advocatemmmohan

My photo

ADVOCATEMMMOHAN -  Practicing both IN CIVIL, CRIMINAL AND FAMILY LAWS,Etc.,

WELCOME TO LEGAL WORLD

WELCOME TO MY LEGAL WORLD - FOR KNOWLEDGE IN LAW & FOR LEGAL OPINIONS - SHARE THIS

Friday, March 14, 2014

Murder Case - Lost seen Theory - Dead body found in the Well of Accused - mere non explanation of Accused - does not lead to conviction in the absence of proof of Motive - and on positive admition of Cordial relationship between Deceased and Accused - Lower court order are set aside - Apex court acquitted the accused = Kanhaiya Lal … Appellant(s) versus State of Rajasthan … Respondent(s)=2014 (March. Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41316

   Murder Case - Lost seen Theory -  Dead body found in the Well of Accused -  mere non explanation of Accused -  does not lead to conviction in the absence of proof of Motive - and on the positive admition of Cordial relationship between Deceased and Accused  - Lower court orders are set aside - Apex court acquitted the accused =

Kala did not return home in the night  and  in  the  morning
               PW10 his wife Shantibai along with PW11 Dhula  went  to  the
               house of PW 4 Hurma and  inquired  about  her  husband.  PW4
               Hurma told them about Kala visiting his house with  Kanhaiya
               Lal the previous night and their returning together from his
               house. PW 10 Shanti Bai and PW 11 Dhula went to the house of
               the accused Kanhaiya Lal and he was not found there.  
PW10 - Shantibai lodged a report at the Police  Station  about  the
               missing of her husband.  
The villagers found Muffler,  shoes
               and tobacco pouch floating in the well of  accused  Kanhaiya
               Lal.  
PW3 Kama  lodged  Ex.P10  written  report  before  the
               Police Station Bichhiwara. Police took out the body of  Kala
               from the well and a case came to be registered in Ex.P10 FIR
               No.230 of 2003 for the alleged offences  under  Section  302
               and  201  IPC. =
 The prosecution case is that the appellant/accused  Kanhaiya
               Lal committed the murder of Kala by strangulation and  threw
               the body in the well.  
Nobody witnessed the  occurrence  and
               the case rests on  circumstantial  evidence.   
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 -

           11. innocence of the accused or the guilt of any  other  person.
               
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  fact   sought   to   be   inferred   from   those
               circumstances.




           12. The prosecution in order to prove its case mainly relied  on
               the following circumstances :

              i) The death of Kala was homicidal in nature; - proved

             ii) Kala was last seen with accused Kanhaiya Lal when  both  of
                 them   visited   the   house  of   PW4   Hurma    on    the
                 occurrence night. - proved

           iii) Kala  objected to the illicit intimacy of accused  Kanhaiya
                 Lal  with  the wife of his younger  brother  PW3  Kama  and
                 that led to the occurrence. - not proved and other than hand admitted that the victim and accused are very cordial and close 

  Mere non-explanation on the part  of
               the appellant, in our considered opinion, by  itself  cannot
               lead to proof of guilt against the appellant.




           19. The alleged illicit intimacy of  the  accused  Kanhaiya  Lal
               with Kamli, wife of PW3 Kama, is said to be  the  cause  for
               the occurrence.  According to PW3, his wife Kamli  left  him
               four years back and is residing with her parents in Sanchiya
               village. PW 10 Shantibai also in her testimony has confirmed
               that Kamli has been  living  in  village  Sanchiya  for  4-5
               years.  It reveals that they were not living together for  a
               number of years.  It is the further testimonty of PW 3  Kama
               that he has  never  seen  Kamli  and  accused  Kanhaiya  Lal
               together and no person in the village told him so and it  is
               only his brother Kala who informed  him  about  the  illicit
               intimacy between them.  In this context it  is  relevant  to
               point out that wife of Kala namely  PW10  Shantibai  in  her
               testimony has not alleged  any illicit relationship  between
               Kamli and accused Kanhaiya Lal.  In -

           20. such circumstances it is doubtful as to  whether  there  was
               any illicit intimacy between them as alleged.   Further  PW3
               Kama and PW10 Shantibai have categorically stated  in  their
               testimonies that there was no dispute between  the  deceased
               Kala  and  accused  Kanhaiya  Lal  and  they   had   cordial
               relationship.  Thus the motive alleged  by  the  prosecution
               that Kala, as elder of the family dissuaded accused Kanhaiya
               Lal to sever his illicit relationship with his sister-in-law
               Kamli had triggered the murder, is not established.




           21. The theory of last seen – the appellant having gone with the
               deceased in the manner noticed hereinbefore, is the singular
               piece of circumstantial evidence available against him.  The
               conviction of the appellant cannot be maintained  merely  on
               suspicion, however strong it may  be,  or  on  his  conduct.
               These facts assume further importance on account of  absence
               of proof of motive particularly when it is proved that there
               was cordial - relationship between the accused and the deceased for a long
               time.  The fact situation bears great similarity to that  in
               Madho Singh vs. State of Rajasthan (2010) 15 SCC 588.




           23. In view of the aforesaid circumstances, it is  not  possible
               to sustain the impugned judgment and sentence.  This  appeal
               is allowed and the conviction and sentence  imposed  on  the
               appellant/accused Kanhaiya Lal  are  set  aside  and  he  is
               acquitted of the charge by giving benefit of doubt.   He  is
               directed to be released from the  custody  forthwith  unless
               required otherwise.

2014 (March. Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41316
            T.S. THAKUR, C. NAGAPPAN                                          
  REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                       CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                  CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.    595       OF 2014
       [Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No.3634 of 2013]



      Kanhaiya Lal                                 …     Appellant(s)

                                   versus

      State of Rajasthan                                …    Respondent(s)




                               J U D G M E N T

      C. NAGAPPAN, J.

      Leave granted.

            1. This appeal is preferred against the judgment  of  the  High
               Court of Judicature for Rajasthan at Jodhpur, in  D.B.  Crl.
               Appeal No.515 of 2004.




            2. The appellant herein  Kanhaiya   Lal,  is  accused  No.2  in
               Sessions Trial No.01 of 2004   on  the  file  of  Additional
               District & Sessions Judge, Fast Track No.1, Dungarpur, -

            3. and he was tried for the alleged offences under Section  302
               and 201 IPC and on being  found  guilty  was  convicted  and
               sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life and to  pay  fine
               of Rs.1000 in default to undergo simple imprisonment  for  6
               months for the offence under Section  302  IPC  and  further
               sentenced to undergo 3 years Rigorous  Imprisonment  and  to
               pay  a  fine  of  Rs.500  in  default  to   undergo   simple
               imprisonment for 3 months for the offence under Section  201
               IPC, and the sentences were  ordered  to  run  concurrently.
               Accused No.1 Raman Lal was also  tried  along  with  accused
               No.2 Kanhaiya Lal for the alleged offence under Section  201
               IPC and was acquitted of the said charge.   Challenging  the
               conviction and sentence, accused No.2 Kanhaiya Lal preferred
               the appeal in D.B. Criminal Appeal No.515 of  2004  and  the
               High Court by judgment dated 17.4.2012 dismissed the appeal.
                 Challenging  the  same  the  appellant  Kanhaiya  Lal  has
               preferred the present appeal.




            4. The case of the prosecution in a nut shell  is  as  follows:
               PW10 Smt. Shantibai  is the wife of deceased Kala. PW3  Kama
               is the younger brother of Kala.  Accused Kanhaiya Lal is the
               brother of PW4 Hurma.  They are all  residents  of  Gesu  ka
               bagh village. PW4  Hurma  returned  home  at  8.00  p.m.  on
               31.8.2003. At about 9.00 p.m. accused Kanhaiya Lal  and Kala
               came to his house and demanded Daru and PW4 Hurma  gave  one
               bottle and received  a  sum  of  Rs.15/-  from  the  accused
               Kanhaiya Lal.  Thereafter, both of them went away  together.
               Kala did not return home in the night  and  in  the  morning
               PW10 his wife Shantibai along with PW11 Dhula  went  to  the
               house of PW 4 Hurma and  inquired  about  her  husband.  PW4
               Hurma told them about Kala visiting his house with  Kanhaiya
               Lal the previous night and their returning together from his
               house. PW 10 Shanti Bai and PW 11 Dhula went to the house of
               the accused Kanhaiya Lal and he was not found there.  PW10 -

            5. Shantibai lodged a report at the Police  Station  about  the
               missing of her husband.  The villagers found Muffler,  shoes
               and tobacco pouch floating in the well of  accused  Kanhaiya
               Lal.  PW3 Kama  lodged  Ex.P10  written  report  before  the
               Police Station Bichhiwara. Police took out the body of  Kala
               from the well and a case came to be registered in Ex.P10 FIR
               No.230 of 2003 for the alleged offences  under  Section  302
               and  201  IPC.   PW12  Fateh  Singh  Chauhan  took  up   the
               investigation.  Ex.P11 is  the  spot  map.   Ex.P13  is  the
               Panchayatnama.  Ex.P14 is the seizure Memo of shoes, Muffler
               and tobacco pouch.




            6. PW1 Dr. Rajesh Sharma along with Dr. Kanti Lal conducted the
               post-mortem and found the following injuries:

      “External injuries:




      1.  Abrasion 5 x 2 cm on the left side of the neck.




      2. Bruise 3 x 2 cm on the parietal aspect of the  neck  in  the  right
      side and all these injuries were anti mortem.




      On the internal examination  he  found  the  fracture  of  Hyoid  bone
      anteriorly.”




      They expressed opinion that the cause of death of Mr. Kala is  due  to
      neurogenic shock as well as haemorrhagic shock and the time  of  death
      was from 36 to 48 hours prior to the post-mortem.




      Ex.P10 is the post-mortem report issued by them.




            7.  The  accused  were  arrested  and  on  completion  of   the
               investigation final report came to be filed.   In  order  to
               prove the case, the prosecution examined  15  witnesses  and
               marked 26 documents.  No witness was examined on the side of
               the defence.  The accused were questioned under Section  313
               Cr.P.C. and their answers were  recorded.  The  trial  court
               found accused No. 2 Kanhaiya Lal guilty of the charges under
               Sections 302 and 201  IPC  and  sentenced  him  as  narrated
               above. The trial court found  accused  No.1  Ramam  Lal  not
               guilty of the charge -

            8. and acquitted him.  Accused No.2 Kanhaiya Lal preferred  the
               appeal and the High Court dismissed the appeal by confirming
               the conviction and sentence imposed on  him.   Aggrieved  by
               the same he has preferred the present appeal.




            9. We heard the learned counsel  appearing  on  behalf  of  the
               appellant  and  the  learned  counsel  appearing   for   the
               respondent State.




           10. The prosecution case is that the appellant/accused  Kanhaiya
               Lal committed the murder of Kala by strangulation and  threw
               the body in the well.  Nobody witnessed the  occurrence  and
               the case rests on  circumstantial  evidence.   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 -

           11. innocence of the accused or the guilt of any  other  person.
               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  fact   sought   to   be   inferred   from   those
               circumstances.




           12. The prosecution in order to prove its case mainly relied  on
               the following circumstances :

              i) The death of Kala was homicidal in nature;

             ii) Kala was last seen with accused Kanhaiya Lal when  both  of
                 them   visited   the   house  of   PW4   Hurma    on    the
                 occurrence night.




            iii) Kala  objected to the illicit intimacy of accused  Kanhaiya
                 Lal  with  the wife of his younger  brother  PW3  Kama  and
                 that led to the occurrence.




           13. The autopsy on the body of Kala was conducted by two doctors
               and one of them namely Dr. Rajesh Sharma has  been  examined
               as PW1.  According to him two -

           14. external injuries were found on the neck namely  an abrasion
               5x2 cm on the left side of the neck and bruise 3x2 cm on the
               parietal aspect of the neck in the right  side  and  on  its
               internal examination he noticed the fracture of vertebrae c3
               & c4 and the fracture of Hyoid bone anteriorly and  all  the
               injuries were anti mortem.  It is opined that the  cause  of
               death of  Kala  is  due  to  neurogenic  shock  as  well  as
               hemorrhagic  shock.  Ex.10  is  the  post   mortem   report.
               Accepting  the  medical  evidence  it  is  clear  that  Kala
               suffered a homicidal death.




           15. The primary, if not the solitary basis of the conviction  of
               the appellant is on the theory of last seen, as the deceased
               Kala along with accused Kanhaiya Lal visited  the  house  of
               PW4 Hurma at 9.00 pm on 31.8.2003.  PW4 Hurma did not  fully
               support the prosecution case and was declared  hostile.   In
               his  examination-in-chief  he  has  stated   that   on   the
               occurrence night he returned home at 8.00 pm and about  9.00
               pm accused Kanhaiya Lal and -

           16. Kala came to his house and demanded Daru  and  he  gave  one
               bottle and received  a  sum  of  Rs.15/-  from  the  accused
               Kanhaiya Lal and they returned together  and  the  next  day
               morning wife of Kala PW10 Shantibai came  and  inquired  him
               about her husband Kala and he told her about  the  visit  of
               Kala with accused Kanhaiya Lal to  his  house  the  previous
               night.  It is the  testimony  of  PW10  Shantibai  that  her
               husband Kala did not return home on the occurrence night and
               in the morning she went  to  the  house  of  PW4  Hurma  and
               inquired and came to know from him about the  visit  of  her
               husband along with accused Kanhaiya Lal to his house in  the
               night.  Though PW4 Hurma was treated as hostile witness, the
               above testimony of him is corroborated by the  testimony  of
               PW10 Shantibai.




           17. The circumstance of last seen together does  not  by  itself
               and necessarily lead  to  the  inference  that  it  was  the
               accused who committed the crime.  There  must  be  something
               more establishing connectivity between the -

           18. accused and the crime.  Mere non-explanation on the part  of
               the appellant, in our considered opinion, by  itself  cannot
               lead to proof of guilt against the appellant.




           19. The alleged illicit intimacy of  the  accused  Kanhaiya  Lal
               with Kamli, wife of PW3 Kama, is said to be  the  cause  for
               the occurrence.  According to PW3, his wife Kamli  left  him
               four years back and is residing with her parents in Sanchiya
               village. PW 10 Shantibai also in her testimony has confirmed
               that Kamli has been  living  in  village  Sanchiya  for  4-5
               years.  It reveals that they were not living together for  a
               number of years.  It is the further testimonty of PW 3  Kama
               that he has  never  seen  Kamli  and  accused  Kanhaiya  Lal
               together and no person in the village told him so and it  is
               only his brother Kala who informed  him  about  the  illicit
               intimacy between them.  In this context it  is  relevant  to
               point out that wife of Kala namely  PW10  Shantibai  in  her
               testimony has not alleged  any illicit relationship  between
               Kamli and accused Kanhaiya Lal.  In -

           20. such circumstances it is doubtful as to  whether  there  was
               any illicit intimacy between them as alleged.   Further  PW3
               Kama and PW10 Shantibai have categorically stated  in  their
               testimonies that there was no dispute between  the  deceased
               Kala  and  accused  Kanhaiya  Lal  and  they   had   cordial
               relationship.  Thus the motive alleged  by  the  prosecution
               that Kala, as elder of the family dissuaded accused Kanhaiya
               Lal to sever his illicit relationship with his sister-in-law
               Kamli had triggered the murder, is not established.




           21. The theory of last seen – the appellant having gone with the
               deceased in the manner noticed hereinbefore, is the singular
               piece of circumstantial evidence available against him.  The
               conviction of the appellant cannot be maintained  merely  on
               suspicion, however strong it may  be,  or  on  his  conduct.
               These facts assume further importance on account of  absence
               of proof of motive particularly when it is proved that there
               was cordial -

           22. relationship between the accused and the deceased for a long
               time.  The fact situation bears great similarity to that  in
               Madho Singh vs. State of Rajasthan (2010) 15 SCC 588.




           23. In view of the aforesaid circumstances, it is  not  possible
               to sustain the impugned judgment and sentence.  This  appeal
               is allowed and the conviction and sentence  imposed  on  the
               appellant/accused Kanhaiya Lal  are  set  aside  and  he  is
               acquitted of the charge by giving benefit of doubt.   He  is
               directed to be released from the  custody  forthwith  unless
               required otherwise.

                                                              …………………………….J.
                                                   (T.S. Thakur)




                                                                …………………………J.
                                                   (C. Nagappan)
      New Delhi;
      March  13, 2014


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.