Nimay Sah vs The State Of Jharkhand on 2 December, 2020


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Supreme Court of India

Nimay Sah vs The State Of Jharkhand on 2 December, 2020

Author: N.V. Ramana

Bench: N.V. Ramana, Surya Kant, Aniruddha Bose

                                                                 REPORTABLE

                                IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                               CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                                CRIMINAL APPEAL No.211 of 2011


                NIMAY SAH                                       … APPELLANT

                                            VERSUS

                STATE    OF   JHARKHAND                       … RESPONDENT

                                          JUDGMENT

N.V. RAMANA, J.

1. This appeal arises out of the impugned judgment

dated 11.02.2010, passed by the High Court of Jharkhand at

Ranchi in Criminal Appeal (S.J.) No. 176 of 2001, whereby the

High Court has confirmed the judgment and order passed by

the Additional Sessions Judge, Pakur in Sessions Trial Case

No. 235/1998; 45/1998 dated 09.05.2001 and upheld the

conviction of the appellant­accused under Section 498­A read

with Section 34 IPC along with other accused persons.

2.
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by
The present appeal pertains to Nimay Sah, accused
SATISH KUMAR YADAV
Date: 2020.12.02
16:25:07 IST
Reason:

no.3, who is the elder brother of the deceased’s husband, Gora

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Sah, accused no.1. The present appellant­accused has

suffered conviction along with accused no.1, Gora Sah,

husband of the deceased and accused no.2, Nitai Sah, father­

in­law of the deceased.

3. The deceased, Asha Kumari had been married to

accused no.1, Gora Sah, and had been living in her

matrimonial home. As per the prosecution story, she was

harassed for demand of dowry of Rs. 10,000/­ (Rupees Ten

Thousand Only) by the accused persons. This demand was

originally made to her father, Devendra Sah (P.W.10), the

complainant, at the time of her vidai ceremony. Owing to her

complaints of harassment, her father, Devendra Sah (P.W.10),

went to her matrimonial home to pacify her in­laws and

assured them of payment of the said amount. Eventually when

the harassment did not stop, the complainant sent his son,

Munna Sah (P.W.8), to the deceased’s matrimonial home who

brought her back to her parental home.

4. Accused no.1, Gora Sah, husband of the deceased,

went to deceased’s parental home on 18.02.1998. On the

fateful day, i.e., 20.02.1998, he took the deceased for a

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morning walk. Having come back alone after an hour, he

hurriedly packed his belongings to leave. When confronted

about the whereabouts of the deceased, he said that the

deceased was attending the call of nature and would be back

soon. He left thereafter. When the deceased did not return

after an hour, the complainant started searching for her and

she was ultimately found dead, near the canal with

strangulation marks on her neck. An FIR was registered

against the accused persons under Section 304­B read with

Section 109 IPC. After the completion of investigation, charge­

sheet was presented in the court.

5. The accused persons were charged under Section 498­

A read with Section 34 IPC and Section 304­B read with

Section 34 IPC. The accused persons in their statements under

Section 313 CrPC, denied all the evidence tendered by the

prosecution, claimed false implication and pleaded innocence.

6. By the judgment and order dated 09.05.2001, the trial

court, relying upon the prosecution version, convicted the

accused persons as under:

      ACCUSED               CHARGES                   SENTENCE



                                 3
                                  S. 304­B/ 34
     [1]. Gora Sah [A­                                 RI for 10 years
                                       IPC
             1]
                                  S. 498­A/ 34
                                                        RI for 3 years
                                       IPC
     [2]. Nitai Sah [A­           S. 498­A/ 34
              2]                                        RI for 3 years
                                       IPC

      [3]. Nimay Sah          Acquitted of charges under S. 304­B/
            [A­3]                            34 IPC

7. Aggrieved by the abovementioned order of conviction

and sentence, the accused persons appealed before the High

Court. The High Court on analysis of evidence found it to be

consistent and corroborative, thereby, confirmed the judgment

and order of conviction passed by the trial court as well as the

sentence vide the impugned order.

8. Aggrieved by the impugned order passed by the High

Court wherein the conviction and sentence of all the accused

persons has been confirmed, accused no.3, Nimay Sah,

brother of the deceased’s husband, has preferred this appeal.

9. The learned counsel on behalf of the appellant­

accused has submitted that none of the independent witnesses

have supported the prosecution story. It was contended that

the prosecution story comprises of vague allegations,

unsubstantiated by evidence. The entire family of accused

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no.1, Gora Sah, husband of the deceased, has been roped in

this case. Thus, the conviction of the appellant­accused

cannot be sustained.

10. On the other hand, the learned counsel appearing on

behalf of the respondent­State stressed the fact of concurrent

conviction and argued that there existed sufficient evidence to

prove the culpability of the appellant­accused.

11. Heard the learned counsel for the parties through

Video Conferencing and perused the record.

12. As per the prosecution story, the role of the appellant­

accused is limited to the demand of dowry of Rs. 10,000/­ at

the time of vidai ceremony, and subsequently, harassment on

non­payment of the same. The High Court has relied upon the

testimonies of Shyam Sunder Sah (P.W.7), Munna Sah (P.W.8),

Champa Devi (P.W.9) and Devendra Sah (P.W.10) to uphold

the factum of harassment for dowry.

13. On perusal of the testimonies of the witnesses, we find

that, Devendra Sah (P.W.10) names the appellant­accused to

have been troubling the deceased for demand of dowry of Rs.

10,000/­. However, in his deposition, the appellant­accused is

5
named in the same breath along with other accused persons

and their family members. Apart from this witness, Shyam

Sunder Sah (P.W.7), Munna Sah (P.W.8) and Champa Devi

(P.W.9) depose that the deceased was being troubled at her

matrimonial home, without particularly naming the appellant­

accused, Nimay Sah.

14. It ought to be noted that apart from these vague

allegations, no specific instance of hostile attitude or

persistent demands of dowry have been pointed out by any of

these witnesses. Further, Shyam Sunder Sah (P.W.7), brother

of the deceased, has admitted in his cross­examination that

the deceased used to write him letters from her matrimonial

place, and that, none of the letters mention any harassment

on account of demand of dowry.

15. All other independent witnesses have turned hostile

and have not supported the prosecution story. In fact, even

Panchanan Sah (P.W.2) who is the paternal uncle of the

deceased and a witness named in the FIR, has not supported

the prosecution story.

16. Thus, on consideration of the oral testimonies of the

6
witnesses, the ingredients of Section 498­A IPC have not been

proved against the appellant­accused by the prosecution at the

standard of beyond reasonable doubt. In such circumstances,

there is nothing on record to convict the appellant­accused for

the charge under Section 498­A IPC.

17. In light of the above, we are of the view that the

conviction of the appellant­accused cannot be sustained.

Accordingly, the judgment and order dated 11.02.2010,

passed by the High Court of Jharkhand at Ranchi in Criminal

Appeal (S.J.) No. 176 of 2001 is hereby set aside and the

appellant­accused is acquitted of the charges levelled against

him. By order dated 17.09.2010, this Court had enlarged the

appellant­accused on bail. His bail bonds stand discharged.

18. The appeal is accordingly allowed in the

aforementioned terms. Pending applications, if any, shall also

stand disposed of.

……………………………..J.

(N. V. RAMANA)

……………………………..J.

(SURYA KANT)
NEW DELHI,
DECEMBER 2, 2020.

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