Delhi District Court
Matter Titled As Manik Taneja & … vs . State Of Karnataka & Anr. [S.L.P. … on 11 December, 2017
IN THE COURT OF MS. VIDHI GUPTA ANAND, METROPOLITAN MAGISTRATE
             (MAHILA COURT-3), SHAHDARA, KKD, DELHI

                               JUDGMENT U/S 355 Cr.PC

a     Serial No. of the case              : FIR no.360/16, PS Nand Nagari
                                            [326/16]
b     Date of the commission of the : During the period between 04.05.2003
      offence                         till filing the present complaint.
c     Name of the Complainant             : Smt. Suman D/o Sh. Raj Kumar
d     Name of Accused person and his : 1.   Kamlesh     s/o Sheel  Babu
      parentage and residence          [proceedings abated    vide order
                                       dated 21.04.2014].

                                           2. Sheel Babu s/o Late Sh. Hare Lal
                                           r/o C-112, Harsh Vihar- II, Bhopura
                                           Ghaziabad, UP.

                                           3.  Smt. Raja Beti W/o Sheel Babu
                                           R/o C-112, Harsh Vihar- II, Bhopura
                                           Ghaziabad, UP.

                                           4.  Sarpanch S/o Sheel Babu R/o C-
                                           112, Harsh Vihar- II, Bhopura
                                           Ghaziabad, UP.

                                           5. Dalip S/o Sheel Babu R/o C-112,
                                           Harsh Vihar- II, Bhopura Ghaziabad,
                                           UP.

e     Offence complained of               : 498 A/406/34 IPC & 4 DP Act
f     Plea of the Accused and their : Not Guilty.
      examination (if any)
g     Final Order                         : Acquitted
h     Order reserved on                   : 30.11.2017
i     Order pronounced on                 : 11.12.2017


1.

Vide this judgment a complaint filed by one Smt. Suman, D/o Sh. Raju against accused persons namely (1) Sh. Kamlesh, husband of the complainant (hereinafter accused no.1), (2) Sh. Sheel Babu, father-in-law (sasur) of the Complainant (hereinafter accused no.2), (3) Smt. Raja Beti, mother in law of the FIR no. 360/06, P.S. Nand Nagari 1 / 18 complainant (hereinafter accused no.3), (4) Sh. Dalip, brother-in-law of the Complainant (hereinafter accused no.4), and (5) Sh. Sarpanch, brother-in-law of the Complainant (hereinafter accused no.5) registered vide FIR no.360/06 u/s 498A/406/34 IPC PS Nand Nagari shall be decided and disposed of.

2. The present FIR was registered with PS Nand Nagri on 15.05.2006 upon a written complaint of the Complainant given u/s 200 Cr.PC in the court of the then MM, KKD Court, Delhi. The case of the complainant and as put forward by the prosecution is as follows:-

2.1 Complainant has claimed that she got married to the accused no.1 on 04.05.2003 according to Hindu rites and customs at house no.D-3/311, Nand Nagri, Delhi-93 whereby her father had spent around Rs.1,50,000/- in her marriage and had given sufficient dowry as per his capacity. However, the in laws of the complainant were not happy with the dowry articles from the very first day of the marriage and they started torturing her.

2.2. As per the Complainant, she was compelled to bring Rs.20,000/- from her parents but when she told that her parents were poor and the demand could not be fulfilled, she was beaten up in an inhuman way.

2.3. Citing a particular incident, complainant had alleged that on 19.11.2003, accused no.2 came to her in odd hours of the night after consuming liquor and forced the complainant to bring more dowry articles and cash from her parents and when she refused, he used filthy language upon her in presence of other accused persons and they started beating her in a cruel way and threatened her that if the demands were not met, she would face dire consequences.

2.4. After facing all the cruelties and torture at the hands of the accused persons in a hope that everything would turn normal, when situation did not improve.

FIR no. 360/06, P.S. Nand Nagari 2 / 18 Complainant came back to her parental home along with her father leaving behind all her jewelry articles in her matrimonial home.

Thereafter, on 17.07.2004, it is alleged that accused no.1 and 5 came to her parental house and took her back. However, it is alleged that one day under the influence of alcohol, accused no.1 started beating and abusing the complainant in odd hours of the night stating that she had not brought enough dowry from her home and therefore, complainant was again brought back to her parental home.

Thereafter, on 15.06.2005, it is stated that accused no.1 and his brother visited the parental house of the complainant and compromised he matter in presence of certain relatives and neighbours on stamp papers and brought the complainant back to her matrimonial home.

2.5. Quoting another incident dt. 23.10.2005, it is alleged that in laws of the complainant gathered in her room and told her to bring Rs.20,000/- from her parents as her sister in law was to get married on 28.11.2005. Again when she showed her inability to bring the said money, she was allegedly beaten up, abused and tortured by the accused persons.

2.6 On 27.10.2005, again it is stated that father and brother of the complainant came to her matrimonial home along with 3-4 police man and brought her back to her parental house. It is further stated that accused persons retained all the dowry and jewelry articles of the complainant and refused to keep or maintain her. Further, it is brought-forth that at that time the complainant was in last stage of her pregnancy and on 02.11.2005, the complainant gave birth to a a male child in GTB Hospital, Shahdara, Delhi. Since then, the complainant has been residing at her parental house and the accused persons have neither bothered to see the child or returned her dowry/jewelry articles.

FIR no. 360/06, P.S. Nand Nagari 3 / 18 2.7. Accordingly, the complainant was constrained to file a complaint to the ACP, CAW Cell, Nand Nagri, Delhi but no action was taken against the accused persons. Allegedly, even when she filed a complaint before the office of DCP concerned, no action was initiated against the accused persons and hence the complainant was constrained to move the court seeking remedies whereby a written complaint u/s 200 Cr.P.C. was filed by the Complainant. Upon the said complaint, vide order dated 28.03.2006, the then Ld.MM directed registration of the FIR and conducting of investigation in this matter.

3. After completion of the investigation by IO, charge sheet was filed against the accused persons in this matter on 28.11.2006. Vide order of even date, cognizance was taken for the offences mentioned in challan i.e. u/s 498A/406/34 IPC & u/s ¾ Dowry Prohibition Act and the accused persons were summoned before the court.

4. Upon appearance of the accused before the court, in compliance of section 207 Cr. PC, copies were duly supplied to the accused persons. On 15.10.2013 charge for the offence u/s 506(ii) IPC along with section 4 of DP Act was framed upon all the Accused persons except Accused Kamlesh to which they pleaded not guilty and claimed trial. Resultantly, matter was taken up for recording of prosecution’s evidence.

It is pertinent to note that Accused Kamlesh expired before charges could be framed upon him and thus, proceedings were abated with respect to him vide order dt.21.04.2014.

5. In order to prove the guilt of the accused persons, the prosecution has examined eight witnesses, out of which four are public witnesses and four are formal police witnesses.

FIR no. 360/06, P.S. Nand Nagari 4 / 18 5.1 Complainant herself was examined as PW1. She reiterated that her marriage was solemnized with the Accused Kamlesh on 04.05.2003 whereby an amount of around 1.5 to 2 lacs was spent in her marriage. She further stated that within a few months of the marriage i.e. around 2 months, Accused persons started abusing and beating her for fulfillment of their demand of Rs.20,000/- as well as more dowry articles. She got certain documents exhibited on record viz. her marriage card (Ex.PW1/A), photographs of the marriage (Ex.PW1/A1 to Ex.PW1/A5) and list of dowry articles (Ex.PW1/B).

Later she mentioned several incidents of alleged cruelty including verbal abuse, throwing of thali on her which hit her head, accusing her of theft and misbehaviour with her by her devars after having liquor. She even stated that her devars threatened to eliminate her. She further stated that whenever she came back to her parental home, she reconciled as she wanted to save her matrimonial life. However, she could not give specific dates of any of these incidents.

Citing a particular incident, Complainant stated that on 23.10.2005, her father-in-law, in presence of other in-laws, asked her to bring money from her parents as he had to arrange marriage of his daughter and when she refused, she was again beaten up and tortured. Allegedly, on 27.10.2005, her mother came to her matrimonial home along with 4 policemen and a property dealer namely Jagvir @ Jagga and took her back to her parental home; at that time, she was in advanced stage of pregnancy. On 28.10.2005, she made a complaint to CAW Cell which was exhibited on record as Ex.PW1/C and later, she made a complaint to the court through her counsel which was exhibited on record as Ex.PW1/D. The arrest memo and seizure memo of her husband was exhibited on record as Ex. PW1/E and PW1/F. List of her stridhan articles recovered from H.No.205, Gali no.3, Bank FIR no. 360/06, P.S. Nand Nagari 5 / 18 colony, Mandoli, Delhi on 01.06.2006 were exhibited on record as Ex.PW1/G and the superdarinama vide which the same was released to her was Ex.PW1/H. Another complaint dt.16.11.2005 made by her to CAW Cell was exhibited as Ex.PW1/K, her statement dt.22.11.2005 and dt.07.01.2006 were exhibited as Ex.PW1/L and PW1/M respectively, a compromise on affidavit between Complainant and her in laws was exhibited as Ex.PW1/N and lastly, photographs of her stridhan articles recovered from the house of the Accused persons were collectively exhibited as Ex.PW1/O1 to Ex.PW1/O12. Further, Complainant identified all the accused persons correctly.

During her cross-examination, PW1 stated that she was subjected to cruelty prior to 2005 as well but she did not lodge any complaint in order to save her matrimonial life. Further, she failed to give the exact date of demand of Rs.20,000/- but stated that the same was made at the time of marriage of her sister-in-law and that too by all the Accused persons. When questioned with respect to the bills of her dowry articles she reasoned that she did not have the same due to long time lapse. She denied the suggestions of Ld. Counsel for the Accused persons that she resided with her husband in a rented accommodation or that neither any demand was ever raised from her nor she was beaten up by Accused persons. However, she admitted that Accused persons used to live in Ghaziabad, U.P. She further denied the suggestion that the main reason of her dispute with her husband was with respect to her residence whereby she wanted to reside in Ghaziabad, U.P. She also denied the suggestion that she did not want to reside with Accused Kamlesh as he was suffering from a disease.

Thus, in all, the Complainant could not bring out specific dates of demand of dowry or details as to how and in what manner was she threatened by Accused FIR no. 360/06, P.S. Nand Nagari 6 / 18 persons.

5.2 Mother of the Complainant namely Ms. Vidya Devi was examined as PW2. In her examination-in-chief, she gave only brief vague statements that the Accused persons had subjected the Complainant to cruelty and even when she was in advanced stages of pregnancy, she was beaten up; as a result of which she brought the Complainant back to her house and after 3 days she gave birth to a child.

Only on being cross-examined by Ld. APP for the State was further portions of her previous statement brought out on record. She admitted it to be correct that on 23.10.2005, the accused persons demanded Rs.20,000/- from the Complainant and also gave beatings to her. With respect to the bills, she admitted that the same were given to the father-in-law of the Complainant.

During her cross-examination by Ld. Counsel for the Accused persons, she denied the suggestion that she had taken her daughter to her parental home on account of her pregnancy and not on account of beatings given to her. She further stated that when she was taken from her matrimonial house to the hospital, she was discharged within one hour. However, she specifically attributed dowry demand to the father-in-law of the Complainant but added that no complaint was registered in that regard. Even PW2 denied the suggestion that Complainant did not want to reside with Accused Kamlesh as he was suffering from a disease. 5.3. Cousin of the Complainant, Amit Kumar was examined as PW3. He brought variance to the prosecution case by stating that Complainant was happily married for around 2 years and it is only after that time that family members of her husband started to harass her. Citing an undated incident he added that once he had gone to matrimonial house of Complainant and found her weeping and she told FIR no. 360/06, P.S. Nand Nagari 7 / 18 them that she was beaten up by her matrimonial family members. He further added that he along with father of the Complainant brought her back to her parental home but before leaving her matrimonial house, Complainant handed over her mangalsutra and other jewellery to them upon saying of the mother-in-law of the Complainant.

During his cross-examination, he stated that neither any compromise had taken place in his presence nor any beatings or demand occurred in his presence. He could not give the details of jewellery articles of the Complainant which were handed over to the matrimonial family members of the Complainant.

Most importantly, it is pertinent to note that he could not give any date or month of the incidents alleged by him and further that he did not specify as to which members of the family of the Accused persons committed cruelty upon the Complainant. Further, he did not identify the Accused persons in the Court.

Thus, as neither any demand was made nor any threat was extended to the Complainant in his presence, the testimony of PW3 loses much of its relevance. 5.4. Last of the public witnesses to be examined is PW5 Shri Ram, Jija of the Complainant. He stated to have attended the marriage of the Complainant and further that when he visited the parental house of the Complainant after 3-4 months of the marriage, he was told that she had come back home as her in-laws demanded money and dowry from her. He further stated that dowry articles of Complainant as per list Ex.PW1/G was recovered from the rented room of the Accused Kamlesh. He also deposed that a list of dowry articles had been handed over by father of the Complainant to father-in-law of the Complainant with articles.

In his cross-examination, he also stated that no dowry demands were made by Accused persons from the Complainant in his presence. Further, he stated that FIR no. 360/06, P.S. Nand Nagari 8 / 18 he had neither read nor seen the receipt of dowry articles With respect to list of dowry articles, he stated that the same had been signed by father-in-law of the Complainant and three other persons but on one from the side of the Complainant had signed it and a copy of the same was retained by the father of the Complainant. However, he could not bring the said list on record.

5.5. The remaining four witnesses i.e. PW4 Retd. SI Harbir Singh (Duty Officer), PW6 ASI Bahadur Sharma, PW7 ASI Chameli and PW8 Insp. Beena Thakur (Investigation Officer), all are police witnesses and they deposed with respect to the part played by them from the registration of the FIR to the completion of investigation.

PW4 deposed with respect to registration of the FIR in this matter on 15.05.2006 upon receiving of a Rukka from Ct. Bahadur. The endorsement made on Rukka was exhibited as Ex.PW4/A and FIR was exhibited as Ex.PW4/B.

PW6 testified with respect to getting registration of the FIR done at the police station and thereafter, handing over the Rukka to the IO. He also deposed to have served notices u/s 160 Cr.P.C to the Complainant for joining investigation and further that Accused Kamlesh had been arrested by the IO in his presence upon his surrender before the Court. Other than this, nothing new or material evidence was brought on record by PW6.

PW7, then posted at CAW Cell, Nand Nagri deposed to have received a complaint of the Complainant on 28.10.2005. She further stated to have made attempts to compromise the matter between the parties in pursuance to the said complaint but the same could not be done. PW7 further stated that the Complainant wanted to reside in her matrimonial home and did not want to live with Accused Kamlesh on rent and on the other hand, Accused Kamlesh wanted to reside with FIR no. 360/06, P.S. Nand Nagari 9 / 18 her separately on rent as allegedly Complainant threatened him and his family members that she would commit suicide. Lastly, it was stated by her that Complainant told her that she would reside in her parental home and would take maintenance from court. PW7 got her final inquiry report in this matter exhibited as Ex.PW7/A. In her cross-examination, she stated that no altercation took place between the parties in her presence and also that Complainant had never asked her to get her stridhan articles recovered. She failed to recall the names which were taken by the Complainant with respect to dowry demand but stated that demand had been attributed by the Complainant upon all her in laws. A critical part of her testimony was that she admitted it to be correct that the main dispute between the parties was with respect to the residence of the Complainant along with her husband in joint family or on rent.

PW8, IO in this matter, was the last witness to be examined. She deposed to have conducted the investigation in this matter. The disclosure statement of Accused Kamlesh was exhibited as Ex.PW8/A and it was deposed that after taking his Police remand for one day, dowry articles of the Complainant were seized from his rented accommodation in Harsh Vihar and on the very next day he was admitted to bail. She also deposed that all accused except Kamlesh were admitted to anticipatory bail on 01.06.2006 and they were formally arrested by her vide arrest memos Ex.PW8/B to Ex.PW8/E. Lastly, she stated to have completed the investigation and prepared the chargesheet. In her cross-examination, it was brought out that a supplementary statement of the Complainant had been recorded by her on 23.05.2006. Further, she stated that she neither obtained the photographs of the place from which dowry articles were seized nor had she visited the house of the Accused persons to arrest them.

FIR no. 360/06, P.S. Nand Nagari 10 / 18 5.6. In the light of above said brief crux of the testimony of prosecution witnesses, evidence led by the prosecution was got completed.

6. After completion of entire PE, statement of the Accused persons was recorded u/s 313 Cr.P.C. on 17.11.2017 wherein they denied all the allegations of cruelty and dowry demand put upon them and stated that the present case was false and the witnesses were interested. However, when questioned as to whether they wanted to lead evidence in their defence they answered in negative. Thus, the matter was taken up for final arguments.

7. Ld. Counsel for the Accused persons as well as Ld. APP for the State have addressed their detailed final arguments in this matter.

Ld. APP for the State has pressed upon conviction of the Accused persons stating that they have not only subjected the Complainant to cruelty but also committed the heinous offence of dowry demand from her which has led to not only mental cruelty upon her but also shattered her peaceful matrimonial life. Further, arguing that extension of life threats is a grave offence which needs to be dealt with strict hands, Ld. APP for the State stated that all the Accused persons be held guilty in the light of the evidence brought on record.

On the other hand, Ld. Counsel for the Accused persons, vehemently opposed the submissions of the Ld. APP for the State and stated that on account of the apparent discrepancies in the prosecution evidence the case has been left open ended and thus, prosecution has been unable to prove its case beyond all reasonable doubts which is the mandate of law. It was further argued by Ld. Counsel for the Accused persons that, as has also been brought out during the testimony of the PWs, the main point of dispute was between the Complainant and her husband and other Accused persons have been unnecessarily been dragged FIR no. 360/06, P.S. Nand Nagari 11 / 18 herein. Thus, acquittal of the Accused persons was strongly pressed upon by their Ld. Counsel.

Submissions have been duly heard and entire court record has been carefully perused.

8. Before proceeding further, it is vital to note that the main accused in this matter i.e. the husband of the Complainant has already expired and with respect to the remaining accused persons charges have been framed only u/s 4 of the DP Act and section 506(ii) of the IPC. Thus, it is deemed appropriate deal with both th provisions one by one and then determine on the basis of the evidence led by the prosecution as to whether the said offences are made out against the Accused persons or not.

9. Section 506 IPC, titled as Punishment for Criminal Intimidation is worded as follows:

Whoever commits, the offence of criminal intimidation shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both;

If threat be to cause death or grievous hurt, etc.– And if the threat be to cause death or grievous hurt, or to cause the destruction of any property by fire, or to cause an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, or to impute, unchastity to a woman, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, or with fine, or with both.

The charge in the present matter has specifically been framed upon the Accused persons under part-II of section 506 which deals with threat to cause death or grievous hurt. Prior to examination of evidence on this aspect, it is yet again necessary to read another provision of the IPC which defines as to what is Criminal Intimidation. Section 503 IPC defines Criminal Intimidation as follows:

FIR no. 360/06, P.S. Nand Nagari 12 / 18 Whoever threatens another with any injury to his person, reputation or property, or to the person or reputation of any one in whom that person is interested, with intent to cause alarm to that person, or to cause that person to do any act which he is not legally bound to do, or to omit to do any act which that person is legally entitled to do, as the means of avoiding the execution of such threat, commits criminal intimidation. Explanation.–A threat to injure the reputation of any deceased person in whom the person threatened is interested, is within this section.

As per the definition given above, the main thrust is upon the threat extended to any person which is likely to injure the person himself, his property or reputation. Therefore, before proceeding on to answer the question as to whether offence of criminal intimidation is made out or not, it is first necessary to determine as to whether threats,if any, of any kind, have been extended by the Accused persons to the Complainant or not.

From the entire testimony of all the prosecution witnesses, not even a single specific incident of threat, whether to cause death or grievous hurt to the Complainant has been brought out. It is only in the testimony of the Complainant that a vague threat of elimination has been attributed by her to her devars but no names have been specifically mentioned. Nothing has been clarified as to what did she mean by elimination; that is to say that it has not been brought forward as to in what manner, by words, acts or gestures, was the Complainant threatened so much so that she felt danger to her life or grievous hurt to her person. Clearly, mere statement that her devars had threatened to do away with her, with out any overt act, does not mean that they actually extended threats to her. In order to make out the offence of criminal intimidation, the threats must be specific and clearly understood resulting in causing of alarm to the victim, unlike the case herein. No date has been given to said alleged threats of the devars but it has been mentioned that despite this behaviour of her devars she went back to her matrimonial home to FIR no. 360/06, P.S. Nand Nagari 13 / 18 save her marriage. This again implies that even if assuming that threats were extended to her they were not grave enough to cause fear of elimination in her mind.

At this stage, it may be noted here that the Hon’ble Apex Court of India in the matter titled as Manik Taneja & anr. vs. State of Karnataka & anr. [S.L.P. (Crl.) No.6449 of 2014), dt.20.01.2015], held that:

The threat must be with intention to cause alarm to the complainant to cause that person to do or omit to do any work. Mere expression of any words without any intention to cause alarm would not be sufficient to bring in the application of this section. But material has to be placed on record to show that the intention is to cause alarm to the complainant.

In the light of above extract, coupled with the evidence led by the prosecution, this court has no hesitation in holding that sufficient material has not been placed on record by the prosecution to prove that intention of the Accused persons was to cause alarm to the Complainant. Even otherwise, no threat, whatsoever, has been attributed by the complainant upon her parents-in-law and only a passing reference has been made by her in this regard upon her devars. Thus, even an iota of doubt does not remain with respect to the fact that section 506 of IPC is not made out against the Accused persons.

10. The other provision invoked herein is Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act titled as Penalty for demanding dowry provides as follows If any person demands, directly or indirectly, from the parents or other relatives or guardian of a bride or bridegroom, as the case may be, any dowry, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months, but which may extend to two years and with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees:

Provided that the court may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than six months.

FIR no. 360/06, P.S. Nand Nagari 14 / 18 Thus, the mischief that this section seeks to cure pertains to dowry demand being made, directly or indirectly, from relatives of the bride or bridegroom. In the case at hand, this section has been invoked on account of alleged demand of Rs.20,000/- made by the Accused persons from the Complainant. However, as to when exactly was this demand made by the Accused persons from the Complainant, same has not been specified by her. While at one place she states that the demand of Rs.20,000/- was made from her after two months of her marriage i.e. 2 months after 04.05.2003, at another place she submits that this demand was made from her on 23.10.2005. Even later when cross-examined on this aspect she failed to give the exact date of demand.

With respect to the demand made on 23.10.2005, it has been alleged by the Complainant that she was beaten up by her in-laws when she refused to fulfill their demand and within 2-3 days thereafter, her parents were called and they were asked to take the Complainant with them. It is questionable here that, if indeed, a demand was made from the Complainant on 23.10.2005 and she was beaten up, why did she not inform her parents and seek medical help. Admittedly, it is the accused persons who called the parents of the Complainant at their house to take her with them. Further, it is the case of the prosecution that on 27.10.2005, mother of the Complainant came with 4 policemen and one person namely Jagvir @ Jagga to take her back. The role of the abovesaid person namely Jagvir has remained under wraps and nothing has been brought out as to why was he present at the spot and what was his requirement in order to bring the Complainant back to her parental home. This person Jagvir, being an independent person, could have thrown some light on the actual state of affairs but to the dismay of the prosecution he not even been examined by the IO. Further, who were those 4 policemen who FIR no. 360/06, P.S. Nand Nagari 15 / 18 had accompanied the mother of the Complainant also remains a mystery inasmuch as neither their name nor the PS from which they had come nor the complaint on which they had come has been brought on record.

Clearly, as this demand has been attributed to all the Accused persons, there was no independent eye-witness to this demand. The same could have thus only been proved with the firm testimony of the Complainant. As far the police witnesses and public witnesses namely Shri Ram and Amit Kumar are concerned, they have deposed in unequivocal terms that no demand was ever made by the Accused persons from the Complainant in their presence. Thus, the only two witnesses whose testimony shall be relevant for determining the dowry demand, if any, made from the Complainant shall be the Complainant (PW1) and her mother (PW2).

The testimony of the Complainant and its loopholes have already been discussed in foregone paragraph. However, another aspect which brings doubt in the testimony of the Complainant and must be brought to light is her testimony with respect to her residence. Complainant has denied the fact that she was living with her husband in a rented accommodation. However, the denial of the Complainant has been negated by the very fact that her stridhan articles have admittedly been recovered from the rented accommodation of her husband where she was residing with him in Harsh Vihar. Even the police witnesses who effected the recovery have testified to this effect. Thus, it is apparent that before moving out from her matrimonial home, the Complainant was in fact residing separately with her husband in a rented accommodation. Same also stands proved with the testimony of PW7 where she has stated that the entire dispute between the parties was with respect the residence of the Complainant as she wanted to reside in joint family property but Accused Kamlesh wanted to live with her on rent in a separate FIR no. 360/06, P.S. Nand Nagari 16 / 18 accommodation. In this light, as the Complainant was living separately with her husband, away from the remaining Accused persons, the circumstances in which the demand was made from her and the place where the demand was made from her, becomes relevant to prove the case of the prosecution but entire evidence is silent on this aspect.

With respect to the testimony of PW2, in her examination-in-chief, she has not even mentioned the word demand and it is only when she was cross-examined by the Ld. APP for the State by being reminded of her previous statement did she state the factum of demand. During her cross-examination, she has denied the suggestion that no demand was ever made in her presence. Attributing a demand of money to the father-in-law of the Complainant, she has stated that he had demanded money from them and told them that in case money was not brought, complainant need not come back. As to when was this demand made and how much money was demanded has not been mentioned by PW2. Surprisingly, this information was hidden from the entire case of the prosecution and was brought to light only during cross-examination of PW2. Further, admittedly, neither PW2 told the police about this demand not lodged any complaint in this regard. Thus, even as far as the testimony of PW2 is concerned, the same is not sufficient to bring home the guilt of the Accused persons.

From the overall reading of the prosecution evidence, yet again it comes forth that the prosecution witnesses have failed to establish the guilt of the Accused persons with respect to any dowry demand allegedly made from the Complainant. Moreover, with the testimony of PW7 that the main dispute was between the husband and wife with respect to their residence, the case of the prosecution has gone weak beyond repairs.

FIR no. 360/06, P.S. Nand Nagari 17 / 18

11. Even though both the alleged offences i.e. criminal intimidation and dowry demand are heinous in nature and affect the socio-economic fabric of the society, however, for conviction of the Accused persons under these offence, there has to be concrete proof. Merely on the basis of bald vague allegations, conviction of the Accused persons will only lead to travesty of justice. From the discussion held above, this court has no hesitation in holding that despite examining as many as four public witnesses, sufficient evidence could not be brought on record by the prosecution as to discharge its burden of proving the case beyond all reasonable doubts. Moreover, as per settled rules of criminal jurisprudence, benefit of doubt in the case of the prosecution goes to the Accused.

12. In the light of discussion held above, this court has not hesitation in holding that Accused persons namely Sheel Babu, Raja Beti, Sarpanch and Dalip are not guilty and hence, all of them are acquitted for the offences u/s 506 IPC and 4 DP Act, with which they had been charged.

ANNOUNCED IN THE OPEN                                        (Vidhi Gupta Anand)
COURT ON 11.12.2017                                          MM (Mahila Court-03)
                                                             SHD/KKD Courts/Delhi

[This judgment contains 18 signed pages]




FIR no. 360/06, P.S. Nand Nagari                                               18 / 18

                                                                       FIR no.360/06
                                                                     PS Nand Nagari
                                                    U/s 498A/406/34 IPC and 4 DP Act


                Only one stenographer has been posted in the court

11.12.2017

Pr:             Ld. APP for the State.

Accused Sheel Babu, Raju, Sarpanch and Dali are in person with counsel Sh. H K Major.

Criminal Proceedings in respect of accused Kamlesh were abated vide order dated 21.04.2014.

Vide my separate order of even date pronounced in the open court today, accused persons namely Sheel Babu, Raju, Sarpanch and Dali have been acquitted for the offence u/s 506/ 34 IPC and 4 DP Act in the present case. Accordingly, sureties of the accused persons stand discharged. Endorsement if any, on the document of the sureties be cancelled. Original documents of the sureties, if any on record be released against written acknowledgement.

Accused persons are directed to furnish fresh bail bond and surety bond in the sum of Rs.15,000/- each u/s 437-A of the Cr. PC.

File be consigned to record room.

                                                                (Vidhi Gupta Anand)
                                                               MM (Mahila Court-03)
                                                              SHD/KKD Courts/Delhi
                                                                         11.12.2017




FIR no. 360/06, P.S. Nand Nagari                                              19 / 18

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