Question: Accused N is charged and prosecuted under Section 302 I.P.C. for the murder of a child aged about 7 years. There was no eyewitness of the murder but the following circumstantial evidence were proved against the accused N:  The deceased was seen going towards the place of occurrence with the accused, one hour before the sunset (before… Read More »

Question: Accused N is charged and prosecuted under Section 302 I.P.C. for the murder of a child aged about 7 years. There was no eyewitness of the murder but the following circumstantial evidence were proved against the accused N: The deceased was seen going towards the place of occurrence with the accused, one hour before the sunset (before the occurrence) on the day of the occurrence. The accused was seen alone while she was returning back from the place of occurrence. There was...

Question: Accused N is charged and prosecuted under Section 302 I.P.C. for the murder of a child aged about 7 years. There was no eyewitness of the murder but the following circumstantial evidence were proved against the accused N:

  1. The deceased was seen going towards the place of occurrence with the accused, one hour before the sunset (before the occurrence) on the day of the occurrence.

  2. The accused was seen alone while she was returning back from the place of occurrence.

  3. There was a blood spot on the cloth of the accused while she was seen returning from the place of occurrence.

  4. The earrings, which the deceased was wearing, were recovered from the accused.

  5. The broken bangles of the accused were found at the place of occurrence, near the body of the deceased.

Can N be convicted for the murder of a child on the basis of evidence in the nature of the circumstances mentioned above? Give reasons and also refer to the case law, if any, on the point. [W.B.J.S.1975]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Accused N is charged and prosecuted under Section 302 I.P.C. for the murder of a child aged about 7 years. There was no eyewitness….Can N be convicted for the murder of a child on the basis of evidence in the nature of the circumstances mentioned above? ]

Answer

In the case of Bodh Raj v. State of Jammu & Kashmir,[AIR 2002 SC 316] the Court held that that for a conviction to be solely based on circumstantial evidence following conditions are required to be met:

  1. Circumstances from which guilt is established are required to be proved and impenetrable
  2. Circumstances should be conclusive in nature and should form a link between the criminal and commission of the offence
  3. Circumstances should retain moral certainty and there should be no scope for any other hypothesis.
  4. All other hypotheses should be excluded except that one that is required to be proved

In the case of Ashok Kumar v. State of Madhya Pradesh,[AIR 1989 SC 1890.] the Supreme Court held that for circumstantial evidence to sustain a conviction, the chain of events should be complete and should establish the guilt of the accused without the probability of any other alternative. Further, the evidence should be cogently and firmly established.

Further, the last seen together is not conclusive proof establishing guilt, it is imperative to look at surrounding circumstances such as victim relationship, history of hostility, weapon recovery, the relationship between the victim and the accused among others as held in Ashok v. State of Maharashtra, 2015, 4 SCC 393, Ramesh Vs. State, 2014, 9 SCC 392.

Circumstantial evidence can be the sole basis for a conviction if circumstances establish the chain of events leading to the guilt of the accused and commission of the crime without other possibilities. The Court should be satisfied that the said circumstances were clearly established and complete the chain of events and prove the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt. Moreover, all the circumstances should indicate the guilt of the accused and should be inconsistent with his innocence.

The onus was on the prosecution to prove that the chain is complete and the infirmity of lacuna in prosecution cannot be cured by false defence or plea. The chain of events or circumstances should be complete without gaps to the extent no other conclusion or inference apart from the guilt of the accused can be drawn.

In the landmark case of Sidhartha Vashisht @ Manu Sharma v. State (NCT Of Delhi),[2010 (69) ACC 833 (SC)] the court awarded the accused life imprisonment for the murder of Jessica Lal, on the grounds of circumstantial evidence.

The conduct of the accused after the incident (absconding), ballistic report, presence at the scene of crime established by various testimonies, and the circumstantial evidence connecting the vehicle and the cartridges during the commission of crime formed a chain of impenetrable evidence pointing towards the guilt of the accused. There is no inherent requirement to provide proof of motive, if the link between the accused and commission of the offence cannot be broken, it is immaterial to establish a motive.

Therefore based on the above reasoning and judicial pronouncements of the court, it can be safely said that the link of the accused and the deceased has been established by the circumstantial evidence and recovery of deceased possession from the accused. So, N can be convicted for the murder of a child on the basis of evidence in the nature of the circumstances mentioned above.


Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-I
  2. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-II
  3. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-III
  4. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-IV
  5. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-V
  6. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-VI
  7. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-VII
  8. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-VIII
  9. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-IX
  10. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-X
Updated On 2021-09-14T06:00:25+05:30
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