This case analysis is written by Shambhavi Shree, a student of KIIT School of Law, Bhubaneswar (4th year).

Case analysis

AIR 1943 Mad 571 

Case Number 

Case number 152, R.T.No. 41 of 1st February 1943

Equivalent Citation

(1943) 2 MLJ 13

Bench

Honorable Mr. Justice King and the Honorable Mr. Justice Byers.

Decided on

29th March 1943

Relevant Act/Section

Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 says that whoever commits murder shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine.

Brief Facts and Procedural History

On the evening of 26th September, a woman named Meenakshi Achi was murdered in her flower garden situated a distance away from her village. She was found dead into the well of the same flower garden on 27th September. Two persons have suspected in which one was the gardener and the other one was an associate of the lady who was in the current need of money. The body recovered had three punctured wounds upon the head. Police recovered a chain from the possession of the associate person which the deceased was wearing at the time of her death. It was contended that the portion of the chain was divided equally between the two accused. Further, the associate confessed before Taluk Magistrate of Tirupattur that he was persuaded by the gardener to assist him while killing the lady. The associate as assisted by the gardener did not allow the deceased to leave the garden by seizing her legs and holding her tightly. Now after the death of the deceased both the accused persons threw her body into the well. 

Issues before the Court

  1. Whether the death caused by the accused was intentional?
  2. What was the cause of action?
  3. Whether at the time when the woman was thrown into the well was she alive?
  4. What were the evidence from the post mortem report and the testimony of the doctor?
  5. Whether the accused was guilty under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860?

The Decision of the Court

In the medical report, the doctor stated that the body had innumerable external injuries. The external injuries recovered from the body were insufficient to cause death. And it was comprehended that the accused persons considering her to be dead threw her body into the well. It was held that the intention of the associate of the lady was not to kill her. And therefore he is not liable under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The court referred Palani Goundan V. Emperor (1919) 37 M.L.J. 17: 42 Mad. 547 (F.B.). and stated that in this case the deceased was thrown upon the railway line with the intent to cause injury while in the present case body was thrown after the death of the lady. But the Learned Sessions Judge stated that the accused will be liable even if the body was disposed of after or before the death of the deceased. Therefore it was concluded that they will be sentenced to death.

Reference

  • https://indiankanoon.org/search/?formInput=ratio+of+the+case+In+re+Thavanani+V.+Unknown%2C+AIR+1943+Mad+571+
  • https://www.indialegallive.com/constitutional-law-news/supreme-court-news/conviction-section-302-modified-section-3041-absence-intention-cause-murder-supreme-court#:~:text=Supreme%20Court%20on%20Thursday%20converted,of%20intention%20to%20cause%20murder.
  • https://www.latestlaws.com/bare-acts/central-acts-rules/ipc-section-302-punishment-for-murder/
  • https://www.lawyerservices.in/Thavamani-In-re-1943-03-29
  • https://www.casemine.com/search/in/in%20re%20thavamani

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