Sunil Dutt Sharma And Ors. vs State And Anr.
Court:Delhi High Court
Bench: JUSTICE R Sodhi
Sunil Dutt Sharma And Ors. vs State And Anr. On 18 July 2005
Legal Point: At the time of framing of charge the trial court is not required to meticulously judge the truth, veracity and the evidence in detail. At the stage of framing of the charge, the material placed before court is only to be looked to find out whether there are sufficient grounds to proceed against the accused and not whether the material is sufficient for conviction. Husband discharged.
1. Allowed subject to just exceptions. Application disposed of.
CRL.REV.P.681/2002 and CRL.M.A.854/2002:
2. Criminal revision petition 681/2002 is directed against the judgment and order of the Additional Sessions Judge, Delhi in Criminal revision 76/99, whereby the learned Judge vide his judgment and order dated 14.5.2002 has reversed the order of the trial court dated 04.08.1997, discharging all the accused and directed framing of charge under Section 498-A/406 IPC.
3. Brief facts of the case as noted by the Additional Sessions Judge are as follows:-
“…..2. The case was registered against the respondents herein by the Ashok Vihar Police Station on the complaint of Mrs. Poonam Sharma, who has stated in her complaint that she was a widow and her marriage with her previous husband hardly lasted for months and she did not have any issue from this marriage. She was again married to Sunil Dutt Sharma, a divorce on 1.6.91 through advertisement in the news-paper and her parents had spent about 1.5 lakhs on her marriage and had also given gifts and other dowry articles in the marriage.
3. She has alleged that after a few weeks, she had discovered that they were cheated as it was not disclosed that her husband was having once child from his previous marriage and to suppress this concealment, the respondents started harassing her for not bringing sufficient dowry and even she was physically assaulted by them and all her in-laws started conspiracy to eliminate her and she was threatened with dire consequences and when she had developed medical problem, which needed treatment, but the respondents did not permit her to have the treatment.
4. Her husband Sunil Dutt Sharma is a Marine Engineer and she had joined him at Bombay for a short period. She insisted to live with him and they lived together from January 1995 to January 1996 and thereafter she was left at Delhi, but in the absence of her husband, her in-laws forced her to go to Chandigarh to her parents. On her insistence and without the knowledge of her in-laws, she joined her husband at Delhi Railway Station and from there they went to Bombay on 1.4.96 and they started living there initially in a hotel and thereafter in a club and ultimately they moved into a flat, where she learnt that her husband’s ex-wife Aman had arrived at Bombay and she was put up in a hotel, where her husband used to spend a lot of time. When she protested against this, her husband used physical violence and on one occasion, he threw her out of the flat and left her on a deserted road in unfamiliar Bombay. She contacted her parents at Chandigarh who sent her brother to Bombay and she was taken to Chandigarh on 25/26th of May, 1996. She along with her parents and other close relatives went to the house of her in-laws, where they were insulted and humiliated and they had to return back to Chandigarh and she was also not allowed to take her jewelery, stridan and other articles.
5. On the basis of this complaint, the case was registered under Section 406/498-A IPC against the respondents herein, namely, Sunil Dutt Sharma husband of the complainant, Ramesh Dutt Sharma the father-in-law, Premilla Sharma, the mother-in-law, Sonia Durang, T.R. Sharma and Smt. Reeta Sharma and all of them were discharged by the ld.trial court and aggrieved by this impugned order the State has preferred this revision.”
4. Counsel for the petitioners submits that a reading of the judgment of the trial court makes it clear that the trial court has meticulously gone into material on record to arrive at a conclusion that no offence is made out under Section 406/498A IPC. He submits that the revisional court ought not to have reversed the findings which are based on a complete analysis/evaluation of the material on record.
5. Counsel for the State, on the other hand, contends that at the time of framing of charge it is not open to the court to evaluate the veracity and effect of the evidence material nor is it open to the court, to meticulously judge the evidence which is yet to be adduced. Suffice it to say that strong suspicion/ prima facie case is sufficient to warrant the framing of a charge.
6. Heard learned counsel for the parties and have carefully gone through the judgment under challenge. The Additional Sessions Judge has held that at the time of framing of charge the trial court is not required to meticulously judge the truth, veracity and the evidence in detail. At the stage of framing of the charge, the material placed before court is only to be looked to find out whether there are sufficient grounds to proceed against the accused and not whether the material is sufficient for conviction. This approach of the revisional court cannot be faulted with. The law is well settled and even if there be strong suspicion on the basis of material placed before it, the court should frame a charge. It is not expected of the trial court, at his stage, to appreciate the evidence meticulously.
7. Having gone through the material placed before me and the statements recorded, I am of the opinion that the judgments under challenge suffer from no infirmity, illegality or jurisdictional error nor has it occasioned a failure of justice.