Falgu Mukati | Pravin Gandhi College of Law | 27th February 2020
Sanjay Baburao Randive vs The State of Maharashtra, Criminal Appeal NO.697 OF 1997
In this case the appellant was convicted under Section 302 of Indian Penal Code. The appellant was paramour of deceased Anita Ransingh. On 10th April, 1996, around 3.00 p.m, the appellant demanded money for consuming liquor from deceased Anita. When Anita refused to pay, the appellant started quarrelling with her and in the heat of the argument poured kerosene on her person and set her ablaze. The appellant thereafter tried to extinguish fire by embracing Anita and while doing so, he too suffered burn injuries to the extent of 30%. Anita succumbed to burn injuries which were about 91%. However, before she succumbed to the burn injuries, her statement came to be recorded by PW-4 (Head Constable-Dilip Jadhav). The deceased stated that, when she refused to part with the money for consuming liquor, the appellant poured kerosene on her person and set her on fire. Her statement also indicates that after her clothes and person was engulfed with fire, the appellant tried to extinguish the same by embracing her due to which, he too sustained burn injuries.
- It stated that the appellant was sitting with the daughter of Anita while Anita was cooking food, and suddenly came running out of the house as she had caught fire. The appellant embraced her to extinguish the same.
- It submitted that the PW-1(daughter of the deceased Sunita) and the neighbour PW-2 (Arun Athawale) has stated that the appellant tried to extinguish the fire and while doing so suffered from burn injuries himself as well.
- It stated that Dr. Sanjay Jadhav who examined the deceased, had admitted that his statement was not recorded by the Investigating Officer. He also admitted that he did not inquire as to whether anybody had supplied the information about the incident.
- It alleged that the Head Constable- Dilip Jadhav did not ascertain whether the deceased was conscious and was in a position to speak and put her thumb impression. It further submitted that if the deceased had suffered from 91% burn injuries over her right and left upper limb, then it would have been difficult for him to obtain the thumb impression of the deceased. This renders the dying declaration doubtful, as to whether it was a genuine document tendered by the prosecution on record.
- The daughter of the deceased stated that the appellant used to daily visit their house and was an alcohol addict, and there were frequent quarrels between them. She further mentioned that on the day of the incident she was playing outside the house when her mother came outside in a burnt state.
- The judgment is based on surmises and conjectures by improperly appreciating the evidence on record. We are, therefore, of the view that the impugned judgment is devoid of merits and, therefore, needs to be quashed. The Bombay High Court thus passed the following order
- The Appeal is allowed.
- The order of conviction and sentence passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Pune in Sessions Case No. 202 of 1996 on 24th October, 1997 is quashed and set aside.
- The Appellant is acquitted of the offences punishable under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.
- The bail bond of the Appellant stands cancelled.
- Fine amount, if recovered, be refunded to the Appellant.
- The order as regards disposal of Muddemal Property is maintained.
The Appellant shall furnish a fresh bail in the sum of Rs.15,000/- with one surety in the like amount to the satisfaction of the Registrar