Decided on April 07,1963

STATE Respondents


- (1.) THESE appeals arise out of the judgment of the Additional Sessions Judge, Srikakulam sentencing the 1st accused Dharamarapu Papiah to imprisonment for life Under Section 302, I, P. C. and accused 2 and 3, Dharamarapu Paramma and Naupadu Mutyalu, to imprisonment for life Under Section 302, IPC read with Section 34, IPC for the murder of one Dharamarapu Apparao, at about midnight on 12-5-1960. The deceased was the 1st accused's elder brother and the 3rd accused their sister. The and accused was related to them as a grand-mother. The case for the prosecution is briefly that a quarrel took place between the deceased on the one hand and accused 1 to 3 on the other at about 7-30 P. M. on 12-5-60, and that while the deceased was fast asleep at about midnight on a mattress in front of his house, the 2nd accused held his head and the 3rd accused held his legs and the 1st accused cut his neck, with a knife (M. O. 1 ). The learned Additional Sessions Judge disbelieved the only direct witness to the murder, P. W. 6 Pydi Appalasuri, and rightly as it appears to us, because P. W. 6's conduct was inconsistent with his having witnessed the crime. He came forward to speak to it only after an unnatural delay. The learned trial judge based the convictions entirely on the retracted confessions mane by each of the accused on 24-5-60 before the Judicial Second Class Magistrate, Srikakulam (P. W. 7), which have been marked as Exs. P. 14, P. 15 and P. 16. Accused 1, 2 and 3 have separately appealed from jail. In their appeal petitions, it is alleged or suggested by accused 1 and 3 that as there was illicit intimacy between the deceased and P. W, 6's daughter, P. Ws. 4 to 6 and 12 committed the murder. The principal contention of the learned Counsel briefed by the State for the appellants is that there is independent corroboration for the retracted confessions.
(2.) THE facts which led up to the occurrence are proved by P. Ws. 1 to 5. P. W. 1 is the deceased's wife, P. W. 2, is the deceased's mother and P. Ws. 3 to 5 are their neighbours. The deceased was the manager of his family and was living in the family house at the village of Mokha-lingam with P. Ws. 1 and 2 and the 1st accused. He was addicted to drink and wasteful habits. He utilised for himself three tolas of gold which belonged to his married sister, the 3rd accused. He also owed some amount to the and accused, hence there were quarrels between them, and in December, 1959, there was a partition between the 1st accused and the deceased with the help of P. Ws. 3 to 5 and other mediators. One portion of the family house was allotted to -the deceased and the other portion to the 1st accused. But as there was no separating wall, the deceased and P. W. 1 continued to live in the deceased's portion of the house and the 1st accused and P. W. 2 lived in the adjacent house of the znd accused. The marriage of the deceased's youngest sister, Ramulu, took place on 25-4-60. The deceased had pledged two tolas of gold which had been given to her by her father-in-law at the time of betrothal and also taken away one tola of gold and presents given to her at the time of her marriage. At about night meal time on 12-5-60, the deceased and accused 1 to 3 quarrelled over the gifts belonging to Ramulu. In the course of the quarrel, the deceased slapped the 2nd accused on her face and fisted the 3rd accused on her chest. P. W. 4 intervened and separated them. It was a moonlit night. After taking food, the deceased slept in the open space in front of his house and P. Ws. 1 and 2 slept on the pials of the house. Accused 1 to 3 slept at the adjacent house of the 2nd accused.
(3.) AT about 4 A. M. on 13-5-60, the 2nd ac. cused woke up the deceased's mother (P. W. 2) and told her that the deceased had killed himself. P. W. 2 woke up P. W. 1 and also P. W. 5 and told them about the deceased's death. Meanwhile, the 2nd accused woke up P. Ws. 3 and 4. P. Ws. 3 to 5 who saw the dead body, came to the conclusion that the matter must be reported to the village Munsif. They asked P. Ws. 1 and 2 and accused 2 and 3 to do so but none of them moved. The 2nd accused requested them not to inform the village Munsif as the in j lines were self-inflicted and wanted to cremate the dead body. But P. Ws. 3 to 5 were adamant and went to the house of the village Munsif (P. W. n) at about 4-30 A. M. and informed him. P. W. 11 came to the scene and saw the dead body. He asked the accused and P. W. 1 to give statements, but they did not respond. He took P. Ws. 3 to 5 to his house and recorded their statements, Exs. P 2. P. 4 and P. 12. At about 8-30 A. M, P. W. it sent these statements and his printed report (Ex. P. 22) through a talayari to the Saravakota Police Station, which is about 15 miles off;

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