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Saturday, November 19, 2016

The prosecution in our estimate, has failed to prove this indispensable component of the two offences beyond reasonable doubt. The factum of unnatural death in the matrimonial home and that too within seven years of marriage therefore is thus ipso facto not sufficient to bring home the charge under Sections 304B and 498A of the Code against them. (39) The predicament of the prosecution is compounded further by the by its failure to prove, the precise cause of the death of the deceased. It is not clear as to whether the death has been suicidal or homicidal. It is also not proved beyond doubt, the origin and cause of the external injuries. Though the obscurity of the causative factors is due to the putrefaction of the body, the benefit of the deficiency in proof, logically would be available to the persons charged.-To reiterate, the prosecution has failed to prove the crucial ingredient of cruelty and harassment by direct and cogent evidence thereby disentitling itself to the benefit of the statutory presumption available under Section 113B of the Act.-Whereas the analysis of the evidence by the Trial Court, in our view, has been in the proper perspectives, factual and legal and thus the findings recorded by it are valid, the High Court based its determination substantially on presumptive inferences taking the aid of Section 113B of the Act, divorced from the attendant facts and the evidence with regard thereto. We are thus of the opinion, that the conclusions of the High Court do not constitute a plausible view on the materials on record and cannot be sustained. -2016 Nov.http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=44316- BAiJNATH AND ORS Vs. STATE OF M P

                                                                  REPORTABLE

                             IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                              CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                           CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.1097 OF 2016
                    [ARISING OUT OF S.L.P. (CRL.) NO.9718 OF 2014)



BAIJNATH & OTHERS                        .…APPELLANTS

                                      VERSUS

STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH             ....RESPONDENT

                               J U D G M E N T

AMITAVA ROY, J.

       The  appellants,  the  in-laws  of  the  deceased  Saroj  Bai,  being
aggrieved by the conversion of their acquittal into conviction by  the  High
Court under Sections 498A and 304B of  the  Indian  Penal  Code  (for  short
hereinafter referred to as the “Code”) seek defeasance of  this  verdict  in
the present appeal.

(2)   Heard Mr. Siddhartha Dave, learned counsel for the appellants and  Mr.
Naveen Sharma, learned counsel for the respondent.

(3)   The genesis of the prosecution case lies in the information lodged  by
appellant Baijnath, the elder brother of the appellant  No.2,  Shivraj,  the
father-in-law of the deceased. The information disclosed that on  09.06.1996
at  about  8  p.m.  the  family  had  dinner  together  and  after  watching
television, retired to the respective rooms for the night. The deceased  was
married to Rakesh, son of appellant No.2. According  to  the  informant,  in
the next morning she was found dead, hanging from the fan by a ligature.

(4)   On this information Merg No.20/1996 was registered with  the  Chanderi
Police Station and on the completion of the investigation  charge-sheet  was
laid against the appellants together with Rakesh, husband  of  the  deceased
and Prem Bai, wife of the appellant No.1 under  Sections  302,  304B,  498A,
201 read with Section 34 of the Code.  According  to  the  prosecution,  the
investigation revealed that the husband  of  the  deceased  along  with  the
appellants had been demanding dowry and in  pursuit  thereof  had  subjected
the deceased to  harassment  and  torture  in  the  proximate  past  of  the
incident.

(5)   At the trial, the learned Additional Sessions Judge  concerned  framed
charges against the accused persons under Sections  304B  and  498A  of  the
Code, which were denied by the accused persons.  Subsequent  thereto  Rakesh
committed suicide on 09.06.1998 by consuming poison  and  therefore  he  was
deleted from the array of the persons indicted.

(6)   The prosecution at the  trial  examined  12  witnesses  including  the
Investigating Officer and  the  Doctor  who  had  performed  the  postmortem
examination. The defence, after the  recording  of  the  statements  of  the
appellants under Section 313 Cr.P.C., examined 4 witnesses.

(7)   The Trial Court on an exhaustive assessment of the  evidence  adduced,
acquitted  the  accused  persons  of   the   charges   against   which   the
respondent/State preferred  appeal  before  the  High  Court.  The  impugned
decision has been rendered thereby upturning the acquittal.

(8)   The learned Trial Court while recording the admitted fact of  marriage
between the deceased and Rakesh and also that the incident had  occurred  in
the matrimonial home of the wife within 7 years of the  alliance,  dismissed
the  evidence  with  regard  to  demand  of  motorcycle  in  dowry  and  the
imputation  of  torture,  cruelty  and  harassment  as  projected   by   the
prosecution and thus exonerated the accused persons of the charges  levelled
holding  that  in  the  attendant  materials  on   record,   the   statutory
presumption  as  envisaged  in  Section  113B  of  the  Evidence  Act,  1892
(hereinafter  referred  to  as  the  “Act,  1892”)  was  not  available  for
invocation.

(9)   The High Court however being of the  opinion  that  the  deceased  had
died an unnatural death in suspicious circumstances in her matrimonial  home
within 7 years of marriage and that the  same  was  preceded  by  persistent
demands for a motorcycle  as  dowry  in  marriage  accompanied  by  cruelty,
returned the finding of guilt against the  appellants  but  exonerated  Prem
Bai, the wife of appellant No.1 i.e.  Baijnath.  It  accepted  the  evidence
adduced by the prosecution qua the charge of dowry  demand,  harassment  and
cruelty    in    connection    therewith    and    applied    the    deeming
prescription/statutory presumption contained in Section  304B  of  the  Code
and Section 113B of Act, 1892.

(10)   The  learned  counsel  for  the  appellants  has  in  this   backdrop
insistently urged that the evidence in support of the charge of  demand  for
a motorcycle as dowry in marriage by the  husband  and  his  family  members
being  patently  inadequate  and  unconvincing  to  furnish  the  ingredient
relating thereto qua the charges  levelled  against  the  appellants,  their
conviction is utterly unsustainable and if allowed to stand would amount  to
travesty of justice. According to Mr. Dave,  the  imperative  essentials  of
Sections 498A and 304B of the Code not having been proved,  the  High  Court
had fallen in error in  applying  the  deeming  edict/statutory  presumption
mandated by Section 304B of the Code  and  Section  113B  of  Act,  1892  in
converting their acquittal to  conviction.  The  learned  counsel  contended
that as the medical evidence as well did not  disclose  with  certainty  the
cause of death–homicidal or suicidal, there was  as  such  no  incriminating
evidence on record to prove the culpability of the appellants. As  not  only
the testimony of the prosecution witnesses  with  regard  to  demand  for  a
motorcycle as dowry in marriage is  visibly  inconsistent,  mutilating  each
other, the  defence  evidence  to  the  contrary  formidably  establish  the
falsity of this charge, he urged. According to Mr. Dave the analysis of  the
evidence on record by the High Court has been erroneous leading to  findings
not borne out by the materials on record and thus are  indefensible  in  any
view of the matter warranting the acquittal of the appellants.

(11)  In emphatic refutation, the learned counsel  for  the  respondent  has
argued that as admittedly  the  unfortunate  incident  had  occurred  within
seven years of marriage in the matrimonial home and that too  in  suspicious
circumstances, all the prerequisites of the  offences  under  Sections  498A
and 304B were proved beyond reasonable doubt and thus the impugned  decision
does not merit interference. The learned Trial Court did err  in  evaluating
the  evidence  in  the  correct  perspectives  and  the  High  Court  having
undertaken a painstaking review thereof, the  findings  arrived  at  by  it,
following a proper appreciation of the materials  on  record  are  not  only
valid in law but also in the exigent espousal of the cause of justice.

(12)  After outlining the rival  submissions  as  above,  it  is  considered
expedient next to take a synopsised stock of the  evidence  adduced  by  the
parties, so as to facilitate a better comprehension of  the  facets  of  the
lis and the desired adjudication.

(13)  PW-1 Kundan Singh,  the  uncle  of  the  deceased,  deposed  that  the
families of the accused persons were joint and that at  the  marriage,  cash
and other valuables were gifted to the in-laws of the deceased and that  the
ceremony was solemnized without any hassle. The witness however referred  to
a grievance being expressed later on by the deceased alleging that  she  was
being harassed by her husband Rakesh and the  appellants  as  well  as  Prem
Bai, the wife of appellant No.1 relating to  the  demand  of  motorcycle  in
dowry. The witness  also  referred  to  another  occasion  where  a  similar
complaint had been made by the deceased to him. He claimed to have seen  the
dead body of the deceased hanging from the fan.

(14)   In  cross-examination,  this  witness  deposed  about  a  demand  for
motorcycle at the time of marriage but however conceded  that  no  complaint
was made to the police for such demand at any point of time. He  denied  the
suggestion that the deceased had committed suicide as because  her  fidelity
to her husband was being questioned in the face of  her  love  affairs  with
the son of one Thoran Singh, the Sarpanch of the village.

(15)  PW-2 Jahar Singh, the father  of  the  deceased  mentioned  about  the
demand for a motorcycle by the husband and the in-laws of  the  deceased  at
the time of the marriage and also the  harassment  in  connection  therewith
suffered by the deceased as  reported  by  her  to  him.  The  witness  also
referred to the same demand by the husband in the year 1996 on the  occasion
of Chowk Vidai, a ritual, whereupon he was  assured  that  as  and  when  it
would be financially feasible, the same would be arranged. This  witness  as
well stated that though the demand for the motorcycle was being  made  since
the time of marriage in the year 1994, no complaint was  made  by  him  with
regard thereto to anybody. When confronted with his statement in  course  of
the investigation, he admitted of the omission in the  disclosure  that  the
deceased had confided in him about such demand during her  limited  stay  at
the matrimonial home and the  harassment  and  mal-treatment  in  connection
therewith. He denied the suggestion that the deceased had  eloped  with  the
son of Thoran Singh and that as a result there was a  confrontation  between
him with the family of Thoran Singh. He also denied the suggestion  that  in
view of this episode there was unpleasantness in the family of  the  in-laws
of the deceased for which they had some reservation in accommodating her  in
the nuptial house.

(16)  PW-3 Jhulla, who at the relevant time was the Sarpanch of the  village
deposed that the deceased had committed suicide and  that  when  he  visited
the spot, he did not see any injury on her body.

(17)  In cross-examination, he clarified that the appellant No.1 was  living
separately from the in-laws of the deceased from  before  the  marriage.  He
also mentioned that the accused persons were held  in  high  esteem  in  the
village and used to behave decently  with  their  daughter-in-law.  He  also
stated that he had not heard about any demand of dowry made by  the  accused
persons.

(18)  PW-4 Narayan Singh, a neighbour did mention  about  the  demand  of  a
motorcycle in dowry at the time  of  marriage  and  that  the  deceased  had
disclosed to her father about harassment meted out to her by the  appellants
and Prem Bai in  connection  therewith.  In  cross-examination  the  witness
testified that there was no demand for dowry before the  marriage  and  that
there was no report with regard thereto to the police.

(19)  PW-5 Prembai, the mother of the deceased testified that no  dowry  was
fixed before the marriage and no demand was made by the accused persons  but
they still offered Rs.1 lac to them. She stated that  her  son-in-law  while
dining made a demand for motorcycle  which  according  to  the  witness  was
assured as and when the finances would be available.  This  witness  deposed
that even after two years of marriage,  the  appellants  repeated  the  said
demand to which a similar assurance was again given.

(20)  In cross-examination, this witness admitted that before  the  marriage
no demand for motorcycle had been made as dowry, though she mentioned  about
the complaints made by the deceased to her about harassment by  the  accused
persons for not providing the bike. She admitted that no complaint  in  this
regard was ever made and the relations as well were not informed  about  the
treatment suffered by the deceased.

(21)  PW-7 Jahar Singh did state  about  a  demand  of  motorcycle  made  by
Rakesh, the husband of the deceased.

(22)  PW-8 Gyasibai, a neighbour deposed that  the  deceased  had  committed
suicide and that when she visited the  place  of  occurrence,  she  did  not
notice any injury mark on her body. In cross-examination the witness  stated
that the deceased did never speak to her  about  the  demand  and  testified
that the in-laws did treat her properly and that there was no  confrontation
at any point of time.

(23)  PW-11 Manish Kapuria, the Investigating  Officer  narrated  the  steps
taken by him in course of  the  inquisition  and  mentioned  amongst  others
about the preparation of  the  panchnama  of  the  dead  body.  Though  this
witness stated that the whole exercise was videographed,  he  admitted  that
the same had not been produced as evidence. He  claimed  to  have  seen  two
ligature marks on the neck of the deceased.

(24)  PW-12 Dr. R.P. Sharma, who had performed the  postmortem  examination,
stated to have identified contusion on the right cheek, middle of left  side
of neck and middle of left  parietal region in the dead body.  According  to
him, the ligature mark was found  to  be  ante-mortem  in  nature.  He  also
mentioned that the  3  contusions  were  ante-mortem  but  opined  that  the
ligature mark  was  postmortem  in  occurrence.  On  an  overall  assessment
however, the witness stated that as at the time  of  autopsy  the  body  had
started putrefying, no opinion as to the cause of death could be  given.  In
cross-examination the witness admitted that the dead body did not  wear  any
other injury other than those mentioned.

(25)  The witnesses of the defence, namely, DW-1 Gaya  Prasad,  DW-2  Munna,
DW-3 Har Kunwar Bai and DW-4 Sirnam Singh in  unison  testified  that  there
was no demand for dowry or motorcycle  ever  made  by  the  husband  of  the
deceased or her  in-laws.  They  further  stated  that  the  appellant  No.1
Baijnath had been residing separately from the in-laws of the deceased  from
before the marriage. According to them, the family of  the  in-laws  of  the
deceased was sufficiently well-off and did enjoy appreciable  reputation  in
the society. These witnesses were all neighbours of the appellants.

(26)  DW-3 Har Kunwar Bai, in addition stated that the deceased  had  during
her marriage eloped with the son of Pradhan of the Village Chitara and  that
in the night of the incident she was with her,  watching  television  before
they parted for their  respective  rooms  to  sleep.  This  witness  is  the
daughter-in-law of appellant No.2 and asserted  that  neither  she  nor  the
deceased had ever been harassed in the family.

(27)  The evidence on record and the competing arguments have  received  our
required attention. As the prosecution is on  the  charge  of  the  offences
envisaged in Sections  304B  and  498A  of  the  Code,  the  provisions  for
reference are extracted hereunder:

“304B. Dowry death.-(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).

(2) Whoever commits dowry death shall be punished with  imprisonment  for  a
term which shall not be less than  seven  years  but  which  may  extend  to
imprisonment for life.



498A.  Husband  or  relative  of  husband  of  a  woman  subjecting  her  to
cruelty.—Whoever, being the husband or the relative  of  the  husband  of  a
woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be  punished  with  imprisonment
for a term which may extend to three years  and  shall  also  be  liable  to
fine.

      Explanation.—For the purpose of this section, “cruelty” means—

(a) any wilful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to  drive  the
woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb  or
health (whether mental or physical) of the woman; or

(b) harassment of the  woman  where  such  harassment  is  with  a  view  to
coercing her or any person related to her to meet any  unlawful  demand  for
any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or  any
person related to her to meet such demand.



(28)  Whereas in the offence of dowry death defined by Section 304B  of  the
Code, the ingredients thereof are:


(i)   death of the woman concerned is by any burns or bodily  injury  or  by
any cause other than in normal circumstances and


(ii)  is within seven years of her marriage and


(iii)  that  soon  before  her  death,  she  was  subjected  to  cruelty  or
harassment by her husband  or  any  relative  of  the  husband  for,  or  in
connection with, any demand for dowry.


the offence under Section 498A of the Code is attracted qua the  husband  or
his relative if she  is  subjected  to  cruelty.  The  explanation  to  this
Section exposits “cruelty” as:


(i)   any wilful conduct which is of such a nature as  is  likely  to  drive
the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave  injury  or  danger  to  life,
limb or health (whether mental or physical) or


(ii)  harassment of the woman, where such harassment   is  with  a  view  to
coercing her or any person related to her to meet any  unlawful  demand  for
any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or  any
person related to her to meet such demand.



(29)  Patently thus, cruelty or harassment of the lady  by  her  husband  or
his relative for or in connection  with  any  demand  for  any  property  or
valuable security as a demand for dowry or in connection  therewith  is  the
common constituent of both the offences.

(30)  The expression “dowry” is ordained to have  the  same  meaning  as  in
Section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. The expression  “cruelty”,  as
explained,  contains  in  its  expanse,  apart  from  the  conduct  of   the
tormentor, the consequences precipitated  thereby  qua  the  lady  subjected
thereto. Be that as it may, cruelty or harassment  by  the  husband  or  any
relative of his for or in connection with any demand of dowry  to  reiterate
is the gravamen of the two offences.

(31)  Section 113B of the Act enjoins a statutory presumption  as  to  dowry
death in the following terms:

“113B. Presumption as to dowry death. -  When  the  question  is  whether  a
person has committed the dowry death of a woman and it is  shown  that  soon
before her death such woman has been subjected by such person to cruelty  or
harassment for, or in connection with,  any  demand  for  dowry,  the  Court
shall presume that such person had caused the dowry death.


      Explanation. - For the purpose of this section,  “dowry  death”  shall
have the same meaning as in section 304B of the Indian  Penal  Code  (45  of
1860)”



(32)  Noticeably this presumption  as  well  is  founded  on  the  proof  of
cruelty or harassment of the woman  dead  for  or  in  connection  with  any
demand for dowry by the person charged with the offence. The presumption  as
to dowry death thus would get activated only upon  the  proof  of  the  fact
that the deceased lady had been subjected to cruelty or  harassment  for  or
in connection with any demand for dowry by the accused and that too  in  the
reasonable contiguity of death.

      Such a proof  is  thus  the  legislatively  mandated  prerequisite  to
invoke the otherwise statutorily ordained presumption of commission  of  the
offence of dowry death by the person charged therewith.

(33)  A conjoint reading of  these  three  provisions,  thus  predicate  the
burden of the prosecution to unassailably substantiate  the  ingredients  of
the two offences by direct and  convincing  evidence  so  as  to  avail  the
presumption engrafted in Section 113B of the Act against the accused.  Proof
of cruelty or harassment by the  husband  or  her  relative  or  the  person
charged is thus the sine qua non to inspirit the statutory  presumption,  to
draw the person charged within the coils thereof. If the  prosecution  fails
to demonstrate by cogent coherent and  persuasive  evidence  to  prove  such
fact, the person accused of either of the above referred offences cannot  be
held guilty by taking refuge  only  of  the  presumption  to  cover  up  the
shortfall in proof.

(34)  The legislative primature of relieving the prosecution of  the  rigour
of the proof of the often practically inaccessible recesses of  life  within
the  guarded  confines  of  a  matrimonial  home  and  of  replenishing  the
consequential void, by according a presumption against the  person  charged,
cannot  be  overeased  to  gloss-over  and  condone  its  failure  to  prove
credibly, the basic facts enumerated in the Sections involved, lest  justice
is the casualty.

(35)  This Court while often dwelling on the scope and  purport  of  Section
304B of the Code and Section 113B  of  the  Act  have  propounded  that  the
presumption is contingent on the fact that the prosecution first  spell  out
the ingredients of the offence of Section 304B as in Shindo  Alias  Sawinder
Kaur and another Vs. State of Punjab – (2011)  11  SCC  517  and  echoed  in
Rajeev Kumar Vs. State of Haryana  –  (2013)  16  SCC  640.  In  the  latter
pronouncement, this Court propounded that one of the  essential  ingredients
of dowry death under Section 304B of the Code is that the accused must  have
subjected the woman to cruelty in connection  with  demand  for  dowry  soon
before her  death  and  that  this  ingredient  has  to  be  proved  by  the
prosecution beyond reasonable doubt and only then  the  Court  will  presume
that the accused has committed the offence  of  dowry  death  under  Section
113B of the Act. It referred to with approval, the earlier decision of  this
Court in K. Prema S. Rao Vs. Yadla Srinivasa Rao – (2003) 1 SCC 217  to  the
effect that to attract the provision of Section 304B of  the  Code,  one  of
the main ingredients of the offence which is required to be  established  is
that “soon before her death” she was subjected  to  cruelty  and  harassment
“in connection with the demand for dowry”.

(36)  Tested on the judicially adumbrated parameters as  above,  we  are  of
the unhesitant opinion that the  prosecution  has  failed  to  prove  beyond
reasonable  doubt,  cruelty  or  harassment  to  the  deceased  for  or   in
connection with any demand for dowry as contemplated in either  of  the  two
provisions of the Code under which the accused  persons  had  been  charged.
Noticeably, the alleged demand centers around a  motorcycle,  which  as  the
evidence of the prosecution  witnesses  would  evince,  admittedly  did  not
surface at the time of finalization of the marriage.  PW-5,  the  mother  of
the deceased has even conceded that  there  was  no  dowry  demand  at  that
stage. According to her, when the husband (who is dead) had insisted  for  a
motorcycle thereafter he was assured that he  would  be  provided  with  the
same, finances permitting. Noticeably again, the demand,  as  sought  to  be
projected by the prosecution, if  accepted  to  be  true  had  lingered  for
almost two years. Yet admittedly, no complaint was made thereof  to  anyone,
far less the police. Apart from the general allegations  in  the  same  tone
ingeminated with parrot like similarity by the  prosecution  witnesses,  the
allegation of cruelty and harassment to  the  deceased  is  founded  on  the
confidential communications by her to her parents in particular and  is  not
supported by any other quarter.

(37)  To the contrary, the evidence of the defence witnesses  is  consistent
to the effect that no demand as imputed had ever been made as the family  of
the husband was adequately well-off and further the appellant No.1  Baijnath
had been living separately from  before  the  marriage.  According  to  them
there was no occasion for any  quarrel/confrontation  or  unpleasantness  in
the family qua this issue. Significant is also the testimony  of  DW-3,  the
sister-in-law of the deceased who indicated abandonment of  the  matrimonial
home by her with the son of Thoran Singh, the Sarpanch of  the  village  for
which she understandably had incurred the displeasure of the in-laws.  DW-4,
the father of  DW-3 who had given his  daughter  in  marriage  in  the  same
family had deposed that he did not ever encounter any demand for dowry.  The
testimony of the prosecution witnesses PW-3 and PW-7 fully  consolidate  the
defence version.

(38)  A cumulative consideration of the overall evidence  on  the  facet  of
dowry, leaves us unconvinced about the truthfulness of the  charge  qua  the
accused persons. The prosecution in our estimate, has failed to  prove  this
indispensable component of the two offences  beyond  reasonable  doubt.  The
factum of unnatural death in the matrimonial home and that too within  seven
years of marriage therefore is thus ipso facto not sufficient to bring  home
the charge under Sections 304B and 498A of the Code against them.

(39)  The predicament of the prosecution is compounded  further  by  the  by
its failure to prove, the precise cause of the death of the deceased. It  is
not clear as to whether the death has been  suicidal  or  homicidal.  It  is
also not  proved  beyond  doubt,  the  origin  and  cause  of  the  external
injuries. Though the obscurity of  the  causative  factors  is  due  to  the
putrefaction of the body, the benefit of the deficiency in proof,  logically
would be available to the persons charged.

(40)  In all, tested on the overall scrutiny of the evidence as a whole,  in
our comprehension, the conviction  of  the  accused  persons  including  the
appellants herein on the basis of the materials on record would not  be  out
of risk. To reiterate, the prosecution  has  failed  to  prove  the  crucial
ingredient of cruelty and harassment by direct and cogent  evidence  thereby
disentitling itself to the benefit of the  statutory  presumption  available
under Section 113B of the Act.

(41)  Whereas the analysis of the evidence by the Trial Court, in our  view,
has been in  the  proper  perspectives,  factual  and  legal  and  thus  the
findings recorded by it are valid, the High Court  based  its  determination
substantially on presumptive inferences taking the aid of  Section  113B  of
the Act, divorced from the attendant facts  and  the  evidence  with  regard
thereto. We are thus of the opinion, that the conclusions of the High  Court
do not constitute a plausible view on the materials on record and cannot  be
sustained.

(42)  The appellants thus in view of the  evaluation  made  hereinabove  are
entitled to the benefit of  doubt.  The  appeal  is  allowed.  The  impugned
judgment and order is set-aside. The appellants are  hereby  ordered  to  be
set at liberty forthwith if not wanted in connection with  any  other  case.
Let the records of the Trial Court be remitted immediately for the needful.



                             …...........................................J.
                       (DIPAK MISRA)



…...........................................J.
                       (AMITAVA ROY)
NEW DELHI;
NOVEMBER 18, 2016.

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