State (Delhi Admn), Petitioner V. Chander Pal, Respondent.
DATE : 03-05-1995 1995-(101)-CRLJ -2951 -DEL
JUDGE(S) 😛 K Bahri S D Pandit DELHI HIGH COURT
S. D. PANDIT, J. :- An Additional Sessions Judge of Delhi has found Chander Pal son of Siria guilty of the offence punishable under Section 302 of Indian Penal Code and has sentenced him to death. He has, therefore, made the present reference to confirm the death sentence awarded by him under Section 366 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Convict Chander Pal has preferred Criminal Appeal No. 38 of 1995 against the said order of conviction and sentence passed by the Additional Sessions Judge of Delhi. Therefore, both these matters have been heard together and are being disposed of by this common judgment.
2. Ramesh son of PW4 Gopal Singh resident of Inder Colony, Budan Road, District Muzaffarnagar, U.P. and his wife Suman are the victims in this case. Kela, wife of appellant Chander Pal, is the real sister of Suman. PW7 Jagdiri widow of Late Prakash is the mother of said Suman and Kela. Appellant Chander Pal and Kela had in all three issues two male issues and one female issue. But all of them did not survive for long. Kela is suffering from T.B. After losing their three children they took the male child of Kela’s brother in adoption but the said child also died within a few months after it was taken in adoption by appellant Chander Pal and Kela, Ramesh and Suman have got two issues, a daughter and a son. Appellant Chander Pal and his wife Kela wanted to take the said male child in adoption and, therefore, about one and a half to two months prior to 15-9-92. Chander Pal had gone to the village of Ramesh and Suman and he brought both Ramesh and Suman to Delhi. Ramesh and Suman were residing in the house of Chander Pal which is situated in the Harijan Colony, Tilak Nagar, New Delhi. Ramesh had no permanent occupation or business and he was promised by appellant Chander Pal to get some job for him in Delhi when he had brought both of them, i.e. Ramesh and Suman along with their male child to his house but as a matter of fact till the date of incident Ramesh had no job or any occupation or source of income in Delhi. As Ramesh had no job or occupation there used to be quarrels and frictions between Ramesh and Suman.
3. PW3 Niranjan son of Shiv Lal is residing in house No. 345 WZ, Harijan Colony, Tilak Nagar, New Delhi, His house is near the house of appellant Chander Pal. Appellant Chander Pal’s house is bearing No. 382 WZ, Harijan Colony, Tilak Vihar, Tilak Nagar, New Delhi. PW3 Niranjan Singh is the Chairman of the said Harijan Society. The house of Niranjan Singh is a two storeyed building whereas the house of Chander Pal is of single storey but it consists of two rooms with open space-cum-chowk between the two. The said house of Chander Pal is visible from the First Floor of the house of PW3 Niranjan Singh. From the First Floor of the house of Niranjan Singh one can see the two rooms as well as the open chowk between the two rooms. PW3 Niranjan Singh is in the habit of early rising. He gets up early in the morning between 4.30/5.00 A.M. On the morning of 15-9-92 Niranjan Singh PW3 awoke at about 5.00 A.M. At about 5.30 A.M. he heard the noise of quarrel taking place in the house of Chander Pal. When he looked towards the same he found that Ramesh and his wife were quarrelling. After the said quarrel took place Ramesh pushed his wife inside the room which was occupied by him. Thereafter even Ramesh was pushed into that room by appellant Chander Pal and then Chander Pal went to his room whereas PW3 Niranjan Singh went to the latrine. After a few minutes when he was in the latrine he heard shrieks raised by Suman. On bearing the said shrieks he felt some thing serious. He then hurriedly eased himself, washed his hands and came out. When he came out he found appellant Chander Pal wearing almond coloured Kurta and Pyjama and proceeding towards the Nalla. He called out appellant Chander Pal and questioned him as to what had happened. But Chander Pal did not give any reply and he hurriedly went towards the Nalla. Thereafter, Niranjan Singh came down. He went to PW8 Ram Singh, the Secretary of the said Harijan Housing Society and then both of them went to the house of appellant Chander Pal. When they went there they found that both Suman and Ramesh were lying in a pool of blood with cuts on their throats. Thereafter both PW3 Niranjan Singh and PW8 Ram Singh asked one Avtaar Singh, Havaldaar, a retired military man, who had come there, to rush to the Tilak Vihar Police Post to lodge the report. Accordingly, the said Avtaar Singh, Havaldar went to Tilak Vihar police post and informed the police. On the strength of his information DD No. 36 was registered at 6.35 A.M. and intimation was given to Tilak Nagar Police Station. On receiving the said intimation Police Station Officer Shri S. S. Rathi came to the spot.
4. Before the arrival of PW18 Shri S. S. Rathi, appellant Chander Pal had returned to his house with an empty tin which indicated that he had gone to answer the call of nature. When he returned to his house PW3 Niranjan Singh; PW8 Ram Singh and other neighbours were present there. After he returned home he had shown surprise. Thereupon PW8 Ram Singh had advised him to go to police and lodge a complaint. He had changed his almond coloured Kurta and put on another shirt and by that time PW18 S. S. Rathi had come there.
5. PW18 SHO S. S. Rathi recorded a detailed statement of PW3 Niranjan Singh and treated the same as first information report at CR. No. 534/92. After recording the first information report of PW3 Niranjan Singh, PW18 S. S. Rathi had called a private photographer. PW1 Surindar Singh and got the dead bodies and place of incident photographed. He there after arrested the present appellant Chander Pal. He recorded the statement of Ram Singh and then he took appellant Chander Pal to the police station. According to the prosecution appellant Chander Pal made a statement leading to the recovery of his kurta and a towel. The said towel and kurta had blood stains. Similarly, there were blood stains also on his pyjama and underwear. Therefore, all those clothes were attached under a memorandum. He then recorded the statements of the parents of Ramesh, PW4 Chohal Singh and PW5 Chandrawati. He also recorded the statement of Suman’s mother PW7 Jagbiri. Before recording these statements he had prepared the inquest panchanama and had forwarded the bodies to the Medical Officer for post-mortem. The post mortem on the said bodies was carried by PW11 Dr. L. T. Ramani. The clothes which were on the person of Ramesh and Suman were forwarded to the Chemical Analyser and after getting the report of the Chemical Analyser and completing the invesitgation charge-sheet was sent up against the present appellant for the offence punishable under Section 302 but as the offence punishable under Section 302 is exclusively triable by a Court of Session appellant was committed to the Court of Session on 16-4-93.
6. Charge was framed against the appellant on 16-9-93 under Section 302. The appellant has pleaded not guilty to the charge. His defence is of total denial and false implication.
7. In order to prove its case against the appellant prosecution examined in all 18 witnesses whereas the appellant had examined two witnesses in his defence.
8. Shri Kapoor, learned counsel for the appellant has vehemently urged before us that in view of the material on record the learned Additional Sessions Judge was not at all justified in holding appellant Chander Pal responsible for causing the murders of deceased Ramesh and Suman. He has also alternatively submitted that in view of the material on record it is not possible to hold that appellant Chander Pal had caused the murder of Suman and the trial Court was not justified in coming to the conclusion that the case was rarest of the rare so as to award the extreme penalty of death. As against this the learned Standing Counsel for the State, Shri P. S. Sharma contended that there is sufficient material on record to uphold the order of conviction and sentence passed by the trial Court and according to him the sentence ordered by the trial Court was also justified in view of the circumstances of the case.
9. At the cost of repetition it must be stated that the prosecution has examined 18 witnesses in all in this case but none of these witnesses is a direct eye-witness to the incident in question. The prosecution case is a case of circumstantial evidence. It is the settled law that in case of circumstantial evidence the circumstances from which the conclusion is to be drawn are not only to be fully established but also that all the circumstances so established should be of conclusive nature and consistent only with the hypothesis of guilt of the accused. Those circumstances should not be capable of being explained by any other hypothesis excepting the guilt of the accused and the chain of evidence must be so complete so as not to leave any reasonable ground for being consistent with the innocence of the accused. It needs no reminder that legally established circumstances and not mere indignation of the Court can form the basis of conviction and the more serious the crime the greater should be the care taken to scrutinise evidence lest suspicion takes the place of proof.
10. In the instant case prosecution is relying on the following circumstances in order to prove its case against the present appellant :-
1. The appellant and the deceased were last seen together;
3. Conduct of the appellant;
4. Discovery of the kurta of the appellant at the instance of the appellant, which was having blood stains of deceased Suman’s blood group; and
5. Both Ramesh and Suman have met homicidal death.
We will consider the material and evidence on record in detail in order to find out as to whether all these five circumstances alleged by the prosecution against the appellant are proved beyond reasonable doubt and whether they lead to the only hypothesis of the guilt of the appellant or not.
Appellant and Deceased were last seen together :
11. The main witness in this case is PW3 Niranjan Singh son of Shiv Lal, residing at house No. WZ 345, Harijan Colony, Tilak Vihar, Tilak Nagar. It is quite clear from his evidence as well as from the material on record that his house is at a distance of 60 feet from the house of the appellant. His house consists of two storey building. The upper storey consists of a sanitary block as well as one bedroom. The house of the appellant consists of two rooms and in between those two rooms there is one open Court yard. This open Court yard as well as those two rooms are easily visible from the first floor or upper storey of the house of PW3 Niranjan Singh.
12. From the evidence of PW3 Niranjan Singh as well as of PW4 Chohal Singh and PW5 Chandrawati it is quite clear that deceased Ramesh and Suman had come to reside at the house of the appellant about one and a half months prior to the incident in question. PW4 Chohal Singh and PW5 Chandrawati are father and mother respectively of deceased Ramesh. From the evidence of these three witnesses as well as from the evidence of PW7 Jagbiri, who is the mother of Suman, it is quite clear that deceased Ramesh and Suman were living in the house of the appellant prior to about one and a half months from the date of incident in question which took place in the early hours of 15-9-1992. Evidence of PW3 Niranjan Singh further shows that on 15-9-92 at about 5.00 A.M. he got up and at that time he saw that deceased Ramesh and Suman were quarrelling and they were abusing each other and the appellant was also present. His evidence further shows that after the said quarrel deceased Suman was pushed inside the room which was occupied by Ramesh and Suman and after Ramesh had pushed suman inside the room Ramesh was also pushed by the appellant in the same room and then appellant went away to his room and PW3 Niranjan Singh went to latrine to answer the call of nature. When PW3 Niranjan Singh was easing himself he heard the shrieks of Suman and, therefore, he cleaned himself and washed his hand and came out of the sanitary block. Whe he came out of the sanitary block he found that appellant, wearing an almond colour kurta and pyjama, was proceeding hurredly towards the nulla. On seeing the same he asked him as to what had happened but the appellant did not give any reply and he went away towards the nalla. Therefore he got down from his house and he went to the house of another neighbour, PW8 Ram Singh. Along with Ram Singh he went to the house of the appellant and at that time they found that both Ramesh and Suman were lying in pools of blood with cut injuries on their throats and a dagger-cum-knife lying by their side. It has also further come in their evidence that at time Kela, wife of appellant, was standing there with the child of Ramesh and Suman in her arms, saying “main loot gayee – main loot gayee”.
13. We do not find any reason to discard the evidence of these witnesses, viz PW3 Niranjan Singh and PW8 Ram Singh. From the evidence of PW3 Niranjan Singh it would be quite clear that in wee hours of 15-9-92 the deceased and appellant were lastly seen together in the same house in which the dead bodies of Ramesh and Suman were found with cut injuries on their necks. But, as per the evidence of PW4 and PW5 Ramesh and Suman had come to reside with the present appellant in his house about one and a half months prior to that date. Therefore, the presence of the appellant in the house and his presence near Suman and Ramesh when they were quarrelling in the early hours of 15-9-92 could not be said to be unnatural or improbable. What has been deposed by Niranjan Singh, PW3 is that he had seen that deceased Ramesh and Suman were quarrelling with each other and they were also abusing. Appellant Chander Pal, is the elder co-brother of deceased Ramesh and he was the elderly person in the house at that time. Therefore, in the circumstances if he comes out of his room on hearing the quarrel between his sister-in-law and her husband then that conduct of his could not be said to be unnatural or improbable. According to PW3 Niranjan Singh, Ramesh had pushed Suman inside the room and thereafter Ramesh was also pushed in the same room by appellant Chander Pal and then he went to his room. That conduct of the appellant could not be said to be unnatural or improbable in the circumstances and situation. Thus, in view of the circumstances of the case and the situation in which the appellant and deceased were last seen together in the early hours of 15-9-92 do not allow us to draw an inference to connect the appellant with the offence alleged against him.
14. It is the case of the prosecution that appellant wanted to take the male child of Suman and Ramesh in adoption and for that purpose he had brought Ramesh and Suman to his house and this desire to take their child in adoption has, according to the learned counsel for the State, Mr. P. S. Sharma, motivated the appellant to commit the murders of both of them. It was clearly come on record that appellant and his wife Kela had three children including two male children and they had lost all of them. Thereafter appellant and his wife Kela had adopted a son of his sister but they had also lost the same. Thereafter, he intended to take the male child of both the deceased in adoption. From the evidence of PW4 Chohal Singh and PW5 Chandrawati it is clear that appellant had brought Ramesh and Suman to Delhi from their native village as he intended to take their child in adoption. But it is very pertinent to note that neither PW4 Chohal Singh nor PW5 Chandrawati nor any other prosecution witness has said that either Ramesh or Suman were opposed to the idea of their male child being taken in adoption by the appellant. There is absolutely no material on record to infer or hold that neither Ramesh nor Suman was ready to give the child in adoption to the present appellant. It must be also mentioned here that neither PW4 Chohal Singh nor PW5 Chandrawati is claiming that they did not want to give their grand-child in adoption to the appellant or that they had opposed appellant’s move to take their grand-child in adoption. Therefore, in the circumstances it is quite clear that as the evidence stands there was no opposition to appellant’s idea of taking the male child of the deceased in adoption by either the deceased themselves or their parents. Thus, in these circumstances it is very difficult to hold that appellant’s desire to take the male child of the deceased in adoption has motivated him to kill both the deceased. It must also be further mentioned that by killing the parents of the child who has got his parental grand-parents and other relations how the appellant could get the child in adoption. Therefore, we are unable to accept the contention or the claim of the prosecution that the desire of the appellant to take the child of the deceased in adoption has motivated him to commit the murders in question.
Conduct of accused-appellant :
15. The third circumstance on which the prosecution is relying to prove its case against the present appellant is the conduct of the appellant. According to the prosecution after PW3 Niranjan Singh had heard the shrieks of Suman he came out of his latrine and at that time he found the appellant proceeding hurriedly towards the nalla. On seeing the same he had called out the appellant and had asked him as to what had happened but he did not reply to the same and went towards the nalla.
16. From the evidence of PW3 it is quite clear that PW3 had heard the shrieks of Suman when he was easing and on hearing the same he cleaned himself and his hands and came out and at that time he saw the appellant proceeding hurriedly towards the nalla and though he had asked him as to what had happened appellant had not given any reply and he proceeded towards the nalla. Learned counsel for the appellant had urged before us that the claim of PW3 Niranjan Singh that he had heard the shrieks of Suman should not be accepted as he had not given any reason as to how he found that those were shrieks of Suman and how he had identified her voice. If the cross-examination of PW3 Niranjan Singh is seen it would be quite clear that Niranjan Singh was not at all questioned regarding his identification of the voice of Suman. He was claiming that those were the shrieks of Suman. When the evidence of the witness was not challenged before the trial Court the said submissions made by learned counsel for the appellant could not be accepted or considered. Thus, we are in least hesitation to accept the evidence of PW3 Niranjan Singh that he had heard shrieks of Suman when he was easing and when he came out he had found the appellant proceeding towards the ‘nalla’ and though he had asked the appellant as to what had happened appellant had not given any reply to him.
17. Though we have accepted that part of the evidence of PW/3 Niranjan Singh, we are unable to hold that evidence is in any way helping the prosecution in order to bring home the guilt to the appellant. From the evidence on record it would be quite clear that it is not the claim of the prosecution that there was any sanitary block in the house of the appellant. From the material on record it is also quite clear that the people in the vicinity were making the use of the ‘nalla’ for easing out. If the evidence of PW/3 Niranjan Singh and PW/8m Ram Singh is seen then it would be quite clear that after they had reached the house of the appellant the appellant had returned to his house within a short time with an empty tin in his hands. The empty tin was taken by him for the purpose of taking water when he had gone for easing out. Therefore, in view of the evidence of both of them it is quite obvious that appellant had gone towards the ‘nalla’ for the purpose of easing. Had he hurriedly wanted to withdraw from the place of incident then he would not have returned to the place of incident after a few minutes, as deposed by PW/3 Niranjan Singh. Similarly, his conduct in not giving any reply could not be taken into consideration as speaking in volumes against him because when he was going to answer the pressing call of nature his conduct in not giving reply to PW/3 and not wasting time is quite natural in the situation and circumstances in which he was. When there is a urgent call of nature in the early hours of morning a person remains under tension and he is not in a position to waste time and to give replies to the queries made to him. On the contrary, his conduct in returning to his house immediately after answering the call of nature speaks about his innocence than his guilt because generally in cases of committing offences the offender tries to withdraw himself from the place of occurrence and tries to run away from the place of occurrence.
18. The next conduct on which the prosecution is relying is appellant’s failure to go to the police to give a report about the deaths of Ramesh and Suman in his house. It is an admitted fact that appellant himself had not gone to the police and appellant had not given information about the deaths of Ramesh and Suman in his house. But the evidence on record shows that after appellant had hurriedly gone to answer the call of nature PW/3 Niranjan Singh, PW/8 Ram Singh and other neighbours of appellant had gathered at his house and they were present there when he had returned to his house after answering the call of nature. It has further come in evidence that PW/3 Niranjan Singh and PW/8m Ram Singh had deputed one of the neighbours to inform the police before his return to his house. Therefore, when one of the neighbours, Shri Avtar Singh, had gone to inform the police and as per the claim of the appellant he came to know about the deaths after he returned to his house then that conduct of appellant could not be said to be unnatural or is such as to hold that it speaks about his guilty mind.
19. No doubt as per the evidence of PW/3 Niranjan Singh he had heard the shrieks of Suman when he was easing but it is very pertinent to note that it is not the claim of PW/3 Niranjan Singh that after the early quarrel between Ramesh and Suman was brought to an end and both of them had gone to their room they had continued to quarrel with each other. In view of the evidence of PW/3 Niranjan Singh it is also quite probable as well as natural that shrieks of Suman must have also been heard by the present appellant before he went to answer the call of nature. But we have to remember that appellant as well as deceased were coming from the lower strata of the society. They are coming from the backward and uneducated community. Evidence of PW/7 Jagbiri, mother of Suman also clearly shows that Suman always used to quarrel with her husband Ramesh as Ramesh was not earning anything. Even the evidence of father of Ramesh PW/4 Chohal Singh shows that Ramesh had come to Delhi in order to get some employment and to earn. Even on that fateful day of 15-9-92 Ramesh and Suman were quarrelling with each other and they were giving filthy abuses to each other. Therefore, in these circumstances if appellant happened to hear shrieks coming from the room of Suman and his not going to see as to what had happened there and instead going to answer the call of nature could not be said to be unreasonable or unnatural. Thus, we hold that the conduct of the appellant is not of such a nature so as to infer that he conducted himself in a manner which is indicative of his guilty mind.
20. Discovery of appellant’s Kurta at his instance with blood stains of deceased Suman’s blood.
Prosecution is relying on the evidence of PW/14 S. I. Jagdish Prasad and PW/9 HC Shri Kishan in order to show that the accused had produced a kurta and towel which were having the blood stains of the blood group of deceased Suman. It is very surprising that in carrying out the investigation in such a serious and heinous offence the Investigating Officer has not taken the necessary precautions in collecting the evidence against the person whom the prosecution is claiming to be responsible for two murders. It is settled law that whenever a panchnama or memorandum is to be prepared then the Investigating Officer must take the assistance of independent and respectable persons. In case of circumstantial evidence the discoveries under S. 27 of the Evidence Act are most important pieces of evidence. Therefore, when such discoveries are to be proved before the Court and are to be effected, the Investigating Officer must take necessary precautions to see that the memorandum of discoveries is prepared with the help of respectable and independent witnesses but the witness for discovery in this case is none else than the police Head Constable working under the Investigating Officer. Therefore, that conduct of the Investigating Officer of taking only his subordinates for the discovery panchnama speaks in volumes about his bona fides and proper investigation. He was asked in the cross-examination as to whether he had taken any independent witness for the alleged discovery but he replied that he had not taken any independent witness. He has not given any explanation as to why he had not taken any independent witnesses for the said discovery.
21. Apart from the above conduct of the Investigating Officer in conducting the alleged discovery panchnama the material on record does not allow us to believe and accept the claim of the prosecution that there was discovery of the blood stained kurta of the appellant at the instance of the appellant. PW/3 Niranjan Singh has deposed in his cross-examination as under :
“I had not observed anything on the clothes of Chander Pal. Kurta of Chander Pal was badami colour of terrycot.”
Then in the last para of his cross-examination he has deposed as under :-
“Chander Pal himself was present in the court-yard when he was changing his clothes. He removed his kurta-pyjama and wore his shirt.”
If the above evidence of PW/3 Niranjan Singh is seen that it would be quite clear that appellant had changed his clothes in the presence of many persons openly in the court yard of his house and at that time this witness Niranjan Singh had not seen any blood stains on the clothes of the appellant. PW/8 Ram Singh has deposed in his cross-examination as under :
“I do not recollect whether accused was wearing kurta or shirt when he came back from toilet. I did not notice any blood on the clothes of the accused when he came from the toilet.”
Thus both the witnesses who are examined by the prosecution to prove about the return of the accused after answering the call of nature have stated that they had not seen any blood stains on the kurta of the apppellant. It is very pertinent to note that as per the evidence of PW/3 Niranjan Singh he had heard the shrieks of Suman. He had asked the appellant as to what had happened and appellant had gone away without giving any reply to him. When he had come to the house of the appellant he had found that both Suman and Ramesh were lying in pools of blood with their necks cut off. Therefore, in the circumstances, when the appellant had returned to his house he would naturally observe and see his clothes in order to find out as to whether there were any blood stains on the same so as to connect him with the said deaths. But he is very clear and frank in saying that there were no blood stains on the kurta of appellant when he returned after answering the call of nature. It is very pertinent to note that no independent witness is coming forth to say that when the appellant had returned to his house after answering the call of nature there were blood stains on the kurta of the appellant. Then the memorandum prepared by PW/14 Inspector Jagdish Prasad regarding the alleged discovery shows that the kurta and towel were kept hidden beneath the rubbish and they were recovered at the instance of the appellant. Though it is the memorandum prepared by the Investigating Officer, PW/9 H.C. Shree Krishna says that the kurta was recovered from the house of the appellant and even PW/14 Inspector Jagdish Prasad has deposed that the kurta was recovered from the cupboard in the house of the accused. Thus the oral evidence of the two police men is contradictory to the memorandum prepared by them for the alleged recovery.
22. It must be also mentioned here that as per the evidence of PW/3 Niranjan Singh he was all along present right from the early morning till about 11-00 am. Appellant was also present there in the court-yard of his house and had changed his kurta openly in the presence of many of his neighbours and, thus, the changing of kurta and keeping the same in the house was known to all others and if at all the same was to be attached the same could have been attached at the time of arrest of the appellant in his house and there is no question of it being discovered at the instance of the appellant. It has been suggested at the instance of the appellant that there were no blood stains on his kurta initially and those blood stains were subsequently put up by the police. Therefore, in view of the above discussion the claim of the prosecution that appellant’s kurta was attached at his instance and the same was having blood stains of the blood group of deceased Suman could not be accepted without any hesitation of mind.
Homicidal death of both Ramesh and Suman :
23. PW/11, Dr. L. T. Ramani had performed post-mortem of the dead bodies of both Suman and Ramesh. Dr. Ramani has found following external injuries on the body of Suman :
“1. Cut throat incised wound on the middle part front of the neck of the size of 2 1/2″ with 2” gapping. All soft structures were completely divided of the cut throat injuries was placed below the label of thyroid cartilege. Two deep cuts was seen on the body of forth cervical vertebra. Skin margins were regular except the other right end which showed three separate cuts on the left side 4 distinct ends were seen.
2. Incised wound 1/2″ x skin deep on the palmer aspect of left thumb (defence cut).
3. Incised wound 1 1/2″ long x skin deep between the left thumb and index finger.
4. Incised wound half inch x skin deep on the right thumb.”
He has further deposed that those injuries were anti-mortem. Similarly, he had found the following external injuries on the dead body of Ramesh :
“Cut throat incised wound on the upper part of the neck placed transversely, extending from right strno-mastoin muscles to the left side lateral aspect of the neck passing just above the thyroid cartilege size 5 1/2″ x 2 1/2” x ?.
2. Incised wound 3 cm. x 1.5 cm. x ? Vertically placed on the Epigastric region of abdomen 2 cm. to the left of mid line. Upper end of injury was acutely cut.
3. An incised wound 3 cm. x 1 cm. on the epigastric vertically placed. 1 cm. to the right of mid line and 2.5 cm. away from injury No. 2. Upper end of the injury was actually cut.”
He has also opined that the said external injuries found on the dead body of Ramesh were also anti mortem. He has deposed that the external injuries found on the dead body of Suman and Ramesh were possible by sharp cutting instruments and he has also opined that they are possible by the dagger-chura which was found in the room where the dead bodies were found. He has also deposed that the injuries which were found on the necks of both of them were in the ordinary course of nature sufficient to cause the death. He has also said that the two other injuries found on the abdomen of Ramesh were also individually sufficient to cause the death in the ordinary course of nature. The above evidence of Dr. L. T. Ramani has gone unchallenged. Therefore, in view of the said evidence of Dr. Ramani it is quite clear that the deaths of both Suman and Ramesh are not natural deaths and they have met with unnatural deaths.
24. The crucial question which calls for decision is as to whether it could be said without any hesitation of mind that the said deaths are homicidal deaths or not. It is necessary to mention here that admittedly a dagger-chura was found just near the dead body of Ramesh. Though the said Chura had a wooden handle, the Investigation Officer for the reasons best known to him had not made any attempt to find out as to whether there were any finger prints on the said wooden handle of the said chura. It is not the case of the investigating agency that it had tried to trace out the finger prints on the said weapon but they were not in a position to take the same. But what has been done in the present case is that no attempt was made to find out as to whether any finger prints could be found on the said weapon. The investigating officer who has entered the witness box has not given any explanation as to why no attempt was made to trace the finger prints on the said weapon. Apart from this the said weapon was having blood on its blade. We have also pointed out that Dr. Ramani had opined that the injuries found on the person of both Ramesh and Suman are possible by the said weapon. The said weapon was forwarded to the chemical analyser along with blood stained clothes of both the victims as well as other articles containing the blood. The report of the Chemical Analyser at Exhibit ‘PB’ shows that the blood stained clothes on the person of Suman were of blood group ‘AB’ whereas the blood stained clothes of Ramesh were having the blood group ‘A’. From the said report is also quite clear that the blood group of Suman was ‘AB’ and that of Ramesh was group ‘A’. The weapon found at the spot of having the blood of blood group ‘A’ only. No blood of blood group ‘AB’ was detected on the said weapon. Therefore, it is quite obvious that the said weapon was used initially for causing injuries on Suman and subsequently, it was used for causing the injuries on Ramesh.
25. If the injuries described by Dr. Ramani found on the person of Suman are considered it would be quite clear that the injuries found on her palm indicate that they were injuries sustained by her in defence and she had tried to defend herself. Along with the said injuries on her palms evidence of PW3 Niranjan Singh will have to be considered. Niranjan Singh has deposed that he had heard shrieks of only Suman. He had not heard any shrieks or cries of Ramesh or of any other lady or a male person. If at all Suman was attacked and injuries on her were caused by the appellant, as the prosecution is claiming, then in that case Suman’s husband Ramesh would have deficinitely raised hue and cry and he would have also tried to protect his wife from the appellant causing injuries to her and in that case he would have sustained defensive injuries on his person and he would have also tried to inflict and cause some injuries on the person of the appellant. It is very pertinent to note that no injuries were found on the person of the appellant when he was arrested. Ramesh would have also raised hue and cry and sought help on seeing appellant attacking his wife Suman. But nobody has said that he had heard any hue and cry.
26. There is another circumstances deposed to by PW3 Niranjan Singh. Niranjan Singh has deposed that when he got up early in the morning on that day he had heard quarrel going on between Suman and Ramesh. He has deposed that both Suman and Ramesh were abusing each other and they were exchanging filthy abuses. He has further deposed that at that time appellant was present there. He has further deposed that Ramesh had pushed his wife Suman inside the other room and Ramesh himself was pushed inside that room by the appellant. He does not say that appellant had also gone into that room. PW7, Jagbiri, mother of Suman, has also deposed that as Ramesh was not earning anything there always used to be quarrels between the two. It is very pertinent to note that it is not the claim of either PW3 Niranjan Singh or PW8 Ram Singh or any other prosecution witness that there were any quarrels or disputes between the appellant on the one side and Ramesh and Suman on the other side. Even on that morning according to PW3 Niranjan Singh the quarrel was only between Ramesh and his wife Suman and since they were quarrelling Ramesh had pushed his wife inside the room and then Ramesh was also pushed inside the room by the appellant and about five minutes thereafter he heard shrieks of Suman. If this evidence of PW3 Niranjan Singh along with the fact that there always used to be quarrels between the husband and wife and the weapon is not having any blood stains of blood group of Suman, is taken together then it seems to be more probable that Ramesh had killed his wife by using the weapon in question and, thereafter, he had committed suicide by using the same weapon.
27. If the description of the injuries Nos. 2 and 3 on the person of Ramesh, given by Dr. Ramani, is read, it would be quite clear that the two injuries on the abdomen found by him are vertically placed. This position of the injuries of being vertically placed are suggesting that they are more likely to have been self-inflicted than being caused by any other person. Dr. Modi in his book on “Medical Jurisprudence and Toxicology” 21st edition on page No. 288 has observed as under :-
“The suicidal wounds are usually on the front or on the sides of the body, and affect the vital organs. They are usually incised, punctured or gunshot wounds. Suicidal incised wounds are generally situated on the front of the body in easily accessible positions, especially, on the throat, chest or wrist.”
Then on page 294 he observes as under :
“Suicide is generally suspected if a weapon is found lying near the body.”
He has further observed that absence of the weapon in the vicinity is suggestive of homicide.
28. Thus, the material on record clearly shows that the appellant could have no motive to do away with both Suman and Ramesh. There was no immediate or proximate cause, for him to kill both of them. On the contrary, the material on record suggests that as there used to be frequent quarrels between Suman and Ramesh and even in the early hours of 15-9-92 they had a quarrel and exchange of filthy abuses just a few minutes before shrieks of Suman were heard by neighbours. Therefore, the possibility and probability of Ramesh killing his wife in fit of anger and then ending his own life by committing suicide is more probable and likely. There are no circumstances to rule out the possibility of Ramesh’s death being suicidal and to hold that his death being suicidal is an improbability.
29. Therefore, in view of the above considerations and discussion we are of the view that deceased Suman has met with homicidal death at the hands of her husband while the death of Ramesh is a case of suicide.
30. Thus, Prosecution has failed to prove any chain of circumstances so as to bring home the guilt to the appellant beyond reasonable doubt. We, therefore, hold that reference made by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, viz No. 1/95 for confirmation of the sentence of death awarded by him to the appellant will have to be rejected and the appeal filed by the appellant, viz. Cr.A. 38/95 will have to be allowed. We order accordingly.
31. The appeal filed by appellant Chander Pal is allowed. The orders of conviction passed against him under Section 302 and the sentence of death awarded to him are set aside. Appellant Chander Pal be set at liberty forth with if not required in any other case.