The appeal is consequently denied- Delhi High Court

This Court finds no mistake in the contested judgement of conviction and decision on sentence after taking into account the prosecution’s evidence and the discussion mentioned above.  The appeal is consequently denied. Pawan Kumar vs State on 11 May, 2023, Delhi High Court.

Facts: By filing this appeal, the defendant contests the learned Trial Court’s judgement from September 19, 2018, in which he was found guilty of killing his wife Meena (the “deceased”) by slitting her throat with a knife, as well as the sentence order from September 26, 2018, in which the defendant was ordered to serve a rigorous life sentence and pay a fine of $20,000 in default, as well as a year of rigorous imprisonment for violating Section 3 of the Penal Code. In the prosecution’s case, the appellant called the police on April 12, 2014, at around 4:00 AM, saying, “Mene apni aurot ka murder kar diya hai jiska naam Meena CRL.A.134/2019.” Signed electronically by:ANIL KUMAR BHATT Date of Signature: 05.11.2023, 17:17:56 2023:DHC:3247-DB hai,” which was noted in the PCR form (Ex.PW-4/A), led ASI Garib Das (PW-22) and staff to Gali No. 15 in Sudamapuri where they began looking for a house because the caller/appellant had not given them the house number. After speaking with the caller/appellant, ASI Garib Das went to home no. C-44/300. There, he was invited to enter, and ASI Garib Das met the appellant on the second level of the building. The knife that the appellant claimed to have used to kill his wife/deceased was found under his bed’s pillow and taken (Ex.PW-29/B). A crime squad was summoned to the location. The rukka was created by IO/Insp. Mahavir Singh (PW-31) who also lodged the FIR No. 343/2014 at PS New Usmanpur (Ex. PW-12/B) under Section 302 IPC on April 12, 2014. The appellant was detained by the IO/Insp. Mahavir Singh (PW-31) after the deceased person’s body was brought to GTB Hospital for a postmortem examination. Following the post-mortem examination of the deceased at the GTB Hospital, Dr. Neha Gupta (PW-15) submitted her report (Ex.PW-15/A) and expressed the following opinion:  Injury to the outside antemortem. A horizontal, 4.6 x 0.2 x 12 cm incised stab wound with an acute medial angle is present over the left side of the back, 2 cm from the midline, and 12 cm above the natal left. Medically speaking, the wound is directed upward.

The left side of the back’s muscles, subcutaneous tissue, and paravertebral veins are all sliced along the path of the lesion, which also causes blood to spill out into the retroperitoneal region and throughout the tract. A horizontal, 3 x 0.2 x 10.5 cm incised stab wound is seen over the right side of the flank, 11 cm above the anterior superior iliac spine, and 14 cm from the midline. The wound’s direction is upward, cutting medially forward through the skin’s subcutaneous tissue, the 10’*’ intercostal gap, and the bottom portion of the right kidney. Blood is leaking from the right lobe of the liver and the diaphragm throughout. Cause of death: Ante-mortem injuries to the belly and blood vessels in the neck caused by a sharp edged object resulted in hemorrhagic shock. In the normal course of nature, injuries nos. 1, 5, and 6 are sufficient to result in both individual and communal death. In a later statement, PW-15 stated (Ex.PW15/B) that she believed that the knife used or any other similar weapon might have caused injuries 1 through 7 described in the PM report. A chargesheet was submitted following the conclusion of the inquiry, and the appellant was charged with an offence punishable under Section 302 IPC and CRL.A.134/2019. Signed electronically by:ANIL KUMAR BHATT Date of Signature: 05.11.2023, 17:17:56 2023:DHC:3247-DB The prosecution cross-examined 32 witnesses to support its case, and the defence led one witness as evidence. In terms of the motivation, the deceased’s parents, Gokul Prasad (PW-9) and Dayawati (PW-10), unequivocally testified that the appellant used to mistreat and abuse their daughter. viii. That in addition, the appellant failed to offer any convincing justification for the death of his wife/deceased inside the rented premises/house in his statement under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr.P.C. ), which adds another link to the chain of events. In this regard, the decision in Trimukh Maroti Kirkan v. State of Maharashtra, 2006 (3) ACR 3150 (SC), was cited. The appellant was standing on the second floor near the jaal when the police entered the home in the morning of April 12, 2014, according to Puran Devi (PW-2), the wife of Panna Lal (PW-1). Puran Devi testified that the police entered the home after she opened the door. Signed electronically by:ANIL KUMAR BHATT Date of Signature: 11 May 2023, 17:17:56 2023:DHC:3247-DB escape. She said during her cross-examination that she walked upstairs on April 11, 2014, between 9.00 and 9.30 PM. According to ASI Garib Das (PW-22), on April 12, 2014, at around 4.30 AM, he received a report concerning a murder. He and his crew then travelled to Gali No. 15 in Sudamapuri, and since no house number was provided, they began searching the residence. While on the phone with the caller, he went to the gali and when he arrived at house No. C-44/300, the caller instructed him to enter the specified residence. The landlady unlocked the door, and he went upstairs to the residence where the appellant met him. In that room, a dead woman’s body was lying in a naked state. SI Sonal Raj arrived at the scene in the interim, and he handed over the appellant to him.

Held: It was noted that the appellant must provide a reasonable explanation if the death occurred while he was in charge CRL.A.134/2019. Signed electronically by:ANIL KUMAR BHATT Date of Signature: 05.11.2023, 17:17:56 2023:DHC:3247-DB for the reason behind her passing in his declaration under Section 313 CrPC. It was determined that the appellant’s simple denial of the prosecution’s case and the lack of any explanation were inconsistent with the accused’s innocence but supported the theory that he was a key participant in his wife’s murder. The medical evidence in State of U.P. v. Dr. Ravindra Prakash Mittal [(1992) 3 SCC 300:1992 SCC (Cri) 642: AIR 1992 SC 2045] revealed that the widow passed away by strangulation in the late evening or early morning. In order to defend himself, the husband claimed that he was not home when his wife burned herself to death. The letters the wife sent to her family members revealed that the husband mistreated her and their relationship was tense. Additionally, the evidence revealed that both of them were in the same room at night. According to the conclusion that the sequence of events was complete and that the husband killed his wife by strangling, the High Court’s decision to exonerate the accused was overturned, and the accused was found guilty under Section 302 of the IPC. Rajendran, State of Tennessee v. (1999) 8 SCC 679, 2000 SCC (Cri) 40. She was discovered dead. In State of T.N. v. Rajendran, the wife was discovered dead in a burning hut [(1999) 8 SCC 679: 2000 SCC (Cri) 40]. According to the evidence, the accused and his wife were observed inside the hut at 9:00 p.m., and the next morning, while the hut was on fire, the accused exited through the roof. His justification was that his wife and a daughter had perished as a result of an accidental fire. According to the medical evidence, the wife’s death was caused by strangulation-related asphyxia rather than burn burns.

It was said that there can be no uncertainty in determining that it was the accused (husband) who was the perpetrator of the crime”. Further, it is insufficient to refute the prosecution’s case, which is supported by the persuasive testimony of the deceased’s parents as well as the landlord and landlady of the house, PW-1 and PW-2, and the circumstances as noted above, even if accidental prints were not lifted from the knife or PW-8 who took the photographs was not the person assigned to take photographs. This Court finds no mistake in the contested judgement of conviction and decision on sentence after taking into account the prosecution’s evidence and the discussion mentioned above.  The appeal is consequently denied.

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Judgment Reviewed by Kushala Simha



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