Velayuda Pulavar Vs.
State by Sub-Inspector of Police  INSC 786 (16 April 2009)
REPORTABLE IN THE
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.595
OF 2002 VELAYUDA PULAVAR Appellant (s) VERSUS STATE BY SUB-INSPECTOR OF POLICE
Dr. Arijit Pasayat,
Challenge 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
302 and 201 of the Indian Penal Code.
Two persons faced
trial for commission of murder of Viswanatha Pulavar (hereinafter referred to
as "the deceased"). The appellant is the younger brother of the
deceased while the second accused was the wife of the deceased.
Judge, Tirunervelli, held the appellant guilty of the offences punishable under
Section 302 and 201 IPC; but directed acquittal of the co- accused of the
charges relating to offence punishable under Section 302 read with Section 34
IPC. Though the co-accused has been convicted for the offence punishable under
Section 201 IPC she did not question her conviction under the said offence.
Background facts in a
nutshell are as follows:- The appellant and the deceased and his wife were
staying together. There were frequent quarrels between the deceased and the
present appellant as the former suspected the fidelity of his wife (accused
No.2) and he was of the confirmed view that the appellant was having illicit
relationship with his wife.
2 On 18.6.1986, the
Village Administrative Officer PW.1 of the concerned village found that a big
crowd had assembled at the Panchayat Office at about 7.30 P.M. In that crowd,
he noticed PW.2, PW.3, the accused persons, and others.
He was told that the
accused had murdered the deceased and had buried him in the Punja land. When
PW.1 enquired from the appellant he made an extra judicial confession stating
that he had cut his brother Viswanatha Pulavar with (aruval) (M.O.1), and both
he and the second accused buried him in the punja land. The statement which is
Ex. P.1 was reduced into writing, read-over and the accused appellant put his
signature thereon. PW.1 and PW.2 attested the same. Thereafter the special
report (Ex.P.2) was written and the same was handed over to the Sub- Inspector
of Police (PW.9). The accused persons were also handed over to the police along
with Exs. P.1 and P.2. The investigation was undertaken and on completion
thereof charge sheet was filed. Since the accused persons pleaded not guilty,
trial was held primarily placing reliance on the evidence of PW.1 and the extra
The accused appellant
was held guilty.
In the appeal before
the High Court it was submitted that the extra judicial confession has no
evidentiary value and, therefore, the trial court was not justified in
recording the conviction. The High Court by the impugned judgment dismissed the
appeal holding that the extra-judicial confession provided sufficient material
to hold the accused guilty.
In support of the
appeal, learned counsel for the appellant submitted that without any
corroboration merely on the extra-judicial confession, the conviction could not
have been recorded. Learned counsel for the respondent, on the other hand,
supported the judgment of the High Court.
3 In the instant
case, the extra judicial confession was made before the Village Administrative
Officer who is not a stranger to the first accused and he knew him for quite
some time. The evidence on record clearly establishes that Ex. P.1 was recorded
by the Village Administrative Officer PW. 1 in the Panchayat Office in the
presence of many persons. The evidence of PW. 3 also corroborates the version
of PW. 1 that the present appellant made extra judicial confession (Ex. P.1) in
the Panchayat Office and he is one of the attestors to Ex. P.1. So far as plea
relating to corroboration is concerned, if the court looks for such
corroboration of a judicial confession or an extra judicial confession, same
need not be in material particulars. It can be and will have to be only
corroboration in general. Each and every piece of information mentioned in the
extra-judicial confession need not be corroborated by independent evidence. It
is well settled that conviction can be recorded solely on the basis of the
extra judicial confession if it is found to be credible and worthy of
acceptance. PW.1's evidence coupled with that of PW.3 makes the position clear
that there was a voluntary extra-judicial confession made by the appellant
before the Village Administrative Officer (PW.1). That being so, we find no
scope for interference in this appeal. The appeal is, accordingly, dismissed.
The appellant is on bail. His bail bonds shall stand cancelled. The appellant
shall surrender to custody forthwith to serve remainder of the sentence.
(Dr. Arijit Pasayat)
(Asok Kumar Ganguly)