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V. Manickam Pillai Vs. State and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in1972CriLJ1488
AppellantV. Manickam Pillai
RespondentState and anr.
- writing. p. w. 4 went to santha pharmacy at orathanad and brought the medicine. when the 1st accused told p. w. 1 that the said medicine was for inducing sleep, he did not give that medicine to padmavathi. then the 1st accused stated that padmavathi' should be taken to the hospital at thanjavur in a taxi. accordingly, padmavathi, p. ws. 1, 4 to 6 and the 1st accused left orathanad in a taxi for thaniavur and reached the r. m. hospital at thaniavur at about 10.30 p. m. on 24-11-1969. padmavathi was admitted into the hospital at about 11.15 p. m. p. w. 3 dr. jaganamohini. was on duty in the labour ward at the time of her admission. p. w. 3 enquired the patient padmavathi as also the 1st accused. padmavathi told her that the 1st accused induced abortion. the 1st accused respondent.....

K.N. Mudaliyar, J.

1. This is an appeal filed by Manickam Pillal, P. W. I. (Complainant) against the order of the Court of Session. West Thanjayur Division, Thanjavur, acquitting Kaliammal alias Kalimuthu on an offence under Section 314 of the Indian Penal Code.

2. The accusation against her is that on 24-11-1969 at about 7 p. m. at Orathanad she administered some substance with intent to cause miscarriage of one Padmavathi in the house of the 2nd accused Solai Ammal. which caused the death of the said Padmavathi, The 2nd accused was acquitted by the trial Judge.

3. Manickam Pillai (P. W. 1) and his wife Rathinathammal (P. W. 5), his son Thangavelu (P. W. 4). his daughter-in-law Padmavathi (deceased), and his pangalis are living in the same house at Orathanad. Padmavathi was the wife of P. W. 4. They have got two daughters. Padmavathi was pregnant (four months) in November 1969. On 24-11-1969 at about 7.30 P. M. Rethinathammal, P W. 5 told her husband P. W. 1 that Padmavathi was complaining of acute stomach pain and asked him to enquire. Accordingly. P. W. 1 enquired the said Padmavathi. She told him that the 1st accused gave some medicine to her in the house of the 2nd accused to cause miscarriage, that she agreed to pay Rs. 40/- for the said purpose and paid Rs. 15/- as advance. Thereupon P. W. 4 fetched the 1st accused and she admitted that she gave medicine to Padmavathi to cause miscarriage. To cure the stomach pain the 1st accused prescribed some medicine in writing. P. W. 4 went to Santha Pharmacy at Orathanad and brought the medicine. When the 1st accused told P. W. 1 that the said medicine was for inducing sleep, he did not give that medicine to Padmavathi. Then the 1st accused stated that Padmavathi' should be taken to the hospital at Thanjavur in a taxi. Accordingly, Padmavathi, P. Ws. 1, 4 to 6 and the 1st accused left Orathanad in a taxi for Thaniavur and reached the R. M. Hospital at Thaniavur at about 10.30 p. m. on 24-11-1969. Padmavathi was admitted into the hospital at about 11.15 p. m. P. W. 3 Dr. Jaganamohini. was on duty in the Labour Ward at the time of her admission. P. W. 3 enquired the patient Padmavathi as also the 1st accused. Padmavathi told her that the 1st accused induced abortion. The 1st accused respondent admitted it and she even demonstrated before P. W. 3 as to how she did it. Since Padmavathi was dangerously ill P. W. 3 put her in the dangerously ill list, on 25-11-1969 at about 8.30 A. M. when P. W. 2. the Civil Assistant Surgeon and Head of Department of obstetrics and gynecology came for ward rounds, P. W. 3 informed her about the condition of Padmavathi. P. W. 2 (Dr. Mrs. Phillips) enquired Padmavathi and also her relatives as to who induced the abortion. Ex. P. 3 (series) is the case sheet relating to the said Padmavathi. Ex. P. 4 is the complaint dated 25-11-1969 sent by P. W. 2 against the 1st accused, who is working as Female Woman Orderly in the Leprosy Centre at Orathanad. to the District Medical Officer. Thaniavur at Nagapattinam. Padmavathi died in the hospital on 26-11-1969 at 12.55 P. M. Ex. P. 2 is the death certificate. P. W. 1 preferred a complaint Ex. P. 1 to the Orathanad Police on 27-11-1969. Since the said complaint disclosed a non-cognizable offence, the Police did not take action. Thereupon P. W. 1 preferred a complaint against the accused before the Sub Magistrate. Pattukottai. Undoubtedly all these facts have been proved by the prosecution

4. The trial Judge found the 1st accused guilty of offence under Section 314. I. P.C. The appellate Court acquitted the accused. Hence P. W. 1 has filed this appeal before this court.

5. The only argument advanced by the learned Counsel for the respondent is that on the authority of Modi's Medical Jurisprudence and Toxicology, the substance administered by the 1st accused led to the death of Padmavathi and that the uterus and its appendages should have been preserved for chemical analysis and in this case such a procedure has not been followed. The learned Counsel relied on the following passage (p. 366 of Modi's Medical Jurisprudence).

In all cases of criminal abortion the uterus and its appendages with any foreign matter or fluid found in the genital canal, as well as the stomach, etc. should always be preserved for chemical analysis if there is the least suspicion of a drug having been used locally or internally.

6. But in this case there is absolutely no question of any suspicion at all. P. W. 3 stated that Padmavathi was admitted for induced abortion. The 1st accused who induced the abortion accompanied Padmavathi to the Hospital. P. W. 3 identified the 1st accused in Court as the person who accompanied the patient Padmavathi. P. W. 3 enquired both the patient and the 1st accused. The first accused said this.

'Kilisirinai rubber kallideril kottu garbavail vaithen' (Original in Tamil transliterated; Ed.) She even demonstrated it. P. W. 3 verified from the patient. Padmavathi told P. W. 3 that a metal catheter was introduced into her womb and the medicine was injected. Padmavathi was complaining acute pain in the lower abdomen. P. W. 3 examined the uterus. The uterus was enlarged to 16 weeks period and the urine was uniformly bloodstained. P. W. 3 put her in the dangerously ill list. At the time of her admission her condition was bad. P. W. 3 informed Padmavathi's husband about her condition in writing and got his signature in the case sheet. Ex. P. 3, Padmavathi said that the 1st accused induced the abortion. The 1st accused admitted it and demonstrated as to how she did it. There has been no challenge in the cross-examination of P. W. 3, She stated that the writing 'Glyzerine and uniformly bloodstained urine' in the column 'Precarious Health' in Ex. P. 3 is in her hand writing.

7. The evidence of P. W. 3 is corroborated by the testimony of P. W. 2 Dr. Phillips. She stated that Ex. P. 3 is the case sheet from 24th to 26th November 1969 and that it contains the nurse's chart regarding the patient. She examined the patient and found her pulse rapid. Padmavathi complained of severe abdomen pain. When she enquired the patient as to what happened, she told her that she was not anxious to have pregnancy and hence she went to the 1st accused on 24th November 1969 at about 7 PM and a pink colored fluid was injected into the vagina by the 1st accused and she went home and had severe abdominal pain. According to the contents of Ex. P. 3 there is an| entry that on 25-11-1969 the patient has developed jaundice. The development of jaundice is the result of induced abortion and the urine that was drawn was mixed with blood. According to P. W. 2. first the patient gets into the state of shock in the case of induced abortion, secondly there will be severe infection of clostridia group of organisms in the uterus and in the abdomen; then the infection spreads to other parts; thirdly there will be injuries to internal organs. In her opinion, death must be due to shock and severe infection due to the clostridia infection producing jaundice, as a result of induced abortion. Her evidence regarding the cause of the death of Padmavathi has not even been questioned in the cross-examination of P. W. 2. I have no hesitation in accepting the testimony of P. Ws. 1. 2, 3, 4. 5 and 6.

8. I set aside the order of acquittal and convict the 1st accused-respondent Kaliammal for an offence under Section 314 I. P.C.

9. The only question that remains for determination is that of sentence. It is argued that the 1st accused is a Government servant and that in the event of a sentence of imprisonment she is likely to lose her job. It is pleaded that an order under Section 4 (1) of the Probation of Offenders Act would meet the ends of justice.

10. Having regard to the circumstances of this case including the nature of the offence and the antecedents and character of the accused. I consider it expedient to release her on probation of good conduct for three years and direct that she be released on entering into a bond in a sum of Rs. 1000/- with two sureties each for a like sum to the satisfaction of the Sub Magistrate. Pattukottai and to appear and receive sentence when called upon during the period of three years as the court may direct and in the meantime to keep the peace and be of good behavior. This Court is of further opinion that in the interest of the offender and the public, it is expedient to pass a supervision order directing that the accused herein shall remain under the supervision of a Probation Officer for three years. The name of the Probation Officer and the conditions that may be deemed necessary for the due supervision of the accused by the Probation Officer will be passed by the Sub Magistrate, Pattukottai in accordance with the terms of Section 4 (3) of the Probation of Offenders Act. This Court further directs the accused to enter into a bond with two sureties to observe the conditions specified herein:

(1) The accused shall not administer any drug or indulge in any activity in regard to performance of criminal abortions on women and (2) the accused shall not possess any material or instrument for assisting in effecting any criminal abortions.

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