Landmark Criminal Appeal Decision: Supreme Court Reverses Verdict, Declares Four Guilty in Support of Chhattisgarh State.


Case Number – Criminal Appeal No.- 003869-003869 / 2023

Dated on – 10th April 2023.

Quorum – Justice B. R. Gavai


In the case of RAVISHANKAR TANDON Vs. STATE OF CHHATTISGARH (2024 INSC 299), an FIR was lodged after the deceased in the case went missing leading to a prompt investigation where the accused No. 1, 2 and 4 were charged with the offence under IPC Sections 302 (Punishment for murder),120B (Punishment for criminal conspiracy) and 201(Causing disappearance of evidence of offence or giving false information). Whereas, Accused No. 3 was charged with the offence under IPC Sections 302 and 120B. It was during the police interrogation that the appellant confessed about having a conspiracy to murder the deceased for a sum of Rupees 90,000 by throttling the deceased and disposing off his body in the pond of the village, Bhatgaon. As per the confession of the appellant, the police retrieved the dead body of the deceased from the same pond at village Bhatgaon. Through the postmortem examination it was confirmed that the Accused No. 1, 2 and 4 throttled the deceased to death and shrouded the body of the deceased in a jute sack. During the proceedings, several witnesses testified. The prosecution provided the court with 37 documents as evidence to justify the guilt of the appellant. The appellant pleaded not guilty and opted for the proceedings of the court. It was established by the trial court that the Accused No. 1,2 and 3 were guilty under IPC Sections 302,120B and 201 while Accused No. 4 was guilty of the offence under IPC Sections 302 and 120B. All the accused found guilty were sentenced to an imprisonment for life.


1. The appellant, through their counsel, in the said case contented that the prosecution failed to establish any incriminating circumstances beyond any reasonable doubt.

2. The appellant, through their counsel, in the said case contented that the prosecution failed to establish a chain of proven circumstances leading to the guilt of the accused.

3. The appellant, through their counsel, in the said case contented that the prosecution failed to prove that the information in the statement of the appellant which led to the discovery of the evidence was unknown to anyone before the appellant provided it during interrogation.


1. The respondent in the said case contented that both the High Court and Trial Court without any dissent winded up the case stating that the prosecution has successfully proven the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

2. The respondent stated that both the trial court and the High Court’s findings are based on a thorough perception of the evidence presented to the court, leading to the conclusion that no interference is necessary.


1. Section 120B of IPC prescribes the Punishment of Criminal Conspiracy- Whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life or rigorous imprisonment for a term of two years or upwards, shall, where no express provision is made in this code for the punishment of such a conspiracy, be punished in the same manner as if he had abetted such offence.

2. Section 201 of IPC prescribes the Punishment for causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender.

3. Section 302 of IPC prescribes the Punishment for Murder – Whoever commits murder shall be punished with death, or [imprisonment for life], and shall also be liable to fine.

4. Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 prescribes How much of information received from accused may be proved – Provided that, when any fact is deposed to as discovered inconsequence of information received from a person accused of any offence, in the custody of a police officer, so much of such information, whether it amounts to a confession or not, as relates distinctly to the fact thereby discovered, may be proved.


1. The main issue revolved around whether the prosecution possessed adequate evidence in order to prove the guilt of the accused beyond any reasonable doubt or was it just circumstantial evidence?

2. Another issue was whether the validity of the confession gained by the police during the interrogation?


The Supreme Court in the given case scrupulously analysed that the conviction based on circumstantial evidences requires a chain of complete and proper chain of evidences without any presence of reasonable doubt and that the circumstances that lead to the guilt of the accused persons must be established conclusively keeping aside all alternative hypotheses of innocence. The court stated that the evidence does not conclusively proves that the discovery of the dead body was solely based on the statement given by the accused person. The court decided that the judgments given by the High Court and the Trial Court are to be quashed and set aside and that the appellants in the said case are to be exonerated of all charges imposed on them and released.

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Judgement Reviewed by – Sruti Sikha Maharana

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