1. This is an appeal by Government against the acquittal of one C. Munayya on a charge of having murdered one Seshamma on the 24th September 1910. The Sessions Judge accepts the prosecution evidence as true, but thinks that it is not in law sufficient to establish the guilt of the accused. In this we are of opinion that he is in error.
2. The material facts proved may be stated as follows:
Seshamma was a widow, living with her brother. He was absent from home on the 24th September last. She was last last seen alive in her house about 1 o'clock on that afternoon. About 3 o'clock the same afternoon the accused and another man were seen by two witnesses to enter the house, and to leave it again some time later. Sometime before 6 o'clock the same afternoon one Baligadu went to the house and found her lying dead in the room, her head and face beaten in evidently with a mallet which lay blood-stained by her. He at once gave the alarm, and the two witnesses who had seen the accused and another enter the house mentioned the fact publicly. Next day her brother, Seshayya, returned on being informed of the murder and made a complaint to the Police in which he mentions the accused and the other as the murderers, and gives a long list of jewels which she used to wear, and which had been removed from the corpse. Search was made for the accused by the Village Magistrate and Police but he was not to be found in his house or in the village. He was eventually, on the 5th October, arrested at night in a tope in another village. On the next day he made a statement and took the Police, the Village Magistrate and several others to a place about half a mile from the village and dug up a pot which contained a number of jewels, which agree with the jewels stated in Seshayya's complaint to have been takes from Seshamma when she was murdered. The Chemical Examiner has certified that a number of the jewels so given op by the accused bore on them traces of mammalian blood.
3. The accused in the Sessions Court denied his guilt but gave no explanation as to how he came by the jewels. From these facts we think it is reasonable and legitimate to infer that the accused was the murderer of Seshamma and took the jewels from her.
4. In the case of Queen-Empress v. Sami I.L.R. (1890) M. 426 it was stated that 'in cases in which murder and robbery have been shewn to form parts of one transaction, it has been held that recent and unexplained possession of the stolen property, while it would be presumptive evidence against a. prisoner on the charge of robbery, would similarly tee evidence against him on the charge of murder' and this principle has been accepted and acted on in several other later cases by this court.
5. There is no circumstance in the present case to suggest that the accused was only a receiver of the property, while the fact that he was seen to go into the house of the woman shortly before the time when she was murdered is almost conclusive evidence that he was the murderer and thus obtained the jewels which he afterwards gave up to the Police.
6. We find the accused, C. Munayya, guilty of murder under Section 302, I.P.C., but looking to the fact that he was at first acquitted we resolve to impose the lesser alternative sentence allowed by law. We direct that he be transported for life. Under Section 397, Criminal Procedure Code, we direct that the sentence of transportation take effect immediately.