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Soundarapandian v. State by Inspector of Police - Referred Trial No. 3 of 2002  RD-TN 278 (22 April 2002)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS
THE HONOURABLE MR JUSTICE N. DHINAKAR
THE HONOURABLE MR JUSTICE MALAI. SUBRAMANIAN
Referred Trial No. 3 of 2002
Criminal Appeal No.512 of 2002
Soundarapandian ... Appellant. Vs
State by Inspector of Police,
Palani Chettipatti Police Station,
Madurai. ... Respondent Prayer:- Appeal against the judgment passed by the learned II Additional Sessions Judge, Madurai in S.C.No. 331 of 2001 dated 28.2.2002. For Appellant - Mr.V.Sairam
For Respondent - Mr.I.Subramaniam
(Judgment of the Court was delivered by N. DHINAKAR, J) The accused appeals.
2. The appellant, who hereinafter will be referred to as 'the accused', was tried before the learned II Additional Sessions Judge, Madurai in S.C.No. 313 of 2000, on an allegation that he committed theft of a rifle, M.O.1, and ten bullets, from a vehicle belonging to the Armed Reserved Police, which were in-charge of P.W.7 and by using the said rifle, he shot his brother Rajapandian, sister-in-law, Amudhamani and their son, Karthikeyan, who was aged about 11 years and caused their death at about 3.30 a.m. on 16.7.2000 after trespassing into the house and that in the course of the same transaction, he caused injuries to P.W.2, Vijikumar, the eldest son of Rajapandian and Amudhamani. The learned Sessions Judge framed charges against the accused under Sections 379, 449, 307 IPC., Section 25(1-b)(A) read with Section 3 of the Indian Arms Act and also under Section 302 IPC.(3 counts). On being convicted, he was sentenced to undergo two years rigorous imprisonment for the offence punishable under Section 379 IPC, seven years rigorous imprisonment for the offence under Section 449 IPC, one year rigorous imprisonment for the offence under Section 25(1-b)(A) read with Section 3 of the Indian Arms Act, seven years rigorous imprisonment for the offence under Section 307 IPC. and sentenced to death for the offence punishable under Section 302 IPC. (3 counts). Hence, the appeal by the accused and the reference by the learned Sessions Judge for the confirmation of death sentence. Since the Referred Trial and the appeal arise out of a common judgment, we propose to pass the following common judgment.
3. In this judgment, Rajapandian, Amudhamani and Karthikeyan will be referred to as "D.1, D.2 and D.3" respectively, for the sake of convenience.
4. Shorn of unnecessary details, the case of the prosecution, as could be discerned from the oral and documentary evidence, can be briefly summarised as follows:-
D.1 is the husband of D.2 and D.3 is their son. P.W.2 is the eldest son of D.1 and D.2. P.W.3 is the younger brother of the accused and D.1. P.W.4 is the mother-in-law of D.1 and P.W.5 is the paternal uncle of D.1 and during the relevant period, they were residing at Vazhaiyuthupatti. The accused, who is the younger brother of D.1, was employed as a Police Constable in Armed Reserve Police. There was a dispute in existence between D.1 and the accused regarding partition of a family property. Out of the total extent of 5 acres of family property and two acres of vacant site, the deceased sold the vacant site without the knowledge of the accused. On account of that, there was a dispute between the accused and the deceased. On 14.7.2000, the wife of the accused and D.2 quarrelled near a water tank. On 15.7.200 0 at 8.00 a.m. the accused was beaten by D.2 with a broom-stick and D.1 attempted to cut him with an aruval. The villagers, who were present, prevented D.1 from cutting the accused and also pacified the parties. The villagers told the accused that they will convene a Panchayat and settle the dispute. The accused left the village after telling the elders that since he has to join duty, a solution can be arrived at by them in his absence. After sending his wife and children, he went to Theni to join duty. On joining duty, the accused was detailed to do sentry work till 8.00 a.m. on 16.7.2000 and P.W.7 was the Head Constable under whom the accused had to do his duty. At about 11.30 p.m. on 15.7.2000 P.W.7 and others went to take their bed after leaving the rifles in the van. The door of the van was locked by the accused, who was asked to hand over the keys to the driver. After sometime, P.W.7 went and checked up whether the doors had been locked and found them to be locked. At about 5.30 a.m. on 16.7.2000, P.W.7, to his dismay, realised that one rifle and ten bullets are missing from the van. He immediately informed the superior officers. In the meantime, the accused, who removed the rifle from the van, reached the scene of occurrence and arrived at the house of D.1 at 3.30 a.m. He knocked the door and D.1 came out of the house and switched on the tube light. The accused was seen standing in the varanda with a rifle in his hand. Immediately, D.1 shouted and asked the accused not to shoot him; but the accused shot him twice. On hearing the gunshots, D.2 woke up only to be shot by the accused. The accused thereafter shot D.3 and also shot at P.W.2; but P.W.2 sustained minor injuries on the leg. At that time, the rifle got struck and the accused rubbed the firing pin on the wall. P.W.2, taking advantage of this interlude, rushed into the kitchen and locked it from inside. The accused, thereafter, left the scene. After leaving the scene of occurrence, he appeared before P.W.1, the Village Administrative Officer at about 4.15 a.m. P.W.1 questioned him as to who he is and the accused after identifying himself, informed him about the incident. He gave a statement and the said statement was recorded by P.W.1, which stands marked as Ex.P.1 in this case. P.W.1, after recording the statement, proceeded to the scene of occurrence along with the thalayari. After reaching the scene of occurrence, P.W.1 was satisfied that the statement given by the accused is true and thereafter he returned to the Office, where he prepared his report, Ex.P.2. After preparing Ex.P.2, he left for the police station, taking the accused along him and reached Palani Chettipatty police station at about 5.30 a.m. At the police station, he handed over Ex.P.1 and his report, Ex.P.2 to P.W.21, the Inspector of Police. The accused was also produced before him. P.W.21, on receipt of Ex.P.1, registered a case in Crime No. 313 of 2000 against the accused under Sections 449, 307, 302 IPC. and Section 25(A) of the Arms Act. Ex.P.15 is a copy of the printed first information report. The rifle, handed over by P.W.1, which was earlier handed over to him by the accused, and three unused bullets were seized by the police officer under a mahazar. The uniform of the accused along with the cap were also seized under Form 95, which stands marked as Ex.P.16. Thereafter, the officer left the police station and reached the scene of occurrence at 6.45 a.m., where he prepared an observation mahazar, Ex.P.3 and also drew a rough sketch, Ex.P.17 in the presence of witnesses. The scene of occurrence was caused to be photographed. The spent bullets, M.Os.2 to 10 and the blood-stained articles, which were lying at the scene were seized by the officer under a mahazar attested by witnesses. Vijikumar, P.W.2, who had injuries on his person, was sent to the hospital for treatment.
5. P.W.2 appeared before P.W.11, the Casualty Medical Officer, Government Hospital, Theni at about 6.15 a.m. on 16.7.2000 and the doctor, on examining him, found two lacerated injuries, one on the medial aspect of the right leg measuring 1/3 x 4 x 3 x 0.5 cm., which was oval in shape and another on the medial aspect of the left leg over the middle measuring 1/3 x 3 x 2 x 0.5 cm., which was oblong in shape. Ex.P.7 is the copy of the wound certificate, with the opinion of the doctor that the injuries are simple in nature.
6. In the meantime, P.W.21, continuing with his investigation, conducted inquest over the body of D.1 between 8.30 a.m. and 10.00 a.m. in the presence of Panchayatdars by preparing the inquest report, Ex.P.18. The inquest over the body of D.2 was conducted between 10.00 a.m. and 11.30 a.m. and the inquest report is Ex.P.19. The Officer also conducted inquest over the body of D.3 between 11.30 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. and the inquest report is Ex.P.20. He questioned the witnesses and recorded their statements. The dead bodies were handed over to a police constable with a requisition to the doctor for conducting autopsy.
7. On receipt of the requisition, P.W.15, the Professor of Forensic Medicine and District Police Surgeon, Madurai Medical College, Madurai, conducted autopsy on the body of D.1, Rajapandian, and found the following ante-mortem injuries:-
1.A black penetrating wound seen on the left side of the chest 5 cms below and inner side of left nipple, 0./5 cm in diameter margins blackened with abrasion collar and inverted edges the wound passes obliquely shattering, the underlying intercostal muscles, ribs, pericardium, left side of the heart through and through and passing along the 6 th intercostal space below inferior ankle of the right shoulder blade seen at exit wound with everted edges 8 cm x 5 cm with multiple abrasion on the lower side. 2.A black penetrating injury left side of the chest 5 cms below and outside of the wound No.1 with abrasion collar inverted margins and blackening passes obliquely downwards and outwards shattering the underlying intercostal muscles and the left lung through and through and the adjoining ribs passing along the lateral wall of the chest in 6th and 8th intercostal space passing as exit wound 8 cm x 6 cm in the lateral chest wall. Pleural cavities contain 600 grams of blood with clots.
3.A posterior to anterior lacerated injury on the left axillary areas 8 cm x 6 cm adjoining portion of left upper arm inner side 6 cm x 4 cm appears as a track wound, passing in between the left upper arm and axilla. 4.A lacerated injury back of scalp measuring 3 cm x 2 cm x muscle deep on the occipital protrubarence.
The doctor issued Ex.P.12, the post-mortem certificate, with his opinion that the deceased died on account of shock and haemorrhage as a result of gun shot injuries sustained by him about 8 to 14 hours prior to autopsy.
8. P.W.15 conducted autopsy on the body of D.2, Amudhamani, and found the following injuries:-
1.A black penetrating entry wound measuring 0.5 cm in diameter seen on the front of chest left close to midline 8 cm below and inner to left nipple piercing the anterior thoracic wall in the 5th intercostal space fracturing the 5th and 6th costal cartilages shattering the left lung, heart, right lung and comes as lacerated exit wound 15 cm x 1 0 cm below the right shoulder blade fracturing 7th, 8th and 9th ribs into pieces. Pleura peritoneal cavities 850 cms blood with clots and shattered tissues. 2.A black penetrating wound 0.5 cm in diameter just above the left iliac crest later side between middle and posterior axillary line piercing the abdominal wall shattering the intestines, liver and diaphragm and comes as lacerated everted exit wound right side, lower chest 8 cm below and inner side 10 cm x 4 cm with fracture ribs 9, 10 and 11.
The doctor issued Ex.P.13, the post-mortem certificate, with his opinion that the deceased died on account of shock and haemorrhage as a result of gun shot injuries sustained by her about 8 to 14 hours prior to autopsy.
9. The autopsy on the body of D.3, Karthikeyan, was also conducted by the same doctor and at the time of autopsy, the doctor found ante-mortem injuries and they are as follows:-
1.small black penetrating wound seen on the front of chest 0.5 cm in diameter close to the right nipple piercing the 4th intercostal space with fracture ribs, shattering the right lung passing through the pericardium and heart and left lung shattering and comes as exit just below the left shoulder blade 3 cm x 1 cm in 6th intercostal space. Pleural cavity right 300 grams blood with clots with shattered tissues. Left side 450 grams blood with shattered tissues.
2.A small black penetrating wound right upper abdomen 0.5 cm in diameter piercing anterior abdominal wall shattering intestines and comes large exit wound above the hip bone on right 10 cm x 8 cm through which loops of intestines and peritoneum protruding out. Intestines are found to be shattered in many places. Pelvic cavity 350 grams blood with shattered tissues.
3.A small black penetrating wound 0.5 cm in diameter inner and below left knee. On dissection: wound passes downwards through the muscles for 15 cms below, behind leg bones and comes as exit wound outer side middle of left leg measuring 4 cm x 3 cm.
4.Two oblique wounds measuring 2.5 cm x 1 cm and another wound 2.5 cm x 1 cm back and inner side of left forearm measuring 10 cm above wrist, muscle deep appears as track wound.
Ex.P.14 is the post-mortem certificate with the opinion of the doctor that the deceased died on account of shock and haemorrhage as a result of gun shot injuries sustained by him about 8 to 14 hours prior to autopsy.
10. P.W.21, continuing with his investigation, seized the bloodstained clothes of the deceased, produced by the Police Constable after the post-mortem was over, under Form 95. He, thereafter, sent the rifle, spent bullets and the other material objects to the Court with a request to forward them for analysis and the Court sent the rifle to the Fire Arm Expert, P.W.10. P.W.10 on receipt of the requisition and the rifle along with the spent bullets, examined them and gave his report, Ex.P.6. The Officer also sent a requisition to the Collector for obtaining sanction to prosecute the accused under Indian Arms Act. The Collector issued Ex.P.22, Sanction Order. After completing investigation, the final report was filed against the accused on 30.4 .2001.
11. When questioned under Section 313 of the Cr.P.C. on the incriminating circumstances appearing against him, the accused denied all the circumstances and stated that a false case had been foisted upon him.
12. The case of the prosecution that D.1, D.2 and D.3 died on account of homicidal violence stands established through the evidence of the doctor, P.W.15, who conducted autopsy and who issued the postmortem certificates. In his evidence, the doctor has stated that all the three deceased persons died on account of gun shot injuries. The accused also, before the trial Court, did not dispute that the three deceased persons died on account of the injuries suffered by them. On the medical evidence, we hold that D.1, D.2 and D.3 died on account of homicidal violence.
13. The prosecution before the trial Court examined P.Ws.2 and 3 to prove that the accused shot and murdered D.1, D.2 and D.3 and of the two witnesses, P.W.3 turned hostile. The learned counsel appearing for the appellant/ accused contends that P.W.2 was aged about 11 years on the date of incident and the he must have been tutored to give evidence. It is his submission that since his statement was recorded by the Magistrate under Section 164 of the Cr.P.C., it is to be presumed that the investigating agency had a doubt that P.W.2 may not support the prosecution version, as he was not a eye witness and that is the reason why his statement under Section 164 of the Cr.P.C. was recorded by the Magistrate.
14. We will now consider the evidence of P.W.2. P.W.2 is the son of D.1 and D.2 and the elder brother of D.3. He was aged about 11 years on the date of incident. According to him, on 15.7.2000, a quarrel ensued between his father and the accused and that the accused left the village after threatening the family members that they will be taken care of. According to him, at about 3.30 a.m. on the night of 1 5/16.7.2000, he heard someone knocking the door and that he woke up. He has further deposed that his father D.1 also woke up and opened the door after switching on the tube light. According to him, the accused was seen standing in the varanda and was in possession of a rifle. It is his evidence that on seeing the accused with a rifle in his hand, D.1 requested him not to shoot him; but the accused shot at his father, later shot at his mother and his brother. He has further deposed that he was also shot at by the accused and that he suffered injuries on his legs. According to him, at that time, the rifle got struck and taking advantage of that, he ran into the kitchen and locked it from inside. This evidence of P.W.2 is supported by P.W.11, the doctor, who examined him at the hospital, on being referred by the investigating officer, P.W.21. P.W.11 has, in his evidence, stated that he examined P.W.2 at about 6.15 a.m. and found the injuries, which he noted in Ex.P.7. The injuries on P.W.2 corroborate his evidence that he was in the house and was shot at by the accused. P.W.2, being the son of D.1 and D.2, is a natural witness and there is no reason to hold that he could not have been in the house on that day. In fact, the accused also had no case that P.W.2 was not in the house on that date. The contention of the counsel that P.W.2 must have been tutored is not based on any material. On the contrary, the evidence of P.W.2, when perused, inspires confidence, since it is natural. His evidence is further supported by the findings of P.W.10, the Fire Arm Expert, who examined the rifle, M.O.1. P.W.2 has, in his evidence, stated that after the gun was struck, the accused was seen rubbing the gun on the wall. P.W.10 has, in his evidence, stated that when he examined the rifle under stereo microscope, he found the firing pin of the rifle had been tampered by manual grinding and that this grinding process has resulted in the obliteration of the original characteristic marking of the firing pin and creation of additional new characteristic markings of the firing pin. The defence also did not elicit any answer in favour of the accused except for making a suggestion that the accused was at Theni and was not present at the scene of occurrence. We have no reason to reject the evidence of P.W.2 and we accept the same.
15. The prosecution, apart from relying upon the evidence of P.W.2, also relied upon Ex.P.1, the statement given by the accused to P.W.1 , the Village Administrative Officer. P.W.1, the Village Administrative Officer, in his evidence has stated that at about 4.15 a.m. on 1 6.7.2000, when he was sleeping in his Office, the accused appeared before him and gave a statement. He has stated that the accused was seen in possession of a rifle, M.O.1, and that on being questioned, he gave a statement implicating himself with the offence and that the said statement was recorded by him in which he has affixed his signature. P.W.1, after recording the statement of the accused, went to the scene of occurrence and after satisfying himself about the statement given by the accused, went to the police station taking along with him the accused and the statement given by him and that the accused was handed over to P.W.21, the Inspector of Police. P.W.21 seized the uniform of the accused as well as the rifle under Form 95, which stands marked as Ex.P.16 in the case. The learned counsel appearing for the appellant/ accused contends that since P.W.1 is a stranger to the accused, the accused could not have gone to him to give a statement. We are unable to agree with the said contention. It is true that P.W.1 is a stranger, in the sense that he was ne ither related to the accused, nor was a friend. But the fact remains that P.W.1 is the Village Administrative Officer of the village and the accused, who wanted to avoid surrendering before a police officer to escape harassment from the police, appeared before him and gave a statement, not because he was known to him, but because he was a Village Administrative Officer. Therefore, merely because P.W.1 was stranger to the accused, there is no reason for this Court to disbelieve his evidence. The accused also had no explanation as to why P.W.1 should come out with a false version against the accused, implicating him with the crime. P.W.1 being an independent witness, and in the absence of any material for this Court to infer that he had a motive to speak about the accused, we cannot but, accept his evidence and hold that the accused appeared before him and gave the statement, Ex.P.1. Ex.P.1 is admissible under Section 24 of the Evidence Act.
16. The Supreme Court in GURA SINGH -vs- STATE OF RAJASTHAN (2001 Supreme Court Cases (Crl.) 323), held that extrajudicial confession, if true and voluntary, can be relied upon by the court to convict the accused for the commission of the crime alleged and despite inherent weakness of extrajudicial confession as an item of evidence, it cannot be ignored when shown that such confession was made before a person who has no reason to state falsely and to whom it is made in the circumstances which tend to support the statement. The Supreme Court further held that the evidence in the form of extrajudicial confession made by the accused to witnesses cannot be always termed to be a tainted evidence and corroboration of such evidence is required only by way of abundant caution. The Supreme Court further observed that if the court believes the witness before whom the confession is made and is satisfied that the confession was true and voluntarily made, then the conviction can be founded on such evidence alone and it is not open to the court trying the criminal case to start with a presumption that extrajudicial confession is always a weak type of evidence and it would depend on the nature of the circumstances, the time when the confession is made and the credibility of the witnesses who speak for such a confession. When we apply the above principles, we find that the evidence of P.W.1 cannot be rejected on any ground and we, therefore, accept his evidence and hold that the accused gave a statement, Ex.P.1, to P.W.1, implicating himself with the crime. The evidence of P.W.2, coupled with the evidence of P.W.1 and the statement, Ex. P.1, unerringly point that the accused committed the murder of D.1, D.2 and D.3. The evidence of P.Ws.7 and 8 show that the accused removed the rifle from the van belonging to the Armed Reserve Police and that by using the said rifle, shot the three deceased persons and caused their death. The rifle was sent for analysis and P.W.10 gave his opinion, Ex.P.6. It is of course true that in his opinion, Ex.P.6, P.W.10 has stated that a number of additional characteristic markings were found in the test cartridge cases obtained from the rifle, which were not found in the cartridge cases, items 3 to 9, and that this is on account of the fact that the tip of the firing pin had been tampered by manual grinding and this grinding process has resulted in the obliteration of the original characteristic marking of the firing pin and creation of additional new characteristic markings of the firing pin. This, which we have already referred to in the context of the evidence of P.W.2, show that the accused shot at the deceased and at the time, when the gun got struck, rubbed the firing pin to the wall, as a result of which, the original chara cteristics were obliterated. In this background, it is to be remembered that in the evidence of P.W.1, he has stated that the rifle was handed over to him at about 4 .15 a.m. and the same was given to P.W.21, who seized it under Form 9 5 under Ex.P.16. There is no reason as to why either P.W.1 or P.W.2 1 should come out with a false version by foisting M.O.1, rifle, as if it was produced by the accused. In the absence of any motive for the witnesses to speak falsely against the accused, we accept the prosecution version that the accused, after committing theft of the rifle from a van belonging to the Armed Reserve Police, shot the three deceased persons and murdered them. All the charges, therefore, stand proved and the Sessions Judge was justified in convicting the accused.
17. The final question that is to be decided by is, the nature of sentence to be awarded to the accused. The accused was sentenced to death for the offence of murder. The learned counsel appearing for the appellant submits that the facts do not indicate that it is a rarest of rare case for the accused to be sentenced to death. He submits that in PRAKASH DHWAL KHAIRNAR -vs- STATE OF MAHARASHTRA (2002 (2) Supreme Court Cases 35), the Supreme Court, on similar facts, reduced the sentence of death to imprisonment for life, even though the accused in the above case caused the death of his brother and family members by gunning them down, by holding that it cannot be said to be the rarest of rare case. We find some force in the contention. In BACHAN SINGH -vs- STATE OF PUNJAB (AIR 1989 SUPREME COURT 898) the Supreme Court held that for making the choice of punishment or for ascertaining the existence or absence of "special reasons" in that context, the Court must pay due regard both to the crime and the criminal and what is the relative weight to be given to the aggravating and mitigating factors, depends on the facts and circumstances of the particular case and more often than not, these two aspects are so intertwined that it is difficult to give a separate treatment to each of them and this is so because 'style is the man'. The Supreme Court further held that in many cases, the extremely cruel or beastly manner of the commission of murder is itself a demonstrated index of the depraved character of the perpetrator and that is why, it is not desirable to consider the circumstances of the crime and the circumstances of the criminal in two separate water-tight compartments and in a sense, to kill is to be cruel and therefore all murders are cruel. The Supreme Court further held that such cruelty may vary in its degree of culpability and it is only when the culpability assumes the proportion of extreme depravity that "special reasons" can legitimately be said to exist. The Supreme Court went on to observe that there are numerous other circumstances justifying the passing of the lighter sentence; as there are countervailing circumstances of aggravation and it cannot be overemphasised that the scope and concept of mitigating factors in the area of death penalty must receive a liberal and expansive construction by the Courts in accord with the sentencing policy writ large in Section 354(3). The Supreme Court further held that Judges should never be blood-thirsty and hanging of murderers has never been too good for them and the facts and figures, albeit incomplete, furnished by the Union of India, show that in the past, courts have inflicted the extreme penalty with extreme infrequency – a fact which attests to the caution and compassion which they have always brought to bear on the exercise of their sentencing discretion in so grave a matter and it is, therefore, imperative to voice the concern that courts, aided by the broad illustrative guidelines indicated, will discharge the onerous function with evermore scrupulous care and humane concern, directed along the highroad of legislative policy outlined in S.354(3), viz., that for persons convicted of murder, life imprisonment is the rule and death sentence an exception. The Supreme Court further held that a real and abiding concern for the dignity of human life postulates resistance to taking a life through law's instrumentality and that ought not to be done save in the rarest of rare cases when the alternative option is unquestionably foreclosed.
18. Similarly the Supreme Court in MACHHI SINGH AND OTHERS -vs- STATE OF PUNJAB ( 1983 (3) SCC 470) has observed as follows:- "The following questions may be asked and answered as a test to determine the 'rarest of the rare' cases of which death sentence can be inflicted:
(a) Is there something uncommon about the crime which renders sentence of imprisonment for life inadequate and calls for a death sentence? (b) Are the circumstances of the crime such that there is no alternative but to impose death sentence even after according maximum weightage to the mitigating circumstances which speak in favour of the offender? The above rulings make it clear that extreme penalty of death need not be inflicted except in gravest cases of extreme culpability and before opting for the death penalty the circumstances of the 'offender' also required to be taken into consideration along with the circumstances of the 'crime' and that life imprisonment is the rule and death sentence is an exception. The balance sheet of aggravating and mitigating circumstances has to be drawn up and in doing so the mitigating circumstances has to be accorded full weightage and a just balance has to be struck between the aggravating and the mitigating circumstances before the option is exercised and in rarest of rare cases when the collective conscience of the community is so shocked, that it will expect the holders of the judicial power centre to inflict death penalty irrespective of their personal option as regards desirability or otherwise of retaining death penalty, death sentence can be awarded. If upon taking an overall global view of all the circumstances in the light of the aforesaid propositions and taking into account the answers to the questions posed by way of the test for the rarest of rare cases, the circumstances of the case are such that death sentence is warranted, the Court would proceed to do so.
19. When we apply the above principles, we are unable to hold that the case on hand is the rarest of rare case. In fact, the case of the prosecution itself is that the accused murdered the brother and his wife on account of his being beaten with broom-stick by D.2, his sister-in-law. A reading of Ex.P.1 shows that after the accused was beaten with broom-stick on 16.7.2000, he was simmering and was unable to put up with the shame and that therefore, he went to the scene of occurrence on the early hours of 16.7.2000 and inflicted gun shot injuries on D.1, D.2 and D.3, resulting in their death. We are, therefore, of the view that the sentence of death imposed upon the accused is to be modified and it is accordingly modified. The sentence of death imposed upon the appellant is reduced to imprisonment for life under charge Nos.3, 4 and 5. The conviction of the appellant on the other charges are confirmed.
18. In the result, the conviction of the appellant though is upheld, the sentence of death imposed upon him for the offence of murder is modified to one of imprisonment for life. With the above modification in conviction, the appeal is dismissed in all other respects. The Referred Trial is answered accordingly.
N. DHINAKAR, J
MALAI. SUBRAMANIAN, J
1.The II Additional Sessions Judge, Madurai.
2.The Sessions Judge, Madurai.
3.The Inspector of Police, Palanichettipatti Police Station. 4.The Superintendent, Central Prison, Madurai.
5.The Collector, Madurai.
6.The Director General of Police, Madras.
7.The Public Prosecutor, High Court, Madras.
R.T.No. 3 of 2002
Crl.A. No.512 of 2002
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