26 May 2020


Judgments

High Court of Bombay

Manohar Vs. The State of Maharashtra

MANU/MH/2745/2017

20.11.2017

Criminal

When there are strong circumstances proving the guilty, absence of evidence on motive cannot be a circumstance for discarding the evidence

The Appellant is convicted for the offence punishable under Section 302 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and he is sentenced to suffer imprisonment for life and to pay fine. The Trial Court has held that deceased was murdered due to suspicion which accused was having about her character. The Trial Court has further held that, it is the present Appellant, who had prepared the ditch for burying the dead body for destruction of evidence of murder. The Trial Court has held that, only the Appellant had an opportunity to finish Deceased as mother of the appellant was living separate from him. The subsequent conduct of the appellant is also considered by the Trial Court against him.

It is true that, motive is relevant when the case of prosecution rests on circumstantial evidence. However, not in each and every case, there should be motive because many times the motive may be only in the mind of accused and others may not be in a position to realize what is in the mind of accused. When there are strong circumstances like found in the present matter, the absence of evidence on motive cannot be a circumstance for discarding the evidence of aforesaid nature. This Court holds that aforesaid evidence is more than sufficient to hold the accused guilty for the offence of murder.

In view of the provision of Section 106 read with Section 114 of Evidence Act, 1872, it was necessary for the Appellant/Accused to explain aforesaid circumstances. In ordinary course, he was supposed to remain present in his house on the night. The Court is expected to go with the presumption that, he must not have left for work prior to his duty hours and there is no evidence given on his duty hours. The death took place on the night. These circumstances are not explained by the Accused. Similarly, he ought to have explained as to why there was a ditch in his house. He ought to have explained as to why he did not inform to Police or others that his wife was dead or something had happened to her. Even when he was having kid of 2 years, he was not there in the house to take care of that kid after the death of his wife. This circumstance also ought to have explained by the accused. All the incriminating circumstances are proved by the prosecution and the circumstance of absence of explanation of husband/appellant is additional circumstance against him. In view of these circumstances and the provisions of Section 106 read with section 114 of Evidence Act, only inference available is that it is the accused/appellant who committed murder of his wife and it is the Accused/Appellant, who had taken ditch in the house with the intention to bury the dead body and destroy the evidence of murder.

In the present case, husband is involved as the accused and the murder took place in his house where the deceased was cohabiting with him. The things which ordinarily happen in routine course need to be considered by the Court and inference needs to be drawn by the Court on the basis of evidence given in that case. There is no dispute over the propositions made in the cases by this Court and Supreme Court cited supra. These propositions cannot help the accused in the present matter in view of the facts of the present matter. High Court held that it is not possible to interfere in the decision given by the Trial Court by which appellant is held guilty for the offence of murder. The appeal stands dismissed.

Tags : Conviction Legality Circumstantial Evidence

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