Khujji @ Surendra Tiwari vs The State Of Madhya Pradesh

by Shramana Paul[1]

Before the Supreme Court of India

NAME OF THE CASEKhujji @ Surendra Tiwari vs The State of Madhya Pradesh
CITATION1991 SCR (3) 1
DATE OF THE CASE16th July 1991
BENCH/JUDGEJustice Ahmadi, A.M.
STATUTES/CONSTITUTION INVOLVEDIndian Evidence Act, 1872  Code of Criminal Procedure,1973  Indian Penal Code,1860
IMPORTANT SECTIONS/ARTICLESArticle 136, The Constitution of India, S.27, S.34, S.149 of the Indian Evidence Act, S. 34,149,302,324 of the Indian Penal Code; S.174, S.313, S.386 (1) (b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure


The current appeal had been filed against the decision of the High Court convicting the accused Khujji. The Supreme Court has the power to hear the appeal under Art.136 of the Constitution of India, which deals with special leave petitions. Khujji had been granted a Special Leave to Appeal by the apex Court of India against the order/judgement of the High Court. The questions of law which had come up before the Supreme Court were whether the accused’s conviction under S.302 was sustainable and whether he could be convicted with the aid of S.34 and S.149 when his co-accuseds’ had been released.


‘Murder’ is the act of killing a person with the intention to kill. The case discussed here is one of Murder, where the appellant has been convicted under S.302 of the Indian Penal Code by both the Trial court and the High Court of Madhya Pradesh for the murder of a man named Gulab. Certain companions of Khujji had also been accused of the same but they had been acquitted by the Trial court and no appeal had been preferred against their conviction by the State.

Murder has been defined under S.300 of IPC as- “Except in the cases hereinafter excepted, culpable homicide is murder, if the act by which the death is caused is done with the intention of causing death, or—

2ndly.—If it is done with the intention of causing such bodily injury as the offender knows to be likely to cause the death of the person to whom the harm is caused, or—

3rdly.—If it is done with the intention of causing bodily injury to any person and the bodily injury intended to be inflicted is sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death, or—

4thly.—If the person committing the act knows that it is so imminently dangerous that it must, in all probability, cause death, or such bodily injury as is likely to cause death, and commits such act without any excuse for incurring the risk of causing death or such injury as aforesaid.”[2]

Gulab had been chased and struck with a knife by Khujji and his companions several times and had succumbed to his injuries at the murder spot itself. Gulab’s companion Ramesh, rickshaw puller Kishan Lal and another resident of the area were eyewitnesses to the incident.


Khujji alias Surendra Tiwari, the appellant was found guilty in both the trial court and the High Court and hence has preferred this present appeal before the Supreme Court of India with the special leave of the court. The accused has been charged with S.302 of IPC for killing one Gulab at Sujji Mohalla. The deceased Gulab and his friend PW4 Ramesh Chander hired a Rickshaw on the evening of May 20, 1978, to travel to Dr. Mukherjee’s dispensary, according to the circumstances that led to this appeal. In Suji Mohalla, close to Panchsheel Talkies, PW 3 Kishan Lal was driving the Rickshaw when the appellant and his companions surrounded the vehicle and attacked the deceased and his companion.The first person to be hurt by a cycle chain was PW 4. PW 4 and Gulab both leapt when they sensed peril. The PW4 ran towards Panchsheel Talkies while the deceased Gulab ran towards Sujji Mohalla where the assailants followed him and stabbed him to death. His friend Ramesh was lucky to escape with a few injuries but Gulab succumbed to his injuries on the spot.

The medical report and the evidence of Dr Nagpal showed that Gulab had received 3 major injuries- (i) Damage in the Intercostal area and a penetrating stab wound on the right rib.

(ii) a piercing stab wound 8cms below the scapular bone and 8cms outside the vertebral column

(iii) Another incised deep wound was found on the frontal auxiliary line on the left hipocardium region.

Dr Nagpal who is PW 12 and had performed the post-mortem of Gulab stated that injury (i) which had struck the heart of the victim was enough to cause death in the ordinary course of nature. Hence it is clear that Gulab had died a homicidal death.

The First Information Report had been filed by Ramesh (PW4) immediately after the incident and the same was noted by PW 13 Ramji Singh, the investigating officer, at around 9.15 p.m. PW 4 provided information about the incident and provided the names of all six attackers in the aforementioned first information report. The investigating officer visited the scene of the incident shortly after the initial information report was filed and created the Panchnama, from which a preliminary plan was created. The police were unable to trace the appellant and some of his companions till May 22, 1978, after which they were interrogated. The Investigating Officer called two witnesses, PW 5 Panna Lal and Rajinder, to serve as Panch witnesses after the appellant and his companions indicated a readiness to find the weapons used in the crime.


  • Does the conviction of the appellant under S.302 of IPC have sufficient grounds?


  1. Mr. Lalit, the counsel for the appellant went over the entire evidence presented by the prosecution and argued that the prosecution’s version of the incident, particularly the appellant’s involvement, is highly improbable because Ramesh, who had filed the First Information Report and had been a witness to the events preceding Gulab’s death had himself disowned statements he had made in the FIR thereby put a question on its correctness and reliability.
  2. It is further submitted that PW 1 Komal Chand’s presence at the scene of the incident at that time was exceedingly improbable, and his behaviour in remaining silent and refusing to assist the victim only served to confirm this suspicion. The said witness lived at a distance of two furlongs from the place where the tragedy took place and he claims to have witnessed it from a point which was 22 feet away. the sketch of the locality which has been provided makes it clear that nothing could have been clearly seen from such a great distance due to the conditions of the locality in question. Since the High Court had upheld the appellant’s conviction on the basis of PW1’s statements hence it is not sustainable.
  3. Mr. Lalit contended that the High Court ought not to have interfered with the appreciation of his evidence by the trial court.  It can be proved that PW5 is a stock witness for the prosecution in court as he (PW5) and Rajinder had been used for every Panchama of discovery as well as the attachment of the appellant’s garments and other things. Also, it was Tulsi Ram the brother of the deceased who had chosen him as he was closely associated with the family of the deceased and was close to Babulal another brother of the deceased. Therefore, he said, there could be no reliance on PW 5’s testimony, and as a result, the discovery of human blood on the weapon and the pants loses any probative value.
  4. The counsel contends that his substantive conviction under section 302 cannot be upheld in the absence of conclusive proof that injury No. 1(which could have caused death under natural conditions) was exclusively the result of the appellant’s fault. The simple discovery of human blood on the appellant’s firearm and pants, according to Mr. Lalit, is of absolutely no significance because the serologist’s report does not identify the blood group of the stains. He places reliance on the Supreme Court cases of Kansa Behera v. State of Orissa[3], in which the court observed “few small bloodstains could be of the appellant himself and in the absence of evidence regarding blood group it cannot conclusively connect the bloodstains with the blood of the deceased. In these circumstances this Court refused to draw any inference of guilt on the basis of the said circumstance since it was not ‘conclusive’ evidence”[4] and Surinder Singh v. State of Punjab[5] which states, “the evidence regarding the find of human blood on the knife sufficient to convict the appellant in the absence of determination of blood group”.[6] In that scenario, he may only be found guilty of causing hurt under Section 324 of the IPC. He further argued that he could not be found guilty under sections 34 or 149 IPC because his friends were exonerated and the State did not file an appeal against their exoneration. The acquittal of the co-accused creates a legal bar against the conviction of the appellant on the ground that they were privy to the crime notwithstanding their acquittal and this legal bar cannot be got over by reappreciation of evidence. To support this claim the counsel brings to the notice of the court the five-judge bench decision of Krishna Govind Patil V. State of Maharashtra[7], which is given by a bench larger than the Brathi’s case.
  5. However, the appellant’s counsel also submits that a string of cases by this Court have established the law and that if all named accused are exonerated save one, the latter cannot be convicted under sections 34 or 149 of the IPC. He also submitted a few judgments in support of his such claim, namely- The State of Orissa[8]Kasturi Lal v. The State of Haryana[9], Chandubhai Shanabhai Parmar v. State of Gujarat[10] and Sukh [11].
  6. Lastly the counsel contends that there is incredibly flimsy and insufficient evidence to support a conviction, especially given that the trial court disregarded the testimony of all three eyewitnesses and cast doubt on the facts in the initial information report. The High Court erred by ignoring PW 1 Komal Chand’s cross-examination statement, which indicated that his testimony regarding the appellant’s identification was highly dubious. The High Court was not justified in drawing the premature conclusion that the accused party had been successful in swaying him by coercion or other means just because there was a lag between his examination-in-chief and his cross-examination. Not a single witness had deposed that the fatal injury was caused by the appellant.”


  1. The counsel for the respondent mainly placed reliance on the statements of the eye-witnesses including the victim’s friend Ramesh (PW4), the rickshaw puller Kishan Lal (PW3) and an onlooker Komal Chand (PW1) along with the blood discovered on the weapon on the appellant’s instance and on the clothing he was wearing when he was arrested.
  2. The prosecution’s argument is that the appellant and his companions made specific confessional admissions in front of these witnesses under section 27 of the Evidence Act, which allowed for the finding of the criminally used weapons. The Prosecution alleges that the appellant Khujji discovered a (Chhura) knife in his garage which had bloodlike stains. Chemical analysis revealed that those were human-blood stains. His other two companions, Parsu and Guddu were also found to possess a knife and chura.
  3. Khujji’s shirt and trousers had what appeared to be blood stains on them. According to the investigation and chemical report, there were human blood spots on the trousers. The High Court of Madhya Pradesh has come to the conclusion that the witnesses who had turned hostile had been won over or succumbed to the threat of the appellants. This conclusion was drawn based on PW3’s statements in which he states “he was severely beaten on the night previous to his appearance in court as a witness.” [12]
  4. The trial court erred in rejecting PWs 3 and 4’s testimony simply because they were labelled hostile, as according to Mr. Prithvi Singh, the learned counsel for the State, who argued that their testimony was not completely against the prosecution on that basis. He argued that just because the prosecution chose to classify them as hostile on the narrow topic of who the attackers were, their testimony could not be considered to have been erased from the record. Their evidence regarding the occurrence of the crime and the number of people involved in the commission can be relied upon along with that of PW 1’s. he however agreed with the High Court in brushing off the statements of these witnesses during the cross-examination.
  5. Counsel argued that because the inquest report was only being prepared to record the physical condition of the body and any visible signs of harm at the time, it was not legally required to include the names of the witnesses. Regarding the value that should be assigned to the testimony of Panch Witness PW 5, counsel argued that there was no evidence against this witness and that the appellant had not explained in his statement recorded in accordance with Section 313 of the Code the reason for there being human blood on the weapon and the trousers attached from him.
  6. Regarding the offence committed by the appellant, counsel made a submission stating that if it is established that more than one person engaged in the assault, section 34 or section 149 of the IPC may be used to convict the appellant of killing the victim, even it the conviction is not sustainable under S.302, if the court determines that more than one person—possibly six or seven of them—launched the attack on the deceased. In this regard, he argued that the Supreme Court is not constrained by the Trial Court’s or even the High Court’s evaluation of the evidence, so it is possible for it to come to its own conclusion about the number of people who attacked the deceased despite the Trial Court’s acquittal of others. To support his contention the counsel relied on on this Court’s recent decision in Brathi v. State of Punjab[13].


  • The Constitution of India[14]

Article 136: Special Leave to Appeal by the Supreme Court

“(1) Notwithstanding anything in this Chapter, the Supreme Court may, in its discretion, grant special leave to appeal from any judgment, decree, determination, sentence or order in any cause or matter passed or made by any court or tribunal in the territory of India

(2) Nothing in clause (1) shall apply to any judgment, determination, sentence or order passed or made by any court or tribunal constituted by or under any law relating to the Armed Forces.”

  • The Indian Penal Code[15]

S.34: “Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention.—When a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of the common intention of all, each of such persons is liable for that act in the same manner as if it were done by him alone.”

S.149: ‘Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object.’

“If an offence is committed by any member of an unlawful assembly in prosecution of the common object of that assembly, or such as the members of that assembly knew to be likely to be committed in prosecution of that object, every person who, at the time of the committing of that offence, is a member of the same assembly, is guilty of that offence.’’

S.302: ‘‘Punishment for murder. Whoever commits murder shall be punished with death or [imprisonment for life], and shall also be liable to fine.’’

S.324: ‘Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means.

“Whoever, except in the case provided for by section 334, voluntarily causes hurt by means of any instrument for shooting, stabbing or cutting, or any instrument which, used as a weapon of offence, is likely to cause death, or by means of fire or any heated substance, or by means of any poison or any corrosive substance, or by means of any explosive substance or by means of any substance which it is deleterious to the human body to inhale, to swallow, or to receive into the blood, or by means of any animal, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.”

  • The Code of Criminal Procedure[16]

S.174: “ Police to enquire and report on suicide, etc.

(1) When the officer in charge of a police station or some other police officer specially empowered by the State Government in that behalf receives information that a person has committed suicide, or has been killed by another or by an animal or by machinery or by an accident, or has died under circumstances raising a reasonable suspicion that some other person has committed an offence, he shall immediately give intimation thereof to the nearest Executive Magistrate empowered to hold inquests, and, unless otherwise directed by any rule prescribed by the State Government, or by any general or special order of the District or Sub-divisional Magistrate, shall proceed to the place where the body of such deceased person is, and there, in the presence of two or more respectable inhabitants of the neighbourhood, shall make an investigation, and draw up a report of the apparent cause of death, describing such wounds, fractures, bruises, and other marks of injury as may be found on the body, and stating in what manner, or by what weapon or instrument (if any); such marks appear to have been inflicted.

(2) The report shall be signed by such police officer and other persons, or by so many of them as concur therein, and shall be forthwith forwarded to the District Magistrate or the Sub-divisional Magistrate.


(i) the case involves suicide by a woman within seven years of her marriage; or

(ii) the case relates to the death of a woman within seven years of her marriage in any circumstances raising a reasonable suspicion that some other person committed an offence in relation to such woman; or

(iii) the case relates to the death of a woman within seven years of her marriage and any relative of the woman has made a request in this behalf; or

(iv) there is any doubt regarding the cause of death; or

(v) the police officer for any other reason considers it expedient so to do,

he shall], subject to such rules as the State Government may prescribe in this behalf, forward the body, with a view to its being examined, to the nearest Civil Surgeon, or other qualified medical man appointed in this behalf by the State Government, if the state of the weather and the distance admit of its being so forwarded without risk of such putrefaction on the road as would render such examination useless.

(4) The following Magistrates are empowered to hold inquests, namely, any District Magistrate or Sub-divisional Magistrate and any other Executive Magistrate specially empowered in this behalf by the State Government or the District Magistrate.”

S.313: Power to examine the accused.

“(1) In every inquiry or trial, for the purpose of enabling the accused personally to explain any circumstances appearing in the evidence against him, the Court–

(a) may at any stage, without previously warning the accused put such questions to him as the Court considers necessary;

(b) shall, after the witnesses for the prosecution have been examined and before he is called on for his defence, question him generally on the case:

Provided that in a summons-case, where the Court has dispensed with the personal attendance of the accused, it may also dispense with his examination under clause (b).

(2) No oath shall be administered to the accused when he is examined under sub-section (1).

(3) The accused shall not render himself liable to punishment by refusing to answer such questions, or by giving false answers to them.

(4) The answers given by the accused may be taken into consideration in such inquiry or trial, and put in evidence for or against him in any other inquiry into, or trial for, any other offence which such answers may tend to show he has committed.

[(5) The Court may take help of Prosecutor and Defence Counsel in preparing relevant questions which are to be put to the accused and the Court may permit filing of written statement by the accused as sufficient compliance of this section.]”

S.386(1)b:   Powers of the Appellate Court

“After perusing such record and hearing the appellant or his pleader, if he appears, and the Public Prosecutor if he appears, and in case of an appeal under section 377 or section 378, the accused, if he appears, the Appellate Court may, if it considers that there is no sufficient ground for interfering, dismiss the appeal, or may—

(b) in an appeal from a conviction—

(i) reverse the finding and sentence and acquit or discharge the accused, or order him to be re-tried by a Court of competent jurisdiction subordinate to such Appellate Court or committed for trial, or

(ii) alter the finding, maintaining the sentence, or

(iii) with or without altering the finding, alter the nature or the extent, or the nature and extent, of the sentence, but not so as to enhance the same”

  • The Indian Evidence Act[17]

S.27: How much of information received from accused, may be proved.

“Provided that, when any fact is deposed to as discovered in consequence of information received from a person accused of any offence, in the custody of a police-officer, so much of such information, whether it amounts to a confession or not, as relates distinctly to the fact thereby discovered, may be proved.”

S.34: Entries in books of account when relevant.

[Entries in the books of account, including those maintained in an electronic form], regularly kept in the course of business, are relevant whenever they refer to a matter into which the Court has to inquire, but such statements shall not alone be sufficient evidence to charge any person with liability.”

S.148: Court to decide when question shall be asked and when witness compelled to answer.

“If any such question relates to a matter not relevant to the suit or proceeding, except in so far as it affects the credit of the witness by injuring his character, the Court shall decide whether or not the witness shall be compelled to answer it, and may, if it thinks fit, warn the witness that he is not obliged to answer it. In exercising its discretion, the Court shall have regard to the following considerations: —

(1) such questions are proper if they are of such a nature that the truth of the imputation conveyed by them would seriously affect the opinion of the Court as to the credibility of the witness on the matter to which he testifies;

(2) such questions are improper if the imputation which they convey relates to matters so remote in time, or of such a character, that the truth of the imputation would not affect, or would affect in a slight degree, the opinion of the Court as to the credibility of the witness on the matter to which he testifies;

(3) such questions are improper if there is a great disproportion between the importance of the imputation made against the witnesss character and the importance of his evidence;

(4) the Court may, if it sees fit, draw, from the witnesss refusal to answer, the inference that the answer if given would be unfavourable.”

S.149: Question not to be asked without reasonable grounds.

“No such question as is referred to in section 148 ought to be asked, unless the person asking it has reasonable grounds for thinking that the imputation which it conveys is well-founded.”


The appeal was considered to have no merits and hence was dismissed.

After much deliberations and consideration, the judges came to the conclusion that- It is not significantly challenged that an incident of the kind described by the prosecution took place on May 20, 1978, at around 8:20 p.m., and that the incident’s location actually occurred. The State’s counsel is correct when he claims that part of a witness’s testimony that has been declared hostile remains on the record and can still be used if it is otherwise admissible. (PW3 and PW4)

The cases of Bhagwan Singh v. State of Haryana[18], Rabinder Kumar Dey v. State of Orissa[19], [1976] 4 SCC 233 and Syed lqbal v. State of Karnataka[20], which state that “ the evidence of a prosecution witness cannot be rejected in toto merely because the prosecution chose to treat him as hostile and cross-examined him. The evidence of such witnesses cannot be treated as effaced or washed off the record altogether but the same can be accepted to the extent their version is found to be dependable on a careful scrutiny thereof.”[21]

In the present case, the two eyewitnesses- the companion Ramesh and rickshaw-puller Kishan Lal had refused to name or identify the assailants while giving their statements during the trial while at the dock, hence the prosecution challenged the evidence of these witnesses and treated them as hostile. The judges had agreed with the submission of the learned counsel for the State and held that it was abundantly obvious from their testimony that PW 4 had ridden in PW 3’s rickshaw to the scene of the encounter with the dead. PW 4 had been hurt during the event that took place at the spot mentioned by the prosecution. It is therefore impossible to dispute his presence there with the dead at the time of the incident. PW 4 had gone to the police station and filed the initial information report less than an hour after the event. They stated that although it is true that the initial information report provides only circumstantial evidence, PW 4 had gone to the police station right away and reported the incident there before any outside interference. It is impossible to think that the investigating officer had made up the details in the initial information report and wrote the document. Since the PW4, Ramesh admitted that it was his signature on the FIR, where he had narrated all the facts in detail an attempt to disown the document shows a departure from his earlier behaviour for reasons unknown to the court. Hence the court refused to discredit the FIR as erroneous in spite of it being contradictory to the evidence given by PW4 on the witness stand and the presence of PW4 at the crime scene is accepted. Once PW4’s presence is accepted the presence of PW3 Kishan Lal at the place cannot be doubted.

After careful examination of the testimony of the two eyewitnesses, PWs 3 and 4, the judges held that the deceased and PW 4 arrived at the scene in the rickshaw of PW3. Additionally, they felt that it was undeniably established that when they had arrived at the scene of the incident, they were encircled by some people, and an assault had been launched against them in which PW 4 was hurt and Gulab perished. Regarding the identities of the attackers, they simply recanted from their earlier testimonies and refused to support the prosecution. Since he lived in Suji Mohalla, and the incident occurred there, therefore his appearance in the market could not be seen as out of the ordinary. It is not unusual for persons who are working to buy vegetables at that time, therefore his reason for his presence cannot be ruled out as a lie. Even though PW 1 claims he witnessed the incident from the square, the sketch map created by PW 11 Gaiser Prasad reveals that he was just about 22 feet away when the incident occurred. He may have known who the attackers were because the crime took place in a public area and there was a lamppost close by.

During his examination in chief PW1 had identified all the assailants and had further mentioned that the appellant Khujji and his companions Gudda and Parsu were armed with knives and ‘Chura’ and when Khujji had tried to assault PW 4 with a knife, Gopal had shouted: “Khujji that man is not Gulab. In his cross-examination 6 months later however PW1 refused to identify the perpetrators saying that they had their backs towards them and said that his identification was based on the inference he had drawn that the persons whose backs he had seen were Khujji and his companions. The hon’ble court in agreement with the decision of the High Court held that in the months that passed between the date of the cross and chief examination, something happened that caused him to change his testimony on the identity issue in favour of the appellant. The judges observed that his remark during cross-examination regarding the identification of the appellant and his company was an obvious attempt to backpedal from what he had said earlier during his examination-in-chief. The Supreme Court admitted the evidence of PW1 and followed the pronouncement of this Court in Pedda Narain v. State of Andhra Pradesh[22], whereby the submission that the evidence of the eyewitnesses could not be considered due to their names being absent at the initial inquest report was disregarded. The objective of the inquest report is to ascertain whether a person has died under suspicious circumstances or an unnatural death and if so what is the apparent cause of the death, any other details need not be a part of the same[23].  

It was held that simply because the same group of Panch witnesses were called to testify to all three discoveries and the attachment of the appellant and his companions’ clothing, PW5’s testimony could not be disregarded because nothing had come up during cross-examination to cast doubt on it. The court is in agreement with the utilisation of PW5 Pannalal’s testimony by the lower courts in accordance with the rule set out in Himachal Pradesh Administration v. Om Prakash[24]. Limited use of this evidence is made, no part admissible as evidence under S.27 of the Evidence Act is used. Just the fact that the incriminating weapon was discovered in his garage and that he was unable to explain why human blood was on it is used as evidence against the appellant. The court is of the opinion that the cases cited by the counsel for the appellant “do not lay down a general proposition that in the absence of determination of blood group the find of human blood on the weapon or garment of the accused is of no consequence.”[25]

The evidence of PW1 that he witnessed the appellant striking the dead with a knife gets further credence from the discovery of human blood on the appellant’s weapon and trousers of the appellant. Mr. Lalit is however correct when he asserts that the prosecution’s evidence fails to show that the appellant delivered the fatal blow that resulted in injury No. 1. This argument is predicated on the notion that another person delivered the deadly blow. By doing so, it is proven that multiple individuals took part in the crime’s commission. Based on their own evaluation of the testimony of the three eyewitnesses, PW 1 Komal Chand, PW 3 Kishan Lal, and PW 4 Ramesh, the court came to the conclusion that other people were involved in the crime’s commission. The court also stated that from PW 1 Komal Chand’s testimony it becomes clear that some of the co-accused, particularly Gunda, Parsu, and Gopal, had taken part in the crime. In the absence of a State appeal, the High Court could not, and this court cannot interfere with their acquittal. However, as was correctly noted in the case of Brathi[26], this Court is not bound by the facts found proved on the basis of the appreciation of the evidence by the courts below and is, in law, entitled to reach its own conclusion different from the one recorded by the court’s below after a review of the evidence.

In light of this, the court held that the appellant’s conviction can be upheld using either section 34 or 149 of the IPC, depending on the circumstance. With the use of section 34 of the IPC, it is safe to confirm the appellant’s conviction in the case being discussed. With the aid of section 34, the court affirmed the appellant’s conviction under section 302 of the IPC and upheld the sentence that was given to him.

“For the above reasons we see no merit in this appeal and dismiss the same.”


The main question of law here is whether the facts that have been put before the court are enough to charge the accused with S.302 of IPC and sentence him accordingly. The court has rightly admitted that it is impossible to infer from the visual evidence that the appellant was the cause of that fatal damage. In contrast, the testimony of PW 1 Komal Chand shows that it is quite likely that injury No. 2 was caused by the appellant’s stab wound, even if that damage was insufficient on its own to result in death in the normal course of nature. Also, the cases cited by the appellant’s counsel even though landmark cases having larger bench than those cited by the respondent are not consistent with the facts of this case where the High Court has disagreed with the assessment of evidence by the Trial Court. In none of the cases listed on behalf of the appellant was it demonstrated that the appellate court had disagreed with the Trial Court’s assessment of the evidence and its recording of the facts and circumstances which is the case in the case of Brathi cited by the respondent. Hence the court is justified in not relying on or looking into those decisions while delivering the judgement for the case at hand.

The way the witnesses have completely departed from their original statements during the trial and cross-examination makes it clear that they have been manipulated or have been promised or threatened in some way hence the conviction of the appellant y the Hon’ble Court is the only way justice would have been served and relief could have been given to the family of the deceased. Conviction of the friends of the appellant would also have been fair but since the State had not preferred an appeal against their acquittal the hands of the apex court are tied in that matter. On the whole, the Supreme court has served the ‘ends of justice’.

[1] Student of 4th Semester, St.Xaviers University, Kolkata.

[2] See the Indian Penal Code,1860.

[3] Kansa Behera v. State of Orissa, [1987] 3 SCC 480.

[4] IndianKanoon, Last Visited: 1/7/23.

[5] Surinder Singh v. State of Punjab, [1989] Suppl. 2 SCC 21.

[6] IndianKanoon, Last Visited: 1/7/23.

[7] Krishna Govind Patil V. State of Maharashtra, [1964] 1 SCR 678.

[8] The State of Orissa, [1973] 2 SCC 432.

[9] Kasturi Lal v. The State of Haryana, [1976] 3 SCC 570.

[10] Chandubhai Shanabhai Parmar v. State of Gujarat, [1981] Suppl. SCC 46.

[11] Sukh Ram v. State of MP, [1989] Suppl. 1 SCC 214.

[12] IndianKanoon, Last Visited: 1/7/23.

[13] Brathi v. State of Punjab, [199 1] 1 SCC 519.

[14] See the Constitution of India.

[15] See the Indian Penal Code,1860,

 India Code last visited-1/7/23.

[16] See the Code of Criminal Procedure,1973.

[17] See the Indian Evidence Act,1872.

[18] Bhagwan Singh v. State of Haryana, [1976] 2 SCR 921.

[19] Rabinder Kumar Dey v. State of Orissa, [1976] 4 SCC 233.

[20] Syed lqbal v. State of Karnataka, [1980] 1 SCR 95.

[21] Indiankanoon, Last Visited: 1/7/23.

[22] Pedda Narain v. State of Andhra Pradesh, [1975] Supp. SCR

[23] See S.174, Code of Criminal Procedure.

[24] Himachal Pradesh Administration v. Om Prakash,’ [1972] 2 SCR 765

[25] IndianKanoon, Last Visited 1/7/23.

[26]  Brathi v. State of Punjab, [199 1] 1 SCC 519

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