Recovery of the Weapon used in the Commission of the offence is not a Sine Qua Non to Convict the Accused: Supreme Court

Recovery of the Weapon used in the Commission of the offence is not a Sine Qua Non to Convict the Accused: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court ruled that the recovery of the weapon used in the commission of the offence is not a sine qua non to convict the accused

Background 

Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court of Judicature at Madras, at Madurai in Criminal Appeal, by which the High Court has allowed the appeals by acquitting the respondents – accused for the offences punishable under Sections 302 and 302 r/w 34 IPC, the State has preferred the appeals.

Arguments

Advocate Joseph Aristotle S, appearing for the State, submitted that in the case the prosecution has fully proved the case against the accused by examining the relevant witnesses. 

He submitted that the Prosecution Witness is the eye witness to the occurrence of the incident and he has fully supported the case of the prosecution. 

Advocate Rao Ranjit, appearing for the accused, submitted that out of the six witnesses examined by the prosecution as eyewitnesses, three witnesses have not supported the case of the prosecution. 

He contended that the Mahendran who tendered the complaint at the police station and on the basis of which an FIR has been registered has not been examined.

Decision 

The division bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice Krishna Murari noted that PW1 is the eye witness to the occurrence at both places. When first, the accused attacked while the deceased was travelling in the car, PW1 was present in the car. At that time, the accused dashed the car and broke the wind screen and A1 caused injury on the right shoulder of the deceased. Then the deceased tried to run away and he reached the shed and at that time all the accused chased the deceased, went into the shed, caused injuries on the deceased and then came out of the shed and ran away. 

The court said that merely because the original complainant is not examined cannot be a ground to discard the deposition of PW1. 

The bench further added that similarly, assuming that the recovery of the weapon used is not established or proved also cannot be a ground to acquit the accused when there is direct evidence of the eye witness. 

The bench observed that if there is direct evidence in the form of an eye witness, even in the absence of recovery of weapons, the accused can be convicted. 

“Similarly, even in the case of some contradictions with respect to timing of lodging the FIR/complaint cannot be a ground to acquit the accused when the prosecution case is based upon the deposition of an eye witness” the court added.

The court quashed and set aside the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court acquitting the accused for the offences under Sections 302 and 302 r/w 34 IPC.

It further restored the judgment and order passed by the trial Court convicting the accused for the offences under Sections 302 and 302 r/w 34 IPC.

Case title: State through the Inspector of Police v/s Laly @ Manikandan & Another Etc. 

Citation: Criminal appeal nos. 1750-1751 OF 2022 

click here to read the order/judgement

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