delhi high court

Delhi High Court: In an appeal filed by the appellant (accused) assailing the judgment dated passed by the Trial Court whereby the accused was convicted under Sections 363 and 302 of Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’) for kidnapping and murder of a child aged 2 years whereby he was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life under Section 302 IPC with fine of Rs. 10,000/-, in default to undergo simple imprisonment for six months and further to undergo rigorous imprisonment for seven years. A division bench of Mukta Gupta and Poonam A. Bamba, JJ., upheld the conviction and sentence as the appeal had no merits because the prosecution was able to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case of the prosecution is that at Gandhi Chowk, one person is beating a two-year-old girl who has been injured and has become unconscious. On police reaching the spot, broken pieces of bangles and one Topaz blade were found lying near the staircase of the temple and one blood stain was noticed on the cement lid of the gutter. PW-1 present there produced the accused stating that “isi shaksh ne ladki ko mandir ki podiyo par patak-patak ke mara tha, jise uski maa hospital le gyi hai‟. The child was declared dead by the hospital. The accused was arrested, and postmortem of the deceased body and the cause of death was cranio cerebral damage consequent upon blunt force impact to the head.

The mother of the victim (PW-2) deposed that the accused lived in the adjacent room as a tenant in the same house in which she along with her family members including her one-and-four-months-old child lived. The accused often threatened her children because of which, the children never visited him. One day, when she was working inside, the child went outside and was grabbed by the accused who cut her leg with the blade and hit her head against the staircase of a mandir inflicting death.

The Court noted that PW-1, PW-4, PW-5 and PW-6 were examined by the prosecution, thus, the contention of the counsel for the accused that no public person who was present at the spot has been produced/examined by the prosecution is bereft of any merit.

The Court further noted that based on the testimonies and the postmortem report it has been established that the deceased suffered a head injury i.e. over her forehead and an injury on the side of her lower lip, which is consistent with the testimony of the other witness. Thus, in view of the evidence on record, there is hardly any merit in the appellant’s contention that PW-2 was not an eye-witness and that her account of assault is not corroborated by medical evidence.

The Court held that the prosecution has been able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant had hit the deceased, an infant, against the floor/stairs of the mandir causing injuries on the head and other parts.

[Dev Sharan v State, 2023 SCC OnLine Del 2783, decided on 16-05-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr. B. Badrinath, Advocate (DHCLSC) with Mr. Dhruv Bhardwaj and Mr. Rajesh Raj, Advocates for the Appellants;

Mr. Prithu Garg, APP for the State.

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