TATTU LODHI @ PANCHAM LODHI Vs. STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Tattu Lodhi @ Pancham Lodhi
STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH
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SHIVA KIRTI SINGH, J. -
(1.) The appellant, charge -sheeted for offences under Section 366(A), 363, 364, 376(2)(f)/511 and 201 of the Indian Penal Code (for brevity 'IPC') was tried by the Twelfth Additional Sessions Judge, Jabalpur in
Sessions Trial No. 324 of 2011. He was found guilty of committing the
murder of a minor girl, aged about seven years and also of kidnapping
and attempt to commit rape on her and for destruction of evidence
relating to the crime. The trial court awarded punishment of death under
Section 302 IPC, RI for life and a fine of Rs.1,000/ - with default
stipulation for offence under Section 364 IPC, RI for seven years with
similar fine for offence under Section 363 IPC, RI for seven years with
similar fine for offence under Section 376(2)(f)/511 IPC and RI for seven
years with similar fine for offence under Section 201 IPC. All the
punishments of imprisonment were directed to run concurrently. By the
impugned judgment the High Court of Madhya Pradesh agreed with the
findings of the trial court and answered the criminal reference in
affirmative, confirming the death sentence and dismissed the criminal
appeal preferred by the appellant.
(2.) Learned senior advocate for the appellant, Ms. Meenakshi Arora initially made an attempt to challenge the conviction of the appellant
itself by pointing out absence of any eye -witness of the incident and
dependence of the entire prosecution case on circumstantial evidence
alone. Learned counsel for the State countered the challenge to
conviction by submitting that in law there is no hurdle in securing
conviction purely on circumstantial evidence. On facts, he highlighted
that the trial court considered the entire evidence on record fairly and in
detail and found the following five circumstances proved against the
(i) The accused asked the victim soon before the incident to purchase and bring "Gutka" for him and after sometime she became untraceable.
(ii) Victim was last seen alive with the accused
(iii)The accused avoided to hand over the keys of his house for the search of victim.
(iv) Recovery and seizure of victim's dead body in a gunny bag from the house of the accused.
(v) Seizure of blood -stained clothes including bed sheet from the house of accused pursuant to his memorandum statement.
(3.) In view of submission advanced on behalf of the appellant that the chain of evidence to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt was not
complete, we have examined the relevant evidence and also the
discussion thereof made by the trial court in detail from paragraphs 15
to 32 of its judgment and similar exercise by the High Court. On a
careful consideration of the evidence of shopkeeker Anil Kumar Jain
(PW -7) from where the victim bought "Gutka" for the accused and the
evidence of complainant Gappu @ Kshirsagar, Hemraj, Ram Kumar,
Sitaram, Maharaj Singh along with medical evidence, seizure report and
report from the forensic science laboratory confirming the presence of
human blood on the gunny bag, bed -sheet and bed -cover which were
seized from the house of accused, we find no good reason to interfere
with the findings of the trial court duly confirmed by the High Court that
the appellant -accused kidnapped the victim and after subjecting her to
sexual abuse, throttled her to death. The first submission on behalf of
the appellant that the chain of circumstantial evidence is not complete
and does not prove the guilt of accused is found to be without any
substance. We have no hesitation in confirming the conviction.;
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