Appreciation of Evidence - Whether a person as a result of falling of a lamp on the mattress could be reduced to the status of 100 per cent burns. Even if he was asleep, the normal reaction of such person and the other inmates of the house would be to douse the fire. - Therefore the matter had to be considered whether the death occurred in suspicious circumstances or not.-The statement “jo hona tha ho gaya” attributed to Sunita is not indicative that whatever happened was a pure accident - - 2015 S.C. MSKLAWREPORTS


On 01.09.1994 in the early hours a dhebri i.e. lamp is  said  to  have
fallen on the mattress on which Sunita was sleeping.  She  caught  fire  and
was completely burnt.  The fact that she was so burnt at 4.00  am  was  seen
by neighbour PW4 Bachhi Devi.   According to the  witness  Sunita’s  brother
in law came to her  place  asking  for  a  torch  stating  that  Sunita  had
suffered burns.  The witness went to the house of Respondent No.1 and  found
Sunita in burnt condition.  Sunita then  stated to the witness “jo hona  tha
ho gaya”.
 Trial court
It  was  held  that  the
possibility could not be ruled out that the death of Sunita had occurred  as
a result of a lamp having fallen on the mattress.  The trial  court  further
relied upon the fact that the parents of deceased Sunita were  informed  and
that the cremation had taken place after their  consent.   Though  PW1  Tara
Devi had stated that her signatures  were  obtained  on  a  piece  of  paper
forcibly, the trial court concluded that the death occurred as a  result  of
falling of a lamp on the mattress  and  acquitted  the  respondents  of  the
charges leveled against them.
High court
     The order passed by the High Court is quoted below:
“We have heard learned A.G.A.  for  the  State  appellant  and  perused  the
impugned  judgment.   The  deceased  Sunita  died  of  burn  injuries.   Her
cremation was made in presence of her parents.  A delayed F.I.R. was  lodged
with the allegation that there was demand of  dowry  and  she  was  done  to
death.  The trial court  appears  to  have  considered  all  the  facts  and
circumstances of the case emerging from the record.

In above view of the matter, we do not find  any  force  in  the  prayer  to
grant the leave to appeal.

The leave to appeal is rejected.” 

Apex court
  To  say  the  least,  it
appears improbable that a person as a result of falling of  a  lamp  on  the
mattress could be reduced to the status of 100 per cent burns.  Even  if  he
was asleep, the normal reaction of such person and the other inmates of  the
house would  be  to  douse  the  fire.   Therefore  the  matter  had  to  be
considered whether the death occurred in suspicious  circumstances  or  not.
The statement “jo hona tha ho gaya” attributed to Sunita is  not  indicative
that whatever happened was a pure accident. - 2015 S.C. MSKLAWREPORTS

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