C Praveen Kumar, C.J. -
(1.)The accused No.1 in Sessions Case No.127 of 2007 on the file of the I Additional Sessions Judge, Krishna at Machilipatnam, is the appellant herein. He along with A2 to A5 were tried for the offences punishable under Sections 120-B and 302 I.P.C. for causing the death of his mother-in-law on 26-12-2005, at the steps of Mamatha Medical Shop in Buttaiahpet, Machilipatnam. By its judgment dated 15.2.2012, the learned Sessions Judge convicted the accused for the offence punishable under Section 302 I.P.C. and sentenced him to suffer imprisonment for life and also to pay a fine of Rs.200/-, in default, to suffer simple imprisonment for one year for the offence under Section 302 I.P.C., while acquitting him for the offence punishable under Section 120-B I.P.C. A2 to A5 were acquitted of the charges with which they were tried. Challenging the same, the present appeal came to be filed.
(2.)The substance of charge against the accused is that on 26-12- 2006 at about 8 AM at the steps of Mamatha Medical Shop in Buttaiahpet, Machilipatnam, which is in front of the house of the deceased, A1 killed his mother-in-law by name, Rekapalli Lalitha by hacking her indiscriminately all over the body.
(3.)The facts as culled out from the evidence of prosecution witnesses are as under :
P.W.1 is son of the deceased, while P.W.2 is the husband of the deceased. D.W.1 - Vemula Saritha is the wife of A1 and daughter of the deceased and P.W.2. It was a love marriage. It is said that while D.W.1 was studying in Noble college, A1 was pursuing his Intermediate in the same college. Both of them got married without the consent of the parents. After marriage, A1 and D.W.1 lived happily for about 6 months. Later, A1 started harassing D.W.1 for money. It is said that he used to torture and beat her for money. About 4 months prior to the incident, unable to bear the harassment in the hands of A1, D.W.1 came to the house of P.W.1. It is said that A1 used to telephone to P.W.1 and demand to send his wife back to his house. It is also stated that A1 used to harass not only D.W.1, but also the deceased and her father. On 14.10.2005, A1 came to the house of P.W.1, beat the parents of P.W.1 causing bleeding injuries on their head. Immediately thereafter, they were taken to the Government Hospital at Bandar. A criminal case came to be registered against A1 with regard to the said incident. The Police arrested A1 and kept him in jail for a period of one month. After his release, A1 started threatening to kill P.W.1 and his parents as they filed a police case against him. It is said that on 26.12.2005 at about 10.00 AM, P.W.1 and others had to take D.W.1 to the court in connection with a case. They feared that A1 may forcibly abduct D.W.1. At that point of time, the deceased went to the said Medical Shop to telephone to Police for protection, since the medical shop had a telephone coin box. At that point of time, A1 suddenly came to the said place and being in possession of a penaka knife, hacked the deceased, who is mother of P.W.1, on left side of her neck and on the chest and also below the left shoulder. On receiving the said blow, the deceased fell down on the ground. A1 once again hacked the deceased on the right hip with the same knife. The knife got struck in the right hip. Having left the knife, A1 fled away. P.W.1, his sister and his father, who were standing at the house were shocked to see the incident. The public and the shop owners closed the shops and ran helter skelter. Father of P.W.1 i.e., P.W.2 and D.W.1 went towards the deceased. P.W.1 prepared a report and lodged the same before P.W.12 - Sub Inspector of Police vide Ex.P1, which came to be registered as a case in crime No.176 of 2005 under Section 302 I.P.C.. P.W.12 took up investigation in this case, since the Inspector of Police was engaged in the inspection of another crime. He deputed P.C. 484 to guard the dead body of the deceased and left the Police Station to the scene of offence, which is situated at the steps of Mamatha Medical Shop building. In the presence of P.W.9 and others, he prepared an observation of the scene in Ex.P11. He also got the dead body photographed through P.W.8. Exs.P6 to P9 are the developed photographs and Ex.P10 its negatives. He also seized blood stained earth - M.O.5, controlled earth - M.O.7 and blood stained pieces of Cuddapha slab - M.O.7. He also got prepared the rough sketch of the scene of offence - Ex.P18. In the presence of P.W.9, he conducted inquest over the dead body. Ex.P12 is the inquest report. During inquest, he examined P.Ws.1, 2 and D.W.1. After conducting inquest, he removed the knife from the hip portion of the victim under the cover of mediators report - Ex.P13. Thereafter, he sent the body to Government Hospital, Machilipatnam, where P.W.10 - Civil Assistant Surgeon, District Headquarters Hospital, Machilipatnam, conducted autopsy over the dead body and issued Ex.P14 - post-mortem certificate. According to him, the deceased appeared to have died due to asphyxia due to chopped trachea and left lung, and the time of death would be within 8 hours prior to his post-mortem examination, which is at 3.50 PM on 26.12.2005.