State of Maharashtra
Vs. Arjun  INSC 1873 (5 November 2008)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.1155 OF 2004 State
of Maharashtra ...Appellant Versus Arjun ...Respondent
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT,
Challenge in this
appeal is to the judgment of a Division Bench of the Bombay High Court at
Aurangabad. Two persons - Indrajit Kaur (hereinafter described as A-1) and the
present respondent Arjun (hereinafter described as A-2) had filed the appeal
questioning their conviction and imposition of sentence, as done by the learned
Second Additional Sessions Judge, Osmanabad. Each one of them was convicted for
offences punishable under Section 302 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal
Code, 1860 (in short `the IPC') and sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life
and to pay a fine of Rs.3,000/- with default stipulations. They were also
convicted for the offences punishable under Section 201 read with Section 34
IPC and sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for three years and to pay a
fine of Rs.1,000/- with default stipulations. The appeal was allowed by the
impugned judgment, so far as present respondent is concerned.
According to the
prosecution, the appellants were having illicit relationship which was being
objected to by Jagnandan Singh (hereinafter referred to as the 'deceased').
Taking exception to his interference to their illicit relationship, the accused
persons decided to take away his life and accordingly he was killed. Since,
there was no direct evidence, the prosecution relied upon certain circumstances
to establish that the accused persons were guilty. The Trial Court found the
five incriminating circumstances to be sufficient to fasten the guilt on the
accused persons and, accordingly, convicted them, as aforenoted. In appeal, the
High Court found that the evidence was sufficient so far as accused No.1 is
concerned, but was insufficient so far as the present respondent is concerned.
It is to be noted that apart from five allegedly incriminating circumstances,
which were pressed into service so far as the present respondent is concerned,
there were other materials to hold accused No.1 guilty. The High Court -3- was
of the view that the circumstances highlighted were not sufficient to fasten
the guilt on A-2 and directed his acquittal while upholding the conviction of
In support of the
appeal, learned counsel for the appellant-State submitted that the accusations
were established against A-1. The same analogy should have been applied in the
case of the present respondent. Learned counsel for the respondent, on the
other hand, supported the judgment of the High Court.
which were pressed into service to fasten the guilt on the accused are, as
intimacy with accused No.1.
accused No.2 purchased two packets of rat killer poison from the shop of
accused No.2 purchased gunny bag (article 16), cotton rope (Articles 17, 18 and
19) and nylon rope (article 20) from the shop of Abhay Bhoj, PW-6.
of dead body of Jagnandansingh from Morda Tank at the instance of accused No.2.
body of Jagnandansingh was found in a gunny bag that the dead body was tied by
means of cotton rope and that two stones were found to have been tied to gunny
bag by means of nylon rope.
-4- So far as the
purchase of rat killer poison and the gunny bag is concerned, there was no
evidence to show that either the rat killer poison or the gunny bag was
purchased prior to the date of occurrence. It is to be noted that the body of
the deceased was found in a decomposed state. The Doctor who conducted the post
mortem categorically stated that in view of the decomposed state of the dead
body, it was not possible to say whether any rat killing poison was used. The
only other circumstance is purported discovery of the dead body at the instance
of the respondent.
The High Court has
found that this so-called discovery on the basis of the information given by
A-2 has not been established.
Above being the
position, we find that the High Court's judgment does not suffer from any
infirmity to warrant interference. The appeal is, accordingly, dismissed.
(Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT)
(Dr. MUKUNDAKAM SHARMA)