The Kollam Court stated that the right of the victim must be considered at the time of imposing sentence.
An apercu of most essential facts, which are indispensable to mention the span and spectrum of the prosecution case, is Vismaya. S.V the deceased in the case on hand was the wife of the accused and their marriage was solemnized in 2020, at the bride’s residence, situated at a place called, Kaithode. Prior to the said marriage, capitulating to the demand of the family of the accused, the parental family of the bride had agreed to endow 100 sovereigns of gold ornaments and 1.20 acres of land, alongside a brand new model motor car, as her parental share. In point of fact, at the time of his marriage, the accused was employed as an Assistant Motor Vehicle Inspector, in the Department of Motor Vehicles, Govt. of Kerala and he nurtured a false hope that, being a government servant, he is enormously privileged to get a sizable amount as dowry from the family of his wife. However, to his utter dismay, Vismaya failed to bring forth the dowry as he expected and his exasperation for the same even blurted out on eve of his marriage. Sequel to the pressure thus exerted by the accused, Vismaya went along with him and thereby, they resumed their cohabitation in the matrimonial home. Even thereafter, there was no respite to the sufferings of Vismaya and she was severely haunted by the accused to bring more dowry. The accused didn’t abate his brutalities on her and he continued it in the same vigor as in the past. On 21.06.2021, at around 02.00 hours, he severely abused Vismaya on account of purported scanty dowry he had received and thereafter, he blocked her social media contacts with her parental family. At that juncture, Vismaya thought she may not get a bright future and the said feeling got embedded in her. Thereupon, on that day, at a time in between 03.15 to 03.30 hours, at the bathroom attached with the bedroom of the house of the accused, having building No. VIII/438 of the Grama Panchayat, Poruvazhy, as abetted by the accused, she committed suicide by hanging and the ligature used by her was a bath-towel. Wherefore, the prosecution alleges that, besides abetting the suicide, voluntarily causing hurt and criminal intimidation, since the subject death occurred otherwise than under normal circumstances within seven years of marriage, the accused had committed the offence of dowry death.
Special Public Prosecutor vociferously impelled that the oral evidence tendered by the prosecution witnesses are sufficient enough to inculpate the accused with the offences alleged against him and these testimonies will completely foil his stand that he was falsely implicated in the case on hand.
He added that the digital evidence tendered in this case is massively supporting the prosecution narrative and the same to a major extent completely annihilating the defence set forth by the accused.
He further argued that the recorded conversations are real blessings to the prosecution and the same are portraying a true and vivid picture with regard to the sufferings of Vismaya.
The defence counsel insistently urged that the entire exercise of investigation is deeply flawed. He said, despite tracing out several conversations, the veracity and genuineness of the same were not put to the respective witnesses to check about the circumstances under which the conversations were made and to unearth the true spirit ingrained in the said conversation.
Addl. Sessions Judge Sujith. K. N concluded that a criminal trial cannot be made as a casualty of the lapses committed by an Investigating Officer. More importantly, the Court is sitting not at the mercy of the investigating officer and the available materials have to be scrupulously scrutinized, before reaching in a final conclusion. Every criminal trial is vexed journey to find the truth. Truth is always considered as the foundation of justice and it is also considered as the celestial light of the Indian Criminal Justice System. For justice to be done, truth must prevail, because the truth is the soul of justice.
The court said that the cardinal principle of the Criminal Justice System is to see that the justice is done. Justice will be said to be done when no innocent person is punished and the guilty person is not allowed to go Scot free. In India, for dispensation of Criminal Justice we follow the accusatorial or adversarial system of common law. In accusatorial or adversarial system the accused is presumed to be innocent till he is found guilty. The entire burden to prove the guilt of the accused is on the prosecution. At the same time, the system cannot ignore the victims of the crime and the family of the victims of the crime.
The court said that It is the case of the accused that, after confirming the death of Vismaya, her body was made to lie in the bathroom as such for hours. No sane person will do that unless he is that much hostile to the deceased when he or she was alive. The corollary syllogism of the same is that, after the death, the body remained unattended for around two hours. Nobody will do that. It is irrational, illogical and totally preposterous to think so. The person who died is not a stranger. It is the wife of the accused.
The court said that the purpose of enacting the subject legal provisions had to be borne in mind while handing down the sentence. The available evidences in this case are clear indication of the horrific incidents the victim was forced to suffer at the time of commission of offences. So the right of the victim must be considered at the time of imposing sentence also.
In summation, the Court found that, the accused is not entitled for an extreme leniency and the sentence commensurate to the offences he had committed is to be imposed.
Case title: State of Kerala v/s Kirankumar.S
Citation: SESSIONS CASE NO. 1231/2021