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State Of Karnataka vs Manjunath @ Manjunathegowda on 3 April, 2014

Karnataka High Court State Of Karnataka vs Manjunath @ Manjunathegowda on 3 April, 2014Author: N.Ananda

1

IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA AT BANGALORE DATED THIS THE 3RD DAY OF APRIL 2014 BEFORE

THE HON’BLE MR.JUSTICE N.ANANDA

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.683 OF 2009

Between:

State of Karnataka

By Rural Police Station

Chikmagalur … Appellant (By Sri.B.Visweswaraiah, HCGP)

And:

Manjunath @

Manjunathegowda

S/o Devegowda

40 years

R/o Kolagame Village

Chikmagalur Taluk … Respondent (Respondent served)

*****

This Criminal Appeal is filed under Section 378(1) and (3) Cr.P.C praying to grant leave to appeal against the judgment and order of acquittal dated 1.4.2009 passed by the Addl. District and Special Judge, Chikmagalur in Special Case No.62/2006 thereby acquitting the accused/respondent for the offence punishable under Section 323, 324, 504, 354, 506, 427 IPC and Section 3(1)(x)(xi) of SC/ST (PA) Act. 2

This Appeal coming on for Admission this day, the Court delivered the following:-

JUDGMENT

The learned Session Judge has acquitted the accused of offences punishable under Sections 323, 324, 504, 354, 506, 427 IPC and also of Section 3(1)(x) and (xi) of Scheduled Castes/Schedules Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Therefore, State has filed this appeal.

2. It is the case of prosecution that on 6.6.2006, PW9-Rathnamma and her husband (PW10-Rama Meistry) and some other persons of Kolagame village had gone to Puradamma temple in Halebeedu to offer pooja and also to sacrifice sheep. After completing pooja ceremonies, they were returning in a jeep driven by PW8-Krishnegowda. The accused who had also taken his wife to offer prayers was returning in the same jeep. The accused misbehaved with PW9- Rathnamma and there was quarrel between PW10- 3

Rama Meistry and accused. The accused is alleged to have assaulted PW9-Rathnamma and PW10-Rama Meistry with a sickle. It is alleged that accused also assaulted PW8-Krishnegowda who was the driver-cum- owner of jeep. It is seen from evidence on record that apart from evidence of injured and her husband, other persons who had gone to temple were also returning in jeep. Some of them were examined as witnesses for prosecution. They have not supported the case of prosecution. It is the case of prosecution that PW10- Rama Meistry (husband of PW9) and PW8- Krishnegowda (driver-cum-owner of the jeep) were assaulted by the accused. The prosecution has failed to produce any medical evidence to establish that they had suffered injuries.

3. The accused and his wife, PW8, PW9 and PW10 were sitting in the jeep. PW8 was driving jeep. Therefore, evidence of PW8 that he had witnessed the 4

incident of assault and out raging the modesty of PW9- Rathnamma by accused, cannot accepted.

4. PW9-Rathnamma has deposed that accused misbehaved with her and when she resisted, accused took out a sickle and assaulted her. The medical evidence reveals that PW9-Rathnamma had suffered superficial injuries. PW9 had not suffered cut injuries which would be caused due to assault with a sickle. As per evidence of PW8-Krishnegowda, accused quarreled with PW10-Rame Meistry (husband of PW9), when PW9 raised objections for conduct of accused. The accused with impugnity, put his hand on shoulder of PW9- Rathnamma. When she asked him to remove his hand, accused assaulted her with a sickle. From the medical evidence, we do not find corresponding injuries. PW9 and PW10 are the husband and wife, who were travelling in jeep. They have given contradictory versions of the incident. The wife of accused was also travelling in the jeep. In the circumstances, the version 5

of PW9 and PW10 that accused had tried to outrage modesty of PW9 within the vision of her husband (PW10) and also within the vision of his wife, looks highly improbable. If the accused had misbehaved with PW9, other persons who were also travelling in jeep would not have spared him. It appears that after offering pooja, accused, PW9, PW10 and others were travelling in the jeep. There were some altercations between them and there was a quarrel, in which accused and his wife had also suffered injuries. The wife of accused has also filed first information against PW9 and PW10. PW9 and PW10 had faced trial for assaulting accused and his wife. The genesis of occurrence appears to be verbal exchange of words. The incident had taken place under the cover of darkness. Therefore, prosecution witnesses have distorted the version of incident. In any event, the version of incident given by PW8 to PW10 is not free from reasonable doubt. The learned Trial Judge on proper appreciation of evidence has acquitted the accused. There are no 6

reasons to interfere with the impugned judgment. The appeal is dismissed.

Sd/-

JUDGE

AHB

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