4 Whether This Case Involves A … vs State Of … on 22 September, 2017

R/CR.A/850/2013 CAV JUDGMENT

IN THE HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT AT AHMEDABAD

CRIMINAL APPEAL  NO. 850 of 2013

 
FOR APPROVAL AND SIGNATURE: 
 
 
HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE R.M.CHHAYA
 
and
HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE BIREN VAISHNAV
 

1  Whether   Reporters   of   Local   Papers   may   be 
allowed to see the judgment ?

2  To be referred to the Reporter or not ?

3  Whether   their   Lordships   wish   to   see   the 
fair copy of the judgment ?

4  Whether   this   case   involves   a   substantial 
question   of   law   as   to   the   interpretation 
of the Constitution of India or any order 
made thereunder ?

MANSUKHBHAI MAVABHAI PARMAR….Appellant(s)
Versus
STATE OF GUJARAT….Opponent(s)/Respondent(s)

Appearance:

HCLS COMMITTEE, ADVOCATE for the Appellant(s) No. 1
MR. YOGENDRA THAKORE, ADVOCATE for the Appellant(s) No. 1
MR RUTVIJ OZA, APP for the Opponent(s)/Respondent(s) No.1

CORAM: HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE R.M.CHHAYA
and
HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE BIREN VAISHNAV
 
Date : 22/09/2017
 
CAV JUDGMENT
  (PER : HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE R.M.CHHAYA)

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1. Being   aggrieved   by   the   judgment   and   order   of 
conviction   and   sentence   passed   by   the   learned 
Additional Sessions Judge, Gondal, Camp at Upleta 
in   Sessions   Case   No.76/10   dated   03.05.2011,   the 
appellant­original   accused   has   preferred   this 
appeal under section 374 of the Code of Criminal 
Procedure.

2. The following facts emerge from the record of the 
appeal ­

2.1 That   the   appellant­original   accused   married 
Sadhnaben @ Sudhaben somewhere in the year 2005. 
The   wife   of   the   appellant   Sudhaben   lodged   a 
complaint   being   C.R.   No.   I­29/10   for   offences 
under sections 323, 498A, 506(2), 302 and 201 of 
IPC.   It was alleged against the appellant that 
after marriage, the appellant used to torture the 
complainant   mentally     and   physically   because   of 
which she left the matrimonial house along with 
her   son   Bhavesh   to   her   parental   house   at 
Bhayavadar.   It was also further alleged by the 
complainant   that   the   appellant   gave   threat   that 
if   any   complaint   is   filed,   he   would   kill   her 
brother.   The   complaint   further   recites   that 
before   about   two   months,   the   appellant   came   to 
the   house   of   the   complainant   at   Bhayavadar   and 
took  away  Bhavesh,  her   son.     It  is  further  the 
case   of   the   prosecution   that   about   6­7   days   of 
the   accident,   i.e.,   about   5   days   before,   on 
12.07.2010,   the   appellant   took   his   son   Bhavesh 

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aged 4 years from Bhayavadar to a place somewhere 
near Arani village and threw him in an abandoned 
well   and   on   this   premises,   it   was   alleged   that 
the appellant has committed the said offence.
2.2 The   FIR   was   lodged   with   Bhayavadar   Police 
Station,   which   was   registered   as   C.R.   No.   I­
29/10.     The   investigating   officer   investigated 
the offence and the case was thereafter committed 
to   the   learned   Sessions   Court,   Gondal,   Camp   at 
Upleta and registered as Sessions Case No.76/10. 
The appellant did not plead guilty and preferred 
to be tried and ultimately, charge was framed at 
Exhibit 6. The statement of the appellant­accused 
was recorded as provided under section 313 of the 
Cr.P.C.     The   prosecution   examined   16   panch 
witnesses   and   documentary   evidence   was   also 
adduced in form of Inquest panchnama at Exhibit 
9,   panchnama   of   place   of   offence,   Exhibit   10, 
Panchnama   of   the   muddamal   clothes   recovered   at 
Exhibit   13,   demonstration   panchnama   at   Exhibit 
16, Arrest panchnama Exhibit 17, FIR Exhibit 21, 
photographs at Exhibit 23, P.M. Note at Exhibit 
27,   Cause   of   Death   Certificate   at   Exhibit   28, 
Short   Report   at   Exhibit   29,   Letter   of   Circle 
Inspector,   Map   and   Panch   Rojkam   at   Exhibit   31, 
attendance   register   at   Exhibit   36,   Order   of 
investigation   at   Exhibit   38,   Letter   for 
registration   of   accidental   death   at   Exhibit   39, 
Email   to   FSL,   Rajkot   at   Exhibit   40,   Form   of 
accidental death No.26/10 at Exhibit 41, Serious 
offence   report   at   Exhibit   42,   Report   for 

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investigation   of   death   at   Exhibit   43,   Yadi   for 
doing inquest at Exhibit 44, Yadi for taking DNA 
test sample at Exhibit 45, Yadi for P.M. of dead 
body at Exhibit 46, Letter for performing P.M. at 
Exhibit 47, Letter for performing P.M.at Exhibit 
48,   Letter   for   receipt   of   P.M.   Note   at   Exhibit 
49,   Report   of   FSL   of   investigation   of   place   at 
Exhibit   50,   Outward   for   preparing   map   of   the 
local   place   at   Exhibit   51,   Yadi   to   Executive 
Magistrate,   Bhayavadar   at   Exhibit   52,   Authority 
letter   at   Exhbiti   53,     Receipt   issued   by   FSL, 
Exhibit 54, Ravangi nondh of muddamal at Exhibit 
55, Receipt of FSL at Exhibit 56, Letter written 
for getting Final Cause of Death Certificate at 
Exhibit 57, Letter written to FSL at Exhibit 58, 
Letter   written   to   FSL   at   Exhibit   59,   Analysis 
report of FSL at Exhibit 60, Analysis report of 
FSL  at  Exhbit  61,  Letter  of  FSL  at  Exhibit  62, 
DNA   report   at   Exhbit   63,   Letter   of   PSI, 
Jamkandorna   at   Exhibit   64,     Information   of 
accused sent by     PSI, Jamkandorna, Exhibit 65, 
Birth certificate of deceased Bhavesh at Exhibit 
66, Serological report of FSL at Exhibit 67.  The 
accused   also   filed   written   statements.     The 
learned   Additional   Sessions   Judge   after 
considering the evidence on record, acquitted the 
appellant   for   the   offences   under   sections   323, 
498A   and   506   of   the  
IPC,   however   convicted   the 
appellant for offences under sections 302 and 201 
of  
IPC   and   sentenced   for   imprisonment   for   life 
for   offence   under   section   302   of  
IPC   and 

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imprisonment   for   one   year   for   offence   under 
section 201 of the 
IPC and ordered that both the 
sentences   would   run   concurrently.     No   fine   has 
been imposed.   Being aggrieved by the same, the 
present appeal is filed.

3. Heard   Mr.   Yogendra   M.   Thakore,   learned   advocate 
for the appellant and Mr. Rutviz Oza, learned APP 
for the State.

4. Mr.   Thakore,   learned   counsel   appearing   for   the 
appellant took this Court through the evidence on 
record and so also impugned judgment an order of 
conviction   and   sentence   and   has   contended   as 
under ­

1) That   the   learned   Sessions   Judge   has   failed 
to appreciate the evidence on record and has 
wrongly   convicted   the   appellant   under 
section 302 of the 
IPC and under section 201 
of 
IPC.  

2) Mr.   Thakore   contended   that   the   prosecution 
has not been able to even remotely prove the 
motive.   Mr. Thakore further contended that 
it is impossible for any person to kill his 
son without any reasons and on the contrary 
there is evidence on record that the son was 
being kept in the house of the appellant in 
a   very   cordial   manner   and   therefore,   the 
order of sentence and conviction deserves to 
be quashed.

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3) Mr.   Thakore   contended   that   the   well   in 
question is situated at a distance of 25­30 
kms   from   the   house   of   the   appellant   where 
the appellant stays with his mother and the 
boy had fallen down in the well accidentally 
and   the   appellant   has   been   falsely 
implicated in the offence of murder because 
of   ongoing   dispute   between   the   complainant 
and her family and the appellant whereas the 
appellant   had   already   left   Bhayavadar   for 
service   at   Rajkot.     Mr.   Thakore   further 
contended that the whole conviction is based 
on   theory   of   last   seen   together   and   whole 
chain   of   circumstances   is   not   at   all 
complete   and   in   such   circumstances,   the 
conviction of the appellant only on the sole 
ground/theory   of   last   seen   together   is   not 
permissible.

4) Relying upon the judgment of the Apex Court 
in the case of 
Anjan Kumar Sarma vs. State 
of Assam reported in AIR 2017 SC 2617, Mr. 
Thakore   contended   that   the   appellant 
deserves   to   be   acquitted   from   all   charges. 
It   was   contended   that   thus,   no   motive   is 
there and the prosecution has not proved the 
motive   beyond   doubt.     Mr.   Thakore   further 
contended   that   if   the   time   and   last   seen 
together   is   seen,   the   prosecution   has   not 
proved   beyond   reasonable   doubt   as   no   exact 

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time   is   proved.     Mr.   Thakore   further 
contended   that   even   if   evidence   of   medical 
officer   is   appreciated,   the   same   does   not 
give any exact time of the death and except 
the   theory   of   last   seen   together,   no   other 
evidence   is   there   on   record   and   therefore, 
sole   reliance   upon   such   weak   piece   of 
evidence is not permissible.  

5) It   was   contended   by   Mr.   Thakore   that   the 
conduct   of   the   witness   relied   upon   by   the 
Sessions   Court   is   unnatural   and   benefit   of 
doubt should go in favour of the accused and 
the   accused   deserves   to   be   acquitted   from 
all charges by allowing this appeal.

5. Per   contra,   Mr.   Oza,   learned   APP   has   submitted 
that   though   prosecution   case   is   based   on 
circumstantial evidence, the prosecution has been 
able to prove that the chain is complete and the 
dead body was found on 12.07.2010 and in fact the 
same   was   informed   by   P.W.   6   Gajubha   Dadubha 
Chudasama.     Mr.   Oza   also   relied   upon   the 
reconstruction   of   the   crime   and   deposition   of 
P.W. 5 Ashokbhai Arjanbhai Vala, Exhibit 16 and 
has contended that the Sessions Court has rightly 
believed   the   case   of   the   prosecution   and   has 
rightly   convicted   the   appellant   for   offences 
under sections 302 and 201 of 
IPC.   The learned 
APP has also relied upon Exhibit 31, map prepared 
by   the   revenue   officer   and   has   contended   that 

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considering the other piece of evidence, the same 
corroborates   with   the   other   evidence   and   more 
particularly   the   evidence   of   P.W.   9,   Nanjibhai 
Jivabhai   Makwana,   Exhibit   24   who   has   seen 
appellant with his son passing nearby the scene 
of offence.  It was therefore contended that the 
appeal is meritless and the same deserves to be 
dismissed.  

6. Upon perusal of the Record  Proceedings and upon 
considering   the   submissions   made,   it   clearly 
appears that the case of the prosecution is based 
on   circumstantial   evidence.     At   the   first 
instance, it would be appropriate to refer to the 
deposition of P.W. 6, Gajubha Dadubha Chudasama, 
Exhibit   18.     The   said   witness   has   deposed   that 
the   incident   happened   during   monsoon   season   and 
he stated on oath that he is an agriculturist and 
his   agricultural   land   is   situated   at   Arani 
village in the sim of Bhayavadar and its survey 
number is 476.  He has also stated that there is 
an   old   well   in   the   said   agricultural   field   and 
the same is not registered in the revenue record. 
He   has   further   stated   that   while   the   bullocks 
were   grazing,   when   he   peeped   into   the   well,   he 
found   that   the   dead   body   of   the   child   was 
floating.   He also stated on oath that the said 
well is 30­35 feet deep.  He has further averred 
that after seeing the dead body, he informed the 
police   station   and   thereafter   police   personnel 
came  and  took  out  the  dead  body  from  the  well. 

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He  further   averred  that  the  dead  body  was  of  a 
boy aged about 4­5 years.  He also categorically 
stated   in   his   examination­in­chief   that   he   was 
not aware who the boy was.   He has also stated 
that he did not know that the family members of 
the   boy   belonged   to   Bhayavadar.     He   has   stated 
that he stays at village Sevantra.   Even in his 
cross­examination,   he   has   not   stated   anything 
further.

7. The   complainant,   P.W.7,   was   examined   at   Exhibit 

20.     In   her   examination­in­chief,   she   has 
narrated what is found in the first information 
report.     She   has   further   averred   in   her 
examination­in­chief   that   after   her   husband, 
i.e.,   appellant­accused   left   for   Chavandi,   she 
stayed alone with her mother and brother and had 
also   talked   about   quarrel   with   the   appellant 
husband.     She   has   further   stated   that   about   15 
days   after   the   appellant   took   her   son   Bhavesh, 
she   inquired   from   one   of   his   family   member 
Karabhai Budhabhai as to how is her son and she 
was   told   that   her   son   stays   with   her   husband­
appellant   herein   and   her   mother­in­law   and   both 
are happy.  She has further averred that after 2­
3 days, she came to know that a dead body of a 
child was found in an abandoned well near village 
Arani and had also heard that the age of the boy 
was 6­7 years.   She has further averred that as 
the   age   of   her   son   was   4   years,   no   doubt   was 
created.  She further says in her deposition that 

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after 3­4 days, she called Karabhai on phone and 
inquired   about   her   son   and   she   was   informed   by 
Karabhai that her son is not seen since about 10 
days and her husband Mansukh­appellant herein is 
also not seen in Chavandi since 3­4 days and that 
it is heard that he has gone to Rajkot.  She has 
further averred that thereafter, she talked about 
it with other members of the society who informed 
that   they   should   go   to   the   police   station   and 
inquire   and   the   clothes   and   photographs   of   the 
boy would be there and therefore, she along with 
her mother and brother went to Bhayavadar Police 
Station.     It   is   further   averred   that   on   seeing 
the photographs and the shirt, she identified the 
photo   and   the   clothes   of   her   son.     She   has 
further   stated   that   thereafter   one   Nanjibhai 
Parmar told her that he had seen her husband and 
the   boy   together   near   the   turn   of   Arani   road. 
She has further stated that she was informed that 
he had seen them before the dead body was found. 
She   has   further   stated   that   thereafter,   she 
informed the police that her husband has killed 
her   son   and   filed   a   complaint.     In   her   cross­
examination,   she   has   stated   that   she   does   not 
know   the   exact   date   on   which   the   incident   has 
happened.     She   has   also   stated   in   her   cross­
examination that during the time when she and the 
appellant were together, they used to keep their 
son   properly.     She   has   also   admitted   in   her 
cross­examination   that   she   has   not   made   any 
complaint   against   her   husband   about   consuming 

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liquor and she was frequently beaten by him.  She 
has further denied the suggestion of the defence 
that her son Bhavesh accidentally fell into the 
well   and   she   has   also   denied   the   suggestion   of 
the defence that the appellant has not killed her 
son.   She   has   also   denied   the   suggestion   put   to 
her   by   the   defence   that   on   the   date   of   the 
incident   her   son   was   going   from   Chavandi   to 
Bhayavadar   and   accidentally   fell   into   the   well. 
She has also denied the suggestion that as there 
is dispute with her husband, she is giving false 
deposition.  

8. Similarly, the prosecution has also examined P.W. 

8, Ashokbhai Bhanjibhai Rathod, Exhibit 22.   He 
has   almost   narrated   the   same   thing   which   is 
narrated by P.W.7 in his cross­examination.   In 
his   cross­examination,   he   has   stated   that   the 
house of his sister and brother­in­law is about 8 
streets away and has also admitted that he has no 
idea about the quarrel between the appellant and 
his sister.  He has further stated in his cross­
examination   that   she   used   to   come   to   parental 
house   along   with   Bhavesh.     He   has   also   stated 
that as there was quarrel between his sister and 
brother­in­law,   i.e.,   appellant,   and   thereafter 
he went to village Chavandi.   He has denied the 
suggestion   of   the   defence   that   as   there   is 
dispute   with   the   appellant   with   his   brother­in­
law,   even   though   Bhavesh   has   accidentally   fell 
into the well and has died, in order to falsely 

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implicate   the   appellant,   he   has   given   false 
deposition.     He   has   further   admitted   in   his 
cross­examination   that   he   has   not   seen   the 
appellant   throwing   Bhavesh   into   the   well. 
However, he admits that he came to know the said 
incident from others, i.e., hearsay.

9. The   prosecution   has   also   examined   P.W.   9, 
Nanjibhai Jivabhai Makwana, Exhibit 24.  The said 
witness has stated in his cross­examination that 
he stays at Bhayavadar village in Holidhar area. 
He   has   stated   that   he   stays   about   3­4   streets 
away from the appellant’s house.  He has further 
stated that the name of his wife is Savitaben and 
that   his   daughter   is   married   at   village 
Jamtimbdi.   He further states that he knows the 
appellant because he stays in the neighbourhood. 
He has further stated that he had gone to Timbdi 
at   his   daughter’s   place   from   there   to   village 
Arani.     He  has  further  averred  that  he  and  his 
wife   had   come   on   the   motorcycle   and   as   it   was 
raining, they stopped at Arani for some time.  He 
has   further   averred   that   while   coming   to 
Bhayavadar,   sub­station   of   GEB   is   situated   and 
their he saw appellant with his son Bhavesh.  He 
has   further   stated   that   he   saw   both   of   them 
walking   and   that   the   appellant   blinked   when   he 
saw the said witness as well as his wife.  He has 
further   stated   that   thereafter   they   came   to 
Bhayavadar.     He   has   further   averred   that 
thereafter,   after   few   days,   he   heard   that   the 

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appellant had thrown the deceased into the well 
and killed him.  In his cross­examination, he has 
stated that distance from Jamtimbdi to Bhayavadar 
is 17 kms.   He has also stated that in order to 
cover   the   said   distance   on   motorcycle,   time   of 
half an hour would be consumed.   He has further 
stated that he left the house of his daughter at 
about 5.00 O’clock in the evening for coming to 
Bhayavadar.  He further stated that distance from 
Timbdi   to   GEB   sub­station   is   16   kms.     He   has 
further stated that for coming from Jamtimbdi to 
GEB   sub­station   would   consume   about   20   minutes. 
He   has   further   stated   that   because   of   rain   he 
stopped at village Arani for about half an hour. 
He has further admitted in his cross­examination 
that   the   complainant   and   her   family   members 
belong to his caste.   He has also admitted that 
they are their relatives.  He has further denied 
the   fact   that   because   of   rain,   there   was   not 
movement  on  the  road.    He  has  also   denied  that 
when he came, at that moment, he had seen no one. 
He has admitted in his cross­examination that he 
has   not   seen   the   appellant   throwing   deceased 
Bhavesh   into   the   well.     He   has   stated   further 
that however as they met him on the road, because 
of   the   same,   on   presumption   that   the   appellant 
has killed Bhavesh by throwing him into the well, 
such deposition is made on presumption.  

10. The prosecution has examined P.W.10 Dr. Shailesh 
Dhanjibhai Bhuva at Exhibit 26.  The said Doctor 

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had performed postmortem of the dead body of the 
deceased.     From   the   examination­in­chief,   it 
appears   that   the   said   witness   has   narrated   the 
condition of the dead body.  He has specifically 
stated in his examination that no injuries were 
found and no fracture was found and there was no 
external injuries.   He has also opined that the 
time of death of the dead body may be between 5 
to 15 days before the date of postmortem.  In his 
examination he has stated that the cause of death 
is   drowning.     In   his   cross­examination,   he   has 
specifically   stated   that   the   body   parts   are 
vanished may be because of the aqua animals.  The 
prosecution   has   also   examined   Circle   Inspector 
Govindbhai Lakhmanbhai Bariya, P.W.11 at Exhibit 

30.  He has prepared the map and has accepted the 
fact   that   the   map   was   prepared   by   visiting   the 
scene   of   offence.     Nothing   is   found   from   the 
deposition of the said witness.   Similarly, the 
prosecution   has   also   examined   Jemabhai     Ukabhai 
Samaliya,   P.W.   12   at   Exhibit   32.     The   said 
witness has stated in his cross­examination that 
he pulled the dead body from the well.   He has 
stated that he knows how to swim and pulls up the 
dead   body   from   the   well.     The   prosecution   has 
further examined Mansukbhai Ugabhai Parmar, P.W. 
13, Exhibit 33. The said witness has stated that 
he   stays   at   village   Chavandi   and   that   the 
appellant   was   also   staying   at   village   Chavandi 
and   he   knows   him.     The   said   witness   has   also 
stated   that   he   knows   Parshottam   Bhanabhai   Patel 

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and   he   keeps   partnership   in   the   agricultural 
operations.     He   has   stated   that   on   06.07.2010, 
while he was going to his agricultural field, he 
met Sureshbhai on motorcycle who had informed him 
that   he   wants   to   go   to   Arani.     He   has   further 
stated that he got down near his field.  At that 
time he saw appellant and his son.  He has stated 
that the police informed him that the appellant 
has   killed   his   son.     He   has   admitted   in   his 
cross­examination   that   he   is   not   aware   as   to 
where the appellant and his son were going.   He 
has   also   admitted   that   he   does   not   have   any 
personal   information   about   the   incident, 
however,  he  came  to  know  about  the  same  as  the 
police   informed   him.     The   prosecution   has   also 
examined   Sureshbhai   Tejabhai   Akbari,   P.W.14, 
Exhibit 34.   The said witness has stated in his 
cross­examination   that   he   stays   at   Chavandi 
village and he knows the appellant as he stays at 
village Chavandi.  He has further stated that on 
06.07.2010 while he was going on his motorcycle 
from   Chavandi   to   Arani,   he   met   Mansukh   Ugabhai 
Parmar,   p.w.13   and   gave   him   lift   till   his 
agricultural   field   and   at   that   moment   he   saw 
appellant and his son going towards Arani village 
and  as  he  asked  for  lift  on  his   motorcycle,  he 
dropped   the   appellant   and   his   son   at   the   bus 
station of Arani and after staying at the house 
of his sister, he came back to village Chavandi. 
He   has   further   stated   that   the   police   came 
afterwards   and   informed   him   that   the   accused 

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Mansukhbhai has thrown his son into the well and 
in   his   cross­examination,   he   has   stated   that 
Chavandi is a small village and the deceased boy 
was   staying   at   the   village   Chavandi.     He   has 
admitted the fact that after dropping the accused 
at   village   Arani,   he   was   not   aware   where   he 
wanted to go.   He has also stated in the cross­
examination   that   after   he   dropped   the   appellant 
and   his   son   at   village   Arani,   he   is   not   aware 
where  they   had  gone.    He  has  admitted   the  fact 
that   he   does   not   have   any   personal   information 
about   the   incident.     The   prosecution   has   also 
examined   Sagarbhai   Bharatbhai   Kalariya,   P.W.   15 
at Exhibit 35.  The said witness has stated that 
the   appellant   had   approached   him   on   08.07.2010 
for some work as a daily wager and he filled in 
the form as provided under the Rules and that the 
appellant worked in his factory at Rajkot in the 
carting   department   as   helper   from   08.07.2010   to 
21.07.2010.   He has also stated that he came to 
know about the incident when he read in the daily 
newspaper.     He   has   also   produced   on   record   at 
Exhibit   36,   the   attendance   register.     In   his 
cross­examination,   he   has   stated   that   before 
offering   the   job   to   the   appellant,   he   had 
inquired   about   his   name,   address   and   his 
experience.   He has also admitted that from the 
appearance, the appellant Mansukhbhai appeared to 
be a good person and therefore, he had kept him 
in service.   He has also admitted the fact that 
for whatever days appellant worked with him, he 

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worked   in   satisfactory   manner.     He   has   also 
admitted that he knows appellant because he was 
working in his factory.  The prosecution has also 
examined   P.W.   16   Shashikant   Amrutlal   Joshi   at 
Exhibit 37.   In his examination­in­chief, he has 
narrated   the   manner   in   which   the   investigation 
has   taken   place   on   the   complaint   filed   by   the 
original complainant.  He has also stated that it 
has   not   come   on   record   that   the   appellant   gave 
any complaint about his missing son.   In cross­
examination, he has admitted the fact that during 
the   investigation   it   revealed   that   there   was 
dispute   between   the   appellant   and   his   wife   and 
the   complainant   was   staying   at   her   parental 
house.  He has denied the suggestion that only on 
presumption   the   complainant   has   filed   the 
complaint.   He has stated that he can state the 
date on which the incident took place, however, 
he cannot exactly say time when it has happened. 
He has also stated in his cross­examination bus 
station of Arani village is at a distance of 3 to 
4   kms   from   the   scene   of   offence.     He   has   also 
admitted   that   on   the   eastern   side   of   the   road, 
Gangeshwar   Mahadev   Temple   is   situated.     He   has 
denied   the   fact   that   the   deceased   child   died 
because of the accident by falling into the well. 
He  has  admitted  the   fact  that  he  has  not  taken 
any   statements   of   the   persons   staying   in 
neighborhood   of   the   deceased   child.         He   has 
denied   the   suggestion   of   the   defence   that   even 
though   it   is   an   accident,   a   false   complaint   is 

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lodged.  He has admitted in his cross­examination 
that   during   investigation,   there   is   no   eye­
witness who has seen the appellant throwing the 
deceased  into   the  well.       In  addition   to  that, 
the prosecution has also examined P.W. 1 Ranubha 
Lakhubha Chudasama, P.W. 2 Arvindbhai Lakhmanbhai 
Vagh, P.W. 3 Hareshbhai Gandubhai Moradiya, P.W.4 
Hasmukhbhai Nathubhai Parmar and P.W.5 Ashokbhai 
Arjanbhai   Vala,   the   panch   witnesses.     However, 
looking at the deposition, except the fact that 
same   relates   to   the   respective   stages   of 
investigation,   nothing   turns   out   of   that 
evidence.   Over and above this, the prosecution 
has   also   relied   upon   the   serological   report, 
Postmortem note and inquest panchnama.

11.   Upon   considering   the   submissions   made   and   the 
evidence   as   discussed   hereinabove,   it   is   an 
admitted position that the whole case against the 
appellant is based on circumstantial evidence and 
on   the   theory   of   last   seen   together.     P.W.   16 
Shashikant   Amrutlal   Joshi,   the   investigating 
officer, Exhibit 37 has clearly admitted in his 
cross­examination that  no eye­witness was found. 
It also deserves to be noted that though charge 
was framed under sections 323, 498A, 506 of 
IPC, 
the   Sessions   Court   itself   has   come   to   the 
conclusion that the prosecution has not been able 
to prove the same and therefore, the aspect which 
is   under   consideration   by   this   Court   in   this 
appeal is in relation to offence under sections 
302   and   201   of  
IPC.     The   record   clearly 

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establishes   that   the   appellant   brought   his   son 
from Bhayavadar to his village Chavandi and was 
staying with his father.  Even in the deposition 
of the complainant, P.W. 7, it has come on record 
that   when   inquiries   were   made   about   her   son 
through   a   near   relative,   the   complainant   was 
informed   that   the   boy   is   hale   and   hearty. 
Similar version comes from the evidence of P.W. 
8,   brother   of   the   complainant   Ashokbhai 
Bhanjibhai   Rathod.     The   whole   case   of   the 
prosecution is therefore based on the theory of 
last seen together based upon the oral deposition 
of   P.W.   9,   P.W.   13   and   P.W.   14.     In   the 
deposition   of   P.W.   9,   there   is   no   exact   date 
whereas   it   is   pertinent   to   note   that   in   the 
deposition  of  P.W.  13  and  P.W.  14,  it  would  be 
evident that both the prosecution witnesses have 
stated the date 06.07.2010.  However, none of the 
witnesses have stated that they have any personal 
information about the appellant throwing his son 
into the well.  All the three witnesses have not 
been   able   to   bring   home   as   to   whether   the 
appellant was proceeding with his son towards the 
well.     There   is   no   other   evidence   as   rightly 
pointed   out   by   the   learned   counsel   for   the 
appellant to even remotely show much less prove 
that any motive to kill his son was present.  On 
the   contrary,   as   observed   hereinabove,   the 
appellant   is   found   to   be   keeping   his   son   in   a 
pleasant   manner   at   his   residence.     Even   if   the 
deposition of all the three prosecution witnesses 

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viz., P.W. 9, 13 and 14 are looked at as a whole 
and if it is compared with the deposition of P.W. 
11 Govindbhai Lakhmanbhai Baraiya, Exhibit 30 and 
the   map   which   is   heavily   relied   upon   by   the 
learned   Assistant   Public   Prosecutor   at   Exhibit 
31,   the   same   does   not   in   fact   match   with   the 
version   of   the   witness.     On   re­appreciation   of 
this piece of evidence and comparing it with the 
scene of offence from the panchnama of the scene 
of   offence   at   Exhibit   10,   the   same   are   poles 
apart   and   the   prosecution   has   not   been   able   to 
complete   the   chain   of   circumstances   which   may 
lead   to   a   finding   that   as   per   the   chain   of 
evidence and coupled with the theory of last seen 
together, the appellant is guilty.   The learned 
Sessions Judge has though recorded that there is 
no eye­witness to the incident, the chain should 
be complete, however, has failed to consider the 
evidence and has wrongly come to the conclusion 
that the same leads to circumstances which proves 
the guilt of the appellant.  The learned Sessions 
Judge   has   also  therefore   wrongly   come   to   the 
conclusion on wrong appreciation of evidence more 
particularly   of   the   Circle   Inspector   at   Exhibit 
30, map at Exhibit 31 as well as oral deposition 
of Nanjibhai Jivabhai Makwana at Exhibit 24 and 
Exhibits  33  and  34  and  has  wrongly  come  to  the 
conclusion that the incident has taken place on 
06.07.2010.     As   observed   hereinabove,   in   the 
first   statement   made   by   Nanjibhai,   P.W.   9,   at 
Exhibit   24,   there   is   no   mention   about   the   date 

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and that improvement is made by P.W.13 and P.W. 
14,   Exhibits   33   and   34.     Even   if   the   date 
06.07.2010 is taken from the deposition of P.W. 
13 and P.W. 14, the evidence of Doctor examined 
independently   and   upon   re­appreciation   of   it 
clearly mentions that death has occurred because 
of   drowning,   which   cannot   be   co­related   to 
06.07.2010,   merely   on   the   deposition   of   the 
Doctor that the incident took place between 5­15 
days.   Even   otherwise,   as   decided   by   the   Apex 
Court in the case of Anjan Kumar Sarma (supra), 
the Hon’ble Apex Court has observed thus ­

“21. It   is   clear   from   the   above   that   in   a 
case   where   the   other   links   have   been  
satisfactorily   made   out   and   the 
circumstances   point   to   the   guilt   of   the 
accused,   the   circumstance   of   last   seen 
together   and   absence   of   explanation   would 
provide   an   additional   link   which   completes 
the chain. In the absence of proof of other  
circumstances, the only circumstance of last 
seen   together   and   absence   of   satisfactory 
explanation   cannot   be   made   the   basis   of 
conviction.   The   other   judgments   on  this 
point that are cited by Mr. Venkataramani do  
not   take   a   different   view   and,   thus,   need 
not be adverted to. He also relied upon the  
judgment   of   this   Court   in  
State   of   Goa   v. 
Sanjay Thakran, (2007) 3 SCC 755  in support 
of   his   submission   that   the   circumstance   of 
last   seen   together   would   be   a   relevant 
circumstance   in   a   case   where   there   was   no 
possibility of any other persons meeting or 
approaching   the   deceased   at   the   place   of 
incident   or   before   the   commission   of   crime 
in   the   intervening   period.   It   was   held   in 
the above judgment as under:­

“34. From the principle laid down by this  

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Court,   the   circumstance   of   last   seen  
together   would   normally   be   taken   into 
consideration   for   finding   the   accused 
guilty   of   the   offence   charged   with   when  
it is established by the prosecution that 
the   time   gap   between   the   point   of   time 
when   the   accused   and   the   deceased   were 
found   together   alive   and   when   the  
deceased was found dead is so small that 
possibility   of   any   other   person   being 
with   the   deceased   could   completely   be 
ruled   out.   The   time   gap   between   the 
accused   persons   seen   in   the   company   of 
the   deceased   and   the   detection   of   the  
crime   would   be   a   material   consideration  
for   appreciation   of   the   evidence   and  
placing reliance on it as a circumstance 
against   the   accused.   But,   in   all   cases,  
it   cannot   be   said   that   the   evidence   of 
last   seen   together   is   to   be   rejected 
merely   because   the   time   gap   between   the  
accused   persons   and   the   deceased   last 
seen   together   and   the   crime   coming   to  
light   is   after   (sic   of)   a   considerable 
long duration. There can be no fixed or 
straitjacket formula for the duration of 
time   gap   in   this   regard   and   it   would  
depend   upon   the   evidence   led   by   the 
prosecution to remove the possibility of 
any other person meeting the deceased in 
the   intervening   period,   that   is   to   say,  
if the prosecution is able to lead such 
an evidence that likelihood of any person 
other than the accused, being the author 
of   the   crime,   becomes   impossible,   then 
the evidence of circumstance of last seen 
together, although there is long duration 
of time, can be considered as one of the 
circumstances   in   the   chain   of 
circumstances to prove the guilt against 
such   accused   persons.   Hence,   if   the 
prosecution   proves   that   in   the   light   of  
the facts and circumstances of the case, 
there   was   no   possibility   of   any   other  
person   meeting   or   approaching   the 
deceased   at   the   place   of   incident   or 

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before   the   commission   of   the   crime,   in 
the intervening period, the proof of last 
seen together would be relevant evidence. 
For   instance,   if   it   can   be   demonstrated  
by showing that the accused persons were 
in   exclusive   possession   of   the   place  
where the incident occurred or where they 
were   last   seen   together   with   the 
deceased, and there was no possibility of 
any intrusion to that place by any third 
party,   then   a   relatively   wider   time   gap  
would not affect the prosecution case.”
As we have held that the other circumstances  
relied   upon   by   the   prosecution   are   not  
proved   and   that   the   circumstances   of   last 
seen   together   along   with   the   absence   of 
satisfactory   explanation   are   not   sufficient 
for   convicting   the   accused.   Therefore   the 
findings recorded in the above judgment are 
not applicable to the facts of this case.”

12. Therefore, the conviction cannot be based solely 
on the theory of last seen together and none of 
the   facets   of   chain   of   circumstances   which   are 
unfolded by prosecution witness does not lead to 
complete   the   chain   of   circumstances,   which 
creates   doubt   about   the   involvement   of   the 
appellant   and   benefit   of   such   doubt   would 
therefore   go   in   favour   of   the   appellant.     Even 
upon re­appreciation of the evidence of P.W. 16 
Exhibit   37,   the   investigating   officer,   the   same 
cannot be used as a link to show that the chain 
is complete.  

13. In   the   case   on   hand   also,   the   circumstances 
relied   upon   by   the   prosecution   are   not   proved 
along   with   theory   of   last   seen   together   and 
therefore,   the   appellant   is   entitled   to   benefit 

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of doubt as the chain of circumstances does not 
lead   to   the   guilt   against   the   accused   and   the 
same is not complete.

14. Consequently, the appeal is allowed. The judgment 
and   order   of   conviction   and   sentence   passed   by 
the   learned   Additional   Sessions   Judge,   Gondal, 
Camp   at   Upleta   in   Sessions   Case   No.76/10   dated 
03.05.2011   is   hereby   quashed   and   set   aside   and 
the   appellant   is   directed   to   be   set   at   liberty 
forthwith if not required in any other case. 

(R.M.CHHAYA, J.) 

(BIREN VAISHNAV, J.) 
bjoy

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