DHANRAJ Vs. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: BOMBAY)
DHANRAJ,VENUBAI KELBAJI RAUT
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
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Brijesh Kumar, J. -
(1.)The criminal appeals mentioned above arise out of the judgment and order passed by the High Court of Maharashtra in Criminal Appeal No. 49 of 1995, upholding the conviction of the appellants under Section 302 read with Section 34 IPC and the sentence of imprisonment for life thereunder and a fine of Rs. 100/- each, in default of payment whereof, further rigorous imprisonment for a period of one month. We have before us in all four appellants since Laxmibai has not preferred any appeal against her conviction and the sixth accused who was also charge-sheeted namely, Ramesh continues to be absconding.
(2.)Appellants Dhanraj, Subhash and Sukhdeo are brothers being sons of Kisana Raut. The absconding accused Ramesh is younger brother of Kisana Raut. The appellant Venubai is mother of Kisana and Ramesh. Laxmibai is wife of Kisana. The deceased Sindhubai was the wife of absconding accused Ramesh.
(3.)The prosecution story is that accused persons had not been happy with the deceased Sindhubai. She was the second wife of Ramesh. They were married about three years prior to the incident but she did not bear any child to Ramesh. According to the statement of the deceased to the police, the accused persons wanted her to be turned out of the house and Ramesh had started developing relations with Sunanda sister of Laxmi. They planned to drive out the deceased from the house so that Ramesh could marry Sunanda. It is said that on 12-3-1992 a quarrel took place in the house. The husband, the sister-in-law Laxmi, her sons and Venubai wanted the deceased to leave the house but she did not. She was also given beating. On the date of incident, namely, 17-3-1992 at about 8.30 A.M. again a quarrel took place amongst the persons indicated above and the deceased in which Venubai is said to have beaten her with a bamboo sticks. Thereafter Dhanraj, Subhash and Sukhdeoo caught hold of Sindhubai and Laxmibai and Venubai brought two bottles of kerosene oil and sprinkled the same on the body of Sindhubai and Ramesh lighted a match stick and threw it upon Sindhubai who caught fire. PW-1 Umesh, brother of the deceased who was present in the house poured some water on Sindhubai. Thereafter he rushed to inform his parents. Sindhubai fell down in the Courtyard. She, however, went to the primary Health Centre, Warud all alone by herself by a Jeep up to Sunoli Naka and then by a Rikshaw. No one from her in-laws or husband accompanied her. The Medical Officer of the Primary Health Centre, Warud examined her and informed the police. She also informed the police to arrange for recording of the dying declaration of the deceased. On the information received from PHC Warud, PW-9 Sheshrao, P.S.I. also came to the hospital and recorded her statement. He obtained the thumb impression of Sindhubai on the statement which is marked as Ex. 55. On the basis of the said statement he registered a case under Section 307/34 IPC as Crime No. 76/92. Naib Tehsildar also came to the PHC and recorded statement of the deceased. The doctor thereafter referred her to the General Hospital, Amravati. Sindhubai however died in the hospital on 22-3-1992 whereupon the case was converted to one under Section 302 IPC.
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