UTTAM NANDRAM SOMWANSHI Vs. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Uttam Nandram Somwanshi
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
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(1.) The divergent finding of the Division Bench of the High Court of Judicature at Bombay, Bench at Aurangabad, in Criminal Appeal No. 387 of 2006 dated 22.07.2008 in setting aside the order of acquittal passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Srirampur in Sessions Case No. 70 of 2003 in exercise of its appellate jurisdiction under Section 378(1) and (3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, on the charge of murder under Section 302 read with Section 504 of the Indian Penal Code ("IPC" for short) holding the accused/appellant herein guilty for the offence of murder and sentenced him to suffer life imprisonment, with a fine of Rs. 1,000/-, in default, rigorous imprisonment for six months, is under challenge before this Court in this appeal.
(2.) Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant invited our attention to the finding recorded by the learned Sessions Judge wherein he has, after proper appreciation of the evidence placed on record, particularly the defence evidence of Dr. M.M. Sahastrabuddhe, DW-1 (Psycatrix), who was examined on behalf of the accused as defence witness, in his evidence, deposed that the accused was suffering from Schizophrenia, which, according to him, is a serious type of mental disorder caused due to chemical changes in the limping system of the brain. He further deposed that during the treatment from 1992 to 1997 the said illness of the appellant got impaired. The Doctor opined that there can be sudden variations in the patients behaviour, the capacity of judgment in schizophrenic attack of such patient gets impaired. The Doctor also opined that such a patient can be cured and further stated, in his evidence, that after a gap of some period it can be relapsed. He further stated that in such attack, patient may commit any gruesome offence. The learned counsel for the appellant, in support of the said evidence, also placed reliance upon the material retrieved from the internet with regard to the ailment of schizophrenia, wherein it is opined by the expert doctor as follows:
"Normal versus Abnormal -
At times, normal individuals may feel, think, or act in ways that resemble schizophrenia. Normal people may sometimes be unable to "think straight." They may become extremely anxious, for example, when speaking in front of groups and may feel confused, be unable to pull their thoughts together, and forget what they had intended to say. This is not schizophrenia. At the same time, people with schizophrenia do not always act abnormally. Indeed, some people with the illness can appear completely normal and be perfectly responsible, even while they experience hallucinations or delusions. An individuals behaviour may change over time, becoming bizarre if medication is stopped and returning closer to normal when receiving appropriate treatment."
(3.) Hence, how long should people with Schizophrenia take anti-psychotic drugs, the following opinion is rendered by the expert Doctor.
"How Long Should People With Schizophrenia Take Antipsychotic Drugs Antipsychotic medications reduce the risk of future psychotic episodes in patients who have recovered from an acute episode. Even with continued drug treatment, some people who have recovered will suffer relapses. Far higher relapse rates are seen when medication is discontinued. In most cases, it would not be accurate to say that continued drug treatment "prevents" relapses; rather, it reduces their intensity and frequency. The treatment of severe psychotic symptoms generally requires higher dosages than those used for maintenance treatment. If symptoms reappear on a lower dosage, a temporary increase in dosage may prevent a full-blown relapse.";
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