Section 8 &25--The Metropolitan Sessions Judge v.Bolem Srinivasa Rao
M B Naik, S SQuadri
The case of the prosecution is that there is a co-operative society of tappers in Mudunur village. The appellant and one Raghavulu were among its 14 members and the deceased was the President of the said society.The said Raghavulu left the village for eking out his livelihood in Hyderabad city and thus stopped tapping. According to the By-laws of the society, if any of the members stops tapping of palmyrah trees, the other members have to share the trees.But the deceased who was the President of the society was tapping the trees of Raghavuluwithout distributing them among other members. The appellant questioned the deceased about his action in tapping the trees of Raghavulu exclusively on 1-4-1991; but the deceased kicked him and tried to stab him with a knife. On 4-4-1991 at about 4.30 p.m. when the deceased was about to tap the tree of the said Raghavulu, which was situated on irrigation channel bund near the field of Kolli Ramakrishna Rao of Mudunuru village, the appellant objected to the tapping of the trees. That resulted in a quarrel between them. The appellant gave a blow with a "TunagalaKarra" on the head of the deceased. He became unconscious and fell down. Then the appellant severed the head of the deceased from the trunk with a tapper's knife and carried it with him on a cycle to the village. The accused himself surrendered in the Police station with the head and blood-stained knife. Thereafter the appellant was convicted under Section 302 IPC. The FIR logged by the appellant had some confessions and gravely incriminating facts. But the Sessions Court relying upon the prosecution witnesses and a series of circumstantial evidences convicted the accused and awarded him capital punishment.
Whether the confessions and incrimination factors in the FIR logged by the accused himself can be used against him or is it barred by Section 25 of the Indian Evidence Act?
The accused appellant contended that,there were no eyewitnesses to the occurrence and the evidence on record is not sufficient to establish the guilt of the accused and the conviction is not based on any legal evidence. The incriminating facts and confessions made in the FIR logged by the accused himself cannot be used as the same is barred by Section 25 of the Evidence Act.
PW 3: The witness was working in her farm nearer to the crime scene where she noticed the appellant heading somewhere in his cycle with the severed head of the deceased.
PW4: The witness was working in her “kalam” from where she heard a loud sound crying followed by which the appellant was seen heading somewhere in his cycle with the severed head of the deceased in hand.
PW 8: The wife of the deceased upon hearing the incident went to the appellant’s house where she saw the severed head of her husband. Thereafter she left to the crime scene and identified the body of the deceased.
Upon hearing the parties to the case, the Court held that the accused was guilty of the offence under Section 302 IPC. However, the capital punishment awarded by the Sessions Court was set aside and life imprisonment was awarded. The Court further clarified that, any confession made by the accused even if it is highly incriminating in nature it will not be admissible unless the same is proved under Section 27 of the Evidence Act.