C.PRAVEEN KUMAR, J. -
(1.) The sole accused in Sessions Case No. 635 of 2012 on the file of II Additional Sessions Judge, Kurnool at Adoni, is the
appellant herein. He was tried for the offences punishable under
Ss. 302 and 376 of Indian Penal Code ['I.P.C."]. By its
Judgment, dtd. 22/11/2012, 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. and also to suffer rigorous imprisonment for a period of ten years for the offence punishable under Sec. 376 I.P.C.
He was also directed to pay a fine of Rs.500.00 under each
count, in default to undergo simple imprisonment for three
months. The substantive sentences were directed to run
(2.) The gravamen of the charges against the accused is that, on 9/1/2009 at about 2.00 p.m., in the redgram field of one
Kuruva Kurakula Dasthagiri, participated in sexual intercourse
with one Rajeswari @ Rajamma ['Deceased"], by putting his arm
around her neck and killed her by throttling.
(3.) The facts, as culled out from the evidence of the prosecution witnesses, are as under:
i) PW1 is the father, PW2 is the mother, PW7 is the elder brother, and PW8 is younger brother of the deceased. PW3 is the husband of PW4, who are neighbours and belong to the same community of the deceased. The accused, deceased and material witnesses are residents of Chinna Hulthy Village of Pathikonda Mandal. It is said that the accused is a Madiga by caste, whereas, the deceased belong to higher community.
ii) About three years prior to 7/2/2012 [date of evidence], PW1 along with his wife [PW2] went to Pathikonda in order to take treatment from a doctor. While leaving the house, PW1 told Rajeswari [Deceased] and his younger son Boya Chigilli Dharma Raju [PW8] to stay at home and do not go for coolie work even if there is a request from others.
iii) At about 2.00 p.m., on the said date i.e., 9/1/2009, PW1 along with his wife [PW2] returned home and found their son [PW8] in the house, but, the deceased was not present. When enquired, PW8 informed PW1 that one Boya Dastagiri [PW3] took the deceased for coolie work [for cutting tomatoes]. Then, PW1 asked PW8 to go and bring back the deceased, as he has already told her not to go for work. PW8 claims to have gone to the field of PW3 where he found PW3 and PW4. His enquiries revealed that the deceased left the field stating that she is going to the fields of Kesava Reddy for attending calls of nature but did not return back. PW8 is said to have gone to the fields of Kesava Reddy and found the deceased lying dead in the field. He immediately returned back to the house and informed his parents about the same. Then all of them rushed to the scene of offence and noticed injuries on throat of the deceased. Suspecting some foul play, PW1 lodged a report with PW16 - the Sub-Inspector of Police. Ex.P1 is the said report. Basing on the same, a case in Crime No. 5 of 2009 of Pathikonda Police Station, came to be registered under Sec. 174 Cr.P.C. After recording the statement of PW1, PW16 sent a requisition for dog squad and, thereafter, he visited the scene of offence, but, as it was dark, did not take up investigation on that day. He posted a guard at the scene. He claims to have stayed in the same village and caused enquiries about the death of Rajeswari [deceased].
iv) On the following day at about 7.00 a.m., PW16 went to the scene of offence along with clues team and dog squad. The dog squad made the dog smell the dead body and the scene of offence. After smelling, the dog searched the entire field and proceeded towards the house of the deceased. Later the dog went to the house of one suspect, by name, Harijana Jaggali Devaraju [accused]. From the house of suspect [accused], the dog came back to the scene of offence.
v) PW16 secured the blood relatives of the deceased and recorded their statements. Thereafter, he conducted inquest over the dead body in the presence of PW12. Ex.P5 is the inquest report. He also got prepared a panchanama of the scene and also a rough sketch of the scene, which is placed on record as Ex.P15. He then sent the dead body for post-mortem examination.
vi) PW14 - Assistant Profession in the Department of Forensic Medicine, Medical College, Kurnool, conducted autopsy over the dead body and noticed 17 external injuries on the body. According to him, the cause of death was due to asphyxia resulting from pressure over the neck associated with recent sexual intercourse. Ex.P9 is the post-mortem certificate and Ex.P10 is the final opinion.
vii) PW15 who took up investigation from PW16, verified the investigation done and recorded the statements of PW1 to PW4, PW8 and PW9. It is said that, accused was arrested while PW15 was on his way to Pathikonda. On enquiry, the accused revealed his name and address. At about 5.30 p.m., he sent a requisition to Tahsildar, Pathikonda, for recording the statement of the accused. On the same day, at about 7.00 p.m., the accused was sent back by the Tahsildar along with the statement recorded by him. PW15 again recorded the statement of the accused in the presence of PW12 under a panchanama and seized the wearing apparels of the accused, which are M.O.1 to M.O.3. He arrested the accused on 17/1/2009 at 8.00 p.m. and, thereafter, produced him before the court on next day. After completing the investigation, PW17 filed a charge-sheet, which was taken on file as P.R.C. No. 45 of 2009 on the file of Judicial Magistrate of First Class, Pathikonda. ;