Madras HC | Hostility of witnesses held immaterial where sequence of events are cogent and corroborate to each other

Madras High Court: Dr G. Jayachandran, J., dismissed a criminal appeal filed by the accused who was convicted by the trial court for the offence of ‘abetment of suicide’ punishable under Section 306 IPC.

As per the prosecution, the accused, a married man was very close to the deceased who committed suicide. He lived opposite to the house of the deceased and had close intimacy with her. He made sexual relations with the deceased and impregnated her. On coming to know about the pregnancy, the deceased went to the accused and asked her to marry him. After this, as per the mother of the deceased (a prosecution witness), the accused refused to marry her while blaming her character for the pregnancy and also scolded her to die. Subsequently, the deceased consumed Vasmol 33 hair oil which resulted in her death.

The appellant contended that the conviction against him was not proper as there was no evidence against him to prove abetment and attract ingredients of Section 306. It was also contended that there was no independent witness to prove the alleged intimacy between him and the deceased. It was also submitted that two of the independent witnesses turned hostile.

On perusal of the record and totality of the facts and circumstances of the case, the High Court was of the view that the judgment of conviction passed by the trial court could not be interfered with. As per the Court, in the case at hand, the sequence of events placed by the prosecution were cogent and corroborate to each other. In such a case, the Court held, the hostility of two of the prosecution witnesses (PWs 8 and 9) in no way dent the prosecution case, nor the close relationship between other prosecution witnesses throw any doubt upon its case. Consequently, the appeal was dismissed. [Dravidamani v. State (UT of Puducherry), 2019 SCC OnLine Mad 557, decided on 21-02-2019]

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