Home > Judiciary > Implicating innocents endemic here – 498A observation by SC

Implicating innocents endemic here – 498A observation by SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has said that it has found that innocent people are regularly implicated in serious offences along with the main accused.
 
Acquitting a man from a remote Bihar village of murder charges more than 16 years after the incident, a bench of Justices Aftab Alam and R M Lodha said: “In this country, even while correctly naming the accused in cases of serious offences, it is endemic that some other innocent or even such members of the family of the accused who might not be present at the time of the commission of offence are also roped in and falsely implicated.”
 
This observation substantiates the apex court”s apprehension expressed in a recent verdict relating to cases under Section 498A of the IPC on to matrimonial harassment.
 
A bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and K S Radhakrishnan had wanted the government to have a relook at Section 498A saying it has been misused by women to lodge false or exaggerated complaints against husbands and their relatives accusing them of cruel behaviour. “At times, even after the conclusion of criminal trial, it is difficult to ascertain the truth,” the bench had said and gave examples of cases where women in their complaints had roped in husbands” relatives, who lived in different cities and rarely visited them.
 
The judgment by Justices Alam and Lodha touched upon the innate tendency among a witness to rope in and falsely implicate the relatives of accused persons in serious offences, in this case a brutal murder. The accused, Sajjan Sharma, carried the murder charges on his head for 16 years following the killing of one Narain Kunwar in village Marba under Bihpur police station on November 24, 1994. Sharma was a relative of the accused who had shot the deceased.
 
The trial court convicted him along with others and the Patna HC upheld the conviction as well as the life sentence. But, the SC found the statement of the material witness not supported by others and acquitted Sajjan Sharma of all charges. In a bid to sensitize judges of the pitfalls in the statements of prosecution witnesses, prone to exaggeration and to rope in the innocent along with the main accused, the SC directed that a copy of this judgment be placed before the Patna HC judge who is in charge of the State”s Judicial Academy.

Relief for kin of 46 Satara victims
New Delhi: The kin of all the 46 victims who died 23 years ago in a freak explosion from a leaking petrol tanker in Maharashtra”s Satara district will be entitled to compensation, the Supreme Court has ruled.
A bench rejected New India Assurance Company Ltd”s claim that the claimants were not entitled to compensation as it was not a road mishap but an explosion that occurred four hours after the vehicle was involved in an accident.

On October 29, 1987, a petrol tanker on NH-4 towards Bangalore collided with a truck in Satara district. The tanker fell into a five-ft pit and the fuel started leaking. A number of locals gathered at the site and started carrying away the petrol despite the driver cautioning them. Four hours after the leakage, there was a huge explosion, killing 46.

(10 Jan 2011)

The Times of India

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Categories: Judiciary
  1. Pankaj
    January 22, 2011 at 7:34 am

    from the starting if my married life my wifr started playing games and later on she went to their home town and filed all the faluse case for 498A and Maintanace

    even she being diappear a night and when i asked ahe replaied i m with landload house , my landloard also refusing but they dont want to come in court

    please suggest

    my wife want to be that i will not keep any relation with my family and she will always tries to dominate me

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