B. N. Agrawal, J. -
(1.)Condemned prisoner has impugned the judgment rendered by the High Court of Delhi whereby his conviction under Section 302 of the Penal Code recorded by the trial Court, has been upheld and sentence of death confirmed, the reference having been accepted.
(2.)Prosecution case, as unfolded by one Daya Kant Pandey (P.W.2) in his fard beyan, was that the appellant used to consume liquor habitually and was in the habit of getting angry, became wild, incoherent and at times assaulted his wife deceased Neelam. He was employed in American Embassy in Chanakaya Puri and was residing with his wife and one and a half years old daughter on the first floor of house No. B-49, Dabri Extension, Delhi, which had been taken on rent by him from one Hira Nand (PW1). On 11th September, 1996, which was the fateful day, at 4 p.m., PW2 had gone to the house of the appellant to know about the welfare of his daughter. At that time, Sita Ram Pandey, father of the appellant (DW1), was also present. The appellant returned home at about 7.00 p.m. At dinner the appellant consumed liquor. After dinner PW2 and DW1 went to the terrace for sleeping. After sometime at about 9.30 p.m., PW2 heard some noise from downstair. He thought that the noise was coming from the portion occupied by the landlord, i.e. the ground floor. After some time, he heard cries of his daughter whereupon he immediately rushed down and found that the accused was inflicting stab wounds on his daughter, Neelam, with a knife while she was bleeding profusely. He also saw his grand-daughter Annu lying injured on the ground bleeding. The appellant came towards PW2 in a state of anger with knife in his hand and PW2 retraced his steps. At this stage, appellant ran downstairs. PW2 then raised alarm and the landlord and others gathered there. PW2 and DW1 took the injured Neelam and Annu to Din Dayal Upadhaya Hospital, (hereinafter referred to as 'the hospital'), but they were declared dead when the doctor examined them in the hospital. Sub-Inspector Ganga Ram (PW7) and Constable Jai Ram (PW6) were on patrol duty and they met Head Constable Suresh Kumar and Constable Hari Om and Constable Ashloof Khan (PW10). At that time it was noticed by them that the appellant was coming from Dabri side holding a knife and on seeing the police, he tried to flee but the police officials apprehended him and the knife was snatched away from him. Later on, it revealed that the accused had used that knife to cause death of his wife and child. The Sub-Inspector, PW7, went to the house and found a crowd there where on query he was told that the injured Neelam and her child Annu had been taken to the hospital by PW2 and DW1. PW7 gave a telephonic message with regard to the crime to the police station. After leaving Head Constable Suresh Kumar and other police officials for taking care of the scene of crime and of the accused, he went to the hospital. There he found that the doctor had declared Neelam and Annu to have been brought dead. Stating the aforesaid facts, fard beyan of Daya Kant Pandey, PW2, was recorded in the same night at 0045 hours and the same was immediately despatched to the police station through Constable Jai Ram, PW6, on the basis of which case under Section 302 of the Penal Code was registered at 0120 hours. Police after registering the case, took up investigation and on completion thereof submitted charge-sheet whereupon cognizance was taken and the appellant was committed to the Court of Session to face trial.
(3.)Defence of the appellant was that he was innocent, had no complicity with the crime and had been falsely implicated in the case on hand by the informant who did not like him. According to him, his wife and daughter were sleeping in the room whereas he was sleeping with his father on the terrace and during night upon hearing alarm, they rushed to the room, where his wife told him in an incoherent voice that they, presumably referring to some assailants, were running away. Thereupon, the appellant asked his father to take care of his wife and daughter and he went to downstairs and raised alarm by which time the culprits took to their heels. When returned after 15-20 minutes, he learnt that his wife and daughter had been taken to the hospital by his father and he gave information to the employer of his father-in-law on telephone asking him to convey the message to the latter who was residing in Ghaziabad. Thereafter, the appellant rushed to the police station to lodge the first information report where he was arrested by the police and whereafter the informant arrived the hospital after two to three hours from Ghaziabad blaming the appellant for the murder.