Life Imprisonment of 6 accused in Manjunath Murder case upheld

Supreme Court: Deciding the case relating to murder of Manjunath, a sales officer with Indian Oil Corporation, who was shot dead when he went to inspect a petrol pump with a suspicion of malpractices and irregularities in the sales and supplies being carried out there, the bench of S.J. Mukhopadhaya and N.V. Ramana, JJ upheld the decision of the Allahabad High Court where 6 accused persons were sentenced to life imprisonment. The Allahabad High Court had commuted the death sentence awarded by Trial Court to one of the accused persons to life imprisonment and had acquitted 2 accused persons giving them benefit of doubt.

In the case where a 27 year old was brutally murdered for honestly carrying out his duties, the appellants contended that the confession made by the accused before the police is not admissible as per Section 25 of the Evidence Act, 1872 and hence, the conviction of the accused in the present case was improper. The Court rejected the said contention and explained that In the light of Section 27 of the Evidence Act, whatever information given by the accused in consequence of which a fact is discovered only would be admissible in the evidence, whether such information amounts to confession or not. Applying the doctrine of confirmation by subsequent events, the Court said that the doctrine is founded on the principle that if any fact is discovered in a search made on the strength of any information obtained from a prisoner, such a discovery is a guarantee that the information supplied by the prisoner is true.

Stating that where a case rests squarely on circumstantial evidence, the inference of guilt can be justified only when all the incriminating facts and circumstances are found to be incompatible with the innocence of the accused or the guilt of any other person, the Court held that in the present case, the prosecution had established beyond reasonable doubt the complete chain of events which points at the guilt of the accused and hence, dismissed the appeal. Pawan Kumar v. State of UP, 2015 SCC OnLine SC 204 decided on 11.03.2015

One comment

  • I've been recently wondering about the exact same factor myself recently. Glad to see an individual on the same wavelength! Nice article.

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