The Supreme Court bench of Justice R F Nariman, Justice K M Joseph and Justice Aniruddha Bose held that in the case of Dowry Death under Section- 304B of Indian Penal Code cannot be established if cause of death hasn’t been unnatural. It is necessary to establish that before death the woman was subjected to cruelty and harassment with respect to demand of dowry.
Looking at such factors the Apex court has set aside the conviction and life sentence that was given by Uttarakhand HC to Husband, Father-in-law and Mother-in-law of the deceased wife in the case of Sandeep Kumar and others V. State of Uttarakhand and others.
In the case the Trial Court acquitted them all in the offence of Dowry Death which wasn’t proved. But the HC reversed the order and sentenced them in an Appeal filed by the father of the woman. Where the Apex Court upheld the decision of Trial Court and acquitted them.
The SC observed following while saying that 304B wasn’t establish-
The autopsy report did not conclude that death was due to poisoning.
No traces of poison were found in the body of the deceased or in the crime scene.
The accused were not found in possession of poison.
The Court also noted that there is no any evidence that the deceased neither died of poisoning nor did find any poison in possession of appellants too. The court also added that mere “No possession” of poision does not make ground for acquittal as laid down in the case of Bhupinder Singh V. State of Punjab, but looking at the facts of this case the bench said held that- “As far as the facts of the present case is concerned,we have noticed that there is absolutely no evidence relating to poison in relation to the deceased. Were it a case of forcible poisoning,by using a corrosive poison, there would been some marks.There are none.If it were forcible poisoning by using any kind of poison, there would be struggle and resistance from the victim.”