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Bhanwar Lal Vs. State of Rajasthan - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberD.B. Criminal (Jail) Appeal No. 60 of 1980
Judge
Reported in1985WLN(UC)345
AppellantBhanwar Lal
RespondentState of Rajasthan
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
.....inspires confidence. we are inclined to hold that hardayal is a witness of sterling worth and the learned trial judge has rightly relied upon his testimony.;appeal dismissed. - - mathur emphatically argued that the testimony of ramdayal cannot be considered more weighty than that of the two ladies whose presence at the site prior to ramdayal's reaching there is duly established and who were in a better position to see what had actually occurred. it has also been contended by the learned amicus-curiae that even if the prosecution case regarding the husband and wife not being on very good terms is believed, still that could not be a reason for the husband to do away with the life of his wife specially in the circumstances that the husband and wife continued to live together. shrikishan..........uncle, the appellant being addicted to drinking wine and gambling and picking up quarrel with his wife. learned amicus-curiae has referred to that portion of the statement of the witness that he had not actually seen the appellant taking drinks and playing gambling. that argument however is of not much help to the appellant. ramswaroop (pw 3) son of bhanwarlal appellant and the deceased, has also stated that his father was taking wine. he has stated that when his father was not having money for opium and gambling he used to harras his mother, the deceased, and was also giving a beating to her. ramswaroop has also stated that his mother was earning by labour and used to tell the witness about appellant harrasing her for the money.11. srikishan (pw 2) a near relative of the appellant has.....
Judgment:

Kanta Bhatnagar, J.

1. Appellant Bhanwarlal was tried for the offence under Section 302 IPC for the murder of his wife Smt. Dhapi, by the Sessions Judge, Jodhpur. By the judgment dated January 30, 1980, the learned Sessions Judge convicted the appellant for the aforesaid offence and sentenced him to imprisonment for life.

2. Briefly stated the facts of the case giving rise to this appeal are that Bhanwarlal and his wife Smt. Dhapi were very often quarrelling because of the former not earning anything and extracting money from the latter. The appellant is said to be addicted to the intoxication and gambling. On July 24, 1979 on hearing the shrieks of Smt. Dhapi, Smt. Badami (PW 1) and Smt. Champa (PW 7) rushed to her house. They saw the accused inflicting blows with scissors to Smt. Dhapi in the kitchen. They raised the cry. On hearing the cries of those two ladies, Ramdayal (PW 8) also went to the house of the appellant. He saw the appellant causing injuries with scissors to his wife Smt. Dhapi. Ramdayal enquired of the appellants to what he was doing, Even after his asking so, the appellant went on causing scissors injuries to his wife. On sustaining an injury on the neck, Smt. Dhapi fell down. The appellant ran away from there leaving behind the scissors in the kitchen. Ramdayal immediately went to the Police Station Pipar city and lodged the written report before PW 11 Shankerlal SHO. The SHO registered the case under Section 302 IPC against the appellant and chalked out the formal FIR Ex. P/14. The SHO then went to the house of Bhanwarlal. He found the dead body of Smt. Dhapi lying there. He prepared the site plan Ex. P/5 and site inspection memo Ex. P/15. The SHO took in possession the scissors Ex. 7 and sealed it. He collected blood from the site in the bottle and sealed it. The inquest memo Ex. P/7 was prepared. The SHO sent for Dr. P.S. Bhandari (PW 10), Medical Officer, Incharge SHO., Pipar city, District Jodhpur. Dr. Bhandari conducted the autopsy over the dead body of Smt. Dhapi on July 24, 1979 at Piparcity at the residence of the deceased. The Doctor noted following injuries on the dead body:

(1) 1-1/2 'x 1/2' on left side chest 1' below middle of left clavical, penetrating to the thoracic cavity

(2) 1/2' x 1/2' on left side up or half of neck just near to angle of mandible on left side, penetrating and injuring to superficial and deep vessels

(3) 1' x 1/3' x 1/3' on 1' front of left ear on left side face

(4) 1/4' x 1/3' on left side face near angle of mandible

(5) 1/2' x 1/3' transverse on front of lower half of neck just on left side, penetrating into traches

(6) Abrasions : Four abrasions of size 1/2' x 1/4' x 1/2' x 1/3', 1/3' x 1/3' and 1/2' x 172' on left side of face from left side of chin to check on left side.

3. The post-mortem examination report Ex. P/12 was prepared. On July 24, 1979 at about 2.00 P.M. the SHO arrested appellant Bhanwarlal. The appellant was wearing shirt Ex. 1 and Dhoti Ex. 2 at the time. Those clothes being suspected of having blood stains were taken in possession by the SHO and sealed. The articles recovered during the course of investigation were sent for chemical examination. The report of the Chemical Examiner is Ex. P/11 and that of the Serologist is Ex. P/12.

4. Upon completing the necessary investigation chargesheet against the appellant was filed in the Court of Munsif and Judicial Magistrate Bilara. The learned Magistrate finding it to be a case exclusively triable by the Court of Sessions, committed the appellant to the Court of Sessions Judge, Jodhpur to stand his trial there. The learned Sessions Judge chargesheeted the appellant for the offence under Section 302 IPC and recorded his plea. He denied the allegations and claimed to be tried. The prosecution examined 11 witnesses. Relying on the prosecution evidence, the learned Sessions Judge convicted and sentenced the appellant as stated earlier.

5. Feeling aggrieved by the conviction and sentence, the appellant has preferred this appeal in this Court through the Superintendent, Central Jail, Jodhpur. As the appellant was unrepresented, Mr. Harish Mathur was appointed Amicus-Curiae to plead on his behalf.

6. We heard Mr. Harish Mathur, learned Amicus-Curiae and Mr. L.S. Udawat, learned Public Prosecutor for the State and carefully examined the record of the case.

7. Mr. Harish Mathur, learned Amicus-Curiae has assailed the judgment of the learned trial Judge on the ground that out of three eye witnesses 2 have not supported the prosecution case and therefore, the conviction of the appellant on the basis of the solitary testimony of Ramdayal is not justified. Mr. Mathur emphatically argued that the testimony of Ramdayal cannot be considered more weighty than that of the two ladies whose presence at the site prior to Ramdayal's reaching there is duly established and who were in a better position to see what had actually occurred. It has also been contended by the learned Amicus-Curiae that even if the prosecution case regarding the husband and wife not being on very good terms is believed, still that could not be a reason for the husband to do away with the life of his wife specially in the circumstances that the husband and wife continued to live together.

8. Learned Public Prosecutor controverting these contentions submitted that the learned trial Judge has placed reliance on the statement of Ramdayal after carefully examining his statement.

9. Prosecution case rests on the solitary testimony of Ramdayal. Prosecution has based its case on the evidence of Smt. Badami (PW 1), Smt. Champa (PW 7) & Ramdayal (PW 8). First two of these three witnesses have not supported the prosecution case. The learned trial Judge has rightly held that the two lady witnesses being close relative of the appellant might naturally have not stated anything against him at the trial. True it is that Ramdayal has rushed to the site on hearing the out cries of these two ladies. But when there is categoric deposition of Ramdayal regarding his actually seeing the occurrence, then merely because the two ladies already present there were reluctant to speak anything against the appellant his evidence cannot be discarded in case after carefully scrutiny it inspires confidence.

10. Upon a careful examination of the version given by Ramdayal we are convinced that he is a witness of sterling worth. His house and shop being only at a little distance from the house of the appellant where he with his wife was residing, it was natural for him to rush to the site on hearing the out cries of the ladies. It is pertinent to note that the appellant happens to be the real maternal uncle of this witness and there cannot be any reason for him to falsely implicate his close relative for such a henious crime. It is also note worthy that there is no allegation of any enmity between the witness and his maternal uncle, the appellant. Ramdayal is specific about the appellant being present with his wife in the kitchen and causing injuries with scissors to the victim and her falling down on sustaining injuries on the neck. The witness has identified scissors Ex. 7 to be the weapon of offence he had seen being used by the appellant. The medical evidence of Dr. H.R. Bhandari (PW 10) fully supports the testimony of this eye witness regarding the injuries found on the dead body of Smt. Dhapi. True it is that there is no specific evidence that the scissors, the alleged weapon of offence belonged to the appellant nor any recovery was made at his instance. That how ever will not help the appellant for the reason that witness Ramdayal had seen that weapon in the hands of the appellant at the time of the commission of the crime and the appellant using it as the weapon of offence. He had also seen the appellant dropping the scissors in the kitchen when he took to heels, Dr. Bhandari (PW 10) on seeing the scissors Ex. 7 has stated that the injuries noted by him on the person of the deceased could have been caused by that scissors. Ramdayal has stated about his maternal uncle, the appellant being addicted to drinking wine and gambling and picking up quarrel with his wife. Learned Amicus-Curiae has referred to that portion of the statement of the witness that he had not actually seen the appellant taking drinks and playing gambling. That argument however is of not much help to the appellant. Ramswaroop (PW 3) son of Bhanwarlal appellant and the deceased, has also stated that his father was taking wine. He has stated that when his father was not having money for opium and gambling he used to harras his mother, the deceased, and was also giving a beating to her. Ramswaroop has also stated that his mother was earning by labour and used to tell the witness about appellant harrasing her for the money.

11. Srikishan (PW 2) a near relative of the appellant has also stated about the appellant being addicted to opium and gambling. He has also stated about the appellant occasionally giving beating to his wife and also about his wife earning livelihood by labour.

12. From the statement of Ramdayal supported by the other two witnesses viz. Shrikishan and Ramswaroop it has been established that the appellant had developed bad habits, was not caring for livelihood, was causing harrasment to the deceased and was also giving him a beating occasionally. There is no evidence about the immediate cause of the commission of the crime. However, the evidence on record discussed above leads to an inference that there must have been some quarrel between the husband and wife which might have resulted in the husband committing such a henious crime. It is not in every case, that there may be specific evidence regarding the origin of the quarrel or the immediate cause for the commission of the crime but failure on the part of the prosecution to bring evidence to that effect on the record will not always be helpful to the culprit if the case against him is otherwise proved by cogent convincing evidence.

13. As we have observed above, there was no reason for Ramdayal, the nephew of the appellant to falsely implicate the latter in such a serious case, specially so when there is nothing to suggest that the two were not on good terms.

14. Another factor which convinced us about the truthfulness of the statement of Ramdayal is that after seeing the occurrence he immediately rushed to the police station to lodge the report without wasting any time in consulting any body. In the cross-examination of the witness nothing could be elicited so as to discredit his veracity. There is no bar for basing conviction on the testimony of the solitary witness provided that evidence inspires confidence. Cases are not rare where only one witness is available to state about the commission of the crime. What is expected of the Court in such cases is to carefully scrutinise the evidence of that witness and arrive at a conclusion whether the charge is brought home against the accused from that sole evidence and whether it would be safe to pass a verdict of conviction on its basis. While examining the statement of Ramdayal we were alive of this principle of law. On careful scrutiny of that evidence we are inclined to hold that Ramdayal is a witness of sterling worth and the learned trial Judge has rightly relied upon his testimony. The finding of the learned trial Judge based on sound reasonings, calls for no interference by this Court.

15. The appeal has no merits and is dismissed.


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