(1.) On 15th February, 1997, a missing information was submitted by the father of the victim to the concerned Police Station, where it was stated that the informant has been informed by the husband of the victim that on 9th February, 1997, while he was disciplining his son, he slapped his son twice and then his wife, the victim, intervened and, at such intervention, he slapped the victim also, whereafter from the morning of 10th February, 1997, the victim is not traceable. It was stated that this information was supplied by the appellant to the informant on 13th February, 1997. It was stated that, in that background, the missing report is being submitted. In answer to questions under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, appellant admitted that the said missing report was submitted by the father of the victim in his presence, when he accompanied the informant. In course of investigation, pursuant to the said missing report, appellant was arrested on 26th February, 1997. However, such arrest did not progress the investigation. Later on, on 11th March, 1997, the dead body of the victim was found inside a bag on the river-bank by the side of Shamshan Ghat. The dead body was sent for post-mortem, which was conducted on 12th March, 1997. It was stated that the cause of death was ante-mortem injuries inflicted upon the victim. It was also reported that the death of the victim occurred about one month back. In view of discovery of the dead body and in view of ascertainment of the fact that the death was homicidal in nature, after conclusion of the investigation, a charge-sheet was filed, on the basis whereof, charges were framed in respect of offences punishable under Sections 302 and 201 of the Indian Penal Code. In course of trial, the father of the victim deposed as PW 2. PW 2 narrated what he had stated in the First Information Report. In addition to that, he stated that the victim was married to the appellant for twenty years. He stated that the initial years of marriage were peaceful, but later on, appellant started beating the victim black and blue quite often. He stated that the appellant broke the legs and the hands of the victim. This piece of evidence was not challenged. Two cousins of the victim, namely, PW 3 and PW 4 also deposed in support of the prosecution. While PW 3 deposed in respect of recovery of the dead body and, in particular, in the manner and in the state the same was recovered. PW 4 deposed mostly as regards the conduct of the appellant vis-a-vis his wife, the victim. He stated that the appellant had beaten the victim in such a manner that she lost one of her eyes and became permanently incapable of walking as a normal person. This part of the evidence of PW 4 was also not challenged. Having regard to what had been stated by the appellant in answer to questions put to him under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, it is clear that in the night of 9th February, 1997, appellant and the victim were in the house of the appellant. Therefore, the victim was in company of the appellant for the last time. Since the morning of 10th February, 1997, the victim was not traceable. According to the appellant, as stated by him under Section 313 of the Code, the victim left of her February, 1997, appellant realized that it is high time that the victim should return home. The fact remains that she did not. What the appellant was doing, despite such realization, has not been spelt out, own and did not return and, accordingly, he went and informed the father of the victim on 13th February, 1997. Therefore, at least on 13th.
(2.) The appellant was the husband of the victim. He was with the victim in the night of 9th February, 1997. Prior to 9th February, 1997, appellant and the victim lived as husband and wife for long twenty years and during those years, appellant treated the victim in such a cruel manner that she lost one eye and became a permanent cripple. His beating was so severe that, according to the own showing of the appellant, the victim used to flee away. The victim has said nothing as to what he did from the morning of 10th February, 1997 and, at least, since 13th February. 1997 until the missing report was lodged on 15th February, 1997. At the same time, the dead body was recovered from inside a bag concealed on the river-bank situate by the side of a Shamshan Ghat, where people normally dare to frequent. In the background of the nature of treatment meted out by the appellant to the victim in course of twenty years of their marriage, it was not acceptable that, while appellant tried to discipline his son and in course thereof slapped him twice, the victim would intervene and would be spared by giving only a slap. At the same time, the victim and the appellant were in the same house in the night and from the next morning, the victim disappeared, whose body was to be recovered about a month later from a place and, in the circumstances, which are not normal. On post-mortem, it was found that it was a case of murder. No attempt was made, while no explanation of the subsequent conduct was given by the appellant, to suggest any other person having any reason to commit the murder. In the instant case, the husband having lived with the victim immediately before the victim disappeared, it was obligatory on the part of the husband to speak about the disappearance and his assertion to the effect that she left of her own and did not return is not acceptable in view of the conduct of the appellant at least since 13th February, 1997 to 15th February, 1997.
(3.) We, accordingly, see no reason to interfere with the conviction awarded by the judgment under appeal. There is no infirmity in sentencing the appellant. The appeal, accordingly, fails and the same is dismissed.;