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SC Allows Appeal in Dowry Harassment Case, Notices No Hostile Attitude or Persistent Demands of Dowry

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In the matter of Nimay Sah v. State of Jharkhand, the Supreme considered the Appeal filed by the Accused/Appellant concerning the charges filed under Section 498-A, read with Section 34 of the IPC. The Bench allowed the appeal, stating that apart from vague allegations, no specific instance of dowry was made out by the Respondent.

Brief Facts of the Case 

Aggrieved by the judgment passed by the Jharkhand High Court in which the High Court had upheld the judgment passed by Additional Sessions Judge and the conviction of the Appellant under Section 498-A, read with section 34 of the IPC. 

The Appellant was the elder brother of the Deceased’s husband. Asha Kumari (Deceased) had married Gora shah (Accused No.1). She was living in her matrimonial home itself. It was alleged that she had been harassed for the demand of dowry for ten thousand rupees. The father of the Deceased assured them of the payment of the same. Subsequently, the harassment did not stop, and the Deceased came back to her parental home at the time.

One day, the husband of the Deceased went to her parental home and took her for a walk in the morning. He came back alone after an hour and packed his belongings to leave. He left saying that the Deceased was attending nature’s call and would be back soon. The Deceased did not return and was found dead near the canal with strangulation marks on her neck.

Arguments Before the Court

The Counsel for the Appellant had submitted that all the independent witnesses did not support the Prosecution’s story and that it consisted of indefinite allegations with unsupported evidence.

The Counsel for the Respondent emphasized upon the fact of simultaneous conviction and argued that there was enough evidence to prove the culpability of the Appellant/Accused.

Observation of the Court

The Court observed that the brother of the Deceased had admitted during the cross-examination that the Deceased used to write him letters from her matrimonial home. It was noted that not a single letter mentioned any harassment for the demand of dowry. Also, the essential ingredients of Section 498-A of the IPC were not proved against the Accused by the Prosecution to cast reasonable doubt.

Decision of the Court

The Supreme Court allowed the appeal and set aside the judgment passed by the High Court of Jharkhand. It also directed that the appellant/accused was acquitted from the charges levied against him.

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