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Sri Ramakrishna vs State By Madhugiri Police Station on 23 February, 2018

1
R

IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA
AT BENGALURU

DATED THIS THE 23RD DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2018

PRESENT

THE HON’BLE MR.JUSTICE RAVI MALIMATH
AND
THE HON’BLE MR.JUSTICE K. SOMASHEKAR

CRIMINAL APPEAL No. 1052 of 2012

BETWEEN:

SRI RAMAKRISHNA,
S/O NARASHIMAIAH,
AGED ABOUT 36 YEARS,
R/AT HOSAHALLI GRAMA,
KASABA HOBLI,
MADHUGIRI TALUK.
… APPELLANT

(BY SRI. D. NAGARAJA REDDY, ADVOCATE)

AND

STATE BY MADHUGIRI POLICE STATION
REPRESENTED BY
STATE PUBLIC PROSECUTOR,
HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA,
BENGALURU.
… RESPONDENT

(BY SRI. VIJAYAKUMAR MAJAGE, ADDITIONAL SPP )
2

THIS CRIMINAL APPEAL IS FILED UNDER SECTION
374(2) OF THE CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE PRAYING
SET ASIDE THE JUDGMENT AND ORDER DATED
30.06.2012 PASSED BY THE PRESIDING OFFICER, FAST
TRACK COURT – V, MADHUGIRI IN S.C.NO.67 OF 2011 –
CONVICTING THE APPELLANT-ACCUSED FOR THE
OFFENCE PUNISHABLE UNDER SECTION 302, 201, 498A
OF IPC. THE APPELLANT-ACCUSED IS SENTENCED TO
UNDERGO LIFE IMPRISONMENT AND TO PAY FINE OF
RS.10,000/-, IN DEFAULT TO PAY FINE, HE SHALL
UNDERGO RIGOROUS IMPRISONMENT FOR 2 YEARS FOR
THE OFFENCE PUNISHABLE UNDER SECTION 302 OF IPC.
THE APPELLANT-ACCUSED IS SENTENCED TO UNDERGO
RIGOROUS IMPRISONMENT FOR 2 YEARS AND TO PAY
FINE OF RS.5,000/-, IN DEFAULT TO PAY FINE, HE SHALL
UNDERGO RIGOROUS IMPRISONMENT FOR 1 YEAR FOR
THE OFFENCE PUNISHABLE UNDER SECTION 201 OF IPC.
THE APPELLANT-ACCUSED IS SENTENCED TO UNDERGO
RIGOROUS IMPRISONMENT FOR 2 YEARS AND TO PAY
FINE OF RS.5,000/-, IN DEFAULT TO PAY FINE, HE SHALL
UNDERGO RIGOROUS IMPRISONMENT FOR 1 YEAR FOR
THE OFFENCE PUNISHABLE UNDER SECTION 498A OF IPC.
ALL THE SENTENCES SHALL RUN CONCURRENTLY. THE
APPELLANT-ACCUSED PRAYS THAT HE BE ACQUITTED.

THIS CRIMINAL APPEAL HAVING BEEN HEARD AND
RESERVED FOR JUDGMENT ON 05.02.2018 COMING ON
FOR PRONOUNCEMENT THIS DAY, K. SOMASHEKAR J.,
DELIVERED THE FOLLOWING:

JUDGMENT

This appeal has been preferred by the appellant,

being aggrieved by the judgment of conviction and
3

sentence held by the Trial Court in S.C.No.67 of 2011

dated 30.06.2012 for the offences punishable under

Sections 302, 201 and 498A of IPC, thereby sentencing

him to undergo imprisonment for life and to pay a fine of

Rs.10,000/- and in default to pay fine, to undergo rigorous

imprisonment for two years for the offence punishable

under Section 302 of IPC, and further to undergo rigorous

imprisonment for two years and to pay fine of Rs.5,000/-,

and in default to pay fine, to undergo rigorous

imprisonment for one year for the offence punishable

under Section 201 OF IPC and to undergo rigorous

imprisonment for two years and to pay a fine of Rs.5,000/-

and in default in payment of fine to undergo rigorous

imprisonment for one year for the offence punishable

under Section 498A of IPC and all the sentences were to

run concurrently.

2. The brief facts of the prosecution case are that, on

22.11.2010 at about 7.30 p.m., the complainant

Thungotappa had gone to Madhugiri Police Station and had
4

filed a written complaint alleging that his daughter

Vanajakshi was given in marriage to the accused.

Subsequent to her marriage, she had begotten two

children namely, Manjunatha aged five years and

Indushree aged 1 ½ years. It transpires that during her

marriage, her parents had provided dowry in terms of cash

in a sum of Rs.10,000/-, 10 grams of gold chain, a pair of

ear studs and a pair of hangings apart from incurring the

marriage expenditure. Subsequent to her marriage, the

accused and the deceased had led a happy marital life.

The accused was said to be working as a Watcher in the

Forest Department. In order to get his posting

permanent, he was in need of Rs.10,000/-. He started

asking his wife Vanajakshi to bring the said amount from

her parental home. Since she had refused, he had started

tormenting her and picked up a quarrel with her for simple

reasons and forcibly sent her to her parental home. He

also started physically abusing her. On 13.11.2010, the

accused harassed her physically and sent her to her

parental home along with her two children. The
5

complainant had in turn advised his daughter and send her

back to her matrimonial house. Vanajakshi had tried to

convince her husband saying that within 10 to 15 days the

amount of Rs.10,000/- would be adjusted by her father.

On 21.11.2010, at about 4.30 p.m., the accused had

informed telephonically saying that his daughter

Vanajakshi had committed suicide by hanging. After

receipt of information about his daughter Vanajakshi, he

rushed to Hosahalli. At about 5.30 p.m., he had reached

the house of the accused. By the time, he noticed that the

accused was not present in the house. As he entered into

the house, seeing the dead body of his daughter

Vanajakshi he observed that on the left side of her neck,

some abrasion wound was there and her dead body was

hanging in the kitchen tied with a nylon saree. The

accused had spread the news all over the village that his

wife had committed suicide by hanging. But however, on

seeing the state of the complainant, he was very skeptical

about her suicide and believed that she had not committed

suicide but must have been killed by her husband.
6

Hence, he lodged a complaint with the police. It is based

upon the complaint filed by him the case in Crime

No.152/2010 came to be registered by the Madhugiri

Police by registering an F.I.R.

3. During investigation, the accused was

apprehended and accused No.2 and accused No.4 were

also apprehended by the police. Subsequently,

investigation was taken up by the Investigating Officer

who has laid the charge-sheet against the accused nos.1

and 2, who had faced trial for the alleged offences. The

Trial Court framed the charge against the accused. The

accused pleaded not guilty and claimed to be tried.

Accordingly, the plea of the accused has been recorded

wherein the accused who had faced trial for the offences

under Sections 302, 201 and 498A read with Section 34 of

IPC.

4. In order to substantiate the case, the prosecution

in all examined PW-1 to PW-11 and got marked Exhibits P-

1 to P-32. After closure of the evidence of the
7

prosecution, material objects MO-1 to MO-9 were also got

marked. Subsequent to the closure of the evidence of the

prosecution, the incriminating statement of the accused

under Section 313 Cr.P.C. was got recorded. The accused

had denied the truth of the evidence of the prosecution

adduced so far and did not come forward to adduce

defence evidence as contemplated under Section 233

Cr.P.C. and no document has been got marked.

Subsequently, after hearing the arguments advanced by

the prosecution as well as defence counsel, the Trial Court,

appreciating the evidence on record, had found him guilty

and sentenced the accused for offences under Sections

302, 201 and 498A read with section 34 of the IPC. It is

this judgment which is under challenge in this appeal.

5. Heard the learned counsel for the appellant and

the learned Additional State Public Prosecutor for the State

and perused the entire records consisting the evidence of

the prosecution and the documents which have been got

marked.

8

6. The point that arises for consideration in this

appeal is,

“Whether the court below was justified in
convicting the accused – appellant for the
offences punishable under Sections 498-A, 302
and 201 of IPC by its judgment in S.C.No.67 of
2011 dated 30.06.2012?”

7. PW-1 being the complainant and also being the

father of the deceased, he has reiterated the averments

made in the complaint that his daughter Vanajakshi was

given in marriage to the accused. Subsequent to her

marriage, she gave birth to two children namely

Manjunatha and Indushree. During her marriage with the

accused, dowry in terms of cash of Rs.10,000/- and some

gold ornaments were given. The accused was working as

a Watcher in the Forest Department and he was in need of

an amount of Rs.10,000/- to get the said post permanent.

So he started demanding his wife Vanajakshi to bring the

said amount from her parental home and in the process,

started extending physical as well as mental harassment to
9

her. The complainant had given an amount of Rs.5,000/-

to the accused and had told that he would arrange another

Rs.5,000/- in a few days. But the accused was persistent

and he again sent his wife Vanajakshi to her parental

home to bring the said amount. However, the complainant

had pacified his daughter and had sent her back to her

matrimonial home saying that he will arrange for the

remaining amount shortly. In the meanwhile, he received

a telephonic message that his daughter had committed

suicide. On receipt of information the complainant went to

the house of his daughter but her husband was not found

in the house. On seeing the dead body, it was found that

she must not have committed suicide by hanging.

Therefore, he filed a complaint as per Exhibit P-1. The

same has been reiterated in his evidence for the

prosecution.

8. In the cross-examination, it is elicited that in the

complaint, he had subscribed his signature only and he did

not know writing. He gave Rs. 10,000/- in terms of dowry
10

to the accused. But he had no documents in his

possession to prove that he provided cash and gold chain

of 10 grams to the accused. He has denied the suggestion

made to him that he did not know how his daughter

Vanajakshi died. When he saw the dead body it was found

that she was not wearing bangles. The broken bangles of

the deceased Vanajakshi was found in the house. He has

denied the suggestion made to him that they did not

permit to see the children of Vanajakshi but the accused

did not come to his house to see his children. He has

denied. He has given a supplementary statement before

the police denying the suggestion made to him that he

gave supplementary statement on 28.12.2012 has

angered about the accused and also given a complaint

which has angered the accused.

P.W.2 Ranganatha, the son of Thungotappa,

Vanajakshi was the second sister to him. He has deposed

that her marriage with this accused was performed about

five years back in the Anjaneya temple of his village.

During her marriage with the accused, cash in a sum of Rs.
11

10,000/-, gold chain has been provided weighing 10

grams. This first accused was pestering Vanajakshi to

bring sum of Rs. 10,000/- from her parental house. The

same has been briefed to them when she used to come to

their house. On receipt of information about her death he

went to Hosahalli village and saw the dead body of

Vanajakshi which was lying in his house. His father and all

his relatives had also come there from their village. He

got information that accused was also weeping over the

death of his wife. He noticed some injuries on the left

neck of Vanajakshi and abrasion wound and also found

some broken bangles in the house. The accused was not

present in Hosahalli Village. He came to know that a

complaint has been given to the police that Vanajakshi had

committed suicide. It is elicited in the cross-examination

of this witness that he did not know whether Vanajakshi

made an attempt to fall into the well as she was suffering

from stomach ache. He has denied that his sister

Vanajakshi had died by hanging as she could not tolerate
12

her stomach pain and he has denied that the accused is

not cause for the death of the deceased.

P.W.5, Doctor Savitha has stated in her evidence

that she conducted post-mortem examination of the dead

body of Vanajakshi and issued P.M report as per Ex.P.11.

She has opined that the cause of death may be due to

compressing caused to her neck. It is elicited in the cross-

examination that she has denied the suggestion that death

would have been caused by hanging and she did not give

proper information as to the cause of the death of the

deceased. Once she had seen the dead body of Vanajakshi

and opined that she did not notice any symptoms about

death caused by hanging. But all the features as to the

neck having been compressed by pressing as a result of

which that death might have occurred, was present.

P.W.7, Govindaiah has stated in his evidence that

the dead body of Vanajakshi was found in the house of the

accused in Hosahalli village. He was one of the mahazar

witnesses in respect of the inquest held by the Assistant
13

Commissioner/Executive Magistrate over the dead body of

the deceased as per Ex.P.2 wherein he has subscribed his

signature. He has deposed that on the left side of her neck

there was an abrasion wound and also he had noticed that

bangle pieces were lying in the scene of crime. In the

cross-examination, it is elicited that he has denied the

suggestion that he has subscribed his signature in the

police station but had told that he had subscribed his

signature where the inquest was held over the dead body.

He had deposed that he had seen the dead body lying on

the floor and there was no mark found in saree which was

used to hang herself.

P.W.10 being the Investigating Officer has stated in

his evidence that the belongings of the deceased including

saree and ornaments were produced by the police

constable and the same had been seized by conducting a

mahazar. On 02.12.2010 he secured the post-mortem

report from the doctor. On the same day he recorded the

statements of Nagarajappa, Lakkamma, Rangappa and

Kenchappa. He had conducted seizure mahazar of the
14

clothes of the deceased as per Ex.P.24 and had recorded

the voluntary statement of the first accused as per Ex.P.25

to which he had subscribed his signatures. In the cross-

examination it is elicited that he did not lead any enquiry

about the accused having insisted to provide a sum of

Rs.10,000/- to get a permanent posting of the post of

watcher which he held in the forest department. He has

denied the accused has not given any voluntary statement

and also he did not record the statement of any witnesses.

He further denied that he has laid false charge sheet

against the accused in order to suit the purpose.

9. Learned counsel for the appellant has taken us

through the evidence of the prosecution adduced so far to

prove the guilt of the accused wherein the evidence of

P.W-1 being vital in nature as he being the complainant

and also father of deceased Vanajakshi wherein he has

stated in his evidence that he had given dowry during the

marriage of the deceased Vanajakshi as per the demand

made by the accused. But subsequent to her marriage
15

with him, i.e., after four years the accused is alleged to

have begun to give harassment to her to bring additional

dowry. But when she did not heed to his request that he

is alleged to have committed the murder of his wife

Vanajakshi. P.W-2 being the brother of the deceased has

spoken about the demand of dowry made by the accused

during his sister’s marriage which was provided. And also

the fact that after some years of the marriage of the

deceased with him he began to give harassment to bring

additional dowry from her parental house.

P.W-3 who being the neighbor of P.W.1 had stated

that he attended the marriage talks of the deceased and

also stated that at the time of her marriage talks, the

parents of the accused had demanded dowry. But no

circumstance is placed by the prosecution against the

accused that he was the perpetrator of the crime. Further,

no evidence is forthcoming for the prosecution to come to

a conclusion that the prosecution has proved the guilt of
16

the accused and also as regards the accused screening the

evidence to escape from legal punishment.

Whereas the prosecution is based upon

circumstantial evidence relating to the charges which were

levelled against the accused. Neither has any witness for

the prosecution spoken about any strong circumstances to

prove the charge against the accused to commit the

murder of his wife Vanajakshi nor is there any material

evidence placed by the prosecution in support of strong

circumstantial evidence despite of which Trial Court has

come to a conclusion that the accused has committed the

murder of the deceased. It is contrary to the evidence on

record and also the principles governing criminal

jurisprudence relating to the charges levelled against the

accused to prove the facts where the Trial Court has failed

to appreciate the material available on record such as the

evidence placed before the Court for the offences alleged

against the accused to commit the murder of his wife and

also insisting her to bring additional dowry from her
17

parental home. Though the incriminating statement

under Section 313 Cr.P.C. has been recorded but not a

single incriminating material evidence against the accused

has been placed by the prosecution. Absolutely no

evidence has been put forth by the prosecution to prove

the aforesaid demand of dowry and also facts relating to

the accused having committed murder of the deceased by

strangulating her.

The charge has been framed against the accused

that on 22.11.2010 while the appellant being the first

accused was present in the house that he had strangulated

the neck of the deceased and committed the murder of his

wife. But there is no evidence placed by the prosecution in

order to prove the guilt of the accused that he was present

in the house nor is there any evidence that all the accused

were present in the house. Under these circumstances,

without any basis of evidence against this accused the Trial

Court has held that the accused is guilty of the offence of

murder of his wife. The Trial judge has relied upon the

voluntary statement of appellant-accused no.1. Moreover,
18

it is settled principles of criminal jurisprudence relating to

voluntary statement given by the accused before the

Investigating Officer. In that, voluntary statement has to

be admissible under Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act

relating to recovery and discovery. The rest of the

portions of the statement said to be recorded by the

Investigating Officer is inadmissible. This aspect is

required to be appreciated in this appeal keeping in view

the evidence of the witnesses such as P.W-1, P.W-2 and

P.W-3 who are material witnesses for the prosecution.

Whereas in this case there is no motive established by the

prosecution as there is no overt act attributed against this

accused to establish the motive to commit the murder of

his wife. There is no single circumstance relating to the

case established by the prosecution against the accused as

this circumstance is also very much required to be

appreciated on record with the evidence available. But the

Trial Judge has misdirected the evidence adduced by the

prosecution and so also misread the evidence relating to

the charges levelled against the accused.
19

The learned counsel hence submits that there is not

even semblance of evidence to remotely connect the

accused with the incident in question for having committed

the murder of his wife Vanajakshi. On that count alone

the impugned judgment of conviction is required to be

interfered with and is liable to be set aside. On all these

grounds urged by the learned counsel for the appellant, he

seeks to allow the appeal by setting aside the impugned

judgment of the Trial Court.

10. Per contra, the learned Additional State Public

Prosecutor has taken us through the evidence of P.W-5,

the Doctor who has conducted autopsy over the dead body

of deceased Vanajakshi and issued a PM report as per

Exhibit P.11, wherein the Doctor has opined that cause of

death could be due to compressing her neck. On the basis

of the complaint filed by P.W-1 as per Exhibit P-1, the

crime came to be registered. The learned Additional State

Public Prosecutor submits that it is purely a case of murder

which has been framed by the accused into a case of
20

suicide in order to escape from legal punishment. The post

mortem report issued by the Doctor clearly reveals the fact

that the neck of the deceased was compressed, which

would not have been the case if in fact she had

strangulated herself by means of a synthetic saree.

Strangulation by means of a synthetic saree would give

rise to ligature marks on just the particular portion of the

neck where the pressure is applied, which is not the case

in the present case on hand. Instead of just ligature

marks being visible, the doctor has noticed that the left

side of her neck had been compressed which has been the

reason for her death. Moreover, bruises were noticed on

that part of the neck. Only in case of injury by means of

physical attack, bruises are expected to be noticed. If

really she had strangulated herself, only ligature marks are

expected to be noticed externally and not bruises. It

clearly reveals that after murdering her by compressing

her neck by some means, the accused had proceeded to

hang her to the top of the ceiling using a synthetic saree.

It is also seen that the ceiling was about seven feet from
21

the ground. There is no evidence that there was any stool

present in the said room which was used by her to hang

herself. In the absence of any stool or ladder to reach the

ceiling, tying the knot and strangulating herself is an

impossibility. Hence, the learned Additional State Public

Prosecutor submits that the Trial Court has rightly

convicted the accused and hence the impugned judgment

of conviction and sentence of the Trial Court does not call

for any interference.

11. On hearing the learned counsel for the appellant

as well as the learned Additional State Public Prosecutor

for the State, it is relevant to state a few facts for the

purpose of deciding the case. On 22.11.2010 at about

7.30 p.m., a complaint came to be filed by P.W-1 being the

father of the deceased. It is based upon the complaint an

FIR has been registered by the police as per Ex.P.29. In

his complaint he has specifically stated that his daughter

Vanajakshi was given in marriage to the appellant-accused

and during her marriage that he has provided cash in a

sum of Rs. 10,000/- and also gold chain in the form of
22

dowry. Subsequent to her marriage, the accused and the

deceased had led a happy marital life and gave birth to

two children namely, Manjunath and Indushree. The

accused was said to be working as a Watcher in the Forest

Department. In order to get his posting permanent, he

was in need of Rs.10,000/-. He started asking his wife

Vanajakshi to bring the said amount from her parental

home. Since she had refused, he had started tormenting

her and picked up a quarrel with her for simple reasons

and forcibly sent her to her parental home. He also

started physically abusing her. He had also sent her to her

parental home along with her two children. The

complainant had in turn advised his daughter and send her

back to her matrimonial house. Vanajakshi had tried to

convince her husband saying that within 10 to 15 days the

amount of Rs.10,000/- would be adjusted by her father.

This fact is evident in the complaint at Exhibit P-1. The

averments made in the complaint corroborates with the

evidence of P.W-2 being the brother of the deceased.

Inquest had been held over the dead body of deceased
23

Vanajakshi and an inquest report had been issued as per

Ex.P.23. On seeing the averments made in the inquest

report and also the photos at Ex.P.30 and P.31 relating to

the scene of crime PW-2 had depose that there was some

suspicion about the death of his sister Vanajakshi and that

the accused might have committed the murder of his

sister. It is also evident from the deposition of PW-2 that

there was a quarrel between the deceased and the accused

on the very day of her death, which fact had been

gathered from the neighbours. Moreover, the Assistant

Commissioner who being the Executive Magistrate who

had held inquest over the dead body has observed that

broken bangle pieces were lying at the scene of crime.

The same is also revealed in the mahazar. Therefore it

fortifies that there was an altercation between the

appellant and the deceased as a result of which her

bangles had broken and were lying at the scene of crime.

Further, it is impossible to believe that the deceased

Vanajakshi herself has committed suicide by hanging with

means of a saree as the ceiling from where the dead body
24

of Vanajakshi hung was 7 feet high, which would make it

impossible for her to have hung herself from such a height

without even the presence of a stool or a ladder for the

said purpose. Therefore, if she had committed suicide

certainly there would have been ligature marks caused due

to the force with which the saree had pressed her neck.

But nothing of that sort has been found. Instead, it

revealed that there were bruises on the left side of the

neck. The doctor who conducted autopsy over the dead

body has given evidence before the Court that the death

has not been caused by hanging but it has been caused by

forcible compression caused over the neck. Hence, it is

the first accused who had committed the murder of

deceased Vanajakshi by compressing her neck and in order

to escape from the clutches of law he has created a theory

that she herself has committed suicide. The averments

made in the voluntary statement as per Ex.P.25 said to be

given by the accused and also the evidence which has

been given by the prosecution witnesses tally with each
25

other which proves the fact that it was the accused who

alone committed the murder of his wife Vanajakshi.

In the evidence of the prosecution witnesses there

may be some contradiction. Such omission and

contradiction however will not cut the root of the

prosecution and destroy the case of the prosecution in

entirety. The Trial Court has rightly appreciated the

evidence of P.W.1 and P.W.2 coupled with the evidence of

P.W.10 being the Investigating Officer who has done the

entire investigation for the prosecution and laid the charge

sheet against the accused. The prosecution has

established the guilt of the accused by placing cogent,

corroborative and positive evidence to probabalize that he

committed the murder of his wife Vanajakshi by

compressing her neck and further destroyed the evidence

by making everybody believe that Vanajakshi had

committed suicide herself.

Therefore, in this appeal, we do not find any infirmity

or perversity committed by the Trial Court in convicting the

accused for the offences under Section 498A, 302 and 201
26

of IPC. Therefore for the aforesaid reasons and findings in

this appeal, we are of the view that the appeal deserves to

be dismissed being devoid of any justifiable grounds for

intervention of the impugned judgment of conviction and

sentence held by the Trial Court against the accused.

The point framed in this appeal is answered in

positive and the appeal filed by the appellant – accused

under Section 374(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure is

hereby dismissed.

Consequently, the judgment of conviction and

sentence passed by the Fast Track Court-V, Madhugiri, in

S.C. No. 67 of 2011 dated 30.06.2012 for the offences

punishable under Sections 498A, 302 and 201 of the IPC is

hereby confirmed.

Sd/- Sd/-
JUDGE JUDGE

KS

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