Bhagwan Kaur Vs. Maharaj Krishan
Sharma & Ors  INSC 261 (25 October 1972)
KHANNA, HANS RAJ KHANNA, HANS RAJ
CITATION: 1973 AIR 1346 1973 SCR (2) 702 1973
SCC (4) 46
CITATOR INFO :
R 1992 SC2100 (30)
Criminal trial--Appraisal of evidence in case
of alleged murder by sulphuric acid poisonning--Murder or suicide--Conduct of
accused--Opinion of handwriting expert providing alleged dying declaration to
be in deceased's handwriting--Evidence of handwriting expert not reliable-- Appeal
under Art. 136, Constitution of India--This court does not reappraise evidence
except when there is some glaring infirmity in High Court's judgment resulting
in miscarriage of justice.
The first respondent and his mother were
charged with the murder of his wife on the allegation that they had forcibly
administered sulphuric acid poison to the deceased.
Immediately after finding his wife in a
serious condition the first respondent had sent for a doctor who had advised
him to take her to hospital and had also informed the police. in the hospital,
according to the prosecution, the deceased bad recovered consciousness for a
while and had given a piece of writing P.W.1/A to her mother charging the
husband with poisoning her; she had also made a similar oral statement to her
mother and another woman. A handwriting expert gave his opinion that the
writing in document P.W.
1/A was similar to the admitted writings of
At their trial the two accused stated that
the acid was not administered to the deceased but had been swallowed by
herself. The Additional Sessions Judges relying on P.W.1/A held that the
accused were guilty. He did not rely on the oral dying declaration of the
deceased to her mother and another woman. The High Court in appeal held that
the deceased had committed suicide. It found inherent weaknesses and
improbabilities in document P.W.1/A. Against the High Court's judgment
acquitting the accused the mother of the deceased appealed to this Court.
HELD: This Court in an appeal under Art. 136
of the Constitution does not normally reappraise evidence unless it finds some
glaring infirmity in the judgment of the High 'Court as might have resulted in
miscarriage of justice. No such infirmity was pointed out in the present case.
On the contrary the High Court had properly appraised the evidence and had
arrived at its conclusion in at well-reasoned judgment.
The evidence of the medical expert showed
that the quantity of acid which caused the injuries on the internal organs of
the deceased could not have been forcibly administered. The conduct of the
accused in calling the doctor while the deceased was alive was consistent with
their innocence rather than guilt. While the accused had come out with the
version of suicide at a very early stage, the complainant had come out with the
allegation of murder at a very late stage.
Not much value could be attached to the
evidence of the handwriting expert who proved P.W.1/A. The evidence of a
handwriting expert, unlike that of a fingerprint expert is generally of a frail
character and its fallibilities have been quite often noticed. The courts
should, therefore, be wary to give too much weight to the evidence of
handwriting expert. [712D-E] Sri Sri Sri Kishore Chandra Singh Deo v. Babu
Ganesh Prasad Bhagat Ors., A.I.R. 1954 S.C., 316, referred to.
703 The various circumstances of the case
irresistibly pointed to the conclusion that the deceased committed suicide by
taking sulphuric acid.. The appeal must consequently fail.
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Criminal
Appeal No. 235 of 1969.
Appeal by special leave from the judgment and
order dated January 31, 1969 of the Delhi High Court at New Delhi in Criminal
Appeal No. 28 of 1968.
Bawa Gurcharan Singh and Harbans Singh, for
Nuruddin Ahmed and B. Dutta, for respondent
Nuruddin Ahmed and G. D. Gupta, for
respondent No. 2.
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
KHANNA, J. Maharaj Krishan Sharma (34) and his mother Shanti Devi (55) were
convicted by the Additional Sessions Judge Delhi under section 302 read with
section 34 Indian Penal Code on the allegation that they caused the death of
Shanti Devi alias Prem Lata (25), wife of Maharaj Krishan accused, by forcibly
pouring sulphuric acid in her mouth, and were sentenced to undergo imprisonment
for life. On appeal the Delhi High Court acquitted the two accused by giving
them the benefit of doubt. The present appeal was thereafter filed by Bhagwan
Kaur, mother of Shanti Devi deceased, by special leave against the acquittal of
the two accused respondents.
The prosecution case is that Shanti Devi
deceased was the daughter of PW 5 Dayal Das, Sub Inspector CID of Delhi. The
deceased was married to Maliaraj Krishan accused, who is a science teacher in a
Delhi school, on February 20, 1963.
The accused, it is stated, did not feel happy
with the dowry brought by the deceased. The relations of the deceased with her
husband became strained and the deceased complained of ill-treatment by the two
accused. On account of the strained relations the deceased on occasions would
go, to her father's house and stay there for some time, but as it was she would
again come back to the house of the accused.
A report was also once lodged with the police
by the deceased against the accused for ill-treatment. In May 1964 Maharaj
Krishan accused obtained a writing from the deceased in which she stated that
she wanted divorce.
Maharaj Krishan accused also ran a private
college known as N. C. College at his residence in C/96, New Rajinder Nagar,
New Delhi. On January 13, 1965 Hanuman Singh peon of that 10-L499Sup.C.I./73
704 college purchased for the college from the shop of Lajpat Rai (PW 10) one
quart of sulphuric acid with a concentration of 98.9 per cent in a bottle.
Towards the end of June, Maharaj Krishan
accused sent a message through the deceased to his father-in-law that he wanted
some money for going to the United Kingdom as he had obtained an employment
voucher from the United Kingdom.
Maharaj Krishan was, however, told by his
mother-in-law Bhagwan Kaur (PW 1) that his demand for money could not be met.
On July 21, 1965, it is stated, Shanti Devi deceased sent a telephonic message
to her mother Bhagwan Kaur from the house of the accused that she was being
beaten by her husband. Bhagwan Kaur then went to the house of the accused.
Dayal Das also reached there. Shanti Devi then told her parents while weeping
that she had been beaten by her husband as he wanted money for going abroad.
Maharaj Krishan accused then admonished the deceased and again made a demand
for money for going to the United Kingdom. Mararaj Krishan was, however, told
by the parents of the deceased that they could not pay him anything.
The present occurrence took place on July 23,
1965. On that day near about noon time, according to the prosecution case,
Shanti Devi accused went to the house of Sushila Devi (PW 9), The house of
Sushilla Devi is opposite to that of the accused. Shanti Devi accused then
asked Sushila Devi to accompany her to the house of the accused. Sushila Devi
went to that house after a few minutes and found the deceased lying on a carpet
in the room. The deceased was crying and screaming at that time. Sushila Devi
felt burning sensation below her feet when she approached near the deceased.
She also felt burning sensation when she sat on the sofa. Shanti Devi accused
then abused the deceased.
Sushila Devi noticed froth coming out of the
mouth of the deceased. The deceased uttered twice the word
"Radhaswami", which was the name of her Guru and thereafter she
became unconscious. Maharaj Krishan accused was also present in the house at
that time and was busy in making telephonic call to a doctor and asking him to
come immediately to see his wife.
Dr.Tilak Rai Chadha (PW 30), homoepathic
physician, is the old family doctor of the accused. According to this doctor,
at about 2 p.m. on that day he received a telephonic message from Maharaj
Krishan accused that there was a serious case and that the doctor must reach
his (Maharaj Krishan's) house at once. Dr. Chadha was having his lunch and told
Maharaj Krishan that he would come after finishing the lunch.
Maharaj krishan, however, requested Dr.
Chadha not to finish the lunch but to come at once 705 as the case was very
serious. Dr. Chadha, who resides at a distance of only a furlong from the house
of the accused, immediately went to the house of the accused. Maharaj Krishan,
who was standing at the entrance of the house, then told Dr. Chadha that the
deceased had taken something and that Maharaj Krishan had just come from the
Chadha went inside and saw that the deceased
was lying on the carpet and some salive was coming out from her mouth.
Acid was found on the carpet near the head of
Dr. Chadha then told the accused to place the
deceased on a cot and remove her to the hospital as the case was beyond his
control. Dr. Chadha also informed the police telephonically from the house of
the accused that there was a case of acid poisoning and police should reach at
The deceased was semiconscious at that time
and was crying.
Her tongue was charred and she could not
speak. A taxi was then brought and the deceased was put in that taxi and taken
to the Willingdon Hospital. Head Constable Sita Ram (PW 29) arrived at the
house of the accused when the deceased was being taken in the taxi to the
Willingdon Hospital. Head Constable Sita Rain also went in the taxi along with
Chadha, Maharaj Krishan accused and the
deceased to the Willingdon Hospital.
On arrival in the hospital, Head Constable
Sita Ram made an application to the doctor for recording the statement of the
deceased, but the doctor said that she was unfit to make a statement. ASI Hem
Raj (PW 30), on coming to know of the telephonic message, first went to the
house of the accused and, on being told that the deceased had been removed to
the Willingdon Hospital, went there. The Assistant Sub Inspector met Maharaj
Krishan accused in the hospital and found him to be very much upset.
At about 4.30 p.m. on that day Dayal Das (PW
5) received a telephonic message from Rajinder Nagar police station that his
daughter had been admitted in the Willingdon Hospital in a serious condition.
Dayal Das, accompanied by his wife Bhagwan Kaur, then went to the hospital and
found the deceased lying in the Casualty Department with serious burns over her
face and chest. Maharaj Krishan accused was also present at that time outside
the hospital. Keshava Nand, who is cousin of Bhagwan Kaur, and his wife Kamla
(PW 2) also reached the hospital. At about 1 1 p.m. on that night Shanti Devi
deceased was removed to the female ward.
Bhagwan Kaur went with the deceased to the
ward. Kamla sat in the verandah of that ward.
At about mid-night hour, it is alleged,
Shanti Devi deceased regained consciousness and opened her eyes. Bhagwan Kaur
asked the deceased as to what had happened, but the deceased could 706 not
speak and made a gesture indicating that she would Eke to write something.
Bhagwan Kaur then went to the doctor's room and found nobody present there.
Bhagwan Kaur picked up a piece of paper which was lying on the floor of that
She also picked up a pen lying on the table.
Bhagwan Kaur on return supported the deceased by sitting by her side and the
deceased started writing on the paper. Bhagwan Kaur put a spit-pan upside down
under the paper with a view to support it. After writing something the deceased
shook the pen indicating that there was no more ink in it. Bhagwan Kaur then
brought another pen from the table in the doctor's room and with that pen, the
deceased wrote something more.
After the deceased, had completed the
writing, Bhagwan Kaur took the pen back to the doctor's room and placed it on
the table. The writing of the deceased is PW 1 /A and is in Hindi. It was
signed in Hindi by the deceased as Shanti Devi. The deceased also appended her
signature on it in English. The writing was to the following effect :
"I am in senses now. A quarrel took
place at my house yesterday and my husband asked me that he had no connections
with me and that I should go to my parents. I did not go.
Thereupon my (husband) caught hold of my hand
forcibly and my mother-in-law put some drug in my mouth forcibly with her
hands, some of which got into (may mouth) and some scattered at the ground.
Shani Sharma (Shanti Sharma Maharaj) Shanti
Devi Sharma C/o. Maharaj Krishan Sharma.
"(Husband Name)" Bhagwan Kaur,
according to the prosecution case, is illiterate and could not read what had
been written by Shanti Devi deceased. when Bhagwan Kaur insisted upon the
deceased speaking something, the deceased told Bhagwan Kaur that the two
accused had put acid on her tongue. Bhagwan Kaur then started weeping whereupon
Kamla came inside.
Kamla too was told by Shanti Devi deceased
that she had been forcibly given something in her mouth and that she had given
a writing to her mother. Soon thereafter Bhagwan Kaur became unconscious and
regained consciousness at 5 a.m.
The condition of Shanti Devi deceased
deteriorated in the morning, and she died at about 10.45 a.m.
AST Hem Rai first prepared inquest report PW
5/J in the presence of the two accused. In the aforesaid inquest report, the
707 Assistant Sub Inspector recorded the statements of the two accused. Maharaj
Krishan accused, in the course of his statement in the inquest report, stated
that there used to take place petty quarrels between him and his wife, who had
not given birth to any child, but the matter used to be patched up. On July 23,
1965, according to Maharaj Krishan, he told the deceased at the time he was
taking meals about his proposed visit to England. Shanti Devi accused was also
present at that time. The deceased then tried to dissuade Maharaj Krishan from
going to England but he advised her to complete her studies and pass B.A.B.T.
examination during the period he remained abroad. Shanti Devi accused then went
out. Maharaj Krishan also went towards the kitchen to leave the utensils there.
Maharaj Krishan then heard cries of the deceased. Both he and his mother rushed
to the spot where the deceased was present. The deceased then pointed towards a
bottle containing acid lying in the almirah and told the accused that she had
taken acid out of that.
Maharaj Krishan also noticed some stains of
acid scattered in the room. Maharaj Krishan immediately rang up Dr. Chadha. The
doctor sent a report to the police station with the consent of Maharaj Krishan.
The deceased was then taken to Willingdon Hospital. To similar effect was the
statement of Shanti Devi accused.
According to ASI Hem Raj, at about 2.45 p.m.
Bhagwan Kaur made a statement PW 1/B to him. In the course of that statement
Bhagwan Kaur referred to the previous strained relations of the accused with
the deceased. Bhagwan Kaur also made reference to the writing of dying
declaration PW 1/A by the deceased during the night as well as to the oral
statement of the deceased to Bhagwan Kaur. Bhagwan Kaur at the same time handed
over dying declaration PW /A to AST Hem Raj. The Assistant Sub Inspector then
prepared another inquest report PW 5/D in which he recorded the statements of
Bhagwan Kaur and Dayal Das. A case was registered on the basis of statement PW
1/B of Bhagwan Kaur at police station Rajinder Nagar at 3.25 p.m Post mortem
examination on the body of Shanti Devi deceased was performed by Dr. R. L.
Handa at 2.30 p.m. on July 25, 1965. The doctor expressed the opinion that the
death of the deceased was due to corrosive poisoning probably by acid. He also
expressed the view that the acid of that much quantity could not be forced into
the stomach by somebody else. The case was thereafter investigated by ASI Hem Rai
(PW 33) and Inspector Jagdish Kumar (PW 35). Writin PW 1/A was sent to Dr. S.
K. Sharma, Government Examiner of Questioned Documents. Dr. Sharma 708
expressed the opinion that there was similarity in writing PW 1/A and other
documents containing the admitted writing of Shanti Devi deceased.
On February 17, 1966 the police submitted a
report to the magistrate, that the case should be cancelled as the evidence
indicated that the death of the deceased was the result of suicide.
Shri"Jagmohan magistrate then passed an,, order in accordance with that
report. On June 1, 1966 Bhagwan Kaur filed a complaint against the accused
under section 302 read with section 34 Indian Penal Code on the above
At the trial the two accused, while not
denying the strained relations with the deceased, stated that the deceased had
died because she had herself swallowed sulfuric acid.
According to the accused, the sulfuric acid
was not administered to her. No evidence was produced in defence.
Learned Additional Sessions Judge held that
the death of Shanti Devi deceased was caused by the accused in the manner
started by her in dying declaration PWI/A. Evidence about the oral dying
declaration of Shanti Devi deceased to Bhagwan Kaur and Kamla was not accepted.
On appeal the learned judges of the High
Court referred to the different circumstances of the case and found that those
circumstances pointed to, the conclusion that the deceased had died as a result
of suicide. As regards the dying declaration PW 1//A, the learned judges took
the view that there were inherent weaknesses and improbabilities which
furnished intrinsic evidence against the acceptance of the dying declaration.
Those weaknesses were enumerated as under:- "(1) It starts with the words
"At this time I am in senses." It is rather unusual that a person in
that condition would extend that type of assurance or declaration which appears
to be an effort to lend a colour of genuineness.
(2) The details about her husband having
asked her to go to her parents also brings in an element of doubt because
normally a person in that condition will avoid details.
(3) The letter contains the word
"Lekhak", which means "the writer". The signatures in Hindi
are not complete as it is only signed as 'Shani Sharma'. Against the Hindi signatures
there is bracket and then she is alleged to have signed in English 'Shanti
Sharma Maharaj'. Again at 709 the back of the letter she has signed in English
as 'Shanti Devi Sharma C/o Maharaj Krishan Sharma (Husband Name). The last of
the above mentioned writing shows the meticulous care with which the identity
of the husband is sought to be established. I find it difficult to accept that
a patient in that agony would add the words such as 'the writer', repeat her
signatures in English, and the word 'Maharaj' also which is not found in any of
her admitted letters such as Exhibits PW 51C. P.W. and P.W. 5/F and write what
is written at the back of the paper.
(4) The writing in the letter is in a firm
hand which is inconsistent with the writing of a person in Shanti Devi's
(5) The incomplete signatures as 'Shani
Sharma' cast a doubt in my mind because a person who could write so much would
not have normally made a mistake in putting down complete Hindi
signatures." We have heard in this Court Mr. Churcharan Singh on behalf of
the appellant and Mr. Nooridin on behalf of the respon- dents and are of the
opinion that the present appeal is devoid of any merit.
It is the common case of the parties. and is
proved by the evidence of Dr. Handa that Shanti Devi deceased died due to
corrosive acid poisoning. Dr. Handa, who arrived at this conclusion, found at
the time of post mortem examination that both the lips of the deceased showed
acid burns. Two streaks of acid, each 2" long and one 1/3" broad,
were found present on either side of the chin. Small acid burns were present on
the forehead, left cheek and chest. On internal examination, the doctor found
that the inner aspect of the lips, the lining of the oral cavity and tongue
were corroded. The teeth were chalky while. Food pipe showed corrosion of
mucus. Stomach was charred black and corroded.
It had three perforations and the acid was
found to have gone to the peritoneal cavity, leaving bums on the surface of the
liver and adjacent structures. Stomach wall was friable and was empty. Duodenum
was also partly corroded.
Reaction of the bums was strongly acidic. The
quantity of acid poured into the mouth, in the opinion of the doctor, might be
between half an ounce to one ounce.
According to the prosecution case, it were
the a who forcibly poured acid into the mouth of the deceased. As against 710
that, the defence version was to the effect that the deceased committed suicide
by drinking acid. The High Court on appreciation of the evidence came to the
conclusion that the various circumstances of the case pointed to the inference,
that the death of the deceased was the result of suicide. This Court in an
appeal under article 136 of the Constitution does not normally reappraise
evidence unless it finds Some glaring infirmity in the judgment of the High
Court as might have resulted in miscarriage of justice. No such infirmity has
been brought to our notice. On the contrary, we find that the High Court has
properly appraised the evidence and has arrived at its conclusion in a
No eye witness of the occurrence has been
produced by the prosecution because, according to it, no one else was present
at the time the, acid was forcibly poured into the mouth of the deceased. To
bring the charge home to the accused, the prosecution has however, relied upon
the dying declaration PW 1/A alleged to have been written by the deceased at
about mid-night hour in the female ward of Willingdon Hospital after the
deceased had regained consciousness. The prosecution has further relied upon
the oral dying declaration said to have been made by the deceased at first to
her mother Bhagwan Kaur PW and thereafter to Kamla PW in the female ward of the
hospital during the night. The evidence about the oral dying declaration was
rejected by both the trial court as well as the High Court. Regarding the
written dying declaration, the trial court accepted the prosecution evidence,
but the High Court found the same to be full of infirmities and
improbabilities, which have already been enumerated earlier.
Nothing cogent has been brought to our notice
to take a view different from the High Court.
Apart from the infirmities and
improbabilities pointed out by the High Court, we find that the salient
features of the evidence all point to the conclusion that the death of the
deceased was the result of suicide and was not homicidal.
We may now refer to those features.
According to Dr. Handa, who performed post
mortem exami- nation on the body of the deceased, the quantity of acid which
was found in the stomach of the deceased was so much that it could not be
poured by someone else. The doctor added that, the cases of homicidal
administration of sulfuric acid by force were very rare. If the victim,
according to Dr. Handa, is overpowered forcibly and a third person pours acid
mechanically, by pulling the tongue out, the acid can reach the stomach but not
to the extent so as to reach the stomach and beyond, as was the case with the
deceased. The acid poured into the mouth of the deceased 711 was not less than
half an ounce. The doctor also did not find any marks of injuries on the body
of the deceased other than the burns. If the deceased had been hold forcibly by
one of the accused and the other accused had poured acid into her' mouth, the deceased,
in our opinion, must have offered some resistance. In such an event, some
injuries in the nature of abrasions or scratches must have been found on the
body of the deceased. The evidence of Dr. Handa shows that no such injuries
were found on the body. The material on the record also indicates that no such
injuries were found on the person of the accused. The medical evidence thus
belies the prosecution version of the occurrence.
The opinion of Dr. Handa that it was a case
of suicide and not homicide is in consonance with the views "pressed in
standard books on medical jurisprudence. In Taylor's Principles and Practice of
Medical Jurisprudence, Twelfth Edition, at page 235 it is said that sulfuric
acid is used for suicidal purposes and accidents occur as a result of it having
been mistaken for some other liquid. According to Modi's Medical Jurisprudence
and Toxicology, Fifteenth Edition, page 481, acid may be taken for suicidal
It is, further stated :
"Owing to its acid taste and physical changes
brought purposes, unless the victim happens to be a child or an about in the
food it is not possible, to use it for homicidal adult who is drunk or
helpless." According to observations on page 709 of 1 Gonzales Legal
Medicine Pathology and Toxicology, Second Edition, "Sulfuric acid, due to
its severe corrosive action, has rarely been given by mouth for homicidal
purposes except to children.
It is sometimes thrown on a person to
disfigure the face, and it may cause death from the severe bums inflicted on
the skin. Most of the cases are suicidal, due to the ingestion of the acid.
Some cases are accidental, tile acid having been ingested in mistake for a
medicine, or mixed with food, or poured into the car, or injected into the
ractum by error instead of a therapeutic drug, or injected into the vagina for
the purpose of causing abortion." The conduct of the accused immediately
after the occurrence is consistent with the hypothesis of their innocence
rather than with that of their guilt. It is inconceivable that Shanti Devi
accused would have called her neighbour Sushila Devi PW to her house if Shanti
Devi accused along with the other accused shortly before that had forcibly
poured acid into the mouth of the deceased. It is also most unlikely that
Maharaj Krishan accused would have made frantic telephonic calls to Dr. Chadha
to immediately rush to his house if Maharaj Krishan along with his mother had
poured 712 acid into the mouth of the deceased. It is further extremely
improbable in that event that Maharaj Krishan would have allowed Dr. Chadha to
use Maharaj Krishans telephone to call the police. Maharaj Krishan would also
in that event have not taken the deceased to the hospital. On the contrary,
Maharaj Krishan would have, if he and his mother had been the real culprits,
waited for the time till the deceased died rather than taken the risk of the
deceased regaining consciousness in the hospital and making a dying declaration
regarding their complicity.
So far as the dying declaration PW 1/A is
concerned, we are of the opinion that the evidence about the writing of that
document by the deceased is of a most unconvincing character. The High Court
has referred to a number of circumstances which militate against the acceptance
of the evidence regarding the aforesaid dying declaration, and we find no
cogent ground to take a different view. It is no doubt true that the
prosecution led evidence of handwriting expert to show the similarity of
handwriting between PW I/A and other admitted writings of the deceased, but in
this respect, we are of the opinion that in view of the essential features of
the case, not much value can be attached to the expert evidence. The evidence
of a handwriting expert, unlike that of a fingerprint expert, is generally of a
frail character and its fallibilities have been quite often noticed. The courts
should, therefore, be wary to give too much weight to the evidence of
handwriting expert. In Sri Sri Kishore Chandra Singh Deo v. Babu Ganesh Prasad
Bhagat & Ors. (1),.this Court observed that conclusions based upon mere
comparison of handwriting must at best be indecisive and yield to the positive
evidence in the case.
According to Bhagwan Kaur, Shanti Devi
deceased wrote the dying declaration soon after mid-night hour. Question then
arises as to why Bhagwan Kaur did not immediately go out of the female ward and
tell her husband Dayal Das that the deceased had been forcibly administered
sulphuric acid by the accused. Bhagwan Kaur has tried to explain this omission
by saying that she was illiterate and did not know about the contents of
writing PW 1/A. Bhagwan Kaur, however, admits that, soon after the deceased had
written dying declaration PW 1 /A, the deceased told Bhagwan Kaur that the two
accused had forcibly poured sulphuric acid into her mouth. It- cannot,
therefore, be said that Bhagwan Kaur remained unaware after 1 or 2 a.m. on the
night between July 23 and 24 that it were the accused who had poured acid into
the mouth of the deceased. The immediate reaction of Bhagwan Kaur, if the prosecution
story were correct, would have been to go out and (1) A. I. R. 1954 S. C. 316.
713 apprise her husband, who is a police Sub
Inspector, so that the latter might inform the police regarding the complicity
of the two accused. Bhagwan Kaur has tried to explain this omission by stating
that she became unconscious. There is, however, no explanation as to why Kamla,
who too professes to have been told by the deceased regarding the forcible
administering of acid to the deceased, kept quiet. and did not convey that
information to Dayal Das. It is further admitted by Bhagwan Kaur that she
regained her consciousness at 5 a.m. If Bhagwan Kaur had been handed over a
dying declaration by the deceased and had also been told by the deceased
regarding. the forcible administering of acid to her by the accused, Bhagwan
Kaur in that event could not have failed to convey that information to Dayal
Das soon after regaining consciousness. Dayal Das in that event would have
immediately reported the matter to the police.
The fact that no such, intimation was given
_to the police till 2.45 p.m., as deposed by ASI Hem Raj, creates considerable
doubt regarding the authenticity of dying declaration PW 1/A as well as about
the testimony of Bhagwan Kaur and Kamla regarding the oral dying declaration of
Shanti Devi deceased.
Another significant circumstance which
emerges from the, evidence on record is that Maharaj Krishan came out with the
version of suicide at the earliest stage. According to Dr. Chadha, lie was told
by Maharaj Krishan immediately on arrival of Dr. Chadha that the deceased had
Maharaj Krishan and his mother also gave
account of suicide by the deceased in their statements recorded in the inquest
report PW 5/f. As against that, the evidence of ASI Hem Rai shows that Bhagwan
Kaur came out with the story of dying declaration at a subsequent stage.
In our opinion, the various circumstances of
the case irresistibly point to the conclusion that the deceased committed
suicide by taking sulphuric acid. The appeal consequently fails and is
G.C. Appeal dismissed.