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Harijana Subbaiah Vs. State of Karnataka - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1977CriLJ1364
AppellantHarijana Subbaiah
RespondentState of Karnataka
Excerpt:
.....2a of the cpc complaining disobedience and for violation of an order of the court, such an application has to be taken up by the court as expeditiously as possible. such an application should get priority by the court. - thereafter the accused removed the gold chain worn by the lady and made good his escape. as such the appellant found a good opportunity of committing the crime. his argument is totally unconvincing......he used to visit monnangeri village and used to ask for alms from the residents of that village. kamavva used to reside in monnanggri village and similarly the accused visited her house on several occasions to take alms. on 5-12-1975 at about 11-30 a.m. the accused went to the house of kamavva who was alone at that time. he asked for alms and was given 8 anna bit by kamavva. no sooner she turned her back the accused gave several blows to her with a stick. after the stick broke into pieces, he lifted a billhook lying there. he assaulted her with that bill-hook and caused grievous injuries. thereafter the accused removed the gold chain worn by the lady and made good his escape. kamavva raised a hue and cry. her servants kumara and vasantha who were working in the coffee garden.....
Judgment:

D.B. Lal, J.

1. This Criminal appeal is directed against the judgment of the Sessions Judge, Mercara in a case Under Section 392 r/w Section 397 of the I. P. Code, whereby he has convicted the appellant for these offences and has sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 7 years. The case of the prosecution was that the accused claimed to be a beggar by profession. He used to visit Monnangeri village and used to ask for alms from the residents of that village. Kamavva used to reside in Monnanggri village and similarly the accused visited her house on several occasions to take alms. On 5-12-1975 at about 11-30 a.m. the accused went to the house of Kamavva who was alone at that time. He asked for alms and was given 8 anna bit by Kamavva. No sooner she turned her back the accused gave several blows to her with a stick. After the stick broke into pieces, he lifted a billhook lying there. He assaulted her with that bill-hook and caused grievous injuries. Thereafter the accused removed the gold chain worn by the lady and made good his escape. Kamavva raised a hue and cry. Her servants Kumara and Vasantha who were working in the coffee garden heard the cries. They came running and Kamavva narrated the incident. Thereafter these servants went to Uthaiah (P.W. 2) a relation of the lady. He came to the spot and saw Kamavva lying injured. She narrated the incident to him. Vasantha met Devappa soon after. He also came to the spot and learnt about the incident from Kamavva. Thereafter Vasantha was sent to fetch the husband of the lady by name Machaiah who had gone to Mercara on some business. When Machaiah was informed he took a Jeep and at once reported to the Police Station. He was asked to bring the injured lady which he did. At about 4 p.m. both Machaiah and Kamavva reached the Police Station, Mercara and instituted the F.I.R. on the very same day, Kamavva was sent to Mercara hospital for treatment. Dr. C. B. Padmavathy examined her injuries and wrote the injury report Ex. P-5. She found 6 incised wounds of bigger dimensions besides 13 incised wounds of smaller dimensions all over the parietal and occipital regions. Besides all these injuries the doctor also found haemorrhage and ecchymosed on the right eye. Lower eye lid was torn. One of the incised wounds resulted in fracture of the parietal bone, The usual investigation followed and the whereabouts of the accused were not known as he used to visit the village very often asking for alms. Three days after the incident it so happened that on 8-12-1975 Devappa noticed the accused sitting at the bus stand. He at once went to inform the Sub Inspector of Police (P.W. 8). Uthaiah also happened to be there at that time. The accused was immediately apprehended. He was carrying a plastic bag which was searched. The person of the accused was also searched and the gold chain was found tied in his waist thread. The gold chain was recovered and the required mahazar was written. The investigation was then entrusted to Basawaraj C.I.P. The accused gave a disclosure statement before him and recovered for the police his shirt from the side of a river flowing in the village Monnangeri. It was also subsequently found that the accused was an ex-convict. This in short was the prosecution case. The accused was sent for trial before the learned Sessions Judge for the two offences Under Sections 392 and 397 of the I.P. Code.

2. The defence was one of bare denial. However, it was significantly admitted by the accused in his statement that his shirt was recovered near the garage situated in the village Monnangeri belonging to Machaiah the husband of the lady. However, he denied that he went to that village and committed the robbery.

3. The prosecution produced 9 witnesses of whom Kamavva (P.W. 1) was the victim of the offence. Kumara (P.W. 4) was the boy servant who reached the spot first and heard the narration from the lady. He went and informed Uthaiah (P.W. 2) and he too went to the spot and the lady informed him about the incident, Devappa (P.W. 6) also came to the spot and learnt the incident from the lady. Neelamma (P.W. 7) came to state that the accused was found in the vicinity of Monnangeri at that hour of the day, on 5-12-1975 and so it was inferred that he could have committed the offence. Dr. C. B. Padmavatbi (P.W. 5) came to prove the injury certificate. Machaiah (P.W. 3) the husband of the lady was produced as Kamavva besides telling him the incident was brought by him to the police station for the report. The other two witnesses Manikam (P.W. 8) S. I. of Police and Basawaraj (P.W. 9) C. I. of Police were the investigating officers.

4. The accused did not produce any defence.

5. The learned Sessions Judge believe ed the prosecution evidence and convicted and sentenced the accused in the manner stated above. He felt aggrieved of the decision and has preferred this appeal.

6. The learned Counsel argued that the evidence was deficient on the question of identification. It was asserted by him that a test identification parade was not conducted by the investigating officers. It is no doubt true that according to the statement of P.W. 1 the police brought the accused before her and she identified him to be her assailant and also the person who removed the gold chain. According to the learned Counsel that was not sufficient, and a proper test identification parade before a Magistrate was necessary. In a case where a person |is unknown and is said to have committed some offence, perhaps, his prior identification in a parade will be necessary to strengthen his identification made by the witnesses in court. The value of such a prior test identification is no doubt corroborative as the courts are reluctant to accept the identification made by the witnesses in court unless the same is corroborated by a prior test identification on their part in a parade. But this contention on the part of the learned Counsel may not be relevant for the purpose of the present appeal. The consistent evidence of all the material witnesses in this regard is that the appellant was known to them from before. He used to visit the village Monnageri for the purpose of asking the alms. As such he was known to these witnesses. He could easily be identified by them. It is a different matter that his name was not known, because nobody asks the names of beggars who come for alms. In this connection, reference can be made to the statements of P.W. 1, P.W. 2, P.W. 3, P.W. 6 and P.W. 7. P.W. 1 stated that the appellant used to visit the village Monnageri and she saw him on several occasions from 5 to 6 months before the incident. She further stated that the police brought the appellant before her and she at once identified him. P.W. 2 stated that the appellant used to go from house to house in the village Monnangeri while he was asking for alms. P.W. 3 similarly stated that he saw the appellant visiting the village from 5 to 6 years and P.W. 1 told him immediately after the incident that he was the same beggar who used to visit their house and he committed the offence. P.W. 6 stated that he knew the appellant from 7 to 8 years as he was a beggar and used to visit the village for that purpose. P.W. 7 also stated that he had seen the appellant visiting the village before 2 to 3 years, as he used to come for begging. All this evidence decidedly indicated that the appellant was a known person. In. the circumstances any test identification parade would have been an idle formality. Its absence can be of no help to the appellant. Thus the identification of the appellant in court by these witnesses was sufficient and it was the appellant alone who committed the offences in question.

7. P.W. 1 was alone in the house at that time. As stated by her the situation of the house was at a secluded spot and the nearest house was 2 to 3 furlongs away from her house. Her two servants Kumara and Vasantha had gone to the coffee garden which was also at some distance from the house. Her husband had gone to Mercara. As such the appellant found a good opportunity of committing the crime. At first, he attacked the lady with a stick and thereafter with a bill-hook and his clear intention was to commit the robbery in a high-handed fashion.

8. The statement of Kamawa (P.W. L) is decidedly corroborated by P.W. 2, P.W. 3, P.W. 4, P.W. 5, P.W. 6 and P. W. 7. P.W. 4 is the boy servant to whom the incident was narrated at the earliest stage. Thereafter, P.W. 2 was informed and he came to the spot. The lady narrated the incident to him. P.W. 6 also learnt about the incident from Vasantha and when he came to the spot, the lady told him also about the incident. P. W. 3 when he returned from Mercara was similarly stated to by the lady, of the entire occurrence. All these witnesses gave out what P.W. 1 stated and the entire occurrence was corroborated in the statements of all these witnesses. Neelamma (P.W. 7) actually saw the appellant inside the very village at about 12-30 p.m. on that day and he was holding the very same plastic bag which was subsequently recovered from him. The appellant was running away at that time after committing the crime. The doctor P.W. 5 very much stated that the incised wounds could be caused by a bill-hook M.O. 2 bill-hook was recovered from the spot. That is again a corroborative evidence and was rightly believed. Therefore, the version of Kamawa was amply corroborated by so many witnesses. That apart the recovery of the gold chain M.O. 3 and the recovery of the shirt M.O. 8 belonging to the accused were again corroborative circumstances against him. The recovery of chain was stated by P.W. 2, P.W. 6 and P.W. 8. There is no reason to disbelieve their statements. The appellant was caught up soon after the incident he was found possessing the gold chain M.O. 3 which was duly identified as belonging to Kamawa. The shirt M.O. 8 was recovered at the instance of the accused. His statement that the shirt was found lying in front of the garage of P.W. 3, further proves that he was present near the house of Kamavva and her husband Machaiah. It was then for him to explain why and how he visited that house. That circumstance also goes to strengthen the case of the prosecution. All the articles -- M.O. 1 the piece of stick, M.O. 2 the billhook. M.O. 4 the tuft of hair and M.O. 7 the broken bangles were recovered from the spot. All these recoveries also proved that the beating was given to Kamavva and during the course of that beating the gold chain was snatched from her neck. All that evidence was decidedly corroborative for the offences committed by the appellant.

9. The learned Counsel contended that the appellant being a beggar could not have committed the offence, all the more so when he was given the alms by the lady. His argument is totally unconvincing. If the appellant was really a beggar It was not difficult for him if he so desired, to commit the offence of robbery, more so, when the lady was found alone and the appellant being an ex-convict was harbouring the criminal intention to commit that offence. The learned Counsel then pointed out that the broken bangles, the broken stick pieces and the tuft of hair etc., point out a struggle between the lady and the appellant. For aught we know is there any incongruity in the struggle, more so when nobody came to state that no such struggle took place between the lady and the appellant?

10. In view of all, that I have stated above, in my opinion, the learned Sessions Judge was right in coming to the conclusion that it was the appellant alone who committed the offence of robbery. Since he caused a grievous hurt he was also guilty Under Section 397 of the I.P. Code. He was awarded minimum punishment prescribed under law. In fact, no lenient view could be taken in such cases in the matter of sentence. The appeal is obviously without force and the same is dismissed. If the appellant is on bail, he has to surrender at once to serve out the sentence.


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