Raja Nayakar vs State Of Chhattisgarh 2024 INSC 56 – Criminal Trial – Circumstantial Evidence – S 313 CrPC – S 27 Evidence Act

Criminal Trial – Circumstantial Evidence – Sharad Birdhichand Sarda vs. State of Maharashtra (1984) 4 SCC 116=1984 INSC 121 – the circumstances from which the conclusion of the guilt is to be drawn should be fully established – The accused ‘must be’ and not merely ‘may be’ proved guilty before a court can convict the accused – There is not only a grammatical but a legal distinction between ‘may be proved’ and ‘must be or should be proved’ – The facts so established should be consistent only with the guilt of the accused, that is to say, they should not be explainable on any other hypothesis except that the accused is guilty- The circumstances should be such that they exclude every possible hypothesis except the one to be proved – There must be a chain of evidence so complete as not to leave any reasonable ground for the conclusion consistent with the innocence of the accused and must show that in all human probabilities the act must have been done by the accused – The suspicion, however strong it may be, cannot take the place of proof beyond reasonable doubt. An accused cannot be convicted on the ground of suspicion, no matter how strong it is. An accused is presumed to be innocent 10 unless proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. (Para 8-9)

Indian Evidence Act, 1872; Section 27 – Referred to Pulukuri Kotayya and others v. King-Emperor 1946 SCC OnLine 47=AIR 1947 PC 67 – Only such statement which leads to recovery of incriminating material from a place solely and exclusively within the knowledge of the maker thereof would be admissible in evidence. (Para 13)

Criminal Trial – The sole circumstance of recovery of blood-stained weapon cannot form the basis of conviction unless the same was connected with the murder of the deceased by the accused – Referred to Mustkeem alias Sirajudeen v. State of Rajasthan AIR 2011 SC 2769=2011 INSC 487. (Para 19)

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 313- A case based on circumstantial evidence, the nonexplanation or false explanation of the accused under Section 313 Cr.P.C. cannot be used as an additional link to complete the chain of circumstances. It can only be used to fortify the conclusion of guilt already arrived at on the basis of other proven circumstances – it is only after the prosecution discharges its duty of proving the case beyond all reasonable doubt that the false explanation or non-explanation of the accused could be taken into consideration. (Para 21)

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