Decided on September 27,1973

Sabi Alias Sabitri Dei Appellant
STATE Respondents


B.K.Patra, J. - (1.) THE Appellant Sabitri Dei, wife of Chema Singh of village Chhotraipur was tried on the charge that on the night of 27th of October, 1969, she committed murder of her younger daughter Mali Dei, aged about four years.
(2.) CHEMA and Sabitri had two daughters Dasu (p.w. 1) is the elder daughter and the deceased Mali was the younger one. They are daily labourers by profession. On the date of occurrence, Chema Singh had been to a neighbouring village to work as a labourer. The Appellant, however, did not go for work but along with her elder daughter had been to some nearby fields wherefrom she returned home in the evening with some fish. While the Appellant was engaged in cooking the fish, her elder daughter Dasu (p.w. 1) went -to the house of her aunt. At that time she had noticed her younger sister Mali sleeping in the Dhinkisal (seed set apart for husking paddy) of their house. After a while, she came back home and found her mother (the Appellant) sitting silently and her younger daughter Mali lying dead in a pool of blood in the Dhinkisal. On her enquiry from her mother, the latter did not say anything but simply caught hold of her hand and took her towards the jungle near the village. Some time thereafter Chema returned home and finding his younger daughter lying dead in a pool of blood raised an alarm, hearing which some of the villagers came to the spot and finding the girl dead and the Appellant and p.w. 1 missing from the house, they instituted a search for them in the neighbourhood. Finding no trace either of the Appellant or of p.w. 1, one Baghu Singh (p.w. 2) went to the police station and lodged information (Ext. 2) at about 7.00 A.M. the next day. The Sub -Inspector came to the spot, held an inquest over the dead body and sent it for post -mortem examination to the Baripada hospital. He also sent constables to search for the Appellant and her eldest daughter. At about 11.00 A.M. the Appellant and p.w. 1 were found loitering near the border of the nearby reserved forest and were brought to the spot where the Appellant was arrested by the Sub -Inspector. The sari (M.O. I.) which she was wearing and which was blood -stained was seized under seizure list Ext. 6. A spade (M.O. II.) was also seized by the Sub -Inspector from the house of the Appellant. The lady doctor (p.w. 7) who conducted post -mortem examination over the dead body found on it two external injuries; the first one being an incised wound extending from the middle of the right cheek upto the 7th spine and the second, an incised wound extending from half inch below from the right angle of mandible up to the right mastoid process. On dissection, she found that the right carotid artery and the right jugular vein were cut. In her opinion all the injuries were ante -mortem in nature and the death of the child was the result of those injuries which according to her were sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death. She further opined that the injuries could be caused by the sharp edge of the spade M.O. II. M.Os. I and II were sent to the Chemical Examiner for examination. The Chemical Examiner after examination detected blood on both the M.Os. The Serologist who examined the M.Os. I and II opined that they were stained with human blood. After completion of the investigation, a charge sheet under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code was submitted against the Appellant. After preliminary enquiry she was committed to the Court of Session to stand her trial. It appears from the order sheet of the learned Sessions Judge that on the charge under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code being read and explained to the Appellant, she pleaded guilty. The learned Sessions Judge, however, chose nut to convict the Appellant on the basis of her plea but proceeded to record evidence.
(3.) SEVEN witnesses were examined for the prosecution at the trial and none for the defence. P.w. 1 is the elder daughter of the Appellant who stated that when she went to her aunt 's house in the evening of the date of occurrence, she found her younger sister (the deceased) sleeping in the Dhinkisal and her mother (the Appellant) cooking fish, and when after some time she came back from her aunt 's house, she found her younger sister lying dead in a pool of blood and her mother sitting there silently. When she questioned her mother as to who killed her sister, the Appellant did not tell anything but simply caught hold of her hand and took her into the forest nearby, 2 and 3 came to the spot only after the Appellant 's husband Chema raised an alarm and on coming to the spot they found the deceased lying in a pool of blood and the Appellant and p.w. 1 missing from the house P.w. 7 is the lady doctor who conducted post -mortem examination over the dead body and p.w. 6 is the investigating officer P.w. 5 is a witness to the seizure of M.Os. I and II. P.w. 4 was the Chief Medical Officer of Mayurbhanj and the Superintendent of the Circle Jail at Baripada. On the requisition given to him by the Sub -Divisional Officer, Baripada, he had kept the Appellant under his observation from 6 -12 -69 to 29 -12 -69 with a view to observe her mental condition. During this period he found her to be sleeping normally, taking her diet regularly and passing urine and stools normally. She was also obeying orders. In his opinion, she did not exhibit any signs of lunacy during the period of observation. Relying on the evidence of the prosecution witnesses and the circumstances referred to above, the learned Sessions Judge came to the conclusion that it was the Appellant who killed her daughter. He, therefore, convicted her under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code and sentenced her to suffer rigorous imprisonment for life. Hence this appeal.;

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