Sudam @ Rahul Kaniram
Jadhav Versus State of Maharashtra
J U D G M E N T
an accused held guilty of committing the murder of four children and a woman
with whom he was living as husband and wife and sentenced to death is before us
with the leave of the Court.
of Rupla Naik Tanda, a remote village in District Nanded in the State of Maharashtra
were horrified when few of its natives found four dead bodies floating in the
village pond in the morning of 21st August, 2007. A male child of six years
alongwith a female child of ten years and another female child of ten years alongwith
a male child of two to four years were tied separately. P.W.1 Yashwant Jadhav, Inspector
of Rupla Naik Tanda outpost came to know about the presence of dead-bodies in
the pond through a villager and reached there at 8.00 A.M.
There besides the aforesaid
dead-bodies, he found the body of an unidentified woman with Mangalsutra on her
neck below a boulder. He accordingly informed the Mahur Police Station and on that
basis crime under Section 302 and 201 of the Indian Penal Code was registered and
the investigation was entrusted to the Police Inspector Parmeshwar Munde (P.W.14).
He went to the spot took out the dead bodies from the Pond and prepared the inquest
reports. During the course of investigation, Maroti Madavi identified the dead
body of the woman to be his daughter, Anita and the two children of deceased
Anita born to her from the first husband and two children from the appellant herein.
Search was made to apprehend the appellant but he was not found till 24th
During the course of investigation,
it further transpired that the deceased Anita who was living with the appellant
as his wife had come to know about his illicit relationship with P.W.6,
Muktabai. The deceased used to protest the said relationship. This relationship
led to serious dispute amongst deceased Anita, Muktabai and the appellant. Appellant
orally divorced Muktabai and agreed to pay Rs.15,000/- to her. It was the
deceased Anita who promised to pay the amount. Thereafter, Muktabai went to her
village and the appellant the deceased Anita and the four children came to Juna
Pani where because of the strained relationship, appellant committed the murder
of Anita and the four children.
after usual investigation submitted the charge-sheet under Section 201 and 302 of
the Indian Penal Code and the appellant was ultimately committed to the Court of
Session to face the trial. Appellant denied to have committed any offence and
claimed to be tried.
order to bring home the charge the prosecution has altogether examined 14 witnesses
besides a large number of documents have been exhibited. There is no eye-witness
to the occurrence and relying on the circumstantial evidence the trial court came
to the conclusion that the circumstances proved clearly lead to one and the
only conclusion that the appellant had committed the murder of the four children
and Anita and in order to cause disappearance of evidence of murder threw the
dead bodies in the Pond.
For coming to the
aforesaid conclusion, the trial court held that the appellant had motive to commit
the crime and the five deceased were last seen in the company of the appellant.
Further extra-judicial confessions given before PW.6, Muktabai and PW.9, Ishwar
were reliable. Failure to explain the circumstances under which all of them met
homicidal death were taken into consideration to hold the Appellant guilty of the
charge. Abscondence was another circumstance relied on by the trial court to
hold the appellant guilty. The trial court awarded the death sentence. On appeal,
the High Court concurred with the findings of the trial court and finding the
case to be one amongst the rarest of the rare cases confirmed the death
have heard Mr. Manoj Prasad, learned Counsel appearing for the appellant; whereas
respondent-State is represented by Mr. Sushil Karanjakar.
the deceased met a homicidal death has not been questioned before us. Dr.
Bandiwan (P.W.10) who had conducted the post mortem of the dead bodies of the four
children has clearly stated in his evidence that all the four children died of asphyxia
due to throttling. Dr. Bhosale (P.W.4) who conducted post-mortem examination of
deceased Anita in his evidence, has opined that she died of asphyxia due to strangulation.
In view of this, we have no manner of doubt that all the five deceased met
Prasad, however, contends that the circumstantial evidence brought on record do
not point out towards guilt of the appellant. Mr. Karanjakar, however, submits that
the circumstances proved point towards the guilt of the appellant.
Anusayabai is the mother of the deceased and she has stated in her evidence that
her daughter Anita was earlier married to one Anil Gedam and they were blessed with
two children. Because of differences, he deserted Anita and the deceased thereafter
started residing with her. According to her evidence, Anita suddenly left her house
with the children and she did not make any enquiry as she thought that she had gone
to her husband's place. After few days, according to this witness she came to know
that the deceased was not residing with her husband Anil but in fact residing
with the appellant.
She went to the house
of the appellant, saw the deceased along with her children residing there. According
to her evidence when she came to know about the dead bodies of the children floating
in the Pond she went there and identified the dead bodies. They were the two
children of the deceased and her husband Anil, and other two children of the deceased
and the appellant. She also found the dead body of her daughter Anita there.
Muktabai has stated in her evidence that proposal for her marriage came on behalf
of a person called Rahul and she was told that he is unmarried. Her evidence is
that the prospective bridegroom came to her house and proposed to marry her claiming
that he was single. After marriage, both of them resided at the village for eight
to ten days and thereafter went to Karim Nagar and resided there for about a month.
According to her evidence, she returned to her village along with her husband
to attend the marriage of her cousin and while they were residing there the deceased
Anita came there and informed her that the name of her husband is not Rahul but
appellant Sudam and she had two children from him. Hearing this, the appellant
fled away from there.
has further deposed in her evidence that after some time the appellant came to
her house and on being questioned, he disclosed that he was being harassed by the
deceased Anita. Appellant further disclosed to this witness Muktabai that the two
children were his from Anita. The deceased requested this witness to release the
appellant, whereupon appellant undertook to maintain both PW.6, Muktabai and
the deceased Anita but later refused to accept the aforesaid proposal.
According to her, appellant
orally divorced her and promised to give her Rs.15,000/-. Thereafter, according
to this witness, Anita along with children went with the appellant. Few days thereafter,
the Police came to her house and enquired the whereabouts of the appellant and the
deceased. She was shown the photographs of four children and the deceased Anita.
This witness has further stated that after few days, appellant returned and on being
asked, he disclosed that he had committed the murder of Anita and four children
as Anita was harassing him.
Ishwar had stated in his evidence that the appellant made an extra-judicial
confession before him that he strangulated the four children and his first wife
to death and threw their dead bodies in the Pond as he was being harassed by
his first wife.
Pralhad has stated in his evidence that on 19th August, 2007 when he was at his
house the appellant along with his wife and four children came and asked for water.
He has further stated in his evidence that he requested the appellant to stay
back but he left the place along with his wife and four children and two to three
days thereafter he came to know that he had killed his wife and the children.
from the evidence of PW.5, Anusayabai the mother of the deceased and PW.6, Muktabai
it is evident that the deceased Anita along with the four children were living with
the appellant. The appellant had married PW.6, Muktabai projecting himself to be
single and the protest made by the deceased led to the divorce. From the
evidence of the aforesaid witnesses and further from the evidence of PW.8, Pralhad
it is evident that Anita and four children were last seen alive with the appellant
on 19th August, 2007. The dead bodies of the four children were found floating
in the Pond and of Anita under a boulder on 21st August, 2007. Appellant has also
made extra-judicial confession before PW.6, Muktabai and PW.9, Ishwar.
He confessed to have committed
the murder on account of the harassment meted out to him by his wife Anita. From
the evidence of the aforesaid witnesses it is apparent that the appellant had motive
to commit the crime, was last seen with the deceased and had made extra-judicial
confession before the two witnesses PW.6, Muktabai and PW.9, Ishwar admitting the
commission of crime. Further, he absconded and he is unable to explain how the
woman with whom he was living as husband and wife and the children met the homicidal
death. In our opinion to bring home the guilt on the basis of the circumstantial
evidence the prosecution has to establish that the circumstances proved lead to
one and the only conclusion towards the guilt of the accused.
In a case based on circumstantial
evidence the circumstances from which an inference of guilt is sought to be drawn
are to be cogently and firmly established. The circumstances so proved must unerringly
point towards the guilt of the accused. It should form a chain so complete that
there is no escape from the conclusion that the crime was committed by the
accused and none else. It has to be considered within all human probability and
not in fanciful manner. In order to sustain conviction circumstantial evidence must
be complete and must point towards the guilt of the accused. Such evidence should
not only be consistent with the guilt of the accused but inconsistent with his innocence.
The circumstances referred to above, in our opinion lead to one and the only
conclusion that the appellant had committed the murder of all the five persons.
Accordingly we uphold his conviction.
we proceed to consider as to whether the case in hand fall in the category of rare
of the rarest case. The appellant had chosen to kill the woman with whom he
lived as husband and wife, a woman who was in deep love with him and willing to
pay Rs.15,000/- to PW.6, Muktabai, to save the relationship. Appellant had not only
killed the two children of the deceased who were born from the first husband but
also killed his own two children. He projected himself to be single and changed
his name to dupe a woman and in fact succeded in marrying her. However, when the
truth came to light, he killed five persons.
The manner in which the
crime has been committed clearly shows it to be premeditated and well planned. It
seems that all the four children and the woman were brought near the Pond in
planned manner, strangulated to death and dead bodies of the children thrown in
the pond to conceal the crime. He not only killed Anita but crushed her head to
avoid identification. Killing four children, tying the dead bodies in bundles
of two each and throwing them in the Pond would not have been possible, had the
appellant not meticulously planned the murders.
It shows that the crime
has been committed in a beastly, extremely brutal, barbaric and grotescue manner.
It has resulted into intense and extreme indignation of the community and shocked
the collective conscience of the society. We are of the opinion that the
appellant is a menace to the society who cannot be reformed. Lesser punishment in
our opinion shall be fraught with danger as it may expose the society to peril once
again at the hands of the appellant. We are of the opinion that the case in hand
falls in the category of the rarest of the rare cases and the trial court did
not err in awarding the death sentence and the High court confirming the same.
the result, we do not find any merit in these appeals and the same are
(HARJIT SINGH BEDI)
(CHANDRAMAULI KR. PRASAD)