Courts Update SC directs release of a man suffering from paranoid...

SC directs release of a man suffering from paranoid schizophrenia convicted for father’s murder

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New Delhi Sept 9(ILNS): The Supreme Court today directed the release man suffering from “Paranoid schizophrenia” convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his father about a decade ago. 

The high court had dismissed his “plea of insanity” while holding that accused cannot be treated as a person with an “unsound mind” at the time of the commission of an offense, in absence of any material and his failure to discharge that burden during the trial. 

A bench comprising of Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice JK Maheshwari today noted, “Considering that the petitioner has been in custody for about ten years and considering that the petitioner is suffering from Paranoid schizophrenia. We pass an order of release of petitioner on interim bail as such condition may be imposed by the Trial Court.” Further the Court has granted leave to file SLP Criminal against the order of High Court. 

During the hearing petitioners counsel Sr Adv A Sirajudeen stated that his client is inside the jail since 2011. He is suffering from “Paranoid schizophrenia.”

Respondent counsel Mahfooz Ahsan Nazki appearing for the State of Andhra Pradesh submitted that this matter can be refer back to the high court. He Said, All I am saying that a doctor can examine, “Paranoid schizophrenia.”

Further he stated that he may be refer to a psychiatrist of a Govt hospital for necessary opinion and treatment, if May, necessary. 

Petitioner counsel at that time apprised the court that a certificate was placed on record before the trial court that his client was suffering from mental illness and a certificate was also on record before this Court. 

“It’s for that he is fit to trial,” replied the State. 

“It said that he is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia,” noted the Court. 

The bench further noted, “The judgment and order of the high court (HC) impugned before us states that a petitioner is suffering from severe “Paranoid schizophrenia.”

Further it stated that, “A certificate of imprisonments issued by the Jail indicates/certified that the petitioner has been in  the aforesaid prison since 3/08/2013, Ld counsel for the petitioner submits that the petitioner was arrested on 18/06/2011 and has been in under trial prisoner till his conviction. And after conviction he continued to be in jail.” 

Introduction and Background of the case

The petitioner herein was was convicted to life imprisonment for the offence punishable under Section 302 Indian Penal Code, for causing the death of Dandu Guravaiah on the intervening night at Ponguru Village, Nellore District.

Facts in Nutshell

He is a son of the deceased who used to sell Thayattulu and give medicine for snake bites in the village. According to the order of the High Court and prosecutions story he used to demand money from the deceased and whenever he fails to pay the amount, the he used to threaten him with dire consequences. On the date of incident the deceased slept in the tea stall. Suddenly at 3:30 AM all the local people heard shouting noise and saw the accused beating the deceased with big stone. The deceased suffered severe crush injury resulting in bleeding on his head. The accused accepted the fact that he killed his Father.

Question raised by the High Court

Whether the evidence available on record will hold the Appellant guilty under Section 302 IPC, more particularly, having regard to the mental health condition of the Appellant?

Observation made by the Court

The high court had noted that the appellant was found to be suffering with mental illness, paranoid schizophrenia and also the treatment given leading to improvement of his health is not placed on record. A person who is of unsound mind would not make such statements asking someone to do something which is supposed to be done after the death and also offered money for the expenses to be incurred. Therefore, the plea that the accused was in state of unsoundness mind, at the time of the commission of offence, cannot be accepted. There is evidence on record to show that the accused used to threaten his father with dire consequences. Mere admission in the evidence of witnesses that he is of unsound mind would not entitle him to claim benefit under Section 84 of IPC. Court observed that the Trial Court order warrants no interference.

Consequently, The High Court had dismissed the appeal and confirmed the conviction and sentence passed by V Additional District & Sessions Court, Nellore./ILNS/KR/SNG

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