Gopal Vs. State of
J U D G E M E N T
appellant - Gopal challenges his conviction under Section 302 I.P.C. in this
appeal. The allegation against the appellant-accused are that on 29.12.1998 at about
5 p.m., he poured kerosene on the body of his wife Mallavva and set her on
fire. It has come in the evidence that Mallavva was immediately taken to the
hospital by PW-8 Nagavva and PW-15 Sushila and she was treated by PW-5 - Dr. Noor
Ahmed. PW-5 is said to have intimated to the police station on which PW-13 PSI
Ravi came there and recorded her dying declaration. In that dying declaration, the
deceased has clearly alleged that the accused used to drink liquor and quarrel
with her. He also used to assault the deceased in a drunken state. On
29.12.1998, accused had given Rs. 200/- to her for purchase of ration. He immediately
took back Rs. 100 out of Rs. 200/- . She purchased the ration of the remaining
amount of Rs. 100/-. At about 5 p.m., on the same day, accused returned to the house
and demanded Rs. 100/- from her. Thereupon, the deceased told the accused that she
had already purchased the ration but the accused asked her to return the ration
and get him Rs. 100/- back. On her refusal, the accused became angry and tied
her hands and poured kerosene on her body and set her ablaze. On 19.1.1999, Mallavva
succumbed to the injuries.
have heard learned counsel appearing for the parties and gone through the record
and judgments of the courts below.
are convinced that the findings of the trial court as well as of the High Court
that this dying declaration can be made the sole basis for the conviction of accused
is a correct inference drawn by the courts below.
have ourselves examined the dying declaration. What impresses us is that there
is solely no explanation by the accused anywhere as to how the presence of
kerosene has been found on the brassiere, saree and petti-coat of the unfortunate
lady. We have seen the FSL Report - Exhibit P-25 for that purpose which
endorses this fact. It is not the defence of the accused that the death was
suicidal or accidental. There is nothing on record even to entertain such
doubt. The presence of kerosene residue on the inner and outer garments provides
strong corroboration of the version in the dying declaration.
is true that the witnesses, who carried the deceased to the hospital, turned hostile
during their examinations but that may not be an escape route for the accused because
the man may lie but the circumstances do not. The circumstances in this case clinches
the proof that it is the accused and accused alone who has committed this
Ram Lal Roy, learned counsel appearing for the accused pointed out that the
investigating officer did not make any attempt to get recorded the second dying
declaration of the deceased by a Magistrate. It is really true. It would have been
better if the investigating officer had made an attempt to get recorded the second
dying declaration of the deceased by a Magistrate. But, in our opinion, the
dying declaration recorded by PW-13 and supported by PW-5 Dr. Noor Ahmed and the
endorsement made by him to the effect that the deceased was in a fit mental condition
to depose before the police convinces us that the dying declaration itself was
a good dying declaration and could have been acted upon.
find no merit in this appeal. It is, accordingly, dismissed.
[ V.S. SIRPURKAR ]
[ T.S. THAKUR ]