P. Venkatarama Reddy, J. -
(1.)The appellant-accused was working as a domestic servant in the house of retired Brigadier Shyam Lal Khanna. According to the findings of the Sessions Court and the High Court the accused put an end to the life of three members of the family including Mr. Khanna and endeavoured to kill the informant Mrs. Khanna. The ghastly incident occurred in the morning hours of 15-11-1994 in Vasant Vihar area of Dehradun. The appellant was charged under Ss. 302 and 307. I.P.C. Another person by named Nitish with whose sister the appellant had illicit intimacy was also charged under S. 120-B, I.P.C. The learned Additional Sessions Judge, Dehradun, convicted the accused-appellant under Ss. 302 and 307, I.P.C. for committing the offence of murder, death sentence was imposed. Under S. 307, I.P.C., he was sentenced to undergo R.I. for 7 years. The other accused was acquitted of the charge. The Sessions Judge made a reference under S. 366, Cr. P.C. for confirmation of death sentence. The appellant also preferred an appeal from jail. The High Court dismissed the appeal preferred by the accused-appellant and confirmed the death sentence and other sentences passed against him for the offences under Ss. 302 and 307, I.P.C. It is against this judgment of the High Court dated 19-9-2001, the present appeal has been preferred by the accused through Jail authorities.
(2.)One of the victims a retired Brigadier working with ONGC at Dehradun was living in his house with his wife Rama Khanna - the informant, and his son Sarit Khanna who had returned from U.K. after completing his studies two weeks earlier. The sister of the informant by name Bishna Mathur was also staying in the house at the relevant time. The appellant was engaged as servant at their house about six months earlier. According to the prosecution, the day before the incident, it was decided to terminate his services on account of his objectionable behaviour and he was informed of their decision. A day later, he indulged in the ghastly attack against the entire family. The crucial evidence on behalf of the prosecution is that of P.W. 1 Smt. Rama Khanna who gave the First Information Report to the police soon after the occurrence. The prosecution case as unfolded by her deposition is this :
(3.)The accused was residing in the servant's quarter, he having been employed about six months prior to the Incident. There were instances in which the accused proved to be unreliable. He had stolen money from the purse of her husband once when she and her husband went to outstation. He killed her pet sparrow and also put feathers inside the nose of her hen. She and her husband discussed about the conduct and mentality of the accused and decided to dispense with his service from 1st December, 1994. To this effect her husband informed the accused. On 14-11-1994, the accused served bed tea at about 8 a.m. to her, her husband and her sister. At that time her son was sleeping in the bed room. After the bed tea, her husband left the house for a morning walk as usual. P.W. 1 and her sister went into the bath rooms adjacent to each other. When she wanted to come out of the bath room. P.W. 1 found it was bolted from outside. From the window of the bath room, she communicated to her sister to open the bolt. as her sister just came out of the bath room, P.W. 1 heard her cries for about five minutes and then there was pin drop silence. At this P.W. 1 became suspicious that some untoward incident had happened. Then, the accused himself opened the bath room door in which P.W. 1 was confined; but, before fully opening the door and confronting the accused, she noticed that the accused was holding chilly powder in one hand and sword in another. The sword happened to be of her husband. As soon as the door was opened, the accused threw chilly powder on her and attacked with the sword. The sword luckily hit the golden bangle which she was wearing as a result of which her left wrist was fractured and in this process, the bangle got dented. She managed to get into the bath room and bolted the door from inside. The accused kept banging the bath room door. At that Juncture, her husband returned from morning walk and on hearing her panicky voice from the bathroom, he came straight to the bedroom to which the bathroom was attached. She pleaded with her husband to open the door as the accused Raja (alias name of accused) was up to some mischief. Her husband replied that Raja was not there, but immediately thereafter, she heard the cries of her husband as the accused started attacking him with sword after throwing chilly powder on his face. She heard her husband remarking Raja "why are you doing this We have not harmed you." After sometime, the cries of her husband subsided. Thereafter, the accused tried to injure her with the help of a danda from the window of the bathroom. In the meanwhile, her husband gathered strength to open the bathrdoom door from outside. Then P.W. 1 ran towards the main gate of the house and closed it from inside to prevent re-entry of the accused inside the house as he was standing outside at that time. At this, the accused started banging the main door repeatedly and thereafter left the spot. When she came inside the bed room, she found that her husband was lying injured with profuse bleeding and heavy breathing. She noticed the injuries on his neck and chilly powder smeared on his face. Then she rushed to the bed room of her son and found that he was lying dead in a pool of blood with his neck severed from his body. A stone slab was found on his legs. On entry into the room of her sister. P.W. 1 found that chilly powder was spilled all over the room and her sister was dead with severe injuries on her face and neck. On opening the drawing room window, she found Jamadar Raju (P.W. 4) approaching the house. She cried out and asked him to open the main gate and told him that the accused had murdered the inmates of the house. Then the neighbours gathered and took her and her injured husband to ONGC hospital. He was declared dead at the hospital. P.W. 1 was given first aid and then she was dropped back at the house. P.W. 8 who was known to the family of P.W. 1 was in the crowd and he scribed the complaint as per her dictation. She handed over the report at Vasant Vihar Police post at about 10.30 a.m. The police then inspected the place of occurrence, took photographs and sent the dead body for post-mortem. Again, P.W. 1 was taken to ONGC hospital and X-ray of her wrist was taken and she was treated for her fracture.