STATE Vs. DINU SANTA AND ANR.
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
Dinu Santa And Anr.
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R.N. Misra, J. -
(1.) THIS appeal under Section 417(1), Code of Criminal Procedure at the instance of the State of Orissa is directed against the judgment of acquittal passed by the learned Sessions Judge of Koraput acquitting the two Respondents of charges under Sections 302, 34 and 201 34. Indian Penal Code.
(2.) THE prosecution alleged that during the night of 28 -5 -1969 one Budra Santa (the deceased) went to watch over his maize field. The next morning (Thursday) as Budra did not return home as usual, his son Kamulu went in search of him to the maize field. He returned weeping and informed the accused Dinu that someone had severed the head of his father from the body and the headless body was lying in the field. The informant (accused Dinu) lodged the F.I.R. after having gone to the field and seen the dead -body. It was alleged that the severed head was not traced. p.w. 7 the Investigating Officer, after recording the F.I.R. came to the spot and started investigation. Upon his preliminary investigation he arrested both the accused persons on 31 -5 -1969. Accused Dinu, while in custody, gave information about the severed head as also of the axe and led the Investigating Officer and the two witnesses p.ws. 5 and 9 to the places of concealment. The accused persons were sent for recording of their confessional statements. Exts. 5 and 6 are such statements recorded by a Magistrate, First Class (p.w. 3). In due course the accused persons were committed to stand their trial for the two charges referred to above. Both the accused persons pleaded not guilty and retracted from their confessions Exts. 5 and 6. They denied the recoveries of the head of the deceased and the axe on the basis of any disclosure made by them.
(3.) THE prosecution mainly relied on the confessions Exts. 5 and 6, the extra -judicial confession supported by p.ws. 4 and 8, and the discovery of the head of the deceased and the axe (M.O.I.) with the accompanying evidence of p.ws. 1, 5, 7 and 9. The prosecution also relied upon the circumstance that the relationship between the parties was very strained.
Most of the witnesses who had implicated the accused persons during investigation or even at the committal enquiry turned hostile. The confessions were branded as the outcome of coercion and pressure of the police. Some evidence appeared to show that the place of concealment of the head was known to persons other than the accused. The learned Sessions Judge did not rely upon the discovery as a circumstance against the accused persons because he was of the view that the discovery was tainted being brought about by pressure. Ultimately he recorded a judgment of acquittal. This appeal is directed against the said judgment.;
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