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N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     08 May 2011

Do you doubt the case of 1954 CrLJ 244?

Dear LCI Members, do you agree with the Judgment of Supreme Court in the case of State of M.P vs Ramakrishna Ganpatrao Limsey as reported in AIR 1954 SC-20 = 1954 CrLJ 244? Is it overruled or it staill stand as good laws as a precedent or you agreed witth the judgment?


 16 Replies

pratik (self working)     08 May 2011

like to know.

PALNITKAR V.V. (Lawyer)     08 May 2011

I could not find out any citation overruling the said case. I do agree with the  ration relating to the Scope of special leave.



Ratio relating to the scope of special leave has been disapproved by a five judge bench of supreme court in case of State Of Uttar Pradesh vs R. B. Agarwal on 4 February, 1966 1966 AIR 1135, 1966 SCR (3) 462 .

Assumi sir,

Acquittal is not only on the ground that post mortem is inconclusive but also on the ground that there is no direct or circumstantial evidence.  Hence there is no need for any doubt.

If the acquittal was only on the ground that post mortem is inconclusive then in that case there is room for doubt.

PALNITKAR V.V. (Lawyer)     08 May 2011

With due respect to shri. Menon, I would like to state that what has been disapproved is not the ratio but observation relating to the scope of Art. 134[1][c] and not the scope of special leave under Art. 136. The SC in the case of Limsey was not dealing with scope of Art. 134. Therefore, observation relating to Art. 134 can not be called as ratio. The ratio is about Art. 136 and it has also referred to the case of Pritam which is again of a 5 judge bench of SC. Reply given by Shri. Menon may create an impression that Ramkrishna Limsey's case is overruled. But it is not so.


Thank you sir.  I stand corrected.

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     09 May 2011

But what I would like to know is that in Limsey case, the witness a boy of 15 years saw from the crack in the door respondent 2 holding his hair, while respondent 3 holding his legs and Limsey bending over him with a sword ready to strike and when the neighbours  came at the cry of Dattu they were send back by the Mother of Limsey saying nothing has happened. Thereafter Dattu went missing. On search there were foul smell  in Limsey's house and it was discovered to bee the body of Datu entombed in Limsey's house. But they were acquitted. let us not confine to article 134 or 136 but to the facts.


Despite the above facts, "The acquittal of the respondents by that Court mainly rests on the ground that it was not proved that Dattu had been murdered and that in the absence of legal proof of the crime, there could be no legal criminality. Hemeon J. who wrote the principal judgment in the case expressed his conclusion in these words:

"We must hold that there is nothing whatever to indicate the cause of Dattu's death. Absence of violence was perhaps improbable but of the use of violence there was no proof" Dattu may, for all we know, have died from fright, heart failure or poisoning.

Hidayatullah J. who also in a separate judgment concurred with the judgment delivered by the learned Acting Chief Justice, expressed his conclusion in these words:

"I am quite clear in my mind that this case fails because the result of the autopsy was inconclusive. Whether this was due to putrefaction or some other cause is little to purpose. The police did not care to have another examination done. We cannot speculate about the cause of death and cannot, on the materials furnished, hold that the death of Dattu was from violence. Once that conclusion is not reached, the acquittal of the accused in the case must inevitably follow."

The Court further held, "the circumstantial evidence in the case was not wholly incompatible with the innocence of the accused and that it did not lead to an irresistible presumption that Dattu was murdered by Limsey"

Hence in this acquittal was on account of post mortem being inconclusive and circumstantial evidence being not against accused.

In another case  though the post mortem was inconclusive the accused was convicted as the circumstantial evidence was against him which is not so in the present case.

Prima facie there is cause to doubt the case but legally acquittal was justified though in the present day situation this case could have ended in conviction.

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     09 May 2011

Absolutely right Menon Sir, regarding the obsercvations of Hemeon J, and Hidayatullah J, but dont you think that heart failure or fright or poison was caused by whom? the three accused respondents right? as per the eye witness. Regarding autopsy the body was already decomposed and under such circumstances the Doctor performing the autopsy may not be in a position to pin  point the cause of death, but the fact of the  deceased cried, " Father I am dying" and died and  entombed in Limsey's house itself is another campus pointer to their guilt, dont you think so? In fact this case with due respect to the Honb'le Judges, makes me uncomfortable with circumstancial evidence.

V.T.Venkataram (Advocate and Consumer Activist)     09 May 2011

The issue is simple-No mens rea was established against the accused 

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     09 May 2011

Sir Venkataram, do you mean the respondent 2 holding the deceased hair, and respondent 3 holding his leggs and Lmsey bending over him with a sword was nothing but performing a religious rituals as seen by the witness. Should we interpret in that manner that it was a pious religious rituals and not with an intntion to kill? 


Assumi Sir,

You are right.

Most of your queries have always been interesting


Please read this judgment https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1813863/






In this case Justice Hidayutullha had convicted the accused despite the post mortem report not showing poisioning or unnatural death merely on circumstantial evidence. The case referred by you is of 1954 and the case referred by me is of 1959.

1959 case is in sharp contrast to the 1954 case referred to by you.

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     09 May 2011

Menon Sir, what a relief to me to see your citation and that too by the same Hon'ble Judge. Actually I am presently dealing with a case based purely on circumstancial evidence in a bride burning case and  being aware of the Limsey's  case I was scared to death that the defense counsel may cite that case which can demolished my entire case that I have painstakingly built it. Once again Thank you, and I am so much relieved of my mental tension.

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     09 May 2011

One more point, better that these Judgments be not overruled so that we can blow hot and cold as a classic case, depending on the nature of the case that we handle right?

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