Chennai: The Madras high court has upheld an order of a trial court, convicting and sentencing a 24-year-old accused to life imprisonment, who kidnapped and strangulated his relative’s son, a sixth standard student, with muffler on October 21, 2011, in Krishnagiri district.
A division bench comprising Justices M.M.Sundresh and M.Nirmal Kumar dismissed an appeal filed by the accused, challenging an order of the additional and district sessions court, Hosur, dated November 6, 2015, convicting and sentencing him to undergo life imprisonment.
The prosecution case was that the accused and Raja, who was the father of the deceased Ayyappan were relatives. The appellant sought for a hand loan, which was declined by Raja. With an intention of extracting money, the accused obstructed the deceased, the son of Raja, studying 6th standard. On October 21, 2011, at about 5.30 pm. the deceased while coming from the school, the appellant in his TVS 50 moped took him to the place of occurrence and strangled him with his muffler. Harish and Srinivasan were the classmate of the deceased. They spoke on the last seen theory. On the fateful day, they saw the appellant taking the deceased on the opposite direction through TVS 50. They accordingly informed the parents of the deceased. Thereafter, Raja on the next day at about 10 am gave a complaint before the Royakottai police station. The appellant was arrested at about 12.30 pm on that day. Recovery was made in pursuant to the confessional statement given by the appellant before the village administrative officer, the prosecution added.
The trial court placing reliance upon the prosecution witnesses, especially, Harish and Srinivasan, the classmates of the deceased, postmortem report, convicted the appellant. The trial court applied the last seen theory while taking into consideration the recovery made under section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act. Challenging the conviction rendered for life, the appellant filed the present appeal.
R.Sankarasubbu, counsel for the appellant,, contended that there was a delay in giving the complaint, motive has not been established. Mere last seen theory alone cannot be a ground to convict the appellant. There was contradiction in the evidence of Harish and Srinivasan, he added.
The bench said the parents of the deceased and their relative Balan clearly spoke about the motive part. All the parties were related to each other. The father of the deceased even in his complaint has clearly stated that Harish and Srinivasan had informed him that the deceased was taken in TVS 50 by the appellant. He has searched for the deceased and thereafter, gave a complaint in the next day morning. “Therefore, we do not find any delay in giving the complaint. The evidence of the father of the deceased also supports the case of the prosecution with respect to the motive. Hence, we are of the view that the trial court has rightly believed the evidence adduced”, the bench added.
Referring to the evidence of Harish and Srinivasan, the bench said the trial judge put questions to them and satisfied on their capacity to understand and answer. They have clearly stated with respect to last seen theory. Merely because Harish has stated in his cross examination that police has not examined him, the statement made that the deceased and the appellant were seen by him and Srinivasan in the TVS 50 while returning from school would not be vitiated. Moreover, these witnesses were examined after more than 3 and half years. “There is absolutely no reason to disbelieve the evidence adduced particularly Harish and Srinivasan. The circumstances are clearly interlinked with the existence of the chain of events, pointing out to the guilt of the appellant,” the bench added.