1. The accused, Jagannath Singh, has been convicted of the murder of a woman called Radhika Kunwar and also on a charge of having poisoned Radhika Kunwar. There can be no doubt as to the fact that the appellant's conduct has been most suspicious. This woman, who was a widow, was his mistress and the mother of his illegitimate child. He had been put out of caste owing to his connection with her. On the 2nd of November she was seen at midday sitting outside her door vomitting and purging, and she attributed her illness to something which the appellant had given her to eat. She retired later inside the house and got worse. She stated that the appellant had given her vinegar, which was making her worse, Later on, she was heard screaming. Finally, she was found dead. The appellant cremated her body with all the speed that was possible. In her room were found two pieces of rope stained with human bleod and to which were adhering human hair. Further, bajra cakes containing arsenic were found in her room, but on the evidence there can be no conclusion as to the cause of death. At the best, it can be said that the symptoms before the woman's death were not incompatible with the conclusion that she was suffering from arsenical poisoning and that the circumstance that the pieces of blood-stained ropes were found in the room after her death would lead to a suspicion that she had in some way been maltreated in such a manner as to draw blood from her, but there is no evidence that would justify the conclusion that she died of poisoning or had been murdered. No poison was discovered in her vomit, in her excreta or in the organs of her body. There is no evidence that would justify the conclusion that she was poisoned at all. True, it may be said that, owing to the action of the appellant, it has not been possible to obtain the best evidence as to the cause of death but the fact that he has made it difficult to procure evidence is not a substitute for the evidence. In these circumstances, we are satisfied that the first element justifying a conviction is absent. No corpus delicti is established. We must, therefore, admit the appeal, set aside the convictions and sentences, and direct that the appellant be released from custody.