Published On : Thu, Aug 18th, 2016

Court disbelieves woman’s dying declaration, acquits hubby, other relatives

justice weighing scale

Representational Pic

In a surprise, a District Judge disbelieved the dying declarations of a married woman and acquitted her husband, other relatives of offence registered under Sections 306 and 498(A) of IPC (abetment of suicide and cruelty over dowry demand).

The District Judge-10, Nagpur, Mrs M A Baraliya, in a dated 16/03/2016, acquitted the husband Rajesh Manikrao Patil and 7 others, all residents of Village Masala, Tehsil Kamptee, District-Nagpur, who were his relatives from offence u/s 306 and 498-A of IPC in session trial No. 331/2013 after full-fledged trial. The complainant Savita Sontakke who is mother of the deceased Vaishali Rajesh Patil, had lodged an FIR against Rajesh and others stating that, the accused persons Rajesh and others used to demand dowry from them and used to harass her daughter. The complainant further alleged that out of mental and physical harassment on the fateful day, she committed suicide by pouring kerosene on her person and set herself on fire. She sustained 95% burn injuries.

During investigation, three dying declarations have been executed by Vaishali prior to death, two dying declarations before the police and one dying declaration before an Executive Magistrate. The prosecution examined the complainant, his son, and the Executive Magistrate who recorded the third dying declaration of the deceased. The prosecution also examined the investigating officer who conducted the investigation of the case. The Court disbelieved the dying declaration and observed that it was not possible to obtain thumb impression of the deceased on dying declaration, when she sustained 95% burn injuries and when the post-mortem report shows that her both the hands were totally burned. The said dying declaration was also not legible and the Executive Magistrate was himself unable to read its own dying declaration before the Court at the time of evidence.

The Court also observed that the FIR was lodged after 20 days of the incident, but no explanation is given by the prosecution. The Court totally disbelieved dying declaration and story of the prosecution and thereby acquitted all the accused persons.
The APP Nitin Deshmukh appeared for the prosecution and Advocate Amit R Prasad appeared for the accused persons.