Decided on March 08,1968



- (1.) This reference and the appeal arise out of the judgment of the Sessions Court, Tellicherry in Sessions Case No. 57 of 1967. The accused was convicted by the learned Judge for the offence of murder, and sentenced to be hanged under S.302 IPC. The learned Judge has submitted the proceedings to this court under S.374 Criminal Procedure Code for confirmation of the sentence; and the accused has filed the appeal against the conviction and sentence.
(2.) The occurrence took place at about 8.00 A. M. on 14-4-1967 in Kumbadji Village within the jurisdiction of the Badiadka Police Station in Kasaragod Taluk. The accused is a man aged about 54 years, and the deceased is his sister's son aged about 30 years. P. Ws. 1 and 2 are his younger brothers, and Pw. 7 is a younger brother of the accused. Ext. P 12 is a plan of the scene of occurrence. The deceased with his brothers Pws. 1 and 2 and their parents lived in a house marked H4 in the plan. Pw. 7 was also living in a part of the same house. The accused lived in the house marked H9, which is about 385 feet to the west of the deceased's house. About the same distance to the north of the deceased's house, his family has got an arecanut garden. The relation between the accused on the one part and the deceased, his brothers and their parents on the other hand had been extremely hostile for the past few years. There is a well in front of the house of the deceased; and it appears that there was also dispute about drawing water from this well.
(3.) On the morning of 14-4-1967, the deceased along with the brothers Pw. 1 and Pw. 2 started from their house to their arecanut garden for watering the arecanut trees. They met the accused in front of their house by the side of the well; and there was an unpleasant exchange of words between the accused and the deceased. The accused went to his house; and the deceased went to their arecanut garden along with his brothers, where they got themselves engaged in the process of watering the trees. Sometime later, the accused came to the southern boundary of their coconut garden with a loaded double barrelled gun, and shot the deceased at his chest from a distance of 28 feet. The accused fell down, crying that he was killed; and he expired within five minutes. The accused ran away with the gun towards his house, The occurrence was witnessed by P. Ws. 1, 2 and 6. Pw. 6 is a common relation of the accused and the deceased; he is aged 19 years. He has a paddy field about 50 feet to the south of the arecanut garden of the deceased; and Pw. 6 was watering his betel pepper in the above field at the time of the occurrence. Pw. 7 was then in his house. He heard the sound of the shot, and came out to the place of occurrence, when he saw the accused running away with the gun, and the deceased breathing his last in a pool of blood. Pw. 8 is another , neighbour, who was attracted by the sound of the gun shot, and the death cry of the deceased. He also saw the accused running away with the gun, and the deceased breathing his list.;

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