lead by the prosecution and the failure to substantiate the allegations
beyond reasonable doubt, the accused has to be held to be not guilty as alleged.
Considering the discussions made above and after all deliberations, it can be
safely presumed that the prosecution has failed to drive home the guilt of the
accused person beyond reasonable doubt. Hence, it is held that the prosecution has
failed to prove its case and therefore the accused person is acquitted of the charge
u/s 498A, IPC and set at liberty forthwith.
Given in my hand and under the seal of this court on this 13th day of
Typed by me: SDJM, Hojai,
PW-1: Sri Jamini Das.
PW-2: Sri Tez Bahadur Chetri.
PW-3: Sri Rama Kanta Dey.
PW-4: Sri Hari Bodo.
PW-5: Sri Parimal Nath.
Ext-1: Sketch Map.
Ext-2: Charge Sheet.