March 9, 2019

Latest Supreme Court Criminal Cases March 2019

Arms Act, 1959 - Offences under Arms Act etc. would fall in the category of heinous and serious offences and therefore are to be treated as crime against the society and not against the individual alone, and therefore, the criminal proceedings for the offence under the Arms Act etc. which have a serious impact on the society cannot be quashed in exercise of powers under Section 482 of the Code, on the ground that the parties have resolved their entire dispute amongst themselves. A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer & M.R. Shah, JJJ. State of Madhya Pradesh v. Laxmi Narayan, Crl.A. No. 349 of 2019 05-03-2019

Criminal Law - Rape and Murder - Death Penalty - False Implication - All of them who were between the age of 25-30 years (and one of the accused was a juvenile) have lost their valuable 16 years of their life in jail - Compensation - lived under sub-human conditions for several years - Kept in isolation in solitary confinement with very restricted human contact and under perpetual fear of death - only allowed to meet his mother, and that too only infrequently - not even allowed to mix with other prisoners - all the accused remained under constant stress and in the perpetual fear of death - As they were facing the death penalty, they might not have availed any other facilities of parole, furlon etc. - their family members have also suffered - State of Maharashtra to pay a sum of Rs.5,00,000/- to each of the accused by way of compensation. A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer & M.R. Shah, JJJ. Ankush Maruti Shinde v. State of Maharashtra, Crl.A. No. 1008 2007 05-03-2019



Criminal Jurisprudence - One of the fundamental principles of criminal jurisprudence is undeniably that the burden of proof squarely rests on the prosecution and that the general burden never shifts. A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer & M.R. Shah, JJJ. Digamber Vaishnav v. State of Chhattisgarh, Crl.A. No. 428 of 2019 05-03-2019

Criminal Jurisprudence - Strong suspicion, strong coincidences and grave doubt cannot take the place of legal proof. A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer & M.R. Shah, JJJ. Digamber Vaishnav v. State of Chhattisgarh, Crl.A. No. 428 of 2019 05-03-2019

Criminal Jurisprudence - The onus of the prosecution cannot be discharged by referring to very strong suspicion and existence of highly suspicious factors to inculpate the accused nor falsity of defence could take the place of proof which the prosecution has to establish in order to succeed, though a false plea by the defence at best, be considered as an additional circumstance, if other circumstances unfailingly point to the guilt. A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer & M.R. Shah, JJJ. Digamber Vaishnav v. State of Chhattisgarh, Crl.A. No. 428 of 2019 05-03-2019

Criminal Jurisprudence - There can be no conviction on the basis of surmises and conjectures or suspicion howsoever grave it may be. A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer & M.R. Shah, JJJ. Digamber Vaishnav v. State of Chhattisgarh, Crl.A. No. 428 of 2019 05-03-2019



Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 - Section 125 - Remand - the need to remand the case to the Magistrate is called for only when some factual inquiry is required to be held to decide any factual issue involved in the case which cannot be undertaken at the revision stage or when it is noticed that there is no finding on any particular factual issue(s) recorded by the Magistrate or when additional evidence is filed for the first time at the appellate/revision stage which requires examination by the Magistrate in the first instance and to record a finding in the light of such additional evidence. Abhay Manohar Sapre & Dinesh Maheshwari, JJ. Manik Kutum v. Julie Kutum, Crl.A. No. 448 of 2019 07-03-2019

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 - Section 227 - Application for Discharge - Principles - While considering the case of discharge sought immediately after the charge­sheet is filed, the Court cannot become an Appellate Court and start appreciating the evidence by finding out inconsistency in the statements of the witnesses. It is not legally permissible. Abhay Manohar Sapre & Dinesh Maheshwari, JJ. State v. J. Doraiswamy, Crl.A. No. 445 of 2019 07-03-2019

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 - Ss. 320 & 482 - How to quash the criminal proceedings for the non-compoundable offences - Can be exercised having overwhelmingly and predominantly the civil character, particularly those arising out of commercial transactions or arising out of matrimonial relationship or family disputes and when the parties have resolved the entire dispute amongst themselves. A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer & M.R. Shah, JJJ. State of Madhya Pradesh v. Laxmi Narayan, Crl.A. No. 349 of 2019 05-03-2019

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 - Ss. 320 & 482 - How to quash the criminal proceedings in respect of non-compoundable offences, which are private in nature and do not have a serious impart on society, on the ground that there is a settlement/compromise between the victim and the offender - the High Court is required to consider the antecedents of the accused; the conduct of the accused, namely, whether the accused was absconding and why he was absconding, how he had managed with the complainant to enter into a compromise etc. A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer & M.R. Shah, JJJ. State of Madhya Pradesh v. Laxmi Narayan, Crl.A. No. 349 of 2019 05-03-2019

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 - Ss. 320 & 482 - Power to quash the criminal proceedings for the non-compoundable offences - Such power is not to be exercised in those prosecutions which involved heinous and serious offences of mental depravity or offences like murder, rape, dacoity, etc. Such offences are not private in nature and have a serious impact on society. A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer & M.R. Shah, JJJ. State of Madhya Pradesh v. Laxmi Narayan, Crl.A. No. 349 of 2019 05-03-2019



Criminal Trial - Failure of a Prosecution Case - Real culprits are out of the clutches of law - Sheer Negligence / Culpable Lapses - Identify such erring officers / officials responsible - Court directs the Chief Secretary, Home Department, State of Maharashtra to look into the matter. A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer & M.R. Shah, JJJ. Ankush Maruti Shinde v. State of Maharashtra, Crl.A. No. 1008 2007 05-03-2019

Criminal Trial - False Implication - all the accused persons are nomadic tribes coming from the lower strata of the society and are very poor labourers. Therefore, in the facts and circumstances of the case, false implication cannot be ruled out since it is common occurrence that in serious offences sometime innocent persons are roped in. A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer & M.R. Shah, JJJ. Ankush Maruti Shinde v. State of Maharashtra, Crl.A. No. 1008 2007 05-03-2019



Evidence Act, 1872 - Section 27 - Recovery - It is not the discovery of every fact that is admissible but the discovery of relevant fact is alone admissible. A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer & M.R. Shah, JJJ. Digamber Vaishnav v. State of Chhattisgarh, Crl.A. No. 428 of 2019 05-03-2019

Evidence Act, 1872 - Section 27 - Recovery - Money - When the money allegedly recovered is being sought to be relied upon as stolen from the house of the deceased, the same is unreliable when there is nothing on record to support the claim of theft or robbery from the scene of crime. A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer & M.R. Shah, JJJ. Digamber Vaishnav v. State of Chhattisgarh, Crl.A. No. 428 of 2019 05-03-2019



Evidence Act, 1872 - Section 27 - Recovery - Relevancy is nothing but the connection or the link between the facts discovered with the crime. A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer & M.R. Shah, JJJ. Digamber Vaishnav v. State of Chhattisgarh, Crl.A. No. 428 of 2019 05-03-2019

Evidence Act, 1872 - Section 27 - Recovery - Small broken button found at the scene of crime - there is nothing on record to show that the shirt is unique and cannot be matched with the shirt of any other person - it cannot be conclusively proved that the shirts are in any way unique to the 'appellants' shirt to the exclusion of everyone else - therefore, the reliance placed with analysis of the shirt in the absence of any unique make thereof is improper. A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer & M.R. Shah, JJJ. Digamber Vaishnav v. State of Chhattisgarh, Crl.A. No. 428 of 2019 05-03-2019

Evidence Law - Child Witness - Evidence of a child witness must be evaluated carefully as the child may be swayed by what others tell him and he is an easy prey to tutoring. Therefore, the evidence of a child witness must find adequate corroboration before it can be relied upon. It is more a rule of practical wisdom than law. A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer & M.R. Shah, JJJ. Digamber Vaishnav v. State of Chhattisgarh, Crl.A. No. 428 of 2019 05-03-2019

Penal Code, 1860 - Section 302 - Murder - “rarest of rare case” - aggravating and mitigating circumstances - accused has killed six innocent persons in a pre-planned manner - there is no alternative punishment suitable, except the death sentence - crime is committed with extremist brutality and the collective conscious of the society would be shocked - therefore, the capital punishment / death sentence imposed by the learned Sessions Court and confirmed by the High Court does not warrant any interference. A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer & M.R. Shah, JJJ. Khushwinder Singh v. State of Punjab, Crl.A. No. 1433 of 2014 05-03-2019

Penal Code, 1860 - Section 307 - Attempt to Murder - Offences under Section 307 IPC and the Arms Act etc. would fall in the category of heinous and serious offences and therefore are to be treated as crime against the society and not against the individual alone, and therefore, the criminal proceedings for the offence under Section 307 IPC and/or the Arms Act etc. which have a serious impact on the society cannot be quashed in exercise of powers under Section 482 of the Code, on the ground that the parties have resolved their entire dispute amongst themselves. A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer & M.R. Shah, JJJ. State of Madhya Pradesh v. Laxmi Narayan, Crl.A. No. 349 of 2019 05-03-2019



Penal Code, 1860 - Section 307 - Attempt to Murder - Quashing of FIR - the High Court would not rest its decision merely because there is a mention of Section 307 IPC in the FIR or the charge is framed under this provision. A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer & M.R. Shah, JJJ. State of Madhya Pradesh v. Laxmi Narayan, Crl.A. No. 349 of 2019 05-03-2019

Penal Code, 1860 - Section 307 - Attempt to Murder - Quashing of FIR - It would be open to the High Court to examine as to whether incorporation of Section 307 IPC is there for the sake of it or the prosecution has collected sufficient evidence, which if proved, would lead to framing the charge under Section 307 IPC. A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer & M.R. Shah, JJJ. State of Madhya Pradesh v. Laxmi Narayan, Crl.A. No. 349 of 2019 05-03-2019

Penal Code, 1860 - Section 307 - Attempt to Murder - Quashing of FIR - It would be open to the High Court to go by the nature of injury sustained, whether such injury is inflicted on the vital/delegate parts of the body, nature of weapons used etc. However, such an exercise by the High Court would be permissible only after the evidence is collected after investigation and the charge sheet is filed/charge is framed and/or during the trial. Such exercise is not permissible when the matter is still under investigation. A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer & M.R. Shah, JJJ. State of Madhya Pradesh v. Laxmi Narayan, Crl.A. No. 349 of 2019 05-03-2019

Penal Code, 1860 - Section 34 - Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention - Test for applicability of Section 34 in a fact situation of an offence. Ashok Bhushan & K.M. Joseph, JJ. Asifkhan v. State of Maharashtra, Crl.A. No. 286 of 2019 05-03-2019



Penal Code, 1860 - Sections 96 to 106 - Right of Private Defence - Principles. Abhay Manohar Sapre & R. Subhash Reddy, JJ. Sukumaran v. State Rep. by the Inspector of Police, Crl.A. No. 5 of 2009 07-03-2019

Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 - Power to quash the criminal proceedings - Such power is not to be exercised for the offences under the special statutes like Prevention of Corruption Act or the offences committed by public servants while working in that capacity are not to be quashed merely on the basis of compromise between the victim and the offender. A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer & M.R. Shah, JJJ. State of Madhya Pradesh v. Laxmi Narayan, Crl.A. No. 349 of 2019 05-03-2019

Rape and Murder - is indeed a reprehensive act and every perpetrator should be punished. A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer & M.R. Shah, JJJ. Ankush Maruti Shinde v. State of Maharashtra, Crl.A. No. 1008 2007 05-03-2019
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