Vs. State of Orissa  Insc 283 (8 May 2001)
Shah & Shivaraj V. Patil Shivaraj V. Patil J.
appeal is directed against the judgment of the High Court of Orissa confirming
the judgment of conviction and order sentencing the appellant to suffer life
appellant was the sole accused.
stated, the prosecution case is that on 16.11.1989 Damodar Patel (PW-1) while
had gone to respond the call of nature found one dead body lying on the sandy
riverbed of Hati River. There was only chaddi on the dead body. The pant and
shirt were lying at a distance from the dead body and one motorcycle was kept
by the side of the pillar of the bridge. PW-1 came to the village and told
about the same to one Madhu Naik. Both of them went to police station at Jaipatna
and orally reported the incident in the police station at Jaipatna. The report
was reduced to writing. A U.D. case No. 9/89 was registered. The investigating
Officer held inquest of the dead body and the same was sent to post-mortem. The
dead body was identified to be of the deceased. After completion of the
investigation, charge- sheet was laid. The appellant was tried for an offence
under Section 302 IPC in the Sessions Court. The defence of the appellant was
one of total denial.
prosecution in support of its case examined as many as 39 witnesses. The
prosecution case rests on circumstantial evidence only. PW-1 is the informant. Siba
Sankar Padhi (PW-2) is the father of the deceased who identified the dead body
of the deceased and found that gold chain, which the deceased was usually
wearing, was missing.
Behera (PW-8) deposed that the deceased and accused were moving together on
15.11.1989 on motor vehicle and that the deceased had told him that he was to
purchase a revolver from the accused. Udayanath Panigrahi (PW-9) also found the
accused and the deceased together taking tea in the shop of PW-8 on 15.11.1989.
Malaya Chandra Maher (PW-13) stated that the accused purchased a soap at about 9.15 P.M. on 15.11.1989 and Pradumna Kumar Mehar (PW-14), who
accompanied him, found the accused washing his cloth. PW-15 is the hotel
keeper. The accused and the deceased were last seen by him on 15.11.1989. He
found that the deceased was wearing a gold chain. PW-16 identified the pant of
the accused. PW-19 stated that one Rama Saraf offered him to purchase one gold
chain for Rs.4,400/- on 16.11.1989. Kusa alias Sona Mehar (PW-20) deposed that Chasiram
meher came with a gold chain and weighed it and received the gold chain on
payment of Rs.4,400/- on 17.11.1989; the gold chain (M.O.I.) was given to Ramachandra
Saraf after coming to know that it was involved in a murder case. The gold
chain was seized in the presence of PW-21. PW-22 is a Medical Officer, who held
post-mortem of the deceased. PW-23 is a witness to the seizure of shawl, pant
and shirt stained with blood. PWs-25, 26 and 27 are the witnesses for seizure.
is a witness to the discovery of Kati (M.O.VII) seized from inside the sandy
waterbed of Hati River. PW-31 is one of the I.Os., who recorded the F.I.R. and
PW-32 is the I.O., who sent other articles for chemical examination.
is a witness who saw the deceased and the accused going towards Jaipatna at
about 6.00 P.M. on 15.11.1989.
is one of the I.Os., who seized Kati and gold chain.
learned Sessions Judge having appreciated the evidence on record summed up in para
20 thus: - The evidence of PWs. are cogent and consistent to bring about a conviction
on the evidence are unimpeachable in character and have shown unerringly the
guilt of the accused. The accused had intentionally committed murder of the
deceased which is found in the evidence of movements of the accused on
15.11.1989 in and without the company of the deceased and the deadbody of the
deceased was found on the next day of the occurrence with the injuries on the
deceased and missing of M.O. I from the person of the deceased, recovery of
M.O. IV, V and VI and the blood stains found in M.O. VI, IV and V and the blod
stains found in M.O. VI and recovery of the M.O. VII from inside water from
river bed and the recovery of M.O. I of the deceased which was disposed of by
sale after the occurrence have completed the chain of circumstances leading to
a definite conclusion that the accused intentionally committed murder of the
are some discrepancies in the evidence which do not have any adverse impact on
the charge of the prosecution.
High Court on re-appreciation and analysis of the evidence in the light of the
submissions made at the Bar, concluded that the prosecution has been able to
prove, such of the circumstances relied on by it to complete the chain of
circumstances against the accused to bring home the charge beyond all
reasonable doubt. In this view, finding no illegality or infirmity in the order
of conviction recorded by the trial judge, dismissed the appeal by the impugned
learned counsel for the appellant urged that the prosecution has failed to establish
its case to sustain the order of conviction; the prosecution case depends on
the circumstantial evidence only and the circumstances are not established so
as to point only to the accused that he is guilty. According to him the chain
of circumstances is not complete and there are several doubts and discrepancies
in the prosecution case. Per contra, the learned counsel for the
respondent-State made submissions supporting the impugned judgment. He
submitted that both the courts on proper and objective assessment and
appreciation of evidence have found the appellant guilty of offence under
Section 302 IPC and this Court under the circumstances may not upset the
no doubt true that the prosecution case rests on circumstantial evidence only.
The circumstances as unfolded during the trial and as reflected in the
judgments of the Sessions Court as well as the High Court broadly stated are
the following: -
accused and the deceased were last seen together on 15.11.1989 as spoken to by
the prosecution witnesses.
Recovery of one yellow colour full shirt (M.O. IV), Ash colour full pant (M.O.
V) and one shawl (M.O. VI) at the instance of the accused under Section 27 of
the Evidence Act on 18.11.1989 under Exbt. 13 in the presence of PWs 23, 25 and
30 and one Ishwar Panigrahi. PWs-7 and 15 stated that the shirt (M.O. IV) and
pant (M.O. V) were worn by the accused on 15.11.1989. The apparels seized under
Exbt.13 contained blood stains.
Recovery of the gold chain by PW-34 from one Sardar Kar Saraf on 30.11.1989
under Exbt. 9 in the presence of PWs-21 and 26.
PWs-4 and 15 stated that the gold chain (M.O. I) was being worn by the
statements of PWs-19, 20 and 27 made in connection with the transaction, sale
of the gold chain at the request of the accused.
recovery of Kathury (Kati) (M.O. VII) by the I.O. at the instance of the
accused under Exbt.15 in the presence of PW- 29.
opinion of the doctor, PW-22, who conducted autopsy on the possibility of
injuries of deceased by weapon like kati (M.O. VII).
Presence of human blood on cloths seized.
circumstances are supported and established by acceptable evidence as rightly
held by the trial court and confirmed by the High Court.
the courts on proper appreciation of evidence have concurrently recorded the
findings that the accused is guilty. We may add that as per the report of the
chemical examiner of State Forensic Science Laboratory, one white chaddi, worn
by the deceased, marked as E and sample sand marked as F, H and J were
extensively stained with blood. A few small patches of blood stains were also
detected on shawl marked as C. Blood stains were not detected on iron kati. It
may be stated here itself that the same was discovered from bed of flowing
river. It is evident from the report of Serologist (Exbt. 19) that portion of
shawl and portion of chaddi were stained with human blood, so also sample of
sand. The High court has also noticed that the chemical examiner found that the
blood stains found on the shawl (M.O. VII) was of group B and that the blood
group of the deceased was also of group B.
having regard to all these aspects we are of the view that the prosecution has
proved that each one of the circumstances aforementioned point to the guilt of
the accused and the cumulative effect of all the circumstances too undoubtedly
indicate guilt of the accused excluding any other hypothesis. More so, in this
case when the defence of the accused is one of total denial. We have no good
reason or valid ground to interfere with the impugned judgment.
view of what is stated above, we do not find any merit in the appeal. Hence it