SURENDRAN VS STATE OF KERALA

SURENDRAN VS STATE OF KERALA


Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले


IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL No. 1080 of 2019
SURENDRAN                             … APPELLANT
VERSUS
STATE OF KERALA            … RESPONDENT
J UDGM EN T
    N.V.    RAMANA    , CJI
1. The instant appeal, by way of special leave, is directed against
judgment dated 12.09.2018 passed by the High Court of Kerala in
Criminal Revision Petition No. 1801 of 2006, whereby the High
Court partly allowed the Revision Petition filed by the appellanthusband (accused no. 5). By way of the impugned judgment, the
High Court has set aside the concurrent findings of conviction of
the courts below and acquitted the appellant under Section 304B of
the Indian Penal Code [for short ‘the IPC’] while confirming his
conviction under Section 498A of the IPC. The High Court has
further modified the sentence imposed on the appellant to rigorous
imprisonment for one year. 
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REPORTABLE
2. The conspectus of the facts necessary for the disposal of the
appeal   are   as   follows:   the   appellant   married   the   deceased   on
09.04.1995.   After   the   marriage,   the   deceased   resided   with   the
appellant and his family members at their matrimonial home. It is
alleged that the appellant, along with his family members, started
harassing the deceased soon after the marriage and was demanding
additional   dowry.   Allegedly,   the   deceased   attempted   suicide   by
consuming Benzyl Hexa Chloride powder on 11.02.1996 due to the
mental harassment by the accused persons. Fortunately, she was
able   to   recover   after   treatment   at   the   Government   Hospital,
Palakkad.   Subsequent   to   this   incident,   mediation   between   the
parties   took   place   and   a   settlement   was   reached   between   the
parties whereby the deceased continued to reside at the house of
the accused. Despite the above agreement, it is alleged that the
harassment   continued   and   the   deceased   committed   suicide   by
hanging on 21.10.1996, at her own home.
3. The prosecution charged the appellant, his parents and his
two brothers under Sections 304B and 498A of the IPC. Pending
trial, the  appellant’s  father passed  away.  The Trial Court, after
examining all the witnesses and perusing the documents produced
by the  prosecution  and defence, convicted the accused persons
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under Sections 304B and 498A of the IPC.  Vide  judgment dated
12.05.2006, the Appellate Court acquitted the appellant’s brothers
of both the offences. However, the conviction and sentence against
the appellant and his mother was confirmed. 
4. Aggrieved, the appellant and his mother filed the Criminal
Revision   Petition   before   the   High   Court   of   Kerala.   As   already
mentioned above,  vide  the  impugned judgment, the High Court
partly allowed the revision petition and acquitted the appellant and
his mother under Section 304B of the IPC  while confirming their
conviction under Section 498A of the IPC. The High Court, however,
reduced   the   sentence   imposed   on   the   appellant   to   rigorous
imprisonment for one year, and, that of his mother to rigorous
imprisonment for one month. The appellant’s mother has not filed
any appeal before this Court. 
5. The   main   thrust   of   the   submissions   made   by   the   learned
counsel for the appellant are two­fold. First, that the suicide note
and other statements made by the deceased cannot be relied upon
by the Court for convicting him under Section 498A of the IPC as
they do not fall within the scope of Section 32(1) of the Indian
Evidence Act, 1872 (for short ‘the Evidence Act’).  Second, that the
evidence of PW­3 (mother of the deceased) is contradictory and
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cannot be relied upon to convict the appellant. On the strength of
the above two arguments, the learned counsel for the appellant
attempts to persuade this Court that there is no credible evidence
to   convict   the   appellant   under   Section   498A   of   the   IPC,   and
therefore, he should be acquitted of the same. 
6. On the other hand, the learned counsel for the respondentState submits that there are three concurrent finding of facts by the
Courts below which do not merit any interference by this Court in
exercise of its jurisdiction under Article 136 of the Constitution of
India. Learned counsel for the State also submits that there is
sufficient evidence on record to make out a clear case for convicting
the appellant under Section 498A of the IPC. 
7. Heard   the   learned   counsel   for   the   appellant   and   the
respondent­State at length. 
8. Before we proceed, it is expedient to advert to the submissions
of the learned counsel for the appellant particularly that in the
present case, the appellant was acquitted under Section 304B of
the IPC by the High Court in revision and therefore, the statements
of the deceased could not have been relied upon by the High Court
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to sustain his conviction under Section 498A of the IPC as it would
not fall within the ambit of Section 32(1) of the Evidence Act. 
9. In this context, it is appropriate to refer to certain provisions
of   Section   32   of   the   Evidence   Act.     Section   32   relates   to   the
admissibility of statements made by a person who cannot be called
as witness. The Section itself specifies the circumstances under
which such statements become relevant. In the present case, we are
concerned with one such circumstance, that is, when the person
who   made   the   statement   is   dead.   The   learned   counsel   for   the
appellant   has   focused   predominantly   on   Section   32(1)   of   the
Evidence Act in an attempt to exclude the evidence of the deceased
by suggesting that it does not fall within the scope of the abovesaid
sub­section and therefore, is inadmissible. The relevant portion of
Section 32 of the Evidence Act is extracted below: 
32. Cases in which statement of relevant
fact  by  person  who  is  dead  or  cannot  be
found, etc., is relevant. – 
Statements,   written   or   verbal,   or   relevant
facts, made by a person who is dead, or who
cannot   be   found,   or   who   has   become
incapable   of   giving   evidence,   or   whose
attendance cannot be procured, without an
amount of delay or expense which under the
circumstances   of   the   case   appears   to   the
Court unreasonable, are themselves relevant
facts in the following cases:
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(1)  When   it   relates   to   cause   of   death.  ­
When the statement is made by a person as
to the cause of his death, or as to any of the
circumstances   of   the   transaction   which
resulted in his death, in cases in which the
cause  of   that  person's  death   comes   into
question.
Such   statements   are   relevant   whether   the
person who made them was or was not, at
the   time   when   they   were   made,   under
expectation of death, and whatever may be
the nature of the proceeding in which the
cause of his death comes into question.
xxx xxx     xxx
10. Section 32(1) of the Evidence Act is famously referred to as the
“dying declaration” section, although the phrase itself does not find
mention under the Evidence Act. The Courts have had occasion to
consider the scope and ambit of Section 32, particularly Section
32(1) of the Evidence Act on various occasions.
11. To rely on Section 32(1) of the Evidence Act, one of the main
conditions laid out in the sub­section is that the issue must arise
“in   cases   in   which   the   cause   of   that   person's   death   comes   into
question”. The submission of the learned counsel for the appellant
is that, in the present case, with the acquittal of the appellant by
the High Court under Section 304B of the IPC, and the absence of
any appeal challenging the same, the present case pertains to only
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Section 498A of the IPC. Therefore, the present case does not fall
within   the   scope   of   the  aforementioned   sub­section   as   it   is   no
longer a case in which the cause of the deceased’s death comes into
question. As such,  Section 32(1) of the Evidence Act cannot be
relied upon by the Court to admit the statements of the deceased to
convict him under Section 498A of the IPC. 
12. Learned counsel for the appellant has primarily relied upon
the judgment of this Court in  Gananath   Pattnaik   v.   State   of
Orissa,   (2002)  2  SCC  619,  wherein the Court had observed as
under: 
“10. Another circumstance of cruelty is with
respect to taking away of the child from the
deceased. To arrive at such a conclusion, the
trial court has referred to the statement of
PW 5, who is the sister of the deceased. In
her deposition recorded in the court on 4­5­
1990 PW 5 had stated:
      “Whenever I had gone to my sister, all
the times she was complaining that she is
not well treated by her husband and inlaws for non­fulfilment of balance dowry
amount of a scooter and a two­in­one.”
and added:
      “On 3­6­1987 for the last time I had
been to the house of the deceased i.e. to
her separate residence. Sworna, Snigdha,
Sima Apa, Baby Apa accompanied me to
her house on that day. At that time the
deceased complained before us as usual
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and added to that she said that she is
being   assaulted   by   the   accused
nowadays. She further complained before
us that the accused is taking away the
child from her, and that her mother­inlaw   has   come   and   some   conspiracy   is
going   against   her   (the   deceased).   She
further   told   that  ‘mate   au   banchei
debenahin’.”
Such   a   statement   appears   to   have   been
taken on record with the aid of Section 32
of the Indian Evidence Act at a time when
the   appellant   was   being   tried   for   the
    offence   under   Section   304­B   and   such
statement was admissible under clause (1)
of   the   said   section   as   it   related   to   the
cause   of   death   of   the   deceased   and   the
circumstances   of   the   transaction   which
resulted in her death. Such a statement is
not admissible in evidence for the offence
punishable   under   Section   498­A   of   the
Penal Code, 1860  and has to be termed as
being only a hearsay evidence. Section 32 is
an exception to the hearsay rule and deals
with   the   statements   or   declarations   by   a
person, since dead, relating to the cause of
his   or   her   death   or   the   circumstances
leading to such death. If a statement which
otherwise is covered by the hearsay rule does
not fall within the exceptions of Section 32 of
the Evidence Act, the same cannot be relied
upon for finding the guilt of the accused.”
(Emphasis supplied)
13. Although not cited by the learned counsel, the proposition put
forth by him appears to be supported by three other judgments of
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this   Court   in  Inderpal   v.   State   of   MP,   (2001)   10   SCC   736,
Bhairon Singh v. State of Madhya Pradesh, (2009) 13 SCC 80
and Kantilal Martaji Pandor v. State of Gujarat, (2013) 8 SCC
781. All of these judgments also appear to follow the same line of
reasoning as followed by this Court in  Gananath  Pattnaik  case
(supra),  i.e., that once the Court has acquitted an accused of the
charge relating to the death of an individual, the evidence of the
deceased   would   not   be   admissible   to   prove   the   charge   under
Section 498A of the IPC simpliciter as then the case would no longer
relate to the death of the deceased.
14. It may bear mentioning that the phrase “cases in which the
cause of that person's death comes into question”  is broader than
merely referring only to cases where there is a charge of murder,
suicide, or dowry death. There have been instances where Courts
have used Section 32(1) of the Evidence Act to admit statements in
a case where the charge is of a different nature or even in a civil
action. This is abundantly clear from the second part of Section
32(1) of the Evidence Act which specifies that such statements are
relevant “whatever may be the nature of the proceeding in which the
cause of his death comes into question”. Illustration (a) to Section 32
of the Evidence Act refers to a statement made by a deceased in a
9
rape case which may be admitted under the section, which was the
position in India even prior to the enactment of the Evidence Act, as
held by the Court in the case of Queen v. Bissorunjun Mookerjee,
(1866) 6 W.R. Cr. 75. 
15. In Lalji  Dusadh  v.  King­Emperor,  AIR  1928  Pat  162,  the
Patna High Court upheld the admissibility of statements made by
the deceased in a case concerning charges under Sections 302, 392
and 397 of the IPC. In that case, the deceased victim was robbed
and killed as a part of the same transaction. The submission of the
learned counsel for the accused in that case, inter alia, was that the
dying declaration  of the  deceased could  not be admitted under
Section 32(1) of the Evidence Act with respect to the charges under
Section 392 and 397 of the IPC. Negativing this contention, the
High Court observed as follows:
“A further legal point is taken with regard to
the dying declarations.
It is contended that so far as the charges for
the offences under sections 392 and 397 are
concerned   the   dying   declarations   are   not
admissible under section 32(1) of the Indian
Evidence Act inasmuch as the cause of the
deceased's death does not come in question
in the trial of those charges. It is contended
that on this point the Indian law is the same
as   the   English   law   and   that   a   dying
declaration as to the cause of the death is
10
only   admissible   when   the   causing   of   the
death is the subject of the charge. I cannot
agree with this view. The words of section
32 are  very  wide and  it  is  not necessary
that   the   charge   should   be   one   of
homicide. The evidence as to the cause of
death   was   relevant   to   the   charge   of
robbery   and   consequently   the   cause   of
death   that   is   to   say   the   assault
committed   by   the   appellant   came   in
question   in   the   trial.  Before   the   Indian
Evidence   Act   was   enacted   it   was   held   in
Queen  v.  Bissorunjun   Mookerjee  [(1866)   6
W.R. (Cr.) 75.] that there was no necessity in
India for following the very narrow rule of
English   law   and   that   a   dying   declaration
could be used as evidence in a charge of
rape. One of the illustrations to section 32 of
the   present   Indian   Evidence   Act   expressly
provides for such evidence where the charge
is not culpable homicide but rape.”
(Emphasis supplied)
16. Further, in a proceeding with multiple charges, where one
directly relates to the death of a declarant and the other does not,
the Court has admitted the evidence of the declarant even if the
prosecution   failed   to   prove   the   charge   relating   to   death.   For
instance, in  Parmanand  Ganga  Prasad  v.  Emperor,  AIR  1940
Nag 340, the High Court of Nagpur held as follows: 
“7.  …The prosecution story as narrated by
us shows that throughout the enquiry the
cause of death of Munde was material. That
11
being so, the  mere   fact   that   a   charge   of
murder failed and was not brought home
to   the   accused   would   not   make   the
statement   inadmissible   for   the   purposes
of  other  offences  which  were   committed
in the course of the same transaction and
with which the accused were charged.
8.  We  may  also   observe  that  in   all   cases
regarding admissibility of a particular piece
of   evidence   the   material   time   when   the
admissibility  has  got   to   be   decided  is  the
time when the Court received the evidence
and   not   the   eventual   result.   In   this   case
when   the   statements   were   filed   by   the
prosecution and proved in the case it could
under no circumstances be argued that the
cause of death of the deceased was not in
question. The cause of death of Munde was
in question as there was also a charge under
S.   302,   and   this   charge   was   joined   with
other   charges   in   the   case   under   Section
239(d)   as   forming   part   of   the   same
transaction.   So,   at   the   stage   at   which
these   statements   were   put   up   by   the
prosecution   before   the   Court   as
admissible,   it   could   not   be   argued   that
they were not admissible and a document
once   admitted   in   evidence   remains
admissible   for   all   purposes   in   the   case.
The   subsequent   result   of   the   case,   viz.,
failure of the charge of murder should not
make   any   difference   whatsoever   to   the
admissibility   of   the   document.  Just   as
their Lordships of the Privy Council in AIR
1938 PC 130 [Babulal v. Emperor, (1938) 25
AIR PC 130 : 174 IC 1 : 65 IA 158 : 32 SLR
476 : 39 Cr LJ 452 : ILR (1938) 2 Cal 295
(PC).] stated that the relevant point of time in
the proceedings at which the condition as to
sameness of transaction must be fulfilled is
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the time of accusation and not that of the
eventual   result   we   think   we   would   be
justified in stating the same with respect to
the admissibility of a document…”
(Emphasis supplied)
17. From the above pronouncements, and the wordings of Section
32(1) of the Evidence Act, it appears that the test for admissibility
under the said section is not that the evidence to be admitted
should directly relate to a charge pertaining to the death of the
individual, or that the charge relating to death could not be proved.
Rather, the test appears to be that the cause of death must come
into   question   in   that   case,   regardless   of   the   nature   of   the
proceeding, and that the purpose for which such evidence is being
sought to be admitted should be a part of the ‘circumstances of the
transaction’ relating to the death.  
18. The phrase ‘circumstances of the transaction’, as occurring in
the   section,   has   been   interpreted   by   the   Privy   Council   in   the
judgment that is considered the locus classicus on admissibility of
evidence   under   Section   32(1)   of   the   Evidence   Act, Pakala
Narayana   Swami   v.   King­Emperor,  AIR   1939   PC   47.  In that
case, the Privy Council was dealing with a case of murder wherein
one of the main pieces of evidence against the accused was the
13
statement made by the deceased to his wife. The defence argued
that such evidence had to be excluded due to the hearsay rule.
However, the said evidence was admitted under Section 32(1) of the
Evidence Act and the accused was convicted. In appeal, one of the
questions the Privy Council had to answer related to whether the
deceased’s statement was properly admitted or not. In that context,
the Privy Council observed as under: 
“A variety of questions has been mooted in
the   Indian   courts   as   to   the   effect   of   this
section.   It   has   been   suggested   that   the
statement   must   be   made   after   the
transaction has taken place, that the person
making it must be at any rate near death,
that   the   “circumstances”   can   only   include
the acts done when and where the death was
caused. Their Lordships are of opinion that
the natural meaning of the words used does
not   convey   any   of   these   limitations.   The
statement may be made before the cause of
death has arisen, or before the deceased has
any reason to anticipate being killed.  The
circumstances  must  be  circumstances  of
the   transaction   :   general   expressions
indicating fear or suspicion whether of a
particular individual or otherwise and not
directly   releated   to   the   occasion   of   the
death   will   not   be   admissible.   But
statements made by the deceased that he
was proceeding to the spot where he was
in fact killed, or as to  his  reasons  for so
proceeding, or that he was going to meet
a  particular  person,  or  that  he  had  been
invited by such person to meet him would
each   of   them   be   circumstances   of   the
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transaction,  and would be so whether the
person was unknown, or was not the person
accused. Such a statement might indeed be
exculpatory   of   the   person   accused.
“Circumstances   of   the   transaction”   is   a
phrase   no   doubt   that   conveys   some
limitations.   It   is   not   as   broad   as   the
analogous   use   in   “circumstantial
evidence”  which   includes  evidence  of  all
relevant   facts.   It   is   on   the   other   hand
narrower   than   “res   gestae.”
Circumstances   must   have   some
proximate   relation   to   the   actual
occurrence : though, as for instance in a
case of prolonged poisoning, they may be
related to dates at a considerable distance
from the date of the actual fatal dose.
It will be observed that “the circumstances”
are of the transaction which resulted in the
death of the declarant. It is not necessary
that there should be a known transaction
other than that the death of the declarant
has ultimately been caused, for the condition
of the admissibility of the evidence is that
“the cause of [the declarant's] death comes
into question.” In the present case the cause
of the deceased's death comes into question.
The transaction is one in which the deceased
was murdered on March 21 or 22 : and his
body   was   found   in   a   trunk   proved   to   be
bought   on   behalf   of   the   accused.   The
statement made by the deceased on March
20 or 21 that he was setting out to the place
where   the   accused   lived,   and   to   meet   a
person, the wife of the accused, who lived in
the accused's house, appears clearly to be a
statement as to some of the circumstances of
the transaction which resulted in his death.
The statement was rightly admitted.”
(Emphasis supplied)
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19. This principle of law has been upheld by this Court on various
occasions.   In  Sharad   Birdhichand   Sarda   v.   State   of
Maharashtra, (1984)   4   SCC   116,  this   Court   summarized   the
principles of Section 32(1) of the Evidence Act, including relating to
“circumstances of the transaction”: 
“21.  Thus, from a review of the authorities
mentioned above and the clear language of
Section   32(1)   of   the   Evidence   Act,   the
following propositions emerge:
(1) Section 32 is an exception to the rule of
hearsay and makes admissible the statement
of a person who dies, whether the death is a
homicide   or   a   suicide,   provided   the
statement relates to the cause of death, or
exhibits circumstances leading to the death.
In   this   respect,   as   indicated   above,   the
Indian Evidence Act, in view of the peculiar
conditions   of   our   society   and   the   diverse
nature   and   character   of   our   people,   has
thought it necessary to widen the sphere of
Section 32 to avoid injustice.
(2)   The   test   of   proximity   cannot   be   too
literally   construed   and   practically
reduced   to   a   cut­and­dried   formula   of
universal application so as to be confined
in  a  straitjacket.  Distance  of  time  would
depend or vary with the circumstances of
each case. For instance, where death is a
logical culmination of a continuous drama
long in process and is, as it were, a finale
of the story, the statement regarding each
step   directly   connected  with   the   end   of
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the   drama   would   be   admissible   because
the   entire   statement   would   have   to   be
read   as   an   organic   whole   and   not   torn
from  the  context.  Sometimes  statements
relevant   to   or   furnishing   an   immediate
motive may also be admissible as being a
part   of   the   transaction   of   death.   It   is
manifest  that  all  these  statements  come
to   light   only   after   the   death   of   the
deceased   who   speaks   from   death.   For
instance,   where   the   death   takes   place
within a very  short time of the marriage
or the distance of time is not spread over
more than 3­4 months the statement may
be admissible under Section 32.
(3) The second part of clause (1) of Section
32 is yet another exception to the rule that
in criminal law the evidence of a person who
was   not   being   subjected   to   or   given   an
opportunity of being cross­examined by the
accused,   would   be   valueless   because   the
place of cross­examination is taken by the
solemnity and sanctity of oath for the simple
reason that a person on the verge of death is
not likely to make a false statement unless
there   is   strong  evidence   to   show   that   the
statement was secured either by prompting
or tutoring.
(4) It may be important to note that Section
32   does   not   speak   of   homicide   alone   but
includes   suicide   also,   hence   all   the
circumstances   which   may   be   relevant   to
prove a case of homicide would be equally
relevant to prove a case of suicide.
(5)  Where   the  main   evidence   consists  of
statements   and   letters   written   by   the
deceased   which   are   directly   connected
with   or   related   to   her   death   and   which
reveal a tell­tale story, the said statement
17
would clearly fall within the four corners
of  Section  32  and,  therefore,  admissible.
The distance of time alone in such cases
would   not   make   the   statement
irrelevant.”
(emphasis supplied)
20. A reading of the above pronouncements makes it clear that, in
some circumstances, the evidence of a deceased wife with respect to
cruelty could be admissible in a trial for a charge under Section
498A of the IPC under Section 32(1) of the Evidence Act. There are,
however, certain necessary pre­conditions that must be met before
the evidence is admitted. 
21. The first condition is that her cause of death must come into
question in the matter. This would include, for instance, matters
where along with the charge under Section 498A of the IPC, the
prosecution has also charged the accused under Sections 302, 306
or 304B of the IPC. It must be noted however that as long as the
cause of her death has come into question, whether the charge
relating to death is proved or not is immaterial with respect to
admissibility.
22. The second condition is that the prosecution will have to show
that the evidence that is sought to be admitted with respect to
Section 498A of the IPC must also relate to the circumstances of the
18
transaction of the death. How far back the evidence can be, and
how connected the evidence is to the cause of death of the deceased
would necessarily depend on the facts and circumstances of each
case.  No specific straitjacket formula or rule can be given with
respect to this. 
23. To the above extent therefore, the judgments of this Court in
Gananath   Pattnaik  (supra),  Inderpal  (supra),  Bhairon   Singh
(supra) and Kantilal Martaji Pandor  (supra), wherein it has been
held that the evidence of the deceased cannot be admitted under
Section 32(1) of the Evidence Act to prove the charge under Section
498A of the IPC only because the accused stands acquitted of the
charge relating to the death of the deceased, may not be correct.
These judgments stand overruled to that limited extent.
24. Coming to the present case, we are of the opinion that it is not
necessary for this Court to undertake the exercise to determine
whether   the   statement   of   the   deceased   can   be   admitted   under
Section 32(1) of the Evidence Act. As the learned counsel for the
State rightly points out, this appeal can be decided even without
considering this aspect, as the other evidence on record clearly
proves the appellant’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt. 
19
25. The fact that the deceased’s wife was being harassed is clear
from   the   evidence   of   PW­3   (mother   of   the   deceased).   She   had
specifically stated in her chief­examination that within few days of
their marriage, the appellant brought the deceased back to her
parental home with the threat that if extra dowry was not given, he
would leave her and marry another “beautiful” girl. As a result of
such harassment, the deceased allegedly attempted suicide for the
first time by consuming poison. While she was being treated in the
hospital, a settlement was reached between the parties, to which
appellant was also a part, wherein it was agreed that no further
demands for dowry would be made. This agreement was exhibited
before   the   Trial   Court   as   Ext   P­3.   Although   the   High   Court
indicated that the said settlement was not admissible in evidence,
the fact of its existence has been deposed by PW­9, who is an
independent witness, as well as by PW­3. Further, it was stated by
PW­3 in her chief­examination that even after the settlement, the
appellant had continued to ill­treat the deceased. The deceased, due
to the ill­treatment faced by her had ultimately committed suicide
by hanging herself with a saree. 
26. The learned counsel for the appellant, despite his best efforts,
could   not   persuade   this   Court   that   the   evidence   of   PW­3   was
20
unreliable. There are three concurrent findings of the Courts below
upholding the reliability of the evidence of PW­3. The submission of
the learned counsel for the appellant that the evidence of PW­3 is
unreliable because she is the mother of the deceased, cannot be
countenanced. It is a settled principle of law that the evidence
tendered by the related or interested witness cannot be discarded
on that ground alone. However, as a rule of prudence, the Court
may scrutinize the evidence of such related or interested witness
more carefully. This Court in Ilangovan v. State of T.N.,  (2020)
10 SCC 533 has held as follows:
“7.  With respect to the first submission of
the counsel for the appellant, regarding the
testimonies   of   related   witnesses,   it   is
settled law that the testimony of a related
or an interested witness can be taken into
consideration, with the additional burden
on   the   Court   in   such   cases   to   carefully
scrutinise such evidence (see Sudhakar v.
State,   (2018)   5   SCC   435).  As   such,   the
mere   submission   of   the   counsel   for   the
appellant,   that   the   testimonies   of   the
witnesses in the case should be disregarded
because they were related, without bringing
to the attention of the Court any reason to
disbelieve   the   same,   cannot   be
countenanced.”
21
27. In view  of  the above, we see no reason to interfere with the
impugned judgment passed by the High Court in confirming the
conviction  of  the appellant under Section  498A of the  IPC and
sentencing him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for one year. 
28. The appeal is, accordingly, dismissed. The appellant is on bail.
His bail bonds stand cancelled and he is directed to surrender
within   a   period   of   one   week   from   today   before   the   concerned
authorities to serve out the remaining period of sentence.
...........................CJI.
(N.V. RAMANA)
      
 ...........................J.
(A.S. BOPANNA)
...........................J.
(HIMA KOHLI)
NEW DELHI;
MAY 13, 2022.
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