Skip to content


Ganesh Shrawan Chaudhari Vs. State - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberConfirmation Case No. 3 of 1969 with Criminal Appeal No. 48 of 1969
Judge
Reported in(1969)71BOMLR643; 1970MhLJ75
AppellantGanesh Shrawan Chaudhari
RespondentState
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
criminal procedure code (act v of 1898), section 465 - indian penal code (act xlv of 1860), section 84--indian evidence act (i of 1872), section 105--whether obligatory on trial judge to try issue of unsoundness of mind of accused on mere allegation of insanity-act of murder committed on sudden impulse without motive whether sufficient basis for acceptance of plea of insanity- intention whether an inference of law resulting from doing of act.;it is not in every case where a mere allegation is made or a question as to the unsoundness of mind of an accused person is raised that the trial judge is compelled to try the issue as to the unsoundness of mind of the accused under section 465 of the criminal procedure code, 1898. therefore, where as a result of the examination of the accused after.....nain, j.1. these proceedings have been sent up by the learned sessions judge, jalgaon, under section 374 of the code of criminal procedure for confirmation of the sentence of death passed by him on the accused ganesh shrawan chaudhari. the accused has also filed an appeal under section 418, criminal procedure code, both these proceedings have been heard together.2. the accused was charged with murdering his wife sharadabai aged 23 years, two sons named tushar aged 4 years and rajan aged 2 years, and a daughter by name gitanjali about 15 days old on the afternoon of sunday june 30, 1968, in the village of dambhurni, taluka yawal, district jalgaon. the accused was convicted by the learned sessions judge under section 302 of the indian penal code and sentenced to death. the accused had.....
Judgment:

Nain, J.

1. These proceedings have been sent up by the learned Sessions Judge, Jalgaon, under Section 374 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for confirmation of the sentence of death passed by him on the accused Ganesh Shrawan Chaudhari. The accused has also filed an appeal under Section 418, Criminal Procedure Code, Both these proceedings have been heard together.

2. The accused was charged with murdering his wife Sharadabai aged 23 years, two sons named Tushar aged 4 years and Rajan aged 2 years, and a daughter by name Gitanjali about 15 days old on the afternoon of Sunday June 30, 1968, in the village of Dambhurni, taluka Yawal, District Jalgaon. The accused was convicted by the learned Sessions Judge under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code and sentenced to death. The accused had pleaded guilty to the charge against him. The learned Judge, however, directed that he should be tried on the charge. The accused has shown unwillingness to engage a lawyer, or to have one appointed for him at State expense. The learned Judge, however, requested a senior member of the Jalgaon Bar, Mr. P. P. Deshmukh, who undertook the defence of the accused. Mr. Deshmukh had earlier been engaged by the father of the accused for the purpose of an application under Section 465 of the 'Criminal Procedure Code.

3. The accused lived with his wife and three children in a joint family consisting of his father and mother and his brother Divakar and his wife. The accused is a B.Sc. of the University of Bombay and B.Ed, from Poona University. He was a teacher in a local school. He was married to the deceased Sharada in the year 1962 or 1963 and from her he had three children who were killed on June 30, 1968. Divakar was married on April 30, 1968, two months before the date of the offence. Divakar was also a teacher in the same school. The school was called Kirti High School. The youngest child of the accused Gitanjali was born on June 15, 1968. The father of the accused is a non-practising lawyer who has taken to agriculture. He is known in the village as 'Vakil Buva'. He is a member of the Managing Committee of the Kirti High School.

4. The house in which the family lived was a two-storeyed structure bearing the Gram Panchayat House No. 188. The accommodation in the house is shown on the sketch map exh. 11. It has an entrance from the north and a door on the east of room No. 1. After room No. 1 there is a stair-case going to the upper floor. The room No. 1 has two doors leading to room No. 2 and room No. 2 has a door leading to room No. 3. The accused resided with his deceased wife and three deceased children in room No. 3. This room has two accesses, one from room No. 2 and the other by a wooden stair-case from room No. 3 on the upper floor. The stair-case descends from room No. 3 on the upper floor to room No. 3 on the ground floor where the accused resided with his family. The entire upper floor is accessible by the stair-case between rooms Nos. 1 and 2. On the west of this house is the house of Laximbai Tryambak Chaudhari where the brother of Laximbai by name Mulchand was at the time of the incident. On the east of the house is a road and across the road is the house of Ichharam Sitaram Chaudhari.

5. On the day of the incident i.e. Sunday June 30, 1968, in the afternoon the parents of the accused had gone to their fields. The father of the accused had left earlier and it appears from the evidence that his mother took tea for her husband to the fields at about 2.30 or 3.00 p.m. Divakar, the brother of the accused, and Divakar's wife were not in the house. Divakar was in a room in an adjoining building. He had taken the said room on rent for the purpose of giving private tuitions therein. Divakar's wife had gone to visit her sister. In room No. 3 on the ground floor where the four murders took place Sharada was lying on a cot with her infant child. Possibly the two older children, namely, Tushar and Rajan, were playing in the same room. At the time of the incident, the front and the eastern doors of the house were open. The accused appears to have entered room No. 3 through the wooden stair-case descending into that room from room No. 3 on the upper floor after his mother had left for the fields. There is no evidence as to what exactly happened thereafter and what transpired between the accused and his wife which led to the four murders. It, however, appears that the offence took place between about 4.00 and 4.30 p.m. Mulchand, who was in his sister's house on the west of the house of the accused, heard some shouts coming from the house of the accused. The said adjacent house on the west in which Mulchand was has a door on the south which opens on open land. The room No. 3 in which the offence took place has a window opening on the west which has a steel bar. Mulchand, therefore, came out of the house of his sister by the northern door and went to Ichharam. He found Ichharam sitting outside his house on an empty oil drum. Mulchand told Ichharam about having heard the shouts from the room of the accused, Mulchand and Ichharam then proceeded to the room of the accused. They found it bolted from inside. They tried to push the door and called the accused by his name. The accused, however, continued shouting, but did not open the door. Mulchand and Ichharam thereupon went to the first floor by the stair-case between room Nos. 1 and 2 and from room No. 3 OH. the upper floor, they descended into room No. 3 on the ground floor from]the wooden stair-case. In that room, they saw the wife of the- accused and the three children dead. They also saw the accused lying on the floor and shouting. There was also a pool of blood. They opened the door of room No. 3 and came out of the house and sent a word to the father of the accuse at his fields. The father of the accused came in about 15 minutes. In the meanwhile, a crowd of people had collected outside the house of the accused. Among them was Ravindra Pitambar Chaudhari paternal cousin of the accused. He went inside the house and the room in which the offence had taken p ace and he saw the dead bodies of the wife of the accused and his three children. He also heard the accused shouting. At the suggestion of some members of the crowd Ravindra proceeded to in-form the Police Patil of the village. On the way to the house of the Police Patil, he met the son of the Police Patil by name Krishna Ananda Patil. He told Krishna what he had seen. He told him that four persons had been killed by the accused and that they; were lying in the room, where the offence had taken place. He also told Krishna that he had seen a 'Musal broken into two pieces. Krishna returned home and told his father Ananda about it. Ananda Patil asked Krishna to go to Yawal Police Station and lodge a first information report. He himself proceeded to the house of the accused and saw what had transferred in room No. 3. He waited there till the arrival of the Police on the same night. In the meanwhile, Krishna went to Yawal with a friend Rajaram Chaudhari on the latter's motor-cycle. Due to the motor cycle breaking down they took a little longer than they would have and reached the Police Station at about 8.00 p. m. and reported the matter to Mr. S. II. Vastrad, Sub-Inspector of Police at Yawal. Vastrad recorded the complaint of Krishna Patil and thereafter proceeded to Dambhurni in a police vehicle and reached there at about 11.00 p.m. He found the accused sitting in the kitchen. He attached the blood-stained clothes of the accused and arrested him at 11.50 p. m. The accused produced to him from room No. 3 where the offence had taken place two pieces of the broken Musal. The said pieces were stained with blood. On July 1, 1968, i.e. the next day, at 6,00 a.m. an inquest was held over the dead bodies and they were sent to the Medical Officer Yawal for post-mortem examination. A panchanama of the house of the accused was then drawn up. Some bloodstained articles and scrapings of plaster were attached on that day and the following day statements of some of the witnesses were recorded and the accused was charge-sheeted on September 2, 1968.

6. It appears that on July 12, 1968, the accused had signed in the prison a Vakalatnama in favour of two advocates, namely, Mr. T. S. Dhake and his son Mr. P. T. Dhake. This Vakalatnama was filed in Court on September 4, 1968. On September 5, 1968, the learned Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Yawal, recorded the statement of the accused and after perusing the papers filed in the Court sent up the accused for trial to the Sessions Court at Jalgaon.

7. In the Sessions Court on November 12, 1968, Shrawan Sakharam Chaudhari, the father of the accused, made an application under Section 465, Criminal Procedure Code. In the said application he alleged that the accused was suffering from insanity and was of unsound mind and was incapable of making his defence. He stated that late Dr. Thusey had examined and treated the accused and advised him to go to a psychologist in Bombay, namely, Dr. Vahia working in the K. B. M. Hospital, Bombay. It was alleged that Dr. Thusey had on May 27, 1968, prescribed certain medicines for the accused and on June 18, 1968, he had given a letter of introduction to the accused on Dr. Vahia. He, therefore, prayed for proceeding under Section 465, Criminal Procedure Code. In support of this application, Shrawan filed an affidavit. On November 18, 1968, Shrawan made another application on behalf of the accused in which he stated that after the arrest of the accused he had been given medical treatment at Yawal and thereafter been removed to Jalgaon Civil Hospital where also he was treated. He requested the learned Sessions Judge to peruse the correspondence between the Investigation Officer and the learned Committing Magistrate on the one hand and the Medical Officer at Yawal on the other. He further stated that the accused was unwilling to give any instructions to or talk to Mr. Deshmukh, advocate of Jalgaon when the latter had met the accused in jail on November 16, 1968.

8. The learned Sessions Judge perused the correspondence and the documents referred to in the application of November 12, 1968. He recorded the statement of the accused on November 18, 1968 to find out whether it appeared to him that the accused was of unsound mind. On the same day, he also framed a charge under Section 302 against the accused to which the accused pleaded guilty after the same had been read and explained to him. On November 18, 1968, the learned Sessions Judge made an order exh. 7 in which he held that the accused was not of unsound mind and was not incapable of making his defence. He, therefore, directed that the trial of the case should proceed. It is after rejecting the application under Section 465 of the Criminal Procedure Code that the learned Judge framed the charge, recorded the plea of the accused, appointed Mr. Deshmukh, advocate, to represent the accused and adjourned the hearing of the case to November 21, 1968, to enable Mr. Deshmukh to get ready with the case.

9. At the trial the defence taken on behalf of the accused was one of insanity under Section 84, Indian Penal Code, We shall deal with the plea of the accused that at the date of the trial he was of unsound mind and, therefore, incapable of defending himself and with his defence of insanity later. We shall first determine whether on June 30, 1968, Sharada, Tushar, Rajan and Gitanjali met with violent and unnatural death and whether it had been established by the prosecution that the accused was responsible for causing to these deceased persons the injuries as a result of which they died.

10. [His Lordship then considered the prosecution evidence relating to the death of the four persons and the responsibility of the accused for it].

11. The above is a brief summary of the relevant evidence led on behalf of the prosecution, on the point of the death of the four deceased persons and the responsibility of the accused for it. No evidence was; led on behalf of the defence on this point. On behalf of the defence some evidence has been led with regard to the unsoundness of the mind of the accused. With that we shall deal later.

12. The accused was examined under Section 342, Criminal Procedure Code, on November 25, 1968. It appears from the statement, exh. 44, that the accused was able to understand the nature of the charge against him and the nature of proceedings and gave intelligent answers to the questions put to him. He admitted that on June 30, 1968, Sharada, Tushar, Rajan and Gitanjali died due to injuries sustained by them to their heads and other parts of their bodies. He admitted that he was responsible for causing the injuries which resulted in their deaths. He admitted that he had belaboured his wife and children in room No. 3 in the house shown on the sketch map, exh. 11, after taking the precaution of bolting the room from inside. He admitted that he had done so with a Musal which had broken into two pieces during the course of the beating. He did not remember having said to the persons who had collected after the incident that he had killed his wife and children. He had nothing to say against the prosecution witnesses or about anything else. He did not wish to examine any witnesses. On December 6, 1968, a further question was put to him about his having been examined on May 27, 1968, by Dr. Thusey, the prescribing of medicines for him and purchases thereof from Surana Medical Stores. The accused stated that he had gone to Dr. Thusey with Vasudeo. Thusey had prescribed medicines for him. But he did not remember whether he had taken those medicines. He stated the Vasudeo had given him some medicines when he left Jalgaon for Dainbhurni.

13. It will appear from the above evidence that there is no direct evidence of any of the prosecution witnesses having seen the accused beat his wife and children to death, nor is there any evidence about the motive for doing what he had done. The evidence although circumstantial in nature starts almost immediately from the time of the offence and begins with the shouting of the accused which was heard by Mulchand who conveyed the same to Ichharam. Mulchand, Ichharam, Ravindra, Ananda Patil, the Panchas, the Sub-Inspector of Police all saw the scene of the offence in that order and immediately after the incident. Ichharam has also stated that for considerable time he was sitting outside his house on an empty oil barrel. From the sketch map, it will appear that it was easy for him to observe the entrances to the house of the accused. He has stated that while he was sitting on the oil barrel nobody entered the house of the accused, nor left it. The evidence in the case though circumstantial leads one to the only and inescapable conclusion that the accused and no one else caused the death of Sharada and the three infant children of the accused and Sharada. Apart from this evidence, the accused has pleaded guilty not only before the learned Committing Magistrate, but also in the Sessions Court. In his examination under Section 342 also, he has admitted the allegations of the prosecution witnesses with regard to what transpired on the afternoon of that unfortunate day, namely, Sunday June 30, 1968. In view of this, we have come to the conclusion that it is proved that on June 30, 1968, Sharada, Tushar, Rajan and Gitanjali died a violent and unnatural death as a result of injuries caused to them by the accused with a 'Mtisal.

14. It has been contended by Mr. Bhasme on behalf of the accused that the order under Section 465 of the Criminal Procedure Code was not properly passed after a due inquiry enjoined by the said section and that thereby the trial of the accused was vitiated. He contended that the moment a question about the soundness of the mind of an accused person was raised, as it was done in this case by the application of Shrawan, exh. 3, on November 12, 1968, it was incumbent on the Judge to try the fact of such unsoundness and incapacity in the first instance and after recording a finding thereon to postpone further proceedings if the accused was found to be of unsound mind and incapable of making his defence or to proceed with the trial, in case the question was answered in the negative. In the alternative, Mr. Bhasme contended that in this case there was sufficient material on record before the learned Sessions Judge to raise a doubt in his mind as to the sanity of the accused and his capacity to defend himself and the learned Judge ought to have come to the conclusion that the accused appeared to be of unsound mind and incapable of defending himself and he should, therefore, have tried that issue first. We shall now proceed to deal with this contention.

15. Chapter XXXIV of the Code of Criminal Procedure pertains to lunatics. Section 464 relates to the stage of committal proceedings and provides that if the Magistrate holding the inquiry or trial has reason to believe that the accused is of unsound mind and is incapable of making his defence, the Magistrate shall inquire into the fact of such unsoundness and shall cause such person to be examined by the Civil Surgeon of the District or by a Medical Officer appointed by the State Government, that he shall examine such medical witness and if the Magistrate comes to the conclusion that the accused was of unsound mind and consequently incapable of making his defence, he shall postpone further proceedings in. the case. We might here observe that at the stage of the committal proceedings in this ease, no application was made to the learned Magistrate to proceed under Section 464, Criminal Procedure Code. Not even a suggestion was made that the accused was of unsound mind and, therefore, incapable of defending himself. No proceedings were, therefore, taken under Section 464. It would appear that the idea of alleging unsoundness of mind and consequent incapacity of the accused to defend himself had occurred to those defending the accused only at the stage of the Sessions trial.

16. Section 465 of the Criminal Procedure Code pertains to the trial in the Sessions Court or the High Court and provides that if a person committed for trial 'appears to the Court at his trial to be of unsound mind and consequently incapable of making his defence' the Court shall in the first instance try the fact of unsoundness and incapacity and proceed further with the trial only if it found that the accused was not of unsound mind and not incapable of defending himself. It would appear from the wording of the section that before the trial Judge tries the fact of unsoundness and incapacity, it must first appear to him that the accused was of unsound mind and consequently incapable of defending himself. We are of the view that Section 465, Criminal Procedure Code, contemplates two stages in the procedure laid down by that section. The first stage is that it must appear to the Court that the accused placed for trial before the Court was of unsound mind and consequently incapable of making his defence, it is only when the first stage is complete that the question of the second stage arises. The second stage is that thereafter the trial Judge must try the fact of such unsoundness and incapacity before he proceeds with the trial. In such cases, if it appears to the trial Judge from the behaviour of the accused or other material before him whether in the charge-sheet or police papers or otherwise that the accused is of Unsound mind and consequently incapable of making his defence, he must follow the procedure prescribed by the next stage in Section 465. If, for example, the question is raised by an application made by a relation of the accused as to the unsoundness and incapacity of the accused, it is open to the learned trial Judge to examine the accused and satisfy himself about the allegation. If as a result of such examination, it appears to him that the accused is of unsound mind and incapable of defending himself, he may proceed to the next stage. It is not in every case where a mere allegation is made or a question as to the unsoundness of mind is raised that the trial Judge is compelled to proceed to the next stage. If as a result of the examination of the accused after an allegation or the question of the unsoundness of mind having been raised the trial Judge comes to the conclusion that the accused was not of unsound mind or incapable of making his defence, there is nothing to compel him to try the fact of unsoundness of mind or incapacity or to prevent him from proceeding with the trial.

17. In the view we have taken above, we are supported by a Division Bench judgment of the Calcutta High Court in the case of Emperor v. Durga Charan King : AIR1938Cal6 . In that case there was a verbal application made by the pleader for the accused for an adjournment in order that the accused may be kept under mental observation. The Sessions Judge thereupon recorded his opinion that there was no reason for thinking that the accused was of unsound mind or incapable of making his defence. It was further noted by the Judge that no suggestion had been made before the trial commenced that the accused was in any way mentally unsound and incapable of taking his trial. The Calcutta High Court held that the provisions contained in Section 465, Criminal Procedure Code, could have no possible application to the case and refused to adjourn the trial and hold an inquiry under Section 4G5. The High Court further held that the first stage in the procedure laid down by Section 465 is that it must appear to the Court that the accused placed on his trial was of unsound mind and' incapable of making his defence. The next stage that is to follow when it appears to the Judge that the accused was of unsound mind and consequently incapable of making his defence is that the fact of such un-solidness of mind and incapacity should be inquired into on the materials placed before the Court. Mr. Bhasme cited before us sumo cases where it had appeared to the Sessions Judge that the accused was of unsound mind, but notwithstanding that he did not follow the procedure prescribed by Section 465, Criminal Procedure Code and failed to try the issue of unsoundness of mind and consequent incapacity. In these cases, the High Courts held that the Sessions Judge was bound to follow the procedure prescribed by Section 465 and to try the issue of unsoundness of mind and consequent incapacity before proceeding with the trial. The first case cited by him was of Reg. v. Hira Punja (1863) 1 B.H.C.R. 33, where the Sessions Judge himself had entertained doubts as to the sanity of the prisoner, but notwithstanding the doubts he merely put questions to the accused. The High Court held that the Sessions Judge should have tried the fact of such unsoundness of mind by examining the Civil Surgeon or some other Medical Officer and by taking such other evidence as might have been procurable from the village at which the accused resided. The Bombay decision was followed by the Travancore-Cochin High Court in the case of State v. Chellayyan A. I. R. [1954] T.C. 435. In that case at the initial stage, the trial Judge had taken the view that the accused person was not of unsound mind. But after examining one witness the trial Judge changed his view and began to doubt whether the accused had an unsound mind. The High Court held that under such circumstances what the learned Judge ought to have done was to hold a proper inquiry judicially regarding the question of the suspected unsoundness of mind of the accused and the consequent incapacity of making his defence. Mr. Bhasme also cited the case of Jhabbu v. Emperor : AIR1920All354 , where there was evidence on record that the accused had been in custody not long before the commission of the alleged . offence as a dangerous lunatic. The High C'ourt held that it was incumbent on the Sessions Judge to try the issue of unsoundness of mind and consequent incapacity before proceeding with the trial. In the case of Eaminatti v. Emperor : AIR1930All450 , the demeanour of the accused was such that it raised doubt in the mind of the Judge as to his sanity. The High Court held that the issue as to sanity should have been tried first. In the case of Oliety, Mushar v. State A. I. R.[1954] Pat. 129 it was manifest from the notes made by the Sessions Judge in the order sheet as well as in the deposition of P.W. 1 that the learned Judge was in doubt as to the sanity of the accused. Under such circumstances, the High Court held that the issue as to his sanity should have been tried before proceeding with the trial. Similarly, in the case of Radhanath Mandal v. Emperor : AIR1927Cal289 , it appeared to the learned Judge after the trial had commenced that Radhanath showed signs of insanity. It was in these circumstances that the High Court held that the moment the question of the insanity of the accused was raised, the Judge should have tried the preliminary issue as to the unsoundness of mind and incapacity of the accused to stand a trial. These cases, in our opinion, have no application to the facts of this case and the learned trial Judge was right in proceeding with the trial after coming to the conclusion that it did not appear to him that the accused was of unsound mind and consequently incapable of making a defence.

18. Mr. Bhasme then argued that the material on record and the circumstances were such that the learned trial Judge ought to have come to the conclusion that an inquiry into the soundness of the mind of the accused was necessary. He contended that the police papers did not disclose any motive for the offence with which the accused was charged. It is true that the motive has not been established even during the trial. But in a criminal trial if the evidence of the offence is clear, it is not necessary for the prosecution to establish a motive. The next circumstance cited by Mr. Bhasme was the two applications made by the father of the accused and an affidavit in support of the first application alleging that the accused was of unsound mind. If we had come to the conclusion that the learned trial Judge was bound to try the issue as to unsoundness of mind the moment the contention was taken by a relation of, the accused, this contention would have been right. But an allegation by the father as to the unsoundness of mind of the accused merely raised the question of unsoundness of mind, and the learned Judge satisfied himself' by questioning the accused and as the first stage indicated above was not satisfied, it was not necessary for the learned trial Judge to proceed to the second stage of trying the issue as to the unsoundness of mind. Mr. Bhasme referred to the refusal of the accused to defend himself or to have a counsel. In our opinion, this was quite natural for the accused in view of the fact that he had pleaded guilty before the learned Committing Magistrate as well as before the learned trial Judge. It is significant to note that before the learned Committing Magistrate no suggestion of unsoundness of mind had been made on behalf of the accused. Not only this, but on July 12, 1968, the accused had signed a Vakalatnama in favour of a pleader while the accused was in prison and this Vakalatnama was filed in Court on September 4, 1968, a day earlier than the learned Magistrate recorded the plea of guilty. It would appear from this that at the stage of committal proceedings neither the accused nor his father thought of taking the defence of insanity or unsoundness of mind. Mr. Bhasme also tried to make a point of the fact that the learned trial Judge had stated in his order dated November 18, 1968, exh. 7, on the application under Section 465, Criminal Procedure Code, that in giving replies in his statement exh. 6, the accused replied to some of the questions after halting and thinking and thereafter replied in a low tone. In our opinion, this demeanour of the accused did not indicate unsoundness of mind. On the contrary, it showed that when a question was put to the accused, he waited, thought about the answer and gave a deliberate answer in a low tone. This conduct appears to us to be more consistent with his sanity than with his insanity.

19. In the second application filed by the father of the accused, he had requested the learned trial Judge to read the correspondence between the investigating officer and the learned Judicial Magistrate on the one hand and the medical officer on the other. Mr. Bhasme invited our attention to this correspondence. P. S. I. Vastrad has stated in his evidence that by his letter exh. 41 he had asked the medical officer at Yawal to examine the accused. In this letter Vastrad has stated that the accused did not eat sufficiently and took one or two morsels only. He wanted to smoke. He requested the medical officer to examine the accused and find out what he was suffering from and also to find out if the accused suffered from any mental disease or gonorrhoea. In this letter the investigating officer did not state that he had found any symptoms of unsoundness of mind in the accused. The reply of the medical officer is exh. 39. In that he stated that the accused had neither fever, nor any other disease. He was depressed, dejected and nervous, He advised that if he did not take food, it was advisable that he should be transferred to Jalgaon prison where he could be given food by stomach tube. He did not want to detain the accused in his dispensary as there was no room there with bars attached to it. Along with the application a prescription purporting- to have been made by Dr. Thusey and a letter purporting to have been written by him to Dr. Vahia at Bombay were produced. The prescription is exh. 49. It prescribed Eskazine tablets of sing. for ten days for the accused. He also simultaneously prescribed Pacitene tablets and Becosule tablets. There is evidence on record to show that the second drug was an anti-toxin and the third drug was a vitamin. The letter purporting to have been written by Dr. Thusey to Dr. Vahia is exh. 50. In this he stated that he had found that the ailment of unstable mind was aggravated in spite of the treatment, that the accused was answering irrelevantly and was not in a position to understand the circumstances. He, therefore, requested Dr. Vahia to examine the accused and to investigate and further treat him. The learned Judge has stated in his order dated November 38, 1968, that he had perused these documents and thereafter questioned the accused and found that the accused did not appear to him to be of unsound mind. We think that the learned trial Judge was entitled to come to this conclusion in the first instance before trying the issue as to unsoundness of mind.

20. Mr. Bhasme contended that the correspondence and the circumstances recited hereinabove should have led the learned trial Judge to the conclusion that an inquiry into the soundness of the mind of the accused was necessary. As against this, we find that on July 12, 1968, the accused had signed a Vakalatnama in favour of Mr. T. 8. Dhake and Mr. P. T. Dhake in presence of the jailor in a firm hand and had also made an intelligent statement before the Committing- Magistrate on September 5, .1968. In that he had stated that he had understood the charge read over and explained to him, that he did not want to file any list of witnesses in the Court and that he did not want a counsel. The last question by the learned Committing Magistrate to which the answer was that he did not want a counsel was, 'Are you going to make your arrangements for your defence in the Sessions Court or whether you desire that Counsel at the cost of Government be appointed for you?'. The question gave an option to the accused to adopt one or the other of the two courses offered to him. The accused was in a fit condition to make either of the two choices and came to the conclusion that he did not want a counsel whether of his own choice or one appointed at the cost of the Government. Taking all these circumstances into consideration, we are of the view that the learned trial Judge was entitled to come to the conclusion that the second stage contemplated by Section 465 was not necessary and that it was not necessary to try the issue as to the unsoundness of the mind of the accused.

21. At this stage we have the benefit of the statement of the accused under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code recorded on two dates, namely, November 25, 1968 and December 6, 1968. The answers given by the accused indicate that he followed the questions put to him and made intelligent answers. For example, in answer to question No. 5 that it was suggested by the prosecution that before belabouring his wife and children, the accused had taken the caution to bolt the door of the room from inside, the accused stated that it was true. Question No. 6 suggested that he had done so with a 'Musal which broke into two pieces, he replied that it was true and stated that 'the Musal broke into two pieces at that time', thereby indicating- the time at which the Musal broke. Question No. 7 put to him the allegation that the accused had stated to the persons who came to his house after the murder that he had killed his wife and children. The accused stated that he did not remember about this. He had nothing to say with regard to the prosecution witnesses who had given evidence against him and stated categorically that he did not wish to examine any witnesses. From the said statement, one can come to the only conclusion that on the date of this statement, the accused was of sound mind, If on the date of this statement, it had appeared to the learned trial Judge that there were any signs of unsoundness of mind, he was not concluded by his previous order and he could have tried the issue as to the unsoundness of mind at any stage. It would appear that at this stage also, no doubt or suspicion was created in the mind of the learned trial Judge as to the sanity of the accused. Mr. Bhasme contended that the very fact that the learned trial Judge had recorded the statement of the accused, exh, 6, on. November 18, 1968, indicated a doubt in his mind about the sanity of the accused. We do not accept this contention. If from any of the statements of the accused whether exh. 6 or the statement under Section 342, Criminal Procedure Code, exh. 44, it had appeared to us that the accused was of unsound mind, we would have had no hesitation in setting aside the conviction and sentence and ordering an issue as to the soundness of the mind of the accused to be tried. We are, however, of the view that the accused understood what was transpiring at the trial and was in a position to defend himself. The trial is, therefore, not vitiated.

22. It was next contended on behalf of the accused that by reason of unsound-ness of Blind at the time of committing the offence on June 30, 1968, the accused was incapable of knowing the nature of the act or that he was doing what was either wrong or contrary to law. This was a defence under Section 84, Indian Penal Code. Section 105 of the Indian Evidence Act provides that when a person is accused of an offence, the burden of proving the existence of circumstances bringing the ease within , any of the exceptions in the Indian Penal Code or in any law defining the offence is upon him and the Court shall presume the absence of such circumstances. The burden of proving that the offence was an act of an unsound mind would, therefore, be upon the accused. Mr. Bhasme drew our attention to the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Daliyabhai v. State of Gujarat : 1964CriLJ472 where the Supreme Court observed that when a plea of legal insanity is set up, the Court has to consider whether at the time of the commission of the offence the accused by reason of unsoundness of mind, was incapable of knowing the nature of the act or that he was doing what was either wrong or contrary to law, the crucial point of time for ascertaining the state of mind of the accused was the time when the offence was committed. Whether the accused was in such a state of mind as to be entitled to the benefit of Section 84 could only be established from the circumstances which preceded, attended and followed the crime. We must, therefore, examine the preceding, attending and the subsequent circumstances.

23. [His Lordship after examining these circumstances, proceeded:]

24. A person may become non compos mentis by illness and if he commits an offence while under the influence of the disorder, he may be excused under Section 84 of the Indian Penal Code. There is no evidence of any such overpowering illness which impaired the reasoning faculties of the accused. Where an act of murder was committed without motive and may be on some kind of sudden impulse, it cannot be said that it was an act of unsound mind who did not know the nature of the act. The mere fact that an offence committed by the accused is committed on a sudden impulse and there is no discoverable motive for the offence before us will not generally afford us sufficient basis for accepting the plea of insanity. In the case of Ram Sundar v. Emperor A. I. R. [1919] Cal. 248, the accused killed his wife and his infant daughter by striking them with a blunt weapon. There was no apparent motive to explain the double murder and the accused admitted without reservation what he had done and made no attempt at concealment or escape. The accused had no reason to suspect his wife's fidelity. According to the accused, his mind was blank at the time of the occurrence and he was not conscious of what he did. There was some evidence that the accused had not been quite himself, that he had been disturbed and distressed by the shortage of cloth, rice and fodder, but there was no reliable evidence that his intellect was deranged. There was even some vague evidence that his natural father had been mad. The High Court held that the evidence was not sufficient to prove that the cognitive faculties of the accused were so impaired that he did not know the nature of his act or that ho was doing what was wrong or contrary to law, so that he was not exempt from criminal liability for the act. Except that the accused in his statements has not even suggested as to what the state of his mind was at the time of the offence and further except that there is no suggestion of streak of insanity in the family, the facts of the Calcutta case have some resemblance to our case. Our case is, however, much stronger and we can only come to the conclusion, as we have, that there was no sufficient evidence to prove that the cognitive faculties of the accused were impaired at the time of the committing of the offence or that he did not know the nature of his act or that he was doing what was wrong or contrary to law. The plea of the act of an insane person under Section 84 must, therefore, be rejected.

25. Mr. Bhasme invited our attention to a judgment of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in In re P. Suryanarayana A. I. R.[1965] A.P. 28 where on the facts and circumstances of the case, the Court held that the accused Avas of unsound mind at the time of killing his wife and child and that the case was covered by Section 84, Indian Penal Code. In that case, after murdering his wife, when an alarm was raised and people gathered, the accused said that he would commit three murders, namely, his wife, his youngest child and also of himself. After the murder he set fire to his house and threw his child out of the house through a gap between the wall and the roof. The child was, however, saved by a person who caught it outside. Before the offence, the accused had several attacks of madness about two years prior to the date of occurrence. Accused also behaved like a mad man and there was considerable evidence of it at the trial. It was under these circumstances that on the facts and circumstances of that case, the High Court held that the case was covered by Section 84, Indian Penal Code. We see no resemblance between the facts of that case and the facts of the case in hand.

26. It was next contended on behalf of the accused that there was no intention on the part of the accused to kill within the meaning of Section 300, Indian Penal Code. Mr. Bhasme relied upon certain observations of the Supreme Court at page 1567 in the case of Dahyabhai v. State of Gujarat. The observations are as follows:.The evidence so placed may not be sufficient to discharge the burden under 105 of the Evidence Act, but it may raise a reasonable doubt in the mind of a judge as regards one or other of the necessary ingredients of the offence itself. It may, for instance, raise a reasonable doubt in the mind of the judge whether the accused had the requisite intention laid down in S. 299 of the Indian Penal Code. If the judge has such reasonable doubt, he has to acquit the accused, for in that event the prosecution will have failed to prove conclusively the guilt of the accused. There is no conflict between the general burden, which is always on the prosecution and which never shifts, and the special burden that rests on the accused to make out his defence of insanity.

27. We have 110 doubt that in fit cases where the evidence falls short of the defence of Section 84, Indian Penal Code, and the accused is unable to discharge the burden cast upon him by Section 105 of the Evidence Act, it may cast a doubt in the mind of the Judge about the requisite intention. Mr. Bhasme invited our attention to two cases one of which is Emperor v. Supadi : (1925)27BOMLR604 . In that case a girl of 17 years of age being tired of her husband's ill-treatment attempted to commit suicide by jumping into a well and she had no consciousness that her child was on her neck and she jumped with the child and the child died of the jump though the girl herself survived. When she was taken out of the well, she burst into tears and elapsed the dead body of her child. The Division Bench of this Court held that the offence was not murder, but causing death by a negligent omission i.e. the omission to put the child down before jumping into the well. It is obvious that in that case the accused had no consciousness that the accused had a child on her neck. The intention was to commit suicide and not to kill the child. The next case cited by Mr. Bhasme is the case of Emperor v. Mr. Dihirajia : AIR1940All486 . In that case, an ill-treated wife who was in dread of her husband, in an endeavour to escape from her husband got into a panic on seeing him behind her and jumped into an open well with her baby in her arms. It was held that the offence committed was culpable homicide not amounting to murder. It was further held that the offence was not an attempt to commit suicide inasmuch as the word 'attempt' in Section 309 requires conscious effort. It appears from the judgment that the girl was merely trying to run away from the husband and while attempting to do so, she jumped into the well being unmindful of her child. The intention to commit culpable homicide was obviously lacking. In our opinion, these cases have no bearing on the case in hand. The accused belaboured his wife and three infant children with a thick pestle, one after another in a most merciless manner and with such force that even the pestle broke into two pieces. The accused fully expected the consequences of his act. When a man is charged with doing an act, of which the probable consequence may be highly injurious, the intention is an inference of law resulting from the doing of the act. Intention does not imply or assume the existence of some previous design or forethought. It means an actual intention, the existing intention of the moment, and is proved by or inferred from the acts of the accused and the circumstances of the case. No proof of intention beyond that which such an act supplies is requisite. There is also presumption of law that a man intends the natural and inevitable consequences of his own act. Taking all the circumstances into consideration, we have no hesitation in coming to the conclusion that the accused fully intended and expected the consequences of what he has done which is described in the evidence of Dr. C. M. Lala.

28. Mr. Bhasme lastly contended that the observation of the learned trial Judge that the murder was calculated and was deliberate was not correct. He wanted us to infer this from the fact that the accused had not close access to the room in which the offence was committed by wooden stair-case descending to that room from an upper floor. The only way of doing this would have been to close the eastern and front door of the entire house. We however do not think that this omission leads to the inference suggested by Mr. Bhasme. The act was deliberate and calculated at least at the moment at which it was committed. The accused chose a day on which the members of the family other than the victims were away from the house. He bolted the door of the room from inside to prevent easy access. This argument has an obvious reference to the nature of punishment. In our opinion, the offence of the accused was deliberate as well as gruesome. He beat his wife and three children of 4 and 2 years and 15 days respectively to death with a pestle with such force that the pestle, which was 2' - 8' in length and 3' in circumference, broke into two pieces. The accused must, therefore, pay the extreme penalty of law.

29. For the reasons recorded hereinabove, we dismiss the appeal and confirm the sentence of death passed on the accused by the learned Sessions Judge, Jalgaon, in Sessions Case No. 57 of 1068.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //