State of Himachal Pradesh Vs. Rajiv Jassi, on 6th May 2016, Supreme Court of India: Case Brief – Read Judgement

Reportable

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 771 OF 2005
State of Himachal Pradesh … Appellant

Vs.

Rajiv Jassi … Respondent
J U D G M E N T

ARUN MISHRA, J.
1. The State is in appeal as against the reversal of the judgment of the
trial court acquitting the respondent for commission of the offence under
section 302 IPC by committing murder of his wife by way of administering
poison. The respondent was imposed life imprisonment and fine of Rs.5,000
by the trial court which has been reversed by the appellate court.
2. The prosecution case in brief is that the respondent Dr. Rajiv was
married to Dr. Suman Lata, daughter of Ram Kishan, PW9. The marriage was
performed on 25.4.1998. The incident took place on 26.5.2000. At the
relevant time deceased was posted as Dental Surgeon at Civil Hospital,
Chail, district Solan; whereas the accused was posted as Medical Officer in
Primary Health Centre, Gharuan in district Ropar, State of Punjab.
3. Prosecution has alleged that the relationship between the deceased
and the accused became estranged due to demand of dowry and excessive
drinking habit of accused. Under the influence of liquor he used to beat
the deceased. On 23.5.2000 Anil Kumar, PW 8 brother visited the deceased at
Chail and stayed with her. In the intervening night of 25th and 26th May,
2000 the accused reached Chail where deceased was residing. He was drunk
and started abusing, kicking and beating the deceased. When Anil Kumar
tried to intervene he was also beaten by the accused and was turned out of
the house. On 26.5.2000 at about 3 a.m., Surender Kumar, PW 5 came out for
urination when he heard the shrieks and cries of the deceased and extreme
weeping of her child. The deceased was crying “Give me salty water. I do
not want to die.” Surender Kumar went to the house of the deceased. It was
closed from inside. He informed Ved Prakash, PW 4 Ex-President of Chail
Gram Panchayat as well as Om Prakash PW 7. All three of them went to the
house of the deceased. Ved Prakash knocked the door of the house which was
bolted from inside. None opened the door for sometime, after about 5
minutes door was opened by the accused. On entering the room, PWs.4, 5 and
7 smelt poisonous odour in the room. The
articles in the room were
scattered. The deceased was lying on the bed having bruises and contusions
on her face. Water was splashed on the bed as well as on the floor of the
room. The clothes of the deceased were also drenched. PW 5 asked the
accused to take the deceased to the hospital immediately. However the
accused replied that there was no necessity therefor and that deceased
would be all right very soon.
4. Prosecution has alleged that in the meantime Dayal Singh, PW 6, Anil
Kumar, PW-8 and Shiv Kumar, PW-10 also arrived. They noticed the condition
of the room and also the precarious and deteriorating condition of the
deceased. When they asked the accused what had happened, he retorted that
it was his private life and they need not bother. The accused refused to
take the deceased to the hospital on the pretext that nothing had happened
and he himself being a doctor could look after her. PWs.6, 8 and 10 also
smelt poisonous odour in the room. Deceased was crying that she did not
want to die and she be saved. On being asked what had happened, she raised
her hand towards the accused. Om Prakash, PW-7 informed the police at about
4.30 a.m. On that Biru Ahmad, PW-17 entered the information in the daily
diary and proceeded towards the spot. He found the deceased lying on the
bed in an unconscious position. Dr. O.P. Choudhary, PW-2, examined the
deceased at about 6 a.m. and noted the patient was semi-conscious with
history of consumption of poisonous substance. He also noted (i) contusion
reddish in colour over the lateral side of the right eye brow with swelling
present of the size of 7 cm. x 5 cm. and (ii) both lips were swollen. It
was also noted that complete examination of the body could not be done
because patient was in serious condition. B.P. was not recordable and
Pupils bilateral circular, pin point not reacting to light.
5. PW-2 administered the initial treatment. He carried out Gastric
lavage first with saline solution and then with ordinary tap water.
Thereafter he referred the deceased to I.G.M.C. Hospital, Shimla at about 7
a.m. for expert opinion and further treatment. Deceased died at IGMC
Hospital, Shimla on the same day in the evening of 26.5.2000 which was
informed to the police. Post mortem was conducted by Dr. Piyush Kapila, PW-
3 in association with Dr. V.K. Mishra, Assistant Professor, Forensic
Medicine. As to the cause of death it was opined that the deceased had died
due to asphyxia secondary to the organo phosphorus poison. Following ante-
mortem injuries were found on the person of the deceased :
“(i) 10 cm x 6 cm bruise on the right periorbital area with swelling of
right eye lid with two contentric nail scratches abrasions, one on forehead
and other on upper eye lid. Bluish in colour.
(ii) 9 cm x 4 cm big contusion, bluish in colour, on intraorbital area and
cheek on left side.
(iii) ½ cm x ½ cm contusion on the inner side of lower lip towards left
side mid line with respect to left lateral incisor (lower). Blue in colour.
(iv) 8 cm x 7 cm abraded contusion over chin and submental area in
midline. Bluish in colour.
(v) 11 cm x 5 cm multiple small abrasions over neck and right of upper
chest in front 3 cm lateral to sterno calvicular joint.
(vi) 10 cm x 4 cm contusion in infra-axillary area in mid axillary line.
Blue in colour.
(vii) 7 cm x 5 cm large purple coloured pach over dorsum of right hand with
multiple needle prick marks (latrogenic).”

In addition it was found in the post mortem report that there was a dead
male foetus 40 cm. in length with head circumference of 29 cm. with body
weight of 1300 gms. present in the uterus of the deceased and he calculated
the age of foetus as 8 months.
6. On 27.5.2000 Anil Kumar, PW-8 lodged a report at the Police Station
mentioning the harassment caused by the accused to the deceased for dowry.
It was mentioned that he talked with in-laws and was informed that the
accused was coming to Chail in the evening. In the midnight at about 12,
accused reached Chail in his Santro car. He was under the influence of
liquor and was carrying a bottle of liquor in his hand and started abusing
them and gave a kick-blow on the abdomen of the deceased who was pregnant.
When he tried to stop, accused pounced upon them due to which he received
scratches and swelling on face. Then his sister asked him to leave.
Thereafter he went to the house of his friend Bablu. Later on two/three
persons came. They called Bablu and enquired about him and told that the
condition of his sister was not good. Then he rushed to the residential
quarter of his sister and found accused Rajiv who opened the door and the
condition of his sister was precarious. His sister was having a son aged 13
months. He suspected that his brother-in-law Rajiv had forcibly
administered poison with intention to kill his sister. Death had occurred
due to mal-treatment by the accused and action be taken against him.
7. The investigation revealed that 14-15 days before the occurrence the
accused had purchased organo phosphorus sold under the trade name of
“NUVAN” from Sanjay Kumar, PW-13, a shopkeeper at Chail on the pretext that
he required the same to kill the flies. It was also alleged by the
prosecution that on the fateful day accused forcibly administered poison to
the deceased in order to kill her. During the course of administration of
poison deceased struggled as such sustained injuries on her face, lips and
neck. Deceased was being harassed and treated with cruelty on account of
demand of dowry by the accused and his parents. Chargesheet was filed under
sections 302, 304-B, 314 and 498A read with section 120-B IPC.

8. The accused abjured the guilt and pleaded innocence. The prosecution
in the course of trial examined 18 witnesses. Accused in his statement
under section 313 Cr.PC did not deny the factum of the deceased having died
due to poison. It was stated by him that the deceased had disclosed to him
that she had consumed some drugs and had asked him to give her salty water.
Deceased was under convulsion due to some drug. He had given her water to
vomit. He had taken the deceased firstly to Primary Health Centre at Chail
and then to I.G.M.C. Hospital at Shimla. Deceased was a sensitive lady. His
relationship with the deceased was cordial. He examined 3 witnesses in
defence.
9. The trial court acquitted the parents, however convicted the
respondent husband for commission of the offence under section 302 IPC.
10. The trial court came to the conclusion that the circumstantial
evidence brought on record contained positive proof, credible sequence of
events, factual truth linking the accused with commission of offence by
means of forcible administration of organo phosphorus poison to the wife.
The trial court based conviction upon the following circumstances :
(i) Relied upon the statements of PWs.6 and 11 regarding consistent
mal-treatment, beating and thrashing by the accused to the victim. (ii)
Landlord Dayal Singh has stated that while in a state of intoxication
accused used to beat the victim and quarreled with her. On that he had
asked him to vacate the house. Then the accused had shifted to the house in
question. (iii) Accused was maintaining his criminality consistently. The
conduct of the accused on the fateful night indicates that he came to the
house and started beating and hitting Anil Kumar PW-8 and his deceased
sister. (iv) He kicked on the abdomen of the victim though she was
pregnant. Abdominal swelling was found by the Atopsy Surgeon Dr. Piyush
Kapila, PW-3. (v) On the fateful night the accused had turned out the
brother of the deceased PW-8 from the house at Chail after beating him. PW-
8 suffered three injuries in the form of multiple scratches over neck,
chin, face and other parts of the body. (vi) the accused was present in the
room of the deceased. (vii) The nature of injuries which was found on the
person of the deceased were ante-mortem. All injuries were on the front
portion of the body and could be caused while she was lying on the bed.
Such injuries could be found in cases of smothering and strangulation and
forcible administration of poison. The injuries suffered by the victim on
her lips, chin, throat and neck could be caused by the accused while
administering poison forcibly. (viii) The accused did not open the door
immediately but opened it after considerable time of five minutes. (ix) The
accused did not take the deceased to the hospital and stated that nothing
had happened to her and that she would be alright very soon. It was the
duty of the accused being a doctor to immediately rush her to the hospital.
The accused wanted the victim to breathe her last and thus delayed taking
her to the hospital. It was not a case of self-poisoning considering the
nature of injuries found on the deceased. (x) The domestic articles and
luggage were scattered in the room. Child was crying and his small empty
bottle which contained the organo phosphorus poison was found lying there.
Its cap used as stopper was also lying and a pungent poisonous odour was
present in the room. (xi) When the witnesses asked what had happened to
her, the victim had raised her hand towards the accused. Thus the victim
raised her accusing finger towards the culprit that is her husband. (xii)
The accused had purchased the organo phosphorus from the shop of Sanjay
Kumar, PW-13, 14-15 days before the date of the incident for a sum of Rs.
50/-. There was no necessity for the accused to purchase the same to kill
flies. He purchased the same with design to cause end of the life of the
victim. (xiii) Considering the nature of injuries found on the body of
the victim they could not have been caused by convulsion.
11. The High Court has acquitted the respondent by the impugned judgment
and order on the ground that the circumstances are not of conclusive
nature. Chain of circumstances is not complete so as to unerringly point to
the guilt of the accused. Though Dr. O.P. Choudhary, PW-2 stated that
injuries indicated positively the administration of poisonous substance
forcibly to the victim, however, he could not say whether the deceased had
consumed the poison herself to commit suicide. Similar was the statement of
Dr. Piyush Kapila, PW-3. His statement was also disbelieved on the ground
that he could not rule out the possibility of the victim committing suicide
by herself. The first information given to the police was that the victim
had consumed some poisonous substance. Initially the offence under sections
306 and 498A was registered. Dr. Chaudhary, PW-2 had noticed only two
injuries on the person of the deceased. However, the injuries increased
from 2 to 6 in the post mortem report submitted by Dr. Piyush Kapila, PW-3.
The possibility of the injuries could be caused by convulsions was not
ruled out. Possibility of injuries caused by convulsions is strengthened
from the fact that number of ante-mortem injuries had increased from the
period the victim was examined initially and the post mortem was conducted.
The prosecution has failed to prove that poison was in possession of the
accused. Since the trial court has not convicted the accused under section
498A or section 304-B, IPC, it could not be said that the deceased was
being ill-treated or harassed with cruelty on account of dowry. The
evidence of shopkeeper Sanjay Kumar, PW-13 from whose shop accused
allegedly purchased poison, is not reliable. Accused is a medical doctor.
He has knowledge of poison. He would not create evidence against him by
purchasing poison from Chail itself. Accused would not choose poison like
organo phosphorous i.e., ‘NUVAN’ a pesticide which has a pungent smell
like kerosene to kill the victim. He would have purchased better poison.
The accused had administered salty water in order to enable the victim to
vomit. This indicates that gastric lavage was carried out by the accused to
save the deceased. He had accompanied her to Chail hospital and then to
hospital at Shimla. The victim did not name the accused as responsible for
administering poison and there was no occasion for her merely lifting her
hand towards the accused. The conduct of brother of the deceased namely
Anil Kumar, PW-8 is not free from doubt. The clothes of the deceased have
not been produced to show that there were stains and traces of poison. When
two views are possible one favourable to the accused is required to be
adopted. Hence conviction has been set aside.
12. It was submitted by learned counsel appearing on behalf of the
appellant that the High Court has illegally reversed the judgment and order
of conviction passed by the trial court. Chain of circumstances is complete
and proves the guilt to the hilt. Purchase of poison by the accused stands
established. It was in possession of the accused stands established. It is
not disputed that the deceased died due to poisoning. The accused had
treated the victim with utmost cruelty, kicking her in the womb when she
was carrying 8 months’ child. Nature of injuries found on deceased
indicates that it was a case of forcible administering poison to the victim
while she has resisted. Accused in his statement under section 313 Cr.P.C.
has not explained the injuries found on the person of the deceased. Dr.
Chaudhary, PW-2, has stated that he could not make full examination of the
body considering the precarious condition of the deceased, thus failed to
mention all ante-mortem injuries found on the person of deceased. The post
mortem report which records all the ante-mortem injuries has been
unnecessarily doubted. It was not possible for the doctor to answer to the
suggestions whether the victim had consumed the poison herself, it was not
for them to state so. What was relevant as to their opinion they had stated
that the nature of injuries indicated that she was administered the poison
forcibly. The conduct of the accused also indicates that he did not take
the victim to the hospital immediately and delayed it. He being a doctor
knew the consequences of organo phosphorus poisoning and in spite of that
he did not take the victim to the hospital despite requests being made by
various witnesses. The police had taken the victim to the hospital. On
being enquired by the eye-witnesses what has happened, victim had raised
her hand pointedly towards the accused as she was in a precarious
condition. Thus the accused did not take her to hospital immediately and
ensured that she dies. The various circumstances found established by the
trial court, unflinchingly and unerringly pointed towards the guilt of the
accused.
13. On the other hand, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the
respondent has submitted that two views are possible in the case. The High
Court as such has rightly given the benefit to the accused. Injuries were
caused to the deceased while she was having convulsions. The witness Om
Prakash PW-7 has stated that the deceased was trembling and her condition
was critical. She was writhing in pain, thus possibility of deceased
sustaining the injuries while she was under convulsions could not be ruled
out. Modi’s Medical Jurisprudence indicates that one of the symptoms after
taking organo phosphorous poison can be convulsion also. The gastric lavage
was given by the accused which is supported by the evidence of PWs.4, 5 and
7, they have stated that the bed on which the deceased was lying was wet
and water had been splashed on the bed as well as on the floor of the room.
As the accused was in the process of giving gastric lavage, he took time to
open the door. The deceased might have scratched her face and neck as
itching and irritation which take place due to poisoning. No DNA test was
conducted to prove that the nail scratches on the face of the deceased were
caused by the respondent-accused. There was no motive to administer poison;
that the accused was not in possession of the poison. Accused would not
have purchased the poison from a person known to him. He could have
selected a better type of poison to kill his wife. The accused has
undergone the sentence for more than four years. The son left by the
deceased is now 17 years old and is being looked after by the accused. Thus
this Court should take a lenient view and no case for interference in the
judgment passed by the High Court is made out.
14. In our opinion the judgment and order of conviction passed by the
trial court was based upon proper appreciation of evidence, the
circumstances found established by trial court in the instant case have
been unnecessarily doubted and brushed aside lightly by the High Court.
The High Court has unnecessarily doubted the post mortem report which
recorded as many as aforesaid seven injuries. There were various contusions
of big size on periorbital area, intraorbital area, forehead, upper eyelid,
cheek, 8 cm. x 7 cm. contusion over the chin, contusion over the lower lip,
11 cm. x 5 cm. multiple small abrasions over neck and upper chest, 10 cm. x
4 cm. contusion in infra-axillary area. The aforesaid nature of the
injuries indicates that they could not have been caused by convulsions. The
accused was in the company of the victim in the same room is not disputed.
Thus, it was for him to explain the injuries found on the person of
deceased. Exact number of injuries had not been noted by Dr. Chaudhary PW-2
as he himself had admitted that he could not examine the entire body
physically as the condition of the victim was precarious and he was busy in
giving her treatment then referred her to hospital at Shimla. The victim
became unconscious at the house itself. The High Court has unnecessarily
doubted the deposition of the autopsy surgeon who has clearly opined that
the nature of injuries indicated positively the administration of poison
forcibly to the victim. Such injuries could be caused while administering
poison forcibly when victim was trying to save herself from that. In the
cross-examination Dr. Choudhary, PW-2, has also stated that it could not be
a suicidal case. However, on a suggestion being made to the PW-2 and PW-3
that it could be a case of voluntary consumption of poison by the victim to
commit suicide, obviously the doctors were not able to deny the said
suggestion as they were not eye witnesses. Moreover they were not supposed
to be an arbiter on this issue whether the victim had taken the poison
herself. Their objective opinion stands writ large that considering the
nature of injuries it could be a case of forcible poisoning and in the
process accused had caused injuries while deceased had struggled. Thus the
approach of High Court cannot be said to be of objective assessment of
evidence.
15. The accused was admittedly in the company of the deceased. It was for
him to explain so many injuries found on the person of the deceased as to
how they were caused including swelling in womb. He has totally failed to
explain them. It was not stated by him that the injuries were caused to the
deceased due to convulsions. It was not stated by him that she ever fell
down during convulsions, if any. The injuries on her lips, chin, throat and
neck etc. as held by the trial court, were caused while administering the
poison forcibly is a strong circumstance against the accused which cannot
be brushed aside lightly. More so, in view of the overall conduct of the
accused to be discussed hereinafter. Injuries were on the front part of the
body which indicates that the deceased was subjected to violence before she
succumbed due to poisoning. Section 106 of the Evidence Act requires a
person having special knowledge of the fact to explain the same as required
by section 106 of the Evidence Act, and laid down by this Court in C.S.D.
Swami v. The State AIR 1960 SC 7, P.N. Krishna Lal & Ors. v. Govt. of
Kerala & Anr. 1995 Supp (2) SCC 187 and Sidhartha Vashisht @ Manu Sharma v.
State (N.C.T. of Delhi) AIR 2010 SC 2352. Failure to explain that the
deceased was unconscious position coupled with other evidence is a grave
circumstance which militates against such a person.
16. The High Court has also erred in holding that since the trial court
did not convict the accused under sections 498A and 304B IPC, it could not
be said that the deceased was being ill-treated or harassed with cruelty on
account of dowry. As such accused is entitled to benefit of doubt. There is
overwhelming evidence on record indicating that the behavior of the accused
towards the deceased was not proper and he was turned out of the house by
landlord at Chail. The previous landlord of the accused namely Dayal Singh
has clearly stated that under the influence of liquor, accused used to
frequently beat the victim and quarreled with her due to that he had asked
the accused to vacate the house. Thereafter the accused had shifted in the
nearby house in which the incident has taken place. The statements of PWs.6
and 11 also indicate that there was consistent ill-treatment and incidents
of beating and thrashing caused to the victim by the accused. There is
nothing to doubt the statement of brother of the deceased namely Anil
Kumar, PW-8 who was also given beating on the night of the incident. Anil
Kumar has stated that the accused had given kick-blows on the abdomen of
the victim while she was carrying in her womb pregnancy of 8 months, and
the factum of pregnancy stands proved by the post mortem report that the
foetus aged 8 months was recovered from the womb of the victim. Dr. Piyush
Kapila PW-3 found abdominal swelling of the victim while conducting the
autopsy which was obviously caused by the kick blow given by the accused.
The statement of Anil Kumar PW-8 finds medical corroboration. There is
nothing to doubt the statement of Anil Kumar that the accused had also
caused injury to him in the form of multiple scratches over neck and face.
Dr. R.K. Sharma, PW-1 has proved the injuries found on the person of Anil
Kumar and has proved the injury report. The High Court has erred in
holding otherwise.
17. Yet another circumstance which casts a grave doubt on the accused is
that though he was fully aware that the condition of the victim was
precarious and she was struggling for life due to organo phosphorous
poisoning. In spite of that initially when the neighbours came hearing the
shrieks of the victim, he did not open the door immediately and opened the
door only after five minutes. Even if same is ignored there was absolutely
no reason for the accused to
state to the neighbours when they asked him to take victim to hospital that
nothing had happened to the victim and it was his family affair and she
would be all right very soon. He intentionally delayed taking the victim to
the hospital and it was only when the Police came that victim was taken to
the hospital and was examined by Dr. Chaudhary PW-2 at 6 a.m. In case the
accused was innocent he would have taken the victim to the hospital
immediately and would not have declined the request of the neighbours and
delayed her taking to the hospital and ought not to have waited for arrival
of the police and thereafter when police had taken the victim to the
hospital, he accompanied her to the hospital. The High Court has erred in
holding that accused accompanied victim to hospital as such that
circumstance is in his favour. Whereas after causing enormous delay and
accompanying police with victim appears to be an effort to save himself and
to know what transpires and for giving wrong history to doctors. Thus the
conduct of the accused of not taking the victim to the hospital points a
finger of doubt upon him. Men may lie but the circumstances do not, is the
cardinal principle of evaluation of evidence. The overall circumstances
unerringly point towards the guilt of the accused. Accused was well-aware
that the victim was suffering from organo phosphorous poisoning, the bottle
was also lying open. There was a bad odour of ‘nuvan’ poison in the room.
Domestic articles and luggage were scattered in the room and the child was
found crying. The room indicated tell-tale signs of violence. Several
witnesses i.e. Dayal Singh, PW-6, Shiv Kumar, PW-10 and Gayatri Devi, PW-11
have clearly stated about it.
18. Shiv Kumar, PW-10, has clearly stated that on being asked what had
happened, she raised her hand towards the accused, her husband. Similar is
the statement of Anil Kumar, PW-8. Ram Kishan, PW-9 has also stated that
the victim raised her hand towards the accused when asked as to what had
happened. He could observe and feel that she had been administered poison
by the accused forcibly. This last gesture of victim to raise her hand
towards husband indicates that he had caused such condition. The victim
was also crying to save her militates against suicidal attempt to kill
herself.
19. Apart from that the High Court has discarded the evidence of Sanjay
Kumar, PW-13, who is an independent witness. He has stated that 14-15 days
before the accused had purchased Nuvan poison from his shop for a
consideration of Rs.50/- on the pretext of killing flies etc. The trial
court held that in summers there was no necessity to purchase a deadly
poison for killing the flies. Accused intended to kill the victim and
purchased the poison to cause the end of life of victim. The High Court has
not believed the statement of Sanjay Kumar, PW-13 on the ground that the
accused being a doctor and posted at different places could have purchased
a better poison of sophisticated nature from elsewhere, he would not have
created the evidence against him. The High Court has brushed aside the
evidence of purchase of Nuvan for no good reason. Sometime the facts are
stranger than fiction. There is absolutely nothing to doubt the statement
of Sanjay Kumar for purchase of abovesaid Nuvan poison and when it was
found in the house, it was purchased either by the victim or the accused.
There is nothing to doubt that it was purchased by the accused and it was
found in the room and due to this poison only the victim succumbed to
death. The fact of giving salty water by the accused to the victim by
itself is not enough to absolve him of the guilt. The injuries could not
be said to be self inflicted. The accused has not stated to that effect,
as such it was not necessary to go for DNA test as argued by the counsel
for respondent.
20. Apart from that the administering of poison forcibly is supported by
medical evidence in the form of injuries which were found on the front side
shows sign of struggle by deceased to save herself in the said process.
These injuries could not have been caused by convulsions and the overall
conduct of the accused and the gesture of the deceased in pointing her hand
towards her husband as the person responsible for her condition, delay
caused by the accused in taking the victim to the hospital knowing fully
well the kind of deadly poison organo phosphorous unerringly points towards
his guilt and the chain of circumstances is complete.
21. This Court has considered in Sharad Birdhichand Sarda v. State of
Maharashtra AIR 1984 SC 1622, case of murder by administering poison and
dealt with mode and manner of proof in such cases. Four circumstances are
to be examined before recording a conviction. (i) There was a clear motive
for the accused to administer poison to the deceased, (ii) the deceased
died of poison said to have been administered, (iii) that the accused had
poison in his possession and (iv) that he had an opportunity to administer
the poison to the deceased. The prosecution alleged that the husband
administered the poison to her whereas defence took the plea that there was
a strong possibility of her having been ill-treated, being sensitive and
impressible, she might have committed suicide out of depression and
frustration arising from an emotional upsurge. The aforesaid tests stand
satisfied in the instant case and the prosecution has proved the case
beyond periphery of doubt. The conduct of the accused and gesture of the
victim at the crucial time as projected in the case, medical evidence,
evidence as to purchase of poison unerringly point towards the guilt of the
accused.
22. It was also submitted by learned counsel appearing on behalf of the
respondent-accused that the child now 17 years old and is residing with the
accused, as such we should take a lenient view. That cannot be a ground so
as to show any leniency in such kind of offence, particularly when the
accused had not cared and caused death of his wife who was also a doctor
and at the same time she was pregnant, carrying 8 months male child whose
foetus was recovered from her womb. He had kicked the womb also that is why
swelling in womb was found. In the circumstances, accused is not entitled
to any lenient treatment as it can only be within legal parameters.
23. In the circumstances the High Court has gravely erred in reversing
the well-reasoned judgment of conviction and order of sentence recorded by
the trial court. Resultantly the appeal is allowed, the impugned judgment
and order passed by the High Court is hereby set aside and that of the
trial court is restored. The respondent is directed to surrender failing
which he shall be taken into custody forthwith.
……………………….J.(V. Gopala Gowda)

……………………..J. (Arun Mishra)
New Delhi; .
May 6, 2016.

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