False explanation by accused u/s 313 CrPC can't be used to complete the chain of circumstances to establish his guilt

Sudru Vs The State of Chattisgarh

Supreme Court

22/08/2019

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 751 OF 2010

About/from the judgment:

The Supreme Court has observed that non-explanation or false explanation by an accused in his statement under Section 313 CrPC cannot be taken as a circumstance to complete the chain of circumstances to establish the guilt of the accused.

 

However, in this case, the court took into account the false explanation given by the accused as it noted that the finding of guilt has been already recorded on the basis of other circumstances.

 

In Sudru vs.State of Chhattisgarh, in his Section 313 Statement, the accused, who was tried for murder of his son, had stated before the Trial Court that his son died due to ailment. However, the doctor had deposed that there was a fracture on the head of the deceased and the death of the deceased might have occurred due to strangulation and there were marks of fingers on the neck of the deceased. In this context, the bench said:

No doubt, that non-explanation or false explanation by appellant cannot be taken as a circumstance to complete the chain of circumstances to establish the guilt of the appellant. However, the false explanation can always be taken into consideration to fortify the finding of guilt already recorded on the basis of other circumstances.

 

The bench referred to observation made in Trimukh Maroti Kirkan versus State of Maharashtra that, when an incriminating circumstance is put to the accused and the said accused either offers no explanation or offers an explanation which is found to be untrue, then the same becomes an additional link in the chain of circumstances to make it complete. The court also noted that in Sharad Birdhichand Sarda v. State of Maharashtra, it was held that a false plea or a false defence may be called into aid to lend assurance to the court.

 

Another important aspect in this case was that many witnesses including the wife of the accused had turned hostile. But the court observed that such part of the evidence of a hostile witness which is found to be credible could be taken into consideration and it is not necessary to discard the entire evidence. In this regard, the bench referred to the judgment in Bhajju v. State of M.P.

 

From the evidence of his wife, the bench said that, it can be safely held that there was a quarrel between him and his wife and after the quarrel, she went to the house of her brother-in-law with two younger children and that the deceased was left alone in his company and on the next day morning the deceased was found to be dead. The bench further observed:

 

After the prosecution has established the aforesaid fact, the burden would shift upon the appellant under Section 106 of the Indian Evidence Act. Once the prosecution proves, that it is the deceased and the appellant, who were alone in that room and on the next day morning the dead body of the deceased was found, the onus shifts on the appellant to explain, as to what has happened in that night and as to how the death of the deceased has occurred.

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