SC and HC Judgments Online at MyNation

Judgments of Supreme Court of India and High Courts

Bablu @ Narendra Singh vs State Of U.P. on 30 May, 2019

HIGHCOURTOFJUDICATUREATALLAHABAD

A.F.R Reservedon:10.4.2019

Deliveredon:30.5.2019

CourtNo.-7

Case:-CRIMINALAPPEALNo.-5908of2009

Appellant:-Bablu@NarendraSingh

Respondent:-StateOfU.P.

CounselforAppellant:-AjayKumarSingh,AnjaliRajpoot,DileepKumar,OmvirBabu,P.K.Rajpoot,VivekKumarSingh

CounselforRespondent:-Govt.Advocate

Hon’blePritinkerDiwaker,J.

Hon’bleRajeevMisra,J.

(DeliveredbyHon’bleRajeevMisra,J.)

1. Challengeinthiscriminalappealistothejudgementandorderdated24.8.2009,passedbytheAdditionalSessionsJudge(F.T.C.)CourtNo.7,BulandshahrinSessionsTrialNo.639of1999(StateVs.Bablu@NarendraSingh).Undertheimpugnedjudgementandorder,theaccusedappellantBablu@NarendraSinghhasbeenconvictedunderSectionsection304BI.P.C.andconsequentlysentencestolifeimprisonment.HehasalsobeenconvictedunderSectionsection498AIPCbutbyreasonofthejudgementreportedin2005(52)ACC1912,SunilGargVs.StateofU.P.,hehasnotbeensentencedunderSectionsection498AIPC.TheaccusedappellanthasfurtherbeenconvictedunderSectionsection3oftheDowryProhibitionAct.Accordingly,hehasbeensentencedtofiveyearsrigorousimprisonmentalongwithfineofRs.15,000/-.Indefault,theaccusedappellantistoundergothreemonthsadditionalimprisonment.Lastly,theaccusedappellanthasbeenconvictedunderSectionsection4oftheDowryProhibitionAct.Assuch,hehasbeensentencedtotwoyearsrigorousimprisonmentalongwithfineofRs.1,000/-.Incaseofdefault,theappellantistoundergothreemonthsadditionalimprisonment.

2. IttranspiresfromtherecordthatthemarriageofappellantBablu@NarendraSinghwassolemnizedwithBabita(deceased)on1.12.1995inaccordancewiththeHinduRitesandCustoms.However,justaftertheexpiryofaperiodoffivemonthsandfifteendaysfromthedateofmarriage,anunfortunateincidentoccurredon15.5.1996,inwhichBabitathewifeoftheappellantdied.ItisthenatureofdeathofthedeceasedBabitawhichisrequiredtobedealtwithinthisappeal.

3. VijaySingh,aneighbouroftheaccused-appellantsubmittedawrittenreportdated15.5.1996oftheaforesaidoccurrenceatPoliceStationAurangabad,DistrictBulandshahr.P.W.3H.MRajveer

Singhenteredthewrittenreportdated15.5.1996intheG.D.videreportNo.34dated15.5.1996.He,thereafter,scribedthecheckF.I.R.dated15.5.1996(Ext.Ka-2)whichwasregisteredasCaseCrimeNo.63of1996,underSectionsection302IPC,P.S.Aurangabad,DistrictBulandshahr.

4. AperusaloftheF.I.R.willgotoshowthatthesamehasbeenlodgedbythefirstinformantVijaySingh,againstunknownpersons.Thedate,timeandplaceofoccurrenceasmentionedintheF.I.R.is15.5.1996at7:00pminthehouseofthedeceased(Babita)whichissituateinvillagePipala,P.S.Aurangabad,DistrictBulandshahr.TheF.I.R.alsocontainsthedetailsregardingthetimeanddateofthelodgingoftheF.I.Rwhichis8:45pmon15.5.1996.S.I.-H.C.Panda(P.W.7)wasappointedastheEnquiryOfficer.

5. AfterthelodgingoftheF.I.R.dated15.5.1996,thePoliceofPoliceStationAurangabadcameintomotion.P.W.7,S.I.-H.C.PandawhowasappointedastheInvestigatingOfficerproceededwiththeinvestigationoftheaforesaidcasecrimenumber.AftercompletingtheformalitiesofenteringthewrittenreportandtheF.I.R.inthecasediary,herecordedthestatementofthescribeoftheF.I.R.namely,P.W.3RajveerSinghthefirstinformantSanjaySingh.Therefore,accompaniedbythefirstinformant,hevisitedtheplaceofoccurrenceandinspectedthesame.He,accordinglynotedtheinspectionmemodated15.5.1996inthecasediaryandpreparedthesiteplanoftheplaceofoccurrence(Ext.Ka-11).Healsorecoveredplainearthandearthmixedwithbloodfromtheplaceofoccurrenceandsealedthemseparately.Healsorecoveredthebedsheetwhichwashavingbloodstains.Thesamewassealed.Healsorecoveredbrokenpiecesofbanglesofthedeceasedwhichwerealsosealed.Inrespectoftheabove,hepreparedtherecoverymemodated15.5.1996(Ext.Ka-12).TheaforesaidrecoveryiswitnessedbyoneChoteLalSharma.

6. AftercompletingtheaforesaidformalitiesP.W.4,S.I.RamGopalYadavtookpossessionofthedeadbody.He,thereafterappointedthepanchwitnessesnamely,ChoteLalSharma,GyanSharma,ChandraPal,RajmalSinghandSatpalSingh.Intheopinionofthepanchwitnesses,thedeathofthedeceasedwashomicidal.Accordingly,P.W.7theInvestigatingOfficerS.I.-H.C.Pandapreparedtheinquestreportdated15.5.1996(Ext.Ka-5).

7. Theinquestreportclearlycontainsthecasecrimenumberinwhichitwasprepared,thedateandtimingoftheinquest,theofficerunderwhomtheinquestwasconductedandalsotheconditionofthedeadbodyofthedeceasedaswellastheinjuriesfoundonthesame.

8. HavinggottheinquestofthedeceasedconductedP.W.7S.I.H.C.PandapreparedthedetailedPolicescrollforgettingthePost-mortemofthebodyofthedeceasedconducted.He,accordinglypreparedPoliceFormNo.13(Ext.Ka-6).Letterdated16.5.1996addressedtotheC.M.O.BulandshahrforgettingthePost-mortemofthebodyofthedeceasedconducted(Ext.Ka-7).Photographofthedeadbodyofthedeceased(PhotoNash)(Ext.Ka-8).He,thereafter,packedandsealedthedeadbodyofthedeceasedanddispatchedthesameforPost-mortem.

9. P.W.5Dr.U.S.FaujdarconductedthePost-mortemofthedeadbodyofthedeceasedon16.5.1996.IntheopinionoftheDoctor,thecauseofdeathofthedeceasedwasComaasaresultofantemorteminjuries.TheDoctorwhoconductedtheautopsyonthebodyofthedeceasednotedthefollowinginjuries:

“(I) firearmwoundofentryonleftsideofscalp5cmabovetoleftearmeasuring2X1½cmXbraincavitydeep.Marginsareinverted.Nobleedingortattooingpresent-communicatingthroughandthroughtothewoundofexit.-Onrightsideofthescalpmeasuring8x6cmxbraincavitydeep-Marginsareeverted.Braintissueiscomingout.Thewoundissituated3cmabovetherightear.

(ii)Laceratedwound1x½cmmuscledeeponrightsideofthechest.”

Heaccordingly,preparedthePost-mortemreportdated16.5.1996(Ext.ka-9).

10. Whiletheaforesaidexercisewasundertaken,NarendraSingh,thefatherofthedeceasedBabitauponcomingtoknowaboutthedeathofhisdaughter,submittedawrittenreportdated16.5.1996atPoliceStationAuragabad,DistrictBulandshahr(Ext.Ka-1).Theaforesaidwrittenreportclearlyimplicatestheaccused-appellantofhavingcommittedthecrimeonaccountofnonfulfilmentofthedemandofdowrymadebyhim.

11. Uponthesubmissionofthewrittenreportdated16.5.1996(Ext.Ka-1),thecasewasalteredunderSectionsection304BIPC.Accordingly,theinvestigationofthecaseproceededinlinewiththeaforesaid.

12. Onthebasisofthematerialcollected,duringthecourseofInvestigation,theInvestigatingOfficeropinedtosubmitachargesheetagainsttheaccused-appellantunderSectionsection304B,498ASectionIPCandSections¾SectionDowryProhibitionAct.Accordingly,achargesheetdated16.6.1996(Ext.Ka-10)wassubmittedagainsttheaccusedappellantcallinguponhimtoanswerthechargesunderSectionsections304B,498ASectionIPCandSections¾SectionDowryProhibitionAct.Uponthesubmissionofthechargesheetdated16.6.1996,cognizancewastakenbytheCourtconcernedvideorderdated9.7.1996.ThereafterthecasewascommittedtotheCourtofSessionsandaccordingly,S.T.No.639of1999(StateVs.Bablu@NarendraSingh)cametoberegistered.

13. TheCourtbelowvideorderdated27.7.1999framedthechargesagainsttheaccusedappellant.Threeseparateanddistinctchargeswereframedagainsttheaccused-appellantbeingunderSectionsections304BIPC,498ASectionIPCandSections¾SectionDowryProhibitionAct.

14. Theaccused-appellantdeniedthechargessoframedagainsthimandclaimedtobetried.Accordingly,theburdenfellupontheprosecutiontobringhomethechargessoframed.

15. Theprosecutionindischargeofitsburdenadducedthefollowingwitnesses:

P.W.1-HarviriisthemotherofthedeceasedBabita.Thiswitnesshascategoricallystatedtheentirefactsfromthedateofthemarriageuptothedateofdeathofthedeceased.Shehasdulyprovedthepaymentofdowryandalsotheadditionaldemandofdowrybytheaccused.Shehasfurtherdulyexplainedthecommissionofcrueltyuponherdaughteraswasdisclosedtoherbythedeceased.Thiswitnesshasbeencross-examinedindetailonbehalfoftheaccused.However,shehasremainedconsistent.Thedefencecouldnotculloutanyfactinherstatementonthebasisofwhichthiswitnesscouldbediscardedasnotbeingcredibleorreliableandhenceunworthyoftrust.

P.W.2-SunilKumaristhebrotherofthedeceased.ThetestimonyofthiswitnessissimilartothatofP.W.1themotherofthedeceased.ThiswitnesshasalsosupportedtheprosecutioncaselikeP.W.1andthereisnosuchdissimilarityinthestatementofP.W.2whencomparedwiththestatementofP.W.1thatitcanberegardedasimprobable.Thiswitnesshasalsobeencross-examined.However,thedefencehasfailedtodislodgethetestimonyofthiswitness.

P.W.3-RajvirSinghistheheadmohrirofP.S.Auranagabad,DistrictBulandshahr.HeisthescribeoftheF.I.R.dated15.5.1996(Ext.Ka-2)andhasprovedthesame.HehasalsoprovedExt.ka-3whichistheletterdated9.7.2007senttotheS.S.P.,BulandshahrforissuingthecopiesoftheG.D.andalsoExt.ka-4whichisthecarboncopyofreportNo.4,dated15.5.1996.

P.W.4-S.I.RamGopalYadav,thiswitnesshaspreparedthedocumentspertainingtothepanchayatnamaandthedetailedPolicescrolli.e.Exts.Ka-5,6,7and8.Hehasdulyprovedthesame.

P.W.5-Dr.U.S.FauzadaristheDoctorwhohasconductedthePost-mortemofthebodyofthedeceased.HehasprovedthePost-mortemreport(Ext.Ka-9).TheinjuriesfoundonthebodyofthedeceasedandnotedinthePost-mortemreportstandcorroboratedbythetestimonyofthiswitness.

P.W.6-S.K.RanaistheInvestigatingOfficerofthecase,afterthesubmissionofthewrittenreportdated16.5.1996(Ext.ka-1).Uponthesubmissionofthereportdated16.5.1996,thecasewasalteredunderSectionsection304BIPC.Thiswitnesshasdetailedtheentireinvestigationconductedbyhimandalsotherecoveriesmadebyhim.Incross-examination,thiswitnesscouldnotbedislodgedbytheprosecution.

P.W.7-HarishChandPandawaspostedatPoliceStation,Aurangabad,DistrictBulandshahr.HehasprovedExt.Ka-11whichisthesiteplan,Ext.Ka-12whichistherecoverymemopertainingtoplainearthandearthmixedwithbloodaswellasotherarticles,Ext.Ka-13i.e.writtenreportdated16.5.1996,submittedbyNarendraSingh.Thiswitnesshasalsobeencross-examinedbuthehasremainedconsistentthroughout.

16. Apartfromrelyinguponthetestimonyoftheaforesaidwitnessestheprosecutionalsorelieduponthetestimonyoftwocourtwitnessesnamely,SatyaPrakashC.W.1andAwadheshSinghC.W.2.ThetestimoniesoftheseCourtwitnessesarenotrelevantfordecidingtheissuesraisedinthisappeal.

17. Theprosecutioninordertoproveitscasealsofiledcertaindocumentswhichwereeitheradmittedorprovedandconsequentlymarkedasexhibits.Thesamearetabulatedhereunder:

Ex.Ka-1isthewrittenreportdated16.5.1996submittedbyNarendraSingh.

Ex.Ka-2istheF.I.R.dated15.5.1996lodgedbyVijaySingh.

Ex.Ka-3istheletterdated9.7.2007senttoS.S.P.OfficeBulandshahrforissuingtheG.D.

Ex.Ka-4isthereportNo.34dated15.5.1996pertainingtotheG.D.

Ex.Ka-5istheinquestreportdated16.5.1996pertainingtothedeceasedBabita.

Ex.Ka-6isthePoliceFormNo.13

Ex.Ka-7istheletterdated16.5.1996addressedtotheC.M.O.BulandshahrandsentbytheInvestigatingOfficer.

Ex.Ka-8Photographofthedeadbody(PhotoNash)

Ex.Ka-9isthePost-mortemreportdated16.5.1996ofthedeceasedBabita

Ex.Ka-10isthechargesheetdated16.6.1996submittedbyInvestigatingOfficer(P.W.6-SarveshKumarRana).

Ex.Ka-11isthesiteplanoftheplaceofoccurrencepreparedbyP.W.7HarishChandPanda.

Ex.Ka-12isthememoofrecoveryofplainearthandearthmixedwithblood.

Ex.Ka-13isthewrittenreportdated16.5.1996submittedbyNarendrasingh.

18. Aftertheprosecutionevidencewasoveralltheincriminatingmaterialandtheadversecircumstanceswereplacedbeforetheaccused.Theaccused-appellantdeniedallthequestionsputtohimunderSectionsection313Cr.P.C.byrepeatedlysayingthatitisfalse.However,inreplytoquestionNo.2,headmittedthefactumregardinghismarriagewiththedeceased.However,nodefenceregardingtheinnocenceoftheaccusedappellantonthepleaofalibiorotherwisewasraised.

19. Theaccused-appellantinproofofhisinnocenceadducedD.W.1SherSinghandD.W.2SatpalSingh.ButtheaccusedBablu@NarendraSinghhimselfdidnotdeposebeforethecourtbelowtoestablishhisinnocenceonthepleaofalibiorotherwise.D.W.1andD.W.2weredisbelievedbytheCourtbelow.

20. TheCourtbelowuponconsiderationofthematerialontherecord,concludedthatinordertobringhomethechargeunderSectionsection304BIPC,thefollowingtestmustbesatisfied:(I)Thedeathhasoccurredinunnaturalcircumstances.(ii)Suchdeathhasoccurredwithinsevenyearsofmarriage.(iii)Thedeceasedhasbeensubjectedtocrueltybyherhusbandortherelativesofherhusbandimmediatelybeforetheoccurrence(iv)Crueltywascommitteduponthedeceasedfornonfulfilmentofthedemandofdowry.

21.Onbehalfoftheaccused-appellant,itwasurgedbeforetheCourtbelowthatthedeathofthedeceasedisnotattributabletotheappellantasthedeceasedhasdiedonaccountofagunshotinjurycausedbysomeunknownmiscreantsandconsequently,theF.I.R.wasregisteredunderSection302IPC.Itwasthensubmittedthatnosuchevidencehasbeenadducedbytheprosecutiontoestablishthatcrueltywascommitteduponthedeceasedfornonfulfilmentofdowry.Itwasalsourgedonbehalfoftheappellantthatincasecrueltywascommitteduponthedeceasedfornonfulfilmentofdowry,thentheproceedingsoughttohavebeeninitiatedatthefirstopportunity.However,nosuchproceedingswereinitiated.Itwasalsourgedthatthereisnoindependentwitnessoftheoccurrencewhichmakestheprosecutioncasedoubtful.Thepleaofalibiwasalsoraisedonbehalfoftheaccusedthathehadgonetothehouseofhisrelative,assuch,hewasnotpresentatthetimeandplaceofoccurrence.

22. TheCourtbelowexaminedtheprovisionsofSection304BIPC,498ASectionIPCand¾SectionDowryProhibitionActinthelightoftheevidenceontherecord.TheCourtbelowcametotheconclusionthatthetestimonyofP.W.1Harvirimotherofthedeceased,andP.W.2SunilKumar,thebrotherofthedeceasedisbothcredibleandreliable.Theaforesaidwitnesseshavebeencross-examinedbythedefenceindetailbuttheyhaveremainedconsistentandtheprosecutionfailedtoculloutanysuchfactintheirtestimonyonthebasisofwhichtheirtestimonycouldbedoubtedorliabletobediscarded.OnthestrengthoftheoraltestimonyofP.W.1andP.W.2coupledwiththefailureonthepartoftheaccusedappellanttodischargetheburdeninrespectofhisinnocenceasthemarriagehastakenplacewithinsevenyearsofmarriage,theCourtbelowacceptedtheprosecutioncase.

23. Accordingly,theCourtbelowvidejudgementandorderdated24.8.2009,passedbytheAdditionalSessionsJudge(F.T.C.)CourtNo.7,BulandshahrinSessionsTrialNo.639of1999(StateVs.Bablu@NarendraSingh),convictedtheaccusedappellantBablu@NarendraSinghunderSectionsection304BI.P.C.andconsequentlysentencedhimtolifeimprisonment.HehasalsobeenconvictedunderSectionsection498AIPCbutbyreasonofthejudgementreportedin2005(52)ACC1912SunilGargVs.StateofU.P.,hehasnotbeensentencedunderSectionsection498AIPC.TheaccusedappellanthasfurtherbeenconvictedunderSectionsection3oftheDowryProhibitionAct.Accordingly,hehasbeensentencedtofiveyearsrigorousimprisonmentalongwithfineofRs.15,000/-.Indefault,theaccusedappellantistoundergothreemonthsadditionalimprisonment.Lastly,theaccusedappellanthasbeenconvictedunderSectionsection4oftheDowryProhibitionAct.Assuch,hehasbeensentencedtotwoyearsrigorousimprisonmentalongwithfineofRs.1,000/-.Incaseofdefault,theappellantistoundergothreemonthsadditionalimprisonment.Feelingaggrievedbytheaforesaidjudgementandorder,theappellanthasnowcometothisCourtbymeansofthepresentcriminalappeal.

24. WehaveheardMr.RajrshiGupta,thelearnedcounselfortheappellantandMr.AbhijitMukherji,thelearnedA.G.A.fortheState.

25. Mr.RajrshiGupta,thelearnedcounselfortheappellant,inchallengetotheimpugnedjudgementhasurgedbeforeusthatuponthesubmissionofthewrittenreportdated16.5.1996,thecasewasconvertedunderSectionsection304BIPC.ThesamewasconsequentlynotinvestigatedbytheInvestigatingOfficerasoneunderSectionsection302IPC.HethussubmitsthattheaforesaiddefectintheinvestigationhasseriouslyprejudicedtheaccusedappellantasthepresumptionarisingoutofanoffenceunderSectionsection304Bbyvirtueofsection113BoftheIndianEvidenceActhasarisenagainsttheaccused-appellant.ItisthensubmittedthatthelitmustestrequiredtobeprovedinthecaseofanoffenceunderSectionsection304BIPCisnotsatisfiedinthepresentcase.Tolendlegalsupporttohisarguments,hehasrelieduponthejudgementsoftheApexCourtintheCasesofBaijnathandOthersVs.StateofMadhyaPradeshreportedin2017(1)SCC101,VipinJaiswal(A-I)Vs.StateofA.P.RepbyPub.Prosecutor,reportedin2013(3)SCC684aswellasthejudgementofthisCourtintheCaseofGanpatiVs.State,reportedin2016(8)ADJ72.Onthecumulativestrengthoftheaforesaidsubmissions,itisvehementlyurgedbyhimthattheimpugnedjudgementandorderpassedbytheCourtbelowisliabletobesetaside.

26. Mr.AbhijeetMukherjee,thelearnedA.G.A.hasnotonlyopposedthepresentappealbuthasalsocontradictedthesubmissionsurgedonbehalfofthecounselfortheappellant.AccordingtothelearnedA.G.A.thechargewasframedunderSectionsection304BIPCvideframingofchargeorderdated27.7.1999.Thesaidorderwasneverchallengedbytheaccusedandtherefore,theaccused-appellantisnowestoppedfromquestioningthesame.Assuch,nobenefitcanbederivedbythelearnedcounselfortheappellantonthestrengthoftheaforesaidsubmission.Itisthensubmittedthattheaccused-appellantinproofofhisinnocencehasneitherappearedbeforetheCourtbelowasadefencewitnessnorhasofferedhisexplanationinproofofhisinnocenceonthebasisofalibiorotherwiseinhisstatementunderSectionsection313Cr.P.C.Itisthusurgedthatthereisnoexplanationonbehalfoftheaccusedappellantquahisinnocence.ItislastlysubmittedthattheoraltestimonyofP.W.1HarviriandP.W.2SunilKumarclearlyimplicatetheaccused-appellantfortheoffenceunderSectionsection304BIPC,498ASectionIPCandsection¾SectionDowryProhibitionAct.Hethusconcludesthatnoneofthesubmissionsurgedonbehalfoftheappellantinchallengetothejudgementandorderpassedbythecourtbelowarecogentenoughtodislodgetheimpugnedjudgement.Assuchtheappealfiledbytheappellantisliabletobedismissed.

27. Wehaveconsideredtherivalsubmissions.BeforeproceedingtoconsidertheveracityofthesubmissionsurgedbythelearnedcounselfortheappellantaswellasthelearnedA.G.Aandfurtherbeforeproceedingtoevaluatetheevidenceontherecord,itshallbeusefultorefertothecardinalruleofappellatejurisdictionincriminaljurisprudence.TheCourtofappealisthelastCourtoffactandthereforeitisthemoraldutycastupontheCourtofappealtoitselfexaminetheevidenceandthenarriveathisownindependentconclusion.Withtheaforesaidcaution,wenowproceedtodiscussthecaseoftheprosecutionandthedefenceputforwardbytheaccused.

28. Theaccused-appellanthasbeenconvictedunderSection304BIPC.Therefore,itshallbeusefultoreproduceSection304BIPCwhichreadsasfollows.:

“Section304BinSectionTheIndianPenalCode

1[304B.Dowrydeath.–

(1)Wherethedeathofawomaniscausedbyanyburnsorbodilyinjuryoroccursotherwisethanundernormalcircumstanceswithinsevenyearsofhermarriageanditisshownthatsoonbeforeherdeathshewassubjectedtocrueltyorharassmentbyherhusbandoranyrelativeofherhusbandfor,orinconnectionwith,anydemandfordowry,suchdeathshallbecalled”dowrydeath”,andsuchhusbandorrelativeshallbedeemedtohavecausedherdeath.Explanation.–Forthepurposeofthissub-section,”dowry”shallhavethesamemeaningasinSectionsection2oftheDowryProhibitionAct,1961(28of1961).

(2)Whoevercommitsdowrydeathshallbepunishedwithimprisonmentforatermwhichshallnotbelessthansevenyearsbutwhichmayextendtoimprisonmentforlife.]”

29. ThepunishmentprescribedforanoffenceunderSectionsection304Bis7yearswhichmayextendtolifeimprisonment.

30. ForestablishingtheproofofanoffenceunderSectionsection304BIPC,theprosecutionisrequiredtoproofthefollowingtestbyleadingcogentandsubstantiveevidence:

(I)Deathhasoccurredwithinsevenyearsofmarriage.

(ii)Thedeathhasoccurredinunnaturalcircumstances.

(iii)Therewasanimmediatedemandofdowrypriortothedeathofthedeceased.

31. ThevariousfacetsrelatingtotheburdenofproofandtheonusofproofinrespectofadowrydeathhavebeenconsideredindetailinthecaseofAkhtar@BhooraVs.StateofU.P.,CriminalAppealNo.6875of2011,decidedon25.2.2019,whereinthefollowinghasbeenheldinparagraphs59,60,61,62,69,70,71,74,81:

“59.Wenowtakeupthefirstquestionfirst,i.e.Howacasebaseduponcircumstantialevidenceistobedecided.ThisissuehasbeendealtwithinthecelebratedcaseofSharadBirdhichandSardaVs.StateofMaharastra,1984(4)SCC116.Thesameremainsthelocusclassicusonthepointsdealttherein.TheprinciplesenumeratedintheaforesaidcasehavebeenfollowedrepeatedlyincludingthecaseofTrimukhMarotiKirkanVs.StateofMaharashtra,2006(10)SCC681aswellastherecentdecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseofStateofHimanchalPradeshVs.RajKumarreportedin2018(2)SCC69.

60.TheApexCourtinparagraphs143to145,151andtheninparagraphs159,160ofthejudgementinthecaseofSharadBirdhichandSarda(Supra)hasobservedasfollowsregardingtheparameterswhichmustbefulfilledbeforerecordingafindingofguiltagainstanaccusedinacasebaseduponcircumstantialevidence:

“143.ApartfromtheaforesaidcommentsthereisonevitaldefectinsomeofthecircumstancesmentionedaboveandrelieduponbytheHighCourt,viz.,circumstancesNos.4,5,6,8,9,11,12,13,16,and17.AsthesecircumstanceswerenotputtotheappellantinhisstatementunderSection313oftheCriminalProcedureCode1973theymustbecompletelyexcludedfromconsiderationbecausetheappellantdidnothaveanychancetoexplainthem.ThishasbeenconsistentlyheldbythisCourtasfarbackas1953whereinthecaseofSectionHateSinghBhagatSinghv.StateofMadhyaPradeshthisCourtheldthatanycircumstanceinrespectofwhichanaccusedwasnotexaminedunderSection342oftheCriminalprocedurecodecannotbeusedagainsthim.Eversincethisdecision,thereisacatenaofauthoritiesofthisCourtuniformlytakingtheviewthatunlessthecircumstanceappearingagainstanaccusedisputtohiminhisexaminationunderSection342oftheoldCode(correspondingtoSection313oftheCriminalProcedureCode1973),thesamecannotbeusedagainsthim.SectionInShamuBaluChaugulev.StateofMaharashtrathisCourtheldthus:

“ThefactthattheappellantwassaidtobeabscondingnothavingbeenputtohimunderSectionsection342,SectionCriminalProcedureCode,couldnotbeusedagainsthim.”

144.TothesameeffectisanotherdecisionofthisCourtinSectionHarijanMeghaJeshav.StateofGujarat,wherethefollowingobservationweremade:

“Inthefirstplace,hestatedthatonthepersonalsearchoftheappellant,achadiwasfoundwhichwasbloodstainedandaccordingtothereportoftheserologist,itcontainedhumanblood.Unfortunately,however,asthiscircumstancewasnotputtotheaccusedinhisstatementunderSectionsection342,theprosecutioncannotbepermittedtorelyonthisstatementinordertoconvicttheappellant.’:

145.ItisnotnecessaryforustomultiplyauthoritiesonthispointasthisquestionnowstandsconcludedbyseveraldecisionofthisCourt.Inthisviewofthematter,thecircumstanceswhichwerenotputtotheappellantinhisexaminationunderSection313oftheCriminalProcedureCodehavetobecompletelyexcludedfromconsideration.

“151.Itiswellsettledthattheprosecutionmuststandorfallonitsownlegsanditcannotderiveanystrengthfromtheweaknessofthedefence.Thisistritelawandnodecisionhastakenacontraryview.Whatsomecaseshaveheldisonlythis:wherevariouslinksinachainareinthemselvescompletethanafalsepleaorafalsedefencemaybecalledintoaidonlytolendassurancetotheCourt.Inotherwords,beforeusingtheadditionallinkitmustbeprovedthatallthelinksinthechainarecompleteanddonotsufferfromanyinfirmity.Itisnotthelawthatwhereisanyinfirmityorlacunaintheprosecutioncase,thesamecouldbecuredorsuppliedbyafalsedefenceorapleawhichisnotacceptedbyaCourt.

“159.ItwillbeseenthatthisCourtwhiletakingintoaccounttheabsenceofexplanationorafalseexplanationdidholdthatitwillamounttobeanadditionallinktocompletethechainbuttheseobservationsmustbereadinthelightofwhatthisCourtsaidearlier,viz.,beforeafalseexplanationcanbeusedasadditionallink,thefollowingessentialconditionsmustbesatisfied:

(1)variouslinksinthechainofevidenceledbytheprosecutionhavebeensatisfactorilyproved.

(2)thesaidcircumstancepointtotheguiltoftheaccusedwithreasonabledefiniteness,and

(3)thecircumstanceisinproximitytothetimeandsituation.

160.Iftheseconditionsarefulfilledonlythenacourtcanuseafalseexplanationorafalsedefenceasanadditionallinktolendanassurancetothecourtandnototherwise.Onthefactsandcircumstancesofthepresentcase,thisdoesnotappeartobesuchacase.ThisaspectofthematterwasexaminedinShankarlal’scasewherethisCourtobservedthus:

“Besides,falsityofdefencecannottaketheplaceofproofoffactswhichtheprosecutionhastoestablishinordertosucceed.Afalsepleacanatbestbeconsideredasanadditionalcircumstance,ifothercircumstancespointunfailinglytotheguiltoftheaccused.”

61.TheaforesaidprincipleshavebeenreiteratedandreaffirmedbytheApexCourt,intherecentcaseofStateofHimanchalPradeshVs.Rajkumar(Supra).Paragraphs9and10oftheaforesaidjudgementarerelevantfortheissueinhand.Accordingly,thesamearereproducedhereinunder:

“9.Prosecutioncaseisbasedoncircumstantialevidence.Itiswellsettledthatinacasebasedoncircumstantialevidence,thecircumstancesfromwhichaninferenceofguiltissoughttobedrawnmustbecogentlyandfirmlyestablishedandthatthosecircumstancesmustbeconclusiveinnatureunerringlypointingtowardstheguiltoftheaccused.Moreoverallthecircumstancestakencumulativelyshouldformacompletechainandthereshouldbenogapleftinthechainofevidence.Furthertheprovedcircumstancesmustbeconsistentonlywiththehypothesisoftheguiltoftheaccusedandtotallyinconsistentwithhisinnocence.

10.Inacase,basedoncircumstantialevidence,theinferenceofguiltcanbedrawnonlywhenalltheincriminatingfactsandcircumstancesarefoundtobeincompatiblewiththeinnocenceoftheaccused.SectionInTrimukhMarotiKirkanv.StateofMaharashtra(2006)10SCC681,itwasheldasunder:-

“12…………Thenormalprincipleinacasebasedoncircumstantialevidenceisthatthecircumstancesfromwhichaninferenceofguiltissoughttobedrawnmustbecogentlyandfirmlyestablished;thatthosecircumstancesshouldbeofadefinitetendencyunerringlypointingtowardstheguiltoftheaccused;thatthecircumstancestakencumulativelyshouldformachainsocompletethatthereisnoescapefromtheconclusionthatwithinallhumanprobabilitythecrimewascommittedbytheaccusedandtheyshouldbeincapableofexplanationonanyhypothesisotherthanthatoftheguiltoftheaccusedandinconsistentwiththeirinnocence.”

ThesameprinciplewasreiteratedinSectionStateofRajasthanv.KashiRam(2006)12SCC254,SectionGaneshLalv.StateofRajasthan(2002)1SCC731,SectionStateofMaharashtrav.Suresh(2000)1SCC471andSectionStateofTamilNaduv.Rajendran(1999)8SCC679.

62.ThistakesustothesecondquestioninvolvedinthisappealwhichisregardingtherelevanceofmotiveandwhetherthetestlaiddownbytheApexCourtinthecaseofSharadBirdhichandSarda(Supra)issatisfiedornot.Wemaypointoutthatitisbynowwellsettledthatinthecaseofdirectevidencemotiveisirrelevant.However,inacasebaseduponcircumstantialevidence,itisanimportantfactortobeconsideredwhiledecidingtheguiltofanaccused.Infactinacaserelatingtocircumstantialevidence,themotivebehindtheoccurrenceonthepartoftheaccusedplaysanimportantroleindecidingtheguiltoftheaccused.ItwillbehelpfultoquoteparagraphNo.15ofthejudgementoftheApexCourtinthecaseofSheoShankarSinghVs.StateofJharkhand,reportedin2011(3)SCC654,whereinthesaidissuehasbeendealtwith.

“15.ThelegalpositionregardingproofofmotiveasanessentialrequirementforbringinghometheguiltoftheaccusedisfairlywellsettledbyalonglineofdecisionsofthisCourt.Thesedecisionshavemadeacleardistinctionbetweencaseswheretheprosecutionreliesuponcircumstantialevidenceontheonehandandthosewhereitreliesuponthetestimonyofeyewitnessesontheother.Intheformercategoryofcasesproofofmotiveisgiventheimportanceitdeserves,forproofofamotiveitselfconstitutesalinkinthechainofcircumstancesuponwhichtheprosecutionmayrely.Proofofmotive,however,recedesintothebackgroundincaseswheretheprosecutionreliesuponaneyewitnessaccountoftheoccurrence.Thatisbecauseifthecourtuponaproperappraisalofthedepositionoftheeyewitnessescomestotheconclusionthattheversiongivenbythemiscredible,absenceofevidencetoprovethemotiveisrenderedinconsequential.Conversely,eveniftheprosecutionsucceedsinestablishingastrongmotiveforthecommissionoftheoffence,buttheevidenceoftheeyewitnessesisfoundunreliableorunworthyofcredit,existenceofamotivedoesnotbyitselfprovideasafebasisforconvictingtheaccused.Thatdoesnot,however,meanthatproofofmotiveeveninacasewhichrestsonaneyewitnessaccountdoesnotlendstrengthtotheprosecutioncaseorfortifythecourtinitsultimateconclusion.Proofofmotiveinsuchasituationcertainlyhelpstheprosecutionandsupportstheeyewitnesses.SectionSeeShivajiGenuMohitev.StateofMaharashtra[(1973)3SCC219:1973SCC(Cri)214],SectionHariShankerv.StateofU.P.[(1996)9SCC40:1996SCC(Cri)913]andSectionStateofU.P.v.Kishanpal[(2008)16SCC73:(2010)4SCC(Cri)182]”

69.ThequestionregardingthedischargeofinitialburdenbytheprosecutioninacasebaseduponcircumstantialevidencewasalsothesubjectmatterofconsiderationinthecaseofAshokKumar(Supra).ThefollowinghasbeenobservedbytheDivisionBench:

“Withregardtotheissueofinitialburdenhowever,irrespectiveoftheprovisionscontainedinSectionsection106ofIndianEvidenceAct,theinitialburdenisalwaysupontheprosecutiontoadducematerialonthebasisofwhichaninferenceregardingthecommissionoftheoffencebytheaccusedcanbedrawn.ThisdischargeofinitialburdenismandatoryasheldinthecaseofJoydebPatraandOthersVs.StateofWestBenal2014(12)SCC444:-

10.Weareafraid,wecannotacceptthissubmissionofMr.Ghosh.ThisCourthasrepeatedlyheldthattheburdentoprovetheguiltoftheaccusedbeyondreasonabledoubtisontheprosecutionanditisonlywhenthisburdenisdischargedthattheaccusedcouldproveanyfactwithinhisspecialknowledgeunderSection106oftheIndianEvidenceActtoestablishthathewasnotguilty.InSuchaSinghVs.StateofPunjab(2001)4SCC375,thisCourtheld:

“19.WepointedoutthatSection106oftheEvidenceActisnotintendedtorelievetheprosecutionofitsburdentoprovetheguiltoftheaccusedbeyondreasonabledoubt,butthesectionwouldapplytocaseswhereprosecutionhassucceededinprovingfactsforwhichareasonableinferencecanbedrawnregardingtheexistenceofcertainotherfacts,unlesstheaccusedbyvirtueofspecialknowledgeregardingsuchfactsfailedtoofferanyexplanationwhichmightdrivethecourttodrawadifferentinference.”

Similarly,inVikramjitSinghVs.StateofPunjab(2006)12SCC306,thisCourtreiterated:

“14.Section106oftheIndianEvidenceActdoesnotrelievetheprosecutiontoproveitscasebeyondallreasonabledoubt.Onlywhentheprosecutioncasehasbeenprovedtheburdeninregardtosuchfactswhichwaswithinthespecialknowledgeoftheaccusedmaybeshiftedtotheaccusedforexplainingthesame.Ofcourse,therearecertainexceptionstothesaidrule,e.g.,whereburdenofproofmaybeimposedupontheaccusedbyreasonofastatute.”

Oncetheinitialburdenisdischarged,thentheonusshiftsontheaccusedtoexplainthestatusofhisinnocenceorinvolvement.

70.Theburdentoproveastowhetherthedeathofthedeceasedwasaccidentalorhomicidalbutnotonaccountoftheaccusedlayontheaccusedhimself.However,inviewoftheprovisionsofSections103andSection106oftheIndianEvidenceAct1872,thesamedoesnotabsolvetheprosecutionofitsinitialburdentofirmlyestablishit’sownstandasheldbytheApexCourtinthecaseofSawalDasVs.StateofBihar1974(4)SCC193paragraphno.10isextractedhereinunder:-

“10.NeitheranApplicationofSection103norof106oftheSectionEvidenceActcould,however,absolvetheprosecutionfromthedutyofdischargingitsgeneralorprimaryburdenofprovingtheprosecutioncasebeyondreasonabledoubt.Itisonlywhentheprosecutionhasledevidencewhichifbelievedwillsustainaconviction,or,whichmakesoutprimafaciecasethatthequestionarisesofconsideringfactsofwhichtheburdenofproofmaylieupontheaccused.Thecrucialquestioninthecasebeforeusis:Hastheprosecutiondischargeditsinitialorgeneralandprimaryburdenofprovingtheguiltoftheappellantbeyondreasonabledoubt?”

71.TheDivisionBenchalsodealtwiththeissuerelatingtothedischargeofburdenbyanaccused,havingspecialknowledgeoffactandhehastocomeoutwithanexplanation.Inthecontextoftheabove,theDivisionBenchinAshokKumar’scase(Supra)observedasfollows:

“TheApexCourthoweverinthesamejudgmentinparagraphno.9hasobserved,relyingonthecaseofGurcharanSinghAnotherVs.StateofPunjabAIR1956SC460,thatanaccusedhavingspecialknowledgeofafacthastocomeoutwithanexplanationanddischargetheburdenastranscriptedinparagraphno.9whichisextractedhereinunder:-

9.LearnedCounselfortheappellantcontendedthatSection106oftheEvidenceActcouldnotbecalledinaidbytheprosecutionbecausethatsectionappliesonlywhereafactrelatingtotheactualcommissionoftheoffenceiswithinthespecialknowledgeoftheaccused,suchasthecircumstancesinwhichortheintentionwithwhichanaccuseddidaparticularactallegedtoconstituteanoffence.ThelanguageofSection106EvidenceActdoesnot,inouropinion,warrantputtingsuchanarrowconstructionuponit.ThisCourtheldinSectionGurcharanSinghv.StateofPunjab(1),thattheburdenofprovingapleaspecificallysetupbyanaccused,whichmayabsolvehimfromcriminalliability,certainlyliesuponhim.Itisadifferentmatterthatthequantumofevidencebywhichhemaysucceedindischarginghisburdenofcreatingareasonablebelief,thatcircumstance,absolvinghimfromcriminalliabilitymayhaveexisted,islowerthantheburdenrestingupontheprosecutiontoestablishtheguiltofanaccusedbeyondreasonabledoubt.”

Explainingthesameprinciples,theApexCourtinthecaseofArvindSinghVs.StateofBihar2001(6)SCC407acquittedthehusbandbyexplainingaliabilitycastonthehusband,butatthesametimeobservingthatitisasocialandheinouscrime.TheCourtobservedthatifdirectevidenceisnotavailablethencircumstantialevidencewithreasonableprobityandwithoutanybreakinthelinkofthechainofeventshastobeestablished.TheobservationsmadebytheApexCourtinparagraphnos.21and24areextractedhereinunder:-

“21.Mr.H.L.Agrawal,learnedseniorAdvocate,however,emphaticallycontendedthatconsideringthehourofthedayandthefactumofthewifebeingburntandnootherexplanationcomingforth,questionofhusbandescapingtheliabilityofmurderdoesnotandcannotarise.Wearehoweverunabletolendourconcurrencetotheaforesaid.Whileitistruethatthehusbandbeingthecompanioninthebedroomoughttobeabletoexplainastothecircumstancesbutthereexistanobligationonthepartoftheprosecutiontoprovetheguiltoftheaccusedbeyondallreasonabledoubt.Criminaljurisprudentialsystemofthecountryhasbeentothateffectandthereisneitheranydeparturenoranyescapetherefrom.

24……….Itisundoubtedlyasocialandheinouscrimetohavethewifeburnttodeathbutwithoutanyproperandreliableevidence,thelawcourtcannotbyitselfalsojustifyitsconclusioninthematterofinvolvementofthehusband:directevidencemaynotbeavailablebutcircumstantialevidencewithreasonableprobityandwithoutasnapinthechainofeventswouldcertainlytantamounttoadefiniteevidenceabouttheinvolvementbutnototherwise………”

TheApexCourtinthedecisionofGajananDashrathKharateVs.StateofMaharashtra2016(4)SCC604relyingonthecaseofTrimukhMarotiKirkan(supra)hasobservedthattheburdenisontheinmatesofthehousetoofferanexplanationaboutthedeathofthedeceased.Paragraphno.13isextractedhereinunder:-

“13.Asseenfromtheevidence,Appellant-Gajananandhisfather-Dashrathandmother-Mankarnabaiwerelivingtogether.On07.04.2002,motheroftheAppellant-accusedhadgonetoanothervillage-Dahigaon.TheprosecutionhasprovedpresenceoftheAppellantathishomeonthenightof07.04.2002.Therefore,theAppellantisduty-boundtoexplainastohowthedeathofhisfatherwascaused.Whenanoffencelikemurderiscommittedinsecrecyinsideahouse,theinitialburdentoestablishthecasewouldundoubtedlybeupontheprosecution.InviewofSection106oftheEvidenceAct,therewillbeacorrespondingburdenontheinmatesofthehousetogivecogentexplanationastohowthecrimewascommitted.Theinmatesofthehousecannotgetawaybysimplykeepingquietandofferingnoexplanationonthesupposedpremisethattheburdentoestablishitscaseliesentirelyupontheprosecutionandthereisnodutyatallontheaccusedtooffer.Onthedateofoccurrence,whentheaccusedandhisfatherDashrathwereinthehouseandwhenthefatheroftheaccusedwasfounddead,itwasfortheaccusedtoofferanexplanationastohowhisfathersustainedinjuries.Whentheaccusedcouldnotofferanyexplanationastothehomicidaldeathofhisfather,itisastrongcircumstanceagainsttheaccusedthatheisresponsibleforthecommissionofthecrime.”

72.TheApexCourtinthecaseofTrimukhMarotiKirkanVs.StateofMaharashtra(Intra)inamatterarisingoutofsuchanincidentwhilereferringtothedecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseofStateofWestBengalVs.NoorMohammadUmarandothers2000(8)SCC,382heldthatitisdifficulttoputtheextremeburdenontheprosecutiontoleadsuchevidencewhichcanonlybegatheredfromthosewhohaveproximitywiththedeceased.ItisinthiscontextthattheCourtproceededtodiscussthepresumptionthatcanberaisedonthebasisofexistingfactssoastoallowtheCourttotreattheonushavingbeenshiftedontheaccused.

73.Inordertosubstantiatetheconclusionofavalidpresumptionagainsttheaccused-husband,theApexCourthasruledthattheonusisonthehusbandtoexplainthecaseofdeathofahousewifewhoisnormallyresidinginthesamelivingplacewithherhusband.ThispresumptionintermsofSection106shiftstheburdenonthehusbandasheisinexclusivepossessionofthepremisesandthereisnoinvolvementofanyoutsider.Thefactofthehappeningofanincidentinsidethepremisesispresumedtobeinthespecialknowledgeoftheocuupier,anditthereforeisanonusontheoccupiertodivulgeinformationabouttheincidentorotherwisereasonablyexplainhisabsenceorignoranceaboutthesame.TheviewoftheApexCourtdiscussedelaboratelyaretobefoundinparagraphnos.13to18,20,21and22inthecaseofTrimukhMarotiKirkanVs.StateofMaharashtra2006(10)SCC681.

13.Thedemandfordowryormoneyfromtheparentsofthebridehasshownaphenomenalincreaseinlastfewyears.CasesarefrequentlycomingbeforetheCourts,wherethehusbandorin-lawshavegonetotheextentofkillingthebrideifthedemandisnotmet.Thesecrimesaregenerallycommittedincompletesecrecyinsidethehouseanditbecomesverydifficultfortheprosecutiontoleadevidence.Nomemberofthefamily,evenifheisawitnessofthecrime,wouldcomeforwardtodeposeagainstanotherfamilymember.Theneighbours,whoseevidencemaybeofsomeassistance,aregenerallyreluctanttodeposeinCourtastheywanttokeepaloofanddonotwanttoantagonizeaneighbourhoodfamily.Theparentsorotherfamilymembersofthebridebeingawayfromthesceneofcommissionofcrimearenotinapositiontogivedirectevidencewhichmayinculpatetherealaccusedexceptregardingthedemandofmoneyordowryandharassmentcausedtothebride.But,itdoesnotmeanthatacrimecommittedinsecrecyorinsidethehouseshouldgounpunished.

14.Ifanoffencetakesplaceinsidetheprivacyofahouseandinsuchcircumstanceswheretheassailantshavealltheopportunitytoplanandcommittheoffenceatthetimeandincircumstancesoftheirchoice,itwillbeextremelydifficultfortheprosecutiontoleadevidencetoestablishtheguiltoftheaccusedifthestrictprincipleofcircumstantialevidence,asnoticedabove,isinsisteduponbytheCourts.AJudgedoesnotpresideoveracriminaltrialmerelytoseethatnoinnocentmanispunished.AJudgealsopresidestoseethataguiltymandoesnotescape.Botharepublicduties.(SeeStirlandv.DirectorofPublicProsecution1944AC315quotedwithapprovalbyArijitPasayat,J.inSectionStateofPunjabvs.KarnailSingh(2003)11SCC271).Thelawdoesnotenjoinadutyontheprosecutiontoleadevidenceofsuchcharacterwhichisalmostimpossibletobeledoratanyrateextremelydifficulttobeled.Thedutyontheprosecutionistoleadsuchevidencewhichitiscapableofleading,havingregardtothefactsandcircumstancesofthecase.HereitisnecessarytokeepinmindSection106oftheEvidenceActwhichsaysthatwhenanyfactisespeciallywithintheknowledgeofanyperson,theburdenofprovingthatfactisuponhim.Illustration(b)appendedtothissectionthrowssomelightonthecontentandscopeofthisprovisionanditreads:

(b)Aischargedwithtravelingonarailwaywithoutticket.Theburdenofprovingthathehadaticketisonhim.”

15.Whereanoffencelikemurderiscommittedinsecrecyinsideahouse,theinitialburdentoestablishthecasewouldundoubtedlybeupontheprosecution,butthenatureandamountofevidencetobeledbyittoestablishthechargecannotbeofthesamedegreeasisrequiredinothercasesofcircumstantialevidence.Theburdenwouldbeofacomparativelylightercharacter.InviewofSection106oftheEvidenceActtherewillbeacorrespondingburdenontheinmatesofthehousetogiveacogentexplanationastohowthecrimewascommitted.Theinmatesofthehousecannotgetawaybysimplykeepingquietandofferingnoexplanationonthesupposedpremisethattheburdentoestablishitscaseliesentirelyupontheprosecutionandthereisnodutyatallonanaccusedtoofferanyexplanation.

16.AsomewhatsimilarquestionwasexaminedbythisCourtinconnectionwithSections167and178-AoftheSeaCustomsActinSectionCollectorofCustomsv.D.BhoormallAIR1974SC859anditwillbeapttoreproduceparas30to32ofthereportswhichareasunder:

“30.ItcannotbedisputedthatinproceedingsforimposingpenaltiesunderClause(8)ofSection167towhichSection178-Adoesnotapply,theburdenofprovingthatthegoodsaresmuggledgoods,isontheDepartment.Thisisafundamentalrulerelatingtoproofinallcriminalorquasi-criminalproceedings,wherethereisnostatutoryprovisiontothecontrary.But,inappreciatingitsscopeandthenatureoftheonuscastbyit,wemustpaydueregardtootherkindredprinciples,nolessfundamental,ofuniversalapplication.OneofthemisthattheprosecutionortheDepartmentisnotrequiredtoproveitscasewithmathematicalprecisiontoademonstrabledegree;for,inallhumanaffairsabsolutecertaintyisamyth,and-asProf.Brettfelicitouslyputsit-‘allexactnessisafake’.ElDoradoofabsoluteproofbeingunattainable,thelaw,acceptsforit,probabilityasaworkingsubstituteinthiswork-a-dayworld.Thelawdoesnotrequiretheprosecutiontoprovetheimpossible.Allthatitrequiresistheestablishmentofsuchadegreeofprobabilitythataprudentmanmay,onitsbasis,believeintheexistenceofthefactinissue.Thus,legalproofisnotnecessarilyperfectproof;oftenitisnothingmorethanaprudentman’sestimateastotheprobabilitiesofthecase.

31.Theothercardinalprinciplehavinganimportantbearingontheincidenceofburdenofproofisthatsufficiencyandweightoftheevidenceistobeconsidered-tousethewordsofLordMansfieldinBlatchv.Archer(1774)1Cowp.atp.65″accordingtotheproofwhichitwasinthepowerofonesidetoprove,andinthepoweroftheothertohavecontradicted”.Sinceitisexceedinglydifficult,ifnotabsolutelyimpossiblefortheprosecutiontoprovefactswhichareespeciallywithintheknowledgeoftheopponentortheaccused,itisnotobligedtoprovethemaspartofitsprimaryburden.

32.Smugglingisclandestineconveyingofgoodstoavoidlegalduties.Secrecyandstealthbeingitscoveringguards,itisimpossibleforthePreventiveDepartmenttounraveleverylinkoftheprocess.Manyfactsrelatingtothisillicitbusinessremaininthespecialorpeculiarknowledgeofthepersonconcernedinit.OntheprincipleunderlyingSection106,SectionEvidenceAct,theburdentoestablishthosefactsiscastonthepersonconcerned;andifhefailstoestablishorexplainthosefacts,anadverseinferenceoffactsmayariseagainsthim,whichcoupledwiththepresumptiveevidenceadducedbytheprosecutionortheDepartmentwouldrebuttheinitialpresumptionofinnocenceinfavourofthatperson,andintheresult,provehimguilty.AspointedoutbyBestin’LawofEvidence’,(12thEdn.,SectionArticle320,page291),the”presumptionofinnocenceis,nodoubt,presumptiojuris;buteveryday’spracticeshowsthatitmaybesuccessfullyencounteredbythepresumptionofguiltarisingfromtherecent(unexplained)possessionofstolenproperty”,thoughthelatterisonlyapresumptionoffact.ThustheburdenontheprosecutionortheDepartmentmaybeconsiderablylightenedevenbysuchpresumptionsoffactarisingintheirfavour.However,thisdoesnotmeanthatthespecialorpeculiarknowledgeofthepersonproceededagainstwillrelievetheprosecutionortheDepartmentaltogetheroftheburdenofproducingsomeevidenceinrespectofthatfactinissue.Itwillonlyalleviatethatburden,todischargewhich,veryslightevidencemaysuffice.

17.TheaforesaidprinciplehasbeenapprovedandfollowedinSectionBalramPrasadAgrawalv.StateofBiharOrs.AIR1997SC1830whereamarriedwomanhadcommittedsuicideonaccountofill-treatmentmetedouttoherbyherhusbandandin-lawsonaccountofdemandofdowryandbeingissueless.

18.ThequestionofburdenofproofwheresomefactsarewithinthepersonalknowledgeoftheaccusedwasexaminedinSectionStateofWestBengalv.MirMohammadOmarOrs.(2000)8SCC382.Inthiscasetheassailantsforciblydraggedthedeceased,Maheshfromthehousewherehewastakingshelteronaccountofthefearoftheaccusedandtookhimawayatabout2.30inthenight.Nextdayinthemorninghismangledbodywasfoundlyinginthehospital.ThetrialCourtconvictedtheaccusedunderSection364readwithSection34IPCandsentencedthemto10yearsRI.TheaccusedpreferredanappealagainsttheirconvictionbeforetheHighCourtandtheStatealsofiledanappealchallengingtheacquittaloftheaccusedformurdercharge.TheaccusedhadnotgivenanyexplanationastowhathappenedtoMaheshafterhewasabductedbythem.ThelearnedSessionsJudgeafterreferringtothelawoncircumstantialevidencehadobservedthattherewasamissinglinkinthechainofevidenceafterthedeceasedwaslastseentogetherwiththeaccusedpersonsandthediscoveryofthedeadbodyinthehospitalandhadconcludedthattheprosecutionhadfailedtoestablishthechargeofmurderagainsttheaccusedpersonsbeyondanyreasonabledoubt.ThisCourttooknoteoftheprovisionsofSection106oftheEvidenceActandlaiddownthefollowingprincipleinparas31to34ofthereports:

“31.Thepristinerulethattheburdenofproofisontheprosecutiontoprovetheguiltoftheaccusedshouldnotbetakenasafossiliseddoctrineasthoughitadmitsnoprocessofintelligentreasoning.Thedoctrineofpresumptionisnotalientotheaboverule,norwoulditimpairthetemperoftherule.Ontheotherhand,ifthetraditionalrulerelatingtoburdenofproofontheprosecutionisallowedtobewrappedinpedanticcoverage,theoffendersinseriousoffenceswouldbethemajorbeneficiariesandthesocietywouldbethecasualty.

32.Inthiscase,whentheprosecutionsucceededinestablishingtheafore-narratedcircumstances,thecourthastopresumetheexistenceofcertainfacts.

Presumptionisacourserecognisedbythelawforthecourttorelyoninconditionssuchasthis.

33.Presumptionoffactisaninferenceastotheexistenceofonefactfromtheexistenceofsomeotherfacts,unlessthetruthofsuchinferenceisdisproved.Presumptionoffactisaruleinlawofevidencethatafactotherwisedoubtfulmaybeinferredfromcertainotherprovedfacts.Wheninferringtheexistenceofafactfromothersetofprovedfacts,thecourtexercisesaprocessofreasoningandreachesalogicalconclusionasthemostprobableposition.TheaboveprinciplehasgainedlegislativerecognitioninIndiawhenSection114isincorporatedintheSectionEvidenceAct.Itempowersthecourttopresumetheexistenceofanyfactwhichitthinkslikelytohavehappened.Inthatprocessthecourtshallhaveregardtothecommoncourseofnaturalevents,humanconduct,etc.inrelationtothefactsofthecase.

34.WhenitisprovedtothesatisfactionofthecourtthatMaheshwasabductedbytheaccusedandtheytookhimoutofthatarea,theaccusedaloneknewwhathappenedtohimuntilhewaswiththem.Ifhewasfoundmurderedwithinashorttimeaftertheabductionthepermittedreasoningprocesswouldenablethecourttodrawthepresumptionthattheaccusedhavemurderedhim.SuchinferencecanbedisruptediftheaccusedwouldtellthecourtwhatelsehappenedtoMaheshatleastuntilhewasintheircustody.”

20.InRamGulamChaudharyOrs.v.SateofBihar(2001)8SCC311,theaccusedafterbrutallyassaultingaboycarriedhimawayandthereaftertheboywasnotseenalivenorhisbodywasfound.Theaccused,however,offerednoexplanationastowhattheydidaftertheytookawaytheboy.Itwasheldthatfortheabsenceofanyexplanationfromthesideoftheaccusedabouttheboy,therewaseveryjustificationfordrawinganinferencethattheyhavemurderedtheboy.ItwasfurtherobservedthateventhoughSection106oftheEvidenceActmaynotbeintendedtorelievetheprosecutionofitsburdentoprovetheguiltoftheaccusedbeyondreasonabledoubt,butthesectionwouldapplytocaseslikethepresent,wheretheprosecutionhassucceededinprovingfactsfromwhichareasonableinferencecanbedrawnregardingdeath.TheaccusedbyvirtueoftheirspecialknowledgemustofferanexplanationwhichmightleadtheCourttodrawadifferentinference.

21.Inacasebasedoncircumstantialevidencewherenoeye-witnessaccountisavailable,thereisanotherprincipleoflawwhichmustbekeptinmind.Theprincipleisthatwhenanincriminatingcircumstanceisputtotheaccusedandthesaidaccusedeitheroffersnoexplanationoroffersanexplanationwhichisfoundtobeuntrue,thenthesamebecomesanadditionallinkinthechainofcircumstancestomakeitcomplete.ThisviewhasbeentakeninacatenaofdecisionsofthisCourt.[SectionSeeStateofTamilNaduv.Rajendran(1999)8SCC679(para6);SectionStateofU.P.v.Dr.RavindraPrakashMittalAIR1992SC2045(para40);SectionStateofMaharashtrav.Suresh(2000)1SCC471(para27);SectionGaneshLalv.StateofRajasthan(2002)1SCC731(para15)andSectionGulabChandv.StateofM.P.(1995)3SCC574(para4)].

22.Whereanaccusedisallegedtohavecommittedthemurderofhiswifeandtheprosecutionsucceedsinleadingevidencetoshowthatshortlybeforethecommissionofcrimetheywereseentogetherortheoffencetakesplacedinthedwellinghomewherethehusbandalsonormallyresided,ithasbeenconsistentlyheldthatiftheaccuseddoesnotofferanyexplanationhowthewifereceivedinjuriesoroffersanexplanationwhichisfoundtobefalse,itisastrongcircumstancewhichindicatesthatheisresponsibleforcommissionofthecrime.SectionInNikaRamv.StateofHimachalPradeshAIR1972SC2077itwasobservedthatthefactthattheaccusedalonewaswithhiswifeinthehousewhenshewasmurderedtherewith’khokhri’andthefactthattherelationsoftheaccusedwithherwerestrainedwould,intheabsenceofanycogentexplanationbyhim,pointtohisguilt.SectionInGaneshlalv.StateofMaharashtra(1992)3SCC106theappellantwasprosecutedforthemurderofhiswifewhichtookplaceinsidehishouse.Itwasobservedthatwhenthedeathhadoccurredinhiscustody,theappellantisunderanobligationtogiveaplausibleexplanationforthecauseofherdeathinhisstatementunderSection313Cr.P.C.Themeredenialoftheprosecutioncasecoupledwithabsenceofanyexplanationwasheldtobeinconsistentwiththeinnocenceoftheaccused,butconsistentwiththehypothesisthattheappellantisaprimeaccusedinthecommissionofmurderofhiswife.SectionInStateofU.P.v.Dr.RavindraPrakashMittalAIR1992SC2045themedicalevidencedisclosedthatthewifediedofstrangulationduringlatenighthoursorearlymorningandherbodywassetonfireaftersprinklingkerosene.Thedefenceofthehusbandwasthatwifehadcommittedsuicidebyburningherselfandthathewasnotathomeatthattime.Theletterswrittenbythewifetoherrelativesshowedthatthehusbandill-treatedherandtheirrelationswerestrainedandfurthertheevidenceshowedthatbothofthemwereinoneroominthenight.ItwasheldthatthechainofcircumstanceswascompleteanditwasthehusbandwhocommittedthemurderofhiswifebystrangulationandaccordinglythisCourtreversedthejudgmentoftheHighCourtacquittingtheaccusedandconvictedhimunderSection302IPC.SectionInStateofTamilNaduv.Rajendran(1999)8SCC679thewifewasfounddeadinahutwhichhadcaughtfire.Theevidenceshowedthattheaccusedandhiswifewereseentogetherinthehutatabout9.00p.m.andtheaccusedcameoutinthemorningthroughtheroofwhenthehuthadcaughtfire.Hisexplanationwasthatitwasacaseofaccidentalfirewhichresultedinthedeathofhiswifeandadaughter.Themedicalevidenceshowedthatthewifediedduetoasphyxiaasaresultofstrangulationandnotonaccountofburninjuries.Itwasheldthattherecannotbeanyhesitationtocometotheconclusionthatitwastheaccused(husband)whowastheperpetratorofthecrime.

TheaforesaiddecisionhasbeenfollowedinthecaseofRajKumarPrasadVs.StateofBihar2007(10)SCC433,inthecaseofNarendraVs.StateofKarnataka2009(6)SCC61andinthedecisionofGajananDashrathKharateVs.StateofMaharashtra2016(4)SCC604.”

TheApexCourtinthedecisionofGajananDashrathKharateVs.StateofMaharashtra2016(4)SCC604relyingonthecaseofTrimukhMarotiKirkan(supra)hasobservedthattheburdenisontheinmatesofthehousetoofferanexplanationaboutthedeathofthedeceased.Paragraphno.13isextractedhereinunder:-

“13.Asseenfromtheevidence,Appellant-Gajananandhisfather-Dashrathandmother-Mankarnabaiwerelivingtogether.On07.04.2002,motheroftheAppellant-accusedhadgonetoanothervillage-Dahigaon.TheprosecutionhasprovedpresenceoftheAppellantathishomeonthenightof07.04.2002.Therefore,theAppellantisduty-boundtoexplainastohowthedeathofhisfatherwascaused.Whenanoffencelikemurderiscommittedinsecrecyinsideahouse,theinitialburdentoestablishthecasewouldundoubtedlybeupontheprosecution.InviewofSection106oftheEvidenceAct,therewillbeacorrespondingburdenontheinmatesofthehousetogivecogentexplanationastohowthecrimewascommitted.Theinmatesofthehousecannotgetawaybysimplykeepingquietandofferingnoexplanationonthesupposedpremisethattheburdentoestablishitscaseliesentirelyupontheprosecutionandthereisnodutyatallontheaccusedtooffer.Onthedateofoccurrence,whentheaccusedandhisfatherDashrathwereinthehouseandwhenthefatheroftheaccusedwasfounddead,itwasfortheaccusedtoofferanexplanationastohowhisfathersustainedinjuries.Whentheaccusedcouldnotofferanyexplanationastothehomicidaldeathofhisfather,itisastrongcircumstanceagainsttheaccusedthatheisresponsibleforthecommissionofthecrime.”

74.TheApexCourtinthecaseofStateofRajasthanVs.ThakurSingh,(2014)12SCC,211whilereferringtoanearlierdecisionobserveasfollowsinparagraph16:

16.WaybackinSectionShambhuNathMehrav.StateofAjmerMANU/SC/0023/1956:1956SCR199thisCourtdealtwiththeinterpretationofSection106oftheEvidenceActandheldthatthesectionisnotintendedtoshifttheburdenofproof(inrespectofacrime)ontheaccusedbuttotakecareofasituationwhereafactisknownonlytotheaccusedanditiswellnighimpossibleorextremelydifficultfortheprosecutiontoprovethatfact.Itwassaid:

This[Section101]laysdownthegeneralrulethatinacriminalcasetheburdenofproofisontheprosecutionandSection106iscertainlynotintendedtorelieveitofthatduty.Onthecontrary,itisdesignedtomeetcertainexceptionalcasesinwhichitwouldbeimpossible,oratanyratedisproportionatelydifficult,fortheprosecutiontoestablishfactswhichare”especially”withintheknowledgeoftheaccusedandwhichhecouldprovewithoutdifficultyorinconvenience.Theword”especially”stressesthat.Itmeansfactsthatarepre-eminentlyorexceptionallywithinhisknowledge.Ifthesectionweretobeinterpretedotherwise,itwouldleadtotheverystartlingconclusionthatinamurdercasetheburdenliesontheaccusedtoprovethathedidnotcommitthemurderbecausewhocouldknowbetterthanhewhetherhedidordidnot.”

81.ApexCourtinthecaseofSachcheyLalTiwariVs.StateofU.P..AIR2004SC,5039inparagraphno.7hasobservedasfollows:

“7…Murdersarenotcommittedwithpreviousnoticetowitensses;solicitingtheirpresence.Ifmurderiscommittedinadwellinghouse,theinmatesofthehousearenaturalwitnesses.Ifmurderiscommittedinastreet,onlypassersbywillbewitnesses.Theirevidencecannotbebrushedasideorviewedwithsuspiciononthegroundthattheyaremere’chancewitnesses’.Theexpression’chancewitness’isborrowedfromcountrieswhereeveryman’shomeisconsideredhiscastleandeveryonemusthaveanexplanationforhispresenceelsewhereorinanotherman’scastle.Itisquiteunsuitableanexpressioninacountrywherepeoplearelessformalandmorecasual,atanyrateinthematterexplainingtheirpresence.”

32. Whenthecaseoftheappellantisexaminedinthelightoftheobservationsasnotedabove,itisestablishedbeyonddoubtthattheprosecutionhasdischargeditsburdenbyleadingevidencetobringhomethechargeallegedagainsttheappellantbuthasalsoestablisheditsstand.ThetestlaiddownforproofofacasebaseduponcircumstantialevidenceinthecaseofSharadBirdhichandSarda(Supra)hasbeenclearlyestablished.SecondlytheprosecutionhasprovedthemotivebehindtheoccurrencebyadducingP.W.1andP.W.2whosetestimonyisconsistentandspecificinthisregard.Theprosecutionhasfurtherdischargeditsinitialburdenbyleadingevidencetobringhomethechargeallegedagainsttheappellantaswellasitsstandrightfromthebeginning.ThetwoprosecutionwitnessesoffactnamelyP.W.1HarviriandP.W.2SunilKumarhavefullysupportedtheprosecutioncaseandtheirtestimoniesalsofulfilthelitmustestrequiredtobeprovedtobringhomethechargeforanoffencepunishableunderSectionsection304BIPC.Thedefenceinspiteofdetailedcross-examinationoftheaforesaidtwowitnessesfailedtodislodgethem.ThedefencehasfailedtoanswerthevariousothertestwhicharerequiredtobeansweredfordislodgingthechargeunderSectionsection304BIPCandnotedinthecaseofAkhtar@Bhura(Supra).WehaveourselvesscrutinizedthetestimonyofP.W.1HarviriandP.W.2SunilKumar.However,wecouldnotfindanysuchdiscrepancyonthebasisofwhichthetestimoniesoftheaforesaidprosecutionwitnessescouldbediscarded.P.W.1HarviriandP.W.2SunilKumararebothcredibleandreliableandthereforetheirtestimoniesareworthyoftrust.Consequently,wedonotfindanyillegalityinthefindingrecordedbytheCourtbelowquatheguiltoftheaccused-appellant.

33. TheApexCourtinthecaseofHemChandVs.StateofHaryana,reportedin1994(6)SCC727consideredthequestionastowhethertheextremepunishmentofimprisonmentforlifeiswarrantedinacaseunderSectionsection304BIPC.TheApexCourthavingconsideredthejurisprudentialaspectofSectionsection304BIPCobservedasfollowsinparagraph7:

“Nowcomingtothequestionofsentence,itcanbeseenthatSection304-BI.P.C.laysdownthat”Whoevercommitsdowrydeathshallbepunishedwithimprisonmentforatermwhichshallnotbelessthansevenyearsbutwhichmayextendtoimprisonmentforlife.”Thepointforconsiderationiswhethertheextremepunishmentofimprisonmentforlifeiswarrantedintheinstantcase,AreadingofSection304-BI.P.C,wouldshowthatwhenaquestionariseswhetherapersonhascommittedtheoffenceofdowrydeathofawomanthatallthatisnecessaryisitshouldbeshownthatsoonbeforeherunnaturaldeath,whichtookplacewithinsevenyearsofthemarriage,thedeceasedhadbeensubjected,bysuchperson,tocrueltyorharassmentfororinconnectionwithdemandfordowry.Ifthatisshownthenthecourtshallpresumethatsuchapersonhascausedthedowrydeath.Itcanthereforebeseenthatirrespectiveofthefactwhethersuchpersonisdirectlyresponsibleforthedeathofthedeceasedornotbyvirtueofthepresumption,heisdeemedtohavecommittedthedowrydeathifthereweresuchcrueltyorharassmentandthatiftheunnaturaldeathhasoccurredwithinsevenyearsfromthedateofmarriage.LikewisethereisapresumptionunderSection113-BoftheEvidenceActastothedowrydeath.Itlaysdownthatthecourtshallpresumethatthepersonwhohassubjectedthedeceasedwifetocrueltybeforeherdeathshallpresumetohavecausedthedowrydeathifitisshownthatbeforeherdeath,suchwomanhadbeensubjected,bytheaccused,tocrueltyorharassmentinconnectionwithanydemandfordowry.PracticallythisisthepresumptionthathasbeenincorporatedinSection304-BI.P.C.also.ItcanthereforebeseenthatirrespectiveofthefactwhethertheaccusedhasanydirectconnectionWiththedeathornot,heshallbepresumedtohavecommittedthedowrydeathprovidedtheotherrequirementsmentionedabovearesatisfied.Intheinstantcasenodoubttheprosecutionhasprovedthatthedeceaseddiedanunnaturaldeathnamelyduetostrangulation,butthereisnodirectevidenceconnectingtheaccused.ItisalsoimportanttonoteinthiscontextthatthereisnochargeunderSection302I.P.C.Thetrialcourtalsonotedthatthereweretwosetsofmedicalevidenceonthefileinrespectofthedeathofthedeceased.Dr.UshaRani,P.W.6andDr.InduLatit,P.W.7gaveoneopinion.Accordingtothemnoinjurywasfoundonthedeadbodyandthatthesamewashighlydecomposed.Ontheotherhand,Dr.DalbirSingh,P.W.13whoalsoexaminedthedeadbodyandgavehisopinion,deposedthathenoticedsomeinjuriesatthetimeofre-postmortemexamination.ThereforeatthemostitcanbesaidthattheprosecutionprovedthatitwasanunnaturaldeathinwhichcasealsoSection304-BI.P.C.wouldbeattracted.Butthisaspecthascertainlytobetakenintoconsiderationinbalancingthesentencetobeawardedtotheaccused.Asamatteroffact,thetrialcourtonlyfoundthatthedeathwasunnaturalandtheaspectofcrueltyhasbeenestablishedandthereforetheoffencespunishableunderSections304-BandSection201I.P.C.havebeenestablished.TheHighCourtinaveryshortjudgmentconcludedthatitwasfullyprovedthatthedeathofthedeceasedinhermatrimonialhomewasadowrydeathotherwisethaninnormalcircumstancesasaresultofcrueltymetedouttoherandthereforeanoffenceunderSection304-BI.P.C.wasmadeout.ComingtothesentencetheHighCourtpointedoutthattheaccused-appellantwasapoliceemployeeandinsteadofcheckingthecrimehehimselfindulgedthereinandprecipitatedinitandthatbridekillingcasesareontheincreaseandthereforeaseriousviewhastobetaken.AsmentionedaboveSection304-BI.P.C.onlyraisespresumptionandlaysdownthatminimumsentenceshouldbesevenyearsbutitmayextendtoimprisonmentforlife.Thereforeawardingextremepunishmentofimprisonmentforlifeshouldbeinrarecasesandnotineverycase.”

34. Whenthecaseinhandisexamined,wefindthatrightfromthedateofmarriageuptothedateofoccurrencei.e.15.5.1996,noproceedingshavebeeninitiatedbythefamilymembersofthedeceasedagainsttheaccused-appellantforhavingcommittedanoffenceunderSectionsection498IPCandsections¾SectionDowryProhibitionAct.

35. Inviewofthediscussionsmadehereinabove,weareoftheviewthatthefindingrecordedbythecourtbelowthattheappellantisguiltyofhavingcausedthedeathofhiswifeisnotliabletobeinterferedwith.Weaccordingly,affirmtheaforesaidfinding.However,sincethebasisofthefindingrecordedbytheCourtbelowisthestatutorypresumptionemanatingundersection113BoftheIndianEvidenceAct,wefeelthatintheabsenceofanysuchevidencewhichdirectlypointsattheguiltoftheaccused,thepunishmentawardedbytheCourtbelowwhichislifesentenceistoexcessiveandharshinthefactsandcircumstancesofthecase.Inourconsideredopinionthesamerequirestobemodified.Accordingly,inlinewiththeobservationsmadebytheApexCourtintheCaseofHemChandVs.StateofHaryana(Supra),thepresentcriminalappealisliabletobepartlyallowed.

36.Theappealconsequentlysucceedsandisallowedinpart.TheconvictionawardedbytheCourtbelowtotheaccused-appellantforoffenceunderSectionsections304B,498ASectionIPCandSections¾SectionDowryProhibitionAct,ismaintained.However,inviewofthediscussionsmadehereinabove,thesentenceawardedtotheaccused-appellantbytheCourtbelowismodified.Theappellantisawarded12yearscumulativesentenceinrespectoftheconvictionrecordedbythetrialCourt.

37.However,thisCourtisnotunmindfulofthejudgementoftheApexCourtinthecaseofAnkushShivajiGaikwadVs.StateofMaharashta,reportedinAIR2013SC2454.TheApexCourtintheaforesaidjudgementhasdiscussedtheentirecaselawrelatingtograntofcompensationwherethesentenceisaltered.Afterconsideringtheentiregamutofcaselawonthesubject,theApexCourtconcludedasfollowsinparagraph62:

“62.Tosumup:WhiletheawardorrefusalofcompensationinaparticularcasemaybewithintheCourt’sdiscretion,thereexistsamandatorydutyontheCourttoapplyitsmindtothequestionineverycriminalcase.Applicationofmindtothequestionisbestdisclosedbyrecordingreasonsforawarding/refusingcompensation.Itisaxiomaticthatforanyexerciseinvolvingapplicationofmind,theCourtoughttohavethenecessarymaterialwhichitwouldevaluatetoarriveatafairandreasonableconclusion.Itisalsobeyonddisputethattheoccasiontoconsiderthequestionofawardofcompensationwouldlogicallyariseonlyafterthecourtrecordsaconvictionoftheaccused.CapacityoftheaccusedtopaywhichconstitutesanimportantaspectofanyorderunderSection357Cr.P.C.wouldinvolveacertainenquiryalbeitsummaryunlessofcoursethefactsasemerginginthecourseofthetrialaresoclearthatthecourtconsidersitunnecessarytodoso.Suchanenquirycanprecedeanorderonsentencetoenablethecourttotakeaview,bothonthequestionofsentenceandcompensationthatitmayinitswisdomdecidetoawardtothevictimorhis/herfamily.”

38. Inviewoftheabove,wehavenohesitationtoholdthattheinterestofjusticeshallbeservedincasetheappellantisdirectedtopayasumofRs.2,00,000/-toSmt.HarveerithemotherofthedeceasedBabita.Theaforesaidamountshallbedepositedbytheappellantwithinaperiodofsixmonthsfromthedateofthisjudgement,failingwhich,theCourtbelowshallgetthesamerecoveredasarrearsoflandrevenue,asheldbytheApexCourtinthecaseofKumaranVs.StateofKeralaandAnr,reportedin(2017)7SCC471.Theappellantisinjail.Heshallserveoutthesentenceawardedtohimunderthisjudgement,ifnotalreadycompleted.

OrderDate:-30.5.2019

Arshad

(Hon’bleRajeevMisra,J.)(Hon’blePritinkerDiwaker,J.)

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2021 SC and HC Judgments Online at MyNation
×

Free Legal Help, Just WhatsApp Away

MyNation HELP line

We are Not Lawyers, but No Lawyer will give you Advice like We do

Please read Group Rules – CLICK HERE, If You agree then Please Register CLICK HERE and after registration  JOIN WELCOME GROUP HERE

We handle Women Centric biased laws like False Sectioin 498A IPC, Domestic Violence(DV ACT), Divorce, Maintenance, Alimony, Child Custody, HMA 24, 125 CrPc, 307, 312, 313, 323, 354, 376, 377, 406, 420, 497, 506, 509; TEP, RTI and many more…

MyNation FoundationMyNation FoundationMyNation Foundation