4 Whether This Case Involves A … vs State Of Gujarat on 26 July, 2017

R/CR.A/689/2012 JUDGMENT

IN THE HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT AT AHMEDABAD

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 689 of 2012

FOR APPROVAL AND SIGNATURE:

HONOURABLE SMT. JUSTICE ABHILASHA KUMARI

and

HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE A.J. SHASTRI

1 Whether Reporters of Local Papers may be allowed Yes
to see the judgment ?

2 To be referred to the Reporter or not ? Yes

3 Whether their Lordships wish to see the fair copy of No
the judgment ?

4 Whether this case involves a substantial question of No
law as to the interpretation of the Constitution of
India or any order made thereunder ?

HIRABHAI SHANKERBHAI RAVAL…. Appellant
Versus
STATE OF GUJARAT…. Respondent

Appearance:
HCLS COMMITTEE, ADVOCATE for the Appellant
MR JM BUDDHBHATTI, ADVOCATE for the Appellant
MR RONAK RAVAL, ADDL.PUBLIC PROSECUTOR for the Respondent

CORAM: HONOURABLE SMT. JUSTICE ABHILASHA KUMARI
and
HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE A.J. SHASTRI

Date : 26/07/2017

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ORAL JUDGMENT

(PER : HONOURABLE SMT. JUSTICE ABHILASHA KUMARI)

1. The   challenge   in   this   appeal   preferred   under 

Section 374 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 

1973 (“the Code”), is against the judgment and 

order of conviction dated 10.08.2010, passed by 

the learned Additional Sessions and Fast Track 

Judge,   Gandhinagar,   in   Special   Atrocity   Case 

No.35 of 2008, whereby the appellant­accused has 

been convicted of the offences punishable under 

Sections 302 and 376 of the Indian Penal Code, 

1860 (“the IPC”), as well as Section 3(2)(5) of 

the  Scheduled   Castes   and   the   Scheduled   Tribes 

(Prevention   of   Atrocities)   Act,   1989   (“the 

Atrocities Act”). 

2. The   appellant   has   been   sentenced   to   suffer 

rigorous imprisonment for life and pay a fine of 

rupees   two   thousand   and   rigorous   imprisonment 

for one year in default thereof, for the offence 

punishable under Section 302 of the IPC. For the 

offence   under   Section   376   of   the   IPC,   the 

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appellant has been sentenced to suffer rigorous 

imprisonment for ten years and to pay a fine of 

rupees   one   thousand,   in  default   of   which,   he 

would   suffer   rigorous   imprisonment   for   six 

months. For the offence under Section 3(2)(5) of 

the   Atrocities   Act,   the   appellant   has   been 

convicted   and   sentenced   to   undergo   rigorous 

imprisonment for one year and to pay a fine of 

rupees   five   hundred,   in   default   of   which,   he 

would   undergo   rigorous   imprisonment   for   three 

months.   All   the   above   sentences   are   to   run 

concurrently.

3. The   case   of   the   prosecution,   based   upon   the 

compliant at Exhibit 27, is to the effect that 

when   the   complainant,   Hargovanbhai   Somabhai 

Parmar was taking a bath in the backyard of his 

house at about 9:00 am on 26.07.2008, he heard 

Ravina   alias   Kali,   the   daughter   of   his   cousin 

brother Dineshbhai Kantibhai Parmar, as well as 

her   brother   and   sister,   shouting   loudly.   The 

complainant   and   one   Savjibhai   Shankarbhai 

Parmar,   resident   of   the   same   Mohalla   went 

running   to   the   house   of   Dineshbhai   Kantibhai 

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Parmar   and   saw   that   Pushpaben,   wife   of 

Dineshbhai, aged 37 years (hereinafter referred 

to as “the deceased”) was lying dead on a cot in 

a bleeding condition. They saw that her throat 

had been cut with some sharp weapon and her head 

had tilted towards her right shoulder. The quilt 

and   pillow   were   soaked   with   blood.   A   blood­

stained axe was lying under the cot. Next to the 

cot and towards the wall, a driving licence was 

lying   which   was   also   stained   with   blood.   The 

driving   licence   was   in   the   name   of   Raval 

Hirabhai Shankarbhai, resident of Vasai, Taluka: 

Vijapur,   District:   Mehsana,   who   is   the 

appellant­accused.   On   questioning   Ravina,   the 

complainant   was   informed   that   the   accused   had 

illicit relations with the deceased and used to 

visit the house of the deceased frequently when 

Dineshbhai, the husband of the deceased, was not 

present.   The   accused   had   visited   the   house   of 

the deceased at 9:00 pm the previous night, in 

the   absence   of   her   husband.   Some   time   ago, 

during the festival of Dhuleti,  the accused had 

hit   the   deceased   with   a   “Paatli”   (a   wooden 

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implement), for which the deceased had filed a 

complaint   before   the   Vijapur   Police   Station. 

Nursing a grievance regarding that, the accused 

used   to   harass   and   threaten   the   deceased.   The 

previous night, when the accused had visited the 

house of the deceased, he had given an axe blow 

to the deceased when she was sleeping on the cot 

and   killed   her   on   the   spot.   Thereafter,   the 

accused   had   left   the   house   of   the   deceased 

through the back­door. 

4. On receiving this complaint, the investigative  

machinery   was   set   into   motion.   After   the  

investigation was over and sufficient evidence  

was   collected   against   the   accused,   a  

Chargesheet   was   filed   in   the   Court   of   the  

Judicial   Magistrate,   First   Class,   Mansa.   As  

the   case   was   triable   only   by   a   Court   of  

Sessions,   the   learned   Judicial   Magistrate  

committed the case to the Sessions Court. 

5. Initially,   the   Charge   at   Exhibit   7   was   framed 

under Section 302 of the IPC and Section 3(2)(5) 

of the Atrocities Act, against the appellant on 

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16.04.2009.   Thereafter,   on   the   basis   of   the 

statement of Dr.Nirmalsinh  Narendrasinh Rathod, 

which   revealed   that   the   deceased   had   been 

subjected   to   rape,   the   prosecution   moved     an 

application   at   Ex.17   to   add   the   charge   of 

Section 376 IPC. The application was allowed and 

the Charge of Section 376 IPC, came to be added 

on   30.05.2009,   vide   Ex.8,   whereby   a   revised 

Charge was framed against the accused. 

6. In support of its case, the prosecution examined 

sixteen   witnesses   and   adduced   voluminous 

documentary evidence. After examining the entire 

oral   and   documentary   evidence   on   record,   the 

Trial   Court   arrived   at   a   conclusion   that   the 

charge against the appellant stood proved on the 

basis of circumstantial evidence as there were 

no eye­witnesses to the crime. After discussing 

the   entire   evidence   on   record   the   Trial   Court 

found   that   the   chain   of   evidence   linked   the 

accused   inextricably   to   the   commission   of   the 

offence and proved his guilt beyond reasonable 

doubt.   It,   therefore,   rendered   the   above­

mentioned judgment and order of conviction and 

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sentence that is the subject­matter of challenge 

before this Court.

7. In   order   to   examine   the   veracity   of   the 

conclusion   arrived   at   by   the   Trial   Court,   it 

would be fruitful to notice briefly, the salient 

features   of   the   oral   and   documentary   evidence 

brought on record.

8. PW­1,   Dr.Nirmalsinh   Narendrasinh   Rathod,   has 

performed   the   post­mortem   on   the   body   of   the 

deceased. He has deposed at Ex.10. It was on the 

basis   of   his   evidence   that   the   Charge   under 

section 376 IPC was added. He has described the 

condition  of  the  body  as  well as the  injuries 

found thereupon, which are corroborated by the 

injuries described in Column No.17 of the post­

mortem   report   prepared   by   him   at   Ex.12.   The 

description of the injuries is as below:

“A CLW measuring 10 CM x 3 CM x 7 CM present 
on left side of neck extending upward up to 
mandible   and   downward   upto   to   clavicle, 
laterally up to trapezius muscle medially up  
to   involving   trachea,   esophagus   and   all 
muscles.

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CLW measuring 2 CM x 1 CM x 1 CM over (Rt.)  
sterno­clavicular joint.

No abrasions or scratches present on genital  
region or body.” 

The   above   injuries   were   stated   to   be   ante­

mortem.   This   witness   states   that   the   deceased 

had   been   subjected   to   sexual   assault   before 

death;   therefore,   during   the   post­mortem 

examination,   samples   of   blood,   nails,   axillary 

hair,   pubic   hair,   vaginal   swab   middle   and 

vaginal swab deep, were taken from the body of 

the deceased and handed over to the police for 

forensic   analysis.   The   cause   of   death,   as   per 

the deposition of this witness as also stated in 

the post­mortem report, is due to “haemorrhagic 

shock due to cut injury over left side of neck 

including   trachea,   esophagus,   vertebra,   neck 

vessels, muscles of neck”.   This witness states 

that the external injuries described in Column 

No.17 of the post­mortem report can be caused by 

a   heavy   and   sharp   weapon   such   as   an   axe.   On 

being shown the weapon of offence, this witness 

states   that   the  said   injuries   could   have   been 

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caused by this weapon. He adds that the internal 

injuries described in Column No.20 of the post­

mortem report could also have been caused by the 

Muddamal   axe   shown   to   him   in   the   Court.   The 

external and internal injuries suffered by the 

deceased   would,   in   the   ordinary   course   of 

nature,  be  sufficient  to  cause  the  death  of  a 

person. He further states that the nature of the 

injury   inflicted   on   the   neck   of   the   deceased 

shows that more than one blow was inflicted. 

9. In   cross­examination   by   the   defence,   this 

witness   states   that   there   were   no   injuries   on 

the   body   of   the   deceased   to   indicate   that   a 

scuffle   took   place.   However,   he   adds   that 

looking to the nature of the injuries described 

in Column No.17 of the post­mortem report, there 

is a possibility of blood from the body of the 

deceased being sprayed upon the clothes of the 

accused. 

10. On   further   examination­in­chief   by   the   Public 

Prosecutor, this witness states that the report 

of   the   Serological   Analysis   showed   that   there 

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was   blood   of   B­Group   on   the   samples   of   hair, 

nails,   pubic   hair,   etc.   of   the   deceased.   The 

vaginal   swab   was   of   the   Blood­group   `A’.   The 

Serological   Report   further   indicates   that   the 

deceased   had   been   subjected   to   sexual 

intercourse before her death. 

11. On   further   cross­examination   by   the   defence, 

this witness states that the vaginal swab was of 

A­Group   which   blood­group   could   be   of   her 

husband.

12. The post­mortem report at Ex.12 corroborates the 

oral evidence of PW­1 in all respects.

13. PW­2, Dr.Dharmisthaben Govindbhai Gosai, is the 

Medical officer serving at Mansa Civil Hospital. 

She was   on duty on 27.07.2008   when, at about 

7:00 pm, the accused was brought by the police 

for   medical   examination.   She   examined   the 

accused after taking his consent  found that he 

was conscious and cooperative. He himself stated 

that   after   having   sexual  intercourse,   he   had 

wiped   himself.  This   witness   has   issued   a 

Certificate   of   the   injuries   received   by   the 

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accused, which is to be found at Ex.21. The oral 

evidence of this witness is corroborated by the 

said   certificate.     This   witness   has   described 

the injuries found on the person of the accused 

and the examination done by her, as below:

“General Examination:

* Bath taken after last intercourse

* Scratch mark present over the left knee  
joint about 4×0.5 cm in size

* Abrasion over the lateral aspect of the  
knee joint.

* Scratch   mark   over   the   left   leg   below 
knee joint.

* Scratch   mark   over   the   right   stain   of 
tibia.

* Scratch   mark   over   the   right   back   of 
thigh.

* Multiple   scratches   over   the   lateral 
aspect of the right side of the neck.

* Scratch   mark   over   the   left   side   of 
cheek and neck.

Local Examination:

No smegma over the glans penis.

No tear of laceration around glans penis.

I   had   taken   sample   and   sent   it   to   FSL   for  
analysis which are as following.

(1) Blood

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(2) Nails (both)
(3) Axil Hair
(4) Pubic Hair
(5)   Salivary swab
(6) Semen”

14. This   witness   states   that   the   scratch   injuries 

found   on   the   neck   and   cheeks   of   the   accused 

could   have   been   caused   by   finger   nails   in   a 

scuffle   when   the   victim   was   trying   to   save 

herself. The graze injury on the left knee could 

have   been   caused   by   rubbing   against   a   hard 

surface. This witness further states that if a 

person is trying to rape someone and the victim 

tries   to   save   herself,   injuries   such   as   those 

received by the  accused on his  neck and  cheek 

could be caused.

15. In   cross­examination,   this   witness   denies   the 

suggestion that the said injuries, that could be 

sustained   in   a   scuffle   were   not   found   on   the 

body of the accused. 

16. The   complainant,   Hargovanbhai   Somabhai   Parmar, 

has been examined as PW­3 at Ex.26. He is not an 

eye­witness of the incident but arrived at the 

scene of offence after being intimated about it 

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by Ravina, daughter of the deceased. He states 

that  on  26.07.2008,  at  about  9:00  am,  when  he 

was   taking   a   bath,   he   heard   Ravina   and   her 

brother   and   sister,   shouting.   He,   along   with 

Savjibhai   Shankarbhai   Parmar,   went   running   to 

the house of the deceased and saw her lying dead 

in a pool of blood on the cot, with her neck cut 

with   a   sharp   instrument.   The   head   of   the 

deceased   had   tilted   to   the   right   side   and   a 

blood­stained axe was lying under the bed. The 

bed­clothes and pillow were soaked with blood. 

At   the   side   of   the   cot,   towards   the   wall,   a 

driving licence stained with blood, was found. 

This   was   the   original   driving   licence   of   the 

accused   and   had   his   photograph   on   it.   This 

witness states that upon inquiring from Ravina 

about the incident, she replied that the accused 

came   to   their   house   at   about   9:00   pm   the 

previous day and stayed the night, as there was 

a   love­affair   between   the   accused   and   the 

deceased. The accused   used to visit the house 

of   the   deceased   frequently.   This   witness 

narrates   that   the   deceased   had   filed   a   case 

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against the accused on the festival of Dhuleti 

when the accused had hit her on the head with a 

“Paatli”. The accused, nursing a grudge against 

this, used to threaten the deceased. The accused 

came to the house of the deceased and killed her 

by inflicting a blow with a sharp weapon and ran 

away   from   the   back­door.   The   complainant, 

thereafter, informed Dineshbhai, the husband of 

the   deceased   and   the   police   regarding   the 

incident. 

17. This witness was subjected to cross­examination, 

READ  Swapan Kumar Maity-vs-South Eastern Railways And Ors. on 31 August, 2006

during   which   he   stated   that   he   came   to   know 

regarding the incident at about 8:30 am in the 

morning and filed the complaint at about 11:00 

o’clock,   after   consulting   his   relatives.   He 

denies the suggestion that he was tutored by his 

relatives regarding the manner in which to file 

the complaint. He states that his house is about 

three   feet   away   from   the   house   of   Dineshbhai, 

and he could hear the shouts clearly when he was 

taking a bath in his backyard. He further states 

that he saw the dead body of the deceased from a 

distance   of   two   to   two   and   a   half   feet.   He 

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denies   the   suggestion   that   the   licence   of   the 

accused   was   found   from   the   quilt   of   the 

deceased. He further denies the suggestion that 

he   had   not   seen   the   accused   before   this 

incident, though he admits that he did not see 

the incident taking place. He states that he was 

informed about the incident by the children of 

the deceased. He admits that he has not seen the 

accused   and   deceased   talking   together.   This 

witness   denies   the   suggestion   that   he   is 

deposing falsely. 

18. Ravina   Dineshbhai   Parmar,   daughter   of   the 

deceased,   who   narrated   the   incident   to   the 

complainant,   was   aged   about   thirteen   years   on 

the   date   of   her   deposition.   She   has   been 

examined as PW­4 at Ex.28, after the Trial Court 

satisfied   itself   that   she   was   capable   of 

understanding the questions put to her as well 

as the sanctity of the oath and was capable of 

giving evidence. This child witness states that 

the   incident   took   place   on   25.07.2008.   On   the 

day  of  the  incident, all  the  four  children  of 

the   deceased,   including   herself,   were   at   home 

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with their mother. As there was a death in the 

family   of   their   father,   he   had   gone   to 

Ahmedabad.   That   night,   at   about   9:00   pm,   the 

accused came to their house. The deceased served 

tea  to  the  accused  and  took  some tea  herself. 

Thereafter, all of them had dinner and went to 

sleep.   This   witness,   along   with   her   three 

brothers   and   sisters   slept   on   a   different   bed 

and   the   deceased   slept   on   another   bed   in   the 

same room. The accused slept on same bedding on 

the floor. The door of the room was closed. When 

this witness woke at 9:00 am, she saw that her 

mother was lying on the bed in a pool of blood 

and a blood stained axe was lying under the bed. 

She started screaming upon which her uncle, the 

complainant,   and   other   neighbourers,   came 

rushing there. This witness states that when she 

awoke   in   the   morning,   she   did   not   see   the 

accused in the room. She further states that the 

accused frequently used to visit the house when 

her   father   was   not   at   home.   She,   therefore, 

recognises the accused. She has identified the 

accused in the Court. When her father returned 

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at   about   10:00   am   next   day,   she   narrated   the 

incident to him. The police questioned her and 

showed her the axe, which is the Muddamal weapon 

of   offence,   which   she   has   identified   as   being 

the same one that was lying under the bed of the 

deceased. 

19. This child witness was subjected to stiff cross­

examination. In spite of her young age, she has 

steadfastly   stood   by   her   version.   She   has 

fervently   denied   the   suggestion   that   she   was 

tutored  to  depose in the  Court  by  any  person, 

including   her   father.   She   has   denied   the 

suggestion   that   she   has   not   stated   certain 

things in her deposition that the has stated in 

her   statement   before   the   police.   This   witness 

has   reiterated   that   she   has   previously   stated 

that the accused came to her house at 9 o’clock 

at   night   and   that   she   had   not   stated   that   he 

slept on the  bed. She  has  further  denied  that 

she has not stated that the axe was lying under 

the   bed.   This   witness   further   states   that   she 

has not `seen the incident taking place and adds 

that she is not accustomed to awaking at night. 

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She further states that nobody knows where her 

father   used   to   keep   the   axe.   She   denies   the 

suggestion   outright   that   the   accused   had   not 

come   to   her   house   and   that   she   is   stating 

falsely.

20. The   husband   of   the   deceased,   Dineshbhai 

Kantibhai Parmar, has been examined as PW­5 at 

Ex.29. He states that he was not present at home 

on   the   day   of   the   incident   as   he   had   gone   to 

Ahmedabad,   on   account   of   the   death   of   a 

relative. He was informed of the incident by his 

aunt, Champaben, at Ahmedabad, who had received 

a   telephone   call   regarding   the   death   of   his 

wife. When he came home the next morning, he saw 

his wife lying dead on the cot with her neck cut 

and   the   pillow   soaked   with   blood.   Upon   asking 

his daughter, Ravina regarding the incident, he 

was  informed  that the  accused had  come to the 

house   the   previous   night   at   9:00   pm.   The 

deceased   had   made   tea   for   him   and   given   him 

food. The deceased and the accused were talking 

and   there   was   an   altercation   between   them. 

Thereafter, the children went to sleep and the 

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accused slept on the ground under the cot of the 

deceased. When PW­4 got up in the morning, she 

saw  the  dead  body of the  deceased  and  started 

shouting.   This   witness   was   informed   by   his 

daughter   that   the   accused   had   killed   the 

deceased. He states that the blood­stained axe 

was lying on the side of the bed and the driving 

licence   of   the   accused   was   also   lying   there. 

This witness states that the accused knew that 

the deceased belonged to a Scheduled Caste. He 

states  that he came  to  know  from his  daughter 

that   the   accused   used   to   visit   his   house 

frequently   in   his   absence   and   talk   to   the 

deceased.   This   witness   further   states   that   on 

one   occasion,   he   had   followed   his   wife   the 

deceased and seen her with the accused who, upon 

seeing him, ran away. On Dhuleti day, when the 

deceased came home, he had seen that she had an 

injury   on   her   forehead.   Upon   asking,   she 

informed him that the accused had hit her with a 

“Paatli”. The deceased had filed a compliant in 

the Mansa Police Station in this   regard. Even 

after   this   incident,   the   accused   continued   to 

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visit the house of the deceased. 

21. In   cross­examination,   this   witness   states   that 

the   fact   that   the   accused   used   to   visit   the 

house   of   the   deceased   was   hidden   by   her   from 

him.  He  further  states  that  he  was  aware  that 

his   wife   had   an   illicit   relationship   with   the 

accused. He denies the suggestion that he used 

to beat the deceased on account of this or there 

were   quarrels   between   him   and   the   deceased 

regarding this. This witness further states that 

in the case under the Atrocities Act, filed by 

the deceased against the accused, the latter was 

acquitted   and   no   appeal   was   filed   by   the 

deceased   against   the   decision.   This   witness 

denies the suggestion that the deceased had kept 

the licence with the photograph of the accused 

with   her   before   the   date   of   the   incident.   He 

admits the fact that he is not an eye­witness to 

the incident. 

22. From the testimony of this witness, who is the 

husband   of   the   deceased,   the   aspect   of   the 

illicit   relationship   of   the   deceased   with   the 

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accused is brought out. 

23. PW­6,   Jayantibhai   Ambalal   Patel,   is   the   Panch 

witness of the Panchnama of the Scene of Offence 

(Ex.34). It emerges from his testimony that the 

house   of   the   deceased   consisted   of   one   room 

only. The dead body of the deceased was lying on 

one cot on a quilt which was blood­soaked. There 

was a stool on which mattresses and clothes were 

kept. There were blood­stains on the clothes as 

well  as  on  the mattresses. The  walls  near the 

cot of the deceased were blood­stained. Even the 

barrel   used   for   storing   food­grains   had   blood 

stains   on   it.   The   driving   licence   with   the 

photograph of the accused, which was found lying 

near the cot was also stained with blood. 

24. The description of the scene of offence as given 

the Panchnama corroborates the oral testimony of 

the complainant in this regard. 

25. PW­7 Becharbhai Chhaganbhai Parmar is the Panch 

witness regarding the seizure of the shirt worn 

by the daughter of the deceased at the time of 

the   incident.   His   deposition   is   at   Ex.36. 

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Natwarbhai   Atmaram   Parmar,   who   is   a   Panch 

witness  of  the seizure  of  the clothes  worn  by 

the  deceased  at  the  time  of  the  deceased, has 

been examined as PW­8 at Ex.39. He has supported 

the   case   of   the   prosecution.   PW­9,   Bhalabhai 

Maghabhai   Raval   is   the   Panch   witness   of   the 

Arrest Panchnama, whose deposition can be found 

at Ex.43. He has stated that on 27.07.2008, he 

was called to the Mansa Police Station and found 

one  person  in  the custody  of  the police.  This 

person   was   questioned   in   the   presence   of   the 

Panch witnesses. He disclosed that his name is 

Hirabhai   Raval   (the   accused).   This   witness 

describes the clothes worn by the accused, which 

were   seized   by   the   police.   This   witness   also 

states   that   he   has   signed   upon   the   Arrest 

Panchnama   (Ex.44).   He   has   identified   his 

signatures   on   the   slips   that   were   inserted   in 

the   sealed   box   containing   the   clothes   of   the 

accused.   This   witness   has   proved   the   Arrest 

Panchnama at Ex.44.

26. PW­10 Vinodchandra Kantilal Tanna, Circle Police 

Inspector, has prepared the map of the scene of 

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offence. He has deposed at Ex.47. The map is at 

Ex.48   and   illustrates   the   placement   of   the 

furniture and household goods contained in the 

one­room   house   of   the   deceased.   It   also   shows 

the placement of the weapon of offence. 

27. PW­11 Jasubhai Manilal Chaudhary is the Taluka 

Development   Officer   who   has   issued   the   Caste 

Certificate to the deceased. His deposition is 

at Ex.49. He states that he has issued the Caste 

Certificate to the deceased who belongs to the 

Hindu   Chamar   caste.   The   Caste   Certificate   has 

been  produced  at  Ex.50  and has  been proved  by 

this witness.

28. PW­12   Kishore   Arvindkumar   Sharma   is   the 

Scientific   Officer   who   visited   the   scene   of 

offence. He has taken away certain articles from 

there   in   the   presence   of   Panch   witness   for 

sending   them   for   forensic   analysis.   His 

deposition is to be found at Ex.53.

29. PW­13 Vinubhai Khimabhai Delvadia is the Police 

Station Officer who has lodged   the FIR. PW­14 

Popatji   Pratapji   Chavda   is   the   Police   Officer 

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who   received   the   telephonic   information 

regarding the incident and noted it down in the 

Station House Diary. PW­15 Manuji Jawanji is the 

Police Station Officer who produced the “Janwa 

Jog”   register.   These   are   formal   witnesses   and 

nothing much turns upon their depositions.

30. The   Investigating   Officer   Bakulbhai   Haribhai 

Gameti, has been examined as PW­16 at Ex.66. He 

describes the scene when he arrived at the place 

of incident. He states that the Panchnama of the 

Scene of Offence was drawn up in the presence of 

Panch   witness.   There   were   blood­stains   on   the 

wall   and   samples   were   taken   for   examination. 

There were stains of blood on the floor as well. 

The   control   sample   and   blood­stained   samples 

were   taken   from   a   distance   of   two   feet   for 

forensic examination. The blood­stained axe was 

also   sent   for   examination.   The   procedural 

formalities followed by this witness have been 

described   and   it   has   been   stated   that   he   has 

taken   statements   of   concerned   persons.   This 

witness states that he was informed by the child 

witness   that   there   was   a   quarrel   between   the 

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accused and the deceased. The first statement to 

be taken by him was that of the child witness. 

He further states that after the filing of the 

first Chargesheet, it was found that the accused 

had committed rape on the deceased, which fact 

emerged from the evidence of the doctor. 

31. The Serological Report of the Forensic Science 

Analysis is at Ex.72. The nails, axillary hair 

and pubic hair of the deceased showed signs of 

human blood of B­Group. The vaginal swab of the 

deceased   showed   the   presence   of   semen   of   A­

Group. The shirt worn by the accused at the time 

of the incident showed the stains of human blood 

of   B­Group,   which   is   the   blood­group   of   the 

deceased. The petticoat worn by the deceased at 

the time of the incident showed semen stains of 

A­Group,   which   is   the   blood­group   of   the 

accused. The driving licence found lying on the 

floor at the spot showed the presence of blood 

of   B­Group,   which   is   the   blood­group   of   the 

deceased. The axe also showed signs of the blood 

of B­Group as also the mattresses on the bed of 

the   deceased.   The   blouse   and   petticoat   of   the 

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deceased were also soaked with the blood of B­

Group.   Further,   the   petticoat   of   the   deceased 

had semen stains of A­Group, the blood­group of 

the accused.

32. The   above,   therefore,   is   the   oral   and 

documentary   evidence   on   record,   after   the 

evaluation and appreciation of which the Trial 

Court   concluded   that   the   charge   against   the 

accused is proved beyond reasonable doubt. 

33. In   the   background   of   the   above   evidence, 

Mr.J.M.Buddhbhatti,   learned   counsel   for   the 

appellant, has submitted as follows:

1) No offence under the Atrocities Act is 

made out against the appellant. The deceased and 

the   appellant   belonged   to   the   same   community, 

therefore   the   charge   under   the   Atrocities   Act 

cannot be sustained.

2) The offence under Section 376 of the IPC 

is not made out against the appellant. There was 

a   love­affair   and   illicit   relationship   between 

the   appellant   and   the   deceased.   There   was   no 

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enmity  between them. In the  case filed by the 

deceased   under   the   Atrocities   Act   against   the 

appellant,   the   appellant   was   acquitted,   as   is 

evident from the evidence of PW­5, the husband 

of the deceased. As there was no enmity between 

the   appellant   and   the   deceased,   no   motive 

existed for the appellant to kill the deceased. 

Merely   because   the   driving   licence   of   the 

appellant   was   found   at   the   place   of   the 

incident,   it   cannot   be   assumed   that   the 

appellant   is   the   perpetrator   of   the   crime. 

Though it may be considered as an incriminating 

circumstance, however, it does not connect the 

appellant with the commission of the offence.

3) The weapon of offence was not sent for 

fingerprint   analysis,   therefore,   it   cannot   be 

said that it was used by the appellant to commit 

the crime. 

4) The   evidence   on   record   makes   it   clear 

READ  Sukdeb Halder-vs-State Of West Bengal on 19 June, 2002

that the house of the deceased consisted of only 

one room. All four children of the deceased were 

sleeping in that  room.  No  man would commit  an 

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act   of   rape   and   murder   in   such   circumstances. 

Any movement from the appellant would have woken 

up   the   children,   therefore,   the   story   of   the 

prosecution is highly improbable.

5) There is no conclusive evidence to prove 

who   killed   the   deceased.   The   Investigating 

Officer   did   not   take   any   samples   for   analysis 

from   the   husband   of   the   deceased.   It   is   not 

known what the blood group of the husband of the 

deceased is, therefore, without ruling out all 

possibilities   the   liability   regarding   the 

commission of the crime cannot be fastened upon 

the appellant.

6) The   injury   on   the   person   of   the 

appellant  has  been  denied  by  him.  It  has  been 

mentioned in the Arrest Panchnama that there was 

a simple scratch mark on the left cheek of the 

accused   and   his   right   leg   was   grazed.   The 

explanation   of   the   accused   in   the   Arrest 

Panchnama   is   that   he   sustained   these   injuries 

from the thorn bushes when was trying to escape 

from the police. Such injuries cannot implicate 

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the accused in the commission of the offence. 

7) No reliable and trustworthy evidence has 

been   produced   by   the   prosecution   in   order   to 

connect   the   accused   to   the   commission   of   the 

crime, therefore, the benefit of doubt deserves 

to be given to the appellant.

34. In   support   of   the   above   submissions,   learned 

counsel   for   the   appellant   has   placed   reliance 

upon the following judgments:

                  (i)      Naresh   Kumar   v.   The   State   of  
Maharashtra - AIR 1980 SC 1168

(ii) Baldev Singh v. State of Haryana - 
AIR 2009 SC 963

(iii) Subhash   Chand   v.   State   of  
Rajasthan - (2002)1 SCC 702

(iv) Raj   Kumar   Singh   alias   Raju   alias  

Batya  v.   State   of   Rajasthan   -  AIR  2013   SC 
3150

(v) Sujit   Biswas   v.   State   of   Assam   -  
AIR 2013 SC 3817

35. Per   contra,   Mr.Ronak   Raval,   learned   Additional 

Public   Prosecutor,   has   strongly   contended   that 

in the present case, the chain of circumstances 

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against   the   accused   is   complete.   He   has 

submitted   that   Ravina,   the   child   witness   and 

daughter   of   the   deceased   has   stated   in   her 

deposition that, on the night of the incident, 

the deceased was sleeping on one cot whereas the 

four children of the deceased were sleeping on 

another   cot.   The   accused   was   sleeping   on   the 

floor.   The   accused   was,   therefore,   present   at 

the house of the deceased when she was last seen 

alive. The original licence of the accused with 

his photograph on it was found near the bed on 

which the deceased was killed. Human blood of B­

Group, which is the blood group of the deceased, 

was   found   on   licence.   This   incriminating 

circumstance was put to the accused but he could 

give   no   explanation   in   his   statement   under 

Section  313 of the  Code and  merely  denied the 

same. It is not the case of the accused that he 

was   at   another   place   at   the   time   when   the 

incident took place. It is further stated that 

the conduct of the accused also points towards 

his guilt. It is stated in the Arrest Panchnama 

at   Ex.44   that   the   accused   ran   away   from   the 

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police and the explanation given by him for the 

scratches   found   on   his   cheek   and   graze   mark 

found   on   his   right   knee   (though   the   medical 

evidence   states   left   knee)   is   not   convincing. 

Had   the   accused   not   been   involved   in   the 

commission of the offence, there was no reason 

for him to run away.

36. Learned   Additional   Public   Prosecutor   has 

submitted that the blood of B­Group (belonging 

to the deceased) was found on the shirt of the 

accused which was seized upon his arrest. Even 

when he was arrested, the shirt had dried blood­

stains   on   it,   which   is   noted   in   the   Arrest 

Panchnama. The weapon of offence, that is, axe, 

the   pillow   and   quilt   on   the   bed   on   which   the 

deceased was found dead, were soaked with blood 

belonging   to   B­Group.   Thus,   all   the 

circumstances   pieced   together,   form   a   complete 

chain,   which   point   only   to   the   guilt   of   the 

appellant   and   no   other   person.   Besides,   PW­2, 

Dr.Dharmisthaben   Govindbhai   Gosai,   has   also 

described   the   injuries   on   the   person   of   the 

accused and has stated that the graze injury on 

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left knee and the scratch marks on neck of the 

appellant   could   have   been   caused   due   to   the 

scuffle that took place at the time when he was 

committing rape on the deceased.  The doctor has 

further stated that the graze mark on the left 

knee of the appellant could have been caused due 

to scraping against a hard surface. The factum 

of sexual assault on the deceased is proved by 

medical evidence.

37. It   is   further   submitted   by   the   learned 

Additional Public Prosecutor that all the Panch 

Witnesses   have   supported   their   respective 

Panchnamas.   The   report   of   the   FSL   and   the 

Serological Report prove that the blood of the 

deceased   was   found   on   the   clothes   of   the 

appellant. The semen of the appellant was found 

in the vaginal swab taken from the body of the 

deceased. 

38. It is further submitted that the Trial Court has 

properly   analyzed   all   the   incriminating 

circumstances   against   the   appellant   and   has 

taken   into   consideration   the   aspect   that   all 

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these circumstances, put together, form a chain 

that inevitably points out to the guilt of the 

appellant.   The   findings   and   the   conclusion 

arrived   at   by   the   Trial   Court,   therefore,   may 

not   be   disturbed   and   the   judgment   may   be 

confirmed.

39. Learned Additional Public Prosecutor has relied 

upon a judgment of the Supreme Court in the case 

of  Gajanan   Dashrath   Kharate   v.   State   of  

Maharashtra   -   (2016)4   SCC   604,   by   submitting 

that   under   Section   106   of   the   Evidence   Act, 

1872, when any fact is within the knowledge of 

any person, the burden of proving that fact is 

upon him. In the present case, the appellant has 

not   discharged   that   onus   of   by   explaining 

satisfactorily how his licence came to be found 

at the place of the incident. 

40. In   view   of   the   above   submissions,   it   is 

submitted that the appeal be dismissed.

41. This   Court   has   heard   learned   counsel   for   the 

respective   parties   at   length   and   given 

thoughtful   consideration   to   the   material   on 

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record as well as the respective submissions.

42. There is no doubt regarding  the  fact  that the 

present is a case of circumstantial evidence and 

there is no eye­witness to the incident. It is 

now   a   settled   position   of   law   that   the 

conviction   of   an   accused   person   can   be   based 

solely   upon   circumstantial   evidence.   However, 

for   such   a   finding   to   be   arrived   at,   the 

prosecution   is   burdened   with   the   duty   of 

establishing   its   case   beyond   reasonable   doubt. 

In   doing   so,   the   prosecution   is   required   to 

stand on its own legs and cannot depend upon the 

weakness in the case that may be put up by the 

defence. 

43. In the present case, however, the appellant has 

not   led   any   evidence   in   defence.   In   his 

statement   under   Section   313   of   the   Code,   the 

appellant   has   denied   the   incriminating 

circumstance regarding his original licence with 

his   photograph   being   found   in   a   blood­stained 

condition at the scene of offence. He has also 

denied his presence at the scene of the offence 

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and has stated that he is innocent and the case 

against  him is false and  he  has  not committed 

the crime. However, no explanation is offered by 

him.

44. There   is   no   eye­witness   to   the   incident   that 

took   place   in   the   one­roomed   house   of   the 

deceased,   in   which   her   four   children   were 

sleeping on one bed and she was sleeping on the 

other bed when the crime took place. The accused 

was sleeping on the floor. This picture emerges 

from the deposition of the child witness Ravina, 

who saw her mother  lying dead on the cot in a 

pool of blood at 9:00 am in the morning when she 

woke up. 

45. The   time­honoured   principles   of   law   regarding 

the conditions that are required to be fulfilled 

before the case against an accused can be said 

to   be   fully   established   on   the   basis   of 

circumstantial evidence have been enumerated by 

the Supreme Court in Sharad Birdichand Sarda v.  

State   of   Maharashtra   -   (1984)4   SCC   116.   The 

said principles are reproduced hereinbelow:

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"153.   A   close   analysis   of   this   decision  
would   show   that   the   following   conditions 
must be  fulfilled before a case  against an 
accused can be said to be fully established: 

(1)   the   circumstances   from   which   the 
conclusion of guilt is to be drawn should be  
fully established. 

It   may   be   noted   here   that   this   Court  
indicated   that   the   circumstances   concerned 
'must   or   should'   and   not   'may   be'  
established. There is not only a grammatical  
but   a   legal   distinction   between   'may   be 
proved' and 'must be or should be proved' as  
was held by this  Court in 
Shivaji Sahebrao 
Bobade v. State of Maharashtra, (1973) 2 SCC  
793 : (AIR 1973 SC 2622) where the following  
observations   were   made:   [SCC   para   19,  
p.807 : SCC (Cri) p.1047]

"Certainly,   it   is   a   primary   principle 
that the accused must be and not merely 
may   be   guilty   before   a   Court   can 
convict and the mental distance between 
'may   be'   and   'must   be'   is   long   and  
divides   vague   conjectures   from   sure 
conclusions."

(2)   the   facts   so   established   should   be 
consistent   only   with   the   hypothesis   of   the  
guilt of the accused, that is to say, they 
should   not   be   explainable   on   any   other 
hypothesis   except   that   the   accused   is 

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guilty.

(3)   the   circumstances   should   be   of   a 
conclusive nature and tendency.

(4)   they   should   exclude   every   possible 
hypothesis except the one to be proved, and

(5)   there   must   be   a   chain   of   evidence   so 
complete   as   not   to   leave   any   reasonable 
ground   for   the   conclusion   consistent   with 
the innocence  of the accused and must show 
that in  all human probability the act must 
have been done by the accused.

154. These five golden principles, if we may  
say   so,   constitute   the   panchsheel   of   the 
proof   of   a   case   based   on   circumstantial 
evidence." 

The   above­quoted   principles   have   stood   the 

scrutiny   of   subsequent   judicial   precedents   and 

are   still   firmly   retrenched   in   the   criminal 

jurisprudence   of   our   country.     It,   therefore, 

remains to be seen whether, in the present case, 

the   prosecution   has   succeeded   in   proving   the 

chain   of   circumstance   against   the   appellant 

beyond reasonable doubt in order to sustain his 

conviction.   We   are   called   upon   to   examine 

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whether the  chain of circumstances against the 

appellant is so complete and conclusive that it 

is   incapable   of   any   other   explanation   or 

hypothesis,   except   that   of   the   guilt   of   the 

appellant. The circumstances should be such that 

they  unerringly  point  out  to  the guilt of the 

appellant and none else. 

46. In light of the above principles of law, we may 

now   elaborate   the   incriminating   circumstances 

against   the   appellant   that   are   found   from   the 

material on record:

(1) It   is   established   by   the   testimony   of 

Ravina, the child witness who was present in the 

room   when   the   incident   took   place,   that   the 

appellant came to the house of the deceased at 

9:00 pm on the night between 25th and 26th July, 

2008.   Ravina   states   that   the   accused   used   to 

frequently   visit   the   house   of   the   deceased   in 

the absence of her father. On the fateful day as 

well, Ravina's father, husband of the deceased, 

had   gone   to   Ahmedabad   due   to   the   death   of   a 

relative.   Ravina   describes   that   the   appellant 

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had   come   to   their   house   and   the   deceased   had 

made tea for him. Both the accused and deceased 

took tea. Thereafter, the deceased gave food to 

the   appellant   and   they   all   went   to   sleep,   as 

described hereinabove. When Ravina awoke in the 

morning, she found her mother lying on the bed, 

soaked in a pool of blood. The pillow and bed­

clothes   were   also   soaked   with   blood.   She, 

therefore, started shouting, which brought PW­3 

to the spot who then filed a complaint on the 

basis of Ravina's narration.  

(2) The next circumstance that emerges from 

Ravina's deposition is that the appellant used 

to visit the house of the deceased frequently in 

the absence of her husband, since there was an 

illicit   relationship   between   them.   Ravina   was 

aged thirteen years when she gave her testimony. 

The Trial Court has noted that it was only after 

ascertaining   that   she   was   capable   of 

understanding   the   questions   put   to   her   and 

answering them that her deposition was recorded. 

The narration in the compliant corroborates the 

testimony of Ravina. From the above, it is clear 

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that   the   deceased   was   last   seen   alive   in   the 

company   of   the   appellant,   who   was   very   much 

present in her house on the night of the murder. 

47. The   theory   of   last   seen   together   may   not,   by 

itself, form the basis of holding the appellant 

guilty   of   the   offence.   However,   coupled   with 

other   circumstances,   where   the   link   of   the 

incriminating   chain   has   been   satisfactorily 

proved   to   point   towards   the   guilt   of   the 

accused, the circumstance of last seen together 

and   the   absence   of   any   explanation   by   the 

accused is a relevant circumstance and provides 

an   additional   link   to   complete   the   chain   of 

evidence against him. This principle of law has 

been   reiterated   by   the   Supreme   Court   in   its 

recent   judgment   in   the   case   of  Anjan   Kumar  

Sarma and others v. State of Assam - AIR 2017  

SC 2617.

(3) The   next   incriminating   circumstance 

against the accused is that his original driving 

licence was found in a blood­stained condition, 

lying   on   the   floor   near   the   cot   on   which   the 

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body of the deceased was found. The blood on the 

licence of the appellant was of B­Group, which 

has been found to be that of the deceased after 

forensic   analysis.   This   incriminating 

circumstance   was   put   to   the   appellant   while 

recording his statement under Section 313 of the 

Code.   However,   the   appellant   did   not   give   any 

explanation,   leave   alone   any   satisfactory 

explanation, regarding how his original driving 

licence  with  his  photograph  on  it,  came  to  be 

found at the spot. It can fairly be deduced that 

it may  have fallen  from his  pocket  during the 

scuffle   between   the   deceased   and   accused   just 

prior to her murder. The injuries on the person 

of   the   accused   point   out   to   a   scuffle   having 

taken place,  as  is  clear  from the  evidence  of 

Dr.Dharmishtaben.

(4) Another   link   in   the   chain   of 

incriminating   circumstances   is   that   the   shirt 

worn by the appellant at the time of his arrest 

on 27.07.2008, the day after the incident, had 

dried blood­stains on it. When put to forensic 

analysis it was found that there blood stains of 

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Group­B blood which was the blood group of the 

deceased.   The   blood­stained   axe,   pillow   and 

quilt   on   the   bed   on   which   the   body   of   the 

deceased was found were also stained with blood 

of B­Group, namely, that of the deceased.

(5) PW­2, Dr.Dharmisthaben Govindbhai Gosai, 

who examined the appellant on 27.07.2008, states 

in her deposition that the appellant has given 

the   history   before   her   and   stated   that   on 

25.07.2008, he committed rape on the deceased. 

Thereafter,   the   physical   examination   of   the 

appellant was conducted by this witness wherein 

it   was   found   that   the   injuries,   as   already 

described hereinabove, were found. In the Arrest 

Panchnama, Ex.44, the explanation given by the 

appellant   to   the   Panchas   that   is   recorded,   to 

the   effect   that   he   sustained   scratches   on   his 

left cheek and a graze injury on his right knee 

due to thorns, while he was trying to evade the 

police. PW­2 Dr.Dharmishtaben has further stated 

that the scratch marks on the cheek and neck of 

the   appellant   could   have   been   caused   in   the 

scuffle   that   took   place   when   rape   was   being 

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committed by the appellant on the deceased and 

the graze marks on his left knee could have been 

caused   by   the   scraping   of   the   knee   on   a   hard 

surface. 

(6) Though   the   appellant,   in   his   statement 

under   Section   313   of   the   Code,   denies   the 

incriminating circumstance of the history given 

by him to PW­2 and the injury received by him, 

however,   there   is   no   reason   to   disbelieve   the 

testimony of this witness, who is a doctor, who 

has no axe to grind against the appellant. 

(7) The   presence   of   the   appellant   at   the 

scene   of   offence   is   proved   by   circumstantial 

evidence, namely the testimony of Ravina and the 

factum   of   the   original   driving   licence   of   the 

appellant being found at the spot. The appellant 

used   to   visit   the   house   of   the   deceased 

frequently in the absence of the husband of the 

deceased. On the day of the incident also, the 

husband of the deceased was not at home as he 

had   gone   to   Ahmedabad.   There   was   an   illicit 

relationship   between   the   appellant   and   the 

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deceased which is stated by the child witness. 

This aspect is also alluded to by PW­5, husband 

of   the   deceased   in   his   testimony,   wherein   he 

states that the deceased used to hide the fact 

from   him   that   the   appellant   visited   her 

clandestinely. This witness further states that 

he was aware of the illicit relationship between 

the deceased and the appellant. He has further 

referred to the fact that the deceased had filed 

a   case   under   the   Atrocities   Act   against   the 

appellant, who had hit her on her forehead with 

a   "Paatli",   in  which   the   appellant   was 

acquitted. 

(8) The   next   link   in   the   chain   of 

incriminating   circumstances   against   the 

appellant   is   that   the   vaginal   swab   taken   from 

the body of the deceased showed the presence of 

semen   of   A­Group   which   belonged   to   the 

appellant. His presence at the spot as well as 

sexual assault by him on the deceased before her 

death is proved by this circumstance.

48. All   the   above­mentioned   circumstances   form   a 

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complete chain that leaves no room for any other 

conclusion except the hypothesis of the guilt of 

the   appellant.   The   facts   established   by 

evidence, as described hereinabove rule out the 

possibility   of   the   involvement   of   any   other 

person except the appellant in the commission of 

the offences with which he is charged. 

49. As is clear from  the above discussion, in the 

present   case,   the   prosecution   has   been 

successful in establishing all the circumstances 

against the appellant. On the basis of the above 

chain of circumstances, we cannot but hold that 

the   Trial   Court   has   rightly   come   to   the 

conclusion that the case against the appellant 

is proved beyond reasonable doubt. 

50. It has been submitted on behalf of the appellant 

that no offence under the Atrocities Act is made 

out against the appellant, who belonged to the 

same  community as the  deceased.  It  is  a fact, 

established   by   evidence   of   PW­11,   the   Taluka 

Development   Officer   who   issued   Certificate   to 

the deceased, that the deceased belonged to the 

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Hindu Chamar caste, which is a Scheduled Caste. 

The appellant has not produced any material on 

record to prove that he also belongs to the same 

caste.   On   the   contrary,   his   name   is   Hirabhai 

Shankarbhai   Raval   which,   on   the   face   of   it, 

shows that he belongs to a different caste than 

that of the deceased. 

51. It was next submitted on behalf of the appellant 

that the offence under Section 376 of the IPC is 

not made out as there was a love­affair between 

the   appellant   and   the   deceased  and   no   enmity 

existed   between   them.   The   evidence   on   record 

does   point   out   to   an   illicit   relationship 

between the appellant and the deceased. However, 

this relationship appears to have turned sour as 

the   deceased   had   filed   a   case   under   the 

Atrocities Act against the appellant who had hit 

her   with   a   "Paatli"   and   the   appellant   had 

threatened   the   deceased.   The   deceased   was 

subjected to physical assault before her death, 

which   is   proved   by   the   medical   evidence   on 

record.   Therefore,   this   submission   of   the 

learned advocate for the appellant does not hold 

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good in the face of the evidence on record. 

52. It has further been submitted that there was no 

motive   for   the   appellant   to   kill   the   deceased 

and   merely   because   the   driving   licence   of   the 

appellant was found at the place of occurrence, 

it cannot be assumed that the appellant was the 

perpetrator   of   the   crime.   The   presence   of   the 

appellant at the scene of offence on the night 

when   the   deceased   was   murdered   is   fully 

established.   Ravina   has   stated   that   the 

appellant   not   only   came   to   the   house   of   the 

deceased   but   he   also   took   tea   and   dinner   and 

went to sleep on the floor near the cot of the 

deceased.   The   presence   of   the   appellant   is 

further   fortified   by   his   driving   licence   with 

his   photograph   on   it,   which   was   found   stained 

with the blood of the deceased. The appellant, 

as per the evidence of Ravina, escaped through 

the   back­door   after   the   incident   and   was   not 

found in the  morning when  Ravina woke  up. The 

fact that the shirt worn by the appellant when 

he was arrested was blood­stained and the blood 

turned out to be of the same group as that of 

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the deceased, further establishes his presence. 

In   such   circumstances,   when   all   the 

circumstances point out to the presence of the 

appellant at the spot, the presence or lack of 

motive, is immaterial. 

53. The   submission   that   the   weapon   of   offence   was 

not   sent   for   fingerprint   analysis   does   not 

detract from the case of the prosecution as the 

said axe had the presence of human blood of B­

Group on it which is the blood of the deceased. 

It is evident that the axe was used to kill the 

deceased. The injury sustained by the deceased 

on her neck could have been caused by the weapon 

of offence  as  per the  testimony  of  the doctor 

who   conducted   the   post­mortem,   therefore,   the 

aspect   whether   it   was   sent   for   fingerprint 

analysis, or not, pales into insignificance. 

54. The submission advanced by learned counsel for 

the appellant that the appellant could not have 

committed the crime when all four children were 

sleeping in the same room, is also not worthy of 

acceptance as nobody can guage the intention of 

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a criminal mind when it is bent upon committing 

a   crime.   The   crime   appears   to   have   been 

committed in the dead of night when all the four 

young   children   were   sleeping   on   another   cot, 

though in the same room. Ravina states that she 

is not accustomed to awaking during the night. 

It   is   only   when   the   children   awoke   in   the 

morning that they discovered their mother dead 

on   the   cot,   with   her   neck   cut.   When   other 

circumstances   unfailingly   implicate   the 

appellant in the commission of the offence, the 

aspect   that   the   children   of   the   deceased   were 

also sleeping in the same room has no relevance.

55. Learned   counsel   for   the   appellant   has   further 

submitted that there is no conclusive evidence 

to   prove   who   has   killed   the   deceased   and   the 

Investigating Officer did not take any samples 

for analysis from the husband of the deceased. 

This   argument   is   absolutely   irrelevant   in   the 

context   of   the   evidence   on   record,   as   it   has 

come   in   evidence   that   the   husband   of   the 

deceased was not present at home, or even in the 

town, when the incident took place, having gone 

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to Ahmedabad due to the death of a relative. He 

returned   only   the   next   day   after   the   incident 

had   taken   place.   When   the   husband   of   the 

deceased   was   not   present   at   the   time   of   the 

commission of offence, there was no requirement 

on the part of the Investigating Officer to take 

any samples from him. 

56. The submission that the injuries on the person 

of   the   appellant   were   caused   not   due   to   any 

scuffle between the appellant and the deceased 

but due to thorn bushes when the appellant was 

trying to escape from the police, is such that 

instead of coming to the aid of the appellant, 

it would go against him. What was the need for 

the  appellant  to  escape from  the police  if  he 

had   nothing   to   fear   from   the   police?   The 

injuries   sustained   by   the   appellant   on   his 

cheeks   and   neck   were   such   as   could   have   been 

caused   by   finger   nails   when   the   appellant   was 

subjecting   the   deceased   to   physical   assault 

before her death.

57. We may now refer to the judgments relied upon by 

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learned   counsel   for   the   appellant.   The   first 

judgment on which reliance is placed is that in 

the   case   of  Naresh   Kumar   v.   The   State   of  

Maharashtra  (supra), wherein the Supreme Court 

has held as below:

"3. ..... In the case of circumstantial  
evidence   no   such   presumption   can   be   drawn 
unless   the   circumstances   proved   are 
completely   incompatible   with   the   innocence 
of   the   accused.   The   appellant   therefore 
cannot be convicted of murder."

Applying   the   above   principles   of   law   to   the 

evidence on record in the present case, we find 

that   the   circumstances   against   the   appellant 

have   been   completely   proved   and   they   are 

incompatible with the innocence of the appellant 

and clearly point out towards his guilt.

58. In  Baldev   Singh   v.   State   of   Haryana   (supra),  

also relied upon on behalf of the appellant, the 

Supreme Court has reiterated the principles of 

law   regarding   the   conditions   precedent   for 

conviction   of   the   accused   based   upon 

circumstantial evidence and has also referred to 

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the judgment in the case of  Sharad   Birdichand  

Sarda   v.   State   of   Maharashtra     (supra), 

reproduced   hereinabove.   On   the   facts   of   that 

case, the Supreme Court held that the chain of 

circumstances had not been proved. However, such 

is not the factual scenario in the present case 

where the evidence is to the contrary.

59. In  Subhash   Chand   v.   State   of   Rajasthan  

(supra), also pressed into service on behalf of 

the   appellant,   the   same   principles   of   law 

regarding   circumstantial   evidence   have   been 

reiterated.   As   we   find   from   the   evidence   on 

record   in   the   present   case   that   the   chain   of 

circumstances   is   complete,   this   judgment   would 

not come to the aid of the appellant.

60. Learned   counsel   for   the   appellant   has   further 

relied upon the case in  Raj  Kumar  Singh  alias  

Raju alias Batya v. State of Rajasthan (supra) 

and Sujit Biswas v. State of Assam  (supra), in 

order to buttress his submission that suspicion, 

however strong, cannot take place of proof. In 

the   present   case,   the   evidence   on   record   does 

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not rest on mere suspicion but is based upon the 

much   stronger   pedestal   of   incriminating 

circumstances. The distance between "may be" and 

"must   be"   has   been   covered   by   cogent   and 

impeccable   evidence   insofar   as   implication   of 

the accused in the present case is concerned.

61. The   cumulative   effect   of   the   above   discussion 

leads   us   to   the   unavoidable   and   inevitable 

conclusion that the case against the appellant 

has been proved on the basis of circumstantial 

evidence,   beyond   any   reasonable   doubt.   In   our 

view, the Trial Court has arrived at the correct 

conclusion   on   the   basis   of   the   evidence   on 

record. 

62. The appeal, being devoid of merit, deserves to 

be   dismissed   and   the   judgment   and   order   of 

conviction   and   sentence   passed   by   the   Trial 

Court, confirmed. Hence, the present appeal is 

dismissed.

63. The   R     P   be   sent   back   to   the   Trial   Court 

forthwith. 

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(SMT. ABHILASHA KUMARI, J.)

(A.J. SHASTRI, J.)
sunil

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