STATE OF KARNATAKA Vs. M N RAMDAS
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: KARNATAKA)
STATE OF KARNATAKA
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P. Venkatarama Reddi, J. -
(1.)This appeal by special leave filed by the State is against the judgment of the High Court of Karnataka setting aside the judgment of the Sessions Court, Mysore and acquitting the respondent herein of the charge under S. 302 IPC. The respondent was charged of committing murder of his companion by name Ananthu by inflicting injuries with a chopper on the afternoon of 28-6-1988 at a room in 'Kucheta lodge' in Mysore. According to the prosecution, the accused and the deceased who stayed in the house of PW 4 on the day prior to the day of occurrence came together to Mysore on the next day i.e. 28-6-1988. The accused came to the house of PW 4 to meet the deceased Ananthu who was related to him. The accused and the deceased checked in at Kucheta lodge in Mysore at about 1.30 P.M. on 28-6-1988. At that time PW2 who was a friend of the proprietor of the lodge and who used to stay in the lodge during his visits to Mysore to attend to his contract work was at the counter of the hotel. According to PW 2, the manager by name Raju while leaving for food requested him to be at the counter. Entries were made in the lodge register and a receipt - P1 was passed on to the accused for the cash received. It transpires from the evidence that the name written in the hotel register and the receipt was 'H.S. Ramesh'. The receipt which is in a printed form in English was filled up by the deceased as PW 2 did not know English. At about 4.15 P.M. when PW 2 was sitting at the counter along with the room boy Manjunath, the accused came and told him that he had killed Ananthu and he should telephone to the police. At that time he was wearing only a pant and his body was stained with blood. Then, he sent the room boy Manjunath along with the accused to the room to see what had happened. Manjunath came back leaving the accused in room and closing it from outside. Manjunath reported to PW 2 that murder had taken place and that he may telephone to the owner of the lodge. Then, he contacted the proprietor's father by name Jugga Raju (PW 3) over telephone and informed him that some 'Galata' (untoward incident) had taken place in the lodge and requested him to come down to the lodge. PW 3 came to the lodge immediately and got a feed back of the event from PW 2. PW 3 then contacted the police and informed them that a murder had taken place in room No. 7 without naming the victim or the assailant. Then, the police Sub-inspector - PW 12 accompanied by police personnel reached the lodge. He entered room No.7 in second floor by opening the bolt. He found the accused sitting on the cot. A dead body was lying by the side of the cot in a pool of blood. There were injuries on the neck and the face and a blood stained chopper was found on the table. He arrested the accused who gave his name as Ramdas and he sent the accused to the police station. PW 12 recorded the statement of room boy Manjunath at the lodge. The statement signed by Manjunath is Ex. P 10 and it was treated as complaint. PW 12 returned to the police station at about 5 P.M. and registered the crime under Section 302 IPC and submitted FIR -Ex P11 to the Magistrate and superior officers. Then, PW 10 who was working as Circle Inspector of police took over further investigation. He proceeded to the place of occurrence and drew up spot Mahajar in the presence of Panchas - PW 5 and another. He seized various articles in the room including blood stained bed sheets and pillow covers, bushshirt of the deceased, blood stained chopper etc. Then, in the presence of the Panchas, he held inquest over the dead body. During inquest he examined PWs 2 and 3. The inquest report is Ex. P 3. He sent the dead body for post-mortem examination. According to PW 10 the accused was sent with requisition to the hospital through a police constable as he sustained minor injuries. After the accused returned from the hospital PW 10 seized his clothes M.O. 13 to 15 in the presence of Panch witness PW 7 after providing alternative clothing to him. The seized articles were sent to the Forensic Laboratory, Bangalore. The chemical analysis and Serology reports (P 9 and P 8) confirmed the presence of human blood stains on various articles including M.O. 6 and clothes. PW 10 deposed that during investigation it was disclosed that there was a scuffle between the accused and the deceased.
(2.)PW 1, who is the wife of the deceased, stated that one Ranga Raju who is her husband's paternal aunt's son is the owner of the land adjacent to their land and her husband and Ranga Raju were often quarrelling in connection with the land dispute. She further stated that Ranga Raju's elder brother's son is the accused. She also stated in somewhat vague terms that "due to land dispute, there was ill-will between my husband and accused". She identified the handwriting of her husband on Ex. P1 which was issued in the alleged name of H.S. Ramesh. She also identified clothes on the body of the deceased. Moreover, she stated that the police showed her the hotel register in which the name - H.S. Ramesh was found and that name was also written with the hand of her husband.
(3.)PW 6 is the Professor and Head of Department of Forensic Science in Government Medical College. He conducted post-mortem examination of the dead body on the night of 29-6-1988 as per the requisition received from the police on the previous day. Ex. P4 is the post-mortem report. PW 6 found six incised wounds on the face and neck apart from many other superficial incised wounds and abrasions on various parts of the body. Incised wounds 1 to 6, according to PW 6, looked like multiple chop wounds which cut the neck tissues up to the trachea. The injury on the right side of the neck was deep seated, cutting the muscles and blood vessels of the neck. The outer part of the third cervical vertebrae was found cut upto the body. PW 6 expressed the opinion that the death was due to bleeding and shock as a result of chop injuries on the right side of the neck caused by a heavy sharp cutting weapon. The seized chopper - MO 6 was examined by him and he gave the opinion that the injuries could have been caused by a weapon like MO 6 and some of the minor injuries could be caused by slashing of the cutting edge of MO 6.
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