Decided on December 12,1955

STATE Respondents


- (1.) The appellant Vallon Kochol has been convicted by the learned Sessions Judge of Anjikaimal for committing the murder of his wife Kali Kurumba and sentenced to transportation for life. The case against him was that at about 5.30 P.M. on 15.10.1954 he inflicted some injuries on his wife with a sickle (M.O.I.) and that as the result of the injuries she died the next day evening while she was an inpatient in the Trippunithura Government Hospital. The learned Sessions Judge tried the case with the aid of three assessors and while all of them agreed that the appellants wife died as a result of the injuries inflicted upon her by the appellant as alleged, two of them alone were of the opinion that he was guilty of murder. The third assessor doubted whether he had the necessary intention to cause death. The learned Judge agreed with the majority opinion and accordingly convicted the appellant of the offence of murder. As for the sentence the learned Judge took the view that the lessor penalty provided by law will meet the ends of justice. The present appeal is against the said conviction and sentence.
(2.) That the appellants wife Kali Kurumba died as a result of a certain abdominal injury sustained by her in the evening of 15.10.1954 is amply borne out by the evidence on record. She was taken to the Trippunithura Hospital wounded at about 9.30 P.M. on the said date and the wound certificate (P.4) granted by P.W. 7, the Medical Officer shows that she had a deep penetrating wound on the right side of the abdomen. The wound was found to be not less than 2 1/2 deep. Besides she had incised wounds on the left forearm and the left thigh. The post mortem certificate (Ext. P.6) and the testimony of Pw. 7 make it abundantly clear that Kali Kurumba died of the abdominal injury referred to above. Even the appellants statement at the trial admitted that at the time and place mentioned by the prosecution his wife sustained some injuries and that she was taken to the hospital soon afterwards. He only disputed the truth of the prosecution case that he inflicted the injuries noted in Exts. P. 4 and P. 6.
(3.) To establish that the appellant had inflicted the injuries of which his wife died the prosecution depended mainly on the testimony of Pw. 1, the younger sister of the deceased, the deceaseds statement to the police (Ext. P. 14) made at 11 P.M. on 15.10.1954 while she was in the hospital, the confession made by the appellant to Pw. 12, the First Class Magistrate of Ernakulam and the circumstantial evidence furnished by the testimony of Pws. 2, 3 and 5. The learned Judge disbelieved the evidence of Pws. 2, 3 and 5 and held that as spoken to by them they would not have arrived at the scene of the crime so soon after the occurrence as to see the accused making good his escape by running away. We are far from satisfied that the reasons given for disbelieving Pws. 2 and 3 are convincing or satisfactory. Be that as it may, the other evidence in the case is in our opinion sufficient to bring home the guilt to the appellant. It is therefore unnecessary to pursue the question whether the learned Judge was right in disbelieving these two witnesses. We think that Pw. 5 was rightly disbelieved when he said that he had seen the accused running away. However we wonder why the learned Judge should have disbelieved the statements of these three witnesses that the deceased told them that her husband it was that inflicted the injuries on her. It is only natural to expect her to have told them who her assailant was.;

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