V N RATHEESH Vs. STATE OF KERALA
LAWS(SC)-2006-7-129
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: KERALA)
Decided on July 06,2006

V.N.RATHEESH Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF KERALA Respondents





Cited Judgements :-

STATE OF GUJARAT VS. KHATKI YUNUS MAMADBHAI AND ORS [LAWS(GJH)-2013-7-608] [REFERRED TO]
CHHATTISGARH RAJYA VIDYUTA MANDAL COMPANY LIMITED VS. TERAS RAM KAHRA [LAWS(CHH)-2015-1-13] [REFERRED TO]
CHHATTISGARH RAJYA,VIDDUTTA MANDAL VS. KIRAN YADAVA [LAWS(CHH)-2015-1-15] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH THROUGH SPECIAL POLICE EST VS. BABULAL DEWANGAN [LAWS(CHH)-2018-1-19] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH VS. DHANESH SHARMA [LAWS(CHH)-2010-11-15] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF SIKKIM VS. LAKPA TSHERING GENSAPA AND ORS. [LAWS(SIK)-2015-3-5] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF HARYANA VS. SURENDER [LAWS(SC)-2007-6-15] [REFERRED TO]
CHHATTISGARH RAJYA VIDYUTA MANDAL COMPANY LIMITED VS. GANESH RAM DHIWAR [LAWS(CHH)-2015-1-17] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF M P VS. HINSARAM [LAWS(CHH)-2010-3-60] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA VS. HARSINGH BAHUSINGH SABLE [LAWS(BOM)-2008-6-43] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF U P (STATE APPEAL) VS. ILYAS [LAWS(ALL)-2016-4-269] [REFERRED]
STATE OF GUJARAT VS. AMBALAL KALABHAI PARMAR [LAWS(GJH)-2023-4-131] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF U P VS. ATAR SINGH [LAWS(SC)-2007-11-31] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH VS. ROOPCHAND AMULE [LAWS(CHH)-2009-12-20] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF CHHATTISGARH VS. RAM BHAROS RAJWADE [LAWS(CHH)-2012-7-53] [REFERRED TO]
CHHATTISGARH RAJYA,VIDYUTA VITARAN CO LTD VS. LAKSHAMI BAI [LAWS(CHH)-2015-1-12] [REFERRED TO]
ASSISTANT ENGINEER, CHHATTISGARH ELECTRICITY BOARD, SARANGARH VS. UMESH AGRAWAL [LAWS(CHH)-2015-1-16] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF TRIPURA VS. LAXMAN DEBNATH [LAWS(GAU)-2008-4-28] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF GUJARAT VS. MULSHANKAR KHARASHANKAR [LAWS(GJH)-2007-10-259] [REFERRED]
STATE OF GUJARAT VS. AYUBMIYA MOHMMADMIYA MALEK [LAWS(GJH)-2023-6-2087] [REFERRED TO]
THE STATE OF GUJARAT VS. BHARATBHAI DEVABHAI DODIYA [LAWS(GJH)-2016-3-228] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF SIKKIM VS. TEMPA LENDUP LACHENPA [LAWS(SIK)-2014-7-9] [REFERRED TO]
THE STATE OF SIKKIM VS. SHANTI KUMAR SHARMA [LAWS(SIK)-2015-8-4] [REFERRED TO]
RAJENDRA @ RAJAPPA VS. STATE OF KARNATAKA [LAWS(SC)-2021-3-71] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF CHHATTISGARH VS. NANKIRAM DEWANGAN [LAWS(CHH)-2008-2-11] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA VS. RAMESH [LAWS(BOM)-2007-6-40] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF WEST BENGAL VS. HABU GORAIN ALIAS HABUL GORAIN [LAWS(CAL)-2006-11-1] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH VS. S K RASTOGI [LAWS(CHH)-2012-10-26] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF GUJARAT VS. LAKHDHIR RAMSHI AND ORS [LAWS(GJH)-2013-8-282] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF KARNATAKA VS. M RAMA ANKAIAH [LAWS(KAR)-2008-12-11] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH VS. RAM VEER SINGH [LAWS(SC)-2007-9-86] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF M P VS. UDERAM [LAWS(CHH)-2010-10-19] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH VS. SANDEEP MASEEH [LAWS(CHH)-2010-2-13] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA VS. RAMSAI SUKHLAL YADAO [LAWS(BOM)-2007-6-18] [REFERRED TO]
MUNNI VS. STATE OF M.P. [LAWS(SC)-2016-1-120] [REFERRED TO]
ALLI NOUSHAD VS. RASHEED [LAWS(KER)-2022-2-39] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF BIHAR VS. JATASHANKAR PRASAD [LAWS(PAT)-2008-4-71] [REFERRED TO]
HABIB VS. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH [LAWS(SC)-2013-5-2] [REFERRED TO]
SYED PEDA AOWLIA VS. PUBLIC PROSECUTOR HIGH COURT OF A P [LAWS(SC)-2008-6-9] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH NOW CHHATISHGARH VS. VIJAY KUMAR [LAWS(CHH)-2007-3-6] [REFERRED TO]
EXECUTIVE ENGINEER(COMPLAINANT) (O & M) DIVISION VS. MINA DEVI AGRAWALA [LAWS(CHH)-2015-1-14] [REFERRED TO]
CHHATTISGARH RAJYA, VIDYUTA MANDAL VS. RAVISHANKAR PATEL [LAWS(CHH)-2015-1-18] [REFERRED TO]
SUMAN PRAHLAD GHODKE VS. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA [LAWS(BOM)-2007-6-123] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF M.P. VS. SAMARU [LAWS(CHH)-2009-11-50] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF M P VS. BENI RAM REWARAM KEJARAM AND FIRTURAM [LAWS(CHH)-2010-1-19] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF RAJASTHAN VS. NARAYAN [LAWS(SC)-2008-10-54] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA VS. BHIWA BILJI KOKARE [LAWS(BOM)-2007-6-84] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH VS. R K PANDEY [LAWS(CHH)-2009-12-29] [REFERRED TO]
CHHATTISGARH RAJYA,VIDDUTA MANDAL VS. SUBHASH KUMAR PRAJAPATI [LAWS(CHH)-2015-1-11] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH VS. NIVEDANLAL [LAWS(CHH)-2010-2-14] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

Arijit Pasayat, J. - (1.)Appellant calls in question legality of the judgment rendered by a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court upsetting the order of acquittal passed by learned Sessions Judge Kasaragod, Kerala. Appellant faced trial for alleged commission of offence punishable under Section 302 Indian Penal Code, 1860 (in short the IPC). According to the prosecution on 23-12-1994 at about 11.15 a.m. he stabbed one Narayanan (hereinafter referred to as the deceased) to death at the private bus stand. The High Court by the impugned judgment held that the order of acquittal passed by the trial court was not proper and the appellant was convicted for the offence punishable under Section 304 Part I IPC and sentenced to undergo seven years rigorous imprisonment. The prosecution version as unfolded during trial was as follows :
(2.)On 23-12-1994 at 11.15 a.m. the accused stabbed deceased to death at the private bus stand, Kanhangad. On Ext.P1 complaint of H.R. Ashokan (PW1) and V.K. Raghavan (PW 9), Sub-Inspector of Police, Kanhangad Police Station, registered Ext. P.9 F.I.R. in Crime No. 648 of 1994. The accused had been taken to the police station by PW1 and another, from whom MO1 dagger and MO2 sheath were seized under Ext.P2 mahazar, which was attested by K. Kanna (PW4), who was allegedly an eye witness. PW 9 also visited the scene of incident where PW4 gave the details. P. Habib Rahiman (PW10), Circle inspector took over the investigation at about 2.45 p.m. on the same day. He held inquest over the dead body from the mortuary of the District Hospital, Kanhangad and gave his findings in Ext.P.11, inquest report, under which MOs.3 and 4, clothes worn by the deceased, were seized. Dr. C.V. Jayarajan (PW8), Asst. Surgeon, District Hospital, Kanhangad, conducted the post-mortem and he set out his findings in Ext.P8 post-mortem certificate. The accused was arrested, produced before the Magistrate and he was remanded. Witnesses were questioned, statements recorded and final report was filed against him for the aforesaid offence. He pleaded not guilty to the charge, whereupon prosecution examined ten witnesses, marked sixteen exhibits and MOs. 1 to 4. When questioned under Sections 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (in short the Cr.P.C.) he denied the incident as alleged, gave his own version and said that the deceased Tharingil Sunny (PW 2) and others never let him live in peace, that on 19-8-1994 they trespassed into his house, assaulted him, his wife and children. He was hospitalized for treatment of the injuries sustained. On his complaint a case was also registered against them. He had to leave the place and take up residence in another place. On the ill-fated day he had come to Kanhangad for purchasing some articles for his pilgrimage to Sabarimala and medicines for his child. At the bus stand the seven accused persons, against whom he had filed complaint, along with Aravindakshan (PW3) and one Pappan, surrounded and attacked him. The deceased held him and he was assaulted by one Kutty. He tried to wriggle out to escape, when PW2 tried to stab him the blow accidentally fell upon the deceased. He denied that he inflicted injuries upon him as alleged, and maintained his innocence. He further stated that the local police was inimical towards him following a complaint filed by him against the then C.I. and three police constables. The investigation was one sided and biased. Exts. D1 to 3 were marked, but no witness was examined in defence.
(3.)The trial court after consideration of the evidence brought on record came to hold that so far as the eye witnesses PWs 2 and 3 were concerned, there was great deal of discrepancy in their version about the incident. PW.4 who was stated to be an eye witness did not support the prosecution case. Therefore, it was held that even if the discrepant part of his evident is eschewed then also his evidence was not credible and did not inspire confidence. Similarly the evidence of PW1 did not inspire confidence. The trial court observed that on a conjoint reading of the evidence of PWs 2 and 3 it is clear that their version improbablised the scenario described by the prosecution. The conduct of PW3 was also indicated to be highly suspicious. It was further noted that a friend of PW3, i.e. Pappan (father of Sasi and Saji) who was also stated to be standing by his side also resorted to the same unusual conduct i.e. leaving the deceased who had allegedly received knife blows even without caring to ascertain as to what had happened. Though there cannot be any universal standard as to how a witness would react, but in this case even after the accused had left the place of occurrence they did not care to ascertain as to what had happened to the deceased. Though this itself is not a determinative factor, the trial Court has rightly considered this to be a suspicious factor. The trial Court also referred to various other circumstances which clearly ruled out the presence of PWs 2 and 3. Highlighting the deficiencies in the prosecution evidence the trial Court directed acquittal. In the appeal filed by the State, the High Court came to hold that the discrepancies as pointed out by the trial Court were trivial and so called discrepancies were immaterial and insufficient to disbelieve them. Unfortunately the High Court did not analyse the evidence and in a very cryptic manner discarded the conclusions of the trial Court.


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