Bai Alias Rinku Alias Ratan & Anr Vs. State of Maharashtra  Insc 557 (31 August 2006)
Balakrishnan & G.P. Mathur K.G. Balakrishnan, J.
criminal appeal has been filed by the two appellants herein who have been found
guilty by the High Court of Bombay for various offences. These appellants were
charged for various crimes alleged to have been committed by them during the
period June 1990 to October 1996. They were tried by the Additional Sessions
Judge, Kolaphur and found guilty and sentenced to death. The High Court
confirmed their conviction on various counts and the sentence imposed on them.
appellants Renuka Bai @ Rinku @ Ratan and Seema @ Devki @ Devli are sisters.
Their mother, Anjanabai, a co- accused died in 1997 and hence she could not be
Kiran Shinde who had studied upto 7th standard and left the school in 1982,
belonged to Pune. He obtained some training in the work of tailoring and was
doing tailoring work in a shop belonging to one Suresh. In 1983 he came in
contact with the first appellant Renuka Bai and in December 1989 he married Renuka
at a temple near Shirdi. Renuka was previously married to somebody else and was
having a child by name Aashish. These two appellants and their mother Anjanabai
and the approver Kiran Shinde and child Aashish were residing as tenants in a
house at Gonthalinagar in Pune.
appellants and their mother used to commit thefts. For that they would go to
the places of festivals and whenever they got opportunity they used to snatch
the gold chains and made a living out of the income derived from such thefts
committed by them.
1990, the first appellant Renuka Bai along with her child Aashish went to a
temple. There was a large gathering at the temple, Renuka Bai tried to snatch a
purse from a person but she was caught in that process. On being caught, she
raised a hue and cry and questioned the person as to why he had caught hold of
her hand when she was having a child with her and could not have been involved
in a crime. Many people gathered around her and seeing the mother and the
child, they left the appellant Renuka Bai. She narrated this incident to her
sister Seema and mother Anjanabai and told how she had managed to escape as she
had the child with her. The police had caught both the appellants and their
mother on several occasions and they used to bribe the police and escape from
the clutches of law. The appellants and their mother decided that thereafter
they would have a child with them at the time of committing the crime so that
by making use of the child they can escape from the crowd. According to the
prosecution, the appellants, their mother Anjanabai and approver Kiran Shinde
entered into a conspiracy to kidnap small children below five years of age and
make use of them whenever necessary and dispose them of when they are no longer
thought that this was the only way to evade possible arrest whenever they were
caught in the process of committing theft.
to prosecution, these appellants alongwith their mother Anjana Bai and approver
Kiran Shinde were instrumental in kidnapping 13 children and out of them they
had killed 9 of them. All these crimes were allegedly committed during the
period June 1990 to October 1996. The appellants have been convicted on various
counts and the death penalty imposed on them by the Sessions Court was
confirmed by the High Court.
Sessions Judge meticulously considered the evidence of the prosecution and by a
detailed judgment found these appellants guilty of majority of crimes charged
High Court confirmed the finding in most of the cases.
9 cases of murder were alleged against the appellants, the Sessions Court found
them guilty only of commission of 6 murders. When the matter came up in appeal
before the High Court, it was held that the prosecution could succeed in
proving only 5 cases of murder against these appellants. The trial Court
convicted the appellants for murder in the case of death of Santosh, Anjali @ Pinki,
Raja, Shraddha, Gauri and Pankaj. However, the High Court held that in the case
of murder of Raja, the evidence was not satisfactory. Appellants in all these
cases pleaded not guilty and alleged that they had been falsely implicated in
gist of allegations against them is that these two appellants, along with their
mother Anjana Bai, with the help of the approver in this case, namely, Kiran Shinde,
had kidnapped 13 children and caused the death of 9 out of them.
also had attempted to kidnap yet another child but their attempt failed. Anjana
Bai, the mother of the present appellants died in 1997. For the offences
punishable under Section 302 read with Section 120B IPC, the appellants have
been awarded capital punishment.
summary of the successive criminal acts of kidnapping and murder committed by
the appellants is thus.
appellants were found guilty of kidnapping one child, namely, Santosh who was
aged about 1-= years in July 1990. They killed Santosh, and disposed of the
dead body near the State Transport Stand at Kolhapur. For this offence, they have been found guilty and sentenced to death.
appellants have also been found guilty of kidnapping one child named, Naresh,
aged 9 months, in 1991 from Thane ST Stand. The appellants were alleged to have
left the child near a temple at Nasik and later made a claim before the Court for the custody of that child
based on false grounds.
appellants were found guilty of the offence punishable under Section 364 read
with Section 120B IPC; Section 323 and sentenced to undergo 3 years
imprisonment for the main offence.
another case in 1993, these appellants kidnapped a child named Bunty aged about
one year, and a girl named, Swati, aged about two years from the Kalyan Railway
Station, Mumbai. There was also an allegation that these appellants kidnapped Guddu
aged 2 = years and a girl named, Meena, aged 3 years, in 1993, from V.T.
Station, Mumbai. The appellants along with their mother, Anjanabai, ,killed Bunti
and Guddu and disposed of their dead bodies. For kidnapping Guddu and Meena,
they were found guilty, but as regards the murder of Guddu, the prosecution
could not prove the offence under Section 302 read with Section 120B IPC and
they were acquitted of the charge.
next case for which these appellants had been charged was the kidnapping of a
child, namely, Anjali @ Pinky, aged about two years from Kalika Mandir at Nasik on 18.X.1994 and killed her and
disposed of the dead body with the help of the approver, Kiran Shinde. The
appellants have been found guilty of the offence punishable under Section 302
read with Section 120B IPC and for this offence they have been imposed with
further alleged that in March 1995, the appellants along with their mother Anjanabai
and approver, Kiran Shinde, kidnapped a male child by name, Swapnil @ Raja from
the S.T. Stand at Kolhapur. They killed the child in the
second week of March, 1995 and threw the dead body of the child near Khandala Ghat
and for this offence, the appellants have been found guilty and sentenced to
criminal case charged against them is that these appellants kidnapped one girl,
namely, Shraddha @ Rani @ Bhagyashree aged about one year nine months from Mahalaxmi Temple, Kolhapur, and thereafter killed the child
while the appellants were traveling in a taxi from Pune to Surat and disposed of the dead body of
the child. For these criminal acts, the appellants have been found guilty of
the offences punishable under Section 302 read with Section 120 B and other
allied offences and for the main offence, they have been sentenced to death
next case also, the appellants have been found guilty of kidnapping one child
named Kranti, aged nine years and later killed the child and disposed of the
dead body in a sugarcane field at a place called Narsoba. For this offence
also, appellants have been found guilty and sentenced to death.
allegation against the appellants relates to making an attempt to kidnap a
child namely, Devli from a primary school at Nasik. Though the Sessions Court found the appellants guilty of
kidnapping, the High Court found that the case of kidnapping of a child was
wrongly entered against the appellants.
chain of crimes committed by these appellants, they were again found guilty of
offence punishable under Section 302 read with Section 120 B IPC for kidnapping
and murdering one Gauri @ Bhavna aged 1-= years. This child was kidnapped from Ganga
Ghat vegetable market in Nasik.
child was killed in Kolhapur and the appellants disposed of his
dead body in the women's lavatory of a cinema theatre.
this offence, the appellants have been found guilty and sentenced to death.
last of the series of criminal offences charged against them, the appellants
were found guilty of kidnapping one male child, namely, Pankaj aged four years
on 27.7.1996 from Vithal Mandir, Wadala, Mumbai. The appellants later killed
the child in September 1996 in a house at Pune and disposed of the dead body of
the child in a gunny bag. For this offence, the appellants have been found
guilty on various counts.
appeal preferred by the appellants, the Division Bench of the High Court
confirmed their conviction on almost all the counts and confirmed the death
penalty imposed on these appellants.
shall briefly consider the evidence adduced by the prosecution in these five
cases and whether any error or illegality had been committed in the case of
conviction of these appellants for these offences charged against them.
turned approver on 17-10-1997 and he was first examined on
17.9.1998 before the Magistrate.
the earliest cases of kidnapping and murder committed by these appellants
relates to the incident of kidnapping of one Santosh. The prosecution case is
that in July, 1990 the appellants and their mother Anjanabai had gone to Kolhapur. Appellant Renuka met a female
beggar with a child at the bus stand. She promised the beggar that she would
give her a job. Renuka managed to kidnap the child without being noticed by his
mother and took the child to Pune where the appellants were staying. They named
the child as Santosh. In July, 1990 itself, the appellants went to Shirdi for
the purpose of committing thefts. As they did not come back to Pune for 5-6
days, Anjanabai went in search of them. About 7 days thereafter, the police
brought the appellants and conducted a search of their house at Pune.
were two children with the appellants at that time. They were Ashish and Santosh.
Approver-Kiran Shinde bribed the police and he escaped from Maharashtra. Appellants and their mother Anjanabai
were taken into custody, but later they were released from police custody. In
March, 1991, Renuka gave birth to a child and he was named 'Kishore'. In April,
1991, appellants, their mother and Kiran Shinde went to Kolhapur for committing thefts. They took a
room in a "Dharamshala" , kept their luggage there and went to Mahalaxmi
temple in the evening. There, appellant-Seema tried to snatch the purse of a
person. She was caught and beaten by him. Her mother Anjanabai then intervened.
She threw Santosh on the ground who sustained a bleeding injury on his head.
Many persons gathered around them and seeing the bleeding wound on the head of
the child Santosh, people consoled them and the matter was not reported to the
police. Appellant Reunka then suggested that they may commit some more thefts.
They went to the bus stand and managed to commit theft of 2-3 purses. On their
way back, the child Santosh started crying as he was bleeding.
then told that the child was no longer useful as he was crying and there was a
likelihood of their being caught by police. The further case of the prosecution
is that Anjanabai pressed the mouth of Santosh and dashed his head on an iron
bar whereby Santosh sustained more head injuries and died on the spot. The
clothes worn by Anjanabai were washed at the water tap and now they wanted to
dispose of the dead body of Santosh. They left the dead body near the heap of
some old rickshaws and came back to Dharamshala.
next day, the dead body of Santosh was found and the matter was reported to the
Laxmipur police station. The police could not find out any trace of the murder
and later they filed the final report.
order to prove the case of murder of Santosh, PW 53, PW 54, PW 56, PW 58, PW 63
to PW 65, PW 67 to PW 69, PW 124, PW 125, PW 127 and PW 132, PW 137 and PW 155
were examined. PW 132 Dr. Chandrashekhar Chanokar of CPR Hospital who
conducted the post-mortem case was of the opinion that the cause of death of
the boy was shock due to the fracture of the base of his skull with intra
cerebral hemorrhage. PW 56 is a Peon who was present at the time when the dead
body of Santosh was recovered from a place near the Vikram High School, Kolhapur. He deposed that there was bleeding
from the ear and injury on the head of the deceased. The evidence of PW 67 is
very crucial in proving the prosecution case. PW 67 is a Constable in the State
Reserve Police Force. His house is at Gondhalinagar, Pune. Though he
constructed this house in 1987, he was not staying there.
knew approver Kiran Shinde and these appellants and their mother. He gave this
house in 1990 to these appellants and they stayed there for about 1-= years. He
used to go to this place for collecting rent and had seen Santosh at that place
and when inquired about him, Anjanabai told that the boy was the son of the
relative who was staying at Kolhapur.
photo taken from the dead body of Santosh was shown to the witness and he
identified and the same was marked as Exhibit 235. When PW 67 inquired with the
police, they told that these women were associated for committing theft of
ornaments. Thereafter, he asked the approver Kiran Shinde to vacate the house
and the witness came to know that these three women were in jail for about 9 to
10 months and at last he got back the possession of the house. The evidence of
this witness alone is sufficient to prove that these appellants were
responsible for the death of boy Santosh. There was also the supporting
evidence of other witnesses and the prosecution satisfactorily proved the guilt
of the accused persons and their conviction for murder of this boy Santosh is
appellants were found guilty of kidnapping 1 = year old child by name Naresh @ Kalpesh
@ Aniket. PW 90, PW 91, PW 92, PW 96, PW 106, PW 107 were examined to prove the
kidnapping of child Naresh. The approver Kiran Shinde stated that in the year
1992, they were residing at Indubai Chawl and as they were in need of money,
they decided to go to Pune.
reached the bus stand at Thane. There, they met a beggar who was with a child
about 8 to 9 months. Appellant Renuka started talking with the beggar and got
the child in her arms. Appellant Renuka gave her some money and asked her to
get milk for the child. When the mother of the child went out of the bus stand
to get milk, the appellant slipped away with the child and left the bus stand
in an auto rickshaw. The appellants took this child to Nasik to attend 'Kumbh' mela. Whenever
the child cried deceased Anjana Bai used to beat him. Anjana Bai then advised
the appellants to leave the child at a temple and the child was left at a
the child started crying, a lady police constable came and took the child. The
appellants then left that place.
Renuka was so fond of this child that she wanted to retrieve this child. She
came to know that the child was in an orphanage by name "Adhar
Ashram" at Nasik. Deceased Anjana Bai filed
application to this orphanage to get this child by stating that he was her
child but she was not successful.
had also resorted to some litigation for getting this child back. Kidnapping of
the child is proved by these items of evidence.
appellants were found guilty of murder of the child Bunty. This child was
picked up by the appellants in April 1993 from Kalyan Railway Station, Bombay and the child was killed in May
1993. The appellants had also kidnapped children Swati aged 2 = years, and Guddu
aged 2 = years.
was abandoned and Guddu was allegedly killed in May 1993. But the prosecution
could not produce any satisfactory evidence of the murder of Guddu. To prove
these cases, series of witnesses were examined by the prosecution.
appellants were found guilty of having caused the death of Anjali @ Pinki. She
was a child of 2 = years of age and was kidnapped on 18.10 1994 from Kalika Mandir
at Nasik. As regards the kidnap of Anjali @ Pinki,
the approver Kiran Shinde stated that in the year 1994, he stayed at Pune and
the appellants and their mother came to him and alongwith them, there was a
girl aged 3 years and she was called Pinki. Approver made inquiries and he was
told that they had gone to Kalika Mandir at Nasik and from there, they got Pinki. He further stated that Pinki was
continuously crying and the neighbouring women asked the appellants as to who
she was and the first appellant replied that her mother had been admitted in
the hospital and hence the child was brought to them. As Pinki was continuously
crying it became a nuisance to the appellant and her mother Anjana Bai was very
much annoyed by this girl and she pushed this girl forcibly and the girl fell
in front of the latrine and the first appellant held her legs together and
after sometime the movements of Pinki stopped and she died. They kept the body
in a bag and brought the bag near Saswad Road and threw it in a compound where there were lot of bushes.
evidence of the approver is fully corroborated by the other items of evidence.
PW 10 Sujata is the mother of Anjali @ Pinki. She gave a complaint to the
police stating that she had gone to the Kalika Mandir on 18.10.1994 along with
her husband and daughters Shweta and Anjali. The daughter Anjali was with her
husband. PW 10 Sujata had gone to have a Puja. When the articles of Puja was
being handed over to them, daughter Anjali was sitting on the floor. When they
came back, the girl was not seen. They made fanatic search but the child could
not be found. After the body was recovered, she identified certain photographs
of the child.
is the father of Anjali. He deposed that from 18.10.1994 onwards, Anjali was
missing when they had gone to the Kalika Mandir at Nasik and on 1.11.1996, he lodged FIR. He
had also identified the photographs Exhibit 87/1, 87/2, 87/3 and Exhibits 90
is also evidence to show that deceased Anjali was found in the company of
appellants. PW 12 is the owner of a lodge at Nasik and he deposed that on 11.10.1994, three women alongwith two to three children came there to have a room
in the lodge. They told that they would like to stay there for 8 to 10 days.
Though he was reluctant to give them a room but as they had children alongwith
them, he ultimately gave them room no. 6 which they took in the name of 'Sima Patil-
Gavit' and these three women stayed in the lodge for 8 days.
day PW 12 heard the cries of a child and he made enquiries and he was told that
the girl was a child of the maternal aunt of one of them who was having a stall
in the fair at the temple and the child was crying so they had brought her alongwtih
them. Again after 20-25 minutes, there was a crying sound and PW 12 and his
mother asked them to vacate the rooms. PW 12 identified the first appellant and
one of the women who had stayed in the lodge. She also identified exhibit 87/1
and 87/2 photographs of the girl and deposed that the very same girl was with
the three women when they were staying in the lodge.
is also the evidence of PW 46 Kantabai Borkar who identified the photographs of
Anjali @ Pinki. This witness was the neighbour of the accused and deposed that
the deceased Anjali @ Pinki was with them. So there is also evidence of PW 22 Rajendra
Sankpal who saw the dead body of Anjali near his nursery, and reported the same
to the police. PW 25 Narsinh Kendgale recovered the dead body and prepared the Panchnama.
PW 131 Dr. Lakshmikant Bade conducted the post-morterm on the dead body of Anjali.
In the post morterm report, it was reported that there were series of injuries
in the body of deceased Anjali @ Pinki. There were series of abrasions and the
doctor deposed that injury no. 2 namely contusion of upper and lower lips and
the laceration of mucosa of upper and lower lips in incisol area indicated that
the mouth of the victim was pressed and that injuries no. 2,7,9,11 and 12 might
have happened due to fall or being thrown from the staircase.
entire evidence adduced by the prosecution clearly establishes that the
approver's evidence was fully corroborated by other items of evidence and death
of Anjali @ Pinki was caused by the appellants.
Sessions Judge has dealt with in detail each items of evidence and the High
Court also re-appreciated the evidence in respect of each item of evidence. We
do not propose to consider each case but we are satisfied that the evidence
adduced by the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that the appellants
were responsible for series of kidnapping of children and murders and they have
been rightly found guilty for these offences.
prosecution thus succeeded in proving that these appellants have committed a
series of murders. The learned Counsel for the appellants strongly urged before
us that the evidence of the approver should not have been accepted by the Court
as it is a tainted evidence. It was argued that there is no satisfactory
corroboration of the evidence of the approver and unless there is a
corroboration, it should not have been acted upon. It is true that the evidence
of the approver is always to be viewed with suspicion especially when it is
seriously suspected that he is suppressing some material facts. Here the
approver's evidence was not fully accepted by the High Court. High Court was of
the view that he had suppressed some material facts. We find that the
observation made by the High Court was justified. The tenor of the evidence
given by the approver Kiran Shinde is to the effect that he was only a silent
spectator but all these heinous crimes were committed by the appellants and
their mother Anjana Bai. It is difficult to believe that these women alone had
committed all these crimes unless there is strong support from the approver Kiran
Shinde. When the Court suspected the evidence of the approver, the pardon given
to him itself could be withdrawn and he could be tried along with the other
accused. But unfortunately the provisions contained in the Criminal Procedure
Code do not enable the Court to take such a strong action.
approver was given pardon under Section 306 of the Cr.P.C. and thereafter he
was examined as a witness for prosecution under Section 308 of the Cr.P.C. The
procedure prescribes that if the approver is wilfully concealing anything
essential or is giving false evidence or had not complied with the conditions
on which the tender of pardon was made, the approver can be tried for the
offence in respect of which he had been given pardon. In order to prosecute the
approver, the public prosecutor has to give a certificate and he should express
his opinion that the approver has either wilfully concealed anything essential
or has given false evidence or has not complied with the conditions on which
pardon has been made. The proviso to Section 308 also says that such person
shall not be tried for the offence for giving false evidence except with the
sanction of the High Court and the approver also would be entitled to plead
that he had complied with the condition upon which such tender of pardon was
made and that he had not given any false evidence or willfully suppressed
anything. Thus, the Code of Criminal Procedure prescribes a procedure for
prosecuting the approver who had given false evidence or wilfully suppressed
instant case, the approver Kiran Shinde was present when many of the murders
had taken place and it is quite possible that he also must have been an active
participant and the High Court was justified in saying that the approver had
not given full details of the crimes. The approver was moving with the two
appellants for a long period and despite the repeated criminal acts committed
by them, the approver did not inform the police or any authorities.
of the children kidnapped by the appellants were in the custody of the
appellants and the approver, and later their bodies were found. In one case,
the post mortem examination showed that the child was subjected to some
unnatural offence. The approver himself had admitted that he had bribed the
police many times and saved these appellants from the clutches of law. Despite
all these startling revelations, the approver could not be proceeded against
and the public prosecutor had not taken any step to proceed against the
approver. We feel, under such circumstances the court itself has inherent
powers to proceed against the approver in case he is wilfully suppressing
material facts or is giving false evidence.
two appellants kidnapped several children and committed their murder in the
most dastardly manner. In some cases, the body could not be found and in some
cases the dead body could be traced out. The High Court felt that these five
cases of murders have been proved against these appellants. The murder
committed by the appellants are proved by satisfactory evidence. The approver's
evidence is fully corroborated by other items of evidence. We do not find any
reason to interfere with the order of conviction passed by the sessions court
and confirmed by the High Court.
appellants have been awarded capital punishment for committing these murders
and their sentence was confirmed by the High Court. Going by the details of the
case, we find no mitigating circumstances in favour of the appellant, except
for the fact that they are women. Further, the nature of the crime and the
systematic way in which each child was kidnapped and killed amply demonstrates
the depravity of the mind of the appellants. These appellants indulged in
criminal activities for a very long period and continued it till they were
caught by the police. They very cleverly executed their plans of kidnapping the
children and the moment they were no longer useful, they killed them and threw
the dead body at some deserted place. The appellants had been a menace to the
society and the people in the locality were completely horrified and they could
not send their children even to schools. The appellants had not been committing
these crimes under any compulsion but they took it very casually and killed all
these children, least bothering about their lives or agony of their parents.
have carefully considered the whole aspects of the case and are also alive to
the new trends in the sentencing system in criminology. We do not think that
these appellants are likely to be reformed. We confirm the conviction and also
the death penalty imposed on them. The stay of execution of the capital
punishment imposed on these appellants shall stand vacated and the authorities
are directed to take such further steps as are necessary to carry out the
execution of capital punishment imposed on these appellants.