Decided on September 02,1983

Ukabhai Becharbhai Appellant


S.L.TALATI, J. - (1.) THIS appeal is directed against the judgment of the Sessions Judge, Amreli dated 28 -11 -1980 in Sessions Case No. 44 of 1980 by which the appellant came to, be convicted for an offence of committing murder of Bai Lila and also for an offence of committing murder of Jitu Ranchhod and as a result the appellant came to be convicted under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code and sentenced to suffer rigorous imprisonment for life and to pay a fine of Rs. 1,000/ - in default to suffer R.I. for six months for the murder of Bai Lila and also came to be convicted under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code for committing murder of Jitu Ranchhod and for that he came to be sentenced to suffer imprisonment for life and to pay a fine of Rs. 1,000/ - in default to suffer R.I. for six months. The substantive sentences were ordered to run concurrently.
(2.) THE facts which emerge are that the incident occurred between the night of 28th and 29th May, 1980 in village Gavadka in Amreli District. The incident occurred at about 3.00 a.m. It appears that in a hut the present appellant was residing with his son Ranchhod, his son's wife Lila and his grand son Jitu. Jitu at the relevant time was hardly aged one year old. At about 3.00 a.m. the persons in the neighbour -hood saw that the hut was burning. The neighbours and other persons of the village including Parshottam Valji of the village and one Parshottam Vasta went to the place of the incident. They found that the doors were chained from inside and, therefore, they broke open one of the doors and entered the hut. They found that Lila and her son Jitu were burnt. There were quilts near the place where they were sleeping and at that place one iron kerosene lamp in an extinguished position was lying which according to the Sarpanch he placed it on one earthen Jhar . The inquiry was made in regard to the appellant and it was found that he at that particular point of time was in his Vadi. His son Ranchhod with his mother had gone to another village and they returned in the morning. Under these circumstances the Sarpanch Parshotta Valji went to Police Station, Amreli and he submitted a report that there was an accidental fire at village which had resulted in the death of Lila and her son Jitu. Head Constable Megjibhai went to the village and started the inquiry.
(3.) IT appears that thereafter the prosecution case is that Sarpanch heard several rumours in the village and the rumours were heard from many persons including one Laxman who is not examined in the case. On 30th May 1980 the Sarpanch met one Arjan and he also met Parshottam Vasta and he made certain inquiries from them. The prosecution case is that as a result of the inquiries the suspicion which had arisen out of the rumours got confirmed and as a result the Sarpanch collected several persons and at mid -night on 30th May, 1980 he went to the hut of the accused. Several persons including one Parshottam Pranshanker had accompanied him. The prosecution case is that Sarpanch questioned the accused and the accused wanted to say something in private taking the Sarpanch into Vadi but the Sarpanch insisted that in presence of every one there was nothing wrong if he disclosed the correct facts as they were all persons who could be trusted. Thereafter the prosecution case is that the accused made a confession and he stated that he put fire by sprinkling crude oil and after doing so he has escaped through the roof. Before setting fire according to the confession he had put quilts on Lila and Jitu. Thereafter police again went to the village on 31st May, 1980 and on that day the statement of Sarpanch was recorded and the statement of Parshottam Pranshanker was also recorded. The accused was arrested. On the next day the statement of Arjan was recorded. The other evidence on record is the inquest panchnama and the panchnama of the place of the scene of offence. . The prosecution mainly relied upon the evidence of P.W, 2 Parshottam Valji, the Sarpanch who was examined at the trial at Exhibit 15 and prosecution witness No. 3, Parshottam Pranshanker who was examined at Exhibit 17.;

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