(1.) This appeal under Section 374 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as the ' Cr.P.C .)
has been directed against the Judgment and order dated 26-09-2013
passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Omerga,
Dist. Osmanabad in Sessions Case No.18 of 2012
whereby convicted the appellant under Section 302 of the
Indian Penal Code, 1860 (hereinafter in short ' I.P.C .') and
sentenced him to suffer imprisonment for life and to pay
fine of Rs.2,000/- and in default of payment of fine, further rigorous
imprisonment for six months.
(2.) The case of the prosecution, in brief, is as under:
a) Deceased Sunita was the sister of Ramakant Ambadas Kambale, resident of village Hipparga (Kavli), Tal. Ausa, Dist. Latur.
b) She was given in marriage to the appellant permanent resident of Bhatagali, Tq. Lohara, Dist. Osmanabad about 20 years prior to the incident.
c) From the wedlock with the appellant, Sunita gave birth to three daughters and a son by name Sagar.
d) Matrimonial life of Sunita was normal for about 5 to 6 years after marriage. However, thereafter the appellant started harassing and ill-treating her after suspecting her fidelity / character.
e) Sunita used to proceed to her parental house situated at village Hipparga (Kavli) along with children whenever harassment becomes intolerable.
f) Though the appellant was permanent resident of village Bhatagali, Tq. Lohara, Dist. Osmanabad, he used to stay either at Latur or Pune for earning livelihood. He was mason by profession. He used to do masonry work at aforesaid places.
g) Sunita, as usual, due to ill-treatment meted out by the appellant in August - 2011, left the house of the appellant at village Bhatagali and proceeded to her parental house situated at Hipparga (Kavli) along with children.
h) She returned back to Bhatagali with son Sagar, 10 to 12 days prior to the incident, as the Diwali festival was approaching. After 4 to 5 days of Sunita's arrival, the appellant also came to Bhatagali from Pune.
i) On 23-10-2011 at about 08:00 p.m. the appellant picked up quarrel with wife Sunita and son Sagar. During the quarrel, he hurled abuses to both of them. Narayan Yeshwanta Gaikwad, cousin of the appellant intervened and pacified the quarrel after giving understanding to the appellant and Sunita, both.
j) Upon that, Sagar, who had got frightened, left the house and went to the house of Sambha Gaikwad for staying there during the night, whereas the appellant and Sunita went inside the house and slept.
k) On 24-10-2011 early in the morning when Sunita was asleep, the appellant gave massive blow of blunt side of the axe on the head of the Sunita. Consequently, she suffered severe crush injury and died instantly.
l) Soon after causing the death of wife Sunita, the appellant left the house and fled away.
m) When Sagar returned back to his house at about 07:00 to 07:30 a.m. from the house of Sambha Gaikwad, he found his mother Sunita lying in the house in a pool of blood.
n) Looking to mother in such a horrible condition, he rushed to the house of Narayan Yeshwanta Gaikwad - his cousin uncle, informed him about the mother Sunita lying alone in the house in a pool of blood.
o) Consequently, Narayan Gaikwad along with his wife rushed to the house of the appellant. Many people from neighbouring houses had already gathered there before his reaching. After his noticing that Sunita was no more in this world, he informed the same to Ramakant Kambale (brother of Sunita) on phone.
p) Thereupon, Ramakant Kambale along with family members and relatives rushed to the Bhatagali, saw sister Sunita lying in her house in dead condition in a pool of blood, therefore, he immediately went to Police Station Lohara, Tal. Omerga, Dist. Osmanabad and lodged the report.
q) Police Station Officer on duty reduced his report into writing as per his version, obtained his signature on the same and then treating that report as FIR registered Crime No.69 of 2011 for the offence punishable under Section 302 of I.P.C. against the appellant.
(3.) Investigation of the said crime commenced as usual. During the course of investigation, Inquest Panchanama of the dead
body of Sunita was drawn. Then dead body of Sunita was shifted to
Rural Hospital, Lohara with requisition along with copy of inquest
panchanama for conducting post-mortem. The clothes of the
deceased handed over, after post-mortem were seized. Then in
presence of the panchas carried inspection and drew the spot
panchanama of the spot i.e. house of the appellant where incident
took place. Thereafter, the appellant - accused was apprehended on
25-10-2011. While the appellant was in police custody, at his instance crime weapon i.e. axe and his clothes were discovered and
recovered under Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872
(hereinafter ' Evidence Act '). Then material witnesses were recorded.
Muddemal articles were forwarded to Forensic Lab for chemical
analysis with requisition letter, collected post-mortem report and
chemical analysis report. After completion of investigation, the
appellant was charge-sheeted before Judicial Magistrate First Class,
Lohara, who in turn committed the case to the Court of Additional
Sessions Judge, Omerga as offence under Section 302 of I.P.C. is
exclusively triable by the Court of Sessions, by passing committal
order dated 04-09-2012.;