கொலையாளி ஜான் டேவிட், குரூரமாக கொலையுண்ட நாவரசு, தாமதமான நீதி!

கொலையாளி ஜான் டேவிட், குரூரமாக கொலையுண்ட நாவரசு, தாமதமான நீதி!


சென்னை உயர்நீதி மன்றத்திற்கு உச்சநீதி மன்றம் கண்டனம்: 1997ல் ஜான் டேவிட் என்ற மருத்துவ மாணவன், தனது சக-மாணவன் நாவரசு என்பவனைக் கொலை செய்தான். பிறகு குரூரமாக அங்கம்-அங்கமாக வெட்டி முண்டத்தை பார்சல் செய்து சென்னைக்கு அனுப்பினான், மற்ற பகுதிகளை வீசியெறிந்தான். 1998ல் இதனால், சிதம்பரம் கீழ்நீதி மன்றம், தீர விசாரித்து, இரட்டை ஆயுள் தண்டனை அளித்தது. ஆனால், 1998ல் ஜான் டேவிட் தரப்பில், போதிய ஆதாரங்கள் இல்லை என்று சென்னை உயர்நீதி மன்றத்தில் வழக்குத் தொடுக்கப் பட்டது. 2001ல் அதன்படியே, சென்னை உயர்நீதி மன்றம் அவனை விடுவித்தது. ஆனால், 2002ல் தமிழக அரசு, உச்சநீதி மன்றத்தில் மேல்முறையீடு செய்தது. இதனை விசாரித்த உச்சநீதி மன்றம், 20-04-2011 அன்று ஜான் டேவிட்டிற்கு அளித்த தண்டனை சரியானதே என்று தீர்ப்பளித்ததுடன், சென்னை உயர்நீதி மன்றம் இவ்வாறு மெத்தனமாக நடந்துகொண்டதற்கு, கண்டனத்தைத் தெரிவித்துள்ளது. நீதிபதிகள் மீதும் அதிருப்தியை வெளியிட்டுள்ளது.

1997ல் நாவரசனைக் கண்டம் துண்டமாக வெட்டிக் கொன்றது: மருத்துவக் கல்லூரி மாணவர் நாவரசு கொலை வழக்கில், அவரது சீனியர் மாணவரான குற்றவாளி ஜான் டேவிட்டிற்கு செஷன்ஸ் கோர்ட் விதித்த இரட்டை ஆயுள் தண்டனையை, சுப்ரீம் கோர்ட் உறுதி செய்தது[1]. சென்னை பல்கலைக் கழக முன்னாள் துணைவேந்தர் பொன்னுசாமி மகன் நாவரசு (17); 1996ம் ஆண்டு, கடலூர் மாவட்டம், சிதம்பரத்தில் உள்ள அண்ணாமலை பல்கலைக் கழக ராஜா முத்தையா மருத்துவக் கல்லூரியில் சேர்ந்தார். கல்லூரி விடுதியில் தங்கி படித்து வந்த நாவரசு, அதே ஆண்டு நவம்பர் 6ம் தேதி, வகுப்பிற்கு சென்றவர் விடுதிக்குத் திரும்பவில்லை. நவம்பர் 7ம் தேதி, சென்னையில் மாநகர பஸ் ஒன்றில் கேட்பாரற்று கிடந்த சூட்கேசில், தலை, கை, கால்கள் வெட்டி எடுக்கப்பட்ட ஆண் உடல் மட்டும் கிடந்தது. இதுகுறித்து சென்னை மாநகர போலீசார் வழக்கு பதிந்து, கொலை செய்யப்பட்டவர் யார் என்பது குறித்து விசாரித்து வந்தனர். நாவரசு காணாமல் போனது குறித்து அவரது தந்தை பொன்னுசாமி, நவம்பர் 10ம் தேதி கொடுத்த புகாரின் பேரில், அண்ணாமலை நகர் போலீசார் வழக்கு பதிந்து விசாரணை மேற்கொண்டனர். அதில், நாவரசுவை நவம்பர் 6ம் தேதி மதியம், அதே மருத்துவக் கல்லூரியில் படிக்கும் இரண்டாம் ஆண்டு மாணவர் ஜான் டேவிட் தனது அறைக்கு அழைத்துச் சென்றது தெரிய வந்தது. நவம்பர் 11ம் தேதி ஜான் டேவிட், ராஜமன்னார்குடி மாஜிஸ்திரேட் கோர்ட்டில் சரணடைந்தார். அவரை போலீசார், நவம்பர் 18ல் தங்கள் காவலில் எடுத்து விசாரித்தனர். அதில், தேர்வு எழுதி விட்டு வந்த நாவரசுவை, ஜான் டேவிட் வழிமறித்து தனது அறைக்கு அழைத்துச் சென்று ராகிங் செய்துள்ளார்.அப்போது, ஜான் டேவிட் தாக்கியதில் நாவரசு மயங்கி விழுந்துள்ளார். அவர் இறந்து விட்டதாகக் கருதிய ஜான் டேவிட், வெளியில் தெரியாமல் இருக்க, தனது படிப்பிற்காக ஆய்வகக் கூடத்தில் பயன்படுத்தும், “டிசக்ஷன்’ கருவிகளை பயன்படுத்தி நாவரசுவின் தலை, கைகள் மற்றும் கால்களை தனித்தனியாக துண்டித்துள்ளார்.

வெட்டிய உடல் பகுதிகளை பல இடங்களில் போட்டது: தலையை பாலிதீன் கவரில் சுற்றி, கல்லூரி வளாகத்தில் உள்ள குட்டையில் வீசியுள்ளார். பின்னர் உடலை பாலிதீன் கவரில் சுற்றி, பெரிய சூட்கேசில் அடைத்துள்ளார். அதேபோன்று, கைகள் மற்றும் கால்களை தனியாக, “பேக்’ செய்து, சென்னை செல்லும் ரயிலில் ஏற்றிச் சென்றுள்ளார். செல்லும் வழியில், கைகள் மற்றும் கால்களை ஆற்றில் வீசியுள்ளார். உடல் இருந்த சூட்கேசை, சென்னையில் டவுன் பஸ்சில் வைத்துவிட்டு சிதம்பரம் திரும்பி வந்ததும், போலீசார் சந்தேகிக்கவே கோர்ட்டில் சரணடைந்தது தெரிய வந்தது.அதைத் தொடர்ந்து, போலீசார் ஏற்கனவே பதிவு செய்த வழக்கை கொலை வழக்காக மாற்றி விசாரணை நடத்தினர். ஜான் டேவிட் குறிப்பிட்ட அண்ணாமலை பல்கலைக் கழக வளாகத்தில் உள்ள குட்டையில் தேடியதில், நாவரசுவின் தலை சிக்கியது; செங்கல்பட்டு அருகே கால்கள் சிக்கின. இதையும், சென்னையில் கண்டெடுக்கப்பட்ட உடலில் இருந்து எடுத்த திசுக்களை ஆய்வு செய்ததில், இறந்தது நாவரசு என்பது உறுதி செய்யப்பட்டது.கல்லூரியில், “ராகிங்’ கொடுமையால் மாணவர் நாவரசு கொடூரமான முறையில் கொலை செய்யப்பட்ட சம்பவம், உலகளவில் பெரும் பீதியை ஏற்படுத்தியதைத் தொடர்ந்து, இந்த வழக்கில் தமிழக அரசு சிறப்பு கவனம் செலுத்தியது. ஜான் டேவிட் மீது 1997ம் ஆண்டு செப்டம்பர் 1ம் தேதி, கடலூர் செஷன்ஸ் கோர்ட்டில் குற்றப்பத்திரிகை தாக்கல் செய்யப்பட்டது. இந்த வழக்கில், அரசு தரப்பில் சிறப்பு வக்கீலாக முன்னாள் நீதிபதி கந்தசாமியும், ஜான் டேவிட் தரப்பில் பிரபல வக்கீல் விருத்தாசலம் ரெட்டியாரும் ஆஜராகி வாதிட்டனர்.

கீழ்நீதிமன்றத்தில் தண்டனை, உயர்நீதி மன்றத்தில் விடுதலை! நீதிபதி சிங்காரவேலு முன்னிலையில் நடந்த இந்த வழக்கில், 78 சாட்சிகள் விசாரிக்கப்பட்டனர்; 120 ஆவணங்கள் தாக்கல் செய்யப்பட்டன.வழக்கை விசாரித்த நீதிபதி சிங்காரவேலு, 1998, மார்ச் 11ம் தேதி தீர்ப்பு கூறினார். அதில், ராகிங் காரணமாக நாவரசுவை கொடூரமான முறையில் கொலை செய்த குற்றத்திற்கு ஆயுள் தண்டனையும், கொலை செய்த தடயங்களை மறைத்ததற்காக மற்றொரு ஆயுள் தண்டைன என, ஜான் டேவிட்டிற்கு இரட்டை ஆயுள் தண்டனை விதித்து தீர்ப்பு கூறினார். அதைத் தொடர்ந்து ஜான் டேவிட், கடலூர் மத்திய சிறையில் அடைக்கப்பட்டார்.கடலூர் செசன்ஸ் கோர்ட் அளித்த தீர்ப்பை எதிர்த்து ஜான் டேவிட், சென்னை ஐகோர்ட்டில் மேல்முறையீடு செய்தார். வழக்கை விசாரித்த நீதிபதி, சந்தேகத்திற்கு இடமின்றி குற்றம் நிரூபிக்கப்படாததால், ஜான் டேவிட்டை விடுதலை செய்து உத்தரவிட்டார்.

மேல்முறையீடு செய்த தமிழக அரசு: உலகமே அச்சுறும் வகையில் நடந்த கொடூர கொலை வழக்கில் கைதான ஜான் டேவிட்டிற்கு விதிக்கப்பட்ட தண்டனையை ஐகோர்ட் ரத்து செய்ததை எதிர்த்து தமிழக அரசு, டில்லி சுப்ரீம் கோர்ட்டில் மேல்முறையீடு செய்தது. இந்த வழக்கை விசாரித்த நீதிபதிகள் தல்வீர் பண்டாரி, முகுந்தகம் சர்மா ஆகியோர் அடங்கிய சுப்ரீம் கோர்ட் பெஞ்ச், “மருத்துவக் கல்லூரி மாணவர் நாவரசுவை கொடூரமான முறையில் கொன்ற, அவரது சீனியர் மாணவர் ஜான் டேவிட்டிற்கு, கடலூர் செஷன்ஸ் கோர்ட் விதித்த இரட்டை ஆயுள் தண்டனை சரியானதே’ என, தீர்ப்பளித்தது.

ஜான் டேவிட் சரணடைய உத்தரவு: நாவரசு கொலை வழக்கில் நீதிபதிகள் எழுதிய 41 பக்க தீர்ப்பில் கூறப்பட்டுள்ளதாவது:விசாரணை நடவடிக்கைகளில் நடந்துள்ள சிறு தவறுகளை வைத்து, வழக்கில் உண்மையில்லை என, ஒட்டு மொத்தமாக கூறி விட முடியாது. இந்த வழக்கில் பலமான சூழ்நிலை ஆதாரங்கள் உள்ளன. ஜான் டேவிட் தான் குற்றவாளி என்பதை தர்க்க ரீதியாகவும், நுட்பமான வகையிலும் விசாரணை அதிகாரிகள் நிரூபித்துள்ளனர். இந்த வழக்கை ஐகோர்ட் கையாண்ட விதம் சரியில்லை. சாட்சியங்கள் எல்லாம் திசை திருப்பப்பட்டுள்ளன.ஜான் டேவிட்டிற்கு விதிக்கப்பட்ட இரட்டை ஆயுள் தண்டனையை, அவர் ஏக காலத்தில் அனுபவிக்க வேண்டும். தொடர்ச்சியாக அனுபவிக்க வேண்டியதில்லை. தண்டனை பெற்ற ஜான் டேவிட் உடனடியாக சிறை அதிகாரிகளிடம் சரண் அடைய வேண்டும். இல்லையெனில், அவருக்கு எதிராக சட்டப்படி நடவடிக்கை எடுக்க வேண்டும்.இந்த வழக்கின் உண்மை நிலவரங்களை பார்க்கையில் மிகவும் அதிர்ச்சி அளிப்பதாக உள்ளது. மிகக் கொடூரமான முறையில் இளம் மாணவர் ஒருவர் கொல்லப்பட்டுள்ளார். அவரின் உடலை துண்டு துண்டாக வெட்டியது கொடூரமான மற்றும் அச்சமூட்டும் செயல்.இவ்வாறு நீதிபதிகள் தெரிவித்துள்ளனர்.

ஆஸ்திரேலியாவில் இருக்கிறாரா ஜான் டேவிட்? மாணவர் நாவரசு கொலை வழக்கில் குற்றம் சாட்டப்பட்ட ஜான் டேவிட்டிற்கு, கடலூர் செஷன்ஸ் கோர்ட் இரட்டை ஆயுள் தண்டனை விதித்தது. அதை எதிர்த்து ஜான் டேவிட், சென்னை ஐகோர்ட்டில் மேல் முறையீடு செய்தார். வழக்கை விசாரித்த நீதிபதி, போதிய சாட்சி இல்லாத காரணத்தால், ஜான் டேவிட்டை விடுதலை செய்து உத்தரவிட்டார்.ஆயுள் தண்டனையிலிருந்து விடுதலையான அவர், கிறிஸ்தவ மத போதகர் படிப்பு முடித்து ஆஸ்திரேலியா சென்று விட்டதாகக் கூறப்படுகிறது. ஆனால், ஐகோர்ட் தீர்ப்பை தள்ளுபடி செய்து, செஷன்ஸ் கோர்ட் தீர்ப்பை தற்போது சுப்ரீம் கோர்ட் உறுதி செய்துள்ளது.

தமிழக போலீஸாரின் நிலை: இந்த தீர்ப்பைத் தொடர்ந்து, ஜான் டேவிட் தாமாகவே முன் வந்து கோர்ட் அல்லது போலீஸ் ஸ்டேஷனில் சரணடைய வேண்டும். தற்போது அவர் வெளிநாட்டில் உள்ளதால், அங்குள்ள இந்திய தூதரகத்தில் கூட சரணடையலாம்.அப்படி இல்லாத பட்சத்தில், கோர்ட் மூலம் தண்டனை பிடி ஆணை பிறப்பிக்கப்படும். அதன் பிறகு அவர் உள்நாட்டில் இருந்தால், அவரது பாஸ்போர்ட் முடக்கம் செய்யப்பட்டு பின்னர் போலீசாரால் கைது செய்யப்படுவார். வெளிநாட்டில் இருந்தால், நம் நாட்டில் உள்ள அந்நாட்டின் தூதரகத்திற்கும், அந்த நாட்டில் உள்ள நம் நாட்டு தூதரகத்திற்கும் கோர்ட் உத்தரவு அனுப்பி வைக்கப்படும். அதன் பின்னர் ஜான் டேவிட்டை அந்நாட்டு போலீசார் கைது செய்து, அங்குள்ள நம் நாட்டு தூதரகத்தில் ஒப்படைப்பர். பின்னர் இந்தியா கொண்டு வரப்பட்டு, கடலூர் கோர்ட்டில் ஆஜர்படுத்தப்பட்டு பின்னர் சிறையில் அடைக்கப்படுவார் என, போலீஸ் தரப்பில் கூறப்படுகிறது.

ஜான் டேவிட் குறித்த தகவல் சேகரிக்க 2 தனிப்படை: எஸ்.பி., : சுப்ரீம் கோர்ட் தீர்ப்புகுறித்து கடலூர் எஸ்.பி., அஷ்வின் கோட்னீசிடம் கேட்டபோது, “இந்த வழக்கில் ஜான் டேவிட்டிற்கு கடலூர் கோர்ட் அளித்த தீர்ப்பு சுப்ரீம் கோர்ட்டில் உறுதி செய்யப்பட்டுள்ளது. இதற்கான உத்தரவு எங்களுக்கு கிடைக்கவில்லை. இருந்தாலும் ஜான் டேவிட் தற்போது எங்குள்ளார் என்பது குறித்த தகவல்களை சேகரிக்க அண்ணாமலை நகர் இன்ஸ்பெக்டர் சுப்ரமணியன், சிதம்பரம் டவுன் இன்ஸ்பெக்டர் கார்த்திகேயன் ஆகியோர் தலைமையில் இரண்டு தனிப்படைகள் அமைக்கப்பட்டுள்ளன[2]. கோர்ட் உத்தரவு கிடைத்த பின் ஜான் டேவிட்டை கைது செய்ய நடவடிக்கை எடுக்கப்படும்’ என்றார்.


குறிச்சொற்கள்: , , , , , , ,

6 பதில்கள் to “கொலையாளி ஜான் டேவிட், குரூரமாக கொலையுண்ட நாவரசு, தாமதமான நீதி!”

  1. John Marimuthu Says:

    Satanic past of church-going John David haunts neighbours
    Karthikeyan Hemalatha, TNN | Apr 25, 2011, 02.28am IST
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Satanic-past-of-church-going-John-David-haunts-neighbours/articleshow/8075720.cms

    Chennai: Residents of III Main Road in Bhakthavatchalam Nagar, Adyar are shocked that John Marimuthu, who lived in their neighbourhood, is actually John David, convicted for murdering his mate Navaarasu at Raja Annamalai Medical University in 1996. John David’s family moved into the apartment complex on III Main Road in 2001, according to some residents.

    On Sunday, a resident of the apartment complex that John Marimuthu stayed in preferred to stay indoors after she read the newspaper. “No comments,” she said shutting the door.

    Many others were surprised that the “quiet man” they saw every day was a murderer. “We’ve been neighbours for around ten years. Never once did I imagine he could be a brutal murderer,” said Raju, a neighbour. Asked if there was a fear in the neighbourhood now, he said, “He is a young educated man who committed a horrendous mistake on impulse. I don’t there is anything to fear. I would have been scared if he was professional killer.”

    A few remenbered him as one who didn’t have much of a life apart from work and home. “I never saw him come home with friends or relatives. Every Sunday he went to church with his mother. Once in a while, I would see him smoking in a tea stall two km away,” said Manohar, a cab driver.

    John David’s mother Esther was the president of the residents welfare association of the apartment comples. “Any communication that she had to send to other residents was sent through me. She never socialized much,” said the watchman at the complex.

    John’s lawyer Padmanabhan, however, says his client is innocent. “All the evidence used in court is circumstantial. There is no direct evidence to prove he is the murderer. His confession came 12 hours after being in police custody,” he said.

    The case has been a stepping stone for anti-ragging laws in operation now. Tamil Nadu was one of the first to bring out an anti-ragging act. ‘The Prohibition of Ragging Act’ was passed the same year as Naavarasu’s murder, 1996.

    In May 2007, the Raghavan Committee suggested to the Supreme Court to include ragging as a separate section in the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Based on this recommendation, the Supreme Court passed the Anti-Ragging Act making all educational institutions obligatory to file a F.I.R. if any incident of ragging is reported.

  2. John David Says:

    ‘ REPORTABLE

    IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
    CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

    CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 384 OF 2002

    Inspector of Police, Tamil Nadu …. Appellant

    Versus

    John David …Respondent

    JUDGMENT

    Dr. MUKUNDAKAM SHARMA, J.

    1.This appeal is directed against the judgment and order dated

    05.10.2001 passed by the High Court of Madras whereby the High Court

    has allowed the appeal filed by the respondent herein. The High

    Court acquitted the respondent under Sections 302, 364, 201 and 342

    of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (for short “IPC”) by reversing the

    Judgment and order dated 11.03.1988 rendered by the Court of

    Principal Sessions Judge, Cuddalore in Sessions Case No. 63 of 1997.

    2.The facts of this case are very shocking and very distressing.

    Murder is committed of a young boy, the only son of his parents,

    who at the relevant time was studying for a medical degree. The

    1
    manner in which he was killed and his dead body was disposed of

    after cutting it into different pieces was very gruesome and

    ghastly. The person in the dock and who was accused of the crime

    was another senior student in the same campus.

    3.Brief relevant facts leading to the registration of the first

    information report and giving rise to the present appeal are being

    set out hereunder.

    4.In the academic year of 1995-96 the respondent-accused was studying

    in the senior first year course of MBBS and the deceased-Navarasu,

    son of Dr. P.K. Ponnusamy [PW-1], a retired Vice-Chancellor of

    Madras University, was studying in the junior first year course of

    MBBS in Raja Muthiah Medical College, Annamalai University,

    Annamalai Nagar. The respondent was staying in room no. 319 of KRM

    hostel and the deceased was staying in room no. 95 in E.1 Malligai

    Hostel belonging to the same medical college campus. PW-1 returned

    from his foreign trip on 07.11.1996 and was waiting for the arrival

    of his son-Navarasu from college to celebrate Diwali which in that

    relevant year fell on 10.11.96. When Navarasu did not return home

    till 09.11.1996, PW-1 started enquiring from the friends of his son,

    available at Madras but no information of his whereabouts could be

    gathered by the father. PW-1 then on 09.11.1996 rang up the

    university authorities to find out and ascertain the whereabouts of

    his son. When he was informed that the college authority found his

    2
    hostel room locked and when it was broken upon, it was found that

    his belongings along with a small box were lying in the room but he

    was not available in the room. The college authorities and the

    father were of the opinion that Navarasu had not left for Diwali to

    Madras. PW-1 thereafter rushed to the University on 10.11.96 and

    made a complaint of missing of his son at about 11.30 p.m. on

    10.11.96 which was registered as Crime No. 509 of 1996 [Exhibit-P1].

    5.While this process was going on and without the knowledge of

    Annamalai Nagar Police, a torso was recovered at about 8.30 a.m. on

    07.11.1996 by G. Boopahty, Inspector of Police, E.5 Pattinapakkam

    [PW-55], from the PTC Bus Depot at Mandaiveli, Madras based on the

    information given by Prakash [PW-53], conductor of the bus route NO.

    21G. The said recovered torso was sent for post-mortem after

    inquest. The Annamalai Nagar Police after registering the missing

    report started investigation and during the course of such

    investigation gathered materials and also received information from

    various persons including students of the college pointing the guilt

    towards the accused, who was also found absconding from the college

    premises from 12-14.11.1996. On 14.11.1996 the accused surrendered

    himself before the Judicial Magistrate, Mannargudi. The message of

    his surrender was conveyed to the Annamalai Nagar PS, which got the

    police custody for five days of the accused from 18.11.1996. On

    19.11.1996 at about 1.30 a.m. the accused gave a confessional

    statement stating that he has put the severed head of the deceased

    3
    in the boat-canal within the University campus. Pursuant to the said

    confession, the head was also recovered. Annamalai Nagar PS on

    20.11.1996 asked E5. Pattinapakkam PS for sending the records

    connected with the torso recovered at Madras on the suspicion that

    it may belong to the severed head of the deceased-Navarasu, which

    was recovered at the instance of the accused. Dr. K. Ravindran [PW-

    66] conducted autopsy/post-mortem of the head at 10.00 am on

    21.11.1996. On 22.11.1996 a message was received from Villupuram

    Control Room which was forwarded to Annamalai Nagar PS which

    mentioned that three human bones femur, tibia and fibula have been

    recovered at 1.30 a.m. on 21.11.1996 from the sea-shore of Konimedu

    of Merkanam based on the information given by the concerned Village

    Administrative Officer-Nagarajan [PW-43]. Post mortem of the limbs

    were conducted by Dr. Srinivasan [PW-45] and later limbs were sent

    to PW-66. PW-66 after examining the severed head, the torso and

    three human bones above mentioned, found that there are scientific

    materials to hold that they belong to a single individual and also

    the fact that they belong to deceased-Navasaru. The father of the

    deceased PW-1 and Thandeeswaran [PW-60], nephew of PW-1, also

    identified and confirmed that the head and torso are of the

    deceased. For confirming the said fact, the sample blood of PW-1 and

    his wife Baby Ponnusamy [mother of Navasaru] was examined by Dr.

    G.V. Rao [PW-77] at Hyderabad by DNA test. PW-77 compared the

    tissues taken from the severed head, torso and limbs and on

    4
    scientific analysis he found that the same gene found in the blood

    of PW-1 and Baby Ponnusamy were found in the recovered parts of the

    body and that therefore they should belong to the only missing son

    of PW-1.

    6.The prosecution’s version of facts leading to the present case are

    that on 06.11.1996 at about 2.00 p.m. the accused-John David [first

    year senior medical student of Muthiah Medical College, Annamalai

    Nagar] took away Navarasu-deceased [first year junior medical

    student of Muthiah Medical College, Annamalai Nagar] and subjected

    him to severe ragging in Room No. 319 of KRM Hostel of the college

    and when the latter did not subjugate himself to the accused,

    accused caused head injury to the deceased and when Navarasu-

    deceased was lying on the ground unconscious, the accused severed

    his head and limbs with the help of stainless steel knives and

    removed his gold ring, watch and gold chain and caused his death.

    After doing such gruesome act and with the intention of hiding the

    evidence and also to show his alibi he put the head and the gold

    articles of Navarasu-deceased in a zip bag and threw it into canal

    water near the hostel and burnt the bloodstained clothes of the

    deceased in the open terrace of the hostel building and took the

    torso in a suitcase along with the limbs in a train to Madras and

    threw the limbs in a river when the train crossed Cuddalore and put

    the torso in a bus at Tambaram.

    5
    7.On completion of investigation, the police submitted a charge sheet

    against the respondent. On the basis of the aforesaid charge sheet,

    charges were framed against the accused-respondent. The prosecution

    in order to establish the guilt of the accused examined several

    witnesses and exhibited a number of documents including scientific

    reports. Thereafter, the accused was examined under Section 313

    Cr.P.C. for the purpose of enabling him to explain the circumstances

    existing against him. After hearing arguments advanced by the

    parties, the Principal Sessions Judge, Cuddalore by its judgment

    dated 11.03.1998 convicted the accused. Principal Sessions Judge,

    Cuddalore found that there are enough circumstantial evidence and

    motive on the part of the accused for committing such a crime and

    held the accused/respondent guilty under Sections 302, 201, 364 and

    342 IPC and convicted and sentenced him to undergo imprisonment for

    life under sections 302 and 364 IPC, rigorous imprisonment for one

    year under Section 342 IPC, and rigorous imprisonment for seven

    years and to pay a fine of rupees one lakh and in default to undergo

    rigorous imprisonment for twenty one months under Section 201 IPC.

    It was also ordered that the sentences would run consecutively.

    8.Aggrieved by the aforesaid judgment and order of conviction passed

    by the trial Court, the respondent herein preferred an appeal before

    the High Court. The High Court entertained the said appeal and

    heard the counsel appearing for the parties. On conclusion of the

    6
    arguments, the High Court held that the prosecution has failed to

    prove the guilt of the accused and accordingly the High Court

    acquitted the respondent of all the charges vide its judgment and

    order dated 05.10.2001 by reversing and setting aside the order of

    conviction passed against the respondent under Sections 302, 201,

    364 and 342 IPC.

    9.We may now at this stage refer to the arguments of the counsel of

    the parties in order to understand the scope and ambit of the appeal

    and also to appreciate the contentions so as to enable us to arrive

    at a well-considered findings and conclusions.

    10.Mr. S. Thananjayan, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the

    State emphatically argued before us that the decision of the High

    Court of acquitting the accused person is totally erroneous and

    suffers from serious infirmities. He also submitted that the

    prosecution has proved the case to the hilt and that a compete and

    well-connected chain of circumstantial evidences have been

    established to prove the guilt of the accused. He also submitted

    that the prosecution has established the case against the accused

    beyond reasonable doubt. It was also submitted that the motive of

    the accused to cause bodily injury to the deceased has also been

    proved and that the evidence on record clearly establish that on

    06.11.1996 the deceased was in the company of the accused and that

    thereafter, deceased could not be found and that the confessional

    7
    statement of the accused leading to the discovery of head of the

    deceased in the canal is a clinching circumstance to connect the

    accused with the offence. He also contended and relied upon the fact

    that the accused absconded from the hostel for several days and

    thereafter surrendered before the Court which would serve as an

    additional link in the chain of circumstances to prove the charges

    levelled against him. He also submitted that the High Court was not

    justified in setting aside the order of conviction, for what the

    High Court had found proved was only a plausible or possible view

    and version, which did not find favour with the trial Court. He

    also submitted that the High Court was not justified in disbelieving

    the recording of confession merely because of the omission to

    mention the same in the case diary. It was also submitted that the

    High Court was not justified in disbelieving the recovery merely

    because there was contradiction with regard to timing of recovery.

    He further submitted that the High Court erroneously disbelieved the

    case of the prosecution that the torso could be carried in MO-13 ­

    Suit Case which is 21 inches as according to Exhibit P52 mahazar ­

    the length of MO-13 is 21 inches and diameter is 24 inches and

    therefore, the torso could not have been parceled in the suit case

    MO-13. He also took us through the evidence on record in support of

    his contention that the High Court committed an error in acquitting

    the respondent solely on the ground that it is hazardous to convict

    the accused on the basis of the evidence placed by the prosecution.

    8
    He submitted that in the present case all the witnesses produced are

    of respectable status and are independent witnesses and they do not

    have any axe to grind against the accused and, therefore, the High

    Court committed an error in disbelieving the evidence on record.

    11.On the other hand, Mr. Sushil Kumar, learned senior counsel

    appearing on behalf of the respondent-accused very painstakingly

    drew our attention to various aspects of the case, which according

    to him demolish the very substratum of the prosecution case. He also

    heavily relied upon the fact, by making submission, that there are

    no eye-witnesses and no direct evidence regarding commission of the

    crime by the respondent. He submitted that there are no materials

    to show that the respondent took the deceased to room No. 319 [room

    of the accused] and killed him there. He further submitted that as

    no blood was recovered from the room No. 319 and that the two

    roommates of the respondent, viz., Raja Chidambaram [PW-37] & Shagir

    Thabris [PW-38] have not stated that they smelled any blood or saw

    any blood stains in the room, it definitely belies prosecution case

    that murder was committed in the said room of the hostel. Further

    submission was that PWs 37 & 38 admitted that the three knives

    [i.e., MOSs 9 to 11] were used for cutting fruits and that PW 37

    further admitted that during the time of interrogation police

    neither showed the articles seized from the room of accused nor

    asked him to identify the said articles. The counsel for the

    respondent further submitted that there is no evidence to prove that

    9
    the accused proceeded to Madras on 06.11.1996 at 9.00 p.m. from

    Chidambaram railway station, albeit he submitted that accused took

    train at Chidambaram on 06.11.1996 at 9.00 p.m. bound for

    Tiruchirapalli to go to his native place, Karur and returned from

    Karur on 8th morning. Counsel stated that accused took his briefcase

    [MO-13] along with him and that MO-14 belongs to Raja Chidambaram

    [PW-37] and after meeting his parents on 7.11.96, the accused

    returned to Chidambaram hostel on the morning of 8.11.96 and he was

    in the hostel from 9-11.11.96. On the night of 10.11.96 his mother

    and his cousin brother had arrived at Chidambaram and stayed in

    Saradha Ram Hotel and they left on 11.11.96 Noon. Counsel for the

    respondent further submitted that the non-examination of the Vice-

    Chancellor and the Dean of the university though they have been

    cited in the charge sheet as witnesses is fatal to the prosecution

    case. Next submission was that the chain of events to prove the

    guilt of the accused has many loopholes in it. Learned senior

    counsel for the respondent also submitted that the High Court has

    rightly acquitted the accused as circumstances alleged by the

    prosecution have not been proved. It was also his submission that

    this being an appeal against acquittal, it is to be ascertained very

    carefully whether the view taken by the High Court is a plausible or

    possible view and that if the order of acquittal is one of the

    possible view, the same deserves deference rather than interference

    by the appellate court. He also submitted that the trial court was

    10
    wrong in holding the respondent guilty for evidence adduced by the

    prosecution to prove that the deceased was last seen with the

    accused replete with inherent improbabilities and inconsistencies.

    LEGAL POSITION:-

    APPEAL AGAINST ACQUITTAL

    12.Before we enter into the merit of the case, we are required to

    deal with the contention of the counsel appearing on behalf of the

    respondent regarding the scope and ambit of an APPEAL AGAINST

    ACQUITTAL. Various decisions of this Court have dealt with the

    issue very extensively. Therefore, it would be suffice, if we

    extract few decisions of this Court laying down the law in this

    regard.

    13.In the case of State of U.P. v. Ram Sajivan & Ors. reported at

    (2010) 1 SCC 529, one of us (Bhandari, J.) detailed the law in this

    regard as follows: –

    “46. …………….. This Court would ordinarily be
    slow in interfering in order of acquittal. The scope of
    the powers of the appellate court in an appeal is well
    settled. The powers of the appellate court in an appeal
    against acquittal are no less than in an appeal against
    conviction.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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    In Chandrappa v. State of Karnataka this Court held: (SCC
    p. 432, para 42)

    11
    “(1) An appellate court has full power to review,
    reappreciate and reconsider the evidence upon which
    the order of acquittal is founded.

    (2) The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 puts no
    limitation, restriction or condition on exercise of
    such power and an appellate court on the evidence
    before it may reach its own conclusion, both on
    questions of fact and of law.

    (3) Various expressions, such as, `substantial and
    compelling reasons’, `good and sufficient grounds’,
    `very strong circumstances’, `distorted
    conclusions’, `glaring mistakes’, etc. are not
    intended to curtail extensive powers of an appellate
    court in an appeal against acquittal. Such
    phraseologies are more in the nature of `flourishes
    of language’ to emphasise the reluctance of an
    appellate court to interfere with acquittal than to
    curtail the power of the court to review the
    evidence and to come to its own conclusion.

    (4) An appellate court, however, must bear in mind
    that in case of acquittal, there is double
    presumption in favour of the accused. Firstly, the
    presumption of innocence is available to him under
    the fundamental principle of criminal jurisprudence
    that every person shall be presumed to be innocent
    unless he is proved guilty by a competent court of
    law. Secondly, the accused having secured his
    acquittal, the presumption of his innocence is
    further reinforced, reaffirmed and strengthened by
    the trial court.

    (5) If two reasonable conclusions are possible on
    the basis of the evidence on record, the appellate
    court should not disturb the finding of acquittal
    recorded by the trial court.”
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    In Ghurey Lal v. State of U.P., one of us (Bhandari, J.)
    summarised the legal position as follows in paras 69 and
    70: (SCC p. 477)

    “69. The following principles emerge from the cases
    above:

    12
    1. The appellate court may review the evidence
    in appeals against acquittal under Sections 378
    and 386 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.
    Its power of reviewing evidence is wide and the
    appellate court can reappreciate the entire
    evidence on record. It can review the trial
    court’s conclusion with respect to both facts
    and law.

    2. The accused is presumed innocent until
    proven guilty. The accused possessed this
    presumption when he was before the trial court.
    The trial court’s acquittal bolsters the
    presumption that he is innocent.

    3. Due or proper weight and consideration must
    be given to the trial court’s decision. This is
    especially true when a witness’ credibility is
    at issue. It is not enough for the High Court
    to take a different view of the evidence. There
    must also be substantial and compelling reasons
    for holding that the trial court was wrong.

    In a recently delivered judgment of this Court in State
    of U.P. v. Banne, one of us (Bhandari, J.) summarised the
    entire legal position and observed that this Court would
    be justified in interfering in the judgment of the High
    Court in the following circumstances which are
    illustrative and not exhaustive: (SCC p. 286, para 28)

    “(i) The High Court’s decision is based on totally
    erroneous view of law by ignoring the settled legal
    position;

    (ii) The High Court’s conclusions are contrary to
    evidence and documents on record;

    (iii) The entire approach of the High Court in
    dealing with the evidence was patently illegal
    leading to grave miscarriage of justice;

    (iv) The High Court’s judgment is manifestly unjust
    and unreasonable based on erroneous law and facts on
    the record of the case;

    (v) This Court must always give proper weight and
    consideration to the findings of the High Court;

    13
    (vi) This Court would be extremely reluctant in
    interfering with a case when both the Sessions Court
    and the High Court have recorded an order of
    acquittal.”

    This Court would be justified in interfering with the
    judgment of acquittal of the High Court only when there
    are very substantial and compelling reasons to discard
    the High Court decision. When we apply the test laid down
    by this Court repeatedly in a large number of cases, the
    irresistible conclusion is that the High Court in the
    impugned judgment has not correctly followed the legal
    position.”

    14.In another decision of this Court in the case of Sannaia Subba Rao

    & Ors. Vs. State of A.P. reported at 2008 (17) SCC 225, one of us,

    has referred to and quoted with approval the general principles

    while dealing with an appeal against acquittal, wherein, it was

    clearly mentioned that; the appellate court has full power to

    review, relook and re-appreciate the entire evidence based on which

    the order of acquittal is founded; further it was also accepted that

    the Code of Criminal Procedure puts no limitation or restriction on

    the appellate court to reach its own conclusion based on the

    evidence before it.

    15.In the case of Sidhartha Vashisht alias Manu Sharma v. State (NCT

    of Delhi) reported at (2010) 6 SCC 1 this court held as follows: –

    “27. The following principles have to be kept in mind by
    the appellate court while dealing with appeals,
    particularly against an order of acquittal:

    (i) There is no limitation on the part of the appellate
    court to review the evidence upon which the order of
    acquittal is founded.

    14
    (ii) The appellate court in an appeal against acquittal
    can review the entire evidence and come to its own
    conclusions.

    (iii) The appellate court can also review the trial
    court’s conclusion with respect to both facts and law.

    (iv) While dealing with the appeal preferred by the
    State, it is the duty of the appellate court to marshal
    the entire evidence on record and by giving cogent and
    adequate reasons set aside the judgment of acquittal.

    (v) An order of acquittal is to be interfered with only
    when there are “compelling and substantial reasons” for
    doing so. If the order is “clearly unreasonable”, it is a
    compelling reason for interference.

    (vi) While sitting in judgment over an acquittal the
    appellate court is first required to seek an answer to
    the question whether findings of the trial court are
    palpably wrong, manifestly erroneous or demonstrably
    unsustainable. If the appellate court answers the above
    question in the negative the order of acquittal is not to
    be disturbed. Conversely, if the appellate court holds,
    for reasons to be recorded, that the order of acquittal
    cannot at all be sustained in view of any of the above
    infirmities, it can reappraise the evidence to arrive at
    its own conclusion.

    (vii) When the trial court has ignored the evidence or
    misread the material evidence or has ignored material
    documents like dying declaration/report of ballistic
    experts, etc. the appellate court is competent to reverse
    the decision of the trial court depending on the
    materials placed.”

    16.Therefore, one of the settled position of law as to how the Court

    should deal with an appeal against acquittal is that, while dealing

    with such an appeal, the appellate Court has no restriction to

    review and relook the entire evidence on which the order of

    acquittal is founded. On such review, the appellate Court would

    consider the manner in which the evidence was dealt with by the

    15
    lower Court. At the same time, if the lower Court’s decision is

    based on erroneous views and against the settled position of law,

    then such an order of acquittal should be set aside.

    17.Another settled position is that, if the trial Court has ignored

    material and relevant facts or misread such evidence or has ignored

    scientific documents, then in such a scenario the appellate court is

    competent to reverse the decision of the trial court.

    18.Therefore keeping in mind the aforesaid broad principles of the

    settled position of law, we would proceed to analyse the evidence

    that is adduced and come to the conclusion whether the decision of

    the High Court should be upheld or reversed.

    CASE ON CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE

    19.The principle for basing a conviction on the edifice of

    circumstantial evidence has also been indicated in a number of

    decisions of this Court and the law is well-settled that each and

    every incriminating circumstance must be clearly established by

    reliable and clinching evidence and the circumstances so proved must

    form a chain of events from which the only irresistible conclusion

    that could be drawn is the guilt of the accused and that no other

    hypothesis against the guilt is possible. This Court has clearly

    sounded a note of caution that in a case depending largely upon

    16
    circumstantial evidence, there is always a danger that conjecture or

    suspicion may take the place of legal proof. The Court must satisfy

    itself that various circumstances in the chain of events have been

    established clearly and such completed chain of events must be such

    as to rule out a reasonable likelihood of the innocence of the

    accused. It has also been indicated that when the important link

    goes, the chain of circumstances gets snapped and the other

    circumstances cannot in any manner, establish the guilt of the

    accused beyond all reasonable doubts. It has been held that the

    Court has to be watchful and avoid the danger of allowing the

    suspicion to take the place of legal proof. It has been indicated by

    this Court that there is a long mental distance between ‘may be

    true’ and ‘must be true’ and the same divides conjectures from sure

    conclusions.

    20.This Court in the case of State of U.P. v. Ram Balak & Anr.,

    reported at (2008) 15 SCC 551 had dealt with the whole law relating

    to circumstantial evidence in the following terms: –

    “11. It has been consistently laid down by this Court
    that where a case rests squarely on circumstantial
    evidence, the inference of guilt can be justified only
    when all the incriminating facts and circumstances are
    found to be incompatible with the innocence of the
    accused or the guilt of any other person. (See Hukam
    Singh v. State of Rajasthan, Eradu v. State of Hyderabad,
    Earabhadrappa v. State of Karnataka, State of U.P. v.
    Sukhbasi, Balwinder Singh v. State of Punjab and Ashok
    Kumar Chatterjee v. State of M.P.) The circumstances from
    which an inference as to the guilt of the accused is
    drawn have to be proved beyond reasonable doubt and have
    to be shown to be closely connected with the principal

    17
    fact sought to be inferred from those circumstances. In
    Bhagat Ram v. State of Punjab it was laid down that where
    the case depends upon the conclusion drawn from
    circumstances the cumulative effect of the circumstances
    must be such as to negative the innocence of the accused
    and bring home the offences beyond any reasonable doubt.
    We may also make a reference to a decision of this Court
    in C. Chenga Reddy v. State of A.P. wherein it has been
    observed thus: (SCC pp. 206-07, para 21)
    `21. In a case based on circumstantial evidence, the
    settled law is that the circumstances from which the
    conclusion of guilt is drawn should be fully proved and
    such circumstances must be conclusive in nature.
    Moreover, all the circumstances should be complete and
    there should be no gap left in the chain of evidence.
    Further, the proved circumstances must be consistent only
    with the hypothesis of the guilt of the accused and
    totally inconsistent with his innocence.’
    11. In Padala Veera Reddy v. State of A.P. it was laid
    down that when a case rests upon circumstantial evidence,
    such evidence must satisfy the following tests: (SCC
    pp. 710-11, para 10)
    `(1) the circumstances from which an inference of guilt
    is sought to be drawn, must be cogently and firmly
    established;
    (2) those circumstances should be of a definite tendency
    unerringly pointing towards guilt of the accused;
    (3) the circumstances, taken cumulatively, should form a
    chain so complete that there is no escape from the
    conclusion that within all human probability the crime
    was committed by the accused and none else; and

    (4) the circumstantial evidence in order to sustain
    conviction must be complete and incapable of explanation
    of any other hypothesis than that of the guilt of the
    accused and such evidence should not only be consistent
    with the guilt of the accused but should be inconsistent
    with his innocence.’

    `10. … It is well to remember that in cases where the
    evidence is of a circumstantial nature, the circumstances
    from which the conclusion of guilt is to be drawn should
    in the first instance be fully established, and all the

    18
    facts so established should be consistent only with the
    hypothesis of the guilt of the accused. Again, the
    circumstances should be of a conclusive nature and
    tendency and they should be such as to exclude every
    hypothesis but the one proposed to be proved. In other
    words, there must be a chain of evidence so far complete
    as not to leave any reasonable ground for a conclusion
    consistent with the innocence of the accused and it must
    be such as to show that within all human probability the
    act must have been done by the accused.’

    16. A reference may be made to a later decision in Sharad
    Birdhichand Sarda v. State of Maharashtra. Therein, while
    dealing with circumstantial evidence, it has been held
    that the onus was on the prosecution to prove that the
    chain is complete and the infirmity of lacuna in
    prosecution cannot be cured by false defence or plea. The
    conditions precedent in the words of this Court, before
    conviction could be based on circumstantial evidence,
    must be fully established. They are: (SCC p. 185, para
    153)

    (1) the circumstances from which the conclusion of guilt
    is to be drawn should be fully established. The
    circumstances concerned `must’ or `should’ and not `may
    be’ established;

    (2) the facts so established should be consistent only
    with the hypothesis of the guilt of the accused, that is
    to say, they should not be explainable on any other
    hypothesis except that the accused is guilty;

    (3) the circumstances should be of a conclusive nature
    and tendency;

    (4) they should exclude every possible hypothesis except
    the one to be proved; and

    (5) there must be a chain of evidence so complete as not
    to leave any reasonable ground for the conclusion
    consistent with the innocence of the accused and must
    show that in all human probability the act must have been
    done by the accused.”

    These aspects were highlighted in State of Rajasthan v.
    Raja Ram, at SCC pp. 187-90, paras 9-16 and State of
    Haryana v. Jagbir Singh.”

    21.In the light of the above principle we proceed to ascertain

    whether the prosecution has been able to establish a chain of

    19
    circumstances so as not to leave any reasonable ground for the

    conclusion that the allegations brought against the respondent are

    sufficiently proved and established.

    MOTIVE

    22.In the present case, in the chain of events, the first point which

    arises for our consideration is the MOTIVE behind the alleged crime

    done by the accused-John David. The prosecution has alleged that

    accused was in the habit of ragging the junior students and

    accustomed in getting his home work done by the junior students and

    that is why when the deceased did not subjugate himself to the

    accused, the accused gathered ill-will against the deceased and

    therefore, that was the motive for which the accused killed him.

    23.For the purpose of proving the aforesaid motive of the accused the

    prosecution has placed reliance upon the evidence of Dr. R. Sampath

    [PW-3], Karthikeyan [PW-4], Praveen Kumar [PW-5] and Subhash [PW-6],

    V. Balaji [PW-19] and Ramaswamy [PW-20]. Dr. R. Sampath [PW-3], who

    is the Head of the Department of Radiology, Annamalai University as

    also part-time Warden of Malligai Hostel of the University, who in

    his deposition has stated that on 19.11.1996 at about 8.30 p.m. he

    had witnessed the junior students standing in front of the Hostel in

    a row in front of the seniors, including the accused-John David.

    Thereafter PW-3 made enquiries on the incident and submitted a

    report about the incident of ragging to the higher officials which

    20
    is marked as Exhibit P-3. Karthikeyan [PW-4], 1st year junior student

    of the college, stated that on 06.11.1996 accused-John David along

    with one Kumaran came to Hostel and forced him to purchase the

    tickets of Engineering Cultural Programme, which they purchased with

    hesitation and this fact was also witnessed by the Warden and Deputy

    Warden. Along with PW-4, Praveen Kumar [PW-5] and Subhash [PW-6],

    both 1st year students of the college, stated in their evidence that

    they have written record work for the accused-John David under

    compulsion and with the fear of being ragged. V. Balaji [PW-19], 1st

    year student of college, stated in his evidence that the accused-

    John David along with Kumaran forced them to purchase the tickets

    for the Cultural Programme and also made them to stand and that

    Warden, Dean and Deputy Warden got the students released from such

    ragging. Ramaswamy [PW-20], 1st year student of the college, stated

    in his evidence that accused-John David used to come to hostel for

    ragging and to get the record work completed after ragging. PW-19

    further stated that on 06.11.1996, after finishing his viva-voce

    test at about 11.30 a.m. when he returned, the accused came to his

    room between 11.30 a.m. to 12 Noon and asked him about the deceased-

    Navarasu. PW-20 also stated that when he was returning after

    finishing his viva-voce test, the accused on 06.11.1996 at about 12

    Noon asked him about the completion of the test of Navarasu. From

    the evidence of the above witnesses and other documents on records

    it becomes quite evident that the record books of the accused were

    21
    written by other juniors and that accused was in the habit of

    ragging junior students. The evidence of PWs 19 & 20 also go to

    prove that the accused was looking for Navarasu frantically in the

    morning, which was definitely not for the benefit of the deceased

    looking at the background behaviour of the accused towards deceased,

    for there is enough evidence on record to support the case of the

    prosecution that the accused was having malice and ill-will against

    with the deceased as he had refused to succumb to the ragging

    demands of the accused.

    LAST SEEN ALIVE

    24.In the chain of events, the second point which arises for our

    consideration is the LAST SEEN evidence of deceased with the

    accused. For proving the said fact that the deceased was last seen

    alive in the company of the deceased, the prosecution has placed

    reliance upon the evidence of V. Balaji [PW-19] and Ramaswamy [PW-

    20], G.M. Nandhakumar [PW-21], R. Mohamed Shakir [PW-22], R.

    Saravanan [PW-23] and T. Arun Kumar [PW-25]. PWs 21 and 22, 1st year

    students of the college, stated in their evidence that when they

    were returning from the college at about 12.45 p.m. on 06.11.1996

    they saw the deceased and accused together and accused stopped

    Navarasu and asked them to leave from there and thereafter they had

    not seen Navarasu alive. PW-23, Laboratory Attendant of the college,

    stated in his evidence that he saw both accused and deceased in

    22
    conversation with each other on 06.11.1996 at about 12.45 or 1.00

    p.m. in front of Dean’s office. PW-25, 2nd year college student,

    stated that he also saw both accused and deceased together at about

    2.00 p.m. on 06.11.1996. From the evidence of Dr. Sethupathy [PW-7],

    Mrs. Alphonsa [PW-8], Prof. Gunasekaran [PW-10] and V. Balaji [PW-

    19] it also comes out that till the afternoon of 06.11.1996 deceased

    attended the lectures but after meeting with the accused he did not

    appear in the lecture/test on the same day and was also absent

    thereafter from lectures/tests. Ramaswamy [PW-20] also categorically

    stated that after the viva-voce test held on 06.11.1996, he did not

    see the deceased alive. From the evidence of all the abovesaid

    witnesses it is also clear that the deceased was last seen alive in

    the company of the accused on 06.11.1996 between 12.45 to 2.00 p.m.

    and thereafter no one had seen the deceased alive and this fact also

    supports the case of the prosecution. Moreover accused admitted in

    his statement filed during question U/s 313, Cr.P.C. that he was

    sitting in the corridor of Dean’s office in the afternoon of

    06.11.1996, which further corroborates the case of prosecution.

    SUSPICIOUS CONDUCT OF THE ACCUSED

    25.The conduct of the accused is the next chain of circumstance which

    is heavily relied upon by the prosecution for proving the guilt of

    the accused and for this it placed reliance on the evidence of Subba

    @ Vankatesan [PW-28], Vijayarangam [PW-29], Murali [PW-35],

    23
    Senthilkumar [PW-40], Joe Bulgani [PW-41] and Rajmohan [PW-42]. PW-

    28, auto driver, stated in his evidence that on 06.11.1996 at about

    8.00 p.m. accused took his auto to the hostel from where the accused

    went to Chidambaram railway station along with two suitcases. PW-29,

    Watchman of KRM Hostel, stated in his evidence that on 06.11.1996 at

    8.15 p.m. accused came to hostel in an auto and brought two bags

    inside the hostel and left in auto immediately thereafter and that

    the accused returned with the two suitcases at 4.00 a.m. on

    8.11.1996. PW-40, student of the college stated that on 08.11.1996

    at 4.30 a.m. he saw the accused sleeping in the varanda of Room No.

    319 with two suitcases nearby because the accused did not have the

    room keys, as the accused’s roommate took away the keys and, when

    PW-40 offered the accused to come and stay in his room, at about

    5.30 a.m. the accused came to his room and kept a suitcase, i.e.,

    MO-14 and went to sleep in the room of PW-41 along with MO-13. When

    PWs 40 & 41 came from mess at about 8.30 a.m. PW-41 complaint about

    foul smell coming from his room [Room No. 325]. Thereafter, accused

    took the MO-13 from the room at about 12.30 p.m. This statement of

    PW-40 was also supported by the statement of PW-41. PW-42, student

    of the college, stated that on 8.11.1996 at 12.30 p.m. accused was

    sleeping in Room No. 325 and that on 9.11.1996 accused along with

    one other student went to `B’ Mess for lunch but accused did not

    take the lunch on the ground that his stomach is not alright and on

    return he saw accused keeping his hand on the wall with sad look on

    24
    his face. He further stated that when he entered in the room of the

    accused [Room No. 319] he smelt foul smell and on asking about the

    same from the accused, the accused replied that it is of the

    Biriyani which was given to him by his mother. Later at 4.30 p.m.

    the accused asked PW-42 to drop him at the Chidambaram Railway

    Station as he wanted to go to his native place and thereafter he

    dropped the accused along with a briefcase at the Railway Station on

    the bike of one Rangarajan. PW-42 also purchased a train ticket for

    Tanjavur for the accused. PW-42 also stated that on 10.11.1996 he

    saw accused standing before Room No. 319 and on asking the accused

    told that he went upto Trichy and returned back. PW-35, Receptionist

    of Hotel Saradharam, Chidambaram stated that on 10.11.1996 at about

    8.10 p.m. accused stayed in the hotel along with one Dr. Esthar and

    they vacated the room at 3.15 a.m. on 12.11.1996. The accused on

    14.11.1996 surrendered in the Court of Judicial Magistrate,

    Mannarkudi and was remanded to judicial custody till 18.11.1996. On

    18.11.1996 the Court ordered for five days police custody of the

    accused on the condition that the accused should be produced before

    a Doctor in the Government Hospital, Chidambaram at 10.00 a.m. daily

    for medical check up. The above said unusual and eccentric conduct

    of the accused which is unequivocally told by the witnesses makes

    the conduct of the accused highly suspicious and leads to

    corroborate the case of the prosecution.

    CONFESSIONAL STATEMENT OF ACCUSED AND CONSEQUENTIAL RECOVERIES.

    25
    26.In the present case, as stated supra, PW-1, father of the

    deceased, filed a report with the police for missing of his son on

    10.11.1996 which was registered as Crime No. 509 of 1996 [Exhibit-

    P1]. In the present case the accused after surrendering before the

    Court of Judicial Magistrate, Mannarkudi on 14.11.1996 also gave his

    confessional statement [Exhibit-50] on 19.11.1996 in the presence of

    Rajaraman [PW-58], Village Administrative Officer for the non-

    municipal area of Chidambaram, wherein in very clear terms he

    admitted his crime as is presented by the prosecution. After the

    surrender of the accused on 14.11.1996 he was lodged in the Central

    Prison at Tiruchi. Prosecuting agency in Crime No. 509/96 filed a

    petition before the Judicial Magistrate, Chidambaram for the police

    custody of the accused U/s 167 of Cr. P.C., which was allowed by the

    Court for five days from 18.11.1996 on the condition that the

    accused should be produced before a Doctor in the Government

    Hospital, Chidambaram at 10.00 a.m. daily for medical check up and

    at 1.30 a.m. On 19.11.1996 the accused made a voluntary confession

    as stated hereinabove. Also it has been admitted by the Trial Court

    as also by the High Court that at no stage of trial there is any

    allegation of torture of the accused in the hands of the police,

    which clearly proves that the statement made by the accused on

    19.11.1996 was given voluntarily and is an admissible piece of

    evidence. The High Court merely on an assumed basis held that the

    26
    confessional statement could not have been voluntarily given by the

    accused without referring to any particular evidence in support of

    the said conclusion. The confession was given by the accused in

    presence of Rajaraman [PW-58], Village Administrative Officer; Mr.

    Subramanian [assistant of PW-58], who are totally independent

    persons.

    27.In the case of Amitsingh Bhikamsingh Thakur v. State of

    Maharashtra reported in (2007) 2 SCC 310 this Court had said that,

    when on the basis of information given by the accused there is a

    recovery of an object of crime which provides a link in the chain of

    circumstances, then such information leading to the discovery of

    object is admissible.

    28.We may at this stage, would like to state the proposition of law

    that only such information which is found proximate to the cause of

    discovery of material objects, alone is taken as admissible in law

    and in the present case there are lot of materials which were

    recovered at the instance of such confessional statement made by the

    accused only. We may detail out such material findings in this case.

    29.At the instance and in pursuance of the said confessional

    statement given by the accused PW-78, Police Inspector, Annamalai

    Nagar; Rajaraman [PW-58], Village Administrative Officer; Mr.

    Subramanian [assistant of PW-58] along with other witnesses went to

    the south canal of the KRM Hostel at about 7.30 a.m. where he had

    27
    thrown the head of the deceased after putting it in a zip bag and

    since the water level of the canal was high, Fire Service and

    University Authorities were requested to drain the water, which was

    accordingly done and in the meantime at about 8.45 a.m. at the

    instance of accused only MO-3, a rexine bag, was recovered which

    contained two notebooks belonging to the deceased [MOs 4 & 5].

    Thereafter, after producing the accused before the Doctors of Govt.

    Hospital at 10.00 a.m. as per the directions of the court, the

    accused, took PW-78 along with other witnesses to Room No. 319 and

    from there material objects from 9 to 15 and 29 were recovered which

    included three knifes, one blue colour small brief case, among

    others and from Room No. 323 and 325 material objects from 30 to 33

    were recovered which included blood stained cement mortar. At about

    4.00 p.m. when the search party returned to the boat canal, the zip

    bag [MO-22] containing a severed human head was recovered at 4.30

    p.m. In the instant case the fact that the severed head of the

    deceased-Navarasu was recovered from the specific place which was

    indicated and identified by the accused. The recovery of other

    material objects at the indication/instance of the accused

    creates/generates enough incriminating evidence against him and

    makes such part of the confessional statement clearly admissible in

    evidence. The fact that the skull found in the water canal of the

    university belonged to Navarasu-deceased is proved from the evidence

    of Dr. Ravindran [PW-66], Dr. Venkataraman, [PW-52] and G.V. Rao

    28
    [PW-77]. PW-66 in his evidence has stated that the deceased appear

    to have died because of decapitation of injuries and that the injury

    is ante-mortem. The Doctor also opined that a sharp cutting weapon

    would have been used for causing injuries. He further stated in

    his evidence that severing of head and removal of the muscles and

    nerves of limbs could have been done by MOs 9 to 11. PW-66 also

    opined that both the torso and head belongs to one and the same

    person. Also from the evidence of Dr. Venkataraman, [PW-52] Parasu

    Dental Clinic, Adyar, Madras it is found that he had given silver

    filling on the right upper first molar of the deceased and that he

    had removed the left upper milk tooth and removed the root thereof

    and the said fact was also clearly and rightly found in the post

    mortem conducted by PW-66 on the head recovered from the boat-canal.

    The said fact was also proved from the DNA test conducted by PW-77.

    PW-77 had compared the tissues taken from the severed head, torso

    and limbs and on scientific analysis he has found that the same gene

    found in the blood of PW-1 and Baby Ponnusamy were found in the

    recovered parts of the body and that therefore they should belong to

    the only missing son of PW-1.

    30.In the present case Trial Court relied upon the super-imposition

    process/test made by Dr. Jayaprakash [PW-65], Assistant Director,

    Forensic Science Department, Madras, who stated in his evidence that

    the skull recovered was of Navarasu. Therefore, from the evidence

    29
    of PWs 65 & 66 it becomes amply clear that the skull recovered from

    the boat canal is of Navarasu only.

    31.Now, so far as the recovery of limbs and torso of the deceased-

    Navarasu is concerned, we would like to detail the recovery of the

    same, their identification and also their relation insofar as the

    confessional statement made by accused is concerned.

    32.On 7.11.1996 at about 6.00 p.m. Prakash [PW-53] the conductor of

    Bus [bearing no. T.B.01-2366] having route No. 21G [from Thambaram

    suburban of Chennai City to Paris Corner] found a male torso under

    the last seat of the bus packed in white blood stained polythene bag

    with red letters [marked as MO-16] and thereafter Crime No. 1544 of

    1996 case was registered and investigation was started by G.

    Boopathy [PW-55], Inspector of Police, E.5, Pattinapakkam PS,

    Chennai. Dr. Ravindran [PW-66] conducted autopsy/post-mortem at

    10.00 a.m. on 8.11.1996 and he found that the deceased have died of

    decapitation of injuries, he opined that the injuries found on the

    torso and skull were anti-mortem and the deceased would appear to

    have died of decapitation and he further stated that the respective

    surface of the fifth cervical vertebra of the head are reciprocally

    fitting into the corresponding surface of the sixth cervical

    vertebra of the torso and this articulation was exact in nature and

    hence he opined that the head and torso belonged to one and the same

    person.

    30
    33.The other limbs of the deceased were recovered by Gopalan [PW-44],

    Sub-Inspector in Marakkanam Police Station on 21.11.1996 in a pale-

    coloured with yellow, red and green checks in a lungi-like bed-sheet

    and along with it was torn polythene bag and a pale cloth thread.

    34.In the present case there is no direct evidence to prove that the

    accused had himself taken the torso and limbs of the deceased to

    Madras and threw the limbs somewhere (while transit to Madras) and

    also that accused carried the parcel of torso to Madras and dropped

    it in the bus No. 21G at Tambaram but, there is only circumstantial

    evidence.

    35.One of the clinching evidence against the accused is the two

    suitcases [MOs 13 & 14]. Raja Chidambaram [PW-37], the room mate of

    the accused, stated in his evidence that the two suitcases in which

    the blood of the deceased was found belong to the accused. He also

    stated that MO-22, which is a bag in which the head of the deceased

    was recovered, also belong to the accused. Shagir Thabris [PW-38]

    also corroborated the said fact in his evidence. Blood found in the

    suitcases matched with the blood of the deceased which is blood

    group `A’. It is also proved from the evidence of the students

    adduced in the case that foul smell was emanating from the said two

    suitcases and that when accused was asked about the said smell, he

    only replied that it is because of Biryani, which his mother had

    given him. Subba @ Vankatesan [PW-28], auto driver, has

    31
    affirmatively stated that the accused had taken out those two

    suitcases with him in his auto rickshaw on 06.11.1996 when he

    dropped him at Chidambaram Railway Station. The hostel chowkidar

    examined as PW-29 [Vijayarangam] corroborated the said fact. The

    students of the hostel, Senthilkumar [PW-40], Joe Bulgani [PW-41],

    not only spoke about the foul smell emanating from the room where

    those suitcases were kept but also of the fact that the accused had

    brought those two suitcases with him when he came back to the hostel

    on 08.11.1996 morning. These are indeed circumstantial evidence but

    all leading to one conclusion that the accused is guilty of the

    offence of killing the deceased. There is however some doubt with

    regard to the place of occurrence but there is also strong and

    cogent evidence to indicate that the room mates of the accused,

    i.e., PWs 37 and 38, were watching a cricket match during the entire

    afternoon, evening and till late night on 06.11.1996 in the TV room,

    and the accused had the room (Room No. 319) all to himself in the

    afternoon and evening upto 11.00 p.m. The accused left the said room

    with two suitcases at 8.30 p.m. which is proved by way of evidence

    of the watchman and auto driver. The room mate of the accused, viz.,

    PW-38, came back to Room No. 319 at about 11.00 p.m. and slept and

    on the next day went home.

    36.There are enough circumstantial evidence, as discussed above, to

    hold that it is none else but the accused who could have caused the

    concealment of torso and limbs because it was the accused who had

    32
    severed the head of deceased-Navarasu as found earlier and,

    therefore, he must have been in possession to the torso and limbs,

    which were also subsequently recovered and were also proved to be

    that of deceased-Navarasu.

    37.Therefore, if we look at the case, we find that the prosecution

    has succeeded in proving its case on circumstantial evidence. In the

    present case all the witnesses are independent and respectable eye-

    witnesses and they have not been shown to have any axe to grind

    against the accused. And from the evidence of the several

    witnesses, as mentioned above, it is clear that the accused nurtured

    ill feeling against the deceased as the deceased refused to write

    the record note for accused; that the deceased was last seen with

    the accused in the afternoon of 06.11.1996 and he was searching for

    him very eagerly; that the conduct of the deceased was very weird

    and strange and the bags/suitcases kept by him also produced

    stinking smell; the recovery of skull from canal water, material

    objects, like, note books of deceased, gold chain, blood stained

    bags, knifes etc.,; and also the evidence of PW-66, PW-65 and PW-77

    who have categorically stated that the skull, torso and limbs

    recovered were of the deceased only.

    38.It is well-settled proposition of law that the recovery of crime

    objects on the basis of information given by the accused provides a

    link in the chain of circumstances. Also failure to explain one of

    33
    the circumstances would not be fatal for the prosecution case and

    cumulative effect of all the circumstances is to be seen in such

    cases. At this juncture we feel it is apposite to mention that in

    the case of State of Karnataka v. K. Yarappa Reddy reported in

    (1999) 8 SCC 715 this Court has held that; the court must have

    predominance and pre-eminence in criminal trials over the action

    taken by the investigating officers. Criminal justice should not be

    made a casualty for the wrongs committed by the investigating

    officers in the case. In other words, if the court is convinced that

    the testimony of a witness to the occurrence is true the court is

    free to act on it.

    39.Hence, minor loopholes and irregularities in the investigation

    process cannot form the crux of the case on which the respondent can

    rely upon to prove his innocence when there are strong

    circumstantial evidences deduced from the said investigation which

    logically and rationally point towards the guilt of the accused.

    40. Therefore in our considered opinion prosecution has established

    its case on the basis of strong and cogent circumstantial evidence

    and that on the basis of the circumstances proved, there cannot be

    any other possible or plausible view favouring the accused. The view

    taken by the High Court is totally erroneous and outcome of

    misreading and misinterpreting the evidence on record.

    34
    41.In view of the aforesaid discussion, facts and circumstances of

    the case, we are of the considered view that the High Court erred in

    reversing the order of conviction recorded by the trial Court as the

    prosecution has established its case. Accordingly, we set aside the

    judgment and order of the High Court and restore the judgment and

    decision of the trial Court but only with one rider that the

    sentence awarded shall run concurrently and not consecutively as

    ordered by the trial court. While doing so we rely upon sub-section

    (2) of section 31 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

    42.In the result, the appeal is allowed, bail bond of the respondent

    is cancelled and the respondent is directed to surrender before the

    jail authorities immediately, failing which the concerned

    authorities are directed to proceed in accordance with law.

    ……………………….J
    [Dalveer Bhandari]

    ………………………J
    [Dr. Mukundakam Sharma]
    New Delhi,
    April 20, 2011.

    35
    ITEM NO.1A Court No.11 SECTION IIA

    S U P R E M E C O U R T O F I N D I A
    RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS
    CRIMINAL APPEAL NO(s). 384 OF 2002

    INSPECTOR OF POLICE, TAMIL NADU Appellant (s)

    VERSUS

    JOHN DAVID Respondent(s)

    Date: 20/04/2011 This matter was called on for pronouncement of
    judgment today.

    For Appellant(s)
    Mr. S. Thananjayan,Adv.

    For Respondent(s)
    Ms. V. Mohana,Adv.

    Hon’ble Dr. Justice Mukundakam Sharma pronounced the judgment
    of the Bench comprising of Hon’ble Mr. Justice Dalveer Bhandari and
    His Lordship.

    The appeal is allowed, bail bond of the respondent is
    cancelled and the respondent is directed to surrender before the
    jail authorities immediately, failing which the concerned
    authorities are directed to proceed in accordance with law.

    (DEEPAK MANSUKHANI) (RENU DIWAN)
    Court Master Court Master
    (Signed reportable judgment is placed on the file)

    36

    http://courtnic.nic.in/supremecourt/qrydisp.asp

  3. vedaprakash Says:

    John David to file revision petition: lawyer
    Express News Service , The New Indian Express
    Posted on Apr 26, 2011 at 11:41pm IST
    http://ibnlive.in.com/news/john-david-to-file-revision-petition-lawyer/150462-60-118.html

    TIRUCHY/CHENNAI: John David, who conviction in the sensational Navarasu ragging case was upheld by the Supreme Court recently, is expected to file a revision petition, according to his advocate A Padmanaban.

    In an exclusive interview with Express, Padmanaban claimed that there was no direct evidence to establish the claim that his client took Navarasu to his room on the fateful day, knocked him unconscious, severed his limbs and disposed them off at various places.

    The prosecution relies on circumstantial evidence, he argued. He agreed that David was found along with Navarasu on November 6, 1996 at 1 pm near the Dean’s office, but beyond that there is no proof to link him to the murder.

    According to Padmanaban, the crucial point is that the prosecution claims that the murder took place at 3 pm on November 6, 1996.

    The then Governor of Tamil Nadu, Chancellor of the University wrote a letter to the Vice-Chancellor of Annamalai University requesting information about Navarasu.

    The V-C of Annamalai University had sent the report stating that the father of the deceased (Navarasu) was informed around 10 pm about the matter.

    He was informed that Navarasu had been seen by one of his classmates in the mess at breakfast.; later by the mess servant at lunch, and subsequently by the Warden and Deputy Warden in the evening, all on November 7, 1996.

    It is thus seen that the Vice-Chancellor of Annamalai University had gathered certain materials to show that the deceased was seen alive on November 7, 1996.

    The prosecution had not examined the Vice-Chancellor even though he was cited as a witness in the charge sheet. But� the Trial Court had accepted the evidence of the postmortem doctor that the offence of murder could have taken place either on 6 or 7th November.

    Padmanaban argues that the murder could not have taken place in Room No 319 for the following reasons: Severing of head while Navarasu was alive, would have caused profuse bleeding where blood would have sprouted all over the place..
    Later in the day, John David’s roommates too did not find anything untoward or smelling foul.

    Even when police along with forensic experts examined the room they found no evidence of blood in the room.

    The advocate asserted the police threatened John David and forced him to confess to the crime.

    According to him, the circumstantial evidence in the case is too feeble to make out a case against John David.

  4. vedaprakash Says:

    Satanic past of church-going John David haunts neighbours
    Karthikeyan Hemalatha, TNN, Apr 25, 2011, 02.28am IST
    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-04-25/chennai/29471143_1_anti-ragging-act-raghavan-committee-john-david

    CHENNAI: Residents of III Main Road in Bhakthavatchalam Nagar, Adyar are shocked that John Marimuthu, who lived in their neighbourhood, is actually John David, convicted for murdering his mate Navaarasu at Raja Annamalai Medical University in 1996. John David’s family moved into the apartment complex on III Main Road in 2001, according to some residents.

    On Sunday, a resident of the apartment complex that John Marimuthu stayed in preferred to stay indoors after she read the newspaper. “No comments,” she said shutting the door.

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    Many others were surprised that the “quiet man” they saw every day was a murderer. “We’ve been neighbours for around ten years. Never once did I imagine he could be a brutal murderer,” said Raju, a neighbour. Asked if there was a fear in the neighbourhood now, he said, “He is a young educated man who committed a horrendous mistake on impulse. I don’t there is anything to fear. I would have been scared if he was professional killer.”

    A few remenbered him as one who didn’t have much of a life apart from work and home. “I never saw him come home with friends or relatives. Every Sunday he went to church with his mother. Once in a while, I would see him smoking in a tea stall two km away,” said Manohar, a cab driver.

    John David’s mother Esther was the president of the residents welfare association of the apartment comples. “Any communication that she had to send to other residents was sent through me. She never socialized much,” said the watchman at the complex.

    John’s lawyer Padmanabhan, however, says his client is innocent. “All the evidence used in court is circumstantial. There is no direct evidence to prove he is the murderer. His confession came 12 hours after being in police custody,” he said.

    The case has been a stepping stone for anti-ragging laws in operation now. Tamil Nadu was one of the first to bring out an anti-ragging act. ‘The Prohibition of Ragging Act’ was passed the same year as Naavarasu’s murder, 1996.

    In May 2007, the Raghavan Committee suggested to the Supreme Court to include ragging as a separate section in the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Based on this recommendation, the Supreme Court passed the Anti-Ragging Act making all educational institutions obligatory to file a F.I.R. if any incident of ragging is reported.

  5. கொலையாளி ஜான் டேவிட், குரூரமாக கொலையுண்ட நாவரசு, தாமதமான நீதி (2) « இந்தியாவில் கிருத்துவம் Says:

    […] […]

  6. Arul Hrudhayaraj Says:

    Satan looks through his eyes.

    The evil power is there in his eyes.

    Better to hang him so that the devil is sent back to hell.

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