Supreme Court Affirms High Court’s Judgment Sentencing Appellant to Life Imprisonment in Murder Case

Supreme Court Affirms High Court’s Judgment Sentencing Appellant to Life Imprisonment in Murder Case 

Case Name: Sukhpal Singh v. NCT of Delhi 

Case No.: Criminal Appeal NO(S). 55 OF 2015 

Dated: May 07, 2024 

Quorum: Justice B R Gavai and Justice Sandeep Mehta 



Usha and the accused appellant were married, and their three children were born outside of the union. But after the couple were involved in a marital dispute, the appellant moved away from his wife Usha and settled in his hamlet of Khatta, Uttar Pradesh. 

On May 20, 1990, the PCR sent a wireless communication to the police station personnel in Bhajan Pura informing them of an event that had occurred outside the stores in Rori and Badarpur. Following up on the aforementioned information, a few constables arrived at the residence where Usha w/o Sukhpal was discovered dead on a cot in one of the rooms.  

After a quick examination, it was discovered that the deceased Usha had cuts, scrapes, and other wound marks on her neck, mouth, shoulder, and private areas that were connected to bleeding. Additionally, dragging marks below the knee were discovered on the right leg. Tablet strips were discovered strewn all over the cot the deceased person was resting on. Authorities claiming to have found a handwritten letter (Exhibit PW-12/E) from the scene of the crime that contained a recital proving the writer was Usha’s murderer.  

It was revealed that Sukhpal had been hired by M/s. R.P. Associates, where Ashok Kumar Pathak was employed. Suspecting that his wife Usha was unfaithful, which frequently resulted in arguments between them, Sukhpal moved away from his wife and kids to live in the village of Khatta, Uttar Pradesh. In the past, he commuted from the village to work.  

Sukhpal had visited Usha four days before the alleged incident, and Sudha, Usha’s sister, had also visited that day. After arguing with Usha, Sukhpal left. The three of Usha’s children were taken by her sister Sudha to her home the following day. Days before the incident, on May 19, 1990, Ashok Kumar Pathak noticed that Sukhpal had stopped by Usha on his cycle in the evening after he had returned from duty and eaten. This was around 9.30 p.m.  

He proceeded to sleep on the terrace, but as it began to rain, he came downstairs and discovered that Sukhpal and Usha had also entered their chamber. When he noticed Sukhpal’s bicycle parked in the courtyard the following morning, on May 20, 1990, he assumed that he and Usha were inside the home and went about his normal business. 

In a judgement dated January 7, 2010, the learned Division Bench of the Delhi High Court dismissed the appeal filed by the accused appellant, concluding that the confession note he wrote demonstrated his involvement in the crime. The prosecution had proven that the accused appellant had been with the deceased Usha at her home on the intervening night of May 19 and 20, 1990, when she was murdered.  

Through an appeal by special leave, the accused appellant has contested the foregoing judgement upholding his conviction and punishment. 



  • Section 299 of CrPC- Record of evidence in absence of accused. In the event that it is established that an accused individual has escaped and that there is no imminent possibility of apprehending him, the court having jurisdiction to try or commit the accused person for the offence complained of may, in his absence, question any witnesses called by the prosecution and record their depositions. Any such depositions may be used against the accused person in the investigation or trial for the offence for which he is charged if the deponent is deceased, incapable of testifying, missing, or whose presence cannot be obtained without a level of delay, expense, or inconvenience that would be unreasonable given the circumstances of the case.  
  • Section 313 CrPC- Power to examine the accused. During any investigation or trial, the following procedures may be utilised by the court to give the accused the opportunity to directly address any circumstances that may be raised in the evidence against him: (a) the court may ask the accused any questions at any time without giving him advance notice, regardless of the circumstances. 
  • Section 302 IPC- Punishment for Murder. Those who commit murder will be punished with life in prison or the death penalty, as well as a fine. 



When the trial court and the high court decided that complainant Ashok Kumar Pathak was questioned under oath during procedures conducted in accordance with Section 299 CrPC, they both made major factual errors. The statement of complainant Ashok Kumar Pathak that the trial court and the High Court relied upon is actually the statement of the said witness recorded by the SHO, PS Bhajan Pura under Section 161 CrPC, which was proved by the Investigating Officer (PW13) in proceedings under Section 299 CrP, according to learned counsel, who states that this finding is completely at odds with the record. 

It was also vehemently argued that the prosecution failed to make any effort to obtain the two admitted documents—Sanjiv Jain’s employer—from the accused appellant, which means that the confession note (Exhibit PW-12/E) is a fake piece of evidence. This claim was made in opposition to the argument that the act of gathering these 

Additionally, it was argued that Sudha’s (PW-10) proof be disregarded because it is completely untrustworthy and unreliable. The prosecution acknowledged that the accused appellant and Usha were no longer together, hence it is completely implausible that the accused appellant visited and remained with Usha just a few days before to the occurrence, as reported by Sudha (PW-10). He argued that Sudha’s (PW-10) testimony was unreliable and ought to be rejected. 

The prosecution’s assertion that the accused appellant was fleeing is completely baseless, since the FIR made it abundantly evident that the accused appellant had moved back to his village in Khatta, Uttar Pradesh, following his divorce from dead Usha. But the investigating officer (PW-13) did not even attempt to track down the accused appellant in his hamlet. 



The learned counsel of the respondent the state fiercely and angrily disagreed with the arguments put out by the appellant’s knowledgeable counsel, arguing that the entire chain of circumstances accusing the accused points solely and completely to his guilt. 

Additionally, it was contended that Ashok Kumar Pathak’s statement, which was recorded as PW-1 during proceedings under Section 299 CrPC, was appropriately accepted as credible and admissible evidence. Ashok Kumar Pathak was apprehended by the accused appellant, thus the witness could not be questioned during a regular trial. This was not a purposeful conduct on the part of the prosecution. Despite their best efforts, the prosecution agency was unable to locate the witness. The main justification for not questioning Ashok Kumar Pathak is the accused’s protracted disappearance. 

It was further argued that The accused appellant used to fight with Usha, believing her to be unfaithful, and there were frequent fights between the couples, according to Sudha, Usha’s sister (PW-10), who testified. Four days before the incident, they had gotten into a disagreement. This also proves the motivation for the offence that the appellant is said to have had. 

It was pleaded with the court to reject the appeal, arguing that the prosecution had established the case against the accused appellant through a strong and convincing chain of circumstantial evidence. 



The motive, last seen, confession, and disappearance from the crime scene after the crime were all discussed by witness Ashok Kumar Pathak (PW-1) in his statement dated July 17, 1991, which was recorded on sworn affirmation during the proceedings under Section 299 CrPC. The court carefully examined these circumstances. It should be noted that Ashok Kumar Pathak had no reason at all to falsely accuse the accused appellant of killing Usha.  

the court took into account It was undisputed that Usha had died by homicidal means. Usha had been manually strangled, and asphyxia was the cause of death, according to the medical jurist’s unequivocal testimony. So, it is not necessary to go into great depth about the medical data.  

Unquestionable proof of the numerous actions made by the investigating officer (PW-13) to gather evidence during the investigation to connect the accused appellant with Usha’s murder was provided by him. The testimony of Ashok Kumar Pathak unequivocally establishes that the accused appellant was present with Usha on the evening before the murder.  

Consequently, the court did not hesitate to uphold the positions of the trial court and the high court when they found the accused appellant guilty of killing Usha and to affirm that decision.  


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This is a clear instance of day light custodial death- The High Court of Delhi expresses disappointment over negligence of police.”

Case Title: Setara Bibi v. State of NCT of Delhi & Ors. 

Case No.: W.P.(CRL) 1224/2024 

Dated: April 23, 2024 

Quorum: Justice Jyoti Singh 



The case’s facts revolve around In pursuance of Section 482 Cr.P.C. and Article 226 of the Indian Constitution, the petitioner has filed this writ suit on their behalf, requesting the following reliefs.  

a Writ/Order/Direction in the nature of Mandamus and/or any other Writ/Order/Direction in the nature of any other appropriate Writ was in effect, directing the Respondent to file a First Information Report (FIR) in accordance with Sections 166, 302, 325, 331, 352, 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 against the Chief Investigating Officer, the SHO, and the other negligent police officers of Police Station Subhash Place.  

In brief, the case’s facts state that the husband of Setara Bibis died while in the custody of the respondents as a result of their simple carelessness. The petitioner is the deceased person’s 22-year-old widow, who has been circling the courts in the hopes of getting justice. The FIR has not yet been filed, and the application under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. is still pending.  



According to directions, Ms. Rebecca John, the Petitioner’s experienced Senior Counsel, limits the relief to requests. It is argued that the current case is related to the tragic passing of late Sheikh Sahadat on July 23, 2023, while he was purportedly in the custody of Subhash Place Police Station officers.  

Additionally, it is argued that the petitioner is a 22-year-old widow of the deceased who has been circling the legal system in an attempt to obtain justice. It is requested that the magistrate’s investigation into the death of the petitioner’s husband while in custody be opened on July 23, 2023, and that it remain open to this day, almost nine months later, with no indication of when it will be concluded. However, the application made in accordance with Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. is still waiting, and the FIR has not yet been filed.  

Furthermore, the petitioner is alleged to be a 22-year-old widow of the dead who has been recurrently involved in the court system in an effort to seek justice. It is requested that the inquiry into the petitioner’s husband’s death while in police custody be launched by the magistrate on July 23, 2023, and that it continue to be open now, nearly nine months later, without providing a timeline for completion. 

According to an order annexed to the petition and dated December 22, 2023, the learned Chief Metropolitan Magistrate of the North West District of the Rohini Courts stated that a FIR is not being filed until the Magisterial inquiry’s conclusion and the FSL report is received.  

The learned Senior Counsel states that this demonstrates the State’s total insensitivity to a grave situation in which a 32-year-old man was discovered dead while allegedly under police custody, with black and blue bruise marks covering his back and chest and swellings on his hands and legs. The family of the deceased captured this on camera when they visited the mortuary where the body was being held.  



  • Section 482 Cr.P.C- Saving of inherent power of High Court. Nothing in this Code shall be construed as restricting or affecting the High Court’s inherent authority to issue orders as may be required to carry out any directive made pursuant to this Code, to stop misuse of the legal system, or to further further the goals of justice. 
  • Section 166 of IPC- Public servant disobeying law, with intent to cause injury to any person. Any public servant who willfully disobeys legal instructions regarding how they should conduct themselves in that capacity with the intent to cause harm to others or knowing that it is likely that they will, will be punished with either simple imprisonment, a fine, or both. This punishment can last up to a year.  
  • Section 302 of IPC- Punishment for murder. Anyone found guilty of murder faces a mandatory life sentence in prison or the death penalty, in addition to a fine.  
  • Section352 of IPC- Punishment for assault or criminal force otherwise than on grave provocation. Anyone found to have attacked or used unlawful force against another person without that person’s serious and unexpected provocation faces a maximum sentence of three months in prison of any kind, a maximum fine of five hundred rupees, or both. 



That court held that the following is directed that the Magisterial inquiry into the death of late Sh. Sheikh Sahadat be completed as soon as possible and no later than three months from today, taking into account the case’s facts and circumstances, the fact that the inquiry began on July 23, 2023, and is still pending, and the fact that the learned CMM is not moving forward with the application under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. because of the pendency of the inquiry. 

Additionally, it was held that the learned CMM was instructed to move quickly with the matter, including giving the Director of FSL a directive to provide the report right away, in the case of a pending application under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. It was requested of the Director, FSL to investigate the situation and make sure the FSL report is delivered to the relevant Court as soon as possible.  

This Court expressed optimism and hopes that the concerned magistrate handling the investigation and the knowledgeable CMM handling the application under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. will investigate the matters with the necessary seriousness, empathy, and diligence and will act quickly.  


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“The Supreme “Court reverses a High Court decision in a murder case where the victim’s motive was rooted in financial envy.” 

Case Title: Kirpal Singh v. State of Punjab 

Case No.: CRIMINAL APPEAL NO(S). 1052 OF 2009 

Dated On: April 18, 2024 

Quorum: Justice B R Gavai and Justice Sandeep Mehta 



The initial witness, Sharan Kaur, was the spouse of the deceased Balwinder Singh (dead). Her family used to live in the house behind the grocery and halwai stores that her husband had near the bus stop in Khudda.  

On the intervening night of November 12–13, 1997, Sharan Kaur slept in a room on the ground floor with the rest of the family, while Balwinder Singh (dead) slept in the house’s chaubara, which lacked a shutter. At at 2:30 in the morning, Sharan Kaur is said to have heard a knock on the door of the room where she was resting.  

She opened the door since she believed her husband to be the one who had knocked. She observed the accused appellant, Kirpal Singh, standing there brandishing a chura-style knife in the courtyard’s lighting. Sharan Kaur suffered an injury to her abdomen at the hands of the appellant. Kirpal Singh, the appellant, was being followed by another attacker who grabbed her arm.  

Her boys Goldy and Sonu awoke when she set off an alarm and said, “killed killed.” None of the three individuals were able to identify the second attacker. By opening the main gate between the two stores, both attackers were able to escape. As Sharan Kaur went upstairs to check on her husband, she discovered him lying on the cot with terrible injuries and blood seeping from his head and mouth. On the ground below, blood accumulated. There was nothing he could say.  

Balwinder Singh passed away en route to the Civil Hospital in Tanda with Sharan Kaur in tow. Sharan Kaur received first aid; after that, both she and the deceased Balwinder Singh’s body were returned.  

The prosecution claims that jealousy between the appellant and his associate over the booming business being done at Balwinder Singh’s (deceased) halwai shop—which was doing much better than the halwai shop run by the accused appellant—was the driving force behind the incident.  

Through a common judgement and order dated 28.02.2008, which is contested in this appeal filed at the accused appellant’s request, the learned Division Bench of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana went on to dismiss both the appeals, one by the State and the other by the accused-appellant, as well as the revision filed by the complainant.Krishna Singh  




According to the prosecution, the reason for the incident was that the accused appellant and his associate were harbouring jealousy towards Balwinder Singh’s (deceased) booming halwai business, which was performing significantly better than the accused appellant’s halwai shop.  

The accused appellant fiercely argued that the conclusions listed in the contested judgement are irrational and contradictory, and as such, they should be overturned. 

He made the following relevant arguments in his request for the accused appellant to be exonerated:  

Daljit Singh @ Goldy , the deceased’s son, and Sharan Kaur , the first informant and the deceased’s wife, provide wildly inconsistent, inconsistent, and unpersuasive testimony. Further, the prosecution witnesses have attempted throughout the proceedings to embellish the narrative provided in the FIR; as a result, their testimony ought to be disregarded.  

They, further alleged that both the trial court and the high court concluded that the co-accused, Kulwinder Singh, was not guilty of the charges made against him and that the witnesses, Shan Kaur and Daljit Singh @ Goldy, were not entirely credible. As a result, Culwinder Singh was declared not guilty. Consequently, Kirpal Singh, the accused-appellant, likewise merits the same handling.  

Closure reports were filed by the police in the relevant Court after the defence witnesses unequivocally declared that, following a comprehensive investigation, the accusations made by the first informant, Shawn Kaur, were confirmed to be untrue.  

According to the testimony of Daljit Singh @ Goldy, the dead Balwinder Singh’s son, and the initial informant, Sharan Kaur, the case is accepted. However, the four servants who were seen having sex with the deceased Balwinder Singh in the house’s chaubara were not questioned or put on trial. Similarly, the prosecution did not question Gurmit Singh, the deceased’s other son and the first informant, it is a suitable instance that justifies or allows for the drawing of an adverse inference against the prosecution for the reasons that are best known to them. 



The State’s skilled counsel fiercely and passionately refuted the arguments put out by the appellant’s counsel. He acknowledged that the prosecution’s version of events regarding accused Kulwinder Singh’s involvement did not sit well with the trial court or the High Court, but he maintained that this did not constitute a good enough excuse to throw out the prosecution’s entire case, including the accused appellant who was mentioned in the FIR and the testimony of the key prosecution witness.  

He fiercely argued that minor inconsistencies in the prosecution witnesses’ testimony provide reassurance that they are real witnesses and not made-up witnesses. His argument was that the Indian criminal justice system did not follow the idea of “falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus,” and as a result, only when one of the two accused parties named by the prosecution. 

He further argued that both the trial court and the high court had found the accused appellant guilty of the charges after separating the grain from the chaff and reappreciating the evidence. As a result, the court should be reluctant to intervene in these concurrent findings of facts made by the trial court and the high court. Lean legal counsel representing the State argued on these grounds that the appeal should be dismissed because it is without merit.  



Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code- The appellant was convicted under this section, which deals with the offense of murder. It prescribes punishment for intentionally causing the death of another person.   

Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code- Whoever commits any act with such intent or knowledge, and under such circumstances, that if he caused death by that act, he would be guilty of murder, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term of up to ten years, as well as a fine; and if such act causes harm to any person, the offender shall be punished with either life imprisonment or the punishment mentioned above.  



The court held that using the ladder that the prosecution had erected on the house wall, they attempted to prove that the accused had used it to climb into the chaubara and struck the deceased Balwinder Singh with a spade, causing serious injuries. According to Sharan Kaur’s testimony (PW.5), the accused was jealous of her husband’s successful halwai business, which was causing her own business to struggle. This jealousy was the purpose behind the incident.  

The court further observed that Sharan Kaur makes a similarly nebulous statement on this subject. Nothing in the accused’s deposition can persuade the court that the accused would go to the extreme of erecting a ladder against the wall of the home where the deceased Balwinder Singh used to live with his family and then climb up and murder him—that too in front of his family members—just because of this alleged jealousy.  

It was also held that the identity of the second accused, Kulwinder Singh, is not listed as one of the attackers in either the FIR (Exhibit-PG/2) or the application (Exhibit-DA), which was signed by the first informant, Sharan Kaur, and sent to the Chief Minister of Punjab. There is no denying the intimate ties between the first informant and the deceased’s family and the acquitted accused Kulwinder Singh and appellant Kirpal Singh.  

As per the court, given that the first informant stated during her chief interrogation that her son had brought a van to transport her and her husband to the Civil Hospital in Tanda, where the medical officers concluded that her husband had passed away and that she had undergone a medical examination, there is much reason to seriously doubt the veracity of her deposition. Nevertheless, they did not accept this assessment and brought the patient to Bhogpur, where the medical professionals once more confirmed that her spouse had passed away.  

The court observed that the prosecution’s motive story was implausible so as to be taken at face value. After doing a comprehensive investigation, two investigating officers discovered that the original informant, Shawn Kaur, had made up the entire case. Considering that the first informant attempted to implicate Kulwinder Singh through many petitions filed while the investigation was still continuing and even in her testimony during the trial, her actions are not deserving of trust.  

The court, by extending the benefit of the doubt, held the appellant is deserving of being found not guilty. As a consequence, the trial court’s and the high court’s rulings from July 26, 2003, and hereby annulled and set aside, as of February 28, 2008, accordingly. The accused is found not guilty of the allegations. During the course of this appeal, the appellant’s sentence was instructed by this Court to be suspended on August 12, 2011, and he is currently free on bail. The bail bonds are released, and he is not required to surrender.  


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“The Supreme Court addresses fundamental rights, justice, and judicial accountability while disapproving of the High Court’s ruling in a murder case.”

Case Title: Manikandan v. State by The Inspector of Police 

Case No.: CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 407 OF 2019 

Dated On: 5th April, 2024 

Quorum:  Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice Pankaj Mithal 



The case centres on the murder of a man named Balamurugan who resided with his parents. The deceased allegedly gave accused no. 1 instructions to deliver idlis, and later that evening, upon discovering that accused no. 1 had neglected to do so, he went to his residence to confront him, according to the prosecution. 

It seems that his altercation with Accused No. 1 was the cause of the disturbance. The prosecution claims that upon hearing the disturbance, PW-2 (mother of the deceased) and PW-3 (the brother-in-law of the dead) raced over to the location. Accused no. 2 was in the area. Following that, Accused No. 1 went into his home, took a billhook with him, and used it to beat the deceased. The deceased’s right index finger took the first blow. The deceased then fled to a neighbouring property belonging to a Karunanidhi. The accused trailed after him. While accused no. 1 was assaulting the deceased by placing a billhook around his neck, accused no. 2 was holding the deceased. subsequent to that, both the accused ran away. 



The appellants claimed that the initial information report indicated that the incident happened about 10.30 p.m., according to the skilled attorney representing the appellant. That being said, based on the post-mortem reports’ mention of the estimated time of death, it seems that the incident had to have occurred prior to 7 pm. The second claim he makes is that the prosecution primarily examined witnesses who were close to the dead, even though there were other impartial eyewitnesses present. 

In his second admission, he alleges that despite the fact there were numerous unaffiliated eyewitnesses, the prosecution had only decided to question those who were interested and directly connected to the killed.  

He claimed that the post-mortem records revealed the dead had one small cut on his finger and one cut on his neck. He added that there was an unexpected altercation between the dead and the accused number one, and that during that altercation, the accused number one attacked the deceased without any warning. Consequently, he would argue that this is an instance in which Section 300 of the IPC’s Exception 4 will apply, making it an offence under Part 1 of Section 304 of the IPC.  



Asserting that there are no significant inconsistencies or omissions in the evidence of PWs 2 through 5, which instils confidence, was the learned counsel representing the respondent, the State.  

He contended that there was a clear intention on the part of accused no. 1 to assault the deceased, as evidenced by the fact that, following a disagreement with the deceased, he entered his home, brought a billhook, and attacked the victim. Learned counsel argued that the deceased sought to flee after the accused number one struck him once on the index finger.  

The dead was chased by both accused; accuser no. 2 restrained the deceased, and accused no. 1 then fatally struck the deceased in the neck with a billhook. He recommended the exclusion of this case from the provisions of Section 300 of the IPC’s Exception 4. 



S.300 provides the exceptions to Murder. Exception 4- If the crime is done in the midst of a furious argument, without any prior planning, and without the perpetrator taking unfair advantage of the situation or acting in an unusually harsh way, it is considered culpable homicide rather than murder. 

S.302 of The IPC- It prescribes punishment for intentionally causing the death of another person, in simpler terms, Murder. 



The Court pronounced the judgment by initially stating that during PW2’s main cross-examination, she tried to establish a case that the accused had disparaged her daughter-in-law. To be fair, she didn’t say as much in the police-recorded statement. Most significantly, she said during cross-examination by accused no. She stated “Yesterday, my husband, myself, and other witnesses went to the Haridwar Mangalam Police station.” There, we received instruction on how to present evidence from the police.  

The Court further laid down that It is important to remember that PW-1 through PW-5’s evidence was recorded on November 20, 2008. It is evident from this that on November 19, 2008, the first five interested witnesses—PW-1 through PW-5—who were close relatives of the dead were summoned to the police station, where they received instruction from the police on how to make a deposition against the accused. 

 It’s important to remember that the prosecution refrained from asking the witness any questions throughout the re-examination. The investigating officer provided no justification for this. Since the first five witnesses were “taught” how to depose at the Police Station, the court was compelled to proceed on that premise.  

This leads to the situation that appears, which is that PWs 1 through 5 were called to the Police Station and instructed on how to depose exactly one day prior to their testimony being recorded before the Trial Court. What would happen if witnesses in a police station were “taught”? It is conceivable. The cops are clearly trying to influence the material witnesses for the prosecution with this brazen action. As interested witnesses, they were all of them. Since it is quite likely that the aforementioned witnesses received instruction from the police on the previous day. 

The court was rather disappointed by the Police and further, to put it mildly, held that this type of police meddling in the legal system was disturbing. This was a blatant abuse of authority on the part of the police apparatus. The prosecution witness cannot be tutored by the police. Even if there are more eyewitnesses, their statements were concealed, making this behaviour even more terrible.  

The court, while pronouncing the judgment, held that the appellants were wrongfully convicted by both the Sessions Court and the High Court. The appeals were therefore granted. The appellants were found not guilty of the charges brought against them, and the contested judgements and decrees are overturned. Their bail bonds were cancelled.  


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“Fatal Grapple: The Daylight Murder where the Supreme Court upholds S. 302 of the IPC in a heartbreaking case.”

Case Title: Chandan v. The State (Delhi Admn) 

Case No.: Criminal Appeal No.788 OF 2012 

Dated: April, 2024 

Quorum: Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Prasanna B  Varale  


In this case, the appellant (Chandan) was accused of murder. The case was first tried in the High Court of Delhi. Aggrieved by the decision, the case was then appealed to the Supreme Court. It was on May 28, 1993, the deceased (Rakesh) and the accused (Chandan) were walking a few steps ahead of the sister-in-law of the deceased.  

The eyewitness (PW-2) saw the two grappling with each other, and then she witnessed the accused stabbing the deceased multiple times with a knife. Thereafter, he was taken to a nearby clinic and then to Hindu Rao Hospital, where he was declared dead. The post-mortem revealed several ante-mortem injuries, including stab wounds on different parts of the body. 


Throughout the court case, the appellant made a number of arguments. He continued by claiming that the prosecution had not shown that the accused had any motivation for committing the claimed offence. 

This argument is valid, but it’s important to remember that the case mostly depends on eyewitness testimony, which is reliable and rarely influenced by a lack of clear motivation. He added that the defence stressed that there is nothing to undermine the witness’s testimony because this is a daytime murder that was observed by a trustworthy eyewitness (PW-2). Consequently, given the direct sight of the action, the motive itself loses much of its significance. 



The prosecution, according to the respondent, made a point of highlighting the ocular testimony of the trustworthy eyewitness (PW-2) as strong evidence. It is less important to prove a particular purpose when an eyewitness testimony gives the court confidence.  

The eyewitness testimony’s credibility is not greatly impacted by the simple lack of a clear motivation. The prosecution emphasised the type and extent of the deceased’s antemortem injuries. The medical examination revealed many wounds on different parts of the body, consistent with a vicious stabbing attack. Particularly, Injury No. 5 involved the pericardium and the tip of the left ventricle of the heart, penetrating the chest cavity and pointing upward. These wounds were enough to cause death in the ordinary course of nature. 



  1.  Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code: The appellant was convicted under this section, which deals with the offense of murder. It prescribes punishment for intentionally causing the death of another person.  


The case was first tried in the Delhi High Court. The court upheld the conviction of the appellant (Chandan) under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The prosecution’s evidence, which included the accused’s arrest and an Indica automobile with bloodstains from the deceased on the rear seat, was deemed convincing by the trial court. 

The Supreme Court held that the prosecution provided all the evidence necessary to prove the accused’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution had established its case, as both the trial court and the appellate court correctly concluded. The credibility of the eyewitness testimony and the type of antemortem injuries the deceased had sustained were key components of the case. 

 To summarize, the accused was found guilty of murder by the courts because they considered the prosecution’s evidence to be credible. The absence of a clear motivation had no appreciable effect on the case, and the eyewitness testimony was essential in establishing guilt. 

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