11 November 2019


Judgments

Supreme Court

Kumar Vs. State

MANU/SC/0545/2018

11.05.2018

Criminal

Prosecution is duty bound to furnish proper explanation to the Court regarding injuries sustained by Accused in course of altercation

Present appeal is filed by the present Appellant, aggrieved by the concurrent findings of the Court below, which has upheld the culpability of the Accused for culpable homicide amounting to murder under Section 302 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and voluntary causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means under Section 324 of IPC. The main thrust of argument by the learned Counsel for the Appellant is that the entire prosecution case is a fabricated in such a way so as to implicate the Appellant in the case as culprit. The real circumstances of the case have been concealed by the prosecution in order to help the complainant.

It is irrelevant whether the falsity lie in the statement of witnesses or the guilt of the Accused. The investigative authority has a responsibility to investigate in a fair manner and elicit truth. In Lakshmi Singh and Ors. v. State of Bihar, present Court observed that, in a murder case, the non-explanation of the injuries sustained by the Accused at about the time of the occurrence or in the course of altercation is a very important circumstance from which the Court can draw the following inferences: (1) that the prosecution has suppressed the genesis and the origin of the occurrence and has thus not presented the true version; (2) that the witnesses who have denied the presence of the injuries on the person of the Accused are lying on a most material point and, therefore, their evidence is unreliable; (3) that in case there is a defence version which explains the injuries on the person of the Accused assumes much greater importance where the evidence consists of interested or inimical witnesses or where the defence gives a version which competes in probability with that of the prosecution one.

In instant case, admittedly, the Accused--Appellant was also injured in the same occurrence and he too was admitted in the hospital. But, prosecution did not produce his medical record, nor the Doctor was examined on the nature of injuries sustained by the Accused. The trial Court, instead of seeking proper explanation from the prosecution for the injuries sustained by the Accused, appears to have simply believed what prosecution witnesses deposed in one sentence that, the Accused had sustained simple injuries only. A duty is cast on the prosecution to furnish proper explanation to the Court how the person who has been Accused of assaulting the deceased, received injuries on his person in the same occurrence. The injuries alleged to have been caused are not properly explained. An alternative story is set up wherein the injuries are attributed to mob justice, such allegations without substantive evidence cannot be accepted.

Motive of the Accused to commit the crime is ascribed to the previous quarrel occasioned between the Accused and the deceased during a drama at a village festival. Generally, in case prosecution desires to place motive of the Accused as a circumstance, like any other incriminating circumstance, it should also be fully established. If the genesis of the motive of the occurrence is not proved, the ocular testimony of the witnesses as to the occurrence could not be discarded only on the ground of absence of motive, if otherwise the evidence is worthy of reliance. But in the case on hand, the evidence of direct witnesses is not satisfactory and on the other hand, it is demonstrated that the deceased hit the Accused on his head with the wooden log besides the testimony from the eye witnesses that there was scuffle. In such a factual situation, certainly motive may act as a double-edged sword. There is absence of extreme cruelty, even if it assumed that Accused hit the deceased with the log. Had there been a strong motive to do away with the life of deceased, generally there would have been more fatal injuries caused on the deceased not by a log but by utilizing more dangerous weapons.

Regarding charge under Section 324 of IPC, for causing injuries to PW-2, in light of the deficiencies, it can be easily said that even the charge under Section 324 of IPC is not established. The aforesaid conclusion is clearly buttressed by the fact that, the injured witness himself has attributed the injury on him to the deceased, instead of the Accused. In such a situation, conviction of the Accused on the charge of Section 324 cannot be sustained under law. The conviction and sentence awarded by the Courts below is set aside. The Accused--Appellant stands acquitted from all the charges levelled against him.

Relevant

Lakshmi Singh and Ors. v. State of Bihar, MANU/SC/0136/1976
: 1976 CriLJ 1736

Tags : Conviction Evidence Credibility

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