Fictitious portrayal of a crime written by Diksha Sharma student of Government Law College, Mumbai
Paul vs the State of Kerala
Jessy, the wife of the appellant was subjected to cruelty and brutality by the appellant and his mother. On 11.10.1998, the deceased was confronted with intolerable behavior by her mother-in-law, because of whom she felt harassed and insulted. She left the house in search of her husband, whom she found consuming alcohol with his friends and was assaulted by him in front of all. Thereafter, she was found dead the same night by throttling of her neck. However, the husband had set up a false case by attributing death as a suicide. The appellant and his mother were acquitted by the trial court and the High Court of Kerala held guilty under Section 302 and sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment for life along with a fine of Rs. 10,000/-. The State filed a criminal appeal against acquittal.
Whether the appellant is guilty of murder?
• Section 300, The Indian Penal Code – Murder
• Section 302, The Indian Penal Code- Punishment for murder
• Section 304, The Indian Penal Code– Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder
• Section 105, The Indian Evidence Act, 1872-Burden of proof
• Section 313, The Criminal Procedure Code
The learned counsel submitted that Jessy had aborted a child and was going through depression. Although there was a quarrel and assuming that the appellant had set up a scene of suicide, he must be extended the benefit of exception 4 of Section 300.
The respondent in her submission made mention of the deceased being subjected to mental and physical cruelty by the appellant and his mother. After examination of several witnesses and chemical analysis reports, it entailed abrasion and contusion on various parts of the body of the deceased. Therefore, the decision of the High Court should standstill.
Observations of the court:
The judgment revealed that the High Court had found an incomplete examination by the Sessions Judge under Section 313 of the CrPc and pointed out the necessity of Section 106 being taken into account. The appellant had contended that there was no one except him in the bedroom when the incident took place which places the burden of proof on him under Section 105. Therefore, he palpably set up a false case depicting suicide committed by the deceased. Even if the appellant was intoxicated, he is still liable for the actions he took. If the said act would not have amounted to murder then it would have taken the scope of Section 304. The bruise, abrasion, and contusion make the case more evident.
The court concluded that the appellant had made a false plea and caused the death of his wife by throttling. The act amounts to murder defined under Section 300 of the IPC and does not draw any exceptions to it.