Improper investigation can not result in conviction

Prosecution for rape and murder:

The case of the prosecution is that the accused had some liquor at the spot from liquor bottles and from a handi. Empty liquor bottles, a handi and some glasses were seized from the scene of crime. There is no DNA or finger prints on the glass and liquor bottles to connect the accused with the crime. In fact, PW20 – IO has admitted that the finger print report did not implicate the accused. At this stage, it is required to be noted that the accused’ DNA samples were collected during the investigation and in fact were sent for DNA analysis, but the prosecution never presented the report to the Court. No pubic hair, DNA, semen or blood of the accused were found on any of the victims. It appears that the samples were collected from the accused and were sent for analysis, but the result did not incriminate the accused.

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Death due to brain hemorrhage

Distinction between Murder and Homicide not amounting to murder:

It is important to have a look at the evidence of PW 5-Dr. Arvind Kanwar who has conducted Post mortem and according to him there was an incised wound on the right parietal region of size 4” and 10” above right ear and another incised wound of 1” in size on the right index finger. He has deposed that “the brain was found congested, yet no fracture was seen on the scalp”. Though in the cross examination he has stated at one place that the injury No 2 on the scalp might be ‘grievous’ that caused brain hemorrhage. This particular fact is not noted in the postmortem report. Regarding the cause of such injury, PW5 stated that it can be caused by striking with sharp edged object and the depth of the scalp injury depends upon the force and speed. He maintains the stand that it was a ‘scalp injury’ and not ‘skull injury’. Moreover, he did not measure the depth of the head injury which was necessary for classification of injury. Continue reading “Death due to brain hemorrhage”

Conviction for murder on circumstantial evidence

Facts of the case:

After death of her husband, Meena Devi was living with her children viz. Jeewan Lal (PW-1) and Rekha Devi (PW-2) along with the accused Raj Kumar in the joint family. In their evidence, PW-1 and PW-2 clearly stated that on 23.08.2007, respondent came in drunkard condition and threatened to kill them. Jeewan Lal (PW-1) who is the son of deceased Meena Devi clearly stated that he had heard the cries of his mother and also seen accused taking his mother towards the house of accused Om Parkash. On 25.08.2007, body of Meena Devi was found hanging from a pine tree in the nearby forest. PW-24-Dr. Vivek Banyal who conducted the autopsy has clearly said that “anti-mortem injuries were caused due to gagging and hanging process of dead body was post-mortem”.

Evidence of the case

Continue reading “Conviction for murder on circumstantial evidence”

Attempt to murder

Difference between attempt to murder and causing grievous hurt.

Penal Code, 1860, Section 307 and 324:

307. Attempt to murder.—Whoever does any act with such intention or knowledge, and under such circumstances that, if he by that act caused death, he would be guilty of murder, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine; and if hurt is caused to any person by such act, the offender shall be liable either to imprisonment for life, or to such punishment as is hereinbefore mentioned. Attempts by life convicts.—When any person offending under this section is under sentence of imprisonment for life, he may, if hurt is caused, be punished with death. Continue reading “Attempt to murder”

Evidence of sniffer dog: Admissibility.

Sniffer dog trails if evidence?

Services of a sniffer dog may be taken for the purpose of investigation but its faculties cannot be taken as evidence for the purpose of establishing the guilt of an accused.

Objection against sniffer dog trail:

There are three objections which are usually advanced against reception of the evidence of dog tracking. First since it is manifest that the dog cannot go into the box and give his evidence on oath and consequently submit himself to cross-examination, the dog’s human companion must go into the box and the report the dog’s evidence and this is clearly herersay. Secondly, there is a feeling that in criminal cases the life and liberty of a human being should not be dependent on canine inference.

[Abdul Rajak Murtaja Dafedar v. State of Maharashtra, (1969 (2) SCC 234)]

In another case the objection pertaining to sniffer dog was that the life and liberty of human being should not be made to depend on animals sensibilities and that the possibility of a dog misjudging the smell or mistaking the track cannot be ruled out, for many a time such mistakes have happened. In the said case, Court relying decision in Abdul Rajak Murtaja Dafedar (supra) case held: “We are of the view that criminal courts need not bother much about the evidence based on sniffer dogs due to the inherent frailties adumbrated above, although we cannot disapprove the investigating agency employing such sniffer dogs for helping the investigation to track down criminals.”

[Source Gade Lakshmi Mangaraju alias Ramesh v. State of A.P., (2001) 6 SCC 205]

It was followed with another case and it was held that “the law in this behalf, therefore, is settled that while the services of a sniffer dog may be taken for the purpose of investigation, its faculties cannot be taken as evidence for the purpose of establishing the guilt of an accused.

[Source: Dinesh Borthakur v. State of Assam, (2008) 5 SCC 697]

Conclusion about sniffer dog in evidence:

Thus the services of a sniffer dog was taken for investigation. The said dog traced the accused and he was formally arrested in the evening of the next day. The Investigating Officer, Ashok Kumar Yadav (PW-10) corroborated the evidence of Abdul Lais Khan (PW-4) to the effect that ‘Raja’ sniffer dog after picking up scent from the place of occurrence tracked down the house of the accused. What is relevant to note is that the accused has not been convicted on the ground that the sniffer dog tracked down the house of the accused and barked at him. The evidence of dog tracking only shows how the accused was arrested.

[Source: Lalit Kumar Yadav @ Kuri vs State Of U.P (Supreme Court of India)]

Death sentence.

Considerations to award death sentence

Where possibility of reformation can not be ruled out, death sentence commuted to life imprisonment.

Death SentencePenal Code 1860, Section 360.

The appellant was the State President of the Youth Congress in Delhi. The deceased was a qualified pilot and she was also the State General Secretary of Youth Congress (Girls Wing), Delhi. She was an independent lady, who was capable of taking her own decisions. From the evidence on record, it cannot be said that she was not in touch with people residing outside the four walls of her house. Evidence discloses that even on the date of incident at around 4.00 p.m. she had contacted PW-12 Matloob Karim. She was not a poor illiterate hapless woman. Considering the social status of the deceased, it would be difficult to come to the conclusion that the appellant was in a dominant position qua her. The appellant was deeply in love with the deceased Continue reading “Death sentence.”