Equivalent Citation: AIR43 1955 Supreme Court 171
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Criminal Appeals Nos. 43 and 44 of 1955
Decided On: 07.10.1955
Appellants: Rawalpenta Venkalu and Anr.
Respondent: The State of Hyderabad
Bose, Jagannadhadas and Sinha, JJ.
1. These two appeals by special leave arise out of the same judgment and order of a Division Bench of the Hyderabad High Court dated the 15th April 1954 confirming those of the Sessions Judge of Nalgonda dated the 18th January 1954. In Criminal Appeal No. 43 of 1955 Rawalpenta Venkalu is the Appellant and in Criminal Appeal No. 44 of 1955. Bodla Ram Narsiah is the Appellant. Both these persons have been sentenced to death under Section 302, Indian Penal Code for the murder of Md. Moinuddin. Banjardar of Mohiuddinpur within the jurisdiction of police station Penpabad, Circle Suryapet, District Nalgonda, on the 18th February 1953. They were placed on their trial along with three others who were acquitted by the learned trial Judge. The sentence of death was the subject matter of a reference to the High Court. The two condemned persons also came up in appeal to the High Court which dismissed the appeal and accepted the reference for confirmation of the death sentence. 2. The prosecution case, shortly stated was that on the night between the 18th and 19th February 1953 the two Appellants along with the three others (acquitted by the learned trial Judge) in pursuance of a conspiracy to commit the murder of Md. Moinuddin had set fire to the single room hut in which he was sleeping, after locking the door of the room from outside. P.W. 8, an old servant who was sleeping in front of the cottage outside the room occupied by the deceased, was awakened by the noise of the locking of the door from outside. Just at that time Moinuddin also called out for him from inside and asked him to open the door. P.W. 8 replied that he could not do so as he found the door locked from outside. Three other employees of Moinuddin, viz., P.Ws. 4, 11 and 12 who were watching his harvest about fifty paces away, were also called out by him. When they came near the cottage, they were assaulted by the culprits. Kasim Khan was beaten severely. The two Appellants then set fire to the cottage and the employees of Moinuddin were kept at bay by the superior force of the accused and their associates. Those employees naturally, therefore, went towards the main habitation in the village shouting for help. When the villagers came, the Appellants and Ors. prevented them from going to the rescue of the helpless inmate of the cottage by throwing dust in their eyes, literally speaking, and by the free use of their sticks. The first information report of the occurrence was lodged at Penpabad police station on the morning of the 19th of February by Yousuf Ali, a cousin of the deceased, to the effect that some goondas of the village had set fire to the cottage occupied by Moinuddin after chaining the outer door, with the result that he was burnt alive and that the villagers who tried to extinguish the fire had been beaten away by those goondas. The villagers thus became terrified and had to retreat to the village. This was hearsay information, as the first informant was not present at the scene of occurrence. The police inspector, after recording the first information, reached the place of occurrence in the morning that day and found the house still burning. He took along with him the doctor of that place and a photographer. The corpse was taken out of the house and inquest and post-mortem examination were held. From the room occupied by the deceased a wrist-watch was also recovered. It had stopped at 11-40. The inference had, therefore, been drawn that the occurrence must have taken place near about that time as burning heat must have caused the watch to stop. The police party also recovered from the outer part of the room within the compound burnt...