Rao Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh & Anr  INSC 199 (31 March 1998)
Nanavati, V.N. Khare Nanavati,J.
J U D
G E M E N T
appellant was convicted for the offence punishable under Section 302 IPC by the
Sessions Court, East Godavari Division, in S.C. No.198 of 1994. His conviction
was confirmed by the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
has been held proved against him is that on 2.8.1993 at about 7.00 p.m., he assaulted Lakshmi with a knife and killed her on
the spot. The prosecution case was that he had developed illicit intimacy with Lakshmi
and for about 8 to 9 years they had stayed together as husband and wife. Some
months before the date of incident , Lakshmi and the appellant had separated
and since then she was staying in a thatched hut near the hut of her father.
After separating from Lakshmi, the appellant wanted to join his first wife-Mariyamma
but Lakshmi was creating obstacles in his way. That was the reason why he
assaulted her on 2.8.1993.
order to prove its case, the prosecution had relied upon the evidence of three
eye-witnesses. PW-2 Polanati Nookaratnam did not support the prosecution and
was declared a hostile witness. Pw 1-Mariyamma, the former wife of the
appellant did not support the prosecution fully and merely stated that at about
7.00 p.m. on the day of the incident, when
she saw PW 2 running on the road and asked her why she was running like that,
she was told by her that the appellant was beating Lakshmi. PW 3, the brother
of Lakshmi, fully supported the prosecution case and both the courts below have
accepted his evidence. Relying upon his evidence and the evidence of recovery
of knife by the accused in presence of the village Administrative Officer (PW
5) the trial court convicted the appellant. The High Court also believed the
evidence of PW 3 and confirmed the conviction of the appellant.
was urged by the learned counsel for the appellant is that the High Court and
also the trial court failed to appreciate that there was no light at the place
of the incident and, therefore, PW 3 could not have identified the assailant of
Lakshmi. He submitted that it was raining on that day and as disclosed by the
prosecution evidence it had become dark when the incident had happened. There
were no electric lights around because of load shedding. That, however, cannot
mean that there was no sufficient light at the time of the incident. The
evidence of PWs 3 and 4 discloses that the incident had happened near the shop
of one Kapala Bapiraju at a distance of about 10 feet. It can be safely assumed
that the shopkeeper would not have kept his shop open without providing for
some other source of light. Moreover, the incident took place at about 7.00
p.m. and, therefore, it is not possible to accept the contention that there
must have been complete darkness at that time and PW 3 could not have
identified the assailant. It was not raining heavily. There was movement of
persons on the road.
these suggest that there was enough light and PW 3 could not have found it difficult
to recognise the appellant, who was none other than the person with whom his
sister had stayed for 8 to 9 years.
have carefully scrutinised the evidence of PW 3 and we find no infirmity in his
evidence. His evidence receives support from the evidence of the Village
Administrative Officer, and independent person, who was informed about the
incident within a very short time. As we find that the appellant has been
rightly convicted under Section 302 IPC, this appeal is dismissed.