Indian Penal Code, 1860 — sections 498A, 304B — Dowry Prohibition Act — sections 3,4 and 6 — conviction and sentence of the appellant for the offences under — in challenge — appellant’s wife committed suicide on account of the harassment caused by the appellant demanding Rs.10,000/- from the deceased which was not paid — the demand of `10,000/- was not a dowry demand but was in connection with a society loan of Rs. 10,000/- of the appellant, hence, the offence under section 304B was not attracted — the demand of Rs. 10,000/- towards the society loan made by the appellant, is certainly an unlawful demand for a property or valuable security and there is clear evidence of the prosecution to show that the deceased was subjected to harassment by the appellant on account of her failure to meet the aforesaid demand — conviction of the appellant under Section 304B IPC set aside but his conviction under Section 498A IPC and under the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 maintained — appeal partly allowed.

Page 1
Crl.A. No. 512 of 2007
1
REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 512 OF 2007
MODINSAB KASIMSAB KANCHAGAR ….. APPELLANT
VERSUS
STATE OF KARNATAKA & ANR. ….. RESPONDENT
J U D G M E N T
A.K. PATNAIK J.
1. This is an appeal against the judgment dated
11th September, 2006 of the Karnataka High Court in
Criminal Appeal No. 805 of 2006.
2. The facts very briefly are:
2.1 The appellant was married to Rajbee on 21st
April, 1997. She committed suicide on 29th March,
1998. A case was registered and investigated by the
Police Inspector [Anti-Dowry Cell] and charge sheet
was filed against the appellant and the mother of the
appellant for offences under Sections 498A and 304B
read with Section 34 IPC as well as Sections 3, 4 and
6 of the Dowry Prohibition Act read with Section 34Page 2
Crl.A. No. 512 of 2007
2
of IPC.
2.2 The prosecution case was that at the time of
marriage of the appellant with Rajbee(the deceased),
`1,000/- cash and one tola of gold was given to the
appellant and thereafter the appellant harassed the
deceased further for more dowry of `10,000/- and the
deceased informed about this harassment to her
mother. Thereafter, the mother of the deceased was
able to give `2000/- towards the demand but was unable
to pay the balance amount of `8000/-. The deceased
came along with the appellant to her mother’s place
and when the appellant was told that her family does
not have any capacity to meet the balance demand of
`8000/-, the deceased went back to her matrimonial
house weeping and saying that her life would not be
safe. She came back again to her mother’s place
during the Holi festival and complained of harassment
and once again asked for the balance amount of
`8000/-, but the same was not paid to her by her
mother and within fifteen days of this incident, the
deceased committed suicide.
2.3 At the trial, mother of the deceased was
examined as P.W. 2 and two of her uncles were
examined as P.W. 3 and P. W. 4 and besides them four
other witnesses were examined as P.Ws. 5, 7, 10 and
12, who all deposed about the demand of ` 1,000/- cash
and one tola of gold as well as demand of `10,000/-
and about the fact that `1,000/- cash and one tola ofPage 3
Crl.A. No. 512 of 2007
3
gold were actually given to the appellant at the time
of marriage and also about the fact that out of the
demand of `10,000/- made after the marriage, `2,000/-
was paid but the balance of `8,000/- could not be paid
because of which the deceased was harassed and she
committed suicide. Nonetheless, the trial court
acquitted the appellant of the charges by its
judgment dated 2nd December, 1999.
2.4 Aggrieved, the State of Karnataka filed
Criminal Appeal No. 805 of 2000 before the High Court
and by the impugned judgment, the High Court reversed
the order of the trial court only qua the appellanthusband and convicted the appellant for the offences
punishable under Section 498A, 304B and Sections 3, 4
and 6 of the Dowry Prohibition Act and sentenced the
appellant to undergo simple imprisonment for a period
of seven years for the offence under Section 304B and
in view of the sentence awarded under Section 304B,
the High Court did not award any separate sentence
for the offence under Section 498A. In respect of
the offences under Sections 3, 4 and 6 of the Dowry
Prohibition Act, the High Court sentenced the
appellant to undergo simple imprisonment for a period
of six months for each of the three offences.
3. Learned counsel for the appellant submitted
that there was no demand for dowry by the appellant.
He submitted that `1000/- and one tola of gold wasPage 4
Crl.A. No. 512 of 2007
4
given by P.W.2, the mother of the deceased to the
appellant as “Varopachara” as has been found by the
trial court on the basis of the evidence of P.W. 3,
the uncle of the deceased. Regarding the demand of
`10,000/-, he submitted that the evidence of P.W.3,
the uncle of the deceased, is clear that after six
months of marriage, the deceased demanded `10,000/-
from P.W. 2, her mother, stating that there was a
society loan of the appellant. He submitted that the
demand of `10,000/- was, therefore, not towards dowry
but was for repayment of a society loan. He cited a
decision of this Court in Appasaheb and Another v.
State of Maharashtra (2007) 9 SCC 721 in which it has
been held that some money for meeting domestic
expenses and for purchasing manures cannot be treated
as dowry and, therefore, the provisions of Section
304B IPC which applies to only the demand made in
connection with dowry could not be attracted. He
finally submitted that although all the prosecution
witnesses have stated that there was harassment to
the deceased in connection with the demand of
`10,000/-, no specific acts of harassment or cruelty
have been proved against the appellant by the
prosecution.
4. Learned counsel for the State, on the other
hand, supported the impugned judgment of the High
Court and submitted that there was clear evidence ledPage 5
Crl.A. No. 512 of 2007
5
by the prosecution through P.Ws. 2, 3,4, 5, 7, 10 and
12 that there was demand of dowry of `1,000/- and one
tola of gold at the time of marriage and further
there was a demand of dowry of `10,000/- after the
marriage by the appellant and that the appellant
harassed the deceased on account of which the
deceased had no option but to commit suicide.
Learned counsel for the State vehemently submitted
that this is definitely not a case in which this
Court should interfere with the impugned judgment of
the High Court.
5. We have examined the impugned judgment of the
High Court and we find that the High Court has in
para 10 of its judgment impugned herein recorded its
findings to hold the appellant guilty of the charges
on the basis of evidence of P.W.s. 2,3,4,5,7 and 12.
Para 10 of the judgment is extracted hereunder:-
“It is the specific case of the
prosecution that at the time of marriage
of the deceased with A1 Rs. 1,000/- cash
was paid along with 1 tola of gold,
watch, etc. and the accused continued to
demand further dowry of Rs. 10,000/-
from the deceased. The evidence in this
regard is spoken to by Pws. 2, 3,4,5,7
and 12. PW Hussainbi is the mother of
the deceased and she has stated in her
evidence that at the time of marriage, 1
tola of gold and Rs. 1,000/- cash was
paid to the accused. She also stated
that for six months following the
marriage, her daughter and A1 – husband
got on well, but later on, her daughter
was forced to bring Rs. 10,000/- cash
and in that connection, Rs. 2,000/- was
paid by one Abdul Sab the youngerPage 6
Crl.A. No. 512 of 2007
6
brother of PW 2’s husband and she
further states that her daughter came
for Ramzan festival and told about the
harassment given to her and she was sent
back by stating that there was no money
to be paid and again her duaghter came
along with A-1 after some days and at
that time A-1 demanded a sum of Rs.
8,000/- and when PW2 expressed her
inability to pay the said, the deceased
went back weeping and saying her life
may not be safe and once again came for
holi festival and asked for money and
was again sent back without money and
after 15 days Rajbi committeed suicide
in the house of her husband. PW2 has
clearly stated in her evidence that her
daughter committed suicide because of
the harassment given by the accused.”
6. What appears to have been lost sight of by the
High Court is that the demand of `10,000/- was not
towards dowry but for payment of a society loan. The
evidence of P.W. 2 on which the High Court has
heavily relied upon in the impugned judgment for
convicting the appellant is clear that when the
deceased came to her house on the occasion of Holi
festival and she demanded money, she told her to ask
from her uncle. Thus, the uncle of the deceased was
the person who knew exactly what were the demands
upon the deceased in connection with her marriage.
The uncle of the deceased Ismailsab has been examined
as P.W. 3 and his evidence is to the following
effect.:-
“I know accused, Daughter of my elder
brother has given in marriage to A-1.
P.W. 2 is the wife of my elder brother.
I was present along with my brothers &
parents at Banaginhal where marriagePage 7
Crl.A. No. 512 of 2007
7
talks of Rajbee were held. One Ameerbee
was the mediator. One tola gold Rs.
1,000/- were demanded for A-1 apart from
some ornaments to Rajbee. Half tola
boramala sara, 3 anas ear rings, 3 anas
bugudi were put to Rajbee at the time of
her marriage. 2½ or 3 months after
marriage talks marriage was held between
Rajbee & A-1 & as agreed valuable
ornaments, cash, utensils, bed etc. were
given. Dresses & watch were also given.
After marriage Rajbee went to live with
A-1. They were happy six months after
thereafterwards Rajbee demanded Rs.
10,000/- stating there was society loan
of A-1. We expressed our inability.
However we consoled Rajbee that
availability of amount will be seen.
Again Rajbee had coem to our house on
some occasion. At that time my brother
had given Rs. 2,000/’- to Rajbee, stating
not to disclose it to A-1 otherwise he
would demand more. Again he came to our
village at Holi festival and demanded
remaining amount and stated she was
harassed by the accused. Inability was
expressed about fulfilling that demand.
Rajbee went back to her husband’s house
weeping. On 29.3.1998 at about 5.30p.m.,
received some message that there was
heart to Rajbee. I alone went to their
house. When all other came to Kanaginhal
it was 10:00p.m. Many persons had
gathered there. That body was about to
be removed to hospital. There was some
mark on the neck of Rajbee. It was told
Rajbee died due to stomach pain. But she
had no such pain, at any time. Rajbee
committed suicide due to the harassment
by the accused. I have given statement
before the COI & Gadag Police & also
Tahsildar Marriage card & photo are
marked at Ex. P.5 &6.”
From the aforesaid evidence, it is clear that at the
time of marriage there was no demand of `10,000/-
towards society loan, and only `1,000/- in cash, one
tola of gold and other articles were demanded and
were agreed and given to the appellant. It furtherPage 8
Crl.A. No. 512 of 2007
8
appears from the evidence of PW 3 that after the
marriage, the appellant and the deceased were happy
for six months and thereafter the deceased demanded
`10,000/- stating that there was a society loan of A1
(appellant) and the family expressed their inability
and consoled the deceased that the availability of
the amount will be seen later and again when the
deceased came to her house, `2000/- was paid to her
but the balance was not paid and she committed
suicide due to harassment by the appellant.
7. Thus the demand of `10,000/- was not a dowry
demand but was in connection with a society loan of
`10,000/- of the appellant. This Court in Appasaheb’s
case(supra) has referred to the provisions of Section
304B IPC and in particular explanation appended to
sub-Section (1) thereof which says that the word
“dowry” under Section 304B will have the same meaning
as in Section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961
and has held that the word “dowry” in Section 304B of
the IPC would, therefore, mean ‘any property or
valuable security given or agreed to be given either
directly or indirectly at or before or any time after
the marriage and in connection with the marriage of
the parties’. In this case, the amount of ` 10,000/-
was demanded by the appellant through the deceased
was for repayment of a society loan of the appellant
and it had no connection with the marriage of thePage 9
Crl.A. No. 512 of 2007
9
appellant and the deceased. Hence, even if, there
was demand of ` 10,000/- by the appellant, it was not
a demand in connection with the dowry and the offence
under section 304B was not attracted.
8. We are, however, of the view that the appellant
was liable for the offence under Section 498A IPC.
Section 498A read with Explanation (b) thereto
provides that if a husband of a woman subjects the
woman to harassment with a view to coerce her or any
person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for
property or valuable security he shall be liable with
punishment for a term which may extend to three
years and shall also be liable to fine. The demand
of ` 10,000/- towards the society loan made by the
appellant, thus, may not be a demand in connection
with dowry but is certainly an unlawful demand for a
property or valuable security and there is clear
evidence of the prosecution to show that the
deceased was subjected to harassment by the appellant
on account of her failure to meet the aforesaid
demand of ` 10,000/-.
9. Regarding the offences under the Dowry
prohibition Act, 1961, Section 2 of the Act defines
‘dowry’ to mean –
“any property or valuable security given
and agreed to be given either directly orPage 10
Crl.A. No. 512 of 2007
10
indirectly –
(a) by one party to the marriage to the
other party to the marriage; or
(b) by the parents of either party to a
marriage or by another person, to either
party to a marriage or by another person
to either party to the marriage or to any
other person on or before any time of the
marriage.
10. On a reading of the evidence of the prosecution
witnesses and in particular, P.Ws. 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10
and 12, we find that a sum of ` 1000/- in cash and one
tola of gold in addition to other articles were given
to the appellant at the time of marriage. Hence, the
aforesaid cash and articles have been given towards
dowry. Sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the Dowry
Prohibition Act provides that if any person, after
the commencement of the Act, comes or takes or
objects the giving or taking of dowry, he shall be
punishable for the term mentioned therein. Subsection (2) of Section 3, however, states that
nothing in Sub-section (1) of Section 3 – (a) in
relation to presents which are given at the time of
marriage to the bride; and (b) presents which are
given at the time of marriage to the bride groom.
The proviso under Clauses (a) and (b) of Sub-section
(2), however, states that such presents must be
entered in a list maintained in accordance with the
rules made under this Act. Hence the Section clearly
intends to exempt presents which are given at thePage 11
Crl.A. No. 512 of 2007
11
time of marriage to the bride or the bride groom from
the prohibition against dowry under the Act. Perhaps
for this reason, the trial Court has taken a view
that if anything was given to the appellant in the
form of “Varopachara” such payment may not attract
the provisions of the Dowry Prohibition Act. The
High Court, however, has found that the appellant was
guilty of the offences under Sections 3, 4 and 6 of
the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, but has not
considered the offences to be grave and has imposed
punishments for only six months for each of the
offences in accordance with the proviso to Section
5(1) of the Dowry Prohibition Act. Considering the
lenient view taken by the High Court of the offences
under the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, we are not
inclined to interfere with the findings of the High
Court in respect of the offences under the said Act.
11. In the result, we set aside the conviction of
the appellant under Section 304B IPC and the sentence
thereunder but maintain the conviction of the
appellant under Section 498A IPC and under the Dowry
Prohibition Act, 1961. We maintain the sentence of
six months’ imprisonment awarded to the appellant
under the Dowry Prohibition Act for each of the
offences under the said Act and award sentence of
approximately two years which the appellant is stated
to have already undergone for the offence under
Sections 498A IPC and further direct that thePage 12
Crl.A. No. 512 of 2007
12
sentences under Section 498A IPC as well as the
offences under the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 will
run concurrently.
12. The appeal is allowed to the aforesaid extent.
The bail bonds stand discharged.
……………………….J
[A.K. PATNAIK]
……………………….J
[SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA]
NEW DELHI
MARCH 11, 2013.

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8 thoughts on “Indian Penal Code, 1860 — sections 498A, 304B — Dowry Prohibition Act — sections 3,4 and 6 — conviction and sentence of the appellant for the offences under — in challenge — appellant’s wife committed suicide on account of the harassment caused by the appellant demanding Rs.10,000/- from the deceased which was not paid — the demand of `10,000/- was not a dowry demand but was in connection with a society loan of Rs. 10,000/- of the appellant, hence, the offence under section 304B was not attracted — the demand of Rs. 10,000/- towards the society loan made by the appellant, is certainly an unlawful demand for a property or valuable security and there is clear evidence of the prosecution to show that the deceased was subjected to harassment by the appellant on account of her failure to meet the aforesaid demand — conviction of the appellant under Section 304B IPC set aside but his conviction under Section 498A IPC and under the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 maintained — appeal partly allowed.

  1. Respected sir,

    can you solve this problem for me .

    Rama and syamsunder were residing in tirupati , padmavathi nagar rama was died suspiciously after the marriage of 1 year. Rama’s parents were complained against their son-in-law and the FIR was registered under section 6 of the dowry prohibition act 1961 that their daughter has been harassed for more jewels as they have already given 2 storied building the magistrate issued search warrant to seize the alleged gift property against this search warrant syam sunder challenged the legality of the order issued by the magistrate.

    issue 1
    whether a warrant for search & seizure of property is valid.
    issue 2
    whether the accused petitioner can challenge such order.

    • Dear Querist
      the court have power to issue the warrant against the accused, the main thing is that in which & what condition the court issue the warrant? so if you able to discolsed the facts then I may be provide my best advise to you.
      Feel Free to Call

  2. issue the warrant for the seizure of property which was gifted by the parents of the bride a two storey building is it valid warrant by the court and is the accused can challenge against the seizure of the property by parents

    • Before the mootcourt case no – 102/2013
      S.L.P /14
      C.A – No /14
      Case No – 102/2013
      Before the mootcourt Tirupati (case no – 102/2013)

      Between
      Smt Vaidehi … Appalent
      And
      Chandra Sekhar … Respondent

      Written arguments filed on behalf of the appellant.
      My lordship I submit the following arguments on behalf of the appellant petitioner .
      Brief facts :- Sukumar Balaji and Kalpana were husband and wife. Rajdeep and Priya were husband and wife sukumar balaji and priya were married, while their spouses were alive Rajdeep continued his relationship priya even though she married sukumar balaji . A child by name vaidehi that is the appallent herein was born. Subsequently priya and sukumar balaji got divorced on the grounds of adultery. Subsequently, priya filed a petition claiming the maintenance for herself and her daughter, but the same was dismissed by the court that there is no valid marriage.Later priya and kalpana were passed away. Sukumar balaji bought a house, but the installments were paid by his son Chandra sekhar from and out his income. After the death of all these persons the appellant filed a suit against the respondent for partition and the same was dismissed by the trial court, by the first appellant and the second appellant courts hence the appellant filed this civil appeal by way of S.L.P.
      Now the issues for the consideration are :
      1.) Whether priya is legally wedded wife or not?
      2.) Whether nominees are entitled to hold the property as against the other heirs?
      3.) Whether the petitioners is entitled to get partition of the dwelling house?
      4.) Whether section 23 H.S.A is unconstitutional?
      5.) Whether the finding of maintainence proceedings operative as resjudicate?
      6.) What other reliefs the petitioner entitled?
      Issue : 1
      When the marriage took place between sukumar balaji and priya and both live together as wife and husband for a long time. The presumption can be drawn that after her divorce with Rajdeep only, she married sukumar balaji.So the marriage between them is a valid one. Hence the observation of the family court granting divorce on the ground of adultery is not according to law. So priya was a legally wedded wife.
      Issue : 2 & 3 & 4
      Under the provisions of Binami Transaction (prohibition) Act any property that stands in the name of binami shall be treated as the self acquired property of such person. Even under section 41 of Transfer of Property Act he shall be treated as an ostensible owner of the property.The Respondent being son might have paid the installments from and out of his earnings, but he cannot become absolute owner of the property excluding the other legal heirs under section 8 of Hindu Succession Act when a hindu male died intestate, His property shall devolve upon class I heirs that is sons, daughter, wife etc.

      Son and Daughter includes illegitimate also as such even if the appellant be an illegitimate child, she is entitled to equal share along with the other children. So the observation of the lower courts in interpreting section 16 of Hindu marriage Act, 8 of Hindu Succession is not correct. The true connotation of section 23 of the Hindu Succession Act was not correctly interpreted by lower courts. Hence it is humbly prayed that this honourable court may be pleased to interprete the question of law in a correct way set the law at rest.
      Issue : 5
      My learned friend has already covered issues 2,3&4 which I too adapt now .The issue is whether Doctrine of Res judicate applies in proceedings under section 125 Cr.P.C. Section 11 of C.P.C says that any question of law that finally determines the right of the parties to a suit.The claim of maintainence is not a right , but an obligation on the part of any person to provide maintanence to his wife,children and parents who are unable to maintenance themselves. The proceedings under section 125 Cr.P.C do not decide the rights of the parties, but order a person to discharge his legal and moral obligation. So the proceeding under section 125 Cr.P.C do not form principle of res judicate.
      Issue : 6
      In the light of the above submission the appallent therefore prays that this honourable court may be pleased to set aside the judgements of all the lower courts with costs throughout by interpreting the native,object & scope of sections 16, of Hindu Marriage Act section 8 and 26 of Hindu Succession Act and also section 41 of Transfer of Property Act.
      Advocate for the Appallent

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