Surender Singh vs State (NCT Of Delhi) 2024 INSC 462 – Ss.299,300 IPC – S. 105 Evidence Act – S. 231 CrPC

Indian Penal Code, 1860; Section 299,300- Provocation itself is not enough to reduce the crime from murder to culpable homicide not amounting to murder. In order to convert a case of murder to a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, provocation must me such that would temporarily deprive the power of self-control of a “reasonable person”. What has also to be seen is the time gap between this alleged provocation and the act of homicide; the kind of weapon used; the number of blows, etc. These are again all questions of facts. There is no standard or test as to what reasonableness should be in these circumstances as this would again be a question of fact to be determined by a Court. (Para 25)

Criminal Trial -Long Adjournments –This may affect the fairness of the trial and may even endanger, in a given case, the safety of the witness. As far as possible, the defence should be asked to cross examine the witness the same day or the following day. Only in very exceptional cases, and for reasons to be recorded, the cross examination should be deferred and a short adjournment can be given after taking precautions and care, for the witness, if it is required – A request for deferral must be premised on sufficient reasons, justifying the deferral of cross examination of the witness- The mandate of Section 231 of Cr.PC and the law laid down on the subject referred above must be followed in its letter and spirit. (Para 11-13)

Indian Evidence Act, 1872; Section 105- The burden of proof that the accused’s case falls within the general exception is upon the accused himself- This burden of proof though is not as onerous as the burden of proof beyond all reasonable doubts which is on the prosecution, nevertheless some degree of reasonable satisfaction has to be established by the defence, when this plea is taken. (Para 21)

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