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Jharkhand High Court Disposes of Criminal Revision Petition Against the Judgment Passed by the Learned Sessions Judge With Modification

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A criminal revision petition against the Judgment dated 23.07.2014 passed by the learned Sessions Judge, West Singhbhum at Chaibasa in Criminal Appeal No.49/2014 was filed by the petitioner. The appeal was dismissed by Hon’ble Justice Anubha Rawat Choudhary with modifications.

Facts of the Case

Sumithra Bhandari, who is the complainant in this case filed a case on 11.01.2001 against the petitioner and three others. The complainant was married to Dipak Bhandari (since deceased) on 30.04.1999 and at the time of marriage, her father had given Rs.90,000/- cash and ornaments of 14 tola gold and 45 tola silver, one Bajaj Bravo Scooter and furniture, etc. to the accused persons.

After marriage, when the complainant went to her matrimonial house, she learned that her husband is unemployed and he was dependent on his father, although it was represented before the marriage that her husband is running a stationery shop business at Nirsa.

She further stated that the accused persons were not satisfied with the dowry and her husband used to assault her and demanded Rs.1,50,000/-, one Hero Honda motorcycle and a colour T.V. She was not provided with food and clothes and on 05.04.2000, she was brutally assaulted which resulted to miscarriage. On 10.11.2000, the parents of the Complainant came to her matrimonial house and took her back with them. The petitioners were charged under Sections Section 498(A), 420, 120(B) of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.

Petitioner’s Arguments

Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner submitted that the petitioner is the father-in-law of the Complainant and no case under Section 498(A) of IPC is made out against the petitioner. He also submitted that the conviction passed by the lower court is unreasonable and hence the present criminal revision petition must be allowed. On the point of the sentence, he submitted that on the date of conviction (2011) the petitioner was 65 Years of age, and accordingly, at present, he is aged about 74 Years and he has already remained in custody for the period from 04.02.2002 to 22.02.2002.

He also mentioned that the petitioner has faced the rigours of trial for a long period and this criminal revision has remained pending before this Court since 2014 and considering his age sympathetic view may be taken and the period of sentence of the petitioner may be modified. The Counsel further stated the Petitioner is ready to bear any further fine amount as may be imposed by this Court while modifying the sentence.

Respondent’s Arguments

The learned counsel for the State opposed the prayer and submitted that there are direct allegations against the petitioner and it has come in evidence that the petitioner kicked the Complainant which resulted in her miscarriage and the learned courts below have given consistent findings.

They also submitted that the scope of interference in revisional jurisdiction is very limited and considering the facts and circumstances of the case, no interference is called for. They further submitted that the age of the petitioner has already been considered and the learned appellate court taking a sympathetic view has already reduced the sentence from two years to one year and as such, no further sympathetic view is required to be taken.

Court’s Findings

The Court finds that the petitioner who is the father-in-law of the complainant has admittedly lost his son (husband of the complainant) and he is at present aged about 74 years. Since he has remained in custody for 18 days (04.02.2002 to 22.02.2002) and has had to face the rigours of the criminal trial for a long period the sentence shall be reduced to Imprisonment for six months only and the fine amount is enhanced to Rs.15,000/- for committing the offence under Section 498(A) of Indian Penal Code. The criminal revision petition was thereby disposed of with the aforesaid modification of the sentence.

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