In a recent case Gumanish vs state of Gujarat, 2021the apex court explained section 113A of the Indian Evidence Act.

The facts of this case are that the wife of the accused consumed poison due to the unbearable mental cruelty and physical cruelty inflicted on her by the accused (husband) and his relatives. All this has happened within the 8 months of marriage.

The trial court convicted the accused under section 498A of cruelty and section 306 of abetment to suicide. The high court also upheld the decision of the trial court of conviction of the accused.

The accused contended before the court that most of the prosecution witnesses are related and interested witnesses and no independent witness appeared before the court, hence the prosecution is doubtful.

The bench of Justice Abdul Nazeer and Justice Krishna Murari observed that the evidentiary value of related witnesses is not liable to be rejected on the grounds that they are related to the deceased.

They said that the evidence of related witnesses must be examined by the court closely and cautiously with utmost care.

The bench observed that the prosecution proved that the deceased was humiliated by the demands of in-laws and the failure of her parents to fulfil the demands of her in-laws and husband.

For proving an allegation of section 306 of IPC, the prosecution proved the case under section 113A which states three conditions to raise the presumption. They are:

  • Women committed suicide
  • Such suicide is committed within 7 years of her marriage
  • Accused subjected her to cruelty

The case of the prosecution proved all the three conditions and the conviction of the accused was upheld by the apex court by dismissing the appeal of the accused.

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