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the plea of insanity under Section 84 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (in short ‘the IPC’).= Another factor which goes against the appellant accused is that he himself was examined as a defence witness No.3. According to learned trial Judge, as a witness, he made his statement clearly and cogently and it was also observed that he was meticulously following the court proceedings, acting suitably when the records were furnished for perusal. The trial Judge has also pointed out that during the entire proceedings, the accused has nowhere stated that he was insane earlier to the date of incident. The trial Judge, after noting his answers in respect of the questions under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 has concluded that the accused could not be termed as an “insane” person. – there is no evidence as to the unsoundness of mind of the appellant-accused at the time of the occurrence, namely, on 05.11.2001 and also taking note of the fact that the accused failed to discharge the burden as stated in Section 105 of the Evidence Act, we fully agree with the conclusion arrived at by the trial Court and affirmed by the High Court.

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English: Dawn in Madurai city

English: Dawn in Madurai city (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 
REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 926 OF 2009
Mariappan …. Appellant(s)
Versus
State of Tamil Nadu …. Respondent(s)
J U D G M E N T
P.Sathasivam, J.
1) This appeal has been filed against the final judgment
and order dated 17.10.2006 passed by the Madurai Bench of
the Madras High Court in Criminal Appeal No. 1556 of 2003,
whereby the High Court dismissed the appeal filed by the
appellant herein and confirmed the order dated 29.08.2003
passed by the Additional District and Sessions Judge (Fast
Track Court No. IV), Madurai at Periakulam in S.C. No. 390 of
2002.
1Page 2
2) Brief facts
a) The case on hand relates to the death of a woman in
her house over a land dispute by the appellant-accused,
claiming the plea of insanity under Section 84 of the Indian
Penal Code, 1860 (in short ‘the IPC’). Parvathi @ Kili (the
deceased), her husband Parasivam Chettiar (PW-6) and their
grand daughters viz., Chellakili (PW-1) and Parmala (PW-2)
were living together at Ammapatti village. The deceased
was the paternal aunt of the appellant-accused.
b) There was a dispute between the family of the
appellant-accused and the deceased over a portion of land
belonging to one Chinnamanur Pillayar Kovil, which was
taken on lease by PW-6 through one Chinnamanur Karuvaya
Pillai. The family of the appellant-accused claimed that the
said land was only leased out to them. When the family of
the appellant-accused demanded to handover the disputed
land, PW-6, in turn, after the death of the said Chinnamanur
Karuvaya Pillai, handed over the land to one Karuppaya Pillai
(PW-11), son of Karuvaya Pillai which resulted in strained
2Page 3
relationship between both the families as the appellantaccused was demanding money for the same.
c) One day prior to the date of occurrence, i.e., on
04.11.2001, when PWs 1 and 2 were also at home, the
appellant-accused came to the house of the deceased and
questioned about the whereabouts of PW-6 and also told her
that they have taken their land and money and threatened
to kill them. At that time, PW-5, brother-in-law of PW-6 came
there and pacified the appellant-accused. Thereafter, the
appellant-accused left the place by saying that he would
come again tomorrow and warned that if the money is not
paid, he would kill her and her husband.
d) On 05.11.2001, at 8.00 a.m., while the deceased was in
the kitchen, the appellant-accused entered into the house
and closed the door from inside. When PWs 1 & 2 asked
about the conduct of the appellant-accused, he said that if
the deceased and her husband are not paying his money, he
is going to kill them and went to the kitchen. Thereafter, the
appellant-accused pulled the tuft of the deceased in his left
hand and gave a cut on her neck with Aruval and when she
3Page 4
warded off with her right hand, it resulted into injuries to her
fingers. At that time, PWs 1 & 2 requested the accused to
leave her. Again, the accused caught hold of the tuft of her
in his left hand and gave repeated Aruval blows on her head
as a result of which she died instantaneously. Thereafter,
the accused left the place with Aruval in his hand and after
opening the door he said that he is going to kill PW-6 also.
On raising hue and cry by PWs 1 & 2, the neighbors came
there. PW-1 along with PW-5 went to the Uthamapalayam
Police Station and after recording the statement given by
PW-1 the sub-Inspector of Police (PW-16) registered a case
being Crime No. 386 of 2001 for the offence punishable
under Section 302 of the IPC. On the same day, at 4.30 p.m.,
the appellant-accused was arrested and the dead body was
also sent for post mortem. After completion of the
investigation, a charge sheet was filed and the case was
committed to the Court of Additional District and Sessions
Judge, (Fast Track Court No. IV) Madurai at Periakulam and
numbered as Sessions Case No. 390/2002.
4Page 5
e) The Additional District and Sessions Judge, by order
dated 29.08.2003, convicted the appellant-accused under
Sections 449 and 302 of IPC and sentenced him to undergo
RI for 5 years under Section 449 of IPC along with a fine of
Rs.5,000/-, in default, to further undergo RI for 1 (one) year
and to undergo RI for life for the offence under Section 302
of IPC alongwith a fine of Rs.10,000/-, in default, to further
undergo RI for 5 years.
f) Aggrieved by the said order, the appellant filed an
appeal being Criminal Appeal No. 1556 of 2003 before the
Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court. By impugned
judgment dated 17.10.2006, the High Court dismissed the
appeal and confirmed the order dated 29.08.2003 passed by
the Additional District and Sessions Judge (Fast Track Court
No. IV), Madurai.
g) Against the said order, the appellant-accused has filed
this appeal by way of special leave petition.
5Page 6
3) Heard Mr. Anil Shrivastav, learned counsel for the
appellant and Mr. M. Yogesh Khanna, learned counsel for the
respondent-State.
4) The one and only contention projected by learned
counsel for the appellant-accused is that at the time of the
alleged incident, the accused was suffering from “Paranoid
Schizophrenia” and, hence, he is entitled to the benefit of
exception under Section 84 of IPC.
Discussion:
5) Before considering the above issue, it is to be noted
that whether the prosecution has established the guilt
against the accused by examining PWs 1 and 2, the grand
daughters of the deceased Parvathi, as eye-witnesses. It is
the evidence of PW-6 – husband of the deceased that one
day before the date of incident, when PWs 1 and 2 were at
home along with his wife-Parvathi, the appellant-accused
came to their house and demanded money and also
threatened her before leaving the place that he would come
again tomorrow and if money is not paid, he would kill both
6Page 7
the deceased and her husband PW-6. It is also stated by
PWs 1 and 2 that on the next day, at 8.00 a.m., when the
deceased was cooking food in the kitchen, the accused
trespassed into the house, bolted the door from inside and,
thereafter, caused fatal injuries to the deceased with the
Aruval. It is further stated that on raising hue and cry, PWs 3
and 4, the neighbours, came at the spot and saw the
accused running from the house with aruval.
6) The evidence of PWs 3 and 5-the neighbours, proves
the occurrence that had happened one day prior to the date
of the incident and also the shoutings of the accusedappellant threatening and demanding money. PW-6 has also
explained in his evidence about the dispute relating to the
lease of the temple land through one Chinnamanur Kuruvaya
Pillai and handing over the said land to PW-11, son of the
said Chinnamanur Kuruvaya Pillai. According to PW-6,
because of the said land, there were strained relationship
between the two families for more than 10 years and the
appellant-accused used to quarrel with him and his wife as
7Page 8
to how the land leased out to their family could be handed
over to PW-11 and was demanding money for the same.
7) The evidence of PWs 1 and 2 – the eye-witnesses, the
evidence of PWs 3 and 4, who saw the accused running after
the occurrence with Aruval (M.O.1) and the recovery of the
weapon at the instance of the accused which was found to
be stained with human blood of “O” group, as per the
serologist report (Ex.P.12), tallied with the blood group of the
deceased as the clothes of the deceased viz., M.O.s 1 to 4
were also stained with human blood “O” group clearly prove
the case of the prosecution. Further, the medical evidence
through PW-9-the Doctor, who conducted the post mortem
and issued the report (Ex.P-3) strengthened the version of
PWs 1 and 2.
8) From the materials analyzed, discussed and concluded
by the trial Court and the High Court, it clearly establishes
that it was the accused-appellant who committed the
murder.
8Page 9
9) Coming to the only contention put-forward by the
appellant-accused that the accused was suffering from
Paranoid Schizophrenia, learned counsel for the appellant
placed reliance on the evidence of DW-1-the Doctor attached
to Government Rajaji Hosital, Madurai who treated the
accused from 11.07.2001 to 08.08.2001. In his evidence,
DW-1 has stated that the accused was suffering from
Paranoid Schizophrenia. The other material relied on in
support of the plea of insanity is Ex. D-2, the termination
order of the Inspector General of Police, Northern Sector,
CRPF, New Delhi wherein it is stated that the accused is
medically unfit for service in CRPF due to Paranoid
Schizophrenia. It is further contended that the appellant has
also relied on the statement of PW-2, grand-daughter of the
deceased, that the wife of the accused obtained divorce on
the ground that the accused was mentally ill.
10) Since the appellant has raised the plea of insanity
seeking protection under Section 84 of the IPC, it is useful to
refer the same:
9Page 10
“84. Act of a person of unsound mind.- Nothing is an
offence which is done by a person who, at the time of
doing it, by reason of unsoundness of mind, is incapable of
knowing the nature of the act, or that he is doing what is
either wrong or contrary to law.”
The above section makes it clear that a person, who, at the
time of doing it, by reason of unsoundness of mind,
commits anything, he is permitted to claim the above
exception. (emphasis supplied). In other words, insanity or
unsoundness of mind are the stages when a person is
incapable of knowing the nature of the act or unable to
understand what is wrong or right and must relate to the
period in which the offence has been committed.
11) It is also useful to refer Section 105 of the Indian
Evidence Act, 1872 which reads as under:
“105. Burden of proving that case of accused comes
within exceptions.- When a person is accused of any
offence, the burden of proving the existence of
circumstances bringing the case within any of the General
Exceptions in the Indian Penal Code, (45 of 1860), or within
any special exception or proviso contained in any other
part of the same Code, or in any law defining the offence,
is upon him, and the Court shall presume the absence of
such circumstances.”
Though the burden of proving an offence is always on the
prosecution and never shifts, however, the existence of
10Page 11
circumstances bringing the case within the exception under
Section 84 IPC lies on the accused.
12) With these provisions, let us examine whether at the
time of the incident, the accused was suffering from
unsoundness of mind, i.e., on 05.11.2001.
13) Learned counsel for the appellant-accused heavily
relied on the decision of this Court in Shrikant Anandrao
Bhosale vs. State of Maharashtra, (2002) 7 SCC 748
wherein this Court considered the similar issue. A reference
made from Modi’s Medical Jurisprudence and Toxicology,
22nd Edition, as quoted in paras 10 and 11 are relevant,
which reads thus:
“10. What is paranoid schizophrenia, when it starts, what
are its characteristics and dangers flowing from this
ailment? Paranoid schizophrenia, in the vast majority of
cases, starts in the fourth decade and develops insidiously.
Suspiciousness is the characteristic symptom of the early
stage. Ideas of reference occur, which gradually develop
into delusions of persecution. Auditory hallucinations
follow, which in the beginning, start as sounds or noises in
the ears, but afterwards change into abuses or insults.
Delusions are at first indefinite, but gradually they become
fixed and definite, to lead the patient to believe that he is
persecuted by some unknown person or some superhuman
agency. He believes that his food is being poisoned, some
noxious gases are blown into his room and people are
plotting against him to ruin him. Disturbances of general
11Page 12
sensation give rise to hallucinations, which are attributed
to the effects of hypnotism, electricity, wireless telegraphy
or atomic agencies. The patient gets very irritated and
excited owing to these painful and disagreeable
hallucinations and delusions. Since so many people are
against him and are interested in his ruin, he comes to
believe that he must be a very important man. The nature
of delusions thus may change from persecutory to the
grandiose type. He entertains delusions of grandeur, power
and wealth, and generally conducts himself in a haughty
and overbearing manner. The patient usually retains his
memory and orientation and does not show signs of
insanity, until the conversation is directed to the particular
type of delusion from which he is suffering. When delusions
affect his behaviour, he is often a source of danger to
himself and to others. (Modi’s Medical Jurisprudence and
Toxicology, 22nd Edn.)
11. Further, according to Modi, the cause of schizophrenia
is still not known but heredity plays a part. The irritation
and excitement are effects of illness. On delusion affecting
the behaviour of a patient, he is a source of danger to
himself and to others.”
14) It is useful to refer the decision relied on by learned
counsel for the State i.e. Sudhakaran vs. State of Kerala,
(2010) 10 SCC 582. The facts in that case are identical to
the case on hand. Here again, this Court referred to Modi’s
Medical Jurisprudence and Toxicology, 23rd Edition about
paranoid schizophrenia. The following statement in paras 26
and 28 are relevant:
“26. The defence of insanity has been well known in the
English legal system for many centuries. In the earlier
times, it was usually advanced as a justification for seeking
pardon. Over a period of time, it was used as a complete
12Page 13
defence to criminal liability in offences involving mens rea.
It is also accepted that insanity in medical terms is
distinguishable from legal insanity. In most cases, in India,
the defence of insanity seems to be pleaded where the
offender is said to be suffering from the disease of
schizophrenia.
28. The medical profession would undoubtedly treat the
appellant herein as a mentally sick person. However, for
the purposes of claiming the benefit of the defence of
insanity in law, the appellant would have to prove that his
cognitive faculties were so impaired, at the time when the
crime was committed, as not to know the nature of the
act.”
15) After adverting to Sections 84 and 299 IPC and
Sections 105 and 101 of the Evidence Act, this Court
concluded that “when a person is bound to prove the
existence of any fact, the burden of proof lies on that
person”. This Court also held as under:
“35. It is also a settled proposition of law that the crucial
point of time for ascertaining the existence of
circumstances bringing the case within the purview of
Section 84 is the time when the offence is committed. We
may notice here the observations made by this Court in
Ratan Lal v. State of M.P. In para 2 of the aforesaid
judgment, it is held as follows:
“It is now well settled that the crucial point of time at
which unsoundness of mind should be established is
the time when the crime is actually committed and
the burden of proving this lies on the [appellant].”
13Page 14
As concluded, we also reiterate that at the time of
commission of offence, the physical and mental condition of
the person concerned is paramount for bringing the case
within the purview of Section 84.
16) In the case on hand, though the Doctor (DW-1)
attached with the Government Rajaji Hospital, Madurai, who
treated the accused from 11.07.2001 to 08.08.2001 has
stated that the appellant-accused was suffering from
paranoid schizophrenia, it is not in dispute that after
08.08.2001, there is no material or information on record
that he was suffering from the same. It is relevant to
mention that the date of occurrence was 05.11.2001 i.e.
nearly after three months of the treatment by DW-1. In the
same way, Ex. D-2, the termination order of the Inspector
General of Police, Northern Sector, CRPF, New Delhi is also
not helpful because of the language used in Section 84 of
IPC. As a matter of fact, DW-2, father of the accusedappellant has not stated anything about the behaviour of the
deceased. He has also not stated anything that he is a
mentally ill person and not able to do his routine works
14Page 15
properly. In fact, it was brought to our notice that in Ex. D-2,
which is a letter from the Department, it is seen that the
appellant-accused made a written request for rejoining
stating improvement in his health.
17) It is also relevant to note that the appellant came to the
house one day prior to the occurrence, demanded money
and threatened the deceased of grave consequences and on
the next day, when the demand was not fulfilled, he
trespassed into the house, pushed away PWs 1 and 2, bolted
the door from inside and inflicted repeated aruval blows on
the deceased resulted into her death. All these aspects also
show that at the relevant time, he was not insane as claimed
by him.
18) Another factor which goes against the appellantaccused is that he himself was examined as a defence
witness No.3. According to learned trial Judge, as a witness,
he made his statement clearly and cogently and it was also
observed that he was meticulously following the court
proceedings, acting suitably when the records were
15Page 16
furnished for perusal. The trial Judge has also pointed out
that during the entire proceedings, the accused has nowhere
stated that he was insane earlier to the date of incident. The
trial Judge, after noting his answers in respect of the
questions under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure, 1973 has concluded that the accused could not
be termed as an “insane” person.
19) In the light of the above discussion and in view of the
materials placed and the decision arrived at by the trial
Court and of the fact that there is no evidence as to the
unsoundness of mind of the appellant-accused at the time of
the occurrence, namely, on 05.11.2001 and also taking note
of the fact that the accused failed to discharge the burden as
stated in Section 105 of the Evidence Act, we fully agree
with the conclusion arrived at by the trial Court and affirmed
by the High Court.
20) Consequently, the appeal fails and the same is
dismissed.
16Page 17
………….…………………………J.
(P. SATHASIVAM)
………….…………………………J.
(M.Y. EQBAL)
NEW DELHI;
APRIL 18, 2013.
17

 

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