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In Re: Thambi Alias Subbaraya Pillai - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
Subjectcriminal
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1944Mad483
AppellantIn Re: Thambi Alias Subbaraya Pillai
Excerpt:
- - the accused complained that after a certain date he should continue to receive the share of the profits......is the investigating officer. we made this comment about his evidence. he deputed a constable to arrest the accused, but the constable has not given evidence. we have had cause to notice recently that there has been a tendency on the part of the prosecution not to give evidence of arrest. in our view, evidence of arrest should invariably be given unless there is any special reason for not doing so. it is always helpful for the court to know when and where the accused person is arrested because it is a circumstance that may be of assistance to the court not only from the point of view of testing the prosecution evidence but also in the interest of the accused himself.police officers should always be in a position to provide the court with the date and place of arrest and any special.....
Judgment:

Mockett, J.

1. The accused has been convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of one Chakkayya Pillai on 31st December 1943. At the same time, he was tried and convicted for the attempted murder of Palaniswami Pillai. For this he was sentenced to transportation for life. No case could be simpler than this. It appears that the deceased, P.W. 2 and the accused were trading together in partnership in cotton. The accused complained that after a certain date he should continue to receive the share of the profits. The deceased retaliated by saying that the accused had drawn his capital out, that he was no longer a partner and therefore not entitled to receive a share of the profits, but that he was prepared to pay him a salary. We are not concerned with the merits of this dispute. It affected the accused in this way : Early in the morning of the day in question, 31st December, P.W. 2 and the deceased and, of course, others were performing bhajana in the village temple. The accused appeared, having covered himself in a black-bed sheet. He suddenly in the words of the witnesses 'pounced upon the deceased Chokkayya Pillai' and struck him on the neck with an aruval. Chokkayya Pillai dropped dead. Then the accused turned upon P.W. 2, Palaniswami Pillai and raised his aruval to strike him on the head. In order to defend himself, Palaniswami raised his arm and the blow fell on his left arm and cut it virtually in half. The forearm was hanging in shreds and at Tirupur his forearm was amputated. Those facts are spoken to by eye-witnesses, of whom of course, P.W. 2 is the principal witness; but P. Ws. 3, 5 and 6 also describe what happened. There was no cross-examination which in any way shook their evidence and that they are speaking the truth is beyond doubt. The only cross-examination was to suggest that they were related to or servants of the deceased or P.W. 2. But as they had all gone together to worship, there is no significance in this.

2. The medical evidence shows that the deceased's spinal chord was cut, which would of course account for his instantaneous death. The accused was arrested on 13th January 1944, having absconded since 31st December, the day of the occurrence. We were interested to know where he was arrested, but this is not stated. Reference to the case diary shows that he was produced from somewhere by two villagers to the police. With regard to this aspect of the ease we propose to say a few words in conclusion. As to this referred trial and appeal, the learned Judge was manifestly right. He could not possibly have come to any other conclusion. Both the convictions and the sentences are confirmed and the appeal is dismissed. We desire to emphasise, as we have done in a previous case, that evidence of arrest should not only state the date, but the place of the arrest. It may be-and often is-of the greatest importance, frequently in the interests of the accused, for it to be known where and when the arrest is made. It is obvious that an arrest made soon after the occurrence in the accused's own village may put one complexion on a case. An arrest of the accused made long after in a distant place may have a different significance. We have already expressed these views in R. T. No. I30 of 1942 when the Bench made these observations:

P. W. 11 is the investigating officer. We made this comment about his evidence. He deputed a constable to arrest the accused, but the constable has not given evidence. We have had cause to notice recently that there has been a tendency on the part of the prosecution not to give evidence of arrest. In our view, evidence of arrest should invariably be given unless there is any special reason for not doing so. It is always helpful for the Court to know when and where the accused person is arrested because it is a circumstance that may be of assistance to the Court not only from the point of view of testing the prosecution evidence but also in the interest of the accused himself.

Police officers should always be in a position to provide the Court with the date and place of arrest and any special circumstances attending it. The learned Sessions Judges should require these details from the police witnesses.


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