P MANI Vs. STATE OF TAMIL NADU
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
STATE OF TAMIL NADU
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S. B. Sinha, J. -
(1.)The Appellant was convicted on a charge of commission of an offence under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code and sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for life as also a fine of Rs. 5000/- by a judgment and order dated 10-01-2001 passed by Additional Sessions Court, Kanyakumari District at Nagercoil in S.C. No. 183 of 1999.
(2.)The deceased was the wife of the Appellant. They were not in good terms. The deceased nurtured grudge against him on the belief that the Appellant was having affairs with another woman (PW-12) who is wife of his elder brother (PW-11). On 4-10-1998 at about 10.45 a.m., some children had been witnessing television in the house of the Appellant. They came out therefrom stating that the deceased had asked them to go out of the house and bolted the door from inside. Upon hearing the same, PWs 1, 2 and the Appellant herein went back and broke open the door. Allegedly, the Appellant had poured kerosene on her and set fire to the deceased.
(3.)It is not in dispute that the door of the room was broken open. The said witnesses as also PWs-3 to 6 saw the deceased in flames. The fire was extinguished and she was taken to the government hospital. It is moreover not in dispute that the Appellant took her to the hospital along with other witnesses. They reached hospital at about 11.15 a.m. A dying declaration was recorded by a Judicial Magistrate between the period 12.25 p.m. and 12.45 p.m. in the presence of a doctor (PW-15). A Head Constable (PW-23), in-charge of Kulachal Police Station in the meantime received information about the said incident whereupon he arrived at the hospital recorded the statement of the deceased again from 14.15 p.m. to 14.45 p.m.; on the basis whereof the First Information Report was lodged. A case under Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code (Code) was registered against the Appellant. In Column No. 7 of the said First Information Report the name of the Appellant was shown as accused. The Investigating Officer (PW-24) on 5-10-1998 made seizure of kerosene can, matchstick, matchbox, iron bolt, etc. She died in the government hospital at about 11.15 a.m. on 9-10-1998, whereafter the charge in the F.I.R. was altered to Section 302 of the Code. The Appellant was arrested in connection with the said case on 21-10-1998.
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