SUNDARAMURTHY Vs. STATE OF TAMIL NADU
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: MADRAS)
STATE OF TAMIL NADU
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S. Ratnavel Pandian, J. -
(1.)This appeal is directed against the judgment rendered in Criminal Appeal No. 740 of 1973 on the file of the High Court of Madras confirming the conviction of the appellant under Sec. 302, I.P.C. but modifying the extreme penalty of law namely the sentence of death inflicted by the trial Court into one of imprisonment for life.
(2.)The facts of the prosecution case are quite simple and are not in serious dispute. The only controversy relates to the question whether the accused did cause the injury in exercise of his right of self-defence or not.
(3.)The synoptical resumption of the case of the prosecution is as follows:
There had been disputes between the appellant and the deceased Ganesan ever since the general election held in 1962 in which the brother of the deceased contested and became successful. The deceased was the Munsif of village Vallur to which village the appellant belongs. On 25-8-1972 i.e. the date of occurrence there was a festival in the Sadayamman Temple in Athipattu Village. The appellant went to the temple. On seeing the deceased in the temple the appellant profaned and abused him in filthy language. P.Ws. 1, 9 and 15 tried to pacify the appellant and asked him to leave the temple. The appellant while leaving the temple swore that he would sacrifice the deceased at the alter of the temple on that day itself. At about 10.00 or 10.30 p.m. the deceased was returning to his house accompanied by P.Ws. 1, 9 and 10. When all of them were nearing a lamp post, the appellant suddenly came from behind a live fence and stabbed the deceased on the left side of his chest with a soori knife. At about 12.15 a.m. the deceased was taken to the police station where he gave a statement Ex. P-2. P.W. 20 the Sub-Inspector of Police of Minjur registered a case on the basis of Ex. P-2 under Sec. 325, I.P.C. and took up the investigation.
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