This appeal has been filed by the appellant before the Honorable Supreme Court against the order passed by the Honorable High Court disposing of the appeal made by the appellant for charges that have been listed in the charge-sheet under section 304 of the Indian Penal Code.
The charge-sheet filed by the police authority against the son of the appellant (Manik Prabu), G Madhavi was married to the son of the appellant mentioned in the case on date 08/06/1993. The deceased Madhavi Latta, the wife of the son of the appellant was residing at that time in the State of Hyderabad, while at such residence on 27/06/1989, the wife of the Manik Prabu committed suicide. The wife of the son of the appellant self-emulated in front of her children and succumbed to death on 29/06/1989, the reason that came up front were that the appellant would beat her and abuse her, there were also complaints regarding a public humiliation of her with no timely food, and other necessities were provided to her suffering from mental trauma by the son of the appellant due to not being expected amount of the money with her as dowry. As the proceeding was going, the prosecution cross-examined around 20 witnesses, and various documents were presented by the prosecution, and the defendant also crossed two witnesses and marked various documents. The Trial Court did not find any facts and evidence to conclude with charges under section 304 of IPC and section 3 and section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, but the Trail Court held the appellant liable under section 498A of IPC and sentenced the appellants to rigorous imprisonment for the period of two years and with a monetary penalty of Rs 200/- each.
1. Is the punishment awarded under section 498A is valid?
2. Should the High Court dispose of the appeal?
The Honorable Supreme Court after hearing the learned counsels appearing for the parties to the suit at length and taking due consideration to the facts provided in the above matter and all the precedents followed for supporting the pleadings states that it is open for court or it is on court’s sole discretion to dispose any matter raised or appeal filed before the court wherein there is the default in filing or if the counsel appearing for the parties fails to appear or if such is the case where the presence of the parties to suit is necessary made by the Honorable Court and the parties fail to appear.
Further, it is an obligation on the court as suggested and submitted by the learned counsel in the precedent that it the duty of the court to take due consideration for the absence of the learned counsels or any person to whom such counsel is representing or any person who is a party to the suit is absent not by the fault of the party or counsel but because of mistake of any person creating a mess of the procedure of the court or in any there is misrepresentation will be held to be a mistake and such appeal will not be dismissed. The Learned counsel making submission states the precedent set out in the Bani Singh V/s State of Uttar Pradesh, the Division Bench set out under section 385 and 386 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. The judgment provided in the aforesaid matter also provided the clause wherein the judgment provided, an order given with any direction that has thoroughly considered the facts of any case wherein the merits are taken and order provided is under a fair application of the law, only any court superior to the court providing the order will be able to repair if there is any loss or if the upper or superior court is of the opinion that the order provided is not within the framework of law or there is the deficiency injustice provided can repeal or modify the judgment to that extent.
The Court should provide the due consideration approach while disposing of the matter in terms where the reason mentioned in the absence of the learned counsel appointed for the Appellant if the absence is not the fault of the learned counsel or the appellant, but the is the fault of the registry of the High Court then there is no reason for the High Court to dispose of the appeal. The Supreme Court in deciding the matter states that if any matter that has been decided by the High Court in the absence of the learned Counsel or the Appellant on the merits of the case then such appeal for the case can be allowed if the opinion of the court is that the justice has not been done. Such failure in itself is the failure of the judiciary in providing the basic service for which the judiciary intent to work.
The Court’s observations are that in the present case, as the case was set down for hearing in the High Court on different dates where the notification received had the names of the advocates who already were retired from the matter on behalf of the appellants and no names were mentioned of the Advocates newly appointed to represent the Appellants, hence the absence of the learned counsel and appellants were considered, and the decision was made in actual was the different scenario and such decision if sustained will be a miscarriage of justice. The Supreme Court took a thorough interpretation from the precedent in the case of Bani Singh v/s State of Uttar Pradesh. The view should not come in the way of deciding the above-mentioned matter.
The Honorable Supreme Court deciding the matter stated that the judgement given by the High Court would be set aside and the appeal made by the appellant will be remitted back to the High Court for due consideration and should be disposed of expeditiously according to the governing laws applicable to the matter. The appeal will be allowed.