Author: Abhishek Wadhawan
1. Srichand v. Sahadev
Case No.: Criminal Appeal No. 100176 of 2018
Bench and author: Justice N.K. Sudhindrarao
Date: December 05, 2018
The relevant facts of the case are that the complainant had given a loan to the accused. The cheques issued by the accused in favour of the complainant for the purpose of repaying the loan bounced due to lack of funds in the bank account of the accused. The complainant filed a complaint and the case was under trial before the trial court. On various hearings, the accused used to remain absent in the proceedings. Due to this, justice was delayed to the complainant. At the same time, the complainant was also not present in the court on a few hearings.
The trial court dismissed the case stating that the complainant was not interested in the prosecution of the case anymore. The Court after a perusal of the records of the trial court regarding the presence of the complainant and the accused in the proceedings, the Court held that it was only in a few hearings that the complainant was not present in the court. Thus, it was not correct to dismiss the case due to non-prosecution on a few hearings by the complainant. Hence, giving one more chance of hearing to the complainant would not be against the principles of natural justice. Accordingly, the appeal was allowed by the Court and it gave the complainant one more chance of hearing before the trial court.
Key takeaway: In cases where a case is dismissed by a Court for non-prosecution as the complainant was not present in the Court for a few hearings, a complainant may at times be given one more chance of hearing before the Court. Such a chance given to the complainant is not against the principles of natural justice.
2. Suvarna Shankar Yadav Vs. State of Karnataka
Case No.: Criminal Appeal No.100283 of 2015
Bench: Justice B.A. Patil and Justice Bellunke A.S.
Author: Justice B.A. Patil
Date: December 03, 2018
The prosecution’s case is that the deceased was going on his bicycle when the accused approached him and murdered him by strangling a cable wire around his neck. The trial court convicted the accused under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code. This conviction order was challenged by the accused before the Court by the way of this appeal. The prosecution tried to prove the case against the accused through various witnesses. It further stated that the cable wire which was used to strangle the deceased was also found with the accused.
The Court in its judgment stated that the prosecution was relying on circumstantial evidences to prove the case against the accused. The Court could convict the accused only when all the circumstances are linked upon with one another and if the Court is brought in a position to see that all the chain of events have been proved beyond all reasonable doubt. The prosecution could not prove the motive of the accused behind killing the deceased. The prosecution has heavily depended on the statement of a witness before whom the accused had made an extra-judicial confession.
The Court ruled that it is a well settled principle of law that an extra-judicial confession is a very weak type of an evidence. Only on the basis of an extra-judicial confession an accused cannot be convicted, as such a type of a confession must be supported by some other evidence. The Court ruled that there were no evidences with the prosecution that could prove the charges against the accused beyond a reasonable doubt. Accordingly, the appeal was allowed and the appellant-accused was acquitted and hence the appellant-accused was ordered to be released by the Court.
Key takeaway: Extra-judicial confession is a very weak type of an evidence. No accused can be convicted only on the basis of an extra-judicial confession. To convict an accused, an extra-judicial confession must be supported by some other evidence that proves the offence against the accused beyond reasonable doubt.
3. Basavaraju Vs. State by Nanjangud Rural Police Station
Case No.: Criminal Petition No. 4882 of 2018
Bench and author: Justice K.S. Mudagal
Date: December 05, 2018
The present petition was filed by an accused seeking bail. The petitioner was accused under Section 498-A and 302 of the Indian Penal Code. The accused had assaulted his deceased wife on several occasions. The accused had one day smothered his wife and killed his wife. The postmortem report of the deceased showed that the deceased had several injuries on her neck and face and her death was a homicidal one. The counsel for the petitioner contended that the statement of one of the major witnesses was recorded after a period of six days, hence the statement of the said witness cannot be relied upon by the Court. The witness in reply stated that he was coerced by the petitioner-accused against giving her statement in favour of the prosecution’s case. The Court stated that the mere argument that the statement of the witness was recorded after a period of six days does not come to the rescue of the petitioner to seek bail. There were also several witnesses that supported the case of the prosecution by stating that the petitioner and the deceased quarreling and soon after the quarrel the deceased was found dead in the house of the petitioner and the petitioner was missing soon after the death of the deceased. Accordingly, the petition was dismissed and the request for bail of the accused was denied by the Court.
Key takeaway: A bail may be denied to a person who is accused of grave offences like Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code especially when all the material placed on record is sufficient to prove to the Court that a strong case is present against the accused.
About the Author: Abhishek is a 2018-23 Batch student at Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar.
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