Decided on July 15,2003



KRISHNAN NAIR, J. - (1.) The unfortunate victim in this case is one Rajimol, aged 9 years, who was the daughter of P. W. 1, Omana. Rajimol was studying in the Vth standard in the K. M. U. P. School, Mallassery. On 1-12-1997, at 7 a.m. as usual, she left her house for attending the tuition class and after the tuition, she went to the school. She used to return home at 4.30 p.m. But, on that day, she did not return. P. W. 1 made enquiries about her missing daughter. When she met P. W. 2, a classmate of the deceased, she was told that P.W.2 along with Rajimol returned from the school as usual and when they reached in front of the Oil Mill at Vattakulanjijunction, the deceased went towards east in the company of the accused through the colony road. At about 9.30 p.m. P. W. 1 and others went to the house of the accused and made enquiries about the deceased. The accused told them that he did not see her. At about 10.30 p.m., P. W. 1went to Pathanamthitta Police Station and gave Ext. P 1 first information. On the strength of Ext. P. 1, P. W. 17, the then Sub-Inspector of Police, Pathanamthitta, registered Crime No. 756/ 97 of the Pathanamthitta Police Station under Ext. Pl(a) F. I. R. P. W. 19, the then Circle Inspector of Pathanamthitta Police Station took up the investigation in the case. On getting suspicion the accused was arrested in connection with the crime. On the basis of the information given by the accused, the dead body was recovered from a paddy field. P. W. 19 held inquest over the dead body and prepared Ext. P11 inquest report. He recovered from the dead body M. O.2 blouse, M.O.3 shuddy and M.O.14 kolus. The post mortem examination of the dead body was conducted by Dr. Velayudhan (P. W. 5) Assistant Professor of Forensic Medicine and Deputy Police Surgeon, Medical College, Kottayam. On 3-12-1997, on the basis of Ext. P7(a) disclosure statement, P. W. 19 recovered M. O. 11 grass mat and M. O.2 thorthu from the house of the accused. He also recovered M. O. 8 kaili, M. O. 9 shirt and M. O. 10 thorthu from the house of the accused. On further interrogation of the accused, pursuant to Ext. P8 (a) statement, M. O. 1 skirt and M. O. 7 ear-ring were recovered. On the basis of Ext. P9 (a) information furnished by the accused the school bag belonging to the deceased was recovered under Ext. P9 mahazar. P. W. 19 questioned the witnesses and recorded their statements. P. W. 18, the successor of P. W. 19 verified the investigation conducted by P. W. 19 and laid the charge before the Judicial First Class Magistrate, Pathanamthitta. The Magistrate took the case on file as C. P. No. 7/99 and committed the same to the Court of Sessions, Pathanamthitta from where it was made over to the Additional Sessions Judge.
(2.) The accused denied the charge. In order to prove the guilt of the accused, the prosecution examined P. Ws. 1 to 19, marked Exts. P1 to P16 and identified M. Os. 1 to 14. After the close of the prosecution evidence, the accused was examined under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure with regard to the circumstances appeared against him in the prosecution evidence. He denied the prosecution evidence and pleaded innocence. On the side of the defence, Ext. Dl was marked. On an elaborate consideration of the evidence brought on record, the learned Additional Sessions Judge found the accused not guilty of the offences and acquitted him. Hence this appeal by the State.
(3.) The learned Public Prosecutor strongly contended that the order of acquittal passed by the lower Court is clearly illegal and cannot be sustained either in law or on facts. According to him, the judgment of acquittal passed by the lower Court is perverse and has resulted in grave and substantial miscarriage of justice. He further contended that the circumstances proved in this case points out only to the guilt of the accused and is wholly and indisputably inconsistent with the innocence of the accused. He also contended that the Court below has not properly scanned or weighed the evidence in this case. On the other hand, the learned counsel for the respondent submitted that the trial Court passed the order of acquittal after fully considering the evidence and doubting the veracity of the prosecution case by giving cogent reasons. He pointed out that the jurisdiction of the appellate Court to interfere with the order of acquittal should be exercised only in exceptional cases and this case cannot be included in the category of exceptional cases.;

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