injuries found on the face of the accused. It is pertinent to note that the accused failed to provide any explanation as to how he had incurred the aforesaid injuries. Further, the injuries on the body of the deceased also indicate signs of struggle. Furthermore, the post­mortem suggests that the death of deceased was not suicidal but rather she was hanged after she had lost consciousness. All the aforesaid circumstances further substantiate the voluntary extra­judicial confession of the accused made before P.W­4. Moreover, the fact of the commission of death by hanging corroborated by the Exhibit P­12, (Panchayatnama) which notes that the deceased was hanging from the roof with the help of a bed sheet. It is noted that the Exhibit P­12, (Panchayatnama) stands proved by the Sub­Inspector (P.W.8). The extra­judicial confession of the accused, therefore, finds independent reliable corroboration from the aforesaid circumstances

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL No. 2122 OF 2010
MANOJ KUMAR … APPELLANT
Versus
THE STATE OF UTTARAKHAND … RESPONDENT
J U D G M E N T

  1. The present matter is placed before us by virtue of referral
    order dated 22.05.2014 wherein the following question was placed
    for reference before us that, “whether the 2nd FIR and the
    investigation in pursuance of further information thereof should be
    straightway quashed or should it require a scrutiny during trial of
    the permissible matter of prejudice, and truthfulness of the evidence
    collected on the basis of second FIR.”
  2. But it is to be noted that, during the course of arguments
    counsels from both the sides admitted that, no second FIR was
    1
    NON­REPORTABLE
    registered in the present case. Although the reference was made to
    us, to adjudicate the above question of law, basing on the
    submissions we can conclude that the issue of second FIR does not
    arise in the present matter. Therefore, we are proceeding to
    adjudicate the matter on merits.
  3. The brief facts of the case necessary for adjudication are as
    follows: the accused­appellant used to stay in the same block under
    the complainant (PW­1) and he used to frequently visit the house of
    complainant (PW­1). Further he also owned a betel shop in the
    vicinity. On the day of incident, i.e. 24.08.1993, both the
    complainant and his wife left for their duties, and their daughter
    (hereinafter referred as ‘the deceased’) aged around 17 years, was
    alone at the house. Thereafter, on finding an opportunity at around
    10.45 A.M., the accused­appellant entered the house and tried to
    establish forceful physical relations with the deceased and the same
    was strongly resisted by her. Thus, a physical altercation broke out
    between the two, wherein the accused­appellant strangulated the
    deceased by putting the weight of his right hand on the throat of the
    deceased. The accused­appellant thereafter orchestrated the entire
    incident into a suicide, by hanging the deceased from the roof with
    2
    the help of a white bedsheet. However, during this incident, two key
    witnesses namely Kushalpal and Vinod Kumar (PW­2), visited the
    house of the complainant (PW­1) for some personal work. On their
    call at the main­door, they were addressed by the accused­appellant
    who informed them that nobody was present at home and therefore,
    considering the accused­petitioner to be a neighbour, both the
    persons left the house without doubting the accused­petitioner or
    suspecting that anything was wrong.
  4. Later that day, after returning from duty at around 12:00 noon,
    the complainant (P.W­1) found the dead body of his daughter
    hanging from the roof and informed the police about the same. But
    subsequently, on 26.08.1993, Vinod Kumar (PW­2), visited the
    house of complainant and informed him that on the day of the
    incident, at around 11:00 A.M., the accused­appellant came out of
    their house on their call and informed them that nobody was at
    home. Therefore, the complainant (P.W­1) approached the police on
    26.08.1993 to inform them about the presence of the accused at the
    scene of offence. On the basis of the aforesaid information the First
    Information Report No. 221 was registered under Section 302 of
    Indian Penal Code against the accused­appellant and the search for
    3
    the accused was initiated. Simultaneously, on 26.08.1993, the
    accused appellant had made an extra­judicial confession before
    Sanjay Sharma (PW­4); who in turn narrated the entire incident
    before the Investigating Officer. Thereafter, investigation was
    conducted and after completion of the same, charge sheet was filed
    against the accused­appellant.
  5. The trial court vide its judgment dated 14.05.1997, convicted
    the accused for offence under Section 302 of the IPC and sentenced
    him to undergo life imprisonment and pay a fine of Rs. 20,000/­, in
    default rigorous imprisonment of 5 years. Aggrieved, the appellant
    approached the High Court in Criminal Appeal No.1192 of 2001,
    wherein the High Court upheld the order of conviction passed by the
    trial court and dismissed the appeal preferred by the appellant.
    Aggrieved, the appellant preferred the present appeal.
  6. Learned counsel for the accused­appellant contended that the
    High Court gravely erred in convicting the accused for the aforesaid
    offence without any incriminating evidence against him. The counsel
    emphasized that the conviction was solely based on the extrajudicial confession which is not corroborated by any material
    evidence. Moreover, it was also contended that, it is a simple case of
    4
    suicide but PW­1 with the help of the testimonies of PW­2 and PW­4
    has falsely implicated the appellant as an accused and these
    testimonies cannot be relied on as they were created as an
    afterthought after a delay of 2 days. Lastly, this being a case of
    circumstantial evidence, the chain of circumstances does not prove
    the guilt of the accused.
  7. Learned counsel for the respondent contended that prosecution
    has successfully discharged its burden by placing reliance on last
    seen, extra­judicial confession made by the accused, injuries on the
    accused, absence of accused from his house at the time of
    occurrence and lack of an alibi to prove his presence elsewhere and
    the medical evidence. The counsel therefore contends that the High
    Court has rightly upheld the conviction of the accused keeping in
    view the aforesaid chain of circumstances which proves the guilt of
    the accused. Therefore, the counsel pleaded that the appeal of
    appellant being devoid of merits should be dismissed without any
    indulgence.
  8. Heard the learned counsels on merits. Admittedly, since there
    is no direct evidence, the present case is based on circumstantial
    evidence. Therefore, it is pertinent to focus on facts leading to the
    5
    completion of the chain of circumstances which proves the guilt of
    the accused.
  9. The trial court began its analysis of the facts by laying
    emphasis on the proximity of the house of the deceased and the
    accused so as to prove that access was highly probable considering
    the fact that, the accused used to live in the floor beneath that of the
    deceased. Admittedly, on the date of incident, the deceased was
    alone in the house as her parents and siblings had left for their jobs
    and school at around 6:30 a.m. respectively. It is in this scenario
    that the evidence of Vinod Kumar (P.W.2) plays a vital role, as it
    proves that the accused was present at the scene of the offence.
    Vinod Kumar (P.W.2) clearly stated that he had visited the house of
    the complainant (P.W.1) and called out his name, although there was
    no response for the first time, the accused answered the second call
    and informed P.W.2 that there was no one available at home. Owing
    to the proximity of both the families, P.W.2 left for his hometown
    without any suspicion. It is in this context that the evidence of
    complainant (P.W.1) becomes relevant so as to analyse the conduct
    of the accused just after the incident. P.W.1 has stated that the
    accused and his father were missing from their residence since the
    6
    time of the offence itself and that they had not even participated in
    the cremation ceremony of the deceased. It was only on 27.08.1993
    that the accused was apprehended by the police with the help of the
    secret informer.
  10. Further, both the trial Court and the High Court placed
    reliance on the injuries found on the face of the accused. It is
    pertinent to note that the accused failed to provide any explanation
    as to how he had incurred the aforesaid injuries. Further, the
    injuries on the body of the deceased also indicate signs of struggle.
    Furthermore, the post­mortem suggests that the death of deceased
    was not suicidal but rather she was hanged after she had lost
    consciousness. All the aforesaid circumstances further substantiate
    the voluntary extra­judicial confession of the accused made before
    P.W­4. Moreover, the fact of the commission of death by hanging
    corroborated by the Exhibit P­12, (Panchayatnama) which notes that
    the deceased was hanging from the roof with the help of a bed sheet.
    It is noted that the Exhibit P­12, (Panchayatnama) stands proved by
    the Sub­Inspector (P.W.8). The extra­judicial confession of the
    accused, therefore, finds independent reliable corroboration from the
    aforesaid circumstances. (See Ram Singh v. State of U.P., 1967
    7
    Cri LJ 9) In light of the aforementioned chain of events, there exists
    sufficient evidence on record to connect the appellant with the death
    of the deceased, the motive of which is apparent.
  11. In the absence of any existing enmity between the accused and
    the witnesses there exists no ground to question the veracity of the
    witnesses or to raise a ground of false implication. Therefore,
    considering the totality of the facts and circumstances, we conclude
    that the chain of events has been rightly analysed by both the courts
    below and the same leads towards proving the culpability of the
    accused. (See Prakash v. State of Rajasthan, (2013) 4 SCC 668)
  12. Therefore, after perusal of the material on record we conclude
    that, the appeal preferred by the accused, being devoid of any merit
    is liable to be dismissed. In light of the same, we uphold the order of
    conviction passed by the High Court.
    …………………….J.
    (N.V.RAMANA)
    …………………….J.
    (MOHAN M.SHANTANAGOUDAR)
    …………………….J.
    (INDIRA BANERJEE)
    New Delhi,
    April 05, 2019.
    8