Dayanu Patil Vs. State of Maharashtra
 INSC 197 (12
Singh (J) Kuldip Singh (J) Natrajan, S. (J)
1989 AIR 1762 1989 SCR (3) 400 1989 SCC Supl. (1) 758 JT 1989 (3) 166 1989
Penal Code, 1860: Section 302--Murder--Accused acquitted by trial court--High
Court reversed acquittal order--Held wife's conduct in not naming assailant
highly improbable and unnatural--Accused entitled to benefit of
appellant was charged under Section 302 I.P.C. for committing the murder of the
deceased. At the trial, prosecution produced P.W.3, wife of the deceased, and
P.Ws.10, 11 and 12, all eye witnesses. Except for P.W.3, all other eye
witnesses were declared hostile. Thus, the prosecution depended on the sole
testimony of P.W.3.
deposed that she saw the appellant hitting her husband with a stick. But
admittedly, she did not disclose the name of the appellant to anybody including
doctor, who came to the house of the deceased little later, examined and
treated the deceased and removed him to the hospital deposed that he was told
by the mother of the deceased that the family did not suspect anybody. Another
witness who was passing by the scene of occurrence also testified that nobody
informed him about the appellant or any other person, who injured the deceased.
Additional Sessions Judge acquitted the appellant.
on appeal, the High Court, set aside the acquittal order, and convicted and
sentenced the appellant to imprisonment for life. Hence, the appeal by the
the appeal, this Court,
The conduct of the deceased's wife was highly unnatural. A wife, who has seen
an assailant giving fatal blows with a stick to her husband, would name the
assailant to all present and to the police at an earliest opportunity.
is nothing in the evidence to justify this highly unnatural and improbable
conduct of the deceased's wife.
her statement recorded by police head constable, is entirely different than
what she stated at the trial. The prosecution has, thus, not 401 been able to
prove its case against the appellant beyond reasonable doubt. [404F-G]
Therefore, the appellant is given benefit of doubt, the judgment of the High
Court is set aside, and the appellant is acquitted of the charge under section
302, IPC. [404H]
APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Criminal Appeal No. 75 of 1979.
the Judgment and Order dated 6.2. 1976 of the Bombay High Court in Criminal Appeal No. 636 of 1973.
Singh (Amicus Curiae) for the Appellant.
and A.M. Khanwilkar for the Respondents.
Judgment of the Court was delivered by KULDIP SINGH, J. The appellant, Shivaji Patil
was acquitted by the Additional Sessions Judge, Kolhapur of the charge under
Section 302, Indian Penal Code for committing murder of one Tulashiram Sutar,
but on appeal the High Court by its judgment dated February 6, 1976 set aside
the order of acquittal and convicted him under section 302 of the Indian Penal
Code and sentenced him to imprisonment for life.
house of deceased Tulashiram in Village Rashivade adjoins the temple of Shri Ambabai and in front of the temple, there is open place. The
deceased along with his wife Parvatibai, two children and parents was living in
the house. Cousin brothers of the deceased and their mother were living in the
Sutar belonging to the brother-hood of deceased was also living in the same
village. The deceased had illicit relation with Vyanku's wife Akkatai. Parvatibai
claimed to have caught them in the sex-act in sugarcane fields. The accused Shivaji
and Vyanku were friends.
January 30,1972 at about 7 or 7.30 P.M. Tulashiram returned to the house after
performing his role described as "Sasankathi" in the festival of
"Mahi Poornima". In the house Parvatibai, her mother-in-law Tanubai,
her husband's sister Malutai, 402 and her husband's cousin brother's wife Shalubai,
were present. The male members, namely, deceased's father Pandurang Sutar, his
brother Soundappa and servant named Shama had gone to another village called Kote.
Tulashiram asked his mother Tanubai to prepare tea and thereafter he went out
and sat on the foot-steps of the temple at a distance of about 15 to 20 feet
from the house.
followed can best be reproduced in words of Parvatibai as P.W. 3 at the trial:
the tea was ready, I started going out of the house to call for my husband,
when I went to the front door of my house, I saw the accused Shivaji hitting my
husband with a stick on his head and running away. I saw him running in the
direction of the by lane. I saw my husband failing down from the steps and
lying on the ground near the "Deepmal". I saw him rubbing his feet on
the ground in agony and blood was coming from the injury on his head. I could
see this in the light of the tube-light. I went near my husband and started
calling him. He could not speak. Hence, I raise a hue and cry and my
mother-in-law and sister-in-law Malubai and Shalibai and Vishnu Patil came
there. I did not see anybody else nearby then as I was busy attending to my
husband had become unconscious due to the head injuries and froth had come out
of his mouth. Myself, Vishnu Patil and sister-in-law bodily lifted my husband
and took him to the house ..... Somebody went and brought a local doctor named Jayant
Patil. The doctor came there, examined and treated my husband and advised him
to be removed to his dispensary. My husband was accordingly taken there, but I
did not go, as my small children were crying and I was prevented from going
children had frightened. In the morning next day, I came to know that my
husband was removed to C.P.R. Hospital at Kolhapur. Hence in the morning, myself my
mother-in-law and others went to Kolhapur by Yelavade-Kolhapur Bus reaching there at about 8.30 A.M. When we reached the C.P.R. Hospital my brother-in-law came there crying
saying that my husband had overnight succumbed to his injuries. Hence myself
and my mother-in-law started crying and shouting. Hence some villagers brought
a taxi, we were 403 asked to sit in the taxi and we were taken to Rashivade
even without showing the dead-body to us. We reached Rashivade at about 11 A.M.
reaching home, we were crying in agony and our house became full with females
and I did not notice who others had come there." Vishnu Patil deposed that
he was returning from his sugarcane crushing site and while passing by the
temple he found deceased Tulashiram lying injured in front of the steps of the
temple and his wife was crying nearby. At a distance of about 5 or 6 feet from
there, he saw Nana Patil and asked him what was the matter. Nana Patil replied
that he did not know anything. Vishnu Patil asked Nana Patil to call the
doctor. Dr.Jaywant Patil a private practitioner reached the house of the
deceased and on his advice the deceased was removed to the dispensary. When for
two hours, Tulashiram did not regain consciousness, Dr.Patil at about 11/12
P.M. took him to the hospital at Kolhapur in his own car. Dr.Patil at the trial stated that Tanubai said to him
and also gave in writing (Ex. 26) to the effect that she had no complaint
prosecution produced P.W. 3 Parvatibai, P.W. 9 Krishan Wadkar, P.W. 10 Shankar Patil,
P.W. 11 Krishna Sadashiv Patil and P.W. 12 Nanu Patil, all eye witnesses.
P.W. 3 Parvatibai all other eye witnesses were declared hostile. The
prosecution case, thus, hinges on the sole testimony of Parvatibai.
has deposed that she saw on the evening of January 30, 1972, Shivaji Patil hitting her husband
with a stick. Admittedly her mother-in-law, her two sisters-in-law and Shivaji Patil
came present on the spot immediately thereafter. Parvatibai did not disclose
the name of the assailant to them or to anybody else. Rather Dr. Patil who came
to the house little later was told by Tanubai that the family did not suspect
anybody. Vishnu Patil stated at the trial that nobody informed him about the
accused or any other person who gave injuries to the deceased.
Patil in his report dated 31.1.1972 stated that at 10.30 A.M. on that day he went to the house of deceased. The father of
the deceased, an uncle and a distant relation were present in the house. The
Police Patil asked them about the incident. They replied that they had no
knowledge about the incident as they were not present in the house at the time
of occurrence. The Police Patil further says that while he was present in the
house a taxi came from Kolhapur and the 404 mother and wife of Tulashiram
deceased got down from the taxi. The Police Patil questioned the ladies as to
how Tulashiram was injured. The ladies were not prepared to talk and no
information regarding the alleged occurrence was given to him. He made further
enquiries from other people but nobody gave him any information regarding the
assailants. On the basis of the Police Patil's report a case was registered at
police station Rachanagari wherein it was mentioned that the cause of death of Tulashiram
was not known.
constable B.S. Patharvat sent a complaint on 1st of February, 1972 wherein he
stated that he came to know about the incident on the morning of 31st of
January, 1972 and he went to the house of Tulashiram at about 10/11 A.M. and
asked the in-mates about the occurrence but nobody gave him any information. He
again went to the house of Tulashiram deceased on 1st of February, 1972 and
recorded the statement of Parvatibai. She stated that when she came to the
front door she saw Shivaji Patil running with a stick from near about her
husband. She said that the relations between her husband and Vyanku were not
good and Shivaji Patil and Nana Patil were friends of Vyanku Sutar. She further
stated that Vyanku Sutar, Shivaji Patil and Nana Patil made company and
assaulted her husband. On the basis of the statement of Parvatibai the head
constable sent the complaint for registering the case against Vyanku Sutar, Shivaji
Patil and Nana Patil under sections 302/34, IPC, though ultimately charge was
filed by police only against Shivaji Patil.
question for consideration is as to why was Parvatibai mum from 30.1.1972 to
1.2. 1972? The High Court felt satisfied by saying that she was in a dazed
mood. We do not agree with the High Court. Parvatibai's conduct was highly
unnatural. A wife, who has seen an assailant giving fatal blows with a stick to
her husband, would name the assailant to all present and to the police at an
is nothing in the evidence to justify this highly unnatural and improbable
conduct of Parvatibai. Even on 1.2. 1972 the statement of Parvatibai recorded
by police head constable is entirely different than what she stated at the
trial. The prosecution has, thus, not been able to prove its case against the
appellant beyond reasonable doubt.
give benefit of doubt to the appellant and accept the appeal. The judgment of
the High Court is set aside and the appellant is acquitted of the charge under
section 302, IPC. The appellant is on bail and as such his bail-bond is