1. These are two connected appeals filed by the appellants accused persons against their various convictions and sentences passed against them by the Sessions Judge, Raigarh, in Sessions Trial No. 22 of 1953.
2. Both the appellants along with two other persons Perma and Tilu were jointly tried for , offences punishable Under Section 302, Penal Code, for committing murder of Mst. Bilo, Madho and Bodhl and also on the charge of attempt to commit murder, punishable Under Section 307, Penal Code of Hira, Lochan and Balmati. The relation between the parties is that Hira and the appellant Manbodh are brothers. Hira's wife's name is Bila. Madho, Bodhi and Lochan are sons of Hira and Bilo, and Balmati is their daughter. The appellant Mst. Moda is the wife of the appellant Manbodh. Perma is son of Manbodh and Mst. Moda. Tilu is son-in-law of Manbodh and Moda.
3. The prosecution case is that Hira was staying at Mouza Tuba, police station house Bharsa-bahar Jaspur sub-division. Hira and Manbodh had separated in estate a long time back. Thereafter Hira had improved his financial position. Manbodh was in poor financial circumstances. The appellant Manbodh was arrested on a charge of committing theft and was in police lock-up for about a fortnight. But he was later on released and was not prosecuted. Manbodh was outcasted because of his arrest and stay in custody. Manbodh had requested Hira to give him a goat and ghee to get himself readmitted in caste but Hira had refused the request.
It is also alleged by the prosecution that Manbodh had demanded a share from Hira in the property in Hira's possession but Hira had refused to give him any. Therefore all the accused persons, i.e., Manbodh, Mst. Moda, Perma and Tilu had conspired together to kill all the members of Hira's family and thus acquire his property. Accordingly appellant Manbodh and Mst. Moda went to the house of Hira in the evening of '22-1-1953 as the guest of Hira. During the night Perma and Tilu joined them & all of them attacked all the inmates of Hira's house and then ran away. The defence is one of denial.
4. It is well established on evidence in this case that Mst, Bilo, Madho and Bodhi were found dead in the night between, 22-1-1953 and 23-1-1953 on account of severe injuries Inflicted on their bodies. Hira, Lochan and Balmati also had received various injuries on their persons on the night between 22-1-1953 and 23-1-1953, but they survived.
5. The learned Sessions Judge has acquitted Perma and Tilu of the charges framed against them. Accused Manbodh is convicted of offences punishable Under Section 302, Penal Code, read together with Section 34, Penal Code of murder of Mst. Bilo, Madho and Bodhi and of an oSence of attempt to commit murder of Hira and Lochan punishable Under Section 307, Penal Code, and of attempt to commit murder of Balmati punishable Under Section 307 read together with Section 34, Penal Code. Appellant Moda is convicted of the offences of murder of Mst. Bilo, Madho and Bodhi punishable under 8. 302, Penal Code, read with B. 34, Penal Code, and of attempt to commit murder of Balmati. Hira and Lochan, punishable Under Section 307 read with Section 34, Penal Code.
For these offences both the appellants Manbodh and Mat. Moda are sentenced to death for offence punishable Under Section 302 Penal Code, and to rigorous imprisonment for 7 years for offence punishable Under Section 307, Penal Code The sentences of rigorous imprisonment against the accused are to run concurrently. Against these convictions and sentences these appeals are Hied. Criminal Appeal No. 36 of 1954 is of Manbodh and Criminal Appeal NO. 87 of 1954 is of Mst. Moda.
6. The learned Counsel for the appellant Manbodh raises two preliminary objections. Firstly he contends that the accused Manbodh was arrested outside the limits of the State of Madhya Pradesh and hence his arrest is illegal. He relies In support of his contention on paras 715, 717 and 718 of the Police Regulations. Assuming for a moment that the arrest of the accused person was not legal, Section 156, Criminal P. C, provides that no proceeding of a police officer in any case shall at any stage be called in question on the ground that the case was one which such officer was not empowered under this section to investigate. In no event can this trial be illegal even assuming that the arrest is not a legal one. Their Lord-ships of the Privy Council have observed to the same effect in a case reported in - 'Parbhu v. Emperor (A).
In the instant case there is evidence of P.W. 8 police Head Constable Bhagatram that the arrest of the accused was effected at Khinda, Police Station Kurdeg, tahsil Simdega, district Ranchi, Where the accused Manbodh is staying. Khinda is 25 miles from Tuba where the offence was committed. Tuba is within the limits of Police Station Pharsabahar. The Sub-Inspector in charge of Pharsabahar Police Station had ordered this witness to go to Khinda. He went to Khurdeg and Informed the Sub-Inspector in charge of Police Station Khurdeg of his mission. The Sub-Inspector of Khurdeg asked two constables from that place to accompany the witness. Then the witness accompanied by these two Constables went to effect the arrest.
The offence having been committed at Tuba this witness was competent to investigate the offence and arrest the appellant. In our opinion there is no illegality in the arrest effected. Section 58, Criminal P. C, authorises a police officer to pursue the offender to any place in the Indian Dominion for the purposes of effecting his arrest. Police Regulation No. 762 also directs that police officer shall follow the pursuit beyond the boundary of his circle for this purpose. In the circumstances stated above, we hold that the arrest of this accused is legal. And even if there be any illegality In his arrest, the trial is not vitiated on that account.
7. The learned Counsel for the appellant accused also contends that the trial Court ought to have employed the services of an interpreter in recording evidence as he was not conversant with the language of the witnesses. Section 543, Criminal P. C., provides:
When the services of an interpreter are required by any Criminal Court for the interpreta- tion of any evidence or statement, he shall be bound to state the .true interpretation of such evidence or statement.
The trial Court is the best Judge as to whether, the services of an interpreter were required or not. I There is nothing on the record to show that any objection was raised on behalf of the appellant to the effect that the trial Court was not in a position to follow the language of the witnesses. We do not think that there was any miscarriage of justice on account of non-appointment of an interpreter. The Sessions Judge has reproduced in the language of the witnesses certain portions of the testimony of witnesses wherever he has thought fit to do so and has given English rendition thereof. The learned Counsel for the appellant contends that this shows that the trial Court did not follow the language of the witnesses. We are unable to agree with this contention. This objection also has no substance.
8. The finding of the Sessions Judge that Mst. Bilo, Madho and Bodhi died in the night between the 22nd and the 23rd January, 1953 as a result of injuries inflicted on them is not challenged;: before us. The fact that Hira, Lochan and Bal-mati received injuries on their persons on the-date of incident is also not challenged before us.
9. The question before us is, whether the death, of Mst. Bilo, Madho and Bodhi was caused by the appellants and whether the appellants are- responsible for the injuries caused to Hira, Lochai. and Baimati and if so what offences have been committed by them.
Their Lordships referred to the evidence in the-case and proceeded:
(10-13) There is no convincing evidence that there was any dispute between Hira and Manbodh about any property. There is some evidence that Manbodh had asked Hira to give him a goat and. some ghee for getting himself readmitted in. the caste but Hira had refused that request. Though this may not be a very strong motive for committing murder, it shows that Manbodh had reason to be annoyed with Hira. Absence of evidence of motive will not be material when there ; is other convincing evidence of the guilt of the' accused.
14. The medical evidence in this case shows that the deceased Madho had received 7 injuries on his person of very serious nature and that all his injuries were antimortem and four of these seven injuries were singly sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death. On the person of the deceased Bodhi, there were-also seven serious injuries and all these injuries were anti-mortem and three of them, were singly sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death. On the person of Bodhi, there was an incised wound over scalp-, with fracture of bones. In the opinion of the-doctor this injury was antimortem and sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death.
On the person of Baimati there were two Injuries. On the person of Lochan there were six injuries and on the person of Hira there wero-9 injuries and injury no. 9 on the person of Hir was dangerous to life. The. injuries on the person of Balmati were of simple nature and would take .about a week's time to be cured. Three of the injuries on the person of Lochan were of a grievous nature and the rest were simple and the Injuries could be cured within a couple of weeks if no complications arose. Many of the injuries .were caused by a sharp weapon.
15. The aforesaid discussion of evidence will show that the relations between the accused Man-Bodh and his brother Hira were not cordial. He had arrived at the house of his brother Hira on the evening preceding the night of the incident. He had been recognised by both Hira and lochan as the person who has given blows with axe to them and has called for his son and son-in-law to help him. Two persons came out of 'randhni-ghar' and helped him in giving beating to Hira and on hearing shouts 'Khabardar Khabardar' of a person he along with these two persons ran away.
Soon after the people who came there saw Hira, Lochan and Balmati lying down with wounds on their body and Madho, Bodhi and Bilo dead with severe injuries on their persons. The medical evidence establishes that the injuries on the person of Bilo, Madho and Bodhi were sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death. Though the injuries on the person of Lochan and Balmati were not of a very serious kind, the injuries on the person of Hira were of ';a serious kind and one of the injuries on the iperson of Hira was dangerous to his life.
16. The aforesaid evidence establishes beyond any reasonable doubt that Manbodh together with two unknown persons had conspired to commit the anurder of the members of the family of Hira. 'They succeeded in wiping out three members of his family but had failed in their attempt to wipe off other three members, viz., Hira, Lochan and Balmati. In our view the conviction of Man-toodh for offences punishable Under Section 302 read together with Section 34, Penal Code, for committing murder of Bilo, Madho and Bodhi is correct .and is hereby confirmed. The action was premeditated and brutal one and the sentence of death passed by the learned Sessions Judge on the accused Manbodh for the aforesaid offence is hereby .confirmed. We also confirm the conviction of Manbodh of attempt to commit murder of Hira, punishable Under Section 307, Penal Code, and sentence of rigorous imprisonment for a period of 7 years therefor.
The conviction of Manbodh Under Section 307 for attempting to murder Lochan and for an offence punishable Under Section 307 read together with B. 34, Penal Code, for attempting to murder Balmati .cannot be sustained. The injuries on their persons are not of a severe nature. These convictions, therefore, are set aside. Instead we convict -the appellant Manbodh Under Section 326, Penal Code, .and sentence him to five years rigorous imprison-4nent. We also set aside the conviction for an -offence punishable Under Section 307 read together -with Section 34, Penal Code, for attempting to murder Balmati. Instead we convict him for offence punishable Under Section 324, Penal Code, and sentence him to rigorous imprisonment for a period of 3 years. The sentences will run concurrently.
17. The evidence against accused appellant Mod a consists of the following facts: (Their Lordships referred to the evidence against the appellant and concluded:) From the evidence adduced against this accused, we do not feel it safe to infer that she has participated in the commission of any crime. She is the wife of the accused Manbodh. She had only accompanied him to the house of Hira. It is natural that when her husband runs away she also accompanies him. It will not be safe to infen that she shared the criminal intention of her husband to commit these offences. We, therefore, give her benefit of doubt and acquit her of all the charges with which she has been charged. We set aside the convictions and sentences passed against her by the Sessions Judge and hereby order that she be set at liberty.
18. For the reasons stated above the appeal of accused Manbodh is hereby dismissed and the sentence of death passed on him is confirmed. The appeal of accused Mst, Moda is hereby allowed.