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Motive (Criminal Law)

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This query is : Resolved


Author : Anantalf

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:29

The various factors for the motive and their relevance in Murder and other crimes.




Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:31

Motive—Absence of—Circumstantial evidence on record found to be sufficient to prove the guilt—Absence of motive is of no consequence.

It may be that the prosecution was not able to prove the motive for the crime, but that could not possibly matter when the circumstantial evidence on the record was sufficient to prove, beyond any doubt, that it was the respondent and no one else who intentionally caused the death.

The State of Madhya Pradesh v. Digvijay Singh, 1981 CrLJ 1278 : 1981 AIR (SC) 1740 : 1979 SCC (Cr) 717

Motive—Absence of—Existence of direct evidence proving the complicity of accused—Absence of proof of motive irrelevant.

Podda Narayana and others v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 1975 CrLJ 1062 : 1975 (4) SCC 153 : 1975 CrLR (SC) 335 : 1975 CAR 168

Motive—Absence of—It does not affect the credibility of an eye witness proved to be reliable.

Shivaji Genu Mohite v. State of Maharashtra, 1973 CrLJ 159 : 1973 AIR (SC) 55 : 1973(3) SCC 219 : 1973 Cr LR (SC) 268

Motive—Absence of—Proof of motive lends additional support to the finding of guilt by absence does not necessarily lead to contrary conclusion of acquittal.

Atley v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 1955 AIR SC 807 : 1955 CrLJ 1653 : 1956 All WR 483

Motive—Absence of—The prosecution case cannot be thrown over board merely because motive is not established.

Be that as it may, the failure of the prosecution to establish the motive for the crime does not mean that the entire prosecution case has to be thrown over-board. It only casts a duty on the court to scrutinize the other evidence, particularly of the eye-witnesses, with greater care.

Nachhittar Singh v. The State of Punjab, 1975 CrLJ 66 : 1975 AIR (SC) 118: 1974 CAR 307 : 1975 (3) SCC 266

Motive—Absence of—Unnatural conduct—Appreciation of evidence— Deceased wife of accused—Deceased was under medical treatment—No reliable evidence of any torture and demand for dowry—F.I.R. recorded much after incident—No body objected to cremation —Mother present at cremation ground never came to witness box—Prosecution failed to establish its case—Accused acquitted.

The deceased may have been married only a year back before the incident, but deceased was a 36 years old lady and who according to her own letters was under treatment. From her own letters the nature of the illness is not clear. At the same time, there is no reliable evidence whatsoever of any torture and muchless about the demand for dowry. The father did not have a penny to spare. Three of the children had been adopted out. The whole story of Harbans Singh, P.W. 3, as to what transpired at the house of the deceased or in the cremation is belied by Kishan Lal, P.W. 5. What the brother noticed in the house also does not figure in the F.I.R. Apparently, the F.I.R. was recorded much after the incident and with due deliberations between father and brother but the FIR is silent. Nobody raised any objection to the cremation. The mother who was present at the time of cremation and at the house of the deceased never came in the witness box to support her son. Prosecution has failed to prove ill-treatment or torture of the deceased before her death and or any demand of further dowry and thus the prosecution has failed to establish its own case. We are thus constrained to allow the appeal, set aside the judgments of the Courts below and acquit the appellants.

Lekh Ram and Brij Lal v. State of Punjab, 1992 CrLJ 1930 : 1992 Cr LR (SC) 394 : 1992(2) Crimes 66 : 1992 (2) CCR 20

Motive—Absence of—Where offence can be proved by evidence, absence of motive cannot be of any assistance to the defence of accused.

Datar Singh v. The State of Punjab, 1974 CrLJ 908 : 1974 AIR (SC) 1193 : 1975 (4) SCC 272 : 1974 (2) SCR 808



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:31

Motive—Absence of proof—Failure to prove motive not fatal as a matter of law—Proof of motive never indispensible for conviction—Absence of proof of motive does not break the link in the chain of the circumstances.

The case is based on circumstantial evidence and motive being absent, the prosecution failed to establish this important link in the chain of circumstances to connect the accused. We find no force in the contention. Undoubtedly in cases of circumstantial evidences motive bears important significance. Motive always locks up in the mind of the accused and some time it is difficult to unlock. People do not act wholly without motive. The failure to discover the motive of an offence does not signify its non-existence. The failure to prove motive is not fatal as a matter of law. Proof of motive is never an indispensable for conviction. When facts are clear it is immaterial that no motive has been proved. Therefore, absence of proof of motive does not break the link in the chain of circumstances connecting the accused with the crime, nor militates against the prosecution case.

Mulakh Raj etc. v. Satish Kumar and others, 1992 CrLJ 1529 : 1992 AIR (SC) 1175 : 1992 SCC (Cr) 482 : 1992 Cr LR (SC) 423 : 1992(2) Crimes 130 : 1992 (2) CCR 41



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:32

Motive—Acquittal of co-accused—Prosecution case based on common motive of all accused persons—Acquittal of co-accused for want of sufficient evidence including motive—Accused is also entitled to acquittal.

The Medical Officer Dr. K.L. Passi (P.W. 1), found that there were only two incised wounds on the person of Sardari Lal. One of them was a cut of the frontal and left parietal bones, and the other was a cut of the left parietal bone. The parol evidence on the record however was to the effect that accused Khazan Singh, Gurdial Singh and Kasturi Lal were all armed with axes and inflicted injuries on the head of the deceased with them. The presence of only two incised injuries was therefore a fact which did not corroborate the evidence of the witnesses, and that was why the High Court took the view that a finding could not be recorded beyond all reasonable doubt that Khazan Singh and Gurdial Singh participated in the crime.

It would thus appear that the evidence regarding motive was common to all the accused and was not confined to appellant Kasturi Lal who could not be said to have a motive different from the acquitted accused Khazan Singh and Gurdial Singh. Then there is the further fact that all three of them were not found to have received any injuries in the alleged incident so that their cases were not different in that respect also.

Kasturi Lal v. The State of Haryana, 1976 CrLJ 1574 : 1976 AIR (SC) 2042 : 1976 (3) SCC 570 : 1976 CrLR (SC) 275 : 1976 CAR 226



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:33

Motive—Attempted rape—Accused unsuccessful in attempt, throttling the woman—There is sufficient motive for murder.

There can be very little doubt that he wanted to ravish her. His attempt was frustrated by the timely arrival of Balu Bhau and the lady running away from the place crying. He did not throttle her because he felt pity on seeing her crying. He throttled her because the crying indicated that there was future trouble for him. Indeed he would have ravish her but for the arrival of Balu Bhau. He was frustrated in his attempt. On top of it the woman was crying which foreboded bad days for him and that was why he throttled her.

The State of Maharashtra v. Manglya Dhavu Kongil, 1972 CrLJ 570: 1972 AIR (SC) 1797 : 1972 (3) SCC 46



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:34

Motive—Circumstantial evidence—Facts are clear—No motive has been proved—Immaterial—Proof of motive never an indispensable factor for conviction.

The evidence on record is not sufficient to arrive at an immediate motive to commit the crime and the case depends on circumstantial evidence. But in circumstantial evidence also when the facts are clear it is immaterial that no motive has been proved. men do not act wholly without motive. Failure to discover the motive of the offence does not signify the non-existence of the crime. The failure to discover motive by appropriate clinching evidence may be a weakness in the proof of the prosecution case, but it is not necessarily fatal as a matter of law. Proof of motive is never an indispensable factor for conviction.

Relied upon Atley v. State of U.P., AIR 1955 SC 807 : 1955 Cri LJ 1653, this court held that where there is clear evidence that the person has committed the offence, it is immaterial where no motive for commission of the crime has been shown. Therefore, even in the case of circumstantial evidence, absence of motive which may be one of the strongest links to connect the chain would not necessarily become fatal provided the other circumstances would complete the chain and connect the accused with the commission of the offence, leaving no room for reasonable doubt, even from the proved circumstances.

Ganesh Lal v. State of Maharashtra, 1992 CrLJ 1545 : 1992 CAR 279 : 1992 CrLR (SC) 433 : 1992(2) Crimes 161 : 1992 (2) CCR 48



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:36

Motive—Circumstantial evidence—Facts are clear—No motive has been proved—Immaterial—Proof of motive never an indispensable factor for conviction.

The evidence on record is not sufficient to arrive at an immediate motive to commit the crime and the case depends on circumstantial evidence. But in circumstantial evidence also when the facts are clear it is immaterial that no motive has been proved. men do not act wholly without motive. Failure to discover the motive of the offence does not signify the non-existence of the crime. The failure to discover motive by appropriate clinching evidence may be a weakness in the proof of the prosecution case, but it is not necessarily fatal as a matter of law. Proof of motive is never an indispensable factor for conviction.

Relied upon Atley v. State of U.P., AIR 1955 SC 807 : 1955 Cri LJ 1653, this court held that where there is clear evidence that the person has committed the offence, it is immaterial where no motive for commission of the crime has been shown. Therefore, even in the case of circumstantial evidence, absence of motive which may be one of the strongest links to connect the chain would not necessarily become fatal provided the other circumstances would complete the chain and connect the accused with the commission of the offence, leaving no room for reasonable doubt, even from the proved circumstances.

Ganesh Lal v. State of Maharashtra, 1992 CrLJ 1545 : 1992 CAR 279 : 1992 CrLR (SC) 433 : 1992(2) Crimes 161 : 1992 (2) CCR 48



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:37

Motive—Conviction of accused persons in an earlier case for rape—Victims deposing against the accused persons—It constitutes a motive as per the threat held out by the accused persons.

Nirmal Singh and another v. State of Haryana, 1999 CrLJ 1836 : 1999 AIR (SC) 1221 : 1999 SCC (Cr) 472 : 1999 CAR 226 : 1999(2) Crimes 25 : 1999(2) BomLR 241



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:38

Motive—Demand of dowry—Place, time of incident and evidence of doctor proves the prosecution case beyond reasonable doubt—And rules out the possibility of accidental burn injuries—Held that the Courts below rightly concluded that deceased met with a homicidal death and accused were responsible for the same.

Rekha Rani (PW 1) and Karnal Gola (PW 2) testified several instances where the appellants taunted Pratibha by saying that A-3 had better proposals who were prepared to give dowry of rupees two lakhs but they had accepted her proposal. The witnesses further stated that Pratibha always used to complain that members of her in-laws family often made humiliating remarks as regards the poor quality of gifts of meagre value given at the time of marriage. In the facts of this case such remarks in our opinion undoubtedly connected with harassment on account of insufficient dowry. There are ways and ways to express the demand of dowry. One adopted by the appellants could by said to be a sophisticated one without using the word "dowry".

After careful scrutiny of the prosecution evidence on record and the statements of the appellants under Section 313, Cr.P.C. we have no hesitation in accepting the findings of the Courts below that Pratibha sustained burn injuries in her matrimonial home which was a convenient place and opportune time for the accused to commit the offence in question.

Evidence of Dr. Parmar clearly indicated otherwise. Moreover, the fact that a piece of cloth was found in the mouth militates against the accused and completely rules out the possibility of accidental burn injuries. The Court below in our opinion have rightly concluded that Pratibha met with a homicidal death and the appellants were responsible for the same.

Baldev Krishan etc. v. State of Haryana, 1997 CrLJ 1162 : 1997 AIR (SC) 1666 : 1997 (2) Crimes 1 (SC) : 1997 SCC (Cr) 575 : 1997 Cr LR (SC) 361 : 1997 (1) CCR 203



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:39

Motive—Direct evidence—Murderous assault has been established by clear ocular evidence—Motive pales into insignificance.

When the occurrence was spoken to by eye-witness and the same was supported by Medical Report, it will not be necessary to investigate the motive behind such commission of offence. In other words, where a murderous assault has been established by clear ocular evidence, motive pales into insignificance.

Baitullah and another v. State of U.P., 1997 CrLJ 4644 : 1997 AIR (SC) 3946 : 1997 Cr LR (SC) 766 : 1997 (4) Crimes 90 : 1997 All LJ 2231



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:39

Motive—Doubt about the motive to murder—Conviction modified to Section 304 Part I.

The materials available create considerable doubt in our mind as to whether the appellants really intended to kill Kishore Singh or whether his misconduct pushed them to wreak revenge against the deceased and in this pursuit attacked him. We are not unmindful of the fact that the 7th injury noted in the post-mortem certificate is in the ordinary course sufficient to cause the death of the deceased. But we are not fully satisfied that the appellants intended to kill the deceased. The correct approach on the evidence and other circumstances in this case would, according to us, be to find the accused guilty under Section 304, Part I, and to sentence them under that section.

Gurdip Singh and another v. State of Punjab, 1987 CrLJ 987 : 1987 AIR (SC) 1151: 1987 CrLR (SC) 182 : 1987 CAR 143 : 1987 SCC (Cr) 267



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:40

Motive—Effect of—If proved or established it affords a key to scan the evidence in that prospective and as a satisfactory circumstance of corroboration.

In a case when motive alleged against the accused is fully established, it provides a foundational material to connect the chain of circumstances. We hold that if motive is proved or established, it affords a key or pointer, to scan the evidence in the case, in that perspective and as a satisfactory circumstance of corroboration. It is a very relevant, and important aspect, (a) to highlight the intention of the accused and (b) the approach to be made in appreciating the totality of the circumstances, including the evidence disclosed in the case.

Prem Kumar and another v. State of Bihar, 1995 CrLJ 2634 : 1995 SCC (Cr) 445 : 1995(3) Crimes 133 : 1995(2) CCR 9

Motive—Effect of—Person other than accused also sharing the motive for murder—Conviction on accused on circumstantial evidence is not permissible.

The motive alleged in this case would operate not only on the appellant but on his father as well. From the mere production of the blood stained articles by the appellant one cannot come to the conclusion that the appellant committed the murder. Even if somebody else had committed the murder and the blood stained articles had been kept in the house, the appellant might produce the blood stained articles when interrogated by the Sub-Inspector of Police. It cannot be said that the fact of production is consistent only with the guilt of the appellant and inconsistent with his innocence. We are of the opinion that the chain of circumstantial evidence is not complete in this case and the prosecution has unfortunately left missing links, probably because the prosecution adopted the shortcut of ascribing certain statements to the appellant which were clearly inadmissible.

Prabho v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 1963(2) CrLJ 182 : 1963 AIR (SC) 1113 : 1963 (2) SCR 881 : 1962 All Cri R 468 : 65 Pun LR 339 : 1963 MLJ (Cri) 365



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:40

Motive—Effect of—If proved or established it affords a key to scan the evidence in that prospective and as a satisfactory circumstance of corroboration.

In a case when motive alleged against the accused is fully established, it provides a foundational material to connect the chain of circumstances. We hold that if motive is proved or established, it affords a key or pointer, to scan the evidence in the case, in that perspective and as a satisfactory circumstance of corroboration. It is a very relevant, and important aspect, (a) to highlight the intention of the accused and (b) the approach to be made in appreciating the totality of the circumstances, including the evidence disclosed in the case.

Prem Kumar and another v. State of Bihar, 1995 CrLJ 2634 : 1995 SCC (Cr) 445 : 1995(3) Crimes 133 : 1995(2) CCR 9

Motive—Effect of—Person other than accused also sharing the motive for murder—Conviction on accused on circumstantial evidence is not permissible.

The motive alleged in this case would operate not only on the appellant but on his father as well. From the mere production of the blood stained articles by the appellant one cannot come to the conclusion that the appellant committed the murder. Even if somebody else had committed the murder and the blood stained articles had been kept in the house, the appellant might produce the blood stained articles when interrogated by the Sub-Inspector of Police. It cannot be said that the fact of production is consistent only with the guilt of the appellant and inconsistent with his innocence. We are of the opinion that the chain of circumstantial evidence is not complete in this case and the prosecution has unfortunately left missing links, probably because the prosecution adopted the shortcut of ascribing certain statements to the appellant which were clearly inadmissible.

Prabho v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 1963(2) CrLJ 182 : 1963 AIR (SC) 1113 : 1963 (2) SCR 881 : 1962 All Cri R 468 : 65 Pun LR 339 : 1963 MLJ (Cri) 365



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:41

Motive—Effect on sentence—Likelihood of provocation—Non-disclosure of all relevant facts—Extreme penalty of death should not be imposed.

Devendra Singh v. State of U.P., 1971 CrLJ 1283 : 1971 AIR (SC) 1759 : 1972(4) SCC 146 : 1971 CAR 357



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:41

Motive—Enmity between parties—Absence of recovery of property looted from the accused persons, by itself is not sufficient to hold that accused were not culprit.

Om Prakash and others etc. v. State of U.P., 1983 CrLJ 831 : 1983 AIR (SC) 431 : 1983 CrLR (SC) 287 : 1983 CAR 219 : 1983 SCC (Cr) 475 : 1983 All LJ 830



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:42

Motive—Existence of—Alleged dispute over bequeath of property by Will—No material to show that accused knew about Will—Plea of want of motive rejected.

Darshan Singh and another v. State of Punjab, 1988 CrLJ 909 : 1988 AIR (SC) 747 : 1988 SCC (Cr) 214 : 1988 CAR 62 : 1988 CrLR (SC) 105 : 1988 (1) Crimes 582



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:42

Motive—Flimsy motive—Offence proved by credible witnesses—Absence of proof of motive of offence does not affect prosecution case.

The fact that the apparent motive was too flimsy is no reply to the unshaken testimony of creditable and natural eye-witnesses who had no motive whatsoever to implicate the appellant falsely. It was also sought to be shown that the appellant Faqira and Shiamlal had not been on good terms with each other and would not, ordinarily, join in an attack on Chhanga. This suggestion was made as Faqira was shown to have got Shiamlal arrested in some gambling case. We, however, do not think that this is a ground to disbelieve the prosecution case.

Faqira v. State of U.P., 1976 CrLJ 677 : 1976 AIR (SC) 915 : 1976 CAR 28 : 1976 CrLR (SC) 23 : 1976 SCC (Cr) 151



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:43

Motive—Homicide—Absence—Circum- stantial evidence—Deceased aunt of the accused in same age group living in the house for 8/10 days prior to occurrence—No attempt to molest or outrage the modesty of the deceased was made—No motive on part of accused to murder the deceased—Witnesses reaching the spot found the accused standing nearby the dead body though ample opportunity to run away—Prosecution not able to prove charge against accused beyond doubt—Accused acquitted.

Witness who reached the spot thereafter found the appellant standing nearby the dead body and crying. It may, therefore, be reasonable to infer that the appellant was present at the time and place of occurrence but this circumstance alone is not sufficient to conclude that it was the appellant who fired the gun-shot and he did so with the intention of killing the deceased. The appellant and the deceased were living in the house for about 8/10 days prior to the occurrence. There is no evidence to show that he ever made any sexual advances towards the deceased. It is no body's case that before the gun-shot was fired any attempt to molest or outrage the modesty of the deceased was made. The appellant did not run away from the place of occurrence though he had ample opportunity to do so. There is nothing on the record to show that he could handle the gun. His telling Mahadeo while crying "run uncle what has happened" shows that the happening was beyond his comprehension. It could be an accident while fiddling with the gun.

There is absolutely no motive on the part of the appellant to murder the deceased. Absence of motive may not be relevant in a case where the evidence is overwhelming but it is a plus point for the accused in a case where the evidence against him is only circumstantial.

The appellant, on the date of occurrence, was a young boy and the deceased was his aunt in the same age group. Both were children as defined under the Children Act, 1960.

When presumption of juvenile innocence is sought to be displaced by the prosecution on the basis of circumstantial evidence the circumstances must unmistakably prove the guilt beyond doubt.

We have not been able to dispel our doubts. We are satisfied that the prosecution has not been able to prove the charge against the appellant beyond doubt. We, therefore, allow the appeal and set aside the conviction and sentence of the appellant and acquit him.

Sakharam v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 1992 CrLJ 861 : 1992 AIR (SC) 758 : 1992 SCC (Cr) 383 : 1992 CAR 139 : 1992 Cr LR (SC) 266 : 1992 (1) CCR 886



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:44

Motive—Illicit relationship between mother of accused and deceased—Both the accused persons together causing the injuries corroborated by eye-witnesses—Common intention to murder established—Corroboration by independent witness is not necessary when attempt to invite independent witnesses remained unsuccessful—Conviction, affirmed.

We have, therefore, gone through the evidence of the two eye-witnesses. We find that their evidence is consistent and does not suffer from any infirmity which would create any doubt regarding their having seen the incident. Both the Courts below were also of the same view. They had no reason to falsely involve the respondents if they were really not the assailants. The eye-witnesses have stated that Bhola Singh have given two blows with a kirpan on back of the knee of the deceased and Mithu Singh had given on gandasa blow on his right leg and after the deceased had fallen down they had given two or three more blows on the back of his leg. The trial Court held that the two injuries found on the head and neck of the deceased were caused by Bhola Singh and if Mithu Singh had given two or three blows to the deceased after he had fallen down then there should have been two or three more injuries on the person of the deceased. As there were only five injuries on the person of the deceased the trial Court held that the evidence of the eye-witnesses as regards the blow stated to have been given by Mithu Singh after the deceased had fallen down stood contradicted by medical evidence. It also held that the injury on the right leg of the deceased could have been caused by a fall. It, therefore, gave benefit of doubt to Mithu Singh and acquitted him. The High Court was of the view that it was not proved beyond doubt by the prosecution that the injuries on the head and the neck of the deceased were caused by Bhola Singh alone or by Mithu Singh alone or by both of them together. What the trial Court and the High Court failed to appreciate was that both Bhola Singh and Mithu Singh had come together to the place where the deceased was working along with his brother PW-3 Gamdoor Singh and PW-4 Bhura Singh. Both of them had assaulted the deceased before he had fallen down. The injuries stated to have been caused by Mithu Singh on the right calf was corroborated by the medical evidence. It was, therefore, not at all proper to reject the evidence of the eye-witnesses as regards the said injury caused by Mithu Singh on the ground that the said injury was also possible by a fall. Thus presence and participation by both Bhola Singh and Mithu Singh was proved by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt. Both of them had common animus against the deceased as they had not liked his illicit intimacy with their mother. It was also not correct not to accept the evidence of the eye-witnesses on the ground that no injury was found on the person of the deceased as a result of any blow having been given to him by Mithu Singh after he had fallen down on the ground. They had not stated that the blows given by him had in fact caused injuries to the deceased. It was quite likely, as the deceased was till then not seriously injured, that the deceased had avoided those blows. Even while proceeding on the basis that no further blows were given by Mithu Singh after the deceased had fallen down on the ground it ought to have been appreciated that the said circumstance could not have made any difference as regards his guilt as both of them were acting in furtherance of their common intention. The words uttered when they saw the deceased near that place were that they would teach a lesson to him for having illicit relations with their mother and they clearly indicated their intention to finish him.

It was also contended by the learned counsel for the respondents that not a single independent witness from the locality was examined by the prosecution to prove its case. We do not find any substance in this contention also. The evidence of the Investigating Officer (PW-7) discloses that the place where the incident took place was little away from Sunam Town as one had to pass through the market and then reach that place. He has also stated that when he along with other police personnel had reached that place none was present there. PW-10 the Sub-Inspector who had accompanied him has also stated that he could not record statement of any person residing nearby as the women folk had closed the doors of their houses and they had refused to come out even though they were called for the purpose of recording their statements. It is, therefore, not correct to say that no attempt was made by the Investigating Officer to find out whether any independent witnesses had seen the incident or not. As none had come forward as an eye-witness no independent person could have been examined as a eye-witness.

State of Punjab v. Bhola Singh and another, 1998 CrLJ 2836 : 1998 AIR (SC) 1983 : 1998 SCC (Cr) 1351 : 1998(2) Crimes 263 : 1998 UP CrR 547 : 1998 CAR 295



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:44

Motive—Joint property—Accused injuring step brother and killing the father over a dispute relating to distribution of property—Defence of accused that his step mother was responsible for shooting not supported by any reason of motive—Such defence is not available to accused.

The accused stated that PW 2 had removed his licenced revolver from below the pillow of his bed and had used the same in the commission of the crime. We find it difficult to believe this part of the defence version for the simple reason that PW 2 had no reason, whatsoever, to fire at her son PW 11 or at the deceased since the latter had tried to protect her interest by refusing a share to the accused in the lands transferred to her name.

The accused has stated in his statement that his step-mother had killed his father with his revolver and PW 11 received the injury when he tried to intervene. It is, therefore, obvious from this statement that even according to the accused the weapon of attack was his revolver. The report of the Director of Forensic Science Laboratory confirmed that it was the same weapon from which the extracted bullet was fired. According to PW 17 the accused surrendered his revolver along with seven live cartridges. If PW 2 had, in fact, removed the revolver as alleged and had used it, it is difficult to understand how she came in possession of seven live cartridges also because it is not the case of the accused that he had left the live cartridges also under his pillow. Therefore, the story that PW 2 removed the revolver belonging to the accused and used it in the commission of the crime is, to say the least, thoroughly got up and imaginary.

Kanti Kumari Roy v. Suresh Kumar Roy and others, 1990 CrLJ 1630 : 1990 AIR (SC) 1631 : 1990 SCC (Cr) 546 : 1990 CAR 194 : 1990 CrLR (SC) 682 : 1990(3) Crimes 233

Motive—Joint property—Dispute about allocation of shares in the property—Accused sharply reacting to inequitable distribution—It constitute sufficient motive for murder.

Mst. Dalbir Kaur and others v. State of Punjab, 1977 CrLJ 273 : 1977 AIR (SC) 472 : 1976 CrLR (SC) 417 : 1976 SCC (Cr) 527 : 1977 Mad LJ (Cr) 50



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:45

Motive—Murder—Doubtful identification of some of accused persons who also could not be ascribed with any motive, are entitled to acquittal.

George and others v. State of Kerala and another, 1998 CrLJ 2034 : 1998 AIR (SC) 1376 : 1998(2) Crimes 27 : 1998 CrLR (SC) 305 : 1998 (36) All CrC 739 : 1998 SCC (Cr) 1232



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:46

Motive—Necessity of—Crime alleged to have been committed by accused as proved by truthful witnesses—The prosecution cannot fail for want of motive on the part of accused.

This is not to say that even if the witnesses are truthful, the prosecution must fail for the reason that the motive of the crime is difficult to find. For the matter of that, it is never incumbent on the prosecution to prove the motive for the crime. And often times, a motive is indicated to heighten the probability that the offence was committed by the person who was impelled by that motive. But, if the crime is alleged to have been committed for a particular motive, it is relevant to inquire whether the pattern of the crime fits in with the alleged motive.

The State of U.P. v. Hari Prasad and others, 1974 CrLJ 1274 : 1974 AIR (SC) 1740 : 1974 (3) SCC 673

Motive—Necessity of—Distinction between offence under Section 161, 162 and 165 of IPC vis-a-vis Section 5 of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947—Acceptance of pecuniary advantage— Subsequent conduct or motive to favour is not necessary for conviction under Section 5 of the Act of 1947.

The word "obtains", on which much stress was laid does not eliminate the idea of acceptance of what is given or offered to be given, though it connotes also an element of effort on the part of the receiver.

One may accept money that is offered, or solicit payment of a bribe, or extort the bribe by threat or coercion; in each case, he obtains a pecuniary advantage by abusing his position as a public servant.

If a man obtains a pecuniary advantage by the abuse of his position, he will be guilty under sub-clause (d). Sections 161, 162 and 163 refer to a motive or a reward for doing or forbearing to do some thing, showing favour or disfavour to any person, or for inducing such conduct by the exercise of personal influence. It is not necessary for an offence under Clause (c) to prove all this. It is enough if by abusing his position as a public servant a man obtains for himself any pecuniary advantage, entirely irrespective of motive or reward for showing favour or disfavour.

Ram Krishan and another v. State of Delhi, 1956 AIR SC 476 : 1956 CrLJ 837 : 1956 SCR 182

Motive—Necessity of—If the murderous assault by the accused is established by clear and clinching evidences by the eye-witnesses, it will not be necessary to investigate the motive behind such commission of offence.

Kuriakose v. State of Kerala, 1995 CrLJ 2687 : 1994 SCC (Cr) 614 : 1994(1) Crimes 935 : 1994(1) CCR 132

Motive—Necessity of—In a case which is based on circumstantial evidence, motive for committing the crime on the part of the accused assumes greater importance.

Normally, there is a motive behind every criminal act and that is why investigating agency as well as the Court while examining the complicity of an accused try to ascertain as to what was the motive on the part of the accused to commit the crime in question. It has been repeatedly pointed out by this Court that where the case of the prosecution has been proved beyond all reasonable doubts on basis of the materials produced before the Court, the motive loses its importance. But in a case which is based on circumstantial evidence, motive for committing the crime on the part of the accused assumes greater importance. Of course, if each of the circumstances proved on behalf of the prosecution is accepted by the Court for purpose of recording a finding that it was the accused who committed the crime in question, even in absence of proof of a motive for commission of such a crime, the accused can be convicted. But the investigating agency as well as the Court should ascertain as far as possible as to what was the immediate impelling motive on the part of the accused which led him to commit the crime in question.

Tarseem Kumar v. The Delhi Administration, 1995 CrLJ 470 : 1994 AIR (SC) 2585 : 1994 SCC (Cr) 1735 : 1994(3) Crimes

Motive—Necessity of—It is not necessary for prosecution to prove motive in every case.

It is undisputed that some bad blood existed between the deceased on the one hand and the appellants on the other prior to the occurrence. The animosity may not have been very bitter but then it is too much to say that it could not possibly form a motive for the occurrence. The variation in human nature being so vast, murders are known to have have actuated by much lesser motives. In any case, it is not a since qua non for the success of the prosecution that the motive must be proved. So long as the other evidence remains convincing and is not open to reasonable doubt a conviction may well be based on it.

Krishna Pillai Sree Kumar and another v. State of Kerala, 1981 CrLJ 743 : 1981 AIR (SC) 1237 : 1981 CAR 203 : 1981 CrLR (SC) 252 : 1981 SCC (Cr) 669 : 1981 Ker LT 317

Motive—Necessity of—Murder by husband and his relatives—Demand of dowry alleged to be motive, not proved—Extra judicial confession by accused uncorroborated and untrust- worthy—Accused entitled to benefit of doubt.

Motive is a vital issue and evidence adduced by the prosecution in that behalf is not satisfactory and there are certain inherent improbabilities which were overlooked by the Courts below.

In this view of the matter, it is very difficult to accept the evidence of Jaspal Singh (PW 3) and Sahib Singh (PW-4) on the issue of ill-treatment meted out to Surinder Kaur and a cause for administering the poison to her. Surinder Kaur was studied up to Matriculation and a knowledgeable girl. During the period of seven and a half months of her marital life, at no stage such a demand of Bullet Motor Cycle was even insisted by A-1 or any other accused. If this be so, in our opinion, motive sought to be relied upon by the prosecution cannot be said to have been proved.

Coming to the next circumstance, namely, the extra-judicial confession alleged to have been made by the appellants to Bharpur Singh, the prosecution had not chosen to examine him as a witness at the trial. One Bagicha Singh (PW 7) was examined who in his evidence has stated that on 10th November, 1985 at about 11.00 a.m., he had gone to the house of Bharpur Singh for some work and at that time both the appellants had come to his house, they were nervous and when he (Bharpur Singh) inquired from them the reason, Amarjit Singh (A-1) told that they had committed the murder of Surinder Kaur on October 27, 1985. During the cross-examination, several material omissions were brought on record. He had not stated before the police that he was on visiting terms with Bharpur Singh or A-1 and A-2. The evidence of this witness is full of material omissions. If this witness was not close to the appellants it is extremely doubtful whether they would confess the guilt in his presence. The Courts below have overlooked this aspect and erroneously held that the prosecution has proved the extra-judicial confession alleged to have been made by the appellants. In our considered view, it is not safe to accept this evidence in the absence of corroboration.

We are constrained to give benefit of doubt to both the appellants.

Amarjit Singh v. State of Punjab, 1997 CrLJ 69 : 1997 AIR (SC) 221 : 1996(4) Crimes 154 (SC) : 1997 SCC (Cr) 255 : 1997 (34) All Cr C 244

Motive—Necessity of—Positive evidence—Where the positive evidence against the accused is clear, cogent and reliable, the question of motive is of no importance.

Jarnail Singh and another v. State of Haryana, 1993 CrLJ 1656 : 1993 CrLR (SC) 185 : 1993(1) Crimes 586 : 1993 Supp (3) SCC 91

Motive—Necessity of—When the evidence of eye-witnesses is found to be truthful, the motive assumes a secondary role.

Murarilal Jivaram Sharma and another v. State of Maharashtra, 1997 CrLJ 782 : 1997 AIR (SC) 1593 : 1997 (1) Crimes 46 (SC) : 1997 (1) CCR 120 : 1997 CrLR (SC) 439

Motive—Necessity of—Where positive evidence against the accused is clear, cogent and reliable the question of motive and, for that matter, proof thereof pale into insignificance.

Amarjit Singh v. State of Punjab, 1995 CrLJ 3984 : 1995 SCC (Cr) 928 : 1995(3) Crimes 409 : 1995(3) CCR 115

Motive—Necessity of—Where the positive evidence against the accused is clear, cogent and reliable, the question of motive is of no importance.

Gurcharan Singh and another v. State of Punjab, 1956 AIR SC 460 : 1956 CrLJ 827



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:46

Motive—Necessity of proof.

Sometimes motive plays an important role and becomes a compelling force to commit a crime and therefore motive behind the crime is a relevant factor for which evidence may be adduced. A motive is something which prompts a person to form an opinion or intention to do certain illegal act or even a legal act but with illegal means with a view to achieve that intention. In a case where there is clear proof of motive for the commission of the crime it affords added support to the finding of the Court that the accused was guilty for the offence charged with. But it has to be remembered that the absence of proof of motive does not render the evidence bearing on the guilt of the accused nonetheless untrustworthy or unreliable because most often it is only the perpetrator of the crime alone who knows as to what circumstances prompted him to a certain course of action leading to the commission of the crime.

Suresh Chandra Bahri v. State of Bihar, 1994 CrLJ 3271 : 1994 AIR (SC) 2420 : 1995 SCC (Cr) 60 : 1994 (2) Crimes 1027 : 1994 (2) BLJR 1147

Motive—Necessity of proof—Discovery of true motive of crime is not imperative in every case.

Yeshwant and others v. The State of Maharashtra, 1972 CrLJ 1254 : 1973 AIR (SC) 337 : 1972(3) SCC 639 : 1973(1) SCR 291

Motive—Necessity of proof—Failure of prosecution to prove motive cannot be construed as fatal weakness of prosecution.

No doubt it is a sound principle to remember that every criminal act was done with a motive but its corollary is not that no criminal offence would have been committed if prosecution has failed to prove the precise motive of the accused to commit it. When the prosecution succeeded in showing the possibility of some ire for the accused towards the victim the inability to further put on record the manner in which such ire would have swelled up in the mind of the offender to such a degree as to impel him to commit the offence cannot be construed as a fatal weakness of the prosecution. It is almost an impossibility for the prosecution to unravel the full dimension of the mental disposition of an offender towards the person whom he offended.

State of Himachal Pradesh v. Jeet Singh, 1999 CrLJ 2025 : 1999 AIR (SC) 1293 : 1999 SCC (Cr) 539 : 1999(2) Crimes 31 : 1999(2) Rec CrR 167 : 1999(1) Cal HN 103

Motive—Necessity of proof—Murder by poisoning—Circumstantial evidence—The motive must be proved alongwith other incriminating circumstances.

Ramgopal v. State of Maharashtra, 1972 CrLJ 473 : 1972 AIR (SC) 656 : 1972 (4) SCC 625

Motive—Necessity of proof—Murder of wife—In such case there can be many considerations which have to be looked into—Exact motive can be difficult to know even in a given case.

Nanak v. State of U.P., 1983 CrLJ 1444 : 1983 AIR (SC) 1091 : 1983 CrLR (SC) 173 : 1983 CAR 186 : 1983 SCC (Cr) 317

Motive—Necessity of proof—Offence proved by direct evidence which was found to be acceptable—Failure to prove the motive is immaterial.

Babu Lodhi and others v. State of U.P., 1987 CrLJ 1119 : 1987 AIR (SC) 1268 : 1987 CrLR (SC) 314 : 1987 CAR 225 : 1987(2) Crimes 205 : 1987 SCC (Cr) 371

Motive—Necessity of proof—Prosecution is not bound to prove motive in each case but if it does so the Court has to see whether it is adequate or not.

The prosecution is not bound to prove motive of any offence in a criminal case, inasmuch as motive is known only to the perpetrator of the crime and may not be known to others. If the motive is proved by prosecution, the Court has to consider it and see whether it is adequate. In the instant case the motive proved was apparently inadequate, although it might be possible.

State of Haryana v. Sher Singh and others, 1981 CrLJ 714 : 1981 AIR (SC) 1021 : 1981 CrLR (SC) 230 : 1981 SCC (Cr) 421 : 1981 CAR 122

Motive—Necessity of proof—Where there is direct evidence of acceptable nature regarding commission of offence the question of motive cannot loom large in the mind of Court.

State of Andhra Pradesh v. Bogam Chandraiah and another, 1986 CrLJ 1903 : 1986 AIR (SC) 1899 : 1986 SCC (Cr) 357 : 1986 CrLR (SC) 395 : 1986 (3) Crimes 367 : 1986 CAR 234



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:47

Motive—Old enmity—Recent incident regarding passage of sullage water—Proceeding under Section 107/151 Cr.P.C. were pending—Motive alleged by prosecution to kill their rival—Sufficient motive.

Old enmity coupled with the incident regarding the passage of sullage water in regard to which proceedings under Sections 107/151 of the Code were pending is the motive alleged by the prosecution and we do not think it is so weak that it would not prompt the appellants to kill their rival.

Gurmej Singh and others v. State of Punjab, 1992 CrLJ 293 : 1992 AIR (SC) 214 : 1991 SCC (Cr) 992 : 1991 CAR 337 : 1991 CrLR (SC) 563 : 1991(3) Crimes 220



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:48

Motive—Participation of accused in the offence duly proved by eye-witnesses—Proof of motive is not necessary.

State of Uttar Pradesh v. Nahar Singh (dead) and others, 1998 CrLJ 2006 : 1998 AIR (SC) 1328 : 1998 SCC (Cr) 850 : 1998 All LJ 946 : 1998(1) Rec CrR 867



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:48

Motive—Presence of—The accused as well as the eye witness/informant having equal motive to kill the deceased—The Court has to look to the surrounding circumstances to point out the truth.

There was serious enmity between the parties and there was sufficient motive for Pala Singh to have implicated the respondents at whose instance he was implicated in the murder of Toga Singh and eventually convicted to life imprisonment. Equally thee was a motive for the respondents also to kill Pala Singh in order to wreak vengeance on him for having caused the death of the father of Gurmej Singh, Teja Singh and Bhan Singh. When the motives were thus equally balanced, the Court had to look to surrounding circumstances in order to find out the truth.

State of Punjab v. Pritam Singh and others, 1977 CrLJ 1575 : 1975 AIR (SC) 2005 : 1977 SCC (Cr) 551 : 1977 CrLR (SC) 363 : 1977 Pun LJ 33 : 1977 CAR 295



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:49

Motive—Probability—Absence of prior hostility—Deceased owning land said to be desired by accused—It may serve as possible motive.

There is no indication in the evidence of any previous hostility between Dattu and the accused which could impel Dattu either to invent such evidence himself or to permit himself to be manoeuvred by any other person into inventing such a story for a motive. The refusal by the deceased to comply with the request persistently made and the possibility of the land going out of the reach of the accused could not also be regarded as an inadequate motive. Numerous crimes have been perpetrated for reasons less adequate than the possible loss of land.

Shivaji Genu Mohite v. State of Maharashtra, 1973 CrLJ 159 : 1973 AIR (SC) 55 : 1973(3) SCC 219 : 1973 Cr LR (SC) 268

Motive—Probability—The victims acquiescing in adduction of daughter of relative of the accused—It is a probable motive for the accused to injure the victim.

Jadunath Singh and others v. State of U.P., 1972 CrLJ 29 : 1972 AIR (SC) 116 : 1971 (3) SCC 577 : 1972 CAR 41 : 1971 (2) Andh LT 196

Motive—Probability—Younger brother of accused having illicit relations with the wife of accused—It does not provide sufficient motive to cause death of the wife of younger brother.

We find absolutely no motive for accused No. 1 to cause the death of the deceased. According to the prosecution, accused No. 1's younger brother was having illicit intimacy with accused No. 2 with the connivance of accused No. 1 and the deceased was objecting to the same. In such a situation it is rather opposed to human nature to suggest that accused No. 1 would think of causing the death of the deceased. According to the witnesses, particularly P.W. 2, the deceased was found under a mattress and accused No. 1 was pressing the same on her and in the process he also got burns. The High Court has rightly observed that the culprits who had decided to put an end to the life of the deceased would never go the extent of extinguish the fire after throwing a mattress on her, and in this view, according to the High Court, the prosecution has not proved beyond reasonable doubt that this was a case of homicide and not suicide.

State of Gujarat v. Mohan Bhai Raghbhai Patel, 1990 CrLJ 1462 : 1990 AIR (SC) 1379 : 1990 CrLR (SC) 313 : 1990(2) Crimes 691



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:50

Motive—Proof—Hearsay evidence—Eye witness stating that the accused was telling the co-accused that the deceased owed him money—The statement can be considered to infer that accused had to intent to settle scores with the deceased.

Subash and Shiv Shankar v. State of U.P., 1987 CrLJ 991 : 1987 AIR (SC) 1222 : 1987 CrLR (SC) 368 : 1987 SCC (Cr) 573 : 1987 All WC 1201

Motive—Proof of—Absence of—It is relevant circumstance to be considered while assessing the evidence but absence of motive does not weaken the evidence pointing the guilt of accused.

The motive behind a crime is a relevant fact of which evidence can be given. The absence of a motive is also a circumstance which is relevant for assessing the evidence. The circumstances which have been mentioned above as proving the guilt of the accused Rajinder are however not weakened at all by this fact that the motive has not been established. It often happens that only the culprit himself knows what moved him to a certain course of action.

Rajinder Kumar and another v. State of Punjab, 1966 CrLJ 960 : 1966 AIR (SC) 1322 : 1963 (3) SCR 281 : 1963 Mad LJ (Cri) 506

Motive—Proof of—Absence of—Other circumstantial evidence not sufficient—Acquittal of accused restored.

Khatri Hemraj Amulakh v. The State of Gujarat, 1972 CrLJ 626 : 1972 (3) SCC 671 : 1972 CAR 184 : 1972 AIR (SC) 922

Motive—Proof of—Disabled son was set on fire by his own father—Motive was to grab property—Three dying declarations made in fit state of mind naming his father as culprit—Evidence of eye-witnesses reliable—Their presence at the place of occurrence natural and probable—No ground to interfere with conviction.

The unimpeachable evidence of P.W. 9 and P.W. 8 clearly proves that the deceased made his dying declarations before them in a fit state of mind and they were properly recorded. While in his statement before the doctor (P.W. 9), which was recorded in the wound certificate, (Ext. P. 11), the deceased stated that his father set him on fire, in his statement before the Munsiff (P.W. 8) which was recorded in a question and answer form, and in presence of P.W. 9, he further stated that there was a dispute between him and his father over property and out of that enmity he set him on fire.

The evidence of P.Ws. 1, 2, 3 and 4 which goes a long way to support the prosecution case but was not at all considered by the learned Courts below. At the material time P.W. 2, was an employee of the tyre shop of P.W. 1 which is near Raghava Reddy Lane, where the deceased was set on fire. He testified that when he was working in the shop he heard cries `catch hold of my father, catch hold of my father' from that lane. Accompanied by P.W. 1 he rushed there and found Gagarin (the deceased) in flames. After extinguishing the fire by a gunny bag and a mat when they questioned the boy he told them that this father had pushed him down from the tri-cycle, poured kerosene oil and set him on fire. P.W. 1, however, did not fully support the version of P.W. 2 for he corroborated him only to the extent that he along with Seshagiri (P.W. 2) went to Raghava Reddy Lane and found a boy burning in flames and crying `catch hold of my father, catch hold of my father'. He was then declared hostile by the prosecution.

P.W. 3, who was working as a clerk in the office of the Lorry Owner's Association, Gudur, which was at a distance of 12 yards from Raghava Reddy Lane, stated that he heard some cries `save me, save me' from the lane. he was also declared hostile as he resiled from his statement recorded under Section 161, Cr.P.C.

P.W. 4, deposed that while he was in his tractor repairing shop saw a boy being taken to the hospital in a rickshaw. P.W. 4 was also declared hostile. Since all the above four witnesses were, at the material time, in their respective working places, they were the most natural and probable witnesses and we do not find any reason to disbelieve their evidence, particularly, that of P.W. 2. The evidence of P.W. 2 along with the evidence of the above three witnesses clearly proves that the deceased was set on fire in the lane and that he made a statement that his father was the culprit. The dying declaration so made by the deceased at the spot immediately after the occurrence also demonstrates that the finding of the trial Court that the three dying declarations were the results of tutoring by interested party is wholly untenable.

Navakoti Veera Raghavulu v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 1997 CrLJ 841 : 1997 AIR (SC) 727 : 1997 SCC (Cr) 511 : 1997(1) Crimes 86 : 1997 (1) CCR 210 : 1997 (1) All WC 521

Motive—Proof of—It is not possible to prove the motive in every case.

The motive may not even be known to the victim of the crime. The motive may be known to the assassin and no else may know what gave birth to the evil thought in the mind of the assassin. A crime can take place even without pre-meditation or pre-planning in the content of a particular situation, on the spur of the moment.

Subedar Tewari v. State of U.P. and others, 1989 CrLJ 923 : 1989 AIR (SC) 733 : 1989 SCC (Cr) 218 : 1988 CrLR (SC) 79 : 1989(2) Crimes 724.

Motive—Proof of—Necessity in a case of circumstantial evidence.

In cases where only the outset one normally starts looking for the motive and the opportunity to commit the crime. If the evidence shows that the accused having a strong enough motive had the opportunity of committing the crime and the established circumstances on the record considered along with the explanation—if any—of the accused, exclude the reasonable possibility of anyone else being the real culprit then the chain of evidence can be considered to be so complete as to show that within all human probability the crime must have been committed by the accused. He may, in that event, safely be held guilty on such circumstantial evidence.

Udaipal Singh v. The State of U.P., 1972 CrLJ 7 : 1972 AIR (SC) 54 : 1972(4) SCC 142 : 1971 CAR 427 : 1972 MPWR 779 : 1972 BLJR 968

Motive—Proof of—Necessity of—Creditworthy evidence of the eye witnesses renders the question of motive irrelevant.

Where the direct evidence regarding the assault is worthy of credence and can be believed, the question of motive becomes more or less academic. Sometimes the motive is clear and can be proved and sometimes, however, the motive is shrouded in mystery and it is very difficult to locate the same. If, however, the evidence of the eye-witnesses is credit-worthy and is believed by the Court which has placed implicit reliance on them, the question whether there is any motive or not becomes wholly irrelevant.

Molu and others v. State of Haryana, 1976 CrLJ 1895 : 1976 AIR (SC) 2499 : 1976 SCC (Cr) 636 : 1976 CrLR (SC) 387

Motive—Proof of—Necessity of—Direct evidence proving the murder—It is not necessary to prove the motive.

Surendra Narain alias Munna Pandey v. State of U.P., 1998 CrLJ 359 : 1998 AIR (SC) 192 : 1998 SCC (Cr) 14 : 1998 CrLR (SC) 54 : 1997 (4) Crimes 255 : 1997(3) Curr CrR 188

Motive—Proof of—Necessity of—Ocular evidence is not liable to be discarded on account of absence of proof of motive if such evidence is reliable.

Even if the genesis or the motive of the occurrence was not proved the ocular testimony of the witnesses as to the occurrence could not be discarded only on that account, if otherwise it was reliable.

Bahal Singh v. State of Haryana, 1976 CrLJ 1568 : 1976 AIR (SC) 2032 : 1976 CrLR (SC) 151 : 1976 SCC (Cr) 461

Motive—Proof of—Necessity of—Though proof of motive is not necessary but if the prosecution puts forward a case of motive for the crime, it is the duty of the Court to consider the same in terms of probabilities.

If the case of the prosecution with reference to the motive for the accused to commit the offence is considered, there will be little difficulty in rejecting the same. No doubt, proof of motive is not necessary to sustain a conviction but when the prosecution puts forward a specific case as to motive for the crime, the evidence regarding the same has got to be considered in order to judge the probabilities. It is well-settled that motive for a crime is a statifactory circumstance of corroboration when there is convincing evidence to prove the guilt of an accused person but it cannot fill up a lacuna in the evidence.

Smt. Omwati etc. v. Mahendra Singh and others, 1998 CrLJ 401 : 1998 AIR (SC) 249 : 1998 SCC (Cr) 984 : 1997(4) Crimes 270 : 1998 CAR 55 : 1998 CrLR (SC) 42

Motive—Proof of—Possibility of the witnesses deposing falsely against the accused—Opportunity to accused to kill the deceased on the fateful day coupled with unreliable evidence about motive—Conviction, set aside.

On the date of the death of Jabeena, none of these witnesses entertained any doubt as to the complicity of the appellant in the death of Jabeena. They proceeded on the basis that Jabeena died an accidental death and even persuaded the investigating authorities to release the body without a proper post-mortem. Therefore, the Court will have to be very cautious while appreciating their evidence. Assuming that the evidence of PWs 1 to 7 can be accepted by the Courts, it would only conclude that the appellant had a motive to kill Jabeena, but then it could also give a reason for PWs 1 to 7 to depose falsely against the appellant, in view of the tragic death of a loved one. Motive being a double-edged weapon, could cut both ways-helping or harming both the prosecution and the defence. Hence, we are of the considered view that if we are unable to place reliance on the evidence of PW 8, then the evidence of PWs 1 to 7 will not be sufficient to convict the appellant of the prosecution charge. Of course, the prosecution has established that the appellant was the only person in the company of Jabeena and her child at the relevant time on the fateful, day. But this again stops the prosecution case in the realm of suspicion, which by itself cannot be substituted for hard evidence. Aware as we are of the fact, a budding life came to an unfortunate premature end, our jurisprudence will not permit us to base a conviction on the basis of the evidence placed by the prosecution in this case and the benefit of a reasonable doubt must be given to the appellant.

Mohd. Zahid v. State of Tamil Nadu, 1999 CrLJ 3699 : 1999 AIR (SC) 2416 : 1999 SCC (Cr) 1066 : 1999(3) Crimes 137 : 1999(2) Mad LW (Cr) 770 : 1999(3) Rec CrR 623

Motive—Proof of—Prosecution case based on circumstantial evidence—The motive plays an important part tilting the balance against the accused.

State (Delhi Administration) v. Gulzarilal Tandon, 1979 CrLJ 1057 : 1979 AIR (SC) 1382 : 1979 SCC (Cr) 526 : 1979 CrLR (SC) 448

Motive—Proof of—witness stating that accused after killing the deceased claimed to have killed a police agent—It constitutes sufficient motive for murder.

Nitya Sen v. State of West Bengal, 1978 CrLJ 481 : 1978 AIR (SC) 383 : 1978 CrLR (SC) 39 : 1978 SCC (Cr) 191



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:51

Motive—Proof—Hearsay evidence—Eye witness stating that the accused was telling the co-accused that the deceased owed him money—The statement can be considered to infer that accused had to intent to settle scores with the deceased.

Subash and Shiv Shankar v. State of U.P., 1987 CrLJ 991 : 1987 AIR (SC) 1222 : 1987 CrLR (SC) 368 : 1987 SCC (Cr) 573 : 1987 All WC 1201

Motive—Proof of—Absence of—It is relevant circumstance to be considered while assessing the evidence but absence of motive does not weaken the evidence pointing the guilt of accused.

The motive behind a crime is a relevant fact of which evidence can be given. The absence of a motive is also a circumstance which is relevant for assessing the evidence. The circumstances which have been mentioned above as proving the guilt of the accused Rajinder are however not weakened at all by this fact that the motive has not been established. It often happens that only the culprit himself knows what moved him to a certain course of action.

Rajinder Kumar and another v. State of Punjab, 1966 CrLJ 960 : 1966 AIR (SC) 1322 : 1963 (3) SCR 281 : 1963 Mad LJ (Cri) 506

Motive—Proof of—Absence of—Other circumstantial evidence not sufficient—Acquittal of accused restored.

Khatri Hemraj Amulakh v. The State of Gujarat, 1972 CrLJ 626 : 1972 (3) SCC 671 : 1972 CAR 184 : 1972 AIR (SC) 922

Motive—Proof of—Disabled son was set on fire by his own father—Motive was to grab property—Three dying declarations made in fit state of mind naming his father as culprit—Evidence of eye-witnesses reliable—Their presence at the place of occurrence natural and probable—No ground to interfere with conviction.

The unimpeachable evidence of P.W. 9 and P.W. 8 clearly proves that the deceased made his dying declarations before them in a fit state of mind and they were properly recorded. While in his statement before the doctor (P.W. 9), which was recorded in the wound certificate, (Ext. P. 11), the deceased stated that his father set him on fire, in his statement before the Munsiff (P.W. 8) which was recorded in a question and answer form, and in presence of P.W. 9, he further stated that there was a dispute between him and his father over property and out of that enmity he set him on fire.

The evidence of P.Ws. 1, 2, 3 and 4 which goes a long way to support the prosecution case but was not at all considered by the learned Courts below. At the material time P.W. 2, was an employee of the tyre shop of P.W. 1 which is near Raghava Reddy Lane, where the deceased was set on fire. He testified that when he was working in the shop he heard cries `catch hold of my father, catch hold of my father' from that lane. Accompanied by P.W. 1 he rushed there and found Gagarin (the deceased) in flames. After extinguishing the fire by a gunny bag and a mat when they questioned the boy he told them that this father had pushed him down from the tri-cycle, poured kerosene oil and set him on fire. P.W. 1, however, did not fully support the version of P.W. 2 for he corroborated him only to the extent that he along with Seshagiri (P.W. 2) went to Raghava Reddy Lane and found a boy burning in flames and crying `catch hold of my father, catch hold of my father'. He was then declared hostile by the prosecution.

P.W. 3, who was working as a clerk in the office of the Lorry Owner's Association, Gudur, which was at a distance of 12 yards from Raghava Reddy Lane, stated that he heard some cries `save me, save me' from the lane. he was also declared hostile as he resiled from his statement recorded under Section 161, Cr.P.C.

P.W. 4, deposed that while he was in his tractor repairing shop saw a boy being taken to the hospital in a rickshaw. P.W. 4 was also declared hostile. Since all the above four witnesses were, at the material time, in their respective working places, they were the most natural and probable witnesses and we do not find any reason to disbelieve their evidence, particularly, that of P.W. 2. The evidence of P.W. 2 along with the evidence of the above three witnesses clearly proves that the deceased was set on fire in the lane and that he made a statement that his father was the culprit. The dying declaration so made by the deceased at the spot immediately after the occurrence also demonstrates that the finding of the trial Court that the three dying declarations were the results of tutoring by interested party is wholly untenable.

Navakoti Veera Raghavulu v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 1997 CrLJ 841 : 1997 AIR (SC) 727 : 1997 SCC (Cr) 511 : 1997(1) Crimes 86 : 1997 (1) CCR 210 : 1997 (1) All WC 521

Motive—Proof of—It is not possible to prove the motive in every case.

The motive may not even be known to the victim of the crime. The motive may be known to the assassin and no else may know what gave birth to the evil thought in the mind of the assassin. A crime can take place even without pre-meditation or pre-planning in the content of a particular situation, on the spur of the moment.

Subedar Tewari v. State of U.P. and others, 1989 CrLJ 923 : 1989 AIR (SC) 733 : 1989 SCC (Cr) 218 : 1988 CrLR (SC) 79 : 1989(2) Crimes 724.

Motive—Proof of—Necessity in a case of circumstantial evidence.

In cases where only the outset one normally starts looking for the motive and the opportunity to commit the crime. If the evidence shows that the accused having a strong enough motive had the opportunity of committing the crime and the established circumstances on the record considered along with the explanation—if any—of the accused, exclude the reasonable possibility of anyone else being the real culprit then the chain of evidence can be considered to be so complete as to show that within all human probability the crime must have been committed by the accused. He may, in that event, safely be held guilty on such circumstantial evidence.

Udaipal Singh v. The State of U.P., 1972 CrLJ 7 : 1972 AIR (SC) 54 : 1972(4) SCC 142 : 1971 CAR 427 : 1972 MPWR 779 : 1972 BLJR 968

Motive—Proof of—Necessity of—Creditworthy evidence of the eye witnesses renders the question of motive irrelevant.

Where the direct evidence regarding the assault is worthy of credence and can be believed, the question of motive becomes more or less academic. Sometimes the motive is clear and can be proved and sometimes, however, the motive is shrouded in mystery and it is very difficult to locate the same. If, however, the evidence of the eye-witnesses is credit-worthy and is believed by the Court which has placed implicit reliance on them, the question whether there is any motive or not becomes wholly irrelevant.

Molu and others v. State of Haryana, 1976 CrLJ 1895 : 1976 AIR (SC) 2499 : 1976 SCC (Cr) 636 : 1976 CrLR (SC) 387

Motive—Proof of—Necessity of—Direct evidence proving the murder—It is not necessary to prove the motive.

Surendra Narain alias Munna Pandey v. State of U.P., 1998 CrLJ 359 : 1998 AIR (SC) 192 : 1998 SCC (Cr) 14 : 1998 CrLR (SC) 54 : 1997 (4) Crimes 255 : 1997(3) Curr CrR 188

Motive—Proof of—Necessity of—Ocular evidence is not liable to be discarded on account of absence of proof of motive if such evidence is reliable.

Even if the genesis or the motive of the occurrence was not proved the ocular testimony of the witnesses as to the occurrence could not be discarded only on that account, if otherwise it was reliable.

Bahal Singh v. State of Haryana, 1976 CrLJ 1568 : 1976 AIR (SC) 2032 : 1976 CrLR (SC) 151 : 1976 SCC (Cr) 461

Motive—Proof of—Necessity of—Though proof of motive is not necessary but if the prosecution puts forward a case of motive for the crime, it is the duty of the Court to consider the same in terms of probabilities.

If the case of the prosecution with reference to the motive for the accused to commit the offence is considered, there will be little difficulty in rejecting the same. No doubt, proof of motive is not necessary to sustain a conviction but when the prosecution puts forward a specific case as to motive for the crime, the evidence regarding the same has got to be considered in order to judge the probabilities. It is well-settled that motive for a crime is a statifactory circumstance of corroboration when there is convincing evidence to prove the guilt of an accused person but it cannot fill up a lacuna in the evidence.

Smt. Omwati etc. v. Mahendra Singh and others, 1998 CrLJ 401 : 1998 AIR (SC) 249 : 1998 SCC (Cr) 984 : 1997(4) Crimes 270 : 1998 CAR 55 : 1998 CrLR (SC) 42

Motive—Proof of—Possibility of the witnesses deposing falsely against the accused—Opportunity to accused to kill the deceased on the fateful day coupled with unreliable evidence about motive—Conviction, set aside.

On the date of the death of Jabeena, none of these witnesses entertained any doubt as to the complicity of the appellant in the death of Jabeena. They proceeded on the basis that Jabeena died an accidental death and even persuaded the investigating authorities to release the body without a proper post-mortem. Therefore, the Court will have to be very cautious while appreciating their evidence. Assuming that the evidence of PWs 1 to 7 can be accepted by the Courts, it would only conclude that the appellant had a motive to kill Jabeena, but then it could also give a reason for PWs 1 to 7 to depose falsely against the appellant, in view of the tragic death of a loved one. Motive being a double-edged weapon, could cut both ways-helping or harming both the prosecution and the defence. Hence, we are of the considered view that if we are unable to place reliance on the evidence of PW 8, then the evidence of PWs 1 to 7 will not be sufficient to convict the appellant of the prosecution charge. Of course, the prosecution has established that the appellant was the only person in the company of Jabeena and her child at the relevant time on the fateful, day. But this again stops the prosecution case in the realm of suspicion, which by itself cannot be substituted for hard evidence. Aware as we are of the fact, a budding life came to an unfortunate premature end, our jurisprudence will not permit us to base a conviction on the basis of the evidence placed by the prosecution in this case and the benefit of a reasonable doubt must be given to the appellant.

Mohd. Zahid v. State of Tamil Nadu, 1999 CrLJ 3699 : 1999 AIR (SC) 2416 : 1999 SCC (Cr) 1066 : 1999(3) Crimes 137 : 1999(2) Mad LW (Cr) 770 : 1999(3) Rec CrR 623

Motive—Proof of—Prosecution case based on circumstantial evidence—The motive plays an important part tilting the balance against the accused.

State (Delhi Administration) v. Gulzarilal Tandon, 1979 CrLJ 1057 : 1979 AIR (SC) 1382 : 1979 SCC (Cr) 526 : 1979 CrLR (SC) 448

Motive—Proof of—witness stating that accused after killing the deceased claimed to have killed a police agent—It constitutes sufficient motive for murder.

Nitya Sen v. State of West Bengal, 1978 CrLJ 481 : 1978 AIR (SC) 383 : 1978 CrLR (SC) 39 : 1978 SCC (Cr) 191



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:52

Motive—Robbery—Accused removing the ornaments from the body of deceased but leaving some of the ornaments—This does not pass doubt about the prosecution case.

There is no doubt that a large part of the ornaments was taken away by the appellant and it may be, that while the appellant was in the process of doing so, somebody may be passing that way or he may be having some apprehension that he might be caught, he did not choose to take the risk of taking all the ornaments and threw the deceased in the well before he could be detected.

Murari Lal v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 1980 CrLJ 1408 : 1981 AIR (SC) 363 : 1979 SCC (Cr) 662 : 1979 CrLR (SC) 622



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:53

Motive—Role of—Effect of direct evidence—It is a double edged weapon—When prosecution relies upon the evidence of the eye-witnesses to prove the incident, motive assumes a secondary role.

Bhagirath and others v. State of Haryana, 1996 CrLJ 3499 : 1996 AIR (SC) 3431 : 1996 SCC (Cr) 1014 : 1996(3) Crimes 32 (SC) : 1996(3) CCR 58



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:55

Motive—Role of—Effect of direct evidence—It is a double edged weapon—When prosecution relies upon the evidence of the eye-witnesses to prove the incident, motive assumes a secondary role.

Bhagirath and others v. State of Haryana, 1996 CrLJ 3499 : 1996 AIR (SC) 3431 : 1996 SCC (Cr) 1014 : 1996(3) Crimes 32 (SC) : 1996(3) CCR 58



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:55

Motive—Strained relations between the deceased and the father of the accused—It cannot furnish an adequate motive for committing murder.

State of Orissa v. Mr. Brahmananda Nanda, 1976 CrLJ 1985 : 1976 AIR (SC) 2488 : 1976 (4) SCC 288 : 1976 CAR 352 : 1976 CrLR (SC) 407



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:56

Motive—Sufficiency of—Claim of share in property—It is unlikely that father and brothers of deceased would murder him merely on demand of share in properties.

It appears to be a weak one. It is unlikely that the father and brothers would have murdered Mangal Singh for merely claiming his share in the family properties. The fact that the deceased had left the house about 12 or 13 years before the occurrence could not have in the ordinary course induced them to deny him his share. There was no particular motive for the appellant to kill his brother.

Bakshish Singh v. The State of Punjab, 1971 CrLJ 1452 : 1971 AIR (SC) 2016 : 1971(3) SCC 182 : 1971 SCC (Cr) 251



Expert : Gulshan Tanwar

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 13:57

Motive—Trivial motive—The murders are known to have taken place for lesser motives—Merely because the motive proved by prosecution is trivial the prosecution story cannot be discarded.

Jagdish v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 1981 CrLJ 630 : 1981 AIR (SC) 1167 : 1981 CrLR (SC) 220 : 1981 SCC (Cr) 676 : 1981 CAR 369



Expert : yogesh

Posted On 13 April 2011 at 18:17

very detail explanation have alreday been given.No additional need to be added



Expert : Sri Vijayan.A

Posted On 14 April 2011 at 09:54

I cant go through the entire matter posted by Mr.Gulshan.
But it is a nice and good work by him.
It shall be used by all whenever required.
Good work and good post here.


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