Raghavendra Sharma Vs.
State of M.P.  INSC 1900 (7 November 2008)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1063 OF 2001
Raghavendra Sharma ...Appellant Versus State of M.P. ...Respondents
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT,
in this appeal is to the judgement of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, Jabalpur
upholding the conviction of the appellant for offence punishable under Section
302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (in short the `IPC') as was recorded by
learned Second Additional Sessions Judge, Chhindwara in Sessions Trial No. 136
of 1986. Appellant alongwith his father Bhuvneshwar Dayal Sharma faced trial
for commission of offences punishable under Section 302 read with Section 34
and 201 IPC. Father of the appellant was acquitted of both the charges, while
appellant was acquitted of charges under Section 201.
facts in a nutshell are as follows:
referred to as the `deceased') was the wife of the appellant and they were
married about 11 months prior to the date of incident. It is further an
admitted position that the deceased was a teacher posted at Parasia whereas
appellant was also a teacher posted at village Mungwani and he used to visit
his wife at village Parasia. It is further not in dispute that Narendra Kumar
Sharma (P.W.2) and Dipal alias Pappu (P.W. 11) are brothers of deceased whereas
Sushila Bai (P.W.8) and Rajkumari (P.W. 10) are sisters of the deceased. It is
also an admitted position that appellant along with the deceased had gone to
his father-in-law's place on 8.5.1886. They had gone to Vidisha along with
Rajkumari (P.W.10) and her husband Radhakrishan and Dipak. They stayed there
for about ten days and thereafter on 19.5.1888 appellant along with the deceased
and Dipak (P.W.11) returned to village Parasia and on the same day he went to
village Salkhani, declining the request to stay at village Parasia. There is no
dispute that the deceased was at advance stage of pregnancy and she died in the
night between 21-22 May, 1986 at her father-in-law's at village Salkhani.
On receipt of the
information about the death of Maya, Mahesh Prasad (P.W. 1) who is the husband
of the sister of the deceased along with Sushila (P.W.8) and Narendra Kumar
Sharma (P.W.2) went to village Salkhani.
Seeing dead body of
Maya they perceived her death to be suspicious and hence gave report to the
Chourai Police Station. On receipt thereof, inquest report (Ex. P/3) was
prepared in presence of the witnesses and vomited material along with the earth
were seized. Dr. Panchamlal (P.W. 5) who was called by the appellant on
22.5.1986 declared her dead.
After the marriage of
the deceased with the appellant on 2.6..1985, deceased came to her
father-in-law's place at village Salkhani only 3-4 times and although appellant
used -to go to meet his wife at village Parasia, but was not happy with the
articles given at the time of marriage and had kept the same at the parents'
place of the deceased at Paresis. Appellant further used to demand Scooter and
had suspicion about his wife's fidelity and believed that she had illicit
relationship with her brother-in-law Radhakishan i.e. husband of Rajkumari
(P.W.10). Immediately prior to the incident appellant and deceased had gone to
Radhakrishnan's House at Vidisha. After returning from Vidisha to Parasia, in
spite of the request made, appellant did not stay with his wife there and went
along with the deceased to his village Salkhani, although deceased was not
inclined to go.
On 21.5.1986, the
villagers heard the cries of the deceased. She was done to death by the
appellant and in order to conceal the crime, he projected that she died of
While preparing the
inquest report it was found that there were red and blue spots on the face and
chest of the deceased and thin blood coming out from the nostrils and as such
the death was found to be suspicious and accordingly the dead body of Maya was
sent for post-mortem examination.
The Post mortem was
conducted by a team of doctors consisting of Dr. V.E.Chako (P.W.7) and Dr. K.D.
Khan and they submitted the post-mortem report (Ex.P/12) signed by both of
them. According to the post-mortem report and the evidence of Dr. Chako
(P.W.7), Maya's death was "asphyxiat as a result of suffocation".
On enquiry by the
investigating officer, Dr. Chako opined that swelling between Pomum adeomi and
the border of the breast was ante- mortem in nature and could have been
possible by pressing hard the chest and smothering by an object like soft
pillow. The investigating agency also sent the earth containing vomited
material for chemical examination to theForensic Science Laboratory. But in its
report the Forensic Science Laboratory did not find any poison. However, on the
seized under-garments of the deceased and on the slides prepared from the
vaginal fluid human sperms were found to show that the deceased had sexual
intercourse before her death.
Trial court on
appreciation of the evidence, on placing reliance on the post mortem report and
the evidence of Dr. Chako, PW7, found the death of the deceased to be homicidal
in nature. The trial court rejected the evidence of Dr. S.D. Vaidya, DW3 who
had opined that the death of Maya was accidental in nature. Trial court found
that the appellant doubted the fidelity of his wife and believed that she had
illicit relationship with her brother in law and was not happy with the dowry
articles given to him at the time of marriage and as such had motive to commit
the crime. It was further found that the deceased was in the company of the
appellant in the night when she died and it was he who alone had committed her
The High Court
analysed the stand taken by the appellant and came to hold that the conclusions
of the trial court were justified. Accordingly the appeal as noted above has
5 In the present
appeal the stand taken before the High Court with reference to evidence of PW 3
3. Learned counsel
for the State on the other hand supported the judgment of the High Court.
4. The evidence of PW
7 categorically ruled out the theory of accidental death as was projected by
the accused PW 7 had committed the postmortem alongwith Dr. Kahare and stated
that the cause of death was asphyxia as a result of suffocation. Dr. Chako in
her evidence has stated that on 5.6.1986 she had received a query, Ex. P.13
from the investigating agency and had given an answer. The quaries and the
answers are as follows:
mentioned in P.M. report that "swelling between pomum-adami and border of
the breast" please clear that how that swelling can be caused.
2. You have also
mentioned in P.M. report that "Nails of fingers of both the hands are blue
and terminal pulps of the fingers of the right and found blueish purple colour
(Coppery) while in the left hand it is present over the tips of fingers"
please clarify that how it can be caused.
case of death according to P.M. report 'Asphyxiated death due to
suffocation" please how that suffocation caused resulting into
4. Please clarify
that the mode of death is whether homicidal, suicidal or accidental."
In answer thereto, Dr
Chako had stated as follows:
1. The swelling on
the said area in ante-mortem in nature and can be caused both by external heavy
pressure applied on the chest and the said region and smothering by an object
like soft pillow with deeply applied pressure.
2. The blueish purple
(Coppery) colour on the said areas are as a result of asphyxia.
3. Cause of death
given as asphyxia as a result of suffocation which can be attributed to the
ante-mortem Injury (swelling )mentioned in the P.M. Report.
7 had found a dark read colour mucoid fluid on the trachea and found violet
bluish froth in the lungs. No food particles were found in the trachea, larynx
and bronchitis. Therefore the question of vomited material blocking the air
passage was clearly ruled out. DW 3 had never any occasion to see the dead body
and purportedly had looked at the postmortem report. In that sense his evidence
has evidentiary value. Apart from that the deceased was living with the
appellant staying in the same room and that is another factor which has been
rightly taken note of by the trial court and the High Court. We find no
infirmity on the conclusions of the trial court or the High Court to warrant
is accordingly dismissed.
(Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT)