5 Important Criminal Cases Pronounced Today [Thursday, October 4, 2018]

1. Neeraj Safi v. State [Delhi High Court]

Indian Penal Code, 1860 - Sections 302, 375 and 201 - The crime in the present case is indeed horrific. An elderly has been done to death in the most inhuman manner. The evidence placed on record by the prosecution, however, has failed to prove that it is the Appellant who is responsible for the crime. Howsoever strong a suspicion might be, it cannot constitute proof and is insufficient to return a finding of guilt. The case against the Appellant had to be proved beyond reasonable doubt. The prosecution has failed to do that in the present case.

2. State of Bihar v. Rohan Bind [Patna High Court]

Indian Penal Code, 1860 - Sections 302, 376, 201 - Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 - Sections 4, 6, 8 - Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 - Section 366 - Confirmation of Death Sentence - If the 'capital punishment' is altered to the imprisonment of the appellant for life, this will meet the requirement. In such circumstances, in view of early age of the appellant and considering the fact that on record, there is nothing that the appellant was having criminal antecedent, it would be necessary that while approving the judgment of conviction and other sentences, the 'death sentence' may be converted to 'imprisonment for life'.

3. Jagu @ Tapan Bauri v. State of West Bengal [Calcutta High Court]

Indian Penal Code, 1860 - Whether the case falls under the provisions of Section 302, IPC or under Section 304, Part I IPC - Appellant became furious due to victim's refusal to give her husband's cycle and accordingly on coming to know about the same came at the house of the victim with a katari and while threatening her put her down and began to strike her with that katari on her neck and other parts of her body causing severe cut and bleeding injuries therefrom which resulted in her spot death. During postmortem examination doctor found two incised wounds of different dimensions over middle part of right arm, one incised wound over the upper part of the right side of neck and another one middle part of right side of the neck and last one on middle part of scalp and opined that the death was due to haemorage shock due to the above injuries which were ante mortem in nature and such injuries may be caused by a sharp cutting weapon like "dao", "katari" or any weapon of like nature. So, the number and nature of the injuries suggest that the intention was clearly to cause death. Therefore, there was no impropriety on the part of the learned Court below to pass the order of conviction and sentence under section 302 IPC against the appellant.

4. Sumaiya Rasool v. State of J & K [Jammu & Kashmir High Court]

Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 - Sections 18, 20 and 28 - Public Property (Prevention of Damages) Act, 1985 (Jammu & Kashmir) - Sections 3 and 4 - Mere use of this statutory provision would not ipso facto warrant rejection of applications of bail ignoring the other binding requirement that the State must make out a prima facie case of commission of such offences premised on sound and fair investigations, to enable a court to draw its prima facie opinion that the applicant deserves to be kept under custody as he may have committed the offence with which he stands accused.

5. State of West Bengal v. Kali Singh [Calcutta High Court]

Indian Penal Code, 1860 - Sections 147, 148, 302, 201 and 506 - Genesis of the incident has clearly disclosed a diabolical murder of three hapless women of Scheduled Tribe community on the suspicion of being 'witches'. The appellants acted in a barbaric and brutal manner which is evident from their conduct of urinating on one of the victims and innumerable injuries on their bodies. The heinousness of crime and the vulnerability of the victims clearly puts the case in the 'rarest of rare' category justifying death sentence on some of the appellants.

As an immediate preventive, the State should ensure effective compliance of the guidelines supplemented by legislation covering aspects of the practice of witchcraft which may not even reach the courts. The absurdity of the offence and its co-existence with the projected upward development curve is difficult and painful to accept. This is yet another instance of people belonging to the lowest social strata both perpetrating as well as suffering the fallout of being outside the periphery of growth. The State needs to immediately intervene and correct the picture.

Judgment : View / Download

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