An appeal was filed by the Appellant that he was claimed to be wrongly convicted for subjecting his wife to cruelty. Further, he has also been accused of dowry death. The High Court of Tripura overruled the decision of sessions court and held that the Appellant was not guilty of the same.
Facts of the case:
The Appellant was charged under several crimes of subjecting her wife to cruelty, Committing dowry death and also committing the murder of her wife, along with two other accused namely Karam Ali and Anwara Begum by the Sessions Judge, Gomati Judicial District. The other two accused were acquitted from the charge on the benefit of the doubt but the Appellant was convicted for subjecting her wife to cruelty and dowry death as well by the Sessions Judge. The Appellant has been sentenced to suffer rigorous imprisonment of 3 (three) years and to pay fine of Rs.5000/ along with rigorous imprisonment for 10 (ten) years and to pay fine of Rs.10,000/- both to be faced concurrently. Based on a written complaint filed by one Rajjak Miah on 02.06.2016, which had revealed cognizable offence to the officer-in-charge of the said police station by stating that his daughter, Rahima Begam was given marriage to the Appellant as per Sharia law. Various gifts in the form of dowry were already given at the time of marriage but the Appellant demanded more and also subjected her deceased daughter to cruelty. He further stated that the Appellant had an illicit relationship with another woman during his marriage.
Arguments made on behalf of the Appellant:
The learned counsel appearing for the Appellant contended that the trial judge while returning the finding of conviction, failed to appreciate the evidence objectively. There is no factual evidence of torture or harassment on demand of dowry soon before the death of the deceased. Furthermore, there was no evidence of unlawful demand to establish cruelty to punish the Appellant. The learned counsel had quite emphatically submitted that according to the evidence presented the marital life of the Appellant with his deceased wife was quite stable. The learned counsel furthermore stated that the investigating officers were greatly influenced by the hypothesis of murder and they had carried out an offender-centric investigation and such investigation could not be termed as the fair investigation.
Arguments made on behalf of the Respondent:
The additional public prosecutor presented various witnesses and submitted that according to the combination of evidence, it makes it abundantly clear that the Appellant had tortured his wife, Rahima both physically and mentally on demand of TV. Learned counsel particularly pointed out that three days before her death, Rahima came to the house of her father and told him that her husband (the Appellant) was demanding a TV and fridge. He furthermore stated that her mother-in-law taunted Rahima as the necklace given by her parents was “thin”.
Decision of the Court:
Upon hearing the learned advocates appearing for the Appellant and the Respondent, the court overruled the decision of sessions court and held the Appellant not guilty and stated that the pieces of evidence submitted from the witnesses were exaggerated.
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