top of page

It is the quality of the evidence and not the number of witnesses that is relevant

PW - 1 and PW - 4 are both injured witnesses. They have both been found to be reliable and truthful. We see no reason why they would falsely implicate another, when the deceased was their own minor son. Similarly, PW - 2 is the son of the second deceased, an eye witness to the killing of his father at home. The failure to examine any available independent witness is inconsequential. It is the quality of the evidence and not the number of witnesses that is relevant. It is nobody’s case of the accused that PW - 1 and PW - 4 were not injured in the same occurrence or that PW - 2 was not an eye witness. (Para 11)



Asharam Tiwari v. State of Madhya Pradesh

Criminal Appeal No.795/2009

12th January, 2021


The Hon’ble Supreme Court Justices R.F. Nariman and Navin Sinha decided the current Criminal Appeal .


The Appellant (A2) assails his conviction and sentence under sections 302/34, 324/34, 325/34 and 323 of Indian Penal Code to life imprisonment and lesser punishments. The appellant was unhappy that his father had sold lands to PW - 1 and wanted them back. The four accused came to the lands of PW – 1 and threatened him to return the lands. On his refusal to do so, A3 and A4 first assaulted him with an axe. PW - 4 and her two children came to the rescue of PW – 1. They were also assaulted and injured. A3 and A4 assaulted Ramashankar on the head with the blunt edge and sharp edge of an axe respectively. The appellant and A1 also assaulted him with lathis. He died 24 hours later during the course of the treatment at the hospital.


Learned counsel for the appellant submits that he was possessed of a lathi only. Two of the co accused, A3 and A4, were armed with a country made pistol and an axe respectively. Death of the two persons is ascribed to injuries caused by axe and fire arm respectively and not by lathi. It cannot be said with certainty that the appellant also assaulted. The appellant did not share any common intention with the other accused and has been implicated at the behest of the village sarpanch. His defence of alibi has not been considered properly. All three witnesses being related, false implication is evident because none of the independent witnesses have been examined.


Learned Additional Advocate General appearing for the state submitted that common intention is apparent from the fact that the four accused came armed together on the lands of PW - 1. Having failed in their threats to him for return of the lands, all of them assaulted PW - 1, PW - 4, their daughter and minor son. The accused then went together to the house of the second deceased Ramdas and assaulted him also. The appellant was well aware of the co accused carrying a country made pistol and axe. The recovery of a bloodstained lathi and clothes of the appellant pursuant to his confession conclusively establish common intention.


In this regard the court observed the following:

PW - 1 and PW - 4 are both injured witnesses. It was found that it is truthful and reliable. PW - 2 is the son of the second deceased, an eye witness to the killing of his father at home. It is the quality of the evidence and not the number of witnesses that is relevant. Injuries by hard and blunt substance corroborate the evidence of the injured witnesses and PW - 2 of assault on the two deceased by lathis also. The accused then immediately proceeded to the house of the second deceased. The recovery of a bloodstained lathi and bloodstained clothes of the appellant on his confession leaves us satisfied, on a cumulative appreciation of the evidence, that the accused were actuated by a common intention. The conviction of the appellant therefore calls for no interference. (Para 11)


The appeal is dismissed.



Shantha Gopika R

Comments


Articles

bottom of page