Bench: Justice Soumen Sen and Justice Arjit Banerjee
Whether conviction based on circumstantial evidence can be upheld and Whether the evidence to support the conviction are sufficient
The Trial Court on the examination of the evidence and materials on record held that the circumstantial evidence surrounding the commission of the offence clearly connected the accused persons with the offence and it further ordered conviction under offence punishable under 302/201/120-B of Indian Penal Code. Hence, appeal was filed in Calcutta High Court against the order of conviction.
High court while explaining the scope of Section 27 of the Evidence Act held that where no eye witness is available in a murder case and the case is based on circumstantial evidence, recovery of weapon and evidence on the basis of disclosure of the accused alone would not automatically lead to the conclusion that the offence was also committed by the accused. In fact, the burden lies on the prosecution to establish close link between discovery of the material objects and its use in the commission of the offence and what is admissible under section 27 of the Act is the information leading to discovery and not any opinion formed on it by the prosecution.
The court stated that in the present case on the basis of information furnished by Sajida it led to the discovery of the weapon. This in itself is not sufficient to arrive at a conclusion that she has committed or participated in the murder. However, the court highlighted the fact the conviction of Sajida is not solely based on the recovery of the weapon but on other direct and circumstantial evidence discussed earlier.
It was stated that the child in his statement has categorically stated that he has seen the accused persons to inflict blow on his father with dao which has caused the death of his father. There is no presumption that child will not speak the truth. The court without any doubt and hesitation stated that he has spoken the truth. The court also discussed other evidences which wholly corroborate the child testimony.
The court dismissed the appeal and confirmed the sentence passed by trial Judge.