STATE OF KARNATAKA Vs. DAVID RAZARIO
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: KARNATAKA)
STATE OF KARNATAKA
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Arijit Pasayat, J. -
(1.)An octogenarian old lady was the victim of robbery and murder allegedly committed by the respondents-David Rozario and Christopher David (hereinafter referred to as A1 and A2 respectively for convenience.)
(2.)Prosecution version sans unnecessary details is as follows:
The deceased who had three children residing abroad, was staying alone in her house at No. 47, Stephen's Road, Frazer Town, Bangalore City. A maid-servant Tayarmma (PW-5) was working in her house and also in the house of Mrs. Joyce wife of Holmes (PW-10). In the evening of 20-12-1986 the fateful day, PW-5 as usual served coffee to the deceased in her house and went to the house of PW-10 to work there, and was there till about 8.00 p.m. Thereafter, she left the place to go to her house, which was situated on the back side of deceased's house. When she was near the house of the deceased, she saw the electric lights in the house of the deceased were burning, and also noticed that the front door of the house was closed. While the back door was open she entered the house of the deceased through back door and came to the hall, where she saw the deceased sitting on a chair with blood all over the body. The deceased had sustained head injury, which was bleeding. PW-5 ran out screaming to the house of Mrs. Joyce and brought her husband PW-10 along with her to the house of deceased. They also called another person PW-7. They took the deceased in injured condition to the Nursing Home of Bikram Chand (PW-14). Since the deceased had sustained injuries on the head, the doctor PW-14 requisitioned an Ambulance and sent her to the Nimhans Hospital for further treatment. In spite of the treatment she could not regain consciousness and passed away around mid-night. Intimation was sent by the doctor to the police station. First information report was accordingly recorded and investigation was undertaken. On 26-12-1986 information was gathered by the Investigating Officer about one tape recorder which was missing from the house of the deceased. The tape recorder (M.O.2) was of foreign make. It came to light that the said tape recorder was gifted by her daughter to the deceased. Some days after the date of the incident the accused persons were arrested in another case of theft of a T.V. set. Accused No. 2 led the Investigating Officer and others to a shop where Dilip Ghodke (PW-21), the owner of the shop was asked by A2 to bring the tape recorder which he had sold to him, after redeeming the same from the pawn broker Mohammed Ilyas (PW-8). Relevant pawn ticket receipts were seized by the Investigating Officer. On the basis of the information given by the accused persons recovery was made of the weapon i.e. an Iron Rod (M.O.4). The VII Additional Sessions Judge, Bangalore, on the basis of evidence on record found the accused-appellants guilty under Section 302 read with Section 34 and Section 392 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (in short 'IPC'). They were sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life and rigorous imprisonment for a period of 5 years respectively for the aforesaid two offences. The Division Bench of the Karnataka High Court set aside the conviction.
(3.)The State of Karnataka is in appeal before this Court. Learned counsel for appellant-State submitted that the High Court by a sketchy and practically non-reasoned order has set aside the conviction. Learned counsel for the respondents on the other hand submitted that the High Court has rightly stressed upon the fact that the tape recorder was of very small value and two persons could not have taken the life of an elder lady. According to him, Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (in short 'Evidence Act') was applied by the trial Court to record conviction when the same cannot be the only foundation for conviction.
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