New Delhi: A man sentenced to one year jail term by a magisterial court in a 27-year-old dowry harassment case has been acquitted, with the sessions judge ruling that he was convicted on "vague allegations".
Additional Sessions Judge Rajeev Bansal let off Moradabad native Suresh Chand, observing that courts must not "be swayed away by complainant`s emotions" and "the prosecution case must stand on its own legs".
"The trial court has not reasoned as to how appellant is held guilty under Section 498A IPC when the allegations were vague and unspecific and there were improvements in deposition of witnesses including the complainant," the judge said, setting aside the magisterial court`s April 2009 order.
"It is settled law that emotions cannot have precedence over depositions made in the court. The prosecution case has to stand on its own legs and is duty bound to prove its case beyond reasonable doubts."
The sessions judge also noted that the magisterial court had acquitted Chand`s mother Veero Devi of same allegations.
"Court is not to be swayed by emotions of the complainant. It has been noticed that whenever matrimonial relations between spouses turn sour, wild allegations are made. The complainant and the appellant, in the present case, have already been divorced and it is high time that such litigations are also buried once for all," the ASJ said.
The case dates back to 1985, when Chand`s wife Jaimala lodged an FIR against her husband and his parents at Kotwali police station in Moradabad of Uttar Pradesh, alleging that they had been harassing her since 1982 for not meeting their demand of dowry.
The Moradabad police filed a final report in the case in the court of district`s chief judicial magistrate in 1987.
Jaimala, meanwhile, moved the Supreme Court for transfer of the case to Delhi, following which its proceedings remained stayed till 1990, when the matter was transferred to the court of chief metropolitan magistrate here.
The Moradabad police again filed a final report in the case before Delhi CMM in 1992 and charges were framed in 2002. Eventually the magisterial court acquitted all others in the case in April, 2009 barring Chand.