Court discharge husband, Ors in 304-B, grants bail in other offences


JAMMU, MARCH 14: Principal Sessions Judge Kathua Sanjeev Gupta in a much publicized dowry death case at Kathua in which a Government teacher commited suicide, aftering Adv Vishal Kapur with Adv Sourabh Gupta discharge the accused husband Anil Kumar and Satya Devi mother-in-law from offence 304-B and framed charges u/s 306/498- A RPC.
Principal Sessions Judge Kathua Sanjeev Gupta after hearing Adv Vishal Kapur also granted bail to husband and mother in law of the deceased teacher.
While discharing the accused from the offence 304-B RPC, Court observed that ingredients of Section 306 and Section304-B are different and distinct. If Section 304-B is to be invoked, it is not enough that harassment or cruelty was caused to the woman with a demand for dowry at some time, but it should have happened "soon before her death".
The said phrase, no doubt, is an elastic expression and can refer to a period either immediately before her death or within a few days or even a few weeks before it.
But the proximity to her death is the pivot indicated by that expression. In other words, there should be a perceptible nexus between her death and the dowry related harassment or cruelty inflicted on her, which means that there should be evidence of cruelty or harassment within a reasonable time and quite in proximity prior to death.
Court further observed that when the prosecution case is examined in the light of above principles, it is apparent that firstly, there is no material on record to show that any dowry was demanded by the accused at the time of marriage of deceased, and secondly, there is also no material on record to show that the deceased was subjected to cruelty by the accused in relation to the demand of dowry or a car "soon before her death".
Court after hearing Adv Vishal Kapur in length and Public Prosecutor BB Sharma observed that the essential ingredients to constitute prima facie offence u/s 304-B RPC have not been establish in the present case on the basis of statements of materials witness referred above, which are general and not specific, to stasify the ingredients required to charge the accused persons for the offence punishable u/s 304-B RPC. JNF

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