RAGHUWAR SINGH Vs. THE STATE
HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH
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Dixit, J. -
(1.)THE appellant Raghuwar Singh was tried by the Sessions Judge of Gwalior on the charge of murdering his sister -in -law Mst. Amritju. At the end of the trial the learned Judge agreeing with the opinion of the assessors found the appellant guilty under S. 302, I. P. C., and sentenced him to transportation for life. The accused has now appealed to this Court against the conviction and sentence.
(2.)THE case for the prosecution was that the appellant and his sister -in -law used to live in one house but messed separately; that in this state of living when Amritju became 'enceinte', she told some people that she and the appellant Raghuwar Singh had been living together. Raghuwar Singh resented the suggestion of Amritju that he had illegal intimacy with her. He, therefore claimed before the Panchas that he had nothing to do with the pregnancy of the deceased Amritju and asked them to determine the truth about the matter. A Panchayat was held on 6 -4 -1952 and the Panchas on inquiry learnt from Amritju that Raghuwar Singh was the father of the expected child. The Panchas, therefore, asked Raghuwar Singh to swear at the next meeting of the Panchayat that he had no connection whatsoever with Amritju.
On 7 -4 -1952, on the day of which the Panchas were to meet again, the appellant gave several blows with a lathi to Amritju and inflicted on her fatal injuries. Amritju died immediately after the injuries were inflicted at about 9 A. M. The prosecution further stated that after killing Amritju the accused came before the Panchas with the lathi with which he had struck her and told them that he had killed Amritju and that thereafter the accused went away saying that he was proceeding to Karera Police station. Thereupon, the Panchas asked Hallu P. W. 5 to lodge a report with the police. On his way to police station, Karera, Hallu met the accused armed with the blood -stained lathi. He also met Khuba P. W. 9 the chowkidar who had gone to the police station to make a report to the effect that Amritju who was with a child had procured an abortion and that Raghuwar Singh had caused the pregnancy. Hallu informed Khuba of the fatal attack by Raghuwar Singh on Amritju and then both of them accompanied by the accused went to the police station, Karera, where Khuba lodged the First Information Report Ex. P. 7 on 7 -4 -1952 at about 3 P. M.
The appellant also produced in the police station the lathi which he was carrying. The accused was then arrested. On 8 -4 -1952 the Sub -Divisional Magistrate of Karera recorded a confession of the accused (Ex. P. 12). Before the Committing Magistrate the appellant admitted having struck Amritju with lathi and having killed her. Before the learned Sessions Judge he denied having committed the crime, pleaded alibi and said that he had been falsely implicated on account of enmity. The learned Sessions Judge first convicted Raghuwar Singh without questioning him as regards the statement made by him before the Committing Magistrate. When the matter came up before this Court in appeal, the conviction was set aside and the learned Sessions Judge was directed to re -summon the assessors and question the accused as regards his statement before the Committing Magistrate and to record such evidence as the accused might lead in his defence.
When the case went back and the appellant wag questioned by the Sessions Judge as regards the statement made by him before the Committing Magistrate, the appellant said that he gave the statement at the instance of police and on account of police pressure. The learned Sessions Judge rejected this plea and on the evidence before him and the statement made by the accused before the Committing Magistrate, found him guilty under S. 302, I. P. C.
At the trial the evidence against the appellant consisted of (1) the depositions of two eye witnesses Gyasia and Doma; (2) the evidence of Pyareraja and Durag Singh that the accused had confessed before them that he had killed his sister -in -law; (3) the confession of the accused Ex. P. 12 recorded by the Sub -Divisional Magistrate, Karera; (4) and the statement of the appellant before the committing Magistrate admitting his guilt. As to the evidence of the eye witnesses the learned Sessions Judge observed that "their testimony has to be sifted in the light of other evidence and may be acted upon so far as it is supported by the latter". He accepted the evidence of extra -judicial confessions and the statement made by the accused before the Committing Magistrate. The learned Sessions Judge also found the confession Ex. P. 12 of the accused to be voluntary.
(3.)THE argument of Mr. De, learned counsel for the appellant, was that the conviction of the appellant was based solely on his statement before the Committing Magistrate inasmuch as the learned Sessions Judge was not prepared to believe the eye witnesses Doma and Gyasia or accept the evidence of Pyareraja and Durag Singh unless it was corroborated and that the confession Ex. P. 12 and the statement of the accused before the Committing Magistrate could not be held as evidence corroborating the evidence of the witnesses Doma, Gyasia, Pyareraja and Durga Singh. It was further said that the confession Ex. P. 12 and the statement made by the accused before the committing Magistrate were not voluntary as they were given by the accused on account of police pressure and ill -treatment by the police.
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