Criminal Appeal No. 572 of 1994
1996 SCC OnLine Kar 665: (1997) Kant LJ 81 (DB): 1997 Cri LJ 4386
M.F Saldanha and H.N Narayan, J.J
04th December 1996.
Relevant Act/ Section
- Section 325 of the Indian Penal Code of 1860 – Grievous hurt.
- Section 384 of the Indian Penal Code of 1860 – Extortion.
- Section 325 of the Indian Penal Code of 1860 – Sentence.
Brief facts and Procedural History
In the present case, the complainant, Bhagyamma, alleged that her husband, the respondent – accused took her to a nearby forest within 10 days of marriage in the pretext of going to a wedding but instead threatened to kill her if she does not give her entire jewellery to him at that moment. Even after giving jewellery worth Rs.10,500, the husband picked up a stone and started hitting her with it and injuring her. He only stopped hitting when he heard people coming by and ran away. The complainant was then taken to a hospital where the doctor attested that one injury on her ribs is severe out of everything and that it could have been from a stone. The complainant gave the details of the accused after which he was arrested, and the jewellery was recovered from his possession. When the case was taken to the Trial Judge, the accused was acquitted by the court stating that the sole testimony of the wife was insufficient along with the witnesses turning hostile during the trial process. The case was then brought to the present court by the aggrieved wife.
Issues before the Court
- Whether the Trial judge was correct in acquitting the accused?
Ratio of the Case
The ratio decidendi of the present case is that the Trial court committed an extremely erroneous decision by acquitting the accused. The court had claimed that nothing could justify the action of the accused taking the wife into the forest with a criminal intent. The case may not have been one of attempted murder but the intention to commit a crime was still present, and along with the material evidence as well as the submission of the victim, it becomes enough proof to prove the guilty mind of the accused.
Decision of the Case
The bench in this case convicted the accused of committing grievous hurt under Section 325 of IPC by way of injuring the wife with a stone and with an obvious criminal intent to hurt or harm her. Under this punishment, he shall undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of two years. This leniency is primarily due to the fact that it had already been 9 years since the offence was committed. The accused is also liable under S.384 of IPC for extortion of jewellery by threatening the life of Bhagyamma. He is sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of two years for this offence.
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