26 May 2020


Judgments

Supreme Court

Kalu Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh

MANU/SC/1527/2019

07.11.2019

Criminal

Accused is obliged to furnish explanation under Section 313 of CrPC with regard to circumstances under which deceased met an unnatural death inside the house

The Appellant, husband of the deceased, is aggrieved by his conviction under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) affirmed by the High Court. There is no eye witness and the case rests only on circumstantial evidence.

The police after completing investigation submitted charge sheet under Section 306 and 498 of IPC. During the course of the trial, considering the nature of evidence that emerged, the Sessions Judge also added Section 302 of IPC in the charges. The Sessions Judge held the charge under Section 302 of IPC to be established as the deceased had been strangulated to death. The High Court in appeal opined that the deceased had been hanged to death. Both the courts have unanimously held that, the deceased did not commit suicide but that it was a homicidal death.

The deceased lived alone with the Appellant and their minor child. The evidence of the relatives of the deceased, PW 2, PW 4 and her parents PWs. 6 and 8 reveal that, all was not well between the Appellant and the deceased. Because of the strained relations between them, the deceased had stayed at her parents' home for nearly 10 months prior to the occurrence and had returned barely a month before the fateful day after her father-in-law had come to take her back.

The injuries on the person of the deceased, as noticed in the inquest report as also in the post mortem report, are clearly indicative of a struggle or resistance put up by the deceased in the last hour. The onus clearly shifted on the Appellant to explain the circumstances and the manner in which the deceased met a homicidal death in the matrimonial home, as it was a fact specifically and exclusive to his knowledge. It is not the case of the Appellant that, there had been an intruder in the house at night.

In Tulshiram Sahadu Suryawanshi and Ors. v. State of Maharashtra, present Court observed that, It is settled law that presumption of fact is a Rule in law of evidence that a fact otherwise doubtful may be inferred from certain other proved facts. When inferring the existence of a fact from other set of proved facts, the court exercises a process of reasoning and reaches a logical conclusion as the most probable position. The above position is strengthened in view of Section 114 of the Evidence Act, 1872. It empowers the court to presume the existence of any fact which it thinks likely to have happened. In that process, the courts shall have regard to the common course of natural events, human conduct, etc. in addition to the facts of the case.

The prosecution has clearly established a prima facie case. Once the prosecution established a prima facie case, the Appellant was obliged to furnish some explanation under Section 313 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) with regard to the circumstances under which the deceased met an unnatural death inside the house. His failure to offer any explanation whatsoever therefore leaves no doubt for the conclusion of his being the assailant of the deceased. Appeal dismissed.

Relevant

Tulshiram Sahadu Suryawanshi and Ors. v. State of Maharashtra, MANU/SC/0748/2012

Tags : Conviction Circumstantial Evidence Credibility

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