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Sonwaria Vs. State of Rajasthan - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberD.B. Criminal Jail Appeal No. 517/1979
Judge
Reported in1984WLN(UC)107
AppellantSonwaria
RespondentState of Rajasthan
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
.....1979;;(2) the victim was wearing silver ornaments article 1, 2 and 3;;(3) the accused was having sword article 5 with him;;(4) the accused and the victim were together upto the last;;(5) article 1 and article 3 were found in the house of the accused there is no suggestion that any body else had placed them there;;(6) sword article 5 was recovered in consequence of the information furnished by the accused whilst in police custody. human blood was found on this sword;;(7) the accused was wearing dhoti article 8 at the time of his arrest and human blood was found on it ; and ;(8) the conduct of the accused is highly suspicious. his explanation and the defence-version are false and fantastic.;all these circumstances when assimilated unerringly point out that victim hakri was done to death..........made by him, silver karas article 1 and silver hansli article 3 were recovered from his house and sword article 5 was recovered from a place pointed out by him in his field. all these articles were seized and sealed. when the accused was arrested, he was wearing a dhoti and an open-shirt. since they had some spots of blood, they were also taken in possession by the investigating officer in the evening on march 19, 1979. the articles were sent for chemical examination. as per report ex. p 9 of the serologist, the sword and the dhati of the accused were found stained with human blood. on the completion of investigation, the police submitted a challan against the accused in the court of munsif an judicial magistrate, banswara, who in his turn committed the case for trial to the court of.....
Judgment:

S.S. Byas, J.

1. This is a jail appeal by accused Sokwaria against the judgment of the learned Sessions Judge, Banswara dated October 4, 1979 convicting the appellant under Section 302, IPC and sentencing him to imprisonment for life with a fine of Rs. 50/-, in default of the payment of fine to further undergo one month's simple imprisonment.

2. Briefly stated, the prosecution case is that the deceased-victim Mst. Hakri aged about 22 years was married to the accused and was living with him in his village Jookwara. A fortnight before the day of occurrence (March 17, 1979) she went to village Khendakana Mauja Basieda to see her parents. The distance between these two villages is nearly of four miles. In the afternoon of March 16, 1979 the accused went with a naked sword in his hand to his in-laws house to bring his wife with him. He stayed there in the night Next day, the deceased's father PW. 1 Rukia left the village to go to some other village leaving instructions to his wife PW. 2 Mst. Baji to perform the Auna ceremony and send the deceased with the accused. In the afternoon of March 17, 1979 the accused and the deceased Mst. Hakri left her parent's house. She was then wearing silver Hankri, silver Karas and silver Gajras. In the way they stayed for sometime at the house of PW 16 Galba in village Palikua and took water there. The accused was also then having a naked sword with him. The couple proceeded further. PW. 3 Shambhura met them in the way out side his village. There was an exchange of pleasantary between him and the accused. The accused and the deceased proceeded further. Next day in the morning, the dead-body of Mst. Hankri was spotted in the field of PW. 11 Ramsingh near his threshing floor by PW. 5 Manji. Hs informed his elder brother Ramsingh. PW. 9 Veerji, who had also seen the victim's dead body lying in the field, went to Police Station, Lohiriya and verbally lodged report Ex. P.13 at about 8.00 P.M. on March 18, 1979. A case was registered and the investigation was taken up. The Station House Officer Fatehsingh (PW. 15) arrived on the spot and prepared the inquest report of the victim's dead-body and he also inspected the site and prepared the site plan. There were multiple injuries on the victim's dead body and the clothes she was wearing were found drenched with blood. Four silver and some rubber bangles were found in the hands of the deceased-victim Hakri. The post mortem examination of the victim's dead body was conducted at about 9.30 A.M. on March 19, 1979 by PW 13 Dr. Manohar Lai, the then Medical Officer Incharge, Primary Health Centre, Ganora. The doctor found the following antemortem injuries on the victim's dead body:

External:

(1) There was incised wound on left of mid-line on head extending to mid-line to 2.5' away from left ear. Parietal bone out and brain matter exposed size 3'x 1.5'.

(2) There was incised wound oblique from base of 1st phslyn middle finger, index finger upto wrist. Both index and middle finger out and separated, of right hand.

(3) There was incised wound on back in horizontal direction right to middle mid-line on back size 3' at the lane of 12 rib.

(4) There was incised wound in oblique direction on upper 1/3rd of right arm. Size 3' x 1.5' x 1'.

(5) There was incised wound in oblique direction from elbow and hand is separated from elbow.

(6) There was also oblique incised wound run from base of 4th finger and little finger upto wrist. Both fingers separated.

(7) There was incised wound on left iliac creast size 2.5' x 1' x 1'.

(8) There was oblique incised wound on lower 1/3rd of leg-size 3.5'xl'x 1.5'.

Internal:

(1) Fracture of parietal bone on left side

(2) Merbrance ruptured at the right of fracture.

3. In the opinion of Dr. Manohar Lal, the cause of the vtctim's death was destruction of vital centre? as a result of injury and profuse haemorrhage from wounds. The head injury was opined to be sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause the death. The post-mortem report prepared by him is Ex. P.8. The accused was arrested at about 9.00 P.M. on March 18, 1979. In consequence of the disclosure statement made by him, silver Karas Article 1 and silver Hansli Article 3 were recovered from his house and sword Article 5 was recovered from a place pointed out by him in his field. All these articles were seized and sealed. When the accused was arrested, he was wearing a Dhoti and an open-shirt. Since they had some spots of blood, they were also taken in possession by the Investigating Officer in the evening on March 19, 1979. The articles were sent for chemical examination. As per report Ex. P 9 of the Serologist, the sword and the Dhati of the accused were found stained with human blood. On the completion of investigation, the police submitted a challan against the accused in the Court of Munsif an Judicial Magistrate, Banswara, who in his turn committed the case for trial to the Court of Sessions. The learned Sessions Judge framed a charge under Section 302, IPC against the accused, to, which he pleaded not guilty and faced the trial. He denied the whole prosecution story and claimed absolute innocence. In his statement recorded under Section 313, Cr. PC, the accused stated that while he and the deceased-victim were coming together to his house from his in-law's village, they stayed at a place where he went to answer the call of nature leaving his sword with the deceased. While he was returning, he met two persons who tried to chase him. He ran towards the deceased where he again found two other persons near her. All these four persons tried to catch him. He run towards the jungle. Those persons ran after him nearly a kilometre. He became unconscious in the ton st. Next day in the morning he awoke. While he was going to his house, the police met him and arrested him. He denied to have made the disclosure statement before the police or he have the ornaments and sword recovered in his instance. In support of its case, the prosecution examined 18 witnesses and filed some documents. In defence, the accused adduced no evidence. On the conclusion of trial, the learned Sessions Judge found the prosecution story substantially true and held the charge proved against the accused. The defence version was found false and incredible. The accused was consequently convicted and sentenced as mentioned at the very out-set.

4. We have heard the learned amicus curiae Shri J.L. Purohit and the learned Public Prosecutor Shri Niyazuddin Khan. We have also gone through the case file carefully.

5. Before proceeding further, we may point out that the learned amicus curiae did dot challenge the opinion of Dr. Manohar Lal about the cause of death of the victim Mst. Hakri. We have also gone through the testimony of Dr. Manohar Lal and find nothing therein to disagree with him on his opinion. The death of Mst. Hakri was, thus, not natural but homicidal. The injury found on her head was sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause the death.

6. Admittedly, there is no eye witness of the occurrence and the entire prosecution case squarely rests on the circumstantial evidence. The circumstantial evidence adduced by the prosecution may, for ease and convenience, be categorised as under:

(1) The accused and the victim Mst. Hakri left her parent's house together. The accused was then having a naked sword with him;

(2) the victim was wearing silver ornaments-Karas Article 1, four Gajras Article 2,Hansli Article 3 and bangles Article 4, when she left her patent's house with the accused;

(3) Silver Karas Article 1 and silver Hansli Article 3 were recovered from his house in consequence of the information furnished by the accused whilst in police qustody;

(4) Sword Article 5 was recovered from a place in his field pointed out by him in consequence of the information furnished by the accused whilst in police qustody;

(5) the accused and the deceased were together upto the last time at the place where her dead body was found lying. This place is hardly at a distance of two furlongs from his house;

(6) the sword Article 5 and the Dhoti of the accused Article 8 were found stained with human blood, and

(7) the conduct of the accused.

7. In assailing the conviction of the accused, the first contention raised by the learned amicus curiae is that the recovery of silver Karas Article I and Hansli Article 3 in consequence of the information furnished by the accused does not stand proved. It was argued that there is no reliable evidence to show that when the victim left her parent's house, she was wearing these two silver ornaments. Even if it is admitted that she was wearing these ornaments, the recovery could not be said to be made at his instance since the fact that these ornaments were lying in the house of the accused was already communicated to the Investigating Officer by the accused's mother Mit. Hemli (PW. 6). So far the contention that there is no evidence to show that the victim was wearing these ornaments when she left her parent's house, is concerned, we find force in it. PW 2 Baji is the mother of the victim She deposed that when her daughter Mst. Hakri left with the accused. She was wearing silver ornaments Karas, Hansli and Gajras, she also correctly identified Karas Article 1 and Hansli Article 3 during trial. The accused's own mother Mst. Hemli (PW. 6) deposed that silver ornaments Karas Article 1 and Hansli Article 3 are that of the deceased-victim Mst. Hakri which she used to wear. We cannot disbelieve the testimony of atleast the accused's mother Hemli (PW. 6). We, therefore, find no force in the contention of the learned amicus curiae that when the victim left her parent's house, she was not wearing these silver ornaments Article 1 and Article 3.

8. The contention relating to the recovery of these articles appears not to be without force. The accused's mother Mst. Hemli (PW. 9) in her police statement Ex. D 1 with which she was confornted, deposed that before the arrival of Police she found these articles on a peg in her house where the cattle are kept. She got confounded. The Investigating Offker Fatehsingh (PW. 15) in his cross-examination admitted that this statement Ex. D 1 was recorded by him at about 6.00 P.M. on March 18, 1979. The accused gave the information about these ornaments at about 1.00 P.M. on March 11, 1979 vide information memo Ex. P 15. It is, therefore, clear that the Investigating Officer came to know of these ornaments Article 1 and Article 3 that they were lying on a peg in his house on March 18, 1979. The accused gave the information on March 19, 1979. Since the fact had already come to the knowledge of the Investigating Officer, the information Ex. P 15 furnished by the accused cannot be read in evidence against him. As such it cannot be held that Article 1 and Article 3 were recovered in consequence of the disclosure statement made by the accused.

9. But the fact remains that these ornaments Article 1 and Article 3 were found in the house of the accused where the cattle are kept. It is beyond imagination that these ornaments, which the victim was wearing upto the last moment, could be falsely planted in the house of the accused by somebody else. We are unable to imagine that his own parents would do so. Therefore, the fact remains that these two articles, which the victim was wearing upto the last moment were found in the accused house after her murder. This fact will hive to the consistently borne in mind while judging the guilt of the accused.

10. It was next contended that the recovery of sword Article 5 at the instance of the accused was wrongly taken as an incriminating piece of evidence against the accused. The sword was found lying in an open field. The accused was wrongly fastened with its possession. It is true that sword Article 5 was recovered from an open field accessable to all and sundry. But this is not sufficient to discard the evidence relating to its recovery. The field where it was found lying was of the accused and the wheat crop was standing therein. The sword was not visible to any body unless it was pointed out by the accused. Since it was recovered in consequence of the information furnished by the accused, this recovery furnishes a valuable piece of evidence against him. An attempt was also made to impress us by the learned amicus curiae that the sword was not properly sealed. We again find no force in this contention. PW 7 Onkar, who is a motbir witness of the recovery, deposed that the sword after it was recovered was sealed. The recovery memo Ex. P 5 was also shown that the sword was wrapped in a white cloth and was thereafter sealed. The impression; of the seal with which the packet was sealed, are there on Ex. P.5. There is no dispute that the accused was having this sword with him at all the relevant times.

11. It was then argued that the seizure of the clothes of the accused is not free from suspicion. The accused vide arrest memo Ex. P.4 was arrested at about 9.00 P.M on March 18, 1979. The Dnoti Article 8 was not taken in possession by the police then and there at the time of his arrest but was seized at about 8.0 AM on March 19, 1979, vide seizure memo Ex. P 6. Had it contained the blood-stains at the time of the arrest of the accused, it was expected that it with have been taken in possession by the Investigating Over at the very tins of the arrest of the accused. Since it was not seized at the time of arrest of the accused, the possibility that the blood was sprinkled on it later on cannot be ruled out. We have examined the contention and find it without substance. The accused was no doubt arrested on March 18, 191) at about 9 00 P.M. vide arrest memo Ex. P 4. The Dhoti he was wearing( Article 8) was not seized at that time by the Investigating Officer. The Investigating Officer has furnished an explanation in this regard. Hs deposed that since the accused was arrested in the night, the blood stains on his Dhoti were not visible. It was why this fact was not mentioned in arrest memo Ex. P.4. Next day in the morning when he saw the accused, he found blood-stains on his Dhoti. The Dhoti was then taken in possession and was sealed. The explanation given by the Investigating Officer appears quite reasonable and plausible. In the night it is difficult to see the blood-stains on a cloth. The accused continued to wear Dhoti (Article 8) after his arrest till it was seized by the police. It is not his case that while he was in police custody, blood was sprinkled on his Dhoti which he was wearing. In these circumstances the seizure of fact of non-seizure of Dhoti at the time of arrest of the accused is not of much help to the accused. The evidence relating to the seizure of Dhoti cannot be brushed aside simply because it was taken in ossession by the Investigating Officer on the next day of the arrest of the used.

12. It was then argued that there is no evidence to show that the sealed packets of the incriminating articles retrained safe and intact till they reached the Forensic Science Laboratory, Jaipur. It was argued that the prosecution did not examine the person who took the articles to the Forensic Science Laboratory. There is again nothing on record to suggest that in whose custody the packets remained till they were sent to the Office of the Superintendent of Police, Banswara. The testimony of the Investigating Officer is silent on the point. As such the report of the Serologist Ex. P 19 should not be taken into consideration as a piece of incriminating evidence against the accused. We art; not impressed by the argument. Of course, the prosecution has not examined the person who took the sealed packets to the Forensic Science Laboratory, Jaipur. It Was desirable that there should have been evidence from the prosecution side to show that the sealed packets were kept in safe custody and reached the Forensic Science Laboratory with seals in tact. However, looking to the circumstances of the case, this infirmity is not of much consequence. The reports of the Forensic Science Laboratory Ex. P.11 and Ex. P.12 show that the packets were received through a special messenger and their seals were found in tact. There are no suspicious circumstances to suggest that the seals of the packets were some where tampered with before they reached the Forensic Science Laboratory. The contention, therefore, fails.

13. It was next contended that the explanation furnished by the accused was wrongly discarded by the learned Sessions Judge. The explanation given by the accused in his statement under Section 313, Cr. PC is that when he and his wife proceeded further after meeting PW. 3 Shambhu, in the way night over took them. He went to answer the call of nature leaving his sword with the victim. When he was returning, two persons met him. They chased him. He ran towards the victim. He then saw two more persons near her. They also chased him. In order to escape, he ran towards the forest. These persons followed him nearly for a kilometre. In the forest, he became unconscious and slept there. Next day at about 8-00 A.M. he awoke. While he was going towards his house, the police met him on the road and arrested him. The learned Sessions Judge found this explanation entirely false and baseless. Having examined this explanation thoroughly we also find it totally false. We may point it out that the dead body of the victim was found Hardly two furlongs away from the accused's house. If the unknown miscreants ran after the accused, his natural conduct would have been to run towards his house for safety and not in the forest. The suggestion put forward by the accused that those four persons might have committed the murder of his wife is without basis. Those miscreants, if they killed the victim, must have done so for any of the two purposes, i.e. (1) to molest the vktim to satisfy their lust and/or (2) to rob her of her ornaments Both these things are not there. The post mortem examination of the victim's dead body does not reveal that she was molested or any attempt to molest her was made. The ornaments she was wearing were either found on her dead body or were found in the accused's house. As such both the possibilities stand ruled out. There is no law that any sort of explanation furnished by the accused good, bad or indifferent should be accepted by the Court while judging the guilt of the accused. The explanation or the defence version put forward by the accused is false and fantastic and was rightly rejected by the learned Sessions Judge.

14. The last contention raised by the learned amicus curiae is the absence of motive. It was vehemently contended that as per prosecution evidence, the relations between the accused and his wife were sweet and cordial. There was no dispute of any sort between them. As such the accused should not have committed the murder of his wife. The absence of motive points out the innocence of the accused. The contention though attractive is not of much help to the accused. It is true that according to the parents of the victim, the relations between her and the accused were sweet and cordial. They happily left the house of the victim's parents. The prosecution has alleged no motive as to why the accused killed his wife. But the absence of motive does not show the innocence of the accused. It is only a circumstance to be taken into consideration while judging the guilt of the accused. Motive is not an essential ingredient of the offence of murder. When there is clear evidence pointing out the' guilt of the accused, motive recedes in the back ground.

15. The accused and the victim were together upto the last moment. What transpired between them at that time is not known to us. Any way, since the circumstantial evidence unerringly point out that the victim was done to death by the accused, the motive loses its importance. It has been proverbially said that motive is looked in the heart of the accused and no body other then him knows it. Suffice it to say that the absence of inadequacy of motive is only is a circumstance to be taken into consideration in evaluating the evidence. The mative has no further importance.

16. No other contention was raised before us.

17. An analysis of the prosecution evidence reveals overwholeming incriminating circumstances against the accused. Briefly summed-up they are:

(1) the accused and the victim Mst. Hakri left her parents house together in the afternoon of March 17, 1979;

(2) the victim was wearing silver ornaments Article 1, 2 and 3;

(3) the accused was having sword Article 5 with him;

(4) the accused and the victim were together upto the last;

(5) Article 1 and Article 3 were found in the house of the accused There is no suggestion that any body also had placed them there;

(6) sword Article 5 was recovered in consequent of the information furnished by the accused whilst in police custody. Human blood was found on this sword;

(7) the accused was wearing Dhoti Article 8 at the time of his arrest and human blood was found on it and;

(8) the conduct of the accused is highly suspicious. His explanation and the defence-version are false and fontastic.

18. All these circumstances when assimilated unerringly point out that victim Hakri was done to death by the accused and none else. These circumstances furnished a net Work leaving no room for exit of the accused. He was rightly canvicted under Section 332, IPC.

19. For the aforesaid reasons, we Find no force in this appeal and dismiss the same.


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