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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

seven circumstances set out by the High Court for holding the appellants guilty cannot be faulted with = Chandra Bhawan Singh-the appellant herein was the first to lodge the FIR about the incident wherein he stated that Satyawati has committed suicide. Apparently, this fact proves that first, he was present in the house where Satyawati was found dead and second, he falsely stated that Satyawati committed suicide because he wanted to divert the attention of the police from the reality. - both the accused (appellants herein) in their statements recorded under Section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 failed to give any explanation when asked about the circumstances in which the incident occurred in their house. When the incident admittedly occurred in their house, the appellants were required to explain the circumstances in which Satyawati died. They, however, failed to give any explanation. We also find that Tribuhuwan Singh said that he was not present in the house at the time of the occurrence and on that day he was in Allahabad. He also failed to adduce any evidence to prove this fact.

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 654 OF 2018
(Arising out of S.L.P.(Crl.)No.7049 of 2014)
Chandra Bhawan Singh ….Appellant(s)
VERSUS
The State of Uttar Pradesh ….Respondent(s)
WITH
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 655 OF 2018
(Arising out of S.L.P.(Crl.) No. 7664 of 2014)

J U D G M E N T
Abhay Manohar Sapre, J.
1. Leave granted.
2. These appeals are filed by the accused persons
against the final judgment and order dated 20.05.2014
passed by the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad
in Criminal Appeal No.1114 of 1986 whereby the High
1
Court dismissed the appeal in respect of the
appellants-accused and affirmed the judgment and
order dated 07.05.1986 passed by the Additional
Sessions Judge, Fatehpur in Sessions Trial No. 291 of
1984.
3. In order to appreciate the issues involved in the
appeals, it is necessary to set out the facts of the case.
4. Four persons, namely, (1) Tribhuwan Singh
(appellant), (2) Chandra Bhawan Singh (appellant) (3)
Smt. Makoi Devi and (4) Jwala Singh were prosecuted
for committing murder of one lady by name
"Satyawati".
5. The Additional Sessions Judge, Fatehpur by his
judgment dated 07.05.1986 in Sessions Trial No. 291
of 1984 acquitted one accused-Jwala Singh but
convicted the remaining three accused. Tribhuwan
Singh was convicted under Section 302/34 of the
Indian Penal Code, 1860 (hereinafter referred to as
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“IPC”) and sentenced him to undergo imprisonment for
life and to pay a fine of Rs.5000/- in default of
payment of fine, to further undergo rigorous
imprisonment for one year. Smt. Makoi Devi was
convicted under Section 302/34 IPC and was
sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life. Chandra
Bhawan Singh was convicted under Section 32/34 IPC
and was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life
and further convicted under Section 201 IPC and was
sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for five
years. All the sentences of Chandra Bhawan Singh
would run concurrently.
6. The aforementioned three-convicted accused felt
aggrieved of their respective conviction and sentence
awarded by the Additional Sessions Judge filed appeal
in the High Court. The High Court, by impugned
judgment, allowed the appeal in respect of one
accused – Smt. Makoi Devi and accordingly acquitted
3
her from the charges leveled against her but dismissed
the appeal in respect of remaining two accused
persons, namely, (1) Tribhuwan Singh and (2)
Chandra Bhawan Singh and accordingly confirmed
their conviction and the sentence awarded by the
Additional Sessions Judge.
7. The remaining two accused felt aggrieved by their
respective conviction and award of sentence filed
separate special leave petitions in this Court.
8. So far as SLP(Crl.) No. 7049 of 2014 is
concerned, it is filed by Chandra Bhawan Singh
whereas SLP(Crl.) No. 7664 of 2014 is concerned, it is
filed by Tribhuwan Singh.
9. In both these special leave petitions, the
challenge is to the impugned judgment of the High
Court, which has confirmed their conviction and
sentence.
10. In short, the case of the prosecution is as under:
4
11. All the four accused named above are the
members of one family. Smt. Makoi Devi is the mother
of Tribhuwan Singh and Chandra Bhawan Singh. In
other words, Tribhuwan Singh and Chandra Bhawan
Singh are real brothers being the two sons of Smt.
Makoi Devi.
12. The deceased-Satyawati was the wife of
Tribhuwan Singh. Their marriage was performed in the
year 1981. Satyawati stayed in her matrimonial home
with her husband for 8 days and then returned to her
parents’ house.
13. It is the case of the prosecution that the members
of Satyawati in-laws family, which included the four
accused named above, were harassing her while she
was staying in her in-laws house for not bringing any
dowry in her marriage. The family members had been
demanding "motor cycle" in dowry. Due to constant
harassment given to her by the aforementioned four
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accused persons, it had become unbearable for her to
stay in the house and, therefore, she returned to her
parents’ house and started living with her parents.
14. On 15.03.1984, Jwala Singh and Chandra
Bhawan Singh went to Satywati's parents’ house and
brought Satyawati back to her in-laws house. On
18.03.1984 (after 3 days), Satyawati was found dead
in her in-laws house. She died due to gun shot
injuries.
15. Chandra Bhawan Singh-the elder brother of
Tribhuwan Singh lodged a FIR in the Police Station,
Kishanpur on the same day, i.e., 18.03.1984,
informing therein that Satyawati committed suicide in
the house by gun shot injuries and that her dead body
was lying in the courtyard of the house. One FIR was
also lodged by village Pradhan. It was registered as FIR
No. 30/1984 (GD No. 14/84) at PS Kishanpur. The
brother of the deceased-Rajender (PW-1) lodged the
6
FIR on the same day stating therein that all the four
accused named above have killed his sister because of
non-fulfillment of their demand for dowry.
16. On 19/20.04.1984, all the four accused persons
were arrested. In the investigation, the police recovered
the Gun at the instance of Tribhuwan Singh from his
house, which was alleged to be used in commission of
the offence. The post mortem of the dead body was
performed which disclosed that Satyawati was
murdered. The police then made further investigation,
collected evidence, obtained ballistic report from the
experts and recorded the statements of the accused
persons and other witnesses.
17. On 09.06.1984 the police filed Challan. The case
was committed to the Additional Sessions Judge,
Fatehpur for trial. The Additional Sessions Judge
framed charges against the four accused persons for
commission of the offences punishable under Sections
7
302/34 and 201 of IPC read with Section 4 of the DP
Act. The prosecution examined six witnesses to prove
their case.
18. By order dated 07.05.1986, the Additional
Sessions Judge acquitted Jwala Singh finding no
evidence against him but convicted Tribhuwan Singh
(husband), Smt. Makoi Devi (mother-in-law) and
Chandra Bhawan Singh (brother-in-law) and
sentenced them to undergo life imprisonment for
killing Satyawati.
19. Thribhuwan Singh, Smt Makoi Devi and Chandra
Bhawan Singh felt aggrieved and filed appeal in the
High Court at Allahabad against their conviction and
sentence awarded by the Additional Sessions Judge.
20. By impugned judgment, the High Court
dismissed the appeal filed by Tribhuwan Singh and
Chandra Bhawan Singh and accordingly upheld their
conviction and sentence. However, the High Court
8
acquitted Smt. Makoi Devi (mother-in-law) from all the
charges finding no evidence against her.
21. It is against this judgment, the accused
Tribhuwan Singh and Chandra Bhawan Singh have
filed the present two appeals by way of special leave in
this Court.
22. So far as acquittal of Jwala Singh and Smt.
Makoi Devi is concerned, it has attained finality
because the State did not file any appeal in the High
Court and nor in this Court.
23. Heard Mr. Nagendra Rai, learned senior counsel
for the appellants(accused) and Mr. Ratnakar Dash,
learned senior counsel for the respondent(State).
24. Mr. Nagendra Rai, learned senior counsel for the
appellants(accused) while assailing the legality and
correctness of the impugned judgment contended that
firstly, the conviction of both the appellants, though
9
concurrent in nature, is neither factually and nor
legally sustainable.
25. In the Second place, he contended that since the
entire case of prosecution is founded on circumstantial
evidence, it was necessary for the prosecution to have
adduced evidence to prove the complete chain of
events. Learned counsel contended that there is no
evidence much less sufficient evidence adduced by the
prosecution to prove the chain of events leading to the
guilt of committing the murder of Satyawati by the
appellants and hence the conviction is bad in law.
26. In the third place, learned counsel to support his
second submission took us through the evidence with
a view to show that chain of events to prove the guilt
qua the appellants is not established.
27. In the fourth place, learned counsel contended
that the circumstances appearing in the case from the
10
evidence would show that Satyawati committed
suicide.
28. In reply, learned counsel for the respondent
(State) supported the reasoning and the conclusion
arrived at by both the Courts below and prayed for
dismissal of the appeals calling for no interference in
the concurrent findings of both the Courts below.
29. Having heard the learned counsel for the parties
and on perusal of the record of the case, we find no
merit in the appeals.
30. In our opinion, both the Courts below properly
appreciated the evidence and came to a right
conclusion that the appellants were responsible for
commission of the offence of murder of Satyawati.
31. It is a settled principle of law that when the
Courts below have recorded concurrent findings
against the accused persons which are based on due
appreciation of evidence, this Court under Article 136
11
of the Constitution of India would be slow to interfere
in such concurrent findings and secondly would not
appreciate the evidence de novo unless it is prima facie
shown that both the Courts below did not either
consider the relevant piece of evidence or there exists
any perversity or/and absurdity in the findings
recorded by both the Courts below etc.
32. We, however, made endeavour to peruse the
evidence with a view to find out as to whether the
concurrent findings of both the Courts below have any
kind of infirmity or/and whether the concurrent
findings are capable of being legally and factually
sustainable in law or need to be reversed. Having gone
through the evidence, we are of the view that the
findings are legally and factually sustainable.
33. We find that there is evidence to prove the factum
of demand of dowry. Rajender(PW-1) is the real
brother of the deceased. He was the complainant. His
12
evidence was rightly relied on by the two Courts below
for holding that the appellants were persistently
making a demand of dowry (motor cycle) from
Satyawati and her family members and they used to
harass her for such cause. The testimony of PW-1 is
natural and consistent having no material
contradiction, we, therefore, find no justification to
disbelieve it. The same deserves to be accepted.
34. So far as the story of suicide set up by the
appellants is concerned, it is, in our view, wholly
unbelievable on the evidence brought on record.
35. First, it is not possible rather difficult for a
person to commit suicide by using DBBL Gun; Second,
it has come in evidence that there were as many as 7
gun shot injuries noticed on the body of Satyawati. In
our view, It is not possible for a person to commit
suicide by firing seven gun shots one after the other on
his/her body with the use of DBBL Gun in hands.
13
However, one can commit suicide by firing one shot
with a pistol. Such was, however, not the case of the
appellants.
36. Coming to the involvement of the appellants in
commission of the offence, we find that the High Court
relied on the following circumstances appearing
against the appellants for holding them guilty of
commission of the offence of murder of Satyawati.
These circumstances are extracted hereinbelow:
“Here prosecution has discharged its part
of the burden by leading evidence of which it
was capable by substantiating the fact (i) that
there has been demand of dowry (ii) deceased
has been taken to her in laws house (iii) at the
time of death, deceased has been staying with
her in laws and appellants are the inmates of
the house (iv) death in question has taken
place inside the house (v) injuries caused
clearly reflects that it is case of murder (vi)
story of suicide set up by appellant No.3 was
not at all supported by medical evidence (vii)
DBBL gun has been used in the commission of
offence and once chain of events are clearly
linked up then in view of Section 106 of
Evidence Act, as young bride in question has
been killed inside the house, then there is
corresponding burden on the inmates of the
house to give cogent explanation as to how the
crime was committed. The inmates of the
house cannot get away by simply keeping quiet
14
and offering no explanation on the supposed
premise that the burden to establish its case
lies entirely upon the prosecution and there is
no duty at all on an accused to offer any
explanation. The principle is that when an
incriminating circumstance is put to the
accused and said accused does not offer any
explanation which on the face of it is found
false or untrue, then the same becomes
additional link in the chain of circumstances
to make it complete.”
37. In our considered opinion, the aforementioned
seven circumstances set out by the High Court for
holding the appellants guilty cannot be faulted with.
These seven circumstances do establish the chain of
events and being directly connected with the incident
in question, establish the involvement of the
appellants in commission of the offence beyond
reasonable doubt. In our opinion, the test laid down
to prove the guilt by circumstantial evidence in this
case is fully satisfied by the aforementioned seven
circumstances against the appellants.
38. That apart, we also find from the evidence that
Chandra Bhawan Singh-the appellant herein was the
15
first to lodge the FIR about the incident wherein he
stated that Satyawati has committed suicide.
Apparently, this fact proves that first, he was present
in the house where Satyawati was found dead and
second, he falsely stated that Satyawati committed
suicide because he wanted to divert the attention of
the police from the reality. As held above, no evidence
was led to prove that it was a case of suicide.
39. We also find that both the accused (appellants
herein) in their statements recorded under Section 313
of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 failed to give any
explanation when asked about the circumstances in
which the incident occurred in their house. When the
incident admittedly occurred in their house, the
appellants were required to explain the circumstances
in which Satyawati died. They, however, failed to give
any explanation.
16
40. We also find that Tribuhuwan Singh said that he
was not present in the house at the time of the
occurrence and on that day he was in Allahabad. He
also failed to adduce any evidence to prove this fact.
41. We are, therefore, of the considered view that
both the Courts below rightly held the appellants
guilty for commission of the offence in question and,
therefore, we find no good ground to take a different
view than what is taken by the two Courts below.
42. In view of the foregoing discussion, the appeals
fail and are accordingly dismissed.
 ………...................................J.
[R.K. AGRAWAL]


 …...……..................................J.
 [ABHAY MANOHAR SAPRE]
New Delhi;
May 01, 2018
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