Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: P.G.M. Patil, J. heard a Criminal Petition under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 appealing to quash Judicial Magistrate First Court’s (JMFC), Hubballi order which resulted in registering of cases under Sections 307, 120 (B), 114 of Penal Code (IPC), 1860 and under Section 25 of Arms Act, 1959.

The petitions were filed by Vijay and Dr Mallikarjun, two of the accused in the above-mentioned Crime Number. On the night of 10-12-2007, the complainant’s husband Dr Shivanand Doddamani was shot by two people. The victim was called out citing a medical emergency. Later on 11-12-2007, the police station of Vidyanagar registered under Sections 307, 120 (B), 114 of IPC and Section 25 of Arms Act, 1959. The police submitted the ‘C’ report and it was accepted by JMFC against accused 1 and 3 and rejected for accused 3, 5 and 6. Accused 4 and 7 were discharged. The High Court heard two petitions filed by accused 3 and 6 under Criminal Petition Number 101613/2017 and 101612 respectively.

The counsel for petitioners K.S. Patil, R.V. Naik and G.R. Gurumath submitted that trying accused 3 and 6 after accepting C report against accused 1 and 2 was a futile exercise. They also submitted that the guidelines mentioned under Selvi v. State of Karnataka, (2010) 7 SCC 263 had not been followed while subjecting the petitioners to Narco analysis tests and other tests as the consent was not taken, the lawyer was not present during the tests. They also relied on the judgments in Veerappa v. Bheemareddappa, 2001 SCC OnLine Kar 447 in the support of the contentions made by them. They further submitted that the petitioners were not alleged but were merely suspects. They prayed to quash the orders of JMFC.

The Counsel appearing for respondents, S.S. Naik and M.H. Patil submitted that the petition should have been filed under Section 227 of CrPC. instead of filing under Section 482 CrPC. Also, the Counsel supported the C report.

The Court observed that the impugned order was passed based on Polygraphy Test, Brain Mapping Test and Narco Analysis Test. Therefore, it has to be considered that whether all the guidelines in paragraph 263 of the judgment of Selvi v. State of Karnataka case were followed by the investigating officer and independent agency or not. The report did not state that the guidelines have been followed; therefore the Court found it clear that none of the guidelines mentioned by Court in the aforesaid case has been followed. The Court also observed that Magistrate should not have relied on such a report which has no evidentiary value. The Court opined that in the absence of the main culprits who had shot the victim, initiating criminal proceedings against the petitioners would amount to an abuse of law.

Therefore, the Court quashed the impugned order and allowed the petition. [Vijay v. State of Karnataka, 2020 SCC OnLine Kar 98, decided on 10-01-2020]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab And Haryana High Court: The Bench of Rajiv Sharma and Kuldip Singh, JJ., dismissed the application filed under Section 378(4) CrPC against the Judgment passed by the Additional Sessions Judge acquitting the accused-respondents of the charges framed against them under Section 302 read with Section 34 IPC and Section 25 of the Arms Act on the ground that it was a case of mere suspicion. 

The facts of the case were that the accused was suspected of the murder of his brother whose body was found lying near the railway track. However, the Additional Sessions Judge acquitted the accused. The Court said that in this case, the prosecution relied upon the confession made by both the accused in their disclosure statements. However, the confession made in the disclosure statement is not admissible in evidence. The prosecution also led evidence to prove the enmity between the accused and the deceased and for this purpose, they have examined the brother of the deceased and the father of the deceased. Their cross-examination showed that both of them had heard about the quarrel between the accused and the deceased on the Diwali day. However, the accused proved that he was away to Delhi on the Diwali day. Therefore, their statements regarding quarrel was discarded as hearsay. 

The Court held that this was a case of circumstantial evidence. The entire chain was not complete to point out that the accused were the only persons who could commit the crime. It was merely a suspicion. It is established law that suspicion, however strong, cannot take place of the positive proof and cannot be made the basis of conviction. The prosecution could not prove its case against the accused beyond a reasonable shadow of doubt. The Court thus did not find any illegality in the impugned Judgment. Accordingly, application under Section 378(4) CrPC. for grant of leave to appeal was dismissed. [Abdul Rahman v. State of Haryana, 2019 SCC OnLine P&H 351, decided on 01-04-2019]