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In Re: Palaniswami Goundan - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberReferred Trial No. 123 and Criminal Appeal No. 821 of 1950
Judge
Reported inAIR1952Mad175; (1951)1MLJ265
ActsIndian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 - Sections 302
AppellantIn Re: Palaniswami Goundan
Appellant AdvocateV.N. Srinivasa Rao, Adv. as amicus curiae
Respondent AdvocatePublic Prosecutor
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
- - 1 told her as well as to what happened immediately before the commission of the crime. we are therefore of opinion that the sessions judge was perfectly right in convicting the appellant of the offence under section 302 i. those things indicate that the appellant did nothave the normal mentality of an ordinary and saneperson and though it cannot be predicated fromthe evidence that he was unsound or that he didnot know the nature of the act as well as the circumstance that he did not know that he was committing a crime, it may be said that some kindof hallucination or frenzy might have been working in his mind and such being the case it seemsto us that the ends of justice would be met if thesentence of death is reduced to one of transportation for life......there can be no doubt whatever on the evidence before the lower court, that it was due to the injuries inflicted by the appellant that both pappayammal and chinnappa goundan died. it was also the appellant who inflicted the injuries on perumal which might have proved fatal, p.w. 1 is an eye-witness to the whole incident. she speaks to the fact that it was while she was at the scene of crime that the appellant hacked to death his wife pappayammal. chinnappa goundan, the father who was outside on a cot was next attacked by the appellant and in a very brutal manner injuries were inflicted which proved fatal also. p.w. 5 the mother of the appellant speaks to what p.w. 1 told her as well as to what happened immediately before the commission of the crime. p.ws. 2 and 3 speak to the.....
Judgment:

Govinda Menon, J.

1. The appellant has been convicted for having murdered his wife Fappayammal and his father Chinnappa Goundan and caused injuries to his eon Perumal with the intention of causing his death. For the double murder he has been sentenced to death by the learned Sessions Judge. There can be no doubt whatever on the evidence before the lower Court, that it was due to the injuries inflicted by the appellant that both Pappayammal and Chinnappa Goundan died. It was also the appellant who inflicted the injuries on Perumal which might have proved fatal, P.W. 1 is an eye-witness to the whole incident. She speaks to the fact that it was while she was at the scene of crime that the appellant hacked to death his wife Pappayammal. Chinnappa Goundan, the father who was outside on a cot was next attacked by the appellant and in a very brutal manner injuries were inflicted which proved fatal also. P.W. 5 the mother of the appellant speaks to what P.W. 1 told her as well as to what happened immediately before the commission of the crime. P.Ws. 2 and 3 speak to the appellant cutting Perumal but were not witnesses to the inflicting of injuries on Papayammal or Chinnappa Goundan. Immediately after these injuries were inflicted P.W. 4 saw the appellant coming out with an aruval in his hand. There is further evidence that the appellant was disarmed by persons who came immediately on the scene and tied to a tree.

2. The defence of the appellant was a version which cannot be accepted at all. What he said was that he found his child Perumal weeping at the threshold of his house and took up the boy in his hands when his maternal uncle's son Falani Goundan stood inside the house armed with a knife. The appellant immediately ran away into the street when Appachi Goundan and others caught him. Palani Goundan aimed the knife at him when it struck Perumal on the neck. He was then caught and beaten and the weapon was placed in his hands.

3. There is no suggestion or defence as to how the wife Papayammal and his father Chinnappa. Goundan came by their death. The learned Sessions Judge has rejected this plea of the appellant as puerile and unworthy of any credence and we entirely agree with the learned Judge. It is unnecessary for us to discuss in any detail the details of the incident as spoken to by the various witnesses adverted to by us above. Suffice it for the purpose of this case to say that we entirely agree with the learned Judge that the witnesses are speaking the truth and their version is entirely acceptable. We are therefore of opinion that the appellant caused the death of his wife and father and inflicted injuries on his son Perumal which might have proved fatal. It cannot be said that he has let in evidence to show the state of mind at the time when he committed the offence and no plea of insanity has been alleged and proved before the lower Court. The offence cannot be anything but murder. We are therefore of opinion that the Sessions Judge was perfectly right in convicting the appellant of the offence under Section 302 I.P.C., for the murder of his wife and father and Section 307, for attempting to cause the death of his child Perumal.

4. The only point that requires consideration iswhether the extreme penalty of the law shouldbe inflicted in the circumstances of the case. Thelearned sessions Judge himself was of opinion thatthe acts of the appellant were hardly those of anormal and sane person. There was no motivedisclosed in the evidence as to why those ghastlyand brutal murders should have taken place. Theevidence of the appellant's mother P.W. 5 wasto the effect that the appellant and his wifewere not quarrelling and they were leading normallives. Nothing has been elicited as to why theappellant should have murdered his own father orattempted to kill his child Perumal. There is evidence elicited in the cross-examination of P.W. 5that the appellant used to sit often with a dazedand vacant look during the period he was not working. At that time he would not talk to any one.Those things indicate that the appellant did nothave the normal mentality of an ordinary and saneperson and though it cannot be predicated fromthe evidence that he was unsound or that he didnot know the nature of the act as well as the circumstance that he did not know that he was committing a crime, it may be said that some kindof hallucination or frenzy might have been working in his mind and such being the case it seemsto us that the ends of justice would be met if thesentence of death is reduced to one of transportation for life. We feel that the murder must havebeen committed in some frenzied mood or something in the nature of an abnormal state of mind.Subject to the above modification the appeal is dismissed.


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