Sec.302 of I.P.C - Burning injuries - Dying Declaration that the husband poured kerosin and set fire - Possibility of tutored by her parents - when a pendulum of doubt lingers whether it is self burn or forcibly set fire after verifying the circumstantial evidence of the house - when the doubt is not cleared - the accused is entitled for benefit of doubt = When the conviction is based upon circumstantial evidence, it is essential that the circumstances must be taken into account in their entirety. The incident of burning has taken place in the house of A-1 himself. The whole controversy is as to who caused the burn injuries. The scene of offence panchanama marked as Ex.P3 indicates that the residence of A-1 comprised of a front room, abutted by a bathroom, on one side, a varanda, on the second side, and a small room, on the third side. It was mentioned that the kerosene smell was prevailing in the scene, and that match box was also present. However, no signs of burning or any item in the house catching fire were noticed. In case the victim was set at fire by A-1 or somebody else, she would have made an attempt to escape from scene and in Ex.P5, the deceased did not even mention that anybody has prevented her from escaping. If she is forced to remain in the house, the articles, such as clothing and bed, in such a small room would have naturally caught fire. It is not uncommon that if an attempt is made by an accused to prevent the victim of burning flames from escaping, he or she would also sustain burn injuries may be, of a lesser degree. No signs of burning were noticed in the house. It is difficult to arrive at a conclusion that A-1 has forcibly set the deceased on fire. Though we do not take judicial notice of the fact, it is generally observed that the burn injuries to the extent of 80 to 90% would either when the victim himself or herself or when the person who has set the victim on fire prevents the latter from dousing it. In such cases, the accused is bound to suffer burns. At the same time, we do not intend to generalize this. The victim herein was found to have sustained more than 90% injuries, by the time she was admitted into hospital. It is also essential to note that the incident is said to have taken place in the morning, where movement of people is vigorous and even a small cry in such a locality would attract the attention of many. A pendulum of doubt lingers between two extremes of a voluntary act of burning, on the one hand, and the forcible setting of fire, on the other hand. The evidence on record does not enable this Court to stop the pendulum at any extreme, but all the same the benefit of doubt deserves to be given to the accused. The conduct of A-1 in selling the house and returning all the articles that were given to him at the time of marriage, would also give an indication that he was not the one for additional dowry. In the result, we allow the Criminal Appeal and set aside the conviction and sentence recorded against the appellant for the offence punishable under Section 302 IPC by the District and Sessions Judge, Nizamabad, in S.C.No.363 of 2007. - 2015 A.P.(2014)

Sec.302 of I.P.C - Burning injuries - Dying Declaration that the husband poured kerosin and set fire - Possibility of tutored by her parents - when a pendulum of doubt lingers whether it is self burn or forcibly set fire after verifying the circumstantial evidence of the house - when the doubt is not cleared - the accused is entitled for benefit of doubt =
When the conviction is based upon circumstantial evidence, it is essential
that the circumstances must be taken into account in their entirety.  The
incident of burning has taken place in the house of A-1 himself.  The whole
controversy is as to who caused the burn injuries.  
The scene of offence
panchanama marked as Ex.P3 indicates that the residence of A-1 comprised of a 
front room, abutted by a bathroom, on one side, a varanda, on the second side,
and a small room, on the third side.  
It was mentioned that the kerosene smell
was prevailing in the scene, and that match box was also present.  However, no
signs of burning or any item in the house catching fire were noticed.  In case
the victim was set at fire by A-1 or somebody else, she would have made an
attempt to escape from scene and in Ex.P5, the deceased did not even mention 
that anybody has prevented her from escaping. 
 If she is forced to remain in the
house, the articles, such as clothing and bed, in such a small room would have
naturally caught fire.  
It is not uncommon that if an attempt is made by an
accused to prevent the victim of burning flames from escaping, he or she would
also sustain burn injuries may be, of a lesser degree.  
No signs of burning were noticed in the house.  
It is difficult to arrive at a conclusion that A-1 has forcibly set the deceased on fire.

        Though we do not take judicial notice of the fact, it is generally
observed that the burn injuries to the extent of 80 to 90% would either when the
victim himself or herself or when the person who has set the victim on fire
prevents the latter from dousing it.  
In such cases, the accused is bound to suffer burns.  
At the same time, we do not intend to generalize this.  
The
victim herein was found to have sustained more than 90% injuries, by the time
she was admitted into hospital. 
 It is also essential to note that the incident
is said to have taken place in the morning, where movement of people is vigorous
and even a small cry in such a locality would attract the attention of many. 
 A
pendulum of doubt lingers between two extremes of a voluntary act of burning, on
the one hand, and the forcible setting of fire, on the other hand.  
The evidence
on record does not enable this Court to stop the pendulum at any extreme, but
all the same the benefit of doubt deserves to be given to the accused.

The conduct of A-1 in selling the house and returning all the articles that were
given to him at the time of marriage, would also give an indication that he was
not the one for additional dowry.
In the result, we allow the Criminal Appeal and set aside the conviction and
sentence recorded against the appellant for the offence punishable under Section
302 IPC by the District and Sessions Judge, Nizamabad, in S.C.No.363 of 2007. - 2015 A.P.(2014) 

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