IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS DATED: 20.12.2010 CORAM: THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE T. MATHIVANAN Crl.O.P Nos.21532 of 2010 S. Pandian ... Petitioner Vs. 1. The Director General of Police, Police Head Quarters, Kamarajar Salai, Mylapore, Chennai. 2. The Superintendent of Police, Kancheepuram District, Kancheepuram. 3. The Inspector of Police, D.6, Maraimalainagar Police Station, Maraimalainagar, Kancheepuram District. ... Respondents Prayer: Petition is filed under Section 482 Cr.P.C, praying to transfer the investigation of the case in Crime No.635 of 2010 on the file of the third respondent to the District Crime Branch, Kancheepuram or CBCID, Kancheepuram. For Petitioner :Mr.S.Radhakrishnan For Respondents :Mr.R.Muniyapparaj O R D E R
Invoking the inherent jurisdiction of this Court under Section 482 Cr.P.C. the petitioner has approached this Court by way of this petition with a prayer to transfer the investigation pertaining to the case in Crime No.635 of 2010 pending on the file of D.6, Maraimalainagar Police Station, Maraimalainagar, Kancheepuram District either to the District Crime Branch, Kancheepuram or to CBCID, Kancheepuram.
2. The petitioner herein is the father of the Deceased Mrs.Bhamini. She was given in marriage to one Mr.Senthilmurugan and their marriage was solemnised on 14.07.2008. From the inception of their marriage there was demand of dowry on the part of the deceased’s husband Senthilmurugan, his father Chackaravarthy and his maternal uncle Sivasankar. They had been demanding a sum of Rs.3lakhs as dowry after the retirement of the petitioner and his wife. Since the petitioner had expressed his inability, the family members of Senthilmurugan had started harassing the deceased Bhamini. The petitioner and his wife had also arranged for a separate house at Singaperumal Koil for the peaceful and comfortable living of their daughter Bhamini along with her husband Senthilmurugan.
3. Even after that the said Senthilmurugan did not stop his harassment and in consequent thereof the petitioners son-in-law Senthilmurugan, used to manhandle his daughter then and there, and also frequently, quarrelled with her. Ultimately, the petitioner’s daughter Bhamini had left the matrimonial home and come back to his house.
4. That on 03.07.2010, the son-in-law of the petitioner Senthilmurugan, had telephoned him and requested to send the deceased Bhamini to attend the death anniversary of his grandfather. Since the deceased was also willing to go to her husbands house, the petitioner had sent her. On the same date i.e., on 03.07.2010, the deceased had telephoned to the petitioner that she had reached her husbands house and had also contacted her sister Rohini at about 04.30pm, as soon as she had reached her in laws house. At 06.30pm, Mr. Chackaravarthy, had informed the petitioner that his daughter was not well and asked the petitioner and his family members to come to Singaperumal Koil. Then the petitioner was also informed that his daughter Bhamini was taken to a S.R.M hospital and ultimately he was informed that she had expired at 07.15pm.
5. Immediately, the petitioner and his family members rushed to his son-in-laws house and they had seen his daughters dead body which was found lying near a petti shop at National Highway 45, Singaperumal Koil. Thereafter he had lodged a complaint before the third respondent police and the body of the deceased was secured by the third respondent police and taken to a Government Hospital at Chengalpattu for post-mortem examination.
6. On the basis of the complaint lodged by the petitioner a case in Crime No.635 of 2010 was registered under Section 174 of Cr.P.C. At the time of seeing the dead body the petitioner and his family members had noticed several injuries all over the body as well as on the head of their daughter and blood was dripping from the back side of the head and nostrils. The gold jewels were also not found missing on the dead body. Hence the petitioner had strong suspicion on the death of his daughter. Now the petitioner has contended that the third respondent had colluded with the accused Senthilmurugan, Chackaravarthy and Shivashankar and twisted the murder of his daughter as suspicious death and therefore, they have registered a case under Section 174 Cr.P.C.
7. The learned counsel appearing for the petitioner has submitted that the post-mortem certificate has clearly indicated that the death would have been occurred due to the head injury and that the respondent police had not shown much interest in conducting the investigation on that angle. He has also submitted that instead of registering the case under Section 304(B) of IPC as the death of the deceased Bhamini was occurred within two years of her marriage with the first accused Senthilmurugan, the third respondent had registered the case under Section 498(A) of IPC and arrested the accused Senthilmurugan, Chackaravarthy and Shivashankar and they were also remanded to Judicial custody accordingly.
8. The learned counsel for the petitioner has also submitted that unless and until the case is transferred to the CBCID Police Department, the petitioner would not get fair justice.
9. Countering his arguments the learned public prosecutor has submitted that after registration of the case in Crime No.635 of 2010 under Section 174 (iii) Cr.P.C. the original FIR was sent to the Revenue Divisional Officer(RDO), Chengalpattu for enquiry with a copy marked to The Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Chengalpattu Sub-Division for investigation. The RDO had conducted inquest over the dead body of the deceased Bhamini and enquired both family members of the deceased Bhamini and Senthilmurugan in the presence of Panchayatdars and ultimately he had filed a report vide Ku.Ve.Pa.No.14/2010/A, dated 24.07.2010 stating that there was no dowry harassment. The learned public prosecutor has also stated that based on the enquiry report submitted by the Revenue Divisional Officer(RDO), Chengalpattu as well as on the statements of the witnesses , The Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Chengalpattu Sub-Division had concluded that the offence under Section 498(A) IPC was made out and hence, handed over the case records to the third respondent police to alter the Section of Law and to continue the investigation. Accordingly, the third respondent police had taken up the investigation and altered the Section of Law to one under Section 498(A) IPC from Section 174 (iii) of Cr.P.C. on 18.08.2010.
10. The learned public prosecutor has also submitted that the third respondent police have conducted the investigation in a free, fair and impartial manner and in accordance with law and at this stage there is no necessity of transferring the case from the file of the third respondent to the file of the CBCID Police.
11. This Court has carefully gone through the entire case dairy. On perusal of the Post-Mortem report, which is found place in the case dairy, it is revealed that the deceased would appear to have died of head injuries. Thus it is clear from the post-mortem certificate which appears to have been issued by one Dr.P.Parashakti, Police Surgeon & Professor Department of Forensic Medicine, Chengalpattu Medical College, that the death of the deceased would have occurred due to head injury. When such being the case the third respondent was not prevented from conducting the enquiry on that angle. In the counter affidavit filed on behalf of the third respondent it is clearly stated that on the date of occurrence, the deceased had been to her husbands house in the morning and died on the evening of the same day and that there was a suggestion in the report of RDO, stating that the case to be thoroughly investigated and the cause of death has to be ascertained by obtaining post-mortem report. The third respondent has admitted in his counter that all the witnesses during the course of investigation had stated in general that both the deceased Bhamini and her husband Senthilmurugan had no issues and that the said Senthilmurugan and his father had tortured the deceased Bhamini by demanding Rs.3 lakhs. It is also stated that the deceased Bhamini was suffering from physical ailment and was staying with her parents for the past three months for getting medical treatment and that on 03.07.2010 the deceased came to her in laws house in the morning. It is also stated that since she was suffering from high fever she was taken to a local hospital and then to SRM Hospital.
12. It is pertinent to note here the fact that the presence of the deceased in her in laws house on 03.07.2010 has been admitted and has also been spoken to by several witnesses. It is a specific case of the complainant that the body of the deceased Bhamini was made to lie on the platform of NH.45 Road, Singaperumal Koil and at that time blood was dripping from the back side of the head as well as from the nostrils. The post mortem certificate has also ratified the fact that the death would have occurred due to the head injury inflicted to the deceased. Then what would be the impediment for the respondent police in registering the case under Section 302 or 304(B) of IPC ?
13. Section 304(B) deals with Dowry Death. It reads as follows;
“Section 304(B)(1) – Where the death of a woman is caused by any burns or bodily injury or occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances within seven years of her marriage and it is shown that soon before her death she was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any relative of her husband for, or in connection with, any demand for dowry, such death shall be called “dowry death” and such husband or relative shall be deemed to have caused her death.
Explanation:- For the purpose of this sub-section, “dowry” shall have the same meaning as in section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 (28 of 1961).”
14. From the proviso to Section 304(B)(1) of IPC the following ingredients are very much essential to constitute the offence of dowry death.
(1) There is a married lady.
(2) She has died an unnatural death including death by burn or by bodily injury or by poisoning etc.,
(3) That such death has occurred within 7 years of the marriage.
(4) It must be found that soon before her death, she was subjected to cruelty or harassment for, or in connection with any demand of dowry by her husband or any of his relatives.
15. On coming to the instant case on hand, this Court is of considered view that all the ingredients specified above are present in the deceased Bhamini’s case.
16. In the given circumstances it may be relevant to refer the decision in Abdul Rehman Antulay vs. R.S.Nayak .reported in AIR 1992 Supreme Court 1701. In this case, it is observed as follows:
“The provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure provide for an early investigation and for a speedy and fair trial. If only the provisions of the Code are followed in their letter and spirit, there would be little room for any grievance. The fact however, remains unpleasant as it is that in many cases, these provisions are honoured more in breach. Be that as it may, it is sufficient to say that the Constitutional guarantee of speedy trial emanating from Article 21 is properly reflected in the provisions of the Code”
17. In an another decision E.S.Mills Shri Virendra Kumar V.Rajiv Poddar reported in AIR 1985 Supreme Court 1668 it is observed that interference by High Court is permissible only if non interference would result in miscarriage of justice.
18. It is apparent that several dowry deaths are screened from the eyes of the Police Department because of lacking of awareness among the public at large as well as societal disinclination to set the Law in motion. Dowry which is a deep rooted evil appears to be the cause of so many unfortunate death of ladies. It is an offence which is brutal and barbaric. It is generally being committed inside the house and more often, it is given the impression that death is suicidal death. It is also highly deplorable that there is often found an attempt to cover up such offence by the family members rather than to expose it. It is also pertinent to note here that the Government has come forward with legislation and from time to time the Government has taken steps to punish those who commit these atrocities to them. Under these circumstances it is imperative on the part of the Police Department to take effective and stringent steps to curtail these sort of Social Crimes.
19. Keeping in view of the above finding the case in Crime No.635 of 2010 which is pending investigation on the file of the third respondent police is ordered to be withdrawn and transferred to the file of the CBCID, Police Department, Kancheepuram for effective, fair and impartial investigation and file a final report expeditiously.
With this observation, the petition is disposed of.
1.The Director General of Police,
Police Head Quarters,
2.The Superintendent of Police,
3.The Inspector of Police,
D.6, Maraimalainagar Police Station,
CRL.O.P.Nos.21532 of 2010