Decided on June 24,1957

STATE Respondents


- (1.) THIS is an appeal, through jail, by Hazar Singh appellant who was convicted on 16-4-1957 by the Sessions Judge of Amritsar under section 302 of the Penal Code for the murder of his wife Anant Kaur and was sentenced to death. There is also a reference by the learned Sessions Judge for confirmation of the death sentence passed upon the appellant.
(2.) THE appellant Hazara Singh married his wife Anant Kaur deceased something like 35 years back. She was one of the daughters of Lal Singh P. W. 3, whose one other daughter, younger to the deceased, was named Durga Devi, who was married to Badri Nath P. W. 4. Lal Singh P. W. 3 is living in Nawan Kot of Amritsar. The appellant was also living in the same house but, with his deceased wife, was occupying a separate room. Badri Nath P. W. 4 was living nearby some houses away, His wife Durga Devi died something about a year and three quarters before the occurrence of this case. She left children one of which was only aged about 5 or 6 years. The deceased was in the habit of going to the house of her brother-inlaw badri Nath P. W. 4 to attend to the children of her deceased sister. This led the appellant into a suspicion that she was carrying on with Badri Nath P. W. 4. He ill-treated her on that account. He laboured under a strong delusion of the faithlessness of his deceased wife, so much so that his son Hardev Singh made an application for his mental examination in order to secure place for him in a mental home. Dr. Vidya Sagar D. W. 1, Superintendent of Mental Hospital at Amritsar, examined him on 22-6-1956 and he found him under a strong delusion about the disloyalty of his wife. He was of the opinion that the appellant indicated signs of insanity on account of the delusion and on account of certain information supplied about him by his son. But it appears that the appellant continued to live in his house and harboured the idea in his mind that his deceased wife was being unfaithful to him all the time. He continued ill-treating her. She complained of her ill-treatment to her father Lal Singh P. W. 3 and in spite of the letter's efforts her lot did not improve. On the evening of 25-7-1956 the appellant again ill-treated his deceased wife, whereupon she complained to her father Lal Singh P. W. 3, who in his turn called to his house Badri Nath P. W. 4, harbans Singh P. W. 5, Harbhagwan Dass P. W. 6 and Bhag Singh P. W. 7, all neighbours. All of them got together to persuade the appellant not to ill-treat his wife and the appellant promised to them that he would not do so in future. The talk started at about 9 p. m. and lasted till about midnight. It was late. Harbhagwan Dass P. W. 6 and Bhag Singh P. W. 7 returned to their houses. Lal singh P. W. 3, Badri Nath P. W. 4 and Harbans Singh P. W. 5 slept outside the house of Lal Singh P. W. 3 but in the lane. The appellant and his deceased wife went in and slept in their room. It was a dark and cloudy night. At about 2 or 2-30 a. m. shrieks of Anant Kaur deceased were heard frorn inside the room of the appellant. They woke up Lal singh, Badri Nath and Harbans Singn. They made for the room. Harbans Singh threw torch light inside the room and the witnesses saw that the appellant was holding his deceased wife by the neck. He, thereafter, immediately ran away passing out of the room by another door. The witnesses went inside the room and found that Anant Kaur was lying dead burnt almost all over her body by acid. Lal singh P. W. 3 reached Division D Police Station of Amritsar and lodged the report at 4-30 a. m. In that report all the details as set out above are fully given.
(3.) THE investigating officer A. S. I, Ram Rattan Singh P. W. 15 soon reached the place of the occurrence. After preparing necessary documents, such as inquest report and the statement of injuries, the dead body was sent to the mortuary for post-mortem examination. The statements of the witnesses were taken on that very morning. At about that time Sub-Inspector Ramsaran Das P. W. 13 was on duty at the Amritsar Railway Station and at about 4-40 a. m. he noticed the appellant at the Railway Station with marks of injuries on his person. He detained him under sections 55 and 109 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Subsequently the appellant was taken under arrest in connection with this case.;

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