IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO(S). 277 OF 2016
MEHBOOB & ANR. Appellant(s)
THE STATE OF MAHARASHTRA Respondent(s)
J U D G M E N T
1. The appellants have been convicted under Section
302 IPC. The deceased was the wife of the first
appellant and the second appellant was his concubine.
The conviction is mainly based on two dying
declarations made by the deceased. The oral
statement (Exhibit 19) given by the deceased to the
police personnel shows that the first appellant had
poured kerosene on her and the second appellant had
set her on fire.
2. However, it is the vehement submission of
Mr.Chanchal Kumar Ganguly, learned counsel appearing
for the appellants, that the deceased had clearly
stated in the first dying declaration that the second
appellant had poured water and extinguished the fire.
In the second dying declaration (Exhibit 28), which
is recorded by Naib Tehsildar, it has come out that
both the appellants had extinguished the fire. The
learned counsel, therefore, submits that the
appellants are liable, in any case, for conviction
only under Section 304 Part II IPC.
3. But, as rightly pointed out by Mr. Nishant R.
Katneshwarkar, learned counsel appearing for the
State, extinguishing the fire has just come out of a
spontaneous human instinct and in case the appellants
had the real intention of saving the life of the
deceased, they would have at least taken her to the
hospital; instead she was just left at her paternal
home and both the accused escaped from the place.
4. Having heard the learned counsel appearing on
both sides and having gone through the pleadings and
referring to the evidence, we are not inclined to
take a different view as far as the conviction made
by the trial court and upheld by the High Court.
5. However, we make it clear that in case the
appellants have completed 14 years in jail, including
the remission, subject to their jail conduct being
satisfactory, they shall be released on bail, subject
to such conditions as may be imposed by the trial
court, pending a final decision for premature
6. Subject to the above, the appeal is disposed of.
[ KURIAN JOSEPH ]
[ S. ABDUL NAZEER ]
October 11, 2018.