Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: This Jail Appeal was filed before the Division Bench of Sudhir Agarwal and Vivek Varma, JJ., under Section 383 CrPC which prescribed the procedure to be followed when an appellant is in jail.

The facts of the case were such that the appellant was alleged for commission of crime of murder under Section 302 of Penal Code, which the Trial Court found to be proven beyond reasonable doubt and had sentenced him to undergo life imprisonment with six months simple imprisonment for default in payment of fine on the basis of ocular evidence of material witnesses and medical evidence. Hence, this appeal before this Court.

Ravi Chandra Srivastava, learned Amicus Curiae on behalf of the appellant submitted that witnesses of prosecution were interested witness who were in close relationship with the deceased thus were not independent. Further, prosecution had failed to show motive behind the alleged crime in addition to the non-supported ocular version of events by witness. Whereas Rishi Chaddha, learned Additional Government Advocate for State submitted that FIR was corroborated by the medical evidence brought before Court. The instrument used to commit the crime was found with the accused and accused had a strong motive to kill the deceased.

High Court was of the view that the argument advanced by accused that the eye witness’s version of the events cannot be accepted as they were closely in relationship with the deceased i.e. wife, cannot be accepted in view of the evidence presented before the Court. If the evidence provided by eye-witness inspires confidence then the same cannot be discarded on the ground of their relationship with the deceased. Therefore, this appeal was dismissed. [Shishu Pal v. State of U.P., 2019 SCC OnLine All 2112, decided on 19-04-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: This appeal was filed before a 2-Judge Bench comprising of Sujoy Paul and Nandita Dubey, JJ., against the order passed by trial court convicting appellant for the commission of offences under Sections 302 and 201 of Penal Code and sentencing her to life imprisonment.

Facts of the case were such that the deceased was the husband of appellant whose dead body was found inside a trunk in their house. After which trial took place where appellant was convicted and sentenced for the murder of her husband. Trial Court mainly relied on the testimony of deceased daughter and medical evidence on record which showed throttling as the reason for deceased death. The contention raised by Chetan Jaggi, Advocate appearing as amicus curiae for appellant was that there were no eye-witness and the sentence was passed on the basis of circumstantial evidence where the incident was not pre-planned.

High Court after going through the testimony of daughter of deceased, postmortem report viewed that deceased died due to throttling. Court found no explanation by the appellant as to how the dead body got into the trunk in a room only in access of appellant and deceased and once the prosecution has been able to show that at the relevant time, the room was in exclusive possession of the deceased and appellant, the burden of proof lies on the appellant under what circumstances the death of her husband occurred. Appellant failed to discharge this onus to prove. Therefore, the appeal was dismissed and it was found that the trial court had rightly convicted the appellant under Sections 302 and 201 of Penal Code. [Sudama Bai v. State of M.P., 2018 SCC OnLine MP 904, decided on 10-12-2018]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In the case where 5 appellants, convicted under Section 302 read with Section 149 IPC, had approached the Court with the plea of setting aside the order of conviction, the Court, rejected the plea and held that once it is found that the witnesses, who are eye witnesses, were present and they have truthfully narrated the incidence as it happened and their depositions are worth of credence, conviction can be based on their testimonies even if they were related to the deceased.

In the present case, the informant’s uncle was killed while saving him from the appellants who had intended to kill him over a property dispute. The appellants had argued that no independent witnesses were examined in the present case and all the witnesses who were examined were related to the deceased. The Court rejected the said contention and said that in the cross-examination or otherwise it has not even been brought out by the defence that there were other persons at the scene of occurrence who were independent persons. It was further noticed that there were six eye witnesses and three of them were injured eye witnesses, which is a weighty factor to show the actual presence of these witnesses at the scene of occurrence.

The Bench of Dr. A.K. Sikri and N. V. Ramana, JJ. said that the credibility and trustworthiness of the eye witnesses could not be shaken by the accused persons. The only requirement, while scrutinising the interested witnesses, is to examine their depositions with greater caution and deeper scrutiny is needed and the same has been done by the Trial Court and the Patna High Court in the present case. [Kamta Yadav v. State of Bihar, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 1112, decided on 06.10.2016]