“Facts and Circumstances of the case raise ‘serious suspicion’ about commission of offence”; Rohini Court takes cognizance of murder case

Rohini District Court

Rohini District Court: While dealing with the question of “Whether there are sufficient grounds for taking cognizance in the instant matter” involving Section 302 and Section 365 of Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’), Ayush Sharma J. looked into the facts and circumstances raising suspicion against the suspect and decided to take cognizance of the matter.

Facts reveal that the deceased went missing on 21-9-2018, afternoon and a missing complaint was registered the next day. A dead body was found on 24-9-2018 in a canal which was sent for post-mortem examination. A First Information Report (‘FIR’) was registered under Section 365 of IPC while the deceased’s son (‘complainant’) stated doubt on his cousins who had some financial transactions with the deceased.

While nothing could be found against the complainant’s cousin during investigation, it was informed that the deceased contacted a person(named ‘X’) on the day he went missing. The deceased’s son handed over a CCTV footage of a Petrol Pump wherein, the deceased was last seen with suspect X, who hinted towards having discussion with the deceased over 9 devi tour with the deceased, joined him in his car when they headed towards a canal, went off the car due to nature’s call, lost his balance and fell into the canal. He looked for him but could not find anyone due to the darkness, went back home and did not tell anyone about the incident.

After further investigation and Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report, Section 302 of IPC was added. The Police filed final/closure report after investigation. The complainant’s counsel pressed on sufficiency of grounds for taking cognizance of the offence, no alcohol was detected in the deceased’s body as claimed by X, and that since the deceased was last seen with him, the onus lies with X to give a reasonable cause of death.

The Court relied on Supreme Court’s explanation of ‘may take cognizance of any offence’ under Section 190(1) of Code of Criminal Procedure in Abhinandan Jha v. Dinesh Mishra, (1967) 3 SCR 668. The Court observed that X took two different stands distinct from each other, when he initially denied any conversation with the deceased after evening on the day he went missing, and then he disclosed the event of deceased slipping into the canal. The Court found a series of events which pointed towards ‘serious suspicion’.

The Court also referred to the case of Vishwa Kumar Sharma v. State of Rajasthan, 2006 SCC OnLine Raj 266 wherein, the Court differentiated ‘taking of cognizance’ from ‘framing of charge’. Consequently, the Court viewed that “there are sufficient grounds for proceeding against the suspect (‘X’) and to take cognizance of the offence.” and thereby confirmed of taking cognizance of the instant case.

[State v. Unknown, 2023 SCC OnLine Dis Crt (Del) 9, Order dated 19-5-2023]

Order by: Metropolitan Magistrate Ayush Sharma

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For State: APP Dinesh Kumar;

For Complainant: Advocate Pradeep Khatri.

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