To Shift Burden of Proof On Accused U/S 106 Evidence Act Prosecution Must Establish Facts Indicating ‘Special Knowledge’ : Karnataka High Court

Karnataka High Court held that Prosecution Must Establish Facts Indicating ‘Special Knowledge’ To Shift Burden of Proof On Accused U/S 106 Evidence Act. This was seen in the case of Siddappa v. State of Karnataka (CRIMINAL APPEAL No.200104 OF 2017) and the judgement was presided by A division bench of Justices Dr. HB Prabhakara Sastry and Anil B. Katti.

Facts of the case:

The accused challenged the impugned judgment of conviction and order on sentence dated 30-12-2016, convicting him for the offence punishable under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The accused was suspecting the illicit relationship of his wife Meenaxi with one Annappa Gurappa Namdar of the same Village. In this regard, on several occasions, both the accused and his wife had altercations, still, the deceased continued her illicit relationship with the said Annappa Gurappa Namdar.


The High Court noted that none of the material witnesses examined by the prosecution had spoken about either the nature of victim’s death nor the Appellant’s role thereof. Therefore, admittedly, there is no evidence through prosecution witnesses to establish a link between the accused and the death of his wife.

It said-  “If at all it is assumed that the injuries on the deceased were inflicted using a chopper, then, at least the relation of the said weapon with the accused should have been established by the prosecution…Merely because the said chopper was found in the house of the accused, it is not safe to infer that the accused had made use of the said chopper and using the same has inflicted fatal injuries upon his wife.

The Court further noted that the Sessions Judge proceeded on the surmise that since the alleged incident has taken place in the house of the Appellant, it is for him to explain the facts of the incident, the same being in his “exclusive knowledge” and It observed that even though deceased was married to the Appellant, that by itself cannot lead to an inference that the accused was residing along with the deceased as on the date of the incident.

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Judgement reviewed by Alaina Fatima.

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