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Pyare Lal Vs State of Uttar Pradesh

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Citations: Pyare Lal Vs State of Uttar Pradesh, (1987) 1 SCC 525

Equivalent citations: AIR 1987 SC 852, 1987 (35) BLJR 276, 1987 CriLJ 769, 1987 (1) Crimes 494 SC, JT 1987 (1) SC 236, 1987 (1) SCALE 157, (1987) 1 SCC 525

Case No: Criminal appeal No. 47 of 1987

Case Type: Criminal Appeal

Appellant: Pyare Lal

Respondent: State of Uttar Pradesh

Statutes Referred:

  • Indian Penal Code, 1860; Sections – 34, 109, 149, 366

Bench: Hon’ble Justice A.P. Sen and Hon’ble Justice S. Natarajan

Date of Judgement: 23/01/1987

Cases referred:

  • K.M. Nanavati Vs State of Maharashtra 1962 AIR 605, 1962 SCR Supl. (1) 567
  • Behram Khurshed Pesikaka Vs The State Of Bombay AIR 1955 SC 123, (1955) 57 BOMLR 575, 1955 CriLJ 215, 1955 1 SCR 613
  • Mary NG Vs The Queen 1958 AC 173

Facts:

  • Roop Narain (accused 1) wanted to give his wife, now deceased Shri Bai a divorce and tried getting one in the village panchayat of Mudiya but she did not give him divorce.
  • He therefore, with the help of his cousin Pyare Lal (appellant) a resident of village chilla sold his wife to another accused, Babu.
  • Shri Bai was taken to Jhansi by the three accused on the pretext of setting up residence there and was first abandoned by her husband midway and then by her brother-in-law in Jhansi and then Babu took her to Sadupur, assuring her that her husband and her cousin would meet them there.
  • After reaching Sadupur, he locked her in a house for two days and raped her during that period after which he put her on fire which she managed to extinguish and later when he returned he took her to a field in the outskirts and left her there.
  • Shri Bai lay in the field for two days and then was rescued by some passersby and was taken to a hospital and her statement was recorded by the police and before dying she even apprised her brother Durga Prasad of what had happened.
  • Roop Narain and Pyare Lal were convicted by the High Court while Babu was freed of the charges pressed against him due to insufficient evidence.
  • Pyare Lal appealed in the Supreme Court against the order passed in the lower courts.

Issues Involved:

Whether the Sessions Judge and the High Court were justified in convicting the appellant under Section 366 read with Section 109 of Indian Penal Code and sentencing him to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment?

Contention of Appellant:

  • The appellant had no part in abetting the accused in making his wife move from the village to Jhansi by deceitful means.
  • Another argument by the appellant’s counsel was that when Babu had been acquitted of all the charges, the appellant cannot be convicted for an offence under Section 366 read with Section 309 of Indian Penal Code.

Contention of Respondent:

  • The appellant brought the stranger to Mudiya and therefore led to the grim events that took place.
  • The victim accused the appellant for her conditions before she died while narrating the events.

Judgement:

The Court held the Conviction Valid.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court held that the appellant stands convicted and the judgements of the lower court stands valid.

Ratio Decidendi:

  • The appellant was in close relation with Roop Narain and there is nothing strange with him abetting Roop Narain in committing the crime.
  • He went with the victim and the other accused to Jhansi and there he discreetly left them alone showing that he was part of the deceit and abduction.
  • The appellant also brought the other two accused in contact as was proved.
  • The statements given by Shri Bai to police also accused him of being part of the atrocities committed against her.
  • Babu was acquitted only because there was no solid evidence against him and this acquittal did not absolve the appellant of his crime.

Obiter Dicta:

This is a tragic case where the appellant and his cousin Roop Narain had traded Shri Bai with a stranger who had not only violated her person but also poured kerosene and set fire to her without any pangs of conscience. It is regrettable that the perpetrator of the serious offences has escaped punishment for want of adequate proof of identity.”

Conclusion:

Women safety is need of the hour of our country and this judgement proves that our guardian court is doing everything it can where the victim gets justice along with keeping in mind that evidence is necessary for any conviction in criminal cases.

Drafted by: Sarwang Mathur (University School of Law and Legal Studies)

Edited by: Aashima Kakkar, Associate Editor, Law Insider

Published On: November 25, 2021 at 19:10 IST