MATHAPPA GOUNDAN Vs. STATE
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
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(1.) THE appellant has been found guilty of an offence under Section 302 I. P. C. , for having caused the death of his wife, Masakkal, by cutting her throat with an aruval at about 5 p. m. on the 20th September 1952 at Mokkaithottam Jadayam-palayarn village in Coimbatore district.
(2.) THE facts of the case lie in a very narrow compass and do not admit of any serious dispute except in one or two details. When questioned under Section 342 Cri. P. C. by the learned Sessions Judge, the appellant admitted that he cut his wife and thereby caused her death; but he pleaded provocation for the act. According to the evidence of P. W. 4, who was living at a distance of about half a mile from, the shed of the appellant, about twelve days prior to the occurrence, the appellant saw the witness and complained to him that his wife was in criminal intimacy with one Naga Naicken, who was also living nearby and that whenever the appellant took his wife to task, Naga Naicken would attempt to beat him. The witness pacified him but the appellant was in a fit of violent temper.
(3.) WITH regard to the actual incident we have the evidence of P. Ws. 1, 2 and 3 of whom P. W. 1 is the son of the appellant. He deposed that at about 5 p. m. on the day in question while the appellant was cutting cumbu stalks with an aruval, which is marked in the case as M. O. 1, in front of his house and while he was bundling the stalks, the deceased passed that way in the direction of Naga Naicken's shed. The appellant asked her if she was on her way to Naga Naicken's shed and she answered in a very defiant tone that that was her destination. Thereupon the appellant threatened the deceased with dire consequences. Despite that, the deceased proceeded in the direction in which she was going when the appellant caught her by the tuft of her hair, dragged her into the cumbu field and cut her several times with M. O. 1. The deceased fell down and expired very soon. This is spoken to by P. W. 2 also, a boy of 10 years of age and a nephew of the appellant. He corroborates in detail what P. W. 1 has stated. In cross-examination this witness further stated that when the appellant threatened the deceased with dire consequences, she threatened to kick him and lifted her leg with sandals on for that purpose. It was only afterwards that the appellant out the deceased. The fact that the deceased was on terms of criminal intimacy with Naga Naicken and consequently there were quarrels between the husband and the wife has been spoken to by P. W. 1 as well. It is not necessary to recapitulate the further incident because, immediately after he stabbed, the appellant appeared at the police station at Mettupalayam, at about 6 p, m. and surrendered himself with M. O. 1. On his making a statement he was arrested and remanded to custody. The next day he was produced before the Sub Magistrate, P. W. 5, who, after conforming to the necessary formalities and giving the requisite warnings, recorded a confession from him which is marked as Ex. P. 4 in the case. This confessional statement was recorded on 3-10-1952 and it is to the effect that while the accused was cutting cumbu stalks in his garden, his wife told him that she was going to Naga Naicken's garden and on his obstructing her, saying that she should not go, she stubbornly said that she would go. As he had a suspicion that she was on terms of criminal intimacy with Naga Naicken, he tried to prevent her from going; and on her refusal he cut her with an aruval and she died. Prom these facts there can be no doubt that it was the appellant that caused the death of his wife and the question for consideration is whether the offence would come within exception 1 to Section 300 I. P. C.;
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