Penal Code, 1860 – Ss. 302/34 & 201 – Evidence Act, 1872 – S. 106 – Extra-judicial confession – recovery of motor bike and nylon saree which was used for committing murder – confession made to PW.4 does not inspire evidence. She was not having good relationship with accused and is not corroborated by other evidence on record, hence, it would not be safe to act upon it in the facts and circumstances of the case. The extra-judicial confession made to police is admissible only with respect to the recoveries made of the moped as well as a piece of nylon saree, pursuant to the information, which articles are not proved to be connected with offence.
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
[Jagdish Singh Khehar] [Arun Mishra] JJ.
August 12, 2016.
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1791 OF 2010
KALA @ CHANDRAKALA .. APPELLANT
STATE THROUGH INSPECTOR OF POLICE .. RESPONDENT
J U D G M E N T
ARUN MISHRA, J.
1. The appellant is the wife of the deceased Murugesan. The prosecution has alleged that the appellant along with her father and nephew committed murder of Murugesan on 17.5.2005 by strangulating him with a saree and placed his body under a bridge of canal. On 20.5.2005, on the basis of the information received from the Village Administrative Officer that a gunny bag is lying under LBP canal south near Sandhiyapurm, the complaint was registered. The body was found in a highly decomposed condition as such initially the identification of the person could not be ascertained. On 21.5.2005 Dr. Sivakumar P.W.20 performed the autopsy. Doctor was unable to ascertain the cause of death as the body was in a highly decomposed condition and it was opined by him that there was no antemortem injury to hyoid bone. On 31.5.2005 Susheela, P.W. 4, sister of the deceased, lodged a complaint that her brother Murugesan was murdered by his wife, his father-in-law and nephew of wife.
2. The trial court convicted the appellant and her father for commission of offence under
Section 302 read with Section 34 IPC and Section 201 IPC
and sentenced them to undergo imprisonment for life and imposed a fine of Rs.1,000/- and in default to undergo simple imprisonment for six months and also to undergo one year simple imprisonment under Section 201 IPC. The appeal, preferred before the High Court, was allowed in respect of the father of the accused, but the conviction and sentence of the appellant has been affirmed. Aggrieved thereby the appeal has been preferred.
3. It was submitted on behalf of the appellant that the chain of circumstances is not complete so as to fasten the guilt upon her. The confession made by the appellant to P.W.4 is not worthy of acceptance and made to police is inadmissible in evidence. There was no reason for the appellant to make a confession to Susheela, P.W.4 as she was not having good relations with her. The recovery of the body is not at the instance of the appellant and the recovery of the motor bike and nylon saree is of no value. The prosecution has failed to examine the material witnesses. It was submitted that the appellant has in statement under section 313 Cr.P.C. mentioned that she had gone to the police station along with photograph of the deceased on 23.5.2005 when there was beat of drum in the village by which she came to know that a body was found below the bridge of the canal. It was submitted that the appellant is innocent and deserves to be acquitted.
4. It was contended by the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the State of Tamil Nadu that the accused and the deceased used to quarrel frequently. It was the habit of the deceased of drinking alcohol and indulge in gambling. Once the accused persons came to know of the deceased having entered into agreement of sale, they had decided to get rid of him and thereby murdered him and threw the body below the bridge of the canal. The deceased was last seen in the company of the accused. It was submitted that the extra-judicial confession made by the appellant to P.W.4 and recovery of motor bike and nylon saree which was used for committing murder show that the chain of circumstances is complete. The appellant did not disclose the fact of disappearance of the deceased from 16.5.2005 to 31.5.2005 to the police and she was not the person to identify the articles belonging to the deceased. The deceased was identified by the articles i.e. chappal, shirt etc. by Susheela, P.W.4. It was therefore submitted that the conviction recorded by the trial Court and affirmed by the High Court calls for no interference in the appeal.
5. The case depends upon the circumstantial evidence and the extra-judicial confession made by the appellant to Susheela, P.W.4, sister of the deceased. This is trite law that the chain of circumstances should be complete to fasten the guilt on the accused.
6. Firstly, we will examine whether the extra-judicial confession which is a weak kind of evidence, inspire the confidence. Susheela, P.W.4 has stated that Murugesan was married to the appellant 14 years before the incident. She came in search of his brother Murugesan to the house of the deceased. Murugesan has told her on 12.5.2005 that appellant had threatened to kill him as he was habitual of consuming alcohol. When she did not receive any telephone call for 15 days from the deceased, she went to his village. On enquiry she was informed by the appellant that she, her nephew Prakasam and father murdered the deceased and threw his body under the bridge. Susheela, P.W.4 further stated that the appellant touched her legs and stated that she would give properties of her father to two children and that she should not inform the police. Thereafter, P.W.4 went to the police station on the same day and lodged the complaint – Ex.P2. The police showed her the photograph, shirt and slippers and asked her to identify the same. She identified them to be of her brother. She has further stated to have gone to police station after 5 days with photograph of deceased. In the cross-examination, she has also stated that she had signed the agreement for sale of land executed by the accused. It is apparent that accused was not having good relationship with Susheela, PW.4. Making confession to such an inimical person is most unlikely. When the witness had gone in search of the deceased to the house of the accused it is most unlikely that the confessional statement would be made to her readily. It is not that the appellant had gone to the house of P.W.4 to make the confession. On the other hand query was made by the daughter of the deceased to Susheela, P.W.4 as to the whereabouts of the deceased, meaning thereby the whereabouts of the deceased were not known even to his daughter. In case the deceased had been killed in the house, perhaps the daughter would have known about the offence having been committed by the accused.