3 Important Supreme Court of India Judgments Pronounced Today [Wednesday, October 10, 2018]

1. Mohd. Sahid v. Raziya Khanam (died) Thr. Lrs

Limitation Act, 1963 - Section 5 - Delay of 349 days in filing the appeal - The order sheet and other materials placed on record clearly show that the appellants had full knowledge about the proceedings of the Original Suit and also about the disposal of the Writ Petition and the appellants have filed application for condonation of delay with incorrect facts. Both the First Appellate Court and the High Court recorded concurrent findings that the appellants have filed the application for condonation of delay with incorrect facts and were negligent in pursuing the matter and rightly refused to condone the delay. We do not find any perversity or infirmity in the impugned order warranting interference and the appeal is liable to be dismissed.

Petitioner's Advocate : Anuradha & Associates
Bench : Hon'ble Mrs. Justice R. Banumathi, Hon'ble Ms. Justice Indira Banerjee
Judgment By : Hon'ble Mrs. Justice R. Banumathi

2. Pradeep Bisoi @ Ranjit Bisoi v. State of Odisha

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 - Sections 161 and 162 - Indian Penal Code, 1860 - Section 304 Part II - Indian Evidence Act, 1872 - Section 32 - Cases in which statement of relevant fact by person who is dead or cannot be found, etc., is relevant - When it relates to cause of death - Statements to police not to be signed - Use of statements in evidence - The injuries on the body of deceased fully support the prosecution case. The statement made by the deceased finds corroboration from the injuries on the body of deceased and the sequences of the events and manner of incidents as claimed by the prosecution. The PW1, the informant has fully supported the prosecution case. The High Court while dismissing the appeal has also made observation that conviction and sentence of the accused was for a lesser offence and lenient one. We having gone through the evidence on record are fully satisfied that the trial court did not commit any error in convicting the appellant. High Court while deciding the appeal has also analysed the evidence on record and has rightly dismissed the appeal. We, thus, do not find any merit in this appeal, which is dismissed.

Petitioner's Advocate : Kedar Nath Tripathy
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice A. K. Sikri, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan
Judgment By : Hon'ble Mr. Justice A. K. Sikri

3. Bilal Hajar @ Abdul Hameed v. State Rep. By The Inspector of Police

Indian Penal Code, 1860 - Sections 120­B, 148, 302, 332 - Criminal Conspiracy to Murder - How a case under Section 120­A, IPC read with Section 120­B, IPC is required to be made out by the prosecution with the aid of evidence ?

The expression “criminal conspiracy” is defined in Section 120­A, IPC. It says that when two or more persons agree or cause to be done an illegal act or an act, which is not illegal by illegal means, such an agreement is designated a “criminal conspiracy”. It then provides an exception to the effect that no agreement except an agreement to commit an offence shall amount to a criminal conspiracy unless some act besides the agreement is done by one or more parties to such agreement in pursuance thereof. The explanation appended to the Section clarifies that it is immaterial whether the illegal act is the ultimate object of such agreement or is merely incidental to that object. 

Section 120­B, IPC provides a punishment for committing an offence of criminal conspiracy. It says that whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life, or rigorous imprisonment for a term of two years or upwards shall be punished in the same manner as if he had abetted such offence provided there is no express provision made in the Code for punishment of such conspiracy. 

Sub ­section (2) of Section 120­B, IPC, however, provides that a person who is a party to a criminal conspiracy other than a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable as aforesaid shall be punished with an imprisonment of either for a term not exceeding six months or with fine or both. 

Reading of Section 120­A and Section 120­B, IPC makes it clear that an offence of “criminal conspiracy” is a separate and distinct offence. Therefore, in order to constitute a criminal conspiracy and to attract its rigor, two factors must be present in the case on facts: first, involvement of more than one person and second, an agreement between/among such persons to do or causing to be done an illegal act or an act which is not illegal but is done or causing to be done by illegal means. 

In order to constitute a conspiracy, meeting of mind of two or more persons to do an illegal act or an act by illegal means is a must. In other words, it is sine qua non for invoking the plea of conspiracy against the accused. However, it is not necessary that all the conspirators must know each and every detail of the conspiracy, which is being hatched and nor it is necessary to prove their active part/role in such meeting. 

In other words, their presence and participation in such meeting alone is sufficient. It is well known that a criminal conspiracy is always hatched in secrecy and is never an open affair to anyone much less to public at large. 

It is for this reason, its existence coupled with the object for which it was hatched has to be gathered on the basis of circumstantial evidence, such as conduct of the conspirators, the chain of circumstances leading to holding of such meeting till the commission of offence by applying the principle applicable for appreciating the circumstantial evidence for holding the accused guilty for commission of an offence.

Petitioner's Advocate : K.K. Mani
Respondent's Advocate : M. Yogesh Kanna
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre, Hon'ble Ms. Justice Indu Malhotra
Judgment By : Hon'ble Mr. Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre

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