HYDERABAD: A murder accused can get relief in the case if he/she gives a satisfactory explanation to the court of having no connection or not aware of the crime incident. Though the burden of proving the guilt of an accused is on the prosecution, there may be certain facts pertaining to a crime that can be known only to the accused and which are virtually impossible for the prosecution to prove. In a case before the High Court, a woman who is the accused number one (A1) in the murder case filed an appeal challenging the order of the sessions court which convicted and sentenced her to life imprisonment and acquitted A2 and A3 for the charges made against them under Sections 302 (punishment for murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence or giving false information) of IPC.
The case of the prosecution is that the deceased woman is the second wife of a person who married her about five years prior to the date of incident. The deceased was a divorcee having son through her first husband. The appellantwoman (A1) is the first wife of the said person, while A2 and A3 are the brother and sisterin- law of A1. The deceased and her son were living separately in a different locality, while A1 and her husband along with two daughters were staying in another locality.
The said person and the deceased were constructing a house on a plot owned by the sister of the deceased. On theday of the incident, both the deceased and her son went to the building where her husband was staying with A1. The son was waiting near the gate and his mother went inside the building.
After some time both A2 and A3 came down and left the place in a hurried manner. Later, the person found the deceased wrapped in a blanket soaked with blood and pushed underneath the cot. The police registered a case based on a complaint by the person and son of the deceased. The postmortem report stated that the cause of death was due to cut injury on throat. The police arrested all the three accused and they initially confessed about the commission of offence.
The accused later pleaded not guilty and claimed to be tried. Placing reliance on the evidence of the prosecution, the Sessions court while acquitting A2 and A3 of all the charges, convicted the appellant (A1) for the said offences. Challenging the same, the present appeal was filed before the high court. The appellant’s counsel contended that there are no direct witnesses and the circumstances relied upon by the prosecution are not proved and even if proved do not form a chain of events to connect the appellant with the crime.
Besides, there is any amount of doubt with regard to the presence of son of the deceased at the time of the incident. In the absence of any motive being proved, the chain of circumstances is not complete, as motive is the main ingredient in establishing the case. Since A2 and A3 are acquitted, the trial court ought to have extended the same benefit to A1, the counsel argued.
On the other hand, the public prosecutor contended that though there are no eye-witnesses to the incident, but the circumstances relied upon are sufficient to connect the appellant with the crime. The evidence of the person would amply establish that the A1 was present in the house and she opened the door 10 minutes after it was knocked. In the absence of any explanation being given by the appellant as to how the dead body of the deceased was present in the house, the only inference that could be drawn is that the appellant is responsible for the incident. Except a bare denial, no explanation is forthcoming from the A1 even in her examination, he pointed out.
Based on facts
After hearing the case and perusing the material on record, the HC said the evidence on record amply established that the appellant (A1) was in the house at the time of the incident and she opened the door ten minutes after it was knocked. An explanation is sought to be given by way of suggestions that she was sleeping and she was not aware about the incident. If really she was sleeping and when door was bolted from inside, it is strange as to how the dead body was inside the house, the court asked.
Nothing prevented her from establishing that she was not there in the house and was not aware of the dead body by giving suggestions to all the witnesses or by stating the said at least during the examination. These things need to be explained by the accused and if she does not do so, then it is a strong circumstance pointing to her guilt based on those facts, the court observed.
The HC dismissed the appeal saying that the prosecution has proved all the circumstances connecting the accused with the crime and in the absence of any explanation by the accused as to how the dead body was present in her house. The findings of the trail court in convicting the appellant for the offences punishable under Sections 302 and 201 IPC warrants no interference, the court noted.