IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NOs. 1428-1429 OF 2013
STATE OF KARNATAKA …APPELLANT(S)
P.RAVIKUMAR @ RAVI ETC. …RESPONDENT(S)
J U D G M E N T
1. Challenging the acquittal of respondent nos. 1
and 2 (accused 2 & 3) respectively for the offence
under Section 302, IPC the State of Karnataka has
preferred these appeals.
2. Case of the prosecution is that respondent no.
2 (A-3) D.B. Savitha – wife of the deceased – Mohan
Kumar was allegedly having illicit relationship with
accused no. 1. On account of such motive, Accused No.
1 and respondent nos. 1 and 2 herein (Accused Nos. 2 &
3) are alleged to have hatched a conspiracy in
committing the murder of deceased Mohan Kumarhusband
of A-3 (D.B. Savitha) on the ground that he
used to harass her on the illicit relationship of A-1
and A-3. On 07.07.2003, the deceased Mohan Kumar left
the house in the morning for his fertilizer shop and
did not return back. At about 9.30 p.m., the mother of
the deceased came to know through PW-6 (Basavaraju)
that the body of her son is lying on the side of the
road and that he had allegedly fallen from the bike.
The deceased was taken to the hospital where he
declared dead. The law was set in motion and all the
three accused were held under Section 302 IPC read
3. The trial court convicted all the accused under
section 302 IPC read with 34 IPC and 120(B),IPC. On
appeal, the High Court maintained the conviction of
accused no. 1 and acquitted respondent nos. 1 & 2
(Accused nos. 2 and 3).
4. we have heard Mr. Joseph Aristotle, learned
counsel appearing for the state of Karnataka.
5. Though the respondents have entered appearance
through counsel but at the time of hearing the matter
none appears on behalf of the respondents. We have
carefully perused the impugned judgment, evidence and
materials on record.
6. Insofar as respondent no. 1 (accused No. 2) –
P. Ravi Kumar @ Ravi is concerned, the prosecution
relies upon the extra judicial confession made to PW-2
(Auto Driver) who is stated to be the friend of
accused nos. 1 and 2. PW-2 has stated that about 20
days prior to the date of incident, when he was
sitting in the auto, A-1 was with him and that accused
no. 1 asked him to chase the deceased who was going on
his motorcycle. PW-2 further stated that about 20
days later accused nos. 1 and 2 approached him and
said to have made extra judicial confession that they
had committed the murder of deceased Mohan Kumar to
whom on earlier occasion they chased. Though PW-2 in
his chief examination stuck to his version, when he
was cross examined, he resiled from his earlier
version and consequently PW-2 was treated hostile.
When PW-2 resiled from his earlier statement, his
statement recorded by PW-22 (Judicial Magistrate)
under Section 164 Crl.PC may not be of any relevance;
nor can it be considered as substantive evidence to
base the conviction.
7. So far as the evidence of PW-3 is concerned, it
is only confined to the extra judicial confession made
by the first accused.
8. Yet another piece of evidence relied upon by
the prosecution is that the evidence of PW-4 who is
stated to be the friend of A-2.
9. Case of the prosecution is that on the night of
occurrence A-1 and A-2 went to the residence of PW-4
(M.G. Rajashekher @ Raju) and A-2 clothes were blood
stained and A-1 wearing sweater. Both A-1 and A-2 said
to have made extra judicial confession to PW-4. But
when PW-4 was examined in the court, PW-4 stated that
accused nos. 1 and 2 came to his residence on the
night of 07.07.2003 and cloth of accused no. 2 was
blood stained. PW-4 further stated that when he
questioned accused No. 1, he stated that they were
travelling in an auto towards Karthikere, it toppled
and in that process they sustained injuries. The above
said evidence of PW-4 explaining the blood stains on
the cloth of accused no. 2 due to toppling of auto
does not advance case of the prosecution that A-1
conspired with A-2 who committed the murder of
deceased Mohan Kumar. In any event extra judicial
confession is a weak piece of evidence, which cannot
form basis for conviction and unless supported by
other substantive evidence, which is lacking in this
10. Insofar as accused no. 3 is concerned,
prosecution relies upon exhibit P-8 and P-9.
Photographs were recovered on the disclosure statement
of accused no. 3. In this regard, prosecution has
examined PW-12 (photographer) who has stated that
accused nos. 1 and 3 came to his studio and took joint
photographs (Exhibit P-8 & P-9). The said photographs
at the most may only show that A-1 and A-3 has illicit
relationship. There is no evidence adduced to prove
that A-3 had hatched conspiracy with A-2 to commit the
murder of Mohan Kumar.
11. Upon appreciation of the evidence adduced by
the prosecution in particular PW-2 , PW-20 and PW-4,
the High Court has held that the guilt of A-2 and A-3
has not been established beyond reasonable doubt. We
do not find any ‘compelling reason’ or ‘substantial
infirmity’ warranting interference with the order of
acquittal of respondent nos. 1 and 2 (Accused Nos. 2
12. The appeals are, accordingly, dismissed.
16TH AUGUST, 2018