17 June 2024


High Court of Madras

Dharmaraj v. State




Burden is on accused to prove facts which is within his knowledge

Appellant in present appeal is sole accused in Sessions Case, on file of Sessions Judge. He stood charged for an offence under Section 302 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC). Trial Court, by judgement convicted Appellant/accused for offence under Section 302 of IPC, and sentenced him to undergo life imprisonment for each count and to pay a fine. Trial Court also directed sentences imposed on Appellant/accused to run consecutively. Challenging said conviction and sentence, Appellant/Accused is before this Court with present appeal.

It is a case of triple murder. Deceased are closely related to Accused. So far as motive for murder is concerned, P.W.1 has stated that, accused wanted to marry Deceased-3, for which Deceased-1 and D-3 Chandra opposed and in order to take revenge, he took all deceased to house of D-3 and murdered them, brutally. It is crystal clear that, Accused was staying along with deceased persons at time of occurrence, in house of D-3. Prosecution clearly established motive for murder of deceased.

Conduct of accused creates doubt. After seeing dead bodies, naturally, conduct of a normal person would be to immediately inform same to police or to their relatives. Even according to Accused (D.W.1), he did not inform any body and there is no acceptable explanation from accused for the same. Hence, conduct of accused is one of vital link supporting prosecution case. Apart from that, it is consistent evidence of P.Ws. 1, 2 and 9 that, all of them saw accused, coming out of house of D-3 with bloodstained knife and also found blood stained dhoti. P.W.5 is driver of a Jeep. In his evidence, he has stated that, he took accused in his jeep and dropped him near Panchayat Office. Subsequently, based on disclosure statement of the accused, M.O.1 Aruval has been recovered.

Admittedly, even as per his own evidence, at time of occurrence, he was present in house of D-3 Chandra. Even according to his evidence, all deceased and accused alone were in that house. Hence, under Section 106 of Evidence Act, 1872, burden is on accused to prove facts which is within his knowledge. Even though it is a rebuttable presumption, accused did not discharge said burden. It is one of vital circumstance against Accused. Prosecution has proved guilt of accused beyond reasonable doubt.

Regarding sentences imposed, considering age of Accused and also fact that, he is a poor man and also considering all mitigating and aggravating circumstances, instead of directing accused to undergo sentences, consecutively, Court directed him to undergo sentences, concurrently and partly allowed the appeal.

Tags : Conviction Sentence Validity

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