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REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 259 OF 2009 Joshinder Yadav "ers#s S!a!e o$ %ihar JUDGMENT (SMT.) RANJANA PRAKASH DESAI, J. &' The appe an! (ho (as arrai)ned as A**#sed + (as …Responden! …Appe an!

!ried a on) (i!h $ive o!her a**#sed $or o$$en*es p#nisha, e #nder Se*!ions -./A and 01+ read (i!h Se*!ions &-. and +1& o$ !he IPC ,2 !he &s! Addi!iona Sessions J#d)e3

Madhep#ra' The a e)a!ions a)ains! !he a**#sed3 in!er a ia3 (ere !ha! !he2 s#,4e*!ed one %ind# a Devi !o *r#e !2 and harass5en! (i!h a vie( !o *oer*in) her and her o!her re a!ives !o 5ee! !heir #n a($# de5and o$ proper!2 and !ha! on her $ai #re !o $# $i !heir #n a($# de5and3 in $#r!heran*e o$ !heir *o55on o,4e*!3 !he2 *o55i!!ed her 5#rder and !ha!

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!he2 *a#sed disappearan*e o$ her dead ,od2 (i!h an in!en!ion !o s*reen !he5se ves $ro5 e)a p#nish5en!'

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%ind# a Devi (as 5arried !o A**#sed & Jaipra6sh Yadav'

The appe an! and A**#sed 0 Sha6#n Devo Yadav are !he ,ro!hers o$ A**#sed & Jaipra6ash Yadav' A**#sed - Dani

D#!!a Yadav is !heir $a!her and A**#sed 7 Sa!2a %ha5a Devi is !heir 5o!her' A**#sed 8 F#dai Yadav is ,ro!her9in9 a( o$ A**#sed & Jaipra6ash Yadav'

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The prose*#!ion s!or2 is re$ e*!ed in !he eviden*e o$

Co5p ainan! P:9. De,# Yadav3 !he $a!her o$ %ind# a Devi' He s!a!ed !ha! his da#)h!er %ind# a Devi (as 5arried !o A**#sed & Jaipra6ash Yadav' He $#r!her s!a!ed !ha! in !he 5arria)e one ,#$$a o3 one *o( and one ,# o*6 (ere )iven as do(r2 !o !he a**#sed as per !heir de5and' Ho(ever3 !he a**#sed (ere no! sa!is$ied (i!h !ha!' The2 de5anded a

(ris! (a!*h and a *2* e (hi*h (ere )iven !o !he5' Even !hen !he2 *on!in#ed !o harass and assa# ! %ind# a Devi' She )ave ,ir!h !o a 5a e *hi d' The a**#sed 6ep! %ind# a Devi in !heir

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ho#se and sen! !he *hi d !o his ho#se so !ha! he (o# d rear !he *hi d' P:9. De,# Yadav $#r!her s!a!ed !ha! (hen in

Ash(in 5on!h he ,ro#)h! %ind# a Devi !o his ho#se she !o d hi5 a,o#! !he i 9!rea!5en! 5e!ed o#! !o her a! her 5a!ri5onia ho5e' She did no! (an! !o )o ,a*6' He !ried !o pa*i$2 her' He !rans$erred !(o 6a!has o$ and in her na5e' She !hen (en! !o her 5a!ri5onia ho5e' The a**#sed

insis!ed !ha! she sho# d se !he and' As she did no! a)ree !o se in) o$ !he and3 !he2 s#,4e*!ed her !o $#r!her !or!#re' P:9. De,# Yadav $#r!her s!a!ed !ha! on a Monda2 a! a,o#! -'11 p'5' A**#sed 8 F#dai Yadav *a5e !o his ho#se and en;#ired (he!her %ind# a Devi had *o5e !here and !o d hi5 !ha! she had r#n a(a2 $ro5 !he ho#se' He !o d A**#sed 8 F#dai Yadav !ha! %ind# a Devi (o# d no! r#n a(a2 $ro5 her ho#se' He !hen pro*eeded !o !he ho#se o$ !he a**#sed

si!#a!ed in vi a)e <o h#a a on) (i!h his son Sa*hindra Yadav and his ,ro!her9in9 a(' A**#sed 8 F#dai Yadav a**o5panied !he5 $or so5e dis!an*e and !hen e$! $or so5e o!her p a*e' The2 rea*hed <o h#a vi a)e and $o#nd !he ho#se o$ !he a**#sed !o ,e e5p!2' A !he a**#sed had e$! !he ho#se

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(i!h !heir ,e on)in)s'

%ind# a Devi (as a so no! presen!'

On en;#ir2 !he nei)h,o#rs !o d hi5 !ha! ,e*a#se %ind# a Devi had re$#sed !o !rans$er !he and in !he a**#sed=s na5e !he2 had ad5inis!ered poison !o her and 5#rdered her' He 5e! S#,9Inspe*!or o$ Po i*e ,2 !he river side (ho re*orded his s!a!e5en!' A sear*h (as *ond#*!ed' The dead ,od2 o$ %ind# a Devi (as re*overed $ro5 !he river ,ed' For5a FIR o$ P:9. De,# Yadav (as re)is!ered on 0&>&>&./. and !he inves!i)a!ion (as s!ar!ed' The appe an!3 A**#sed &

Jaipra6ash Yadav and A**#sed 0 Sha6#n Devo Yadav s#rrendered ,e$ore !he *o#r! on 8>0>&./.' A**#sed - Dani D#!!a Yadav s#rrendered ,e$ore !he *o#r! on +8>/>&./.'

-'

A! !he !ria 3 !ho#)h3 !he prose*#!ion e?a5ined &0

(i!nesses3 i!=s *ase res!ed on !he eviden*e o$ P:9. De,# Yadav3 $a!her o$ !he de*eased and P:9&1 Sa*hindra Yadav3 ,ro!her o$ !he de*eased' P:s9+ !o @ !#rned hos!i e' The

a**#sed p eaded no! )#i !2 !o !he *har)e' The2 *on!ended !ha! (hen %ind# a Devi (en! !o !a6e ,a!h3 she s ipped in !he (a!er3 )o! dro(ned and died'

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The !ria *o#r! *onvi*!ed !he a**#sed #nder Se*!ion 01+

read (i!h Se*!ion &-. o$ !he IPC and sen!en*ed ea*h o$ !he5 !o s#$$er i$e i5prison5en!' The2 (ere a so *onvi*!ed #nder Se*!ion -./A o$ !he IPC and sen!en*ed !o #nder)o ri)oro#s i5prison5en! $or !hree 2ears ea*h' The2 (ere $#r!her *onvi*!ed and sen!en*ed !o #nder)o ri)oro#s i5prison5en! $or seven 2ears ea*h #nder Se*!ion +1& o$ !he IPC' A !he

s#,s!an!ive sen!en*es (ere ordered !o r#n *on*#rren! 2' The Hi)h Co#r! dis5issed !heir appea ' Hen*e3 !his appea 3 ,2 spe*ia eave3 ,2 A**#sed +'

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Mr' Aa#rav A)ra(a 3 earned *o#nse $or !he appe an!

s#,5i!!ed !ha! !he ins!an! *ase res!s on *ir*#5s!an!ia eviden*e' Co#nse poin!ed o#! !ha! !he appe an! is !he

,ro!her o$ A**#sed & Jaipra6ash Yadav3 !he h#s,and o$ %ind# a Devi' P:9&1 Sa*hindra Yadav s!a!ed in his eviden*e !ha! A**#sed & had separa!ed $ro5 his o!her ,ro!hers' There is no eviden*e on re*ord !o es!a, ish !ha! !he appe an! (as par!2 !o an2 do(r2 de5and or !o an2 i 9!rea!5en! 5e!ed o#!

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!o %ind# a Devi'

Co#nse s#,5i!!ed !ha! in *ases (here

apar! $ro5 h#s,and o!her 5e5,ers o$ his $a5i 2 are *har)ed (i!h o$$en*es #nder Se*!ions 01-%3 01+ and -./A o$ !he IPC and !he *ase res!s on *ir*#5s!an!ia eviden*e3 #n ess !he *ir*#5s!an!ia eviden*e is o$ re;#ired s!andard *onvi*!ion *anno! ,e ,ased on i!' In !his *onne*!ion he re ied on Vithal Tukaram More & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra &' Co#nse s#,5i!!ed !ha! a e)a!ions a,o#! 5o!ive are va)#e' Medi*a eviden*e is in*on* #sive' The prose*#!ion has3

!here$ore3 $ai ed !o es!a, ish i!s *ase' In an2 *ase3 sin*e !he appe an! (as residin) separa!e 23 in !he a,sen*e o$ an2 * in*hin) eviden*e es!a, ishin) his *o5p i*i!2 he *anno! ,e *onvi*!ed'

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Mr' Aopa Sin)h3 earned *o#nse $or !he S!a!e o$ %ihar

on !he o!her hand s#,5i!!ed !ha! !he eviden*e on re*ord es!a, ishes !ha! a !he a**#sed (ere s!a2in) in ho#ses Co#nse s#,5i!!ed !ha!

si!#a!ed in !he sa5e *o#r!2ard'

eviden*e o$ P:9. De,# Yadav and P:9&1 Sa*hindra Yadav
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(2002) 7 SCC 20

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es!a, ishes !he prose*#!ion *ase'

Per!inen! 23 !he a**#sed

did no! od)e an2 *o5p ain! !o !he po i*e' The $a*! !ha! !he2 e$! !he ho#se (i!h a *o5p i*i!2' Co#nse !heir ,e on)in)s s#))es!s !heir s#,5i!!ed !ha! %ind# a Devi

disappeared $ro5 !he ho#se o$ !he a**#sed' As !o ho( she died in s#spi*io#s *ir*#5s!an*es (as (i!hin !he 6no( ed)e o$ !he a**#sed' The ,#rden (as shi$!ed !o !he a**#sed

(hi*h !he2 have no! dis*har)ed' Adverse in$eren*e 5#s! ,e dra(n a)ains! !he a**#sed' In !his *onne*!ion3 *o#nse

re ied on Balaram Prasad Agrawal v. State of Bihar & Ors+' Co#nse s#,5i!!ed !ha! appea ,e3 !here$ore3

dis5issed'

/'

:e have a read2 re$erred !o !he eviden*e o$ $a!her o$ He has )iven a )raphi*

%ind# a Devi P:9. De,# Yadav'

a**o#n! o$ !he harass5en! and i 9!rea!5en! 5e!ed o#! !o !he de*eased ,2 !he a**#sed' The2 (ere no! happ2 (i!h a ,# o*63 a *o( and a ,#$$a o (hi*h (ere )iven as do(r2' The2 as6ed $or a (a!*h and a *2* e' Tha! (as a so )iven'
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(1997) 9 SCC 338

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The2 as6ed $or 5ore' P:9. De,# Yadav !rans$erred + 6a!has o$ and !o %ind# a Devi' The a**#sed (an!ed !o se i! or

(an!ed i! !o ,e !rans$erred in !heir na5es and sin*e %ind# a Devi did no! a)ree !o !ha! !he2 *on!in#ed !o !or!#re her' Her son (as sen! !o her $a!her so !ha! he (o# d ,e ,ro#)h! #p ,2 hi53 ,#! she (as 6ep! in !he 5a!ri5onia ho#se o,vio#s 2 !o (or6' P:9&1 Sa*hindra Yadav !he ,ro!her o$ %ind# a Devi

has *orro,ora!ed his $a!her' I! is dis!ressin) !o no!e !ha! a !he o!her (i!nesses3 !ha! is P:9+ !o P:9@ !#rned hos!i e' In !he $a*!s o$ !his *ase3 i! is indeed a poin!er !o !he )#i ! o$ !he a**#sed' The2 (on over !he prose*#!ion (i!nesses' :e

no!e (i!h so5e an)#ish !he $o o(in) sen!en*es #!!ered ,2 P:9. De,# Yadav in his *ross9e?a5ina!ion pro,a, 2 as an ans(er !o !he #s#a ;#es!ion a,o#! !here ,ein) no He s!a!ed

independen! (i!ness !o depose a,o#! *r#e !2'

Bwhenever my daughter visited my house, she used to complain that she is being tortured and assaulted there. Who else can be a witness to this fact CD Havin) per#sed !he eviden*e o$ P:s9. and &1 (e have no 5anner o$ do#,! !ha! %ind# a Devi (as s#,4e*!ed !o *r#e !2 and harass5en! $or

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do(r2 ,2 !he a**#sed' Eviden*e o$ !hese (i!nesses is s!rai)h!$or(ard and hones!' There is no e?a))era!ion' In

!he *ross9e?a5ina!ion !heir eviden*e has no! s#$$ered an2 den!' I5p i*i! re ian*e *an ,e p a*ed on !he5' .' I! is s#,5i!!ed !ha! !he appe an! had separa!ed $ro5

A**#sed & Jaipra6ash Yadav and3 hen*e3 he *anno! ,e a par!2 !o !he a e)ed a*!s o$ *r#e !2 o$ !he o!her a**#sed' :e $ind no s#,s!an*e in !his s#,5ission' Tho#)h3 P:9&1

Sa*hindra Yadav s!a!ed !ha! A**#sed & Jaipra6ash Yadav had separa!ed $ro5 his ,ro!hers a$!er 5arria)e3 he has * ari$ied !ha! a !he ,ro!hers have !heir ho#ses in a *o55on P:9. De,# Yadav has spe*i$i*a 2 na5ed !he

*o#r!2ard'

appe an! as a person (ho de5anded *a!! e' He has s!a!ed !ha! !he a**#sed (ere no! sa!is$ied (i!h !he *a!! e )iven ,2 hi5' The2 de5anded 5ore do(r2' The2 #sed !o harass and assa# ! %ind# a Devi' He s!a!ed !ha! (hen he (en! !o !he ho#se o$ !he a**#sed a$!er re*eivin) in$or5a!ion !ha! she had e$! !heir ho#se3 he $o#nd !he ho#se !o ,e e5p!2' A !he a**#sed had a,s*onded' The2 had !a6en !heir ,e on)in)s

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(i!h !he5'

This is *on$ir5ed ,2 P:9&0 S#rendra Rai !he He s!a!ed !ha! (hen he (en! !o !he

Inves!i)a!in) O$$i*er'

ho#se o$ !he a**#sed a$!er re*eivin) in$or5a!ion a,o#! disappearan*e o$ %ind# a Devi he $o#nd !he ho#se

*o5p e!e 2 e5p!2' Even !he ho#seho d ar!i* es and $ood )rains (ere 5issin)' The a**#sed (ere no! presen!' No

5e5,er o$ !heir $a5i 2 (as presen!' %ind# a Devi (as a so no! presen!' These *ir*#5s!an*es pers#ade #s !o re4e*! !he s#,5ission !ha! !he appe an! did no! 4oin !he o!her a**#sed in !rea!in) %ind# a Devi (i!h *r#e !2' The *onvi*!ion and

sen!en*e o$ !he appe an! #nder Se*!ion -./A o$ !he IPC is !here$ore per$e*! 2 4#s!i$ied'

&1' :e no( *o5e !o !he dea!h o$ %ind# a Devi' P:9. De,# Yadav and P:9&1 S*hindra Yadav s!a!ed !ha! dead ,od2 o$ %ind# a Devi (as re*overed $ro5 !he river ,ed' The

Inves!i)a!in) O$$i*er P:9&0 S#rendra Rai s!a!ed !ha! a$!er re*ordin) !he FIR o$ P:9. De,# Yadav3 he inspe*!ed !he The dead ,od2 o$

ho#se o$ A**#sed & Jaipra6ash Yadav'

%ind# a Devi (as $o#nd 2in) 811 2ards a(a2 $ro5 !he ho#se

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o$ !he a**#sed' I! (as 2in) in one $oo! deep (a!er3 * ose !o !he so#!hern ,an6 o$ !he river3 near a $err2' The $err2 (as si!#a!ed ad4a*en! !o !he 5aiEe $ie d o$ HaEari Manda ' He

!oo6 i! o#! and prepared in;#es! repor!' He $#r!her s!a!ed !ha! one "inod s!a!ed !ha! on +.>&>&./.3 !he a**#sed had a 5ee!in)' On 01>&>&./.3 !he2 e$! $or so5e o!her p a*e and in !he evenin) i! (as revea ed !ha! !he2 had 6i ed %ind# a Devi ,2 poisonin) her and had !hro(n her dead ,od2 a! !he $err2' The Inves!i)a!in) O$$i*er $#r!her s!a!ed !ha! "inod3

Par5eshvari Yadav3 %ri4 %ihari Yadav a so *on$ir5ed !his $a*!' A !hese persons !#rned hos!i e in !he *o#r!'

&&' P:9&+ Dr' Ar#n <#5ar Manda did !he pos!95or!e5 on !he dead ,od2 o$ %ind# a Devi' Fo o(in) are his

o,serva!ionsF

B1.

(1) (2) (!) (#) (%)

Epistaxis from both nostrils. lood mixed with froth from mouth. oth eye balls congested, cornea ha"y. $ace congested and cyanosed. &'in of both hands and feet were corrugated.

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2. !.

(n opening of s'ull all the blood vessels were congested in the maninges and brain matter. )n the chest both the lungs were found congested, frothy and spongy and on cutting blood stains froth found in segments.

#. )n the heart both chambers were found full. %. +. ,. -. .. )n the stomach semi*digested food about # ounces with blood mixed. )n the small intestine*gas and solid facees. )n the large intestine*gas and solid facees. )n the case of 'idneys both were found congested. /iver an spleen were also found congested.

&1' 0terus contained about full term dead male baby.D P:9&+ Dr' Ar#n <#5ar Manda opined !ha! !he *a#se o$ dea!h (as aspha?ia d#e !o dro(nin)' He s!a!ed !ha! in

*ases o$ dro(nin)3 i$ i55edia!e dea!h is *a#sed3 !hen3 !here (i ,e ne) i)i, e ;#an!#5 o$ (a!er in !he s!o5a*h' He

$#r!her s!a!ed !ha! dea!h 5a2 ,e *a#sed even in one $oo! deep (a!er i$ !he vi*!i5 is 6ep! in (a!er (i!h his ne*6 pressed in s eepin) posi!ion' I! 5a2 ,e s!a!ed here !ha!

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repor! o$ !he vis*era e?a5ina!ion is no! on re*ord'

Dr'

Manda has ad5i!!ed !ha! he did no! 6no( !he res# ! o$ vis*era e?a5ina!ion' He added !ha! !here (ere no in4#ries

on !he person o$ !he de*eased'

&+' In o#r opinion3 !he eviden*e o$ !he $a!her and !he ,ro!her o$ %ind# a Devi and o!her a!!endan! *ir*#5s!an*es s#*h as s!ron) 5o!iveG !he $a*! !ha! !he a**#sed did no! od)e an2 *o5p ain! a,o#! 5issin) o$ %ind# a DeviG !ha! A**#sed 8 F#dai Yadav (en! !o !he ho#se o$ P:9. De,#

Yadav !o en;#ire a,o#! %ind# a Devi and !hen s#dden 2 deser!ed P:s . and &1 (hen !he2 (ere )oin) !o !he ho#se o$ !he a**#sed3 !ha! a !he a**#sed a,s*onded $ro5 !heir

ho#se (i!h !heir ,e on)in)s and !ha! !he ho#se (as *o5p e!e 2 e5p!23 ead !o an irresis!i, e *on* #sion !ha! !he a**#sed (ere responsi, e $or !he dea!h o$ %ind# a Devi'

&0' I! is s#,5i!!ed !ha! sin*e !here (ere no in4#ries on !he dead ,od2 o$ %ind# a Devi3 i! (o# d ,e (ron) !o *on* #de !ha! %ind# a Devi (as 6ep! in (a!er in a s eepin) posi!ion

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(i!h her ne*6 pressed as s#))es!ed ,2 !he do*!or'

The

prose*#!ion s!or2 !ha! !he a**#sed *a#sed her dea!h 5#s! !here$ore ,e re4e*!ed' Medi*a eviden*e3 i! is ar)#ed3 does no! s#ppor! !he prose*#!ion *ase'

&-' In o#r opinion3 !he prose*#!ion havin) es!a, ished !ha! !he a**#sed !rea!ed !he de*eased (i!h *r#e !2 and !ha! !he2 s#,4e*!ed her !o harass5en! $or do(r23 !he a**#sed o#)h! !o have dis* osed !he $a*!s (hi*h (ere in !heir persona and spe*ia 6no( ed)e !o disprove !he prose*#!ion *ase !ha! !he2 5#rdered %ind# a Devi' Se*!ion &18 o$ !he Eviden*e A*!

*overs s#*h a si!#a!ion' The ,#rden (hi*h had shi$!ed !o !he a**#sed (as no! dis*har)ed ,2 !he5' In !his *onne*!ion3 (e 5a2 #se$# 2 re$er !o !he 4#d)5en! o$ !his Co#r! in Shambhu Nath Mehra v. State of Ajmer 0 (here !his

Co#r! e?p ained ho( Se*!ion &1& and Se*!ion &18 o$ !he Eviden*e A*! opera!e' Re evan! por!ion o$ !he said 4#d)5en! reads !h#sF

3

AIR 1956 SC 404

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1(12) &ection 12+ is an exception to &ection 121. &ection 121 lays down the general rule about the burden of proof. 3Whoever desires any 4ourt to give 5udgment as to any legal right or liability dependent on the existence of facts which he asserts, must prove that those facts exist6. )llustration (a) says 7 38 desires a 4ourt to give 5udgment that shall be punished for a crime which 8 says has committed. 8 must prove that crime6. has committed the

(11) 9his lays down the general rule that in a criminal case, the burden of proof is on the prosecution and &ection 12+ is certainly not intended to relieve it of that duty. (n the contrary, it is designed to meet certain exceptional cases in which it would be impossible, or at any rate disproportionately difficult, for the prosecution to establish facts which are 3especially6 within the 'nowledge of the accused and which he could prove without difficulty or inconvenience.:

&7' In Balram Prasad Agrawal v. State of Bihar - !he prose*#!ion had es!a, ished !he *r#e *ond#*! o$ !he

a**#sed i'e' her h#s,and and 5e5,ers o$ his $a5i 2 and !he
4

(1997) 9 SCC 338

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s#$$erin)s #nder)one ,2 !he de*eased a! !heir hands' The #n,eara, e *ond#*! o$ !he a**#sed # !i5a!e 2 res# !ed in her dea!h ,2 dro(nin) in !he (e in !he *o#r!2ard o$ !he

a**#sed=s ho#se' This Co#r! o,served !ha! (ha! happened on !he $a!e$# ni)h! and (ha! ed !o !he de*eased=s $a in) in !he (e (as (ho 2 (i!hin !he persona and spe*ia

6no( ed)e o$ !he a**#sed'

%#! !he2 6ep! 5#5 on !his

aspe*!' This Co#r! o,served !ha! i! is !r#e !ha! !he ,#rden is on !he prose*#!ion !o prove !he *ase ,e2ond reasona, e do#,!' %#! on*e !he prose*#!ion is $o#nd !o have sho(n !ha! !he a**#sed (ere )#i !2 o$ persis!en! *ond#*! o$ *r#e !2 ;#a !he de*eased spread over 2ears as (as (e es!a, ished

$ro5 !he #nsha6en !es!i5on2 o$ $a!her o$ !he de*eased3 !he $a*!s (hi*h (ere in !he persona 6no( ed)e o$ !he a**#sed (ho (ere presen! in !he ho#se on !ha! $a!e$# ni)h! *o# d have ,een revea ed ,2 !he5 !o disprove !he prose*#!ion *ase' This Co#r! o,served !ha! !he a**#sed had no!

dis*har)ed !he ,#rden (hi*h had shi$!ed !o !he5 #nder Se*!ion &18 o$ !he Eviden*e A*!' :hi e *o5in) !o !his

*on* #sion3 !his Co#r! re ied on Shambhu Nath Mehra'

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&8' In !he presen! *ase3 !he de*eased (as ad5i!!ed 2 in !he *#s!od2 o$ !he a**#sed' She disappeared $ro5 !heir ho#se' As !o ho( her dead ,od2 (as $o#nd in !he river (as (i!hin !heir spe*ia and persona 6no( ed)e' The2 *o# d have

revea ed !he $a*!s !o disprove !he prose*#!ion *ase !ha! !he2 had 6i ed %ind# a Devi' The2 $ai ed !o dis*har)e !he ,#rden (hi*h had shi$!ed !o !he5 #nder Se*!ion &18 o$ !he Eviden*e A*!' The prose*#!ion is no! e?pe*!ed !o )ive !he e?a*!

5anner in (hi*h !he de*eased (as 6i ed' Adverse in$eren*e needs !o ,e dra(n a)ains! !he a**#sed as !he2 $ai ed !o e?p ain ho( !he de*eased (as $o#nd dead in !he river in one $oo! deep (a!er'

&@' Per!inen! 23 !he pos!95or!e5 no!es do no! indi*a!e presen*e o$ h#)e a5o#n! o$ (a!er in !he dead ,od2' A**ordin) !o P:9&+ Dr' Manda 3 in a *ase o$ dro(nin)3 i$ i55edia!e dea!h is *a#sed3 !hen3 !here (i ,e ne) i)i, e

;#an!#5 o$ (a!er in !he s!o5a*h' Fro5 !he eviden*e o$ P:9 &+ Dr' Manda 3 i! appears !ha! !he dea!h o$ %ind# a Devi

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o**#rred i55edia!e 2 a$!er she (as dro(ned in !he (a!er ,e*a#se !here (as no! 5#*h (a!er in her s!o5a*h' I! is

a so per!inen! !o no!e !ha! %ind# a Devi (as pre)nan!' Her #!er#s *on!ained $# !er5 dead 5a e ,a,2' She *o# d no! I! appears !ha!3 The

have3 !here$ore3 o$$ered an2 resis!an*e'

!here$ore3 !here (ere no in4#ries on !he dead ,od2'

(ho e opera!ion appears !o have ,een done s(i$! 2 and s6i $# 2' %#! in an2 *ase3 as s!a!ed hereina,ove3 i! is no! $or !he prose*#!ion !o e?p ain in (ha! 5anner %ind# a Devi (as done !o dea!h ,2 !he a**#sed ,e*a#se %ind# a Devi (as s!a2in) in !he ho#se o$ !he a**#sed prior !o !he o**#rren*e and she disappeared $ro5 !ha! ho#se' A !he *ir*#5s!an*es eadin) !o her #nna!#ra dea!h (ere (i!hin !he spe*ia and persona 6no( ed)e o$ !he a**#sed (hi*h !he2 *hose no! !o dis* ose' Ins!ead3 !he2 )ave a !o!a 2 $a se e?p ana!ion !ha! (hen %ind# a Devi had )one $or ,a!h3 she s ipped3 )o! dro(ned in !he (a!er and died' This s!or2 is pa pa, 2 $a se' The $a se e?p ana!ion o$$ered ,2 !he a**#sed $#r!her s!ren)!hens !he prose*#!ion *ase as i! ,e*o5es an

addi!iona in6 in !he *hain o$ *ir*#5s!an*es'

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&/' I! is !r#e !ha! in Vithal Tukaram More !his Co#r! has he d !ha! in a *ase (here o!her 5e5,ers o$ !he h#s,and=s $a5i 2 are *har)ed (i!h o$$en*es #nder Se*!ions 01-%3 01+ and -./A o$ !he IPC and !he *ase res!s on *ir*#5s!an!ia eviden*e3 !he *ir*#5s!an!ia eviden*e 5#s! ,e o$ re;#ired s!andard i$ *onvi*!ion has !o ,e ,ased on i!' :e are o$ !he *onsidered opinion !ha! !he eviden*e add#*ed ,2 !he prose*#!ion in !his *ase is o$ re;#ired s!andard' No o!her

in$eren*e3 e?*ep! !ha! o$ !he )#i ! o$ !he a**#sed3 is possi, e on !he ,asis o$ !he eviden*e on re*ord' The es!a, ished

$a*!s are *onsis!en! on 2 (i!h !he h2po!hesis o$ !heir )#i ! and in*onsis!en! (i!h !heir inno*en*e' !here$ore3 deserves !o ,e dis5issed' The appea 3

&.' %e$ore (e par!3 (e 5#s! re$er !o a ver2 vi!a aspe*! o$ !his *ase' P:9. De,# Yadav3 !he $a!her o$ %ind# a Devi

s!a!ed !ha! !he nei)h,o#rs !o d hi5 !ha! %ind# a Devi (as poisoned ,2 !he a**#sed' P:9&1 Sa*hindra Yadav3 ,ro!her o$ %ind# a Devi has a so s!a!ed so' P:9&0 S#rendra Rai3 !he

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Inves!i)a!in) O$$i*er (en! a s!ep $#r!her' "inod Yadav3 Shiv P#4an Ra53 "inod

He s!a!ed !ha! <#5ar Meh!a3

Par5esh(ar Yadav and %ra4 %ihari Yadav !o d hi5 !ha! !he a**#sed had 6i ed %ind# a Devi ,2 poisonin) herG !ha! !he2 had *on*ea ed !he dead ,od2 in !he river and had r#n a(a2' Un$or!#na!e 23 !hese (i!nesses !#rned hos!i e' %#! !he $a*! re5ains !ha! !he prose*#!ion had *o5e o#! (i!h a *ase o$ poisonin)' I! (as3 !here$ore3 ne*essar2 $or !he prose*#!ion !o )e! !he vis*era FSLDI' e?a5ined $ro5 Forensi* S*ien*e

La,ora!or2 HBth

+1' The !ria

*o#r! has o,served !ha! !he Inves!i)a!in)

O$$i*er had $i ed a pe!i!ion on &.>->&.// re;#es!in) !he do*!or !o send !he vis*era $or *he5i*a ana 2sis !o !he FSL3 Pa!na' Pos!95or!e5 no!es 5en!ion !ha! vis*era (as

pro!e*!ed $or $#!#re needs' This is a so s!a!ed ,2 P:9&+ Dr' Manda ' Dr' Manda has3 ho(ever3 added !ha! he did no!

6no( !he res# ! o$ vis*era e?a5ina!ion' Fro5 !he eviden*e o$ !he Inves!i)a!in) O$$i*er3 P:9&0 S#rendra Rai3 i! appears !ha! !he do*!or did no! send !he vis*era !o !he FSL' :hen he

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(as ;#es!ioned a,o#! !he vis*era repor!3 !he Inves!i)a!in) O$$i*er s!a!ed in !he *ross9e?a5ina!ion !ha! a e!!er had ,een sen! !o !he do*!or a,o#! vis*era e?a5ina!ion' He

$#r!her s!a!ed !ha! he did no! 5a6e an2 *o5p ain! a)ains! !he do*!or !o !he senior o$$i*ers3 ,#!3 in$or5ed his o$$i*er !hro#)h diar2' :e are o$ !he opinion !ha! !he do*!or o#)h! !o have sen! !he vis*era !o !he FSL (hen he (as re;#es!ed !o do so' On his $ai #re !o do so3 !he Inves!i)a!in) O$$i*er sho# d have in$or5ed his s#perior o$$i*er and !a6en s!eps !o ens#re !ha! vis*era is sen! !o !he FSL ra!her !han 4#s! 5a6in) a diar2 en!r2' S#*h a s#pine indi$$eren*e has a disas!ro#s e$$e*! on !he *ri5ina 4#s!i*e ad5inis!ra!ion s2s!e5'

+&' :e are a(are !ha! in so5e *ases (here !here is o!her * in*hin) eviden*e on re*ord !o es!a, ish !he *ase o$ poisonin)3 !his Co#r! has pro*eeded !o *onvi*! !he a**#sed even in !he a,sen*e o$ vis*era repor!' In Bhu!e"dra State of Madh#a Pradesh
7

v.

!his Co#r! (as *on*erned (i!h

a *ase (here !he vis*era repor! (as no! on re*ord3 ,#!3 !here
5

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(as eno#)h eviden*e o$ poisonin)'

The a**#sed (as

*har)ed #nder Se*!ions 01-9% and 018 o$ !he IPC' Dra(in) s#ppor! $ro5 !he pres#5p!ions #nder Se*!ions &&0% and &&0A o$ !he Eviden*e A*!3 &/@+ and3 a$!er re$errin) !o re evan! 4#d)5en!s on !he poin!3 !his Co#r! he d !ha! dea!h o$ !he de*eased (as *a#sed ,2 poisonin)' o,serva!ion o$ !his Co#r! *o# d ,e ;#o!ed' The re evan!

12+. 9hese decisions clearly bring out that a chemical examination of the viscera is not mandatory in every case of a dowry death; even when a viscera report is sought for, its absence is not necessarily fatal to the case of the prosecution when an unnatural death punishable under &ection !2#* of the )<4 or under &ection !2+ of the )<4 ta'es place; in a case of an unnatural death inviting &ection !2#* of the )<4 (read with the presumption under &ection 11!* of the Evidence 8ct, 1-,2) or &ection !2+ of the )<4 (read with the presumption under &ection 11!*8 of the Evidence 8ct, 1-,2) as long as there is evidence of poisoning, identification of the poison may not be absolutely necessary.: ++' In $hhota" Sao & A"other v. State of Bihar 38 !his Co#r! (as dea in) (i!h a *ase invo vin) Se*!ions 01-9% and -./A o$ !he IPC' The a e)a!ions (ere !ha! !he de*eased (as
6

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5#rdered ,2 poisonin) her' The vis*era repor! (as no! on re*ord' There (as no o!her eviden*e on re*ord !o es!a, ish !ha! !he de*eased (as poisoned' This Co#r! dis!in)#ished

!he *ase ,e$ore i! $ro5 !he $a*!s o$ Bhu!e"dra and (hi e a*;#i!!in) !he a**#sed o$ !he *har)e #nder Se*!ion 01-9% o$ !he IPC 5ade !he $o o(in) per!inen! o,serva!ionsF

11,. efore parting with the appeal, we wish to place on record our anguish regarding the inade=uacy of investigation, the failure to discharge the responsibility on the part of the public prosecutor and the >agistrate who too' cogni"ance of the offence under &ection !2#* . 9he )nvestigating (fficer who submitted the charge sheet ought not to have done it without securing the viscera report from the forensic lab and placing it before the 4ourt. ?aving regard to the nature of the crime, it is a very vital document more particularly in the absence of any direct evidence regarding the consumption of poison by the deceased abita @evi. E=ually the public prosecutor failed in his responsibility to guide the investigating officer in that regard. 4oming to the magistrate who committed the matter to the &essions 4ourt, he failed to apply his mind and mechanically committed the matter for trial. <ublic prosecutors and 5udicial officers owe a greater responsibility to ensure compliance with law in a criminal case. 8ny lapse on their part such as the one which occurred in the instant case is bound to 5eopardi"e the prosecution case resulting in avoidable ac=uittals. )nefficiency and

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callousness on their part is bound to sha'e the faith of the society in the system of administration of criminal 5ustice in this country which, in our opinion, has reached considerably lower level than desirable.: +0' :e 5#s! no!e !ha! !his is !he !hird *ase (hi*h !his Co#r! has no!i*ed in a shor! span o$ !(o 5on!hs (here3 in a *ase o$ s#spe*!ed poisonin)3 vis*era repor! is no! ,ro#)h! on re*ord' :e e?press o#r e?!re5e disp eas#re a,o#! !he (a2 in (hi*h s#*h serio#s *ases are dea ! (i!h' :e (onder

(he!her !hese apses are !he res# ! o$ inadver!en*e or !he2 are a *a *# a!ed 5ove !o $r#s!ra!e !he prose*#!ion' Tho#)h

!he FSL repor! is no! 5anda!or2 in a *ases3 in *ases (here poisonin) is s#spe*!ed3 i! (o# d ,e advisa, e and in !he in!eres! o$ 4#s!i*e !o ens#re !ha! !he vis*era is sen! !o !he FSL and !he FSL repor! is o,!ained' This is ,e*a#se no! in a *ases !here is ade;#a!e s!ron) o!her eviden*e on re*ord !o prove !ha! !he de*eased (as ad5inis!ered poison ,2 !he a**#sed' In a *ri5ina !ria !he Inves!i)a!in) O$$i*er3 !he The

Prose*#!or and !he Co#r! p a2 a ver2 i5por!an! ro e'

*o#r!=s pri5e d#!2 is !o $ind o#! !he !r#!h' The Inves!i)a!in)

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O$$i*er3 !he Prose*#!or and !he Co#r!s 5#s! (or6 in s2n* and ens#re !ha! !he )#i !2 are p#nished ,2 ,rin)in) on re*ord ade;#a!e *redi, e e)a eviden*e' I$ !he Inves!i)a!in) O$$i*er s!#5, es3 !he Prose*#!or 5#s! p# hi5 #p and !a6e

ne*essar2 s!eps !o re*!i$2 !he a*#nae' The Cri5ina Co#r! 5#s! ,e a er!3 i! 5#s! oversee !heir a*!ions and3 in *ase3 i! s#spe*!s $o# p a23 i! 5#s! #se i!s vas! po(ers and $r#s!ra!e an2 a!!e5p! !o se! a! na#)h! a )en#ine prose*#!ion' Perhaps3 !he ins!an! *ase (o# d have ,een $#r!her

s!ren)!hened had !he vis*era ,een sen! !o !he FSL and !he FSL repor! (as on re*ord' These s*ien!i$i* !es!s are o$ vi!a i5por!an*e !o a *ri5ina *ase3 par!i*# ar 2 (hen !he

(i!nesses are in*reasin) 2 sho(in) a !enden*2 !o !#rn hos!i e' In !he ins!an! *ase a !hose (i!nesses (ho spo6e

a,o#! poisonin) !#rned hos!i e' Had !he vis*era repor! ,een on re*ord and !he *ase o$ poisonin) (as !r#e3 !he prose*#!ion (o# d have ,een on s!i $ir5er )ro#nds' +-' Havin) no!i*ed !ha!3 in severa *ases (here poisonin) is s#spe*!ed3 !he prose*#!in) a)en*ies are no! !a6in) s!eps !o

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o,!ain vis*era repor!3 (e $ee i! ne*essar2 !o iss#e *er!ain dire*!ions in !ha! ,eha $' :e dire*! !ha! in *ases (here

poisonin) is s#spe*!ed3 i55edia!e 2 a$!er !he pos!95or!e53 !he vis*era sho# d ,e sen! !o !he FSL' The prose*#!in)

a)en*ies sho# d ens#re !ha! !he vis*era is3 in $a*!3 sen! !o !he FSL $or e?a5ina!ion and !he FSL sho# d ens#re !ha! !he vis*era is e?a5ined i55edia!e 2 and repor! is sen! !o !he inves!i)a!in) a)en*ies>*o#r!s pos! has!e' I$ !he vis*era

repor! is no! re*eived3 !he *on*erned *o#r! 5#s! as6 $or e?p ana!ion and 5#s! s#55on !he *on*erned o$$i*er o$ !he FSL !o )ive an e?p ana!ion as !o (h2 !he vis*era repor! is no! $or(arded !o !he inves!i)a!in) a)en*2>*o#r!' *o#r! 5#s! ens#re !ha! i! is ,ro#)h! on re*ord' The *ri5ina

+7' :e have e?a5ined !he 5eri!s o$ !he *ase and he d !ha! !he appea deserves !o ,e dis5issed' In !he *ir*#5s!an*es3 !he appea is dis5issed'

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+8' A *op2 o$ !his order ,e sen! !o !he Re)is!rar Aenera s o$ a !he Hi)h Co#r!s (i!h a dire*!ion !o *ir*# a!e !he sa5e !o a s#,ordina!e Cri5ina Co#r!sG !o !he Dire*!or o$

Prose*#!ion3 !o !he Se*re!ar23 Minis!r2 o$ Ho5e A$$airs3 !o !he Se*re!ar23 Ho5e Depar!5en! and !o !he Dire*!or3 Forensi* S*ien*e La,ora!or2 (i!hin !he 4#risdi*!ion o$ !he respe*!ive Hi)h Co#r!s' '…………………………''J' HR!"#!"! P$!%!&h D &!'I '…………………………''J' HJ. Ch (!) &*!$I Ne( De hiG Jan#ar2 +13 +1&-'

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