(1.) This is a Reference under Section 374 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for confirmation of the sentence of death passed on the prisoner Sisir Kumar Chatterjee ailias Dalu, under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, for the murder of his sister-in-law, Mira Chatterjee. There is also an appeal by the prisoner which has been heard along with the reference.
(2.) The prosecution case is briefly as follows:
The deceased Mira Chatterjee aged about 20, was the wife of Sunil Chatterjee alias Baru, a twin brother of the prisoner Sisir Chatterjee alias Dalu but born a few minutes earlier.
Sunil Chatterjee used normally to reside at the house of his father Jagadish Chatterjee at (Baguihati, Police Station Rajarhat, near Barasat in 24-Parganas district. On the date of occurrence, April 17, 1960, which was an Easter Sunday, Sunil Chatterjee, husband of Mira Chatterjee, was not at home having gone with some friends on a motoring expedition to Darjeeling side. The prisoner Sisir Chatterjee used: to serve as a constable of the Calcutta' Police, and at the relevant time was attached as a member of the Dock Police at Kidderpore his number in the force being 315. On the date of occurrence at mid-day, after taking their meals, Mira Chatterjee and her sister-in-law Bani Chatterjee (sister of Sunil Chatterjee and Sisir Chatterjee) aged about 23 went to a tube well situated within the compound of the house of Jagadish Chatterjee in order to wash utensils. When cashing of utensils was over, Bani Chatterjee took the utensils with her and stacked them at the proper place in a covered verandah. Mira Chatterjee was then washing two napkins to which washing soda had been applied. After stacking the utensils at the proper place, (Bani Chatterjee took a "Patrika" from a table of her father's room and went to her mother's room for reading' the "Patrika". She noticed in her father's time piece that it was then 1-25 p.m. When she started reading the "Patrika" there was suddenly a loud scream by Mira Chatterjee, and she then rushed to the verandah and found Mira Chatterjee coming from the northern side, and she came and clasped Bani who got some blood-stains on her Sari. Bani asked Mira what, was the matter, Mira could not say anything, but pointed towards the backside with her finger. Following the direction indicated. Bani noticed that the northern door towards the garden of the house was open and heard a sound from the yard and noticed through the window that a tall man was hurriedly going out by the back door of the courtyard. Thinking that some thief had entered and not having realised that (Mira had been severely stabbed, she pursued the man crying, "Catch him, Catch him". Biva, Chatterjee, widow of the elder brother of Sunil Chatterjee, was then in the house, and she also joined the chase of the man who was seen running - away. One Pankaj Ganguli of the" neighbourhood also picked up the chase and outstripped the ladies Bani and Biva Chatterjee. None of them could catch hold of the man who was running away. At a certain distance, near file house of P.W. 2 Ranibala Das, wife of Baren Das, the man was seen to drop something. This was picked up by Bani Dhatterjee and the thing was found to be a pair of wollen gloves. At that time. Bani's mother was heard shouting, "Come and see, "what has happened to 'Mira," and then Biva and Bani Chatterjee both ran back to their house. Tinder the direction of the mother Bani Chatterjee called a doctor P.W. 6, Dr. M.N. Gupta, but P.W. 6 when he arrived, found that Mira Chatterjee was already dead At the post mortem examination which was held next-day by P.W. 19 Dr. A.C. Chakravarti, Medical Officer of Bjjrasat Sadar Hospital, the injury found was an incised gaping wound 11 3/4 x 3/4" on the back, situated 2 1/2" to the left of middle line, and on dissection, the injury was found to have cut through the pleura and the lower lobe of the left lung, and perforated the diaphragm to the extent of about 1" and there was about half pint of fluid blood collected in the chest cavity, while the abdominal cavity contained about one pint of fluid blood and clots. The stomach was found full of undigested rice and other food materials, thus corroborating the story given by Bani Chatterjee that the stabbing took place just after she and Mira had finished their mid-day meal and done some washing of utensils. Before the arrival of the doctor, Biva splashed water on the head and face of Mira, and in taking water from a bucket which was near the tube-well, found a blood stained dagger (Ext. II) in the bucket. Bani when she returned with the doctor found a piece of black cloth (Ext. III) with holes for eyes and nose, on the courtyard near the place for stacking coal.
(3.) Information was taken to the thana by a neighbour P.W. 1 Anil Kumar Basu, whose evidence is that he was at a local club known as "Netaji Jubak Sangha" and at about 1-45 p.m. when, he and some other members of the club were listening to the Radio Programme known as "Anurodher Asar", i.e., selected record music a, boy named Kumud Roy, aged 12 or 13, came there and gave the information that Baruda's wife, i.e., the wife of Sunil Chatterjee, had been murdered, and then the witness Anil Kumar Basu went to Sunil Chatterjee's house and saw a number of people collected there and he was requested by the people present to run to the police station and lodge an information, as no male member was then at the house except the old master Jagadish Chatterjee, and therefore, the witness wont to the thana and lodged the information which was recorded at the Rajarhat Police Station at 3-25 p.m.;