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Govardhan Vs. Union of India (Uoi) - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtHimachal Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1961CriLJ475
AppellantGovardhan
RespondentUnion of India (Uoi)
Cases ReferredKanbi Kurji Duba v. State. In
Excerpt:
- .....blows at the deceased. the victim succumbed to his in-juries and the appellant dragged the dead body to a corner in his court-yard. he brought out from inside the house a huranga ex. p-2 and began to sharpen it.in the meantime smt. jugni the mother of the appellant reached there and prem singh, hari singh and others who were on the ridge gave a shout to her to snatch the huranga. the appellant thereat said that he had killed a goat and that if they went near him they would also be killed. smt. jugni succeeded in snatching the huranga from the hands of the appellant, and took it to her other house. thereafter the appellant took a bamboo stick in his hands and began to dance round the dead body.3. prem singh pw. 2 informed chamaru pw. 11 that the appellant had killed his brother.....
Judgment:

C.B. Capoor, J.

1. This is an appeal by Govardhan resident of village Gonthla against an order of the Sessions Judge Mandi and Chamba Districts convicting him of an offence under Section 802 of I.P.C. and sentencing him to undergo imprisonment for life. (2) Briefly stated the prosecution case was as below:

Smt. Rukmani is the wife of the appellant. For some time prior to the incident under consideration the relations between the two had become strained and the husband suspected that the estrangement between them was due to the witchcraft practised by Jhanu deceased. On 26th of May 1960 the deceased went to the house of the appellant. At that time Devi Ram Pw. 6 was also sitting there. The appellant offered liquor to them and all the three persons partook of it.

Shortly afterwards Devi Ram left the place. The remaining two persons had seme more liquor and the deceased began to recite some Mantras, This was objected to by the appellant but to no result. The appellant had an amulet found his neck and the deceased pulled at it. This infuriated the former all the more and he picked up a stone battu Ex. P-1 and with it inflicted several blows at the deceased. Gian Chand Pw. 1 was taking his bullocks to village Dwail and when he passed by the house of the appellant he saw the incident of attack.

He came across Prcm Singh Pw. 2, Hari Singh Pw. 3, Shukru Pw. 5, Gulam Singh, Puran Chand and others at Ahni-ki-bah and informed them that the appellant was belabouring the deceased, The aforesaid persons accompanied Gian Chand to a ridge known as Masolhiki Rihri in village Gonthla and from there saw the appellant inflicting blows at the deceased. The victim succumbed to his in-juries and the appellant dragged the dead body to a corner in his court-yard. He brought out from inside the house a Huranga Ex. P-2 and began to sharpen it.

In the meantime Smt. Jugni the mother of the appellant reached there and Prem Singh, Hari Singh and others who were on the ridge gave a shout to her to snatch the Huranga. The appellant thereat said that he had killed a goat and that if they went near him they would also be killed. Smt. Jugni succeeded in snatching the Huranga from the hands of the appellant, and took it to her other house. Thereafter the appellant took a bamboo stick in his hands and began to dance round the dead body.

3. Prem Singh Pw. 2 informed Chamaru Pw. 11 that the appellant had killed his brother Jhanu. Prem Singh and Chamaru came across Lalman constable Pw. 7 who was on patrol duty in village Kolang and all three of them went to the house of the appellant and saw that he was digging in his courtyard with a pickaxe Ex. P-3, Lalman inquired of him as to where Jhanu was and he replied that he had gone away. A search was made for the dead body and it was found in a field about 15 or 20 yards below the house of the appellant. The appellant was arrested. The clothes which he was wearing at that time were blood stained. A rukka Ex. P-A was sent by the aforesaid constable to the S. H. O. Jogindernagar conveying information about the incident.

Shri T. N. Bali Pw. 19, S. H. O., Jagindernagar reached the scene of occurrence during night. He prepared the injury and the inquest reports and took in custody blood stained earth Ex. P-4, blood stained stones Exs. P-5 to P-8, bloodstained pyjama and shirt Exs. P-1l and P-12 and other blood stained articles Exs. P-13 to P-25 and Ex. P-27. In pursuance of the statement made by the appellant the Battu Ex. P-1 was recovered from near the door of the cattle shed of the appellant. The investigating officer recovered Huranga Ex. P-2 and the pickaxe Ex. P-3 from the house of the appellant.

4. The postmortem examination on the dead body was conducted by Dr. Miss M. K. Dhillon Pw. 21 and the following injuries were found:

1. 3' X 1' contusion on the left side of the forehead about 1W above the left eyebrow.

2. IW X 1' gaping deep wound on the left side of the scalp about 3' above the left ear with fracture of the skull.

3. Multiple contusions and scratches of various sizes all over the body.

4. Two upper and two lower incisor teeth missing.

5. Death according to Dr. Dhillon was due to shock resulting from the fracture of the Skull. The clothes Ex. P-39 and Ex. P-40 which were on the dead body were taken off by Dr. Dhillon and handed over to the police.

6. The appellant expressed his desire to confess and his confessional statement Ex. PR was recorded by Shri Budh Ram, M. II. C. Jogindernagar

7. The appellant pleaded to be not guilty to the charge levelled against him. It was admitted by him that on the 13th of Jeth last at about 1 P.M. the deceased came to his house, partook of the liquor offered by him and began to recite Mantras and pulled at the Telisman of Devi Bhagwati round his neck. It was further stated that he lost senses when Telisman was pulled and could not say if it was he or Devi Bhagwati who killed him. Section 84 of I.P.C. was also pleaded as defence. The learned Sessions Judge was satisfied as to the correctness of the prosecution case and rejected the defence plea based on Section 84 of I.P.C.

8. On behalf of the appellant it has not been denied that the deceased died as a result of the injuries caused by the appellant and indeed there is-overwhelming evidence on the record indicating that the appellant had inflicted blows at the deceased with a stone Battu. The only point that has been urged on behalf of the appellant is that Section 84 of I.P.C. afforded a protection to him. That section runs as below;

84. Nothing is an offence which is done by a person who, at the time of doing it, by reason of unsoundness of mind, is incapable of knowing the nature of the act, or that he is doing what is either wrong or contrary to law.

According to Illustration 'A' of Section 105 Indian. Evidence Act the onus of establishing the plea under Section 84 rests on the accused. In order that Section 84 may come into play it has to be established that an accused is of unsound mind and his cognitive faculties are so impaired that he did not know the nature of the act done by him or that what he is doing is either wrong or contrary to law.

The mere facts (i) that an accused is conceited, odd. irascible and his brain is not quite all right; vide Abdul Rashid v. Emperor AIR 1927 Lah 567; (ii) that the physical and mental ailments from which he suffered had rendered his intellect weak and had affected his emotions and will : vide Tola Ram v. Emperor AIR 1927 Lah 674; (iii) that he committed certain unusual acts in the past such as snatching away of huqqas from people or hurling brickbats and giving beating to his uncle : vide Chandgi v. Emperor AIR 1932 Lah 260; (iv) that he was liable to recurring fits of insanity at short intervals; vide Lakhshmi v. State : AIR1959All534 ; (v) that he was subject to getting epileptic fits but there was nothing abnormal in his behaviour ; vide In re Raju Shetty AIR 1960 Mys 48; (vi) that he used to quarrel with his wife on certain occasions and used to lock her up inside the house whenever he used to go to work : vide Rustam Ali v. State : AIR1960All333 ; (vii) that his behaviour was queer : vide In re Kandasami Mudali AIR 1960 Mad 316, have not been held to be sufficient to attract the application of Section 84 of I.P.C.

9. It would thus appear that every person who is mentally diseased is not ipso facto exempted from criminal responsibility.

10. On behalf of the appellant reliance has been placed on the statements made by Gian Chand P. W. 1, Hari Singh P. W. 3, Smt. Jugni P. W. 4 and Smt. Rukmani P. W. 10 in the course of their cross examination. Gian Chand P. W. 1 had stated that the appellant used to talk like a mad man and that the people were afraid of visiting him lest they be killed by him. The aforesaid witness was a mere lad of 12; years and it will not be safe to hold on his statement that the appellant was of unsound mind at the time of the commission of the crime under consideration.

Hari Singh P. W. 3 stated that the condition of the appellant at the time of the commission of the offence appeared to be that of a mad man. He has, however, definitely stated that the appellant was of sound mind and that he did the work of building houses and Gharats and of sewing clothes, Mst. Jugni P. W. 4 was the mother of the appellant and much reliance could not be placed upon her statement as to the mental condition of her son. Even from her statement it appears that the appellant some time talked like a sensible man and that ho carried on his usual pursuits.

Prem Singh P. W. 2, Shukru P. W. 5, Devi Ram P. W. 6 and Chamaru P. W. U have stated that the appellant was of found mind. It: further appears from the prosecution evidence that the appellant had dragged [the dead body of the deceased to a corner in the courtyard of his house and that he held out a threat to Gian Chand etc., who had seen the incident of attack. The appellant had also removed the dead body from his house and when Lalman constable, Prem Singh and Chamaru reached his house he was found to be digging a pit. The aforesaid could not be characterised to be the acts of an insane person.

11. The appellant had with a stick in his hand danced round the dead body and on behalf of the appellant capital was made of the aforesaid circumstance as indicating that he was not in the enjoyment of his senses. As rightly observed by the lorded Sessions Judge, the appellant might have danced out of sheer joy at having killed the person who was responsible for bringing about estrangement between him and his wife.

12. On behalf of the appellant reliance was placed upon the ruling of the Gujrat High Court : AIR1960Guj1 , Kanbi Kurji Duba v. State. In that case the accused had murdered his wife and his eldest son. Soon after committing the crime he told the Sarpanch of the village styling him as 'Bhisham Pitamah' that he had killed 'Bhangdi' and 'Karan.' It was found that the relations between the accused and his wife were by no means unfriendly or uncordial, that he did not make an attempt to conceal the blood-stained crowbar with which the murder was committed and felt no remorse or repentance for what he had done and that he suffered from a delusion that he was a pure blooded Suryavanshi and Arjun of the Mahabharat. On the aforesaid findings the benefit of Section 84 was extended to the accused. That case is clearly distinguishable from the facts of the instant case. The proved facts and circumstances of the present case do not make out a case under Section 84 of I.P.C. and the benefit of that section was rightly not extended to: the appellant by the learned Sessions Judge.

13. The appeal is devoid of merits and is rejected.


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