C.PRAVEEN KUMAR, J. -
(1.) The sole accused in Sessions Case No. 403 of 2013 on the file of Sessions Judge, Guntur, is the appellant herein. He was
tried for an offence punishable under Sec. 302 of Indian
Penal Code ['I.P.C."], for causing the death of one Tanikonda
Venkayamma ['Deceased"] with a pestle on her head on
15/2/2012. By its Judgment, dtd. 28/3/2014, the learned Sessions Judge convicted the accused and sentenced him to
suffer imprisonment for life for the offence punishable under
Sec. 302 I.P.C.
(2.) The facts, as culled out from the evidence of the prosecution witnesses, are as under:
i) The accused is the husband, PW1 and PW2 are the daughters, and PW3 is the son, of the deceased, PW4 is the brother-in-law of the accused, PW5 is the sister of the deceased, and PW6 is a resident of the same area.
ii) The marriage between the accused and deceased took place about 25 years ago. The accused was working as Lorry Cleaner. PW1 and PW2 along with family members used to live in Tadepalli. It is said that during the said period, the accused used to consume alcohol and demand money from the deceased apart from beating and abusing her. About eight years ago, the deceased along with her children came back to Guntur, but, the accused did not join them. However, three years later, the accused also joined them in Guntur and all of them were residing in the house of their paternal aunt, by name, Sundaramma [PW5]. It is said that the accused was suspecting the character of his wife [deceased] and as such there were quarrels between them. It is to be noted that, at the time of incident, the deceased was residing in a portion of the house of PW5 as tenant.
iii) On the date of incident, the deceased requested PW5 to lend some money. PW5 replied stating that, she has no money, on which, the deceased went back and slept in her portion of the house. On the next day morning, the deceased came with injuries over head and her right eye. When enquired as to how she received injuries, she informed PW5 that during night time, the accused demanded money for consuming alcohol and when she said she has no money, the accused assaulted her with a pestle. Immediately, PW5, PW4 and PW1 [daughter of deceased] took the deceased to Government Hospital, Guntur, for treatment. On 10/4/2012 PW1 informed PW2 requesting her to come to hospital as her mother [deceased] sustained injuries.
iv) On receipt of the admission of the injured in the hospital, the Head Constable proceeded to the hospital and recorded the statement of the injured, who was undergoing treatment. He then came back to the Police Station and registered a case in Crime No. 59 of 2012 for the offence punishable under Sec. 324 I.P.C. Ex.P6 is the original First Information Report, while Ex.P5 is the statement of the injured [deceased].
v) PW9 - the Inspector of Police identified the signature of the Head Constable on Ex.P5 and also identified the First Information Report [Ex.P6] issued by the Head Constable basing on the signature of the Head Constable. On receipt of a copy of Ex.P6, PW9 took up investigation on the same day i.e., 10/2/2019 at 9.00 p.m. and visited Government General Hospital, Guntur, where he examined the injured and recorded her statement. The deceased is said to have stated that her husband is Peturu and she is working in Municipal Corporation. She has two daughters and one Son. According to her, her husband [accused] used to suspect her character and beat her. Ex.P7 is the statement of the deceased said to have been recorded by PW9. He also recorded the statement of PW1 on the same day in hospital.
vi) From there, PW9 went to the scene of offence, which is the house of deceased and prepared an observation report in the presence of PW7, which is marked as Ex.P1. He also prepared a rough sketch of the scene prepared, which is marked as Ex.P8. At the scene, he examined PW4 to PW6. While taking treatment, the deceased died on 15/2/2012. On receipt of the death intimation [Ex.P9], he altered the Sec. of Law to one under 302 I.P.C. and issued altered First Information Report, which is marked as Ex.P10. He then proceeded to the mortuary at Government General Hospital, Guntur, and conducted inquest over the dead body in the presence of PW7. Ex.P2 is the inquest report. At the time of inquest, he examined PW1 to PW5 and recorded their statements. After completing the inquest proceedings, the dead body was sent for post-mortem examination.
vii) PW8 - Assistant Professor in Department of Forensic Science, Guntur, conducted autopsy over the dead body and issued Ex.P4 [post-mortem certificate]. According to him, the cause of death was due to head injury and the approximate time of death is 6 to 10 hours prior to postmortem examination.
viii) PW9, who continued with the investigation, arrested the accused on 8/4/2012 at 4.00 p.m., in the presence of PW7. The accused is said to have confessed about the commission of offence and disclosed that he will show the weapon used in the offence, which is in vehicle shed of Municipal Corporation. The accused went into the shed and brought chutney pounder [pestle], which was used in the assault and he seized the same under Ex.P3. After completing the investigation and collecting all the necessary documents, a charge-sheet came to be filed, which was taken on file as P.R.C. No. 23 of 2012 on the file of V Additional Judicial Magistrate of First Class, Guntur.
(3.) On appearance of the accused, copies of documents as required under Sec. 207 Cr.P.C., came to be furnished. Since
the case is triable by Court of Sessions, the matter was
committed to the Sessions Court under Sec. 209 Cr.P.C.
Basing on the material available on record, charge as referred to
above came to be framed, read over and explained to the
accused, to which, the accused pleaded not guilty and claimed
to be tried.;