17 June 2024


Supreme Court

Palani Vs. State of Tamil Nadu




A long delay can be condoned if witness has no motive for falsely implicating Accused

Present appeal arose out of the judgment passed by the High Court by which the High Court has dismissed the appeal filed by the Appellant herein thereby confirming his conviction under Section 148 of IPC, Section 435 read with Section 149 Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and Section 302 read with Section 149 of IPC and the sentence of imprisonment imposed upon him by the trial Court. Question raised in present case is whether Courts below erred in convicting the Appellant.

As per the alleged variance between the medical and ocular evidence concerned, it is well-settled that, oral evidence has to get primacy and the medical evidence is basically opinionative and that the medical evidence states that the injury could have been caused in the manner alleged and nothing more. The testimony of the eye witness cannot be thrown out on the ground of inconsistency.

Delay in setting the law into motion by lodging the complaint is normally viewed by the Courts in suspicion because there is possibility of concoction of evidence against the Accused. In such cases, it becomes necessary for the prosecution to satisfactorily explain the delay in registration of FIR. But there may be cases where the delay in registration of FIR is inevitable and the same has to be considered. Even a long delay can be condoned if the witness has no motive for falsely implicating the Accused.

In the present case, PW-1 had no motive to falsely implicate the Accused. PW-1 seeing her own son being brutally attacked, the effect of the incident on the mind of the mother cannot be measured. Being saddened by the death of her son, it must have taken sometime for PW-1 to come out of her shock and then proceed to police station to lodge the FIR. The delay of two and half hours in lodging the complaint and registration of FIR and the delay in receipt of the FIR by the Magistrate was rightly held as not fatal to the prosecution case.

Where the case of the prosecution is based on the evidence of eye witnesses, the existence or non-existence of motive, sufficiency or insufficiency of motive will not play such a major role as in the case which is based on circumstantial evidence. If the prosecution is able to prove its case or motive, it will be a corroborative piece of evidence; but if the prosecution had not been able to prove its case or motive or the motive suggested is too slender, that will not be a ground to doubt the prosecution case. When other evidence against the Accused is clear and cogent as in the present case, absence of motive or insufficiency of motive is of no importance.

Evidence of PW-1 is cogent and consistent and her evidence is amply supported by medical evidence and other evidence. The Courts below recorded concurrent findings of fact qua Appellant-Accused that he along with other Accused caused the murder of deceased. Appeal is dismissed.

Tags : Conviction Evidence Credibility

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