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KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The Supreme Court has held that failure to discharge burden under section 106 of the Evidence Act may provide a link to the chain of events but is not applicable to a case concerning circumstantial evidence where the prosecution can't establish a chain of circumstances.
  • The court held that when the chain is not complete, the falsity of the defense is no ground to convict the accused.

CASE BACKGROUND

  • Nagendra Sha, the appellant in present case had a wife, who died on November 18, 2011. According to a post-mortem report, she died due to asphyxia due to pressure around the neck.
  • The trial court had found the appellant guilty of murdering his wife under sections 302 and 201 of the Indian Penal Code. He was directed to undergo a rigorous imprisonment for 3 month. The Patna High Court upheld the order of lower court, dismissing the appeal. The appellant approached the Supreme court.

CONTENTIONS OF BOTH SIDES

Appellant’s counsel

  • It was submitted that the witnesses, except the official witnesses, had no support for the prosecution's case. He was being convicted solely on the basis of the post-mortem report. He also argued that there was not a complete chain of events to establish his guilt.

Respondent’s counsel

  • It was submitted that since both the parties were staying together, Section 106 of the Code of Evidence would apply. It was also stated that the injuries sustained by the defendant did not cause the death of his wife, thus the chain of circumstances presented only lead to one hypothesis that appellant killed his wife.

COURT’S OBSERVATION

  • The Court noted that besides the appellant, other people were also in the house when the incident happened. It was not possible to conclude that the established facts did not support the existence of other theories.
  • Section 106 would apply to cases where the prosecution has established that there are facts from which inference can be drawn about other facts within the special knowledge of the accused. When the accused does not provide a proper explanation to them, the inference can be drawn.
  • The Court acquitted the appellant of all charges, setting aside the High Court and the trial court's orders.

Hope you enjoyed reading this. You may now be able to answer the following questions, let us know in the comments section

  • • Which section talks about Burden of proving facts, especially within knowledge?
  • • Can circumstances established by prosecution rule out the existence of any other hypothesis?
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