17 June 2024


High Court of Kerala

Dharman Vs. State of Kerala




When there is an eye witness to occurrence corroborated by other evidence, non-establishment of motive behind the crime is not fatal to prosecution

Appeal is against the judgment of conviction and order of sentence passed under Section 302 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) against the Accused/Appellant. The prosecution case is that, the accused intentionally hacked his wife, with a chopper. The main challenge raised by the Appellant regarding recovery of MO3 weapon, the chopper used for the commission of offence, is that the alleged recovery cannot be brought under the purview of Section 27 of the Evidence Act in view of oral testimony made by PW 1 regarding the place wherein the accused kept the chopper after the commission of the offence.

The place wherein the chopper was kept by the accused after the commission of the offence was spoken by PW 1 stating that, it was kept in the road side and abandoned there by the accused. A material object or an incriminating factor which could be brought under Section 27 of the Evidence Act,1872 should be the one not within the knowledge of investigation. If the place wherein the alleged material object was concealed is known to the prosecution witnesses and not within the exclusive knowledge of the accused/accused persons, the detection and recovery of the same in furtherance of the disclosure statement alleged to have been made by the accused while in police custody cannot be brought under Section 27 of the Evidence Act.

In the instant case, the place wherein MO3 chopper was kept by the accused is known to PW 1 and some other persons who came and assembled there. So, it cannot be brought under the purview of Section 27 of the Evidence Act. But, the fact as spoken by PW 1 that the accused was found with the chopper (MO3) which was found to be stained by human blood of 'A' group on chemical analysis, would give sufficient corroboration to the oral testimony given by the three ocular witnesses, PW 1 to PW 3. The material objects which were sent for chemical examination also support the oral testimony of PW 1 to PW 3 and give sufficient corroboration. The chopper (MO3) and shirt and double mundu (dhothi) were found to be stained with 'A' group of human blood besides the dress worn by the victim. No explanation was forwarded by the accused during his examination under Section 313 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr.P.C.) with respect to the presence of human blood of 'A' group in his shirt, double mundu and MO3 chopper.

According to the Appellant, the prosecution has failed to establish the actual motive behind the crime. It is settled that when there is an eye witness to the occurrence corroborated by other evidence, the non establishment of motive behind the crime is not fatal to the prosecution. Motive intrinsically connected with the guilty consciousness - mens rea and it may not be possible for the prosecution to trace out the real motive behind the crime invariably in all cases. Sometimes it may be known to the accused alone. When there is an eye witness to the alleged occurrence supported by other evidence and when it is found to be convincing and inspires confidence, non establishment of the motive is not fatal. Frequent quarrel and strained relationship between the accused and the victim were deposed by their son, PW 4, and nothing was brought out to discredit his evidence. It was the usual practice of the accused to pick up quarrel with his wife and to unleash attack on her after consuming alcohol. Hence, when there is a strained relationship or frequent quarrel between the husband and wife, it would satisfy the motive for the commission of offence.

The medical evidence adduced regarding the number of injuries, user of a sharp-edged weapon like MO3 and the place wherein the injuries were inflicted on the body of victim would sufficiently bring the matter within the sweep of first and second limbs of Section 300 IPC, an intentional homicide with full knowledge. Hence, there is no satisfactory reason for any interference to the finding of guilt of accused under Section 302 of IPC and the conviction thereunder. The sentence awarded, being the lesser one, does not call for any interference by present Court.

Tags : Conviction Legality Evidence Corroboration

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