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Ramachandran Versus State

1959 (9) TMI 58 - High Court Of Madras

Dated:- 5-9-1959 - Ramaswami And M.Anantanarayanan JJ. JUDGEMENT Anantanarayanan, ( 1. ) The appellant, Ramachandran, has been convicted of the murder of a woman named Pappal, and also of causing disappearance of the evidence of offence (Ss. 302 IPC and 201 I. P. C), and -sentenced to death for the offence of murder. The learned Sessions Judge of Tanjore, who tried the ease, has not imposed a separate sentence Under Section 201 IPC as he considered that, that was: not required or desirable, foll .....

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accused. We have very considerable evidence regarding the illicit intimacy, consisting of the testimonies of P.Ws. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8. There is also evidence that the deceased was of loose conduct with others as well, and this. is spoken to by P.Ws. 2 and 4. The suggestion for prosecution is that sexual jealousy probably motivated the appellant to commit this crime. On Wednesday, 11 -3 -1959, the appellant and the deceased were seen by Sambandaitn, P.W. 8 proceeding towards the eastern porti .....

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had murdered Pappal on the 11th March. It is important to note that both the mother of the victim, P.W. 1, and the police came to know of this offence only through learning about the statement of the accused to the magistrate. The subsequent', report of P.W. 1 to the village headman, (Ex. P 1),, and the yadhasts (Exs. P. 5 and P. 5 -a) were rightly excluded from consideration by the learned Session Tudge, as within the ambit of Section 162 CrI. P.C This apart, the Sub Magistrate recorded wh .....

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obvious; later. ( 4. ) In pursuance of his own statement, the appellant took the circle inspector, the executive magistrate, P.W. 15, the Medical Officer, P.W. 9 and others to the Coleroon river bund on the afternoon of the 14th March, and took out the corpse of the deceased from the spot of burial. The body had been placed in two gunny bags, (M. Os, 6 and 7) and chemical analysis showed that one of them was stained with human blood. There is no doubt about the identification of the corpse, and .....

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ned with human blood, but, as the learned sessions Judge surmises, it is very probable that the rival and spade were washed in the river after the crime. The autopsy in this case very clearly show -fid that the woman had been murdered. According to the doctor, P.W. 9, the canse of death was an ante mortem incised injury, 5 1/2" x 3" x 3" on "the left side of the neck, cutting muscles, blood vessels, the trachen and oesophagus. This was a necessarily fatal injury, which must h .....

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mortem certificate, Ex. P. 4. ( 5. ) Apart from all this testimony, there was come other evidence about another extra -judicial confession made by the appellant on the night of the 11th March itself at about 10 p.m, to one Mani, P.W. 6. P.Ws. 5 and P.W. 6 speak to this confession, but the learned Sessions Judge did not take this evidence into consideration, because these witnesses were not examined till the 14th March and they did not earlier report the admission of the crime by the accused, eit .....

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h March, and the extra -judicial confession -then made by him. He also admitted that he took a party of police and other officers to the Celeron river bund, and pointed out the spot of burial, but :his defence was that he indicated the spot shown to him earlier by the police, that he did not actually unearth the body, that he made no statement to the circle inspector P.W. 16, and that the police themselves seized material objects from his house. With regard to the extra -judicial confession to t .....

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is there anything to indicate that the police knew the spot of burial, and the spot from which the blood stained earth was seized, at any earlier time, before the appellant indicated those spots to the party of police and officers. Since it is indisputable that the woman died as a result of homicidal violence, viz., a mortal injury inflicted with a sharp, heavy weapon like an aruval, the question is whether these facts suffice to bring home guilt to the appellant beyond any shadow of doubt. But .....

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icance, whether the statement made by the appellant to the Circle Inspector (Ex. P. 12), admittedly made at a time when the appellant was in a magisterial custody, but not in formal: police custody, should be excluded from evidence Under Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act? If that statement is to be excluded, we must further consider whether the prosecution can rely upon the conduct of the accused in unearthing the body etc. to corroborate the material facts of the retracted confession. ( 7. .....

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1:, A.I.R. 1941 Mad 720, admissions that might be proved in civil cases, are not inadmissible in criminal cases as such. An extra -judicial confession is merely a confession made outside the scope of a judicial confess ion recorded during the investigation of a crime by a magistrate, after complying with the formalities of1 Section 164 Crl. P. C. The weight to be accorded to such a confession would depend entirely upon the context of circumstances, the person to whom it was made, and the actual .....

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urts would look to material corroboration of the confessional statement, before fully accepting and acting upon it. The decision of the Privy Council in Nazir Ahmad v. ". seems to have caused some misconception upon this aspect, which should be made clear. That was a case in which a confession was made to a magistrate during the course of an investigation, and the magistrate empowered to record it did not comply with the provisions of Section 164 Crl. P. C, and merely made certain memoranda .....

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udicial confessions, or the probative value to be attached to them. Two decisions of this Court make this very clear. Arunachala Reddi v. Emperor, 35 MLW 607 :, A.I.R. 1932 Mad 500, was a case like the present, where the accused, after committing the offence of murder, went straight to the nearest magistrate and made a statement confessing the offence. Only in that case, the confession was recorded in the manner prescribed by Section 164 Crl. P. C. Waller and Krishnan Pandalai, JJ. pointed out t .....

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for the very good reason that the magistrate was not then concerned with the investigation of the crime, the statement was admissible, both as a report of first information and otherwise under the law relating to admission. The true scope and applicability of is also indicated here.' ( 8. ) Hence , upon this aspect, we must conclude that the present extra -judicial confession is admissible, both upon the law relating to admissions, and as a report of first information. As the magistrate was .....

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d occurred, the confession is certainly entitled to very great weight, unless there are any reasons for accepting the suggestion in defence or even considering it probable, that the police had tutored the appellant to go and make such a confession. Where the confession is retracted, corroboration of material particulars is certainly necessary, but this would apply equally to confession? judicially recorded. In a certain sense, an extra -judicial confession of this character is even more likely t .....

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acts and circumstances of the case. We may now proceed to a discussion of the more difficult problem, whether the information furnished to the Circle Inspector ought to be excluded in evidence, as not within the scope of Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act. ( 9. ) We may immediately state that an examination of the authorities upon this matter, shows two broad aspects or tendencies. In a certain line of cases, it has been, tacitly assumed, upon a reading of Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Ac .....

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, as follows: There might be reason in saying that if a man is in custody, what he may have said cannot be admitted, but there can be none at all in saying that it is inadmissible in evidence against him, because he is not in custody. Yet this is the consequence of saying that Section 27 is more than a proviso to Section 26. It, is, however, well held by that authority that, that is so and, until the legislature takes the matter in hand, the paradox expressed in the present case will continue t .....

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hat officer. Similar dicta are to be found in Kambala Kalikamurthi,, 1936 MWN Cr. 159. In In re, Kamakshi Naidu, I.L.R. 1943 Mad 456 :, A.I.R. 1943 Mad 89, Horwill J. held that a confession made by an accused in police custody was admissible Under Section 27, though the custody itself was not in connection with the offence relating to which the confession was made, but in connection with another offence. ( 10. ) But we find a different line of cases, particularly of the Calcutta, Allahabad and N .....

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far as to suggest that police "custody" in the terms of Section 27 might well include surveillance, interrogation before arrest etc, In Santokhi Beldar v. : AIR1933Pat149 , a Full Bench of the Patna High Court held that when a person who went to a police officer and voluntarily stated the circumstances of a crime, accusing himself of committing it, he submitted himself to the custody of that officer within the meaning of Section 46 (1) Cr.PC, and that Section 27 of the Evidence Act ap .....

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time when she gave the information, she was for all practical purposes in police custody, and that Section 27 therefore applied. In Rambabu Jadav v. : AIR1938Pat60 , the accused was in hospital, in judicial custody, and the police officer examined him with the permission of court. The Patna High Court observed that Section 27 could well be appealed to a case of that kind, because actual police custody was then prevailing, We do not think it is necessary to examine other cases of other High Cour .....

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sirable to apply a wider interpretation if it could be properly done, so that the anomaly is considerably minimised. Apart from this, we see no reason at why the expression relating to police custody occurring in Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act should be rigidly interpreted. After all, what the spirit of the language employed appears to imply is that, where a person submits himself to the custody of a police officer, with the consciousness that temporarily at least he is in such custody, o .....

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