SHANMUGASEKAR Vs. STATE OF TAMIL NADU
LAWS(SC)-2024-7-43
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on July 10,2024

Shanmugasekar Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF TAMIL NADU Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

VIRSA SINGH VS. STATE OF PUNJAB [REFERRED TO]
CHILAMAKUR NAGIREDDY VS. STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

ABHAY S.OKA, J. - (1.)FACTUAL ASPECTS : The appellant, the accused no. 1, who has been convicted for the offences punishable under Sec. 294(b) and 302 of the Indian Penal Code (for short, 'the IPC'), has preferred this appeal. There were six accused. The appellant and PW-4 Kesavan are the sons of accused no. 2 Kaari and accused no.3 Mandiammal. Accused no.4, Dhanalakshmi, is the appellant's wife; accused no.5, Akila and accused no.6, Aparna, are the appellant's daughters. PW-4 Kesavan had married PW-5 Saravanapriya. The deceased Muthu was the father of PW-5. PW-1 Kalidoss is the other son-in-law of the deceased Muthu. He was married to Maheswari, Muthu's daughter.
(2.)PW-4 Kesavan had built a tiled house and was living in the house along with his wife PW-5 and children. Adjacent to the house of PW-4, accused nos. 2 and 3 (parents of PW-4) had built a house. They were residing on the ground floor of the house, and the appellant was living on the first floor of the house with his family. The houses had a common electricity meter. There was an understanding between the appellant and PW-4 that they would pay electricity charges every alternate month. The prosecution alleged that for September 2016, PW- 4 did not pay the electricity charges. Therefore, at 8.40 pm on 28/9/2016, the appellant questioned PW-4 as to why he did not pay the electricity charges. That led to an altercation between them. The appellant was joined by accused nos.2 to 6. They supported the appellant in the ongoing altercation. The deceased Muthu was residing in the house, which was very close by at a distance of 100 feet. As PW-1's wife Maheswari was pregnant, he and his wife were staying in the deceased's house. On hearing the noise, the deceased, PW-1 and PW-5, came to the spot and tried to intervene. The quarrel between the two groups started. Amidst quarrel, the appellant and accused no.2 rushed back to their house and brought billhooks. The allegation is that they attacked the deceased with a billhook on his head. In the fight, PW-4 and PW-5 were injured. The deceased was taken to hospital, where he was declared dead. The prosecution relied upon the evidence of eye-witnesses PW-1 Kalidoss, PW-2 Sathyamoorthi, PW-3 Govindammal, PW-4 Kesavan, PW-5 Saravanapriya, and PW-6 Chandrashekar. PW-2, PW-3 and PW-6 are the sons of Muthu's elder brother. It is alleged that the appellant and coaccused made an extra-judicial confession before the Village Administrative Officer (PW-8). We must note here that the Trial Court, for the reasons recorded, did not believe the theory of extra-judicial confession and discarded the prosecution's evidence to that extent. However, eyewitnesses supported the prosecution, and their testimony was the basis of the appellant's conviction.
(3.)The Trial Court acquitted the accused nos. 3 to 6. As stated earlier, the Trial Court convicted the appellant for offences punishable under Ss. 294(b) and 302 of the IPC. Accused no.2, Kaari was convicted only for the offences punishable under Sec. 294(b) and 324 of the IPC. The appellant preferred an appeal against the conviction. PW-1 Kalidoss preferred an appeal for challenging the acquittal of accused no.2 for the offence punishable under Sec. 302 of the IPC and the acquittal of the other accused. By the impugned judgment, the High Court dismissed all the appeals. As can be seen from the order dtd. 3/2/2023, notice was issued by this Court on the basis of one of the contentions that, at the highest, the offence committed by the appellant would be punishable under part II of Sec. 304 of the IPC.
SUBMISSIONS



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