The Odisha High court passed a judgment on 11.08.2022 in which it subdued the judgment of the trial court. This was seen in the case of Tapan Kumar Pradhan vs State Of Odisha CRLA No.29 of 2003 and this case was presided over by Dr. S. Muralidhar, CJ. In an appeal filed challenging the Trial court ruling, convicting the accused under Section 302 of Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC) a Division Bench of S Muralidhar CJ., and R K Pattanaik J. upheld conviction under Section 302 IPC by examining circumstantial evidence in detail and directed cancellation of his bail bonds and surrender forthwith, as the appellant was enlarged on bail during the pendency of the proceedings.
FACTS OF THE CASE
The present Appellant along with Bidyadhar Pradhan, were charged with the offence under Section 109 and Section 302 IPC on the grounds of abetting the murder of Bhagabati Pradhan. After analyzing the evidence, the Trial Court convicted the present Appellant while acquitting the co-accused. Assailing this order, the present appeal was filed. The Court noted that this is a case of circumstantial evidence. Placing reliance on Sharad Birdhichand Sarda v. State of Maharashtra, (1984) 4 SCC 116 Krishnan v. State, (2008) 15 SCC 430 and G. Parshwanath v. State of Karnataka, (2010) 8 SCC 593, the Court reiterated the conditions to be fulfilled before conviction could be based on circumstantial evidence.
It was further noted that based on the evidence of witnesses, it not only supplies the motive for the offence, but also proves the fact that immediately prior to the occurrence on that very evening, the accused had threatened to finish off the deceased. As regards the recovery of evidence, the Court was of the view that it has been more than adequately proved by the IO himself by producing the relevant record. Even, the opinion of the doctor is more than sufficient for the Court to conclude that the death was homicidal in nature.
The Court remarked “the fact that the weapon of offence did not have bloodstains will not matter if all other circumstances form a continuous chain and clearly point to the guilt of the Appellant and no one else.” The Court held that the evidence is not only consistent with the guilt of the appellant but is also inconsistent with his innocence. Thus, no error can be found in the impugned judgment of the trial Court holding the appellant guilty of the offence punishable under Section 302 IPC.
JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY KUNMUN DAS