Sessions court can frame additional charge – droped by I.O. = The I.O. dropped charges against the accused under Section 302 of the IPC. Therefore, the appellant filed a writ petition being WP (Crl.) No.1131 of 2012 before the High Court of Orissa for a direction for reopening the case and to hand over further investigation to the Crime Branch or the CBI. The appellant contends that sufficient material is available on record for framing an additional charge for the offence punishable under Section 302 IPC. it is just and proper for the Sessions Court before whom the case is pending to consider framing of an additional charge under Section 302 of the IPC. Therefore, the Sessions Court is directed to peruse the entire material on record in order to consider the aspect of framing of an additional charge for the offence punishable under Section 302 IPC.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURSIDCITON

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.  665 OF 2017

(Arising out of S.L.P. (Criminal) No.1570 of 2017)

SARADA PRASANNA DALAI                    …APPELLANT

VERSUS

INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE,

CRIME BRANCH, ODISHA & ORS.                …RESPONDENTS

O R D E R

S.ABDUL NAZEER, J.

1     Leave granted.

2     The appellant is the  brother  of  deceased  Sulekha  Dalai.   Sulekha

Dalai was married to Trilochan Rout on 4th  June,  2008.  According  to  the

appellant,  at  the  time  of  marriage,  dowry  in  the  form  of  cash  of

Rs.1,50,000/-, 20 tola gold ornaments, TV and washing machine was  given  to

the three accused persons as per their demand and  that  certain  additional

sums have also been given through the deceased. It was  contended  that  the

accused have  murdered  the  deceased.  Therefore,  he  lodged  a  complaint

against the accused persons and First Information Report at  Talcher  Police

Station was registered against them under Sections 498A, 302, 304B,  34  IPC

and Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.  It was further  contended

that after scientific investigation, the cause  of  death  was  recorded  as

ante mortem hanging and that ligature mark found on  the  body  of  deceased

was not possible by the seized  sari.   However,  after  five  days  of  the

registration of the case,  the  I.O.  made  a  query  seeking  clarification

whether the hanging was suicidal or homicidal  in  nature  and  the  medical

officers, who had conducted the  post  mortem,  opined  the  hanging  to  be

suicidal hanging. After investigation, charge sheet  dated  4th  June,  2011

was submitted against the accused under Sections 498A, 306, 304B  read  with

34 IPC and under Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.  The  I.O.  dropped

charges against the accused under Section 302 of the  IPC.   Therefore,  the

appellant filed a writ petition being WP (Crl.) No.1131 of 2012  before  the

High Court of Orissa for a direction for reopening  the  case  and  to  hand

over further investigation to the Crime Branch or the CBI.  The  High  Court

dismissed the writ petition on 29th February, 2016 by holding  that  further

investigation into the case is unnecessary.  The  appellant  has  challenged

the legality and correctness of the said order in this appeal.

3     The appellant  contends  that  sufficient  material  is  available  on

record for framing an additional charge for  the  offence  punishable  under

Section 302 IPC.

4     Having heard learned counsel for the parties, we are of the view  that

it is just and proper for  the  Sessions  Court  before  whom  the  case  is

pending to consider framing of an additional charge  under  Section  302  of

the IPC. Therefore, the Sessions Court is  directed  to  peruse  the  entire

material on record in  order  to  consider  the  aspect  of  framing  of  an

additional  charge  for  the  offence  punishable  under  Section  302  IPC.

However, this shall not be construed as our opinion on merits of the case.

5     The appeal is accordingly disposed of.

…………………………………J.

(J. CHELAMESWAR)

…………………………………J.

(S. ABDUL NAZEER)

New Delhi;

April 10, 2017.