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In Re: Irala Palle Ramiah and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1957CriLJ815
AppellantIn Re: Irala Palle Ramiah and ors.
Excerpt:
.....of the witnesses, it may not be safe to rest a conviction on such..........there has been prior enmity on this account. i am producing the said ramudu and the blood-stained billhook before you. the above facts are read out to me. they are correct.it is seen that this document sets cut the main features of the prosecution case. on the basis of this, the village munsiff prepared reports, despatched them to the police and the magistrate at chittoor, having regard to the argument that is founded on the recitals of these two reports, exs. p. 13 and p. 13(a), it is useful to notice the contents of these documents:i report as follows:it is alleged that on the night of 8-5-1955 at about 8 o' clock there was a hubbub next to the house wall of rama mandadi in rampamvandla street in patnara village. muni mandadi, son of ponnedupalla bhakta mandadi, dasu mandadi alias.....
Judgment:

Chandra Reddy, J.

1. The three accused, appellants herein, were put up for trial for the murder of one Golla Peddabba alias Venkatesu Mandadi, that accurred on the night of 8th May 1955 before the Sessions Judge, Chittoor. The 1st accused was charged with the murder directly while the other two under Section 302 wad with Section 109 I. P. C. The Sessions Judge found them guilty as charged and sentenced the 1st accused to death and the other two to transportation for life.

2. The prosecution case, shortly stated is this:

3. The deceased Peddabba was living in the village of Kanipakapatnam with his old. mother Mangamma, P. W. 12 and his wife P. W. 9., The three accused belong to the same village accused 1 and 3 being of Vannia caste while the 2nd accused is a washerman, The 1st accused became intimate with P. W. 9 and met her frequently. P. W. 9 did not care for the advice and remonstrances of her mother-in-law, P. W. 12. When Peddabba came to know of it, he chastised and beat her but this did not have the desired effect. Occasionally, the 1st accused would interfere in this domestic issue and sometimes even assaulted Peddabba for daring to beat his mistress. He bore grudge against the deceased for his efforts to prevent his wife from continuing her intimacy with him. On the night of the occurrence, the 1st accused and P. W. 9 were found talking near the latter's house. P. W. 12 abused P. W, 9 and even beat her whereupon the 1st accused hit P. W, 12 on the head with a stick Which caused a bleeding injury. The injured Mangamma started crying which attracted the deceased to the scene. When questioned, the 1st accused did not give any satisfactory reply. Thereupon, Peddabba went to his house & fetched P. W. 1. When P. W. 1 called for an explanation from the 1st accused for hip behaviour, the latter slapped him and asked him to mind his business. Thereafter, the deceased and P. W. 1 started to the house of the Village Munsiff to lodge a complaint. On the way, P. W. 1 wanted to go home and feed his cattle. Hardly had p. W. 1 gone a few paces when the 1st accused assaulted Peddabba and they both grappled catching each other's tuft. The 3rd accused also joined the 1st accused in his attack on Peddabba. When the 1st accused and the deceased were fisting each other, one Narasireddy. P. W. 13 intervened and separated them and asked them to report the matter to the Village Munsiff. At the time of the scuffle, P. Ws. 4 and 5 were also present. By then P. W, 1 returned to the spot, Meanwhile, the 1st and the 3rd accused went to the house of the Village Munsiff and complained to him that P. W. 1 and his relations beat them. The Village Munsiff sent them away saying that he would enquire the next morning. A few minutes later, the deceased, P. WE. 1, 4 and 5 also went to the Village Munsiff and acquainted him with what had happened. The Village Munsiff promised to look into the matter the next morning and asked them to go home. He also sent P. W. 2 as an escort, and they were proceeding to their houses, the deceased going ahead and the others behind, While they were passing through Rampamvari Street. P. W. 14 who was sitting on a pial accosted P. Ws. 1. 4 and 5 and asked them what the matter was. They were telling him of the assault made by the accused on P. W. 1. Just then, they heard the cries of Peddabba 'Ammo, Ammo, I am being cut.' Immediately, they rushed forward to see the 2nd and the 3rd accused holding the deceased, the 2nd accused by Peddabba's right arm and the 3rd accused by his left arm. The 1st accused cut on the right side of the neck with the bill-hook. Peddabba the injured man slumped to a side. The 1st accused continued to hack on various parts of the body of the deceased. The 2nd and 3rd accused then ran away from the place. Even there after, the 1st accused gave him some more cuts. P. Ws. 1, 4 and 5 could not approach the 1st accused as he threatened to mete out the same fate to them also with the bill-hook. By then, p. W. 2 came to the spot, disarmed the 1st accused, took him into custody and produced him before the Village Munsiff along with the bill-hook. The Village Munsiff detained the 1st accused and then proceeded to the scene of offence. There, after acquainting himself with the particulars of the at-tack, he took P. W. 1 to his house where he recorded the statement, Ex. 1. The contents of this document would be set out in extenso having regard to the part It plays in this enquiry:

On the night of 8-5-1955 at about 8 O'clock there was a great hubbub next to the wall of Rama Mandadi in Rampamvandla street in Patnam Village. I, Dasu Mandadi alias Venkatesu Mandadi, son of Munirathnam Mandadi, Mangamma, mother of Peddabba and other people of the village went to the place of hubbub (to find out what it was about). There Muniswami, son of Chakala Narasigadu and Gangadu (?), son of Poojari Dharamayya, these two persons were holding my mother's younger Sister's son, Venkatesu Mandadi alias Peddabba and Irala Palle Varadsyya's son Ramudu, who was armed with a bill hook was hacking Peddabba. I went hoard and saw, Peddabba Mandadi sustained two injuries on the right side of neck caused by hacking with the bill-hook. There is an injury on the front of chin extending up to the throat. The right hand is completely cut above the wrist and is hanging Thoti Ramudu who was there snatched the bill-hook from the accused Ramudu and caught hold of Ramudu. Ramudu is alleged to be keeping Peddabha's wife and there has been prior enmity on this account. I am producing the said Ramudu and the blood-stained billhook before you. The above facts are read out to me. They are correct.

It is seen that this document sets cut the main features of the prosecution case. On the basis of this, the Village Munsiff prepared reports, despatched them to the police and the Magistrate at Chittoor, Having regard to the argument that is founded on the recitals of these two reports, Exs. P. 13 and P. 13(a), it is useful to notice the contents of these documents:

I report as follows:

It is alleged that on the night of 8-5-1955 at about 8 O' clock there was a hubbub next to the house wall of Rama Mandadi in Rampamvandla street in Patnara village. Muni Mandadi, son of Ponnedupalla Bhakta Mandadi, Dasu Mandadi alias Venkatesu Mandadi, Mangamma, mother of Peddabha, Venkatesu Mandadi, son of Muniratha Manriadi and other people of the village went to the place of hubbub. The accused, Palle Ramudu who was armed with a bill-hook is apprehended, Peddabha had fallen down with bleeding injuries. The accused and the bill-hook are produced before me. They complained to me, I recorded the complaint, read out the same and obtained thumb mark to it, I am enclosing to this report a copy of the complaint and sending to you the accused, the bill-hook and the injured Peddabha

Signature of...sending report

(Signed) K. Raghavendra Reddy,

8-5-1955.

P W. 2 carried these reports and delivered them at the police station at 11-30 p. m. The Village Munsiff after sending the reports Went back to the place of offence and sent the deceased to the hospital at Chittoor in a cart P. Ws. 4 and 5 accompanying the victim. In the hospital, P. W. G the Assistant Surgeon in charge thereof saw the injured and rendered him first aid. Seeing his condition grave, he sent a requisition to P, W. 11, who came there at about 3 p. m. and recorded the dying declaration, Ex. P-3, which is in following words:

In the evening, yesterday at about meal time, Chakala Munisamigadu held me, Poopari Govindadu son of Dharmadu also held me, Irala Ramudu, son of Varadu (?), dealt me with a bill-hook underneath my chin, neck and right hand Wrist and left shoulder and thereby caused bleeding injuries, Chakala Munisami and Gandadu fisted me on my head and back, Ramudu is keeping my wife which I came to know three months back. I questioned my wife only and never asked Ramudu about this affair. There is enmity between myself & Ramudu and the two others Chakala Munisamigadu and Gandadu and this incident is the outcome of the enmity.

Taken down by me, read over to the complainant, translated in Telugu & admitted by him to be correct at 3 a. m. on 9-5-1955 in the presence of the Assistant District Medical Officer, Government Headquarters Hospital Chittoor.

Peddabha succumbed to the injuries at 3-35 P. M. on the 9th The Sub Inspector reached the place before 3 P. M. and examined P. Ws. 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 17. The next morning i. e., on the 10th he proceeded to the village and conducted an inquest between 8 and 11 A M. After the inquest the body was sent for post mortem examination, and the doctor, P. W. 10, held the autopsy at about 1 P. M. He found as many as six injuries on the body. In his opinion, death was the result of shock and haemorrhage. The same doctor examined A-l On 9-5-1.955 at 10-30 p. m. and noted three abrasions on him which according to him would have been caused in a scuffle with a person. After the completion of the investigation, a charge sheet was filed against the three accused on 22-5-1955.

4. The prosecution case rests mainly on the evidence of P. Ws. 1, 2, 4, 5, 7 and 17. P. W, 1 deposed to the incident prior to the occurrence that evening, himself, the deceased, p. Ws. 4 and 5 making a complaint to the Village Munsif about it and to their returning to their houses after this through Rampamvari street. He also said that while they were talking to P. W. 14 about the scuffle between the 1st accused and the deceased they heard a commotion in Rampamvari street and also sounds 'catch, catch.' As they rushed into Rampamvari street, they saw accused 2 and 3 holding the deceased by their arms near the compound of one Golla Ramudu. While P. Ws, 4 and 5 were with him P. W, 12 was coming some distance behind him. There was Moonlight then. As they approached the 1st accused who was with accused 2 and 3 the former cut Peddabha with a bill-hook repeatedly on the right side of the neck and on other parts of the body as accused 2 and 3 held him. The deceased fell to a side. Even thereafter, the 1st accused cut him repeatedly. Accused 2 and 3 left the place, as the 1st accused continued to back the fallen man indiscriminately. The 1st accused threatened the witness and others that were with him with the bill-hook and prevented them from intervening. Meanwhile, P. W. 2 came to the place running and seized the bill-hook from the 1st accused, caught the assailant and took him to the Village Musiff They then approached the injured man to find cuts on his neck, chin and elsewhere, and a pool of blood there. While they were there, the Village Munsiff came, made arrangements to send the injured Peddabha in a cart to Chittoor hospital with P. Ws. 4 and 5. He accompanied the Village Munsiff to his house where he gave Ex. 1. P. Ws. 4 and 5 confirm the version given toy this witness in main particulars,

5. P. W. 2 was in the house of the Village Munsiff, P. W. 17 at the time when Peddabha, P. Ws. 4, 5 and 12 went there to make a complaint against the accused. According to him, after assuring the party that he would enquire into the matter, the next morning, the Village Munsiff asked this witness to escort them to their houses. His story as to what happened subsequently is in conformity with that of P, Ws. 1, 4, and 5, and lends support to their evidence. P. W. 7 who lived in the neighbourhood of the place of offence also heard a commotion in the street in front of his house and rushed up. He saw accused 2 and 3 holding Peddabha fast by his arms and the 1st accused hacking Peddabha with a bill-hook on the right side of the neck as accused 2 and 3 held him, Peddabha fell down and accused 2 and 3 left the place then. But the 1st accused continued to cut the fallen man indiscriminately on several parts of his body. The witness added that he came out after the Village Munsiff appeared on the scene. P. W. 17 corroborates P. Ws, 1 and 2. He also spoke to A-2, and A-3 absconding from the village, to his apprehending A-2, & A-3 and detaining them in the Chavidi on the morning of 9th. He also spoke to the arrival of the Sub Inspector, P. W. 20 & arresting accused 2 & 3 & taking them into custody. He added that the house of the 1st accused was searched and a torn shirt recovered.

6. The plea of all the three accused was one of denial.

7. The Sessions Judge believing the prosecution evidence found the accused guilty of the offences with which they were charged and sentenced them as mentioned above.

8. It is beyond dispute that Peddabha died as a result of the injuries received by him on the night of 8th May 1955. The principal question for consideration is whether the prosecution has established the connection between the crime and the three appellants before us. There is a large body of oral evidence which, if believed is sufficient to bring home the guilt to the three accused. We have therefore to see whether there are any infirmities in the testimony of the five persons who have been put forward as direct witnesses to the occurrence. All the witnesses presented a consistent version of the happenings on the 8th of May 1955. The dying declaration confirm the story as given by these witnesses and is also concurrent with it.

9. Certain features were Presented to us by the learned Counsel for the defence which, according to them, throw considerable doubt on the veracity of the prosecution witnesses. It is argued that P. Ws. 1, 4, 5 and 7 were not eye witnesses and they have been requisitioned some time after the offence. The basis of this argument is the absence of names of A-2 and A-3 in Exs. 13 and 13(a). It is pointed out that if really Ex, 1 was brought into existence at the time of the despatch of the reports, Exs. 13 and 13(a), and if P. Ws. 1. 4 and 5 have witnessed the attack on Peddabha, there was no explanation for the omission of these two names in Ex. 1. The learned Counsel continued that Ex. 1 was fabricated subsequent to the receipt of Exs. 13 & 13(a) having destroyed the one that served as the foundation for Exs. 13 & 13(a). We find little basis for this argument. In Exs., 13 and 13(a), it is recited that Ex. 1 was being enclosed This report contains all the particulars relating to the offence and the Village Munsiff must have thought that it was not necessary to embody all the contents thereof into those reports. Ex, 1 was sent to the concerned Magistrate the next morning and it is difficult to believe that the police in conspiracy with the Village Munsiff and P. W. 1 brought into existence Ex. 1 containing the present prosecution case and attributing a part to accused 2 and 3 in this dastardly crime. This argument has therefore to be rejected.

10. Another submission made by Mr. Srinivasarao was that the non-mention of P. W. 7 in Ex. P-l indicates that he was nowhere near the scene of occurrence on that night. This again is devoid of substance. For one thing, the first information, report is not expected to be exhaustive, in regard to all the particulars and contain a list of all witnesses. Secondly, in this case, P. W. 7 witnesses the attack on Peddabha from his house and he came out into the open, only after the Village Munsiff and others came there. So the author of Ex. 1 might not have been aware of this witness having seen it. Therefore, the omission of his name in Ex. 1 is not suggestive of his being unacquainted with the particulars of the crime and that he was not a truthful witness. We find that the cross-examination was not even directed to show that any one of these witnesses was not present at the scene of occurrence or they were re-questioned for the purpose of this case.

11. The next attempt of Mr. Srinivasarao was to show that the principal witnesses are all related to the deceased and therefore it is quite unsafe to act on their testimony. We are not inclined to give effect to this argument.

12. The mere fact that any witness is related to the deceased is not a ground for regarding him as an interested witness. The imputation of interestedness could be made only in cases where it is shown that the witnesses are inimically disposed towards the prisoner. It is only when it is established that there is either discord or hostility between the accused person and the witnesses that the evidence of a witness could be treated as tainted. In good many of the cases, the witnesses would be either relations of the deceased or friends of his and on that ground alone their evidence could not be discarded. No doubt, if the circumstances are such as to throw doubt on the trustworthiness of the witnesses, it may not be safe to rest a conviction on such evidence.

13. Bearing in mind this test, the evidence of the witnesses has to be scrutinised. In this case, there can be little doubt that the evidence of the eye-witnesses is trustworthy and is unimpeachable, the cross-examination does not disclose that any of them has either particular bias in favour of the prosecution or is interested in falsely implicating any of the accused in this crime. We are convinced that every one of the witnesses spoke only to the things he had seen. It cannot be said that there is either embellishment or embroidery and that the prosecution has established beyond reasonable doubt that the three appellants participated in the crime that night & that the 1st accused inflicted injuries that resulted in the death of Peddabba. It follows that the conviction of the 1st accused under Section 302 is correct and does not call for interference.

14. This takes us to the question as to the extent of the culpability of accused 2 and 3. The evidence reveals that the two accused held the hands of the deceased and enabled the 1st accused to cut the deceased on either side of the neck and several parts of his body. If We believe the evidence of the eye-witnesses and we see no reason to disregard it, it is as clear as day light that these two persons intentionally aided the 1st accused in dealing death to Peddabba. If we accept the testimony, of P. W. 1, there will be no difficulty in determining the extent of the responsibility of the 2nd and 3rd accused, because that makes it evident that they aided the 1st accused in repeatedly cutting Peddabba which ultimately proved fatal. But reliance is placed for these two accused by Mrs. Amareswari on the evidence of P. Ws. 4, 5 and 7 to the effect that after P. Ws. 1, 4 and 5 rushed to the scene and saw the deceased being hold fast by accused 2 & 3 A-l hacked Peddabba on the right side of the neck of the deceased and when the latter fell to a side A-2 and A-3 left the place as A-l continued to hark Peddabha. According to the learned Counsel, this shows that accused 2 and 3 aided the 1st accused only upto a particular point and afterwords voluntarily left the place. Her submission is that, before the two accused had left the scene, only one wound was caused by the 1st accused and their liability should be restricted only to that and the offence which can be said to have been caused would only be one under Section 326 read with Section 109 I. P. C. First of all, there is no basis for the argument that the 1st accused cut the deceased only once before these two accused took to their heels when they saw a number of people running to the spot. Even on the basis of the evidence of P. Ws. 4, 5 and 7, thert must have been at least two cuts before this. In one voice, all these witnesses have stated that it was only when they heard the cries of the deceased that he was being cut they came to that place and thereafter the deceased was hacked by the 1st accused, which would only mean that by then at least two cuts were given by the 1st accused. It is maintained, by Mrs. Amareswari that as the death was the cumulative effect of the several injuries caused after they left, no responsibility could be fastened on them in respect of the subsequent acts done by the 1st accused which ended in Peddabba's death. We are unable to give effect to this argument. It is no doubt true that the doctor said that the death was due to shock and haemorrhage : in other words, that it was the cumultive effect of several injuries that were inflicted on the deceased. It is not clear whether the same result would not have followed even if the 1st accused had not given cuts subsequent to their leaving the place. Be that as it may, we think the 2nd and 3rd accused could not escape responsibility for the murder of Peddabba. In this context. Sections 111 - 113 I. P. C. are quits pertinent.

111. When an act is abetted and a different act is done, the abettor is liable for the act done, in the same manner and to the same extent as if he had directly abetted it:

Provided the act done was a probable consequence of the abetment, and was committed under the influence of the instigation or with the aid or in pursuance of the conspiracy which constituted the abetment. Illustration (R) to this section runs as follows:

A instigates B and C to break into an inhabited house at midnight for the purpose of robbery, and provides them with arms for that purpose. B and C break into the house, and being resisted by Z, one of the inmates, murder Z, Here, if that murder was the probable consequence of the abetment. A is liable to the punishment provided for murder.112. If the act for which the abettor is liable under the last preceding section is committed in addition to the act abetted, and constitutes a distinct offence, the abettor is liable to punishment for each of the offences.'

113. 'When an act is abetted with the intention on the part of the abettor of causing a particular effect, and an act for which the abettor is liable in consequence of the abetment, causes a different effect from that intended by the abettor, the abettor is liable for the effect caused, in the same manner and to the same extent as if he had abetted the act with the intention Of causing that effect, provided he knew that the act abetted was likely to cause that effect.

In our opinion, these three sections make it abudantly clear that if a person abets another in the commission of an offence and the principal goes further thereafter and does something more which has a different result from that intended by the abettor and makes the offence an aggravated one, the abettori s liable for the consequences of the acts of his principal. The crux of the problem in an enquiry of this sort is whether the abettor as reasonable man at the time of his instigation or intentionally aiding the principal would Have foreseen the probable consequences of his abetment.

15. The position abort the responsibility of the abettor is summed up in Queen-Empress v. Muthura Das ILR 6 All 491 (A) by Chief Justice Straight as follows:

Now. it is clear law that if one man instigates another to perpetrate a particular crime and that other, in pursuance of such instigation, not only perpetrates that crime, but, in the course of doing so, commits another crime in furtherance of it. the former is criminally responsible as an abettor in respect of such last-mentioned crime, if it is one which, as a reasonable man, he must, at the time of the instigation have known would in the ordinary course of things, probably have to be committed in order to carry out the original crime. For example, if A says to B : 'You way-lay C on such and such a road and rob him, and if he resists, use this sword, but not more than is absolutely necessary; and B kills C, A is responsible as an abettor of the killink, for it was a probable consequence of the instigation. To put it in plain terms, the law virtually says to a man : 'If you choose to run the risk of putting another in motion to do an unlawful act, he for the time being, represents you as much as he does himself; and if, in order to effect the accomplishment of that act, he does another which you may fairly from the circumstances be presumed to have forseen would be a probable consequence of your instigation, you are as much responsible for abetting the latter act as the former.

These remarks only reproduce the effect of Sections 111 112 and 113 of the Indian Penal Code.

16. Applying the principle embodied in the decision with which we express our respectful accord, we hold that assuming that the three accused did not engage themselves in a conspiracy to do away with Peddabba and that the aid given by the 2nd & 3rd accused should be understood as being confined only to causing grievous hurt having regard to the scope of Sections 111 112 and 113, the two accused are guilty of an offence under 3. 302 read with Section 109 I. P. C. After all, the frame of the minds of these two accused has to be judged only from the surrounding circumstances. The deceased was going alone unarmed. The three accused suddenly fell on him in an unguarded moment. The 1st accused was armed with a bill hook which, if used with some force, could have easily severed the head from the trunk. The accused 2 and 3 held the deceased fast each by one arm to prevent him from escaping and to enable the 1st accused to hack him with that mighty weapon. It is only when they saw a number of persons running to the place that they took to heals. In these circumstances, it is difficult to postulate that these two persons as reasonable beings would not have foreseen the consequences of the aid given by them to the 1st accused in the commission of the offence. It follows that the conviction of accused 2 and 3 under Section 302 read with Section 109 has also to be confirmed.

17. As regards sentence, we do not think that so far as the 1st accused is concerned any sentence other than death would be appropriate. In cur opinion, the only proper sentence is death. The murder was a dastardly one. As regards accused 2 and 3, it is only the lesser sentence that has been awarded and nothing could be said in that behalf.

18. In the result, the convictions and the sentences as passed by the court below are confirmed, and the appeals are dismissed.


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