HIGH COURT OF KERALA
STATE OF KERALA
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P.GOVINDA MENON, J. -
(1.)KUNJAN Vasu aged 22 was tried by the Additional Sessions Judge of Kottayam for offences under sections 302 and 392 I. P. C, for having murdered one Bharathi and her infant son Vijayan by drowning them in the Murinjapuzha river on the night of 6th April 1962 and for having robbed her of her gold neck -chain. The learned Judge acquitted the accused of offences under sections 302 and 392 I. P. C, but found him guilty of the offence under section 404 I. P. C. On perusing the calendar, notice was issued by this court to show cause why the order of acquittal under sections 302 and 392 I. P. C . , should not be set aside. Criminal Appeal 309 of 1962 is filed by the State against the acquittal and Criminal Appeal 241 of 1962 is filed by the accused against his conviction.
(2.)DECEASED Bharathi was the wife of P. W. 1 Narayanan and deceased Vijayan was their son. On the night of 6th April 1962 the deceased, as usual, went to sleep in the northern room of their house and P. W. 1 took his bed on the eastern verandah. Next day morning Bharathi and the child were found missing. P. W. 1 found that she had removed some money which he had kept in the box. He went in search of her to her house at Panavalli and not finding her there he continued the search. In the evening he heard that two dead bodies were seen floating in Murinjapuzha river. He hurried to the place and found to his grief that they were those of his wife and child. Next morning he went to Vaikom Police Station and gave the first information report Ext. P -1. A case was registered. P. W. 17 the Head Constable held the inquest and the dead bodies were sent for post -mortem examination. P. W. 4 the Assistant Surgeon conducted the autopsy. According to him death was due to asphyxia from drowning.
On enquiries conducted so far the Sub -Inspector of Police felt some suspicion against the accused. His house was searched. He was not in the village. Enquiries were made about his whereabouts and eventually he was traced and arrested on 27th April 1962. He was sent up for remand with a request to record his confessional statement. After observing all the formalities the Additional First Class Magistrate, Vaikom recorded his confessional statement. In the confessional statement Ext. P -8 the accused admitted having taken Bharathi and the child from the house on the night of the incident in a canoe and having drowned them in the Murinjapuzha river and having robbed her of the gold neck -chain. After the confession was recorded the accused was transferred to police custody and the neck -chain and the currency notes were recovered. After completing the investigation the accused was charge -sheeted.
(3.)AT the trial the accused denied the commission of the offence and stated that he gave the confessional statement as a result of torture by the police. He denied any illicit intimacy with the deceased and denied having gone to her house on the date of her disappearance. He characterised as false the evidence of P. W. 7 having met him near the house of the deceased and the evidence of P. W. 8 having seen him and the deceased in the canoe. He admitted having changed one 10 rupee note from P. W. 11, Regarding the hundred rupee notes he admitted that he had given a hundred rupee note to his mother -in -law, but stated that it was from out of Rs. 200 which he had got from Sulaiman's chitty. When questioned about the evidence of P. W. 19 the Circle Inspector of Police about the recovery of M. O. 2 the gold chain, he stated that P. W. 1 had given that gold chain M. O. 2 to him for pledging that he had redeemed the pledge and was keeping the chain with him, the Circle Inspector of Police took it from him and had it planted in the shop and he was asked to take it out.
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