Neeraj Sharma vs State of Chhattisgarh 2024 INSC 6 – S 364A IPC – S 32 Evidence Act – Injured Eye-Witness

Indian Penal Code, 1860 ; Section 364A – In order to make out an offence under Section 364 A, three conditions must be met: A) There should be a kidnapping or abduction of a person or a person is to be kept in detention after such kidnapping or abduction; B) There is a threat to cause death or hurt to such a person or the accused by their conduct give rise to a reasonable apprehension that such person may be put to death or hurt C) Or cause death or hurt to such a person in order to compel the Government or any foreign state or intergovernmental organisation or any other person to do or abstain from doing any act or to pay a ransom. The necessary ingredients which the prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, before the Court are not only an act of kidnapping or abduction but thereafter the demand of ransom, coupled with the threat to life of a person who has been kidnapped or abducted, must be there – When there is no allegation about demand for ransom, offence under Section 364A IPC is not attracted- Referred to Shaik Ahmed v. State of Telangana (2021) 9 SCC 59 and Ravi Dhingra v. State of Haryana (2023) 6 SCC 76. (Para 14-16)

Indian Evidence Act, 1872 ; Section 32 – Statement cannot be read as a dying declaration when the person making this statement or declaration had ultimately survived. (Para 17)

Indian Penal Code, 1860 ; Section 364A – Section 364A IPC does not merely cover acts of terrorism against the Government or Foreign State but it also covers cases where the demand of ransom is made not as a part of a terrorist act but for monetary gains for a private individual. 

Criminal Trial – Injured Witness – Unless there are compelling circumstances or evidence placed by the defence to doubt such a witness, this has to be accepted as an extremely valuable evidence in a criminal Trial – Principles which are to be kept in mind when appreciating the evidence of an injured eye-witness – Referred to Balu Sudam Khalde v. State of Maharashtra 2023 SCC OnLine SC 355. (Para 11)

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