17 June 2024


High Court of Delhi

Suraj Vs. State (NCT of Delhi) (Neutral Citation: 2024:DHC:273)




Conviction can be based on solitary testimony of a credible witness though uncorroborated

Appeal has been preferred under Section 374(2) read with Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr.P.C.) challenging the judgment and order on sentence, whereby the Appellant has been convicted under Section 308 of IPC.

Minor discrepancies, infirmities and deficiencies unless they impact the root of the case and render the testimony unworthy of belief, cannot be given much credence as they may occur on account of errors of memory due to lapse of time. It is well settled that conviction can be based on solitary testimony of a credible witness though uncorroborated. The Courts should not insist on corroboration except in the cases where the nature of the testimony of the single witness itself requires as a rule of prudence that corroboration should be insisted upon like in case of a witness of an accomplice or of an analogous character. The consideration whether corroboration of testimony of solitary witness is or is not necessary depends upon the facts and circumstances of each case.

On the face of record, the assault was premeditated and there is clear evidence on record that accused/appellant held a grudge against the complainant. After a failed attempt to cause harm with the stab blow, the injuries were inflicted with avowed object or knowledge to cause death by causing several injuries on the parietal region, which is a vital part of the body with stones. The offence, falls within the ambit of Section 308 of IPC.

The prime objective of criminal law is imposition of adequate, just, proportionate punishment commensurate with gravity, nature of crime and the manner in which the offence is committed. Punishment should not be so lenient that it shakes the conscience of the society since awarding lesser sentence encourages any criminal and as a result of the same, the society suffers.

The convict in the present case is also involved in other offences and as such, it cannot be said to be a case of solitary aberration. The injuries suffered by PW-2 Arjun reflect that he was mercilessly assaulted resulting in several injuries in the parietal region as well as other parts of the body, which were opined to be 'grievous' by PW-7 (Doctor).

In the facts and circumstances, this Court is of the opinion that learned Trial Court has appropriately sentenced the Appellant with rigorous imprisonment for three years and payment of fine of Rs. 10,000 and in default of payment of fine, to undergo further simple imprisonment for 30 days, with benefit of Section 428 of Cr.P.C., for the offence punishable under Section 308 of IPC after taking into consideration the facts and circumstances of the case. No grounds for reduction of sentence are made out. Appeal dismissed.

Tags : Conviction Sentence Legality

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