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Posts Tagged ‘cruelty’

Wife’s mentally disturbed condition not enough to prove husband’s cruelty

Posted by iluvshrutiverma on December 27, 2009

Mumbai: A soured marriage and the resultant disturbed mental condition of a woman who committed suicide were not sufficient reasons to infer that the husband subjected her to cruelty, the Bombay high court ruled earlier this month.

Setting aside the two-year imprisonment sentence handed out to Kamalkishore Agrawal, 48, by a sessions court, the Nagpur bench of the high court held that, “though it appears that the victim and the applicant had marital discord running over a long period of time which, even according to the applicant, led to mental degradation of the victim, that in itself cannot justify the conclusion that the victim was subjected to such mental or physical cruelty by the applicant, that it drove her to death.”
Agrawal, a businessman, and Seema were married on February 24, 1992. After their marriage, “as caste and custom so permitted,” Agrawal’s adoptive parents also resided with the couple in their home in Akola. The couple had a daughter in 1993. However, since there were differences between the couple and Agrawal’s adoptive parents, they moved out of the house and started living separately from 1997.
On March 12, 1998, Seema set herself on fire and succumbed to burn injuries. A police complaint was lodged by her brother, Kailash, who had stated in his statement that Seema had written letters to him, which said that she was being subjected to cruelty in her marital home and it was not possible for her to live there any longer.
Agrawal’s counsel, however, told the court that there was no “causal connection” between the letters and Seema’s suicide as the last letter written by her was in 1996, while the incident took place in 1998. Moreover, he added, some of the letters were not addressed to Kailash and it was questionable how he was in possession of them.
The additional public prosecutor, however, said that the letters were in Seema’s handwriting and how they came into Kailash’s possession was irrelevant. She further stated that Agrawal in his defense had said that Seema had become so weak mentally that she either sent the letters to the wrong addresses or handed them over to the wrong people. “This written statement of defense categorically shows that the accused admits that the victim was mentally sick. If that was so, as a husband, it was necessary for the applicant to find out as to why his wife slipped into that stage,” the prosecution argued.
Agrawal had contended that Seema suspected she was being subjected to black magic and refused to take any medicines from him. He told the court that he was torn between his wife and his adoptive parents.
The sessions court acquitted Agrawal and his adoptive parents from the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder but convicted Agrawal under Section 498A (cruelty) of the IPC.
Justice RC Chavan, however, said, “suspicion, howsoever strong, cannot replace proof.” He said with the evidence on record it was not possible to conclusively say that the husband had treated his wife with cruelty, which led her to commit suicide and quashed the conviction and sentence handed out to Agrawal.

http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_wife-s-mentally-disturbed-condition-not-enough-to-prove-husband-s-cruelty-says-high-court_1327888

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Cruelty against women; Court concerned over misuse of law

Posted by iluvshrutiverma on October 17, 2009

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/cruelty-against-women-court-concerned-over-misuse-of-law/529372/

New Delhi A Delhi court has expressed concern over growing propensity to rope in innocent persons as accused in cases relating to cruelty against married women and sought a vigilant approach from lower courts in prosecuting relatives of the accused husband.

“A tendency has emerged to rope in family members of the husband in cases of Section 498A (cruelty against women), of the IPC. Concrete allegations with regard to the date, the place, the manner, the act of cruelty should be present in the evidence in order to frame charge,” Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) S K Sarvaria said.

Upholding an order of a magistrate who discharged the husband and his family members in a harassment case lodged by his estranged wife, the ASJ said, “Because of the present propensity to rope in innocent persons, the trial courts have to be vigilant while framing charges for offence of cruelty.

The prosecution had challenged the lower court’s order discharging five accused from the charges of subjecting complainant Kiran to cruelty in 2002 here.

After filing of the chargesheet, the Magistrate had discharged them of the charges saying it did not find concrete evidence to proceed with the case.

The “judicial mind” needed to be applied considering the facts and circumstances of each case while framing the charges, the ASJ said upholding the findings of the lower court.

The ASJ said that the courts were empowered to differ with the findings of probe agencies if they found lacunae in their investigation.

“The court is not expected to act as the Post Office to the decision of investigating agency. When there is some suspicion but not grave suspicion, it is empowered to discharge the accused if the circumstances so warrant,” he said.

The court said that “vague and bald” statements cannot be the foundation for framing of charge.

“When allegations are levelled, the courts are not expected to accept them without applying a judicial mind to the facts and circumstances of the case. The framing of a charge is not a knee-jerk reaction, but is an application of the judicial mind to the evidence before the court,” it said.

The court said that the woman had failed to come up with any specific instance of cruelty in her complaint.

“Facing a criminal trial is not an easy task, it is an ordeal. A person accused of an offence is not only socially stigmatised, but also has to invest time, money and energy in protecting his liberty and reputation,” it said.

A Delhi court has expressed concern over growing propensity to rope in innocent persons as accused in cases relating to cruelty against married women and sought a vigilant approach from lower courts in prosecuting relatives of the accused husband.
“A tendency has emerged to rope in family members of the husband in cases of Section 498A (cruelty against women), of the IPC. Concrete allegations with regard to the date, the place, the manner, the act of cruelty should be present in the evidence in order to frame charge,” Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) S K Sarvaria said.
Upholding an order of a magistrate who discharged the husband and his family members in a harassment case lodged by his estranged wife, the ASJ said, “Because of the present propensity to rope in innocent persons, the trial courts have to be vigilant while framing charges for offence of cruelty.
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The prosecution had challenged the lower court’s order discharging five accused from the charges of subjecting complainant Kiran to cruelty in 2002 here.
After filing of the chargesheet, the Magistrate had discharged them of the charges saying it did not find concrete evidence to proceed with the case.
The “judicial mind” needed to be applied considering the facts and circumstances of each case while framing the charges, the ASJ said upholding the findings of the lower court.
The ASJ said that the courts were empowered to differ with the findings of probe agencies if they found lacunae in their investigation.
“The court is not expected to act as the Post Office to the decision of investigating agency. When there is some suspicion but not grave suspicion, it is empowered to discharge the accused if the circumstances so warrant,” he saidA Delhi court has expressed concern over growing propensity to rope in innocent persons as accused in cases relating to cruelty against married women and sought a vigilant approach from lower courts in prosecuting relatives of the accused husband.
“A tendency has emerged to rope in family members of the husband in cases of Section 498A (cruelty against women), of the IPC. Concrete allegations with regard to the date, the place, the manner, the act of cruelty should be present in the evidence in order to frame charge,” Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) S K Sarvaria said.
Upholding an order of a magistrate who discharged the husband and his family members in a harassment case lodged by his estranged wife, the ASJ said, “Because of the present propensity to rope in innocent persons, the trial courts have to be vigilant while framing charges for offence of cruelty.
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The prosecution had challenged the lower court’s order discharging five accused from the charges of subjecting complainant Kiran to cruelty in 2002 here.
After filing of the chargesheet, the Magistrate had discharged them of the charges saying it did not find concrete evidence to proceed with the case.
The “judicial mind” needed to be applied considering the facts and circumstances of each case while framing the charges, the ASJ said upholding the findings of the lower court.
The ASJ said that the courts were empowered to differ with the findings of probe agencies if they found lacunae in their investigation.
“The court is not expected to act as the Post Office to the decision of investigating agency. When there is some suspicion but not grave suspicion, it is empowered to discharge the accused if the circumstances so warrant,” he said.

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