Murugan Vs. State of
Tamil Nadu  INSC 1044 (7 July 2008)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICITON CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 997 OF 2008
(Arising out of S.L.P. (Crl.) No.4715 of 2007) Murugan ...Appellant Versus
State of Tamil Nadu ...Respondent
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT,
in this appeal is to the judgment of a Division Bench of the Madras High
Court upholding the conviction of the appellant for offences punishable
under Section 376(1) read with Section 511 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860
(in short the `IPC') and Section 302 IPC. The appellant was sentenced to
undergo rigorous imprisonment for ten years and Life Imprisonment for two
offences. As noted above, fine was also imposed with default stipulation.
unnecessary details the prosecution version in a nutshell is as follows:
(hereinafter referred to as the `deceased') is none other than the wife of
Andrews (PW1). They had been blessed with three children. Except Romeo (PW 10)
the other two children were staying in a hostel. PW 1 was carrying on groundnut
cake business in the ground floor of his house at Gandhi Nagar, Chennai. PW 1,
the victim and their daughter Romeo were staying in the upstairs of the said
house. The accused Murugan was employed as an assistant in PW1's shop and he
was staying in the ground floor itself where the business was carried on. The
deceased used to get his ration of food from PW 1.
On 3.8.2000 at about
1.30 p.m. the victim went to the ground floor for the purpose of handing over
the ration of food to the accused. P.W.1 waited for some time, but the victim
had not returned. He came down to the ground floor and heard an alarming noise.
When he attempted to push the outer door of the ground floor, he found that it was
locked from inside. P.W. 1 went around the house and peeped through the window.
He found to his shock that the accused, taking position on his wife who was
lying on the ground, attempted to strangulate her. Thereafter the accused
opened the door from inside and sped away from the scene of occurrence.
P.W.1 gave a chase
accompanied by Elumalia-P.W.2. The accused took shelter in a nearby bush. He
went to the church and informed the people over there. He came down to his
house and found his wife dead. Thereafter P.W.1 went to Kolathur Police Station
and lodged a complaint (Ex.P1) to the sub-Inspector of Police, P.W.9, who was
present over there. The latter registered a case in Crime No.1050/2000 for the
offence under Section 302 IPC and prepared printed FIR Ex. P9 and despatched
the same to the learned Judicial Magistrate concerned and the copies thereof to
the higher officials.
The Inspector of
Police, Mr. Natrajan-P.W.13, who was Incharge of the said police station when
Varadarajan, the regular Inspector of Police P.W.14 was on leave, took up the
case for investigation on receipt of a copy of the FIR and rushed to the scene
of occurrence and prepared the rough sketch-Ex.P-12. He also prepared the
observation Mahazar- Ex. P-2 in the presence of Chellaiah, P.W.4 and another
witness. He held inquest on the dead body and prepared the inquest report, Ex.
P13. At about 8.30 p.m. on the said day, in the presence of the aforesaid
witnesses, P.W.13 recovered thali Chain M.0.4 and packing material-M.0.7 under
relevant mahazar, Ex. P-3. He entrusted the dead body to the Head Constable
Mohan, P.W.8 for the purpose of taking the same to the doctor for conducting
Deivasigamnai, P.W.7, conducted autopsy on the dead body of the victim at about
11.40 a.m. on 4.9.2000 and found the following injuries and symptoms on the
"A well defined
incomplete oblique ligature abrasions mark in front of the neck at the level of
thyroid cartilage, 16 x 1 cms on the front, the ligature abrasion was 6 cms
below the chin and 6 cms about the suprasternal noted and the ligature abrasion
was absent on the back of the neck. The subcutaneous soft tissues underlying
the ligature abrasion were found congested.
2) Inward compression
fracture of right horn of the hyoid bone found with extravasations of blood in
the surrounding soft tissues.
Heart: Intact. Normal
Trachea: Empty. Stomach contained 200 ml. of brown fluid with partly digested
cooked rice particles. No definite smell."
investigation charge sheet was filed. As the accused pleaded innocence, he
was put on trial.
order to establish the prosecution version 14 witnesses were examined.
Placing reliance on the evidence of PWs. 1 & 2, the trial court found
the accused guilty and convicted and sentenced. The High Court upheld the
conviction and the sentence.
support of the appeal, learned counsel for the appellant submitted that
the defence version has been erroneously discarded by the High Court. He
has stated that the conduct of PW1 after allegedly having seen the accused
with his wife unnatural and should not have been relied upon. The presence
of PW2 at the spot had also not been explained
counsel for the respondent-State supported the judgment of the High Court.
1 has chosen to chase the accused along with PW 2 and having found some
people in the church, which is nearby, informed them about the occurrence
and thereafter came back to his house to verify the fate of his wife. PW 1
obviously was in a state of shock having seen the accused strangulating
his wife. It is quite common for a person under shock to share his grief
to the persons who are found close by. It is not as if PW 1 rushed
straight to the police station after informing certain persons in the
church without even verifying the fate of his wife.
accused had been arrested on 6.9.2000 and only on the basis of his
confessional statement his apparels had been recovered. It is contended by
the learned counsel for the accused that the accused, who was spotted
committing the crime, would not have taken some time to hide his apparels
at a safe place. It is the case of the prosecution that PW 1 having
witnessed the occurrence by peeping through the window came down to the
doorway with a view to open the door. The door was opened from inside by
the accused. It is not as if the door was opened by PW 1 immediately after
witnessing the occurrence through the window. The accused, who was inside
the house, would have had time to remove his apparels, which were found
blood stained, to put it in a safe place in the house. Further it will not
take much of a time to remove the clothes by a person who was in a hurry
to escape from the scene of crime. In view of the above, there is nothing
to doubt the recovery of the apparels of the accused made by the
investigating officer. The recovery at the instance of the accused raises
presumptions of guilt as against him.
is an unfortunate case where the accused has come out with a repulsive
counter version that he had some affairs earlier with the victim, and when
he was found embracing the wife of PW 1, it was witnessed by PW 1. He has
stated that he was not the author of the murder. If at all the victim had
an affair with a stranger residing at a far off location, it would not
have come to light. But stand of the accused, who lived in the ground
floor for five years to be having an affair without being noticed is too
hollow to be accepted.
court and the High Court have analyzed the evidence in great details and
have come to the right conclusion about involvement of the accused. We do
not find any infirmity in the reasoning of the trial court and the High
Court to warrant any interference.
appeal fails and is dismissed.