A hundred years ago February 5, 1918 | Archives

Acquitted of Murder.

One Chinnakondama was found brutally murdered on the night of 14th July last [1917] in a field near the village of Ernapad in Kurnool. Two persons who were with him earlier in the night watching a flock of sheep were suspected, tried and convicted by the Sessions Judge of Kurnool and sentenced to death. The case for the prosecution was that the accused and the deceased who were shepherds were watching sheep in a field, that in the night the accused ran into the village crying thieves had come, that on the villagers going to the field found the deceased brutally injured in the head with as many as 11 injuries and his six ribs fractured. Some jewels worn by the deceased, Rs. 20 in cash, two cumblees, and an upper cloth were found missing. The Magistrate and the Police arrived the next day and during investigation the 1st accused produced the jewels from a place where they had been buried and an axe was found in a canal on information given by both the accused. It was also suggested by the Prosecution that the 1st accused who was a “dayadi’” of the deceased might have committed the murder to get the properties of the deceased.

It was urged for the defence that the accused and the deceased were on friendly terms and no enmity had been suggested or proved, that as there were nearer “dayadis” the 1st accused gained nothing by the murder, that the jewels found missing were mere trinkets of no value, that the circumstances attending the production of the jewels and the discovery of the axe were suspicious, that the Prosecution version could not be accepted.

Their Lordships delivered separate but concurring judgements holding that the nature of the savage and brutal attack was inconsistent with the Prosecution story as it showed every indication of some strong motive of enmity, that as the investigation in the case was started by a so-called confession being got from the 1st accused by an inducement, the production of jewels and discovery of an axe following soon after was so tainted as not to be acceptable, that whatever the due of the case was the whole story was not brought out in evidence. Their Lordships set aside the conviction and acquitted the accused.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 7:40:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/archives/acquitted-of-murder/article22651331.ece

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