Crl.A.(J) No. 15 of 2013. Case: Ranjit Munda Vs The State of Tripura. High Court of Bombay (India)

Case NumberCrl.A.(J) No. 15 of 2013
CounselFor Appellant: R. Datta and P. Ghatak, Advs. and For Respondents: R.C. Debnath, Addl. P.P.
JudgesDeepak Gupta, C.J. and S. C. Das, J.
IssueCode of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) - Section 313; Indian Penal Code 1860, (IPC) - Sections 299, 300, 302, 304, 326
Judgement DateApril 06, 2016
CourtHigh Court of Bombay (India)


S. C. Das, J.

  1. This criminal appeal is directed against judgment and order of conviction of sentence dated 06.08.2010 passed by learned Additional Sessions Judge, Court No. 3, Agartala, West Tripura in Sessions Trial Case No. S.T.18 of 2010.

  2. We have heard learned counsel, Mr. R. Datta for the appellant and learned Additional Public Prosecutor, Mr. R.C. Debnath for the State-respondent.

  3. One Ramprasad Munda of village-South Kalkalia (Mundapara), P.S. Sidhai, West Tripura set the law in motion, lodging an FIR in writing, addressed to the O/C, Sidhai P.S. on 27.07.2009 at about 11-05 pm alleging that his daughter Smti. Anju Munda was given in marriage with accused Ranjit Munda about 5 years ago. Since after marriage, Anju Munda was subjected to physical assault and torture by accused Ranjit. On 15.07.2009 Anju was physically assaulted and put out of the matrimonial home. Having found no other alternative she took shelter in her paternal home, i.e., house of the informant, Ramprasad Munda. On 27.07.2009 at about 8-00 pm Ranjit Munda came to his house and had some altercation with Anju and thereafter he picked up a spade and hit on the head of Anju Munda causing severe bleeding injuries. Anju was shifted to Taltala Primary Health Centre and her condition was serious.

  4. On the basis of that FIR, Sidhai P.S. Case No. 55/2009 under Section 326 of IPC was registered and investigation was taken up by S.I., Partha Munda. The injured Anju Munda was shifted to G.B. hospital and she succumbed to the injuries at G.B. hospital on the following evening, i.e., on 28.07.2009 at about 6-00 pm. Section 302 of IPC was added after the death of Anju Munda. S.I. Sajal Dey of G.B. Police Outpost (P.W.7) prepared inquest report over the dead body of Anju Munda and thereafter postmortem examination was done by P.W.5, Dr. Pranab Choudhury.

  5. Accused Ranjit Munda was caught red handed with the spade in his hand and was detained in the house of the informant. He was handed over to the I.O. on the night of occurrence itself. After completion of investigation charge sheet was submitted against the accused Ranjit Munda for causing murder of Anju Munda.

  6. Learned Additional Sessions Judge in course of trial framed charge under Section 302 of IPC and accused Ranjit Munda pleaded not guilty and claimed to be tried.

  7. Prosecution examined altogether 14 witnesses and also exhibited certain documents as well as the weapon of offence, i.e., spade, which is marked as Exbt.-M.O.1.

  8. After closure of the prosecution evidence the accused was examined under Section 313 of Cr.P.C. and in his turn the accused declined to adduce any evidence. He simply pleaded innocence. At the time of cross-examination of the material prosecution witnesses defence put suggestion that the informant and other members of his family used to deal with illicit liquor and Anju Munda raised protest and, therefore, she was killed by the inmates of the house of informant.

  9. The trial Court found the accused guilty of the charge framed against him under Section 302 of IPC and sentenced him to suffer imprisonment for life and also to pay a fine of Rs. 5,000/-, in default of payment of fine to suffer rigorous imprisonment for one year.

  10. Anju Munda died a homicidal death is not disputed. She received severe head injuries in the dwelling hut of the informant, Ramprasad Munda, on 27.07.2009 at about 8-00 pm is also not disputed.

  11. P.W.5, Dr. Pranab Choudhury, conducted postmortem examination over the dead body and in his deposition he stated that he found the following injuries:-

    1. stitched wound present on the right side of occipital region situated 2'4 c.m. right to mid line and 2'5 c.m. below the posterior occipital protubicine with 2 Nos. stitches measuring 1'8 c.m. in length. It is transbersaly place.

    2. Stitched would present on the right side of occipital region with one No. stitch situated 2'2 c.m. below the injury No. 1 measuring 1 c.m. in length and it is transbersaly place.

    3. After removing the stitches injury look like lacerated wound. On removing the scalp there is defusion of extra vasated blood all over right side occipital and temporal region.

    He has also stated in his deposition that all the injuries were anti-mortem in nature and were caused by hard and blunt object and in his opinion the cause of death was coma as a result of injury to the brain and compression of brain by extradural hemorrhage due to head injury by impact of some hard and blunt object. The Injury No. 1 and 2 were sufficient to cause death in ordinary course of nature individually or in combination. In cross-examination he stated that the history of the case as per the police information was assault of the victim by her husband on 27.07.2009 at about 7-00 pm and then she was taken to G.B. hospital where she died on 28.07.2009 at 6-20 pm. He denied the suggestion that the report was submitted without proper examination.

  12. It is, therefore, evident that Anju Munda died a homicidal death on receipt of severe head injuries.

  13. The prosecution case is that the accused inflicted the injuries on the head of Anju Munda and as a result of which she died.

  14. It is argued by learned counsel, Mr. Dutta that there is no eyewitness of the occurrence that the accused inflicted the fatal blows on the head of Anju Munda. P.W.13, Bimala Munda, the mother of Anju Munda, also cannot be termed as an eyewitness since she has admitted that she was in a different room and was engaged in cooking when Anju Munda received the injuries. Other witnesses came to the spot after the incident and only found Anju Munda lying with severe bleeding injuries on head and she was not in a position to speak. Since there is no direct evidence that the accused inflicted the blows on the head of Anju Munda, the finding of the trial Court cannot stand and is liable to be interfered.

  15. Learned Additional P.P., on the other hand, has submitted that P.W.13 made clear statement that accused inflicted the blows on the head of Anju Munda by a spade. There is no cross-examination that P.W.13 did not see the occurrence. Simply because she stated that she was in another room and was engaged in cooking, that much of the statement is not sufficient to arrive at a conclusion that P.W.13 did not see the occurrence. It is also submitted by...

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