NANJAPPA N. D. Vs. STATE OF KARNATAKA
LAWS(SC)-2006-1-88
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: KARNATAKA)
Decided on January 19,2006

Nanjappa N. D. Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF KARNATAKA Respondents


Cited Judgements :-

VAJABAI VIKRAM SONAWANE VS. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA [LAWS(BOM)-2012-3-171] [REFERRED TO]
G RAVICHANDRAN VS. INSPECTOR OF POLICE [LAWS(MAD)-2010-1-358] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF GUJARAT VS. YUSUFBHAI ALIBHAI SIPAI [LAWS(GJH)-2013-5-107] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

- (1.)This appeal is preferred against the judgment of the High Court of Karnataka. The appellant was charged for the offence under Sections 306 and 498-A IPC. The Sessions Court found him guilty of the offences under Sections 306 and 498-A IPC and he was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for a period of 5 years and 3 years respectively. The High Court confirmed the conviction and sentence passed by the Sessions Court. It is against the same, the present appeal was preferred.
(2.)Brief facts are as follows: The appellant was married to the deceased Kanthi @ Revathi and they had a daughter. The marriage was celebrated on 1-6-1983. The marital life continued happily for some period, and thereafter it ran into rough weather. It was alleged that the appellant had an affair with one Ammu, PW 16. The prosecution case is that on 29-8-1985 at about 1.30 p.m. the deceased Revathi was working in the field along with one other person. The prosecution alleged that at about 1.30 p.m. she jumped into the tank situated in the paddy field. PW 13 who was passing nearby, saw the deceased Revathi drowning but he could not rescue her. Body of Revathi was taken out of the tank and was sent to the nearby Public Health Centre at Suntikoppa. The doctor in charge of PHC informed the police. PW 24, the Sub-Inspector registered a case. He held an inquest of the dead body on the next day. He also visited the place of occurrence and prepared a "mahazar". During the course of the preparation of the "mahazar" the inspector found a pair of chappals on the bank of the tank. Thereafter he filed a complaint. On the side of the prosecution 24 witnesses were examined.
(3.)The learned Sessions Judge found that the deceased Revathi was being ill-treated by her appellant husband and she had committed suicide and therefore, the appellant was guilty of the offence as charged against him. From the judgment of the Sessions Court it is clear that the theory of suicide was upheld on the basis of the "mahazar" prepared by PW 24 and the recovery of chappals from the side of the tank. It was also taken note of by the Sessions Court that there were no visible signs of somebody slipping into the tank and for these reasons the court held that it was a case of suicide. The prosecution did not adduce any other evidence to prove that it was a case of suicide. The three other witnesses who were alleged to have reached the spot immediately after the incident were not examined by the prosecution. Had these witnesses been examined they would have thrown some light as to whether it was suicide or not. The presumption drawn on the basis of the presence of chappals on the side of the tank that it was suicide, is not on sound reasoning. If somebody wants to wash the foot, normally the chappal would be kept by the side of the tank and only after removing the chappal one would touch the water. The absence of slippery marks also cannot be a valid reason for coming to the conclusion that it was a case of suicide. It is true that the prosecution had produced a series of letters allegedly written by the deceased to the appellant (sic) to prove that she was being ill-treated by her husband and that her life was miserable. Even if it is accepted that the contents of the letters are true, that would only prove that she was being ill-treated by her husband and if it was an accidental death the appellant could not have been found guilty of the offence under Section 498-A or 306 IPC. The incident had happened at 1.30 p.m. in broad daylight which would also may not advance the theory of the prosecution of suicidal death.


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