Lal Vs. State of Rajasthan  Insc 927 (14 September 2007)
Sinha & Harjit Singh Bedi
APPEAL NO 1219 /2007 (arising out of S.L.P.(Crl) No. 5172/2006) HARJIT SINGH
This is a case of filicide the victim Rajesh aged eight years was the son of
This appeal arises out of the following facts.
appellant Sanwariya Lal was married to Shanti Bai several years earlier and a
son Rajesh was born out of the marriage. On account of a discord between the
couple, Shanti Bai returned to her parental home and the appellant started to
live with Anguri PW.7 whereafter Shanti Bai was given in 'Nata' to some other
person though Rajesh remained with his maternal grand parents. It also appears
that a settlement had been arrived at between the appellant and his wife and
their respective second spouses and a sum of Rs.20, 000/- was deposited in a
fixed deposit in Rajesh's name though he continued to stay with his maternal
grand parents and was admitted to a school in Jalian. The appellant and Anguri
came to the school to take the child with them but he showed his reluctance.
The teacher too refused permission to take the child during school hours and
called his maternal grand mother who permitted Rajesh to go with his father. On
25th December 2000 at about 5 or 6 p.m. information was received by Prahlad PW.5, Rajesh's maternal
uncle that he had been taken to hospital with injuries and had thereafter
succumbed to them. A First Information Report was lodged by Prahlad at Police
Station Nimbaheda alleging that Rajesh had been murdered. Inquest proceedings
under section 174 of the Cr.P.C. were conducted and the dead body was
dispatched for the post-mortem examination. The Post-mortem conducted by Dr. Ganpat
Lal Jain confirmed the presence of several injuries on the dead body one, a
fracture of the right pelvis and contusion marks in the muscles and the second
a contusion on the head and neck and multiple abrasions on the right hand and
frontal side of the arms. He also stated that the injury on the pelvis could
not have been caused by a simple fall though the injury was possible if the
fall had been on a hard surface. The trial Court in its judgment observed that
the case was based on circumstantial evidence and for this purpose placed
reliance on the statement of PW4, the first informant, PW2 Bagdi Ram and PW5 Jasraj
who deposed with regard to the dispute between Shanti and the appellant and
circumstances which had led to the compromise between them, their respective
second marriages and that the appellant had suspected Rajesh's paternity and
believed that he had been conceived on account of an illicit relationship of
his mother with some other person. It was further observed that the appellant
had his eye on the sum of Rs.20, 000/- that had been deposited in a fixed
deposit in the name of the deceased.
important witnesses PW7 Anguri the second wife of the appellant and PW 10 Satya
Nariyan a close relative and also a resident of village Arniya Mali to which the appellant belonged were however
declared hostile. By way of corroboration, the prosecution also relied on the
statement of R.B.Mishra PW18 who was the senior Branch Manager in the Bank of
Baroda, Nimbahaida and who deposed that on 28.8.2000 the appellant had
deposited a sum of Rs.20, 000/- in the name of the Raju.
prosecution also sought support from the statement of PW21 Lila Malviya the
teacher in the Government Primary School who stated that on 2.12.2000 the
appellant and his second wife had come to take Rajesh from School but had been
advised to wait till 4.30 pm, and finally the opinion of the Medical Board that
the injuries could not have been caused by a fall from a by-cycle.
accused in his statement denied all the allegations against him and further
stated that Rajesh had suffered serious injuries after falling from a by-cycle
and also produced DW-2 Bheru Lal, the maternal grand-father of the deceased in
support of this plea.
trial court relying on the evidence of the aforesaid witness observed that as
the appellant was none other that the father of the deceased, and that the
incident had happened in the family home and no cogent explanation for the
death had been offered by the appellant, convicted the appellant for an offence
punishable under Section 302 of the IPC and sentenced him to undergo rigorous
imprisonment for life and to a fine of Rs.1000/- and in default thereof to
undergo an additional sentence of 6 months. It is in this circumstance that the
appeal is before us.
learned counsel for the appellant has argued that PW7 Anguri Bata and PW10 Satyanarain
the two primary witnesses who could have revealed as to what had actually
happened had been declared hostile at the trial and as such the case rested on
circumstantial evidence alone and the chain of circumstances sufficient to
justify an order of conviction were not complete. She has pointed out that from
the medical evidence the cause of death could not be categorically ascertained
and that the nature of injuries on the dead body being contusions and abrasions
largely suggested that the death was on account of a fall from a by-cycle and
this has been confirmed by DW-2 who was none other than the maternal
grand-father of the deceased.
State counsel has on the contrary emphasized that the chain of circumstances
envisaged in a case of circumstantial evidence was complete, and the judgment
of conviction was justified.
have gone through the evidence very carefully.
true that the only two persons who could have perhaps put light on the incident
that is PW7 and PW10 have not supported the prosecution. We, however, find that
the chain of circumstances against the appellant is nonetheless clearly made
out. The fact of marriage with Shanti, a dispute between the couple which had
resulted in a separation and a second marriage for both under custom has been
virtually admitted. It also stands admitted that a sum of Rs.20,000/- had been
deposited in a fixed deposit for 20 months by the appellant in Rajesh's name in
the Bank of Baroda. The prosecution evidence further reveals that the appellant
had suspected Rajesh's paternity and believed that he was not the father and
that he also had an eye on the fixed deposit which had been put in the name of
the deceased. It is thus clear that the motive for the incident stands proved.
also find from the prosecution evidence, including the statement of the school
teacher that the appellant had taken the deceased away from school and we tend
to believe that this exercise had been planned as the appellant intended to do
away with him.
have also gone through the medical evidence with particular reference to the
statement of the Doctor who had conducted the post-mortem examination. The
injuries are reproduced below:
There is contusion of muscles and fracture of supramus of Rt. side of pelvis.
Ante mortal in nature.
There is dissection of abdominal muscles from Rt. Renal to public area present.
Muscles contused. Ante mortal in nature.
Contusion 3 x 5 cm over Rt. Parietal region. Ante mortem in nature.
Contusion 6 x 5 cm over Parietal region. Ante mortem in nature.
Contusion 3 x 1 cm and 2 x 1 cm over Lt. Ear region. Ante mortem in nature.
Abrasion 1.5 x 3 cm over on chin Rt. Side. Ante mortem in nature.
Abrasion 1.5 x 1 cm on frontal side of neck. Ante mortem in nature.
Multiple abrasions of various sizes over Lt. side of chest. Ante mortem in
Multiple abrasions of various sizes on Rt. Arm, Rt. forearm. Ante mortem in
Abrasion 3 x 1 cm size over Lt. Shoulder joint.
mortem in nature.
Abrasion 2 x 2 cm on Rt. Knee, Rt. Thigh region.
mortem in nature.
Contusion 3 x 1 cm Lt. Knee and Lt. side of 4/3 of thigh. Ante mortem in
Abrasion 3 x 1 cm size above umblius. Ante mortem in nature.
are of the opinion that such extensive injuries including a fracture could not
have caused by a simple fall as has been suggested and clearly show the use of
excessive force. It is pertinent to note that the appellant has not been able
to explain the presence of such a large number of injuries as he was called
upon to do as they had undoubtedly been suffered at home. The attempt by the defence
to prop up Rajesh's grand father as a defence witness to support the story of a
fall from a by-cycle cannot be believed as he was not an eye witness to the
are therefore of the opinion that the circumstances clearly implicate the
appellant in the murder.
accordingly dismiss the appeal.