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Nagappa Dondiba Kalal Vs. State of Karnataka - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Appeal No. 54 of 1975
Judge
Reported inAIR1980SC1753; 1980CriLJ1270; 1980Supp(1)SCC336; 1981(13)LC344(SC)
ActsIndian Penal Code (IPC) - Sections 302, 394 and 411; Evidence Act - Sections 114
AppellantNagappa Dondiba Kalal
RespondentState of Karnataka
Excerpt:
.....belonged to deceased was proved - appellant not party to murder or any assault committed on accused - ornaments proved to be stolen property received by appellant knowing that they were stolen property - accused can be convicted under section 411 as receiver of stolen property knowing same to be stolen - held, appellant acquitted of charges under sections 302 and 394 but convicted under section 411. - indian penal code, 1890 sections 300,149 & 307: [dr. arijit pasayat & asok kumar ganguly,jj] murder -unlawful assembly -common object -incident taking place out of election rivalry -accused had set up his candidate - on polling day accused initially dissuading voters from voting for rival candidate - subsequently resorting to rowdism to disturb poll - on being asked by deceased..........the deceased and who had full opportunity to see her wearing these ornaments have identified the ornaments. their evidence is further corroborated by two gold smiths p.ws. 9 & 10 who had prepared these ornaments. in these circumstances therefore, the high court was fully justified in acting on the evidence of these witnesses and in rejecting the argument of the accused that as no test identification parade was held, the identity could not be established. taking however the evidence as it stands, there is nothing to connect the appellant with the murder of the deceased or even with any assault the accused may have committed on the deceased or having robbed her of her ornaments. at the utmost as the ornaments have been proved to be stolen property received by the appellant knowing that.....
Judgment:

S. Murtaza Fazal Ali, J.

1. The appellant has been convicted by the High Court under Section 302 to life imprisonment and under Section 394 to five years Rigorous Imprisonment. The appellant was acquitted by the Sessions Judge of the charges framed against him but in an appeal filed by the State before the High Court, the acquittal was set aside and the appellant was convicted as mentioned above.

2. The conviction of the appellant rests entirely on circumstantial evidence consisting of the recovery of some gold ornaments at the instance of the appellant.

3. We have gone through the judgment of the High Court and we find ourselves in complete agreement with the reasons given by the High Court for holding that the identity of the ornaments recovered at the instance of the appellant which belonged to the deceased Pashyabi had been fully established. It was also proved that she had been wearing these ornaments when she left the house on the night of 10 4-1973. The recoveries were made on 13-4-1973, that is to say within three days of the occurrence. P.Ws. 7,8, 16 and 17 who are close relations of the deceased and who had full opportunity to see her wearing these ornaments have identified the ornaments. Their evidence is further corroborated by two gold smiths P.Ws. 9 & 10 who had prepared these ornaments. In these circumstances therefore, the High Court was fully justified in acting on the evidence of these witnesses and in rejecting the argument of the accused that as no test identification parade was held, the identity could not be established. Taking however the evidence as it stands, there is nothing to connect the appellant with the murder of the deceased or even with any assault the accused may have committed on the deceased or having robbed her of her ornaments. At the utmost as the ornaments have been proved to be stolen property received by the appellant knowing that they were stolen property. The accused can thus be convicted on the basis of presumption under Section 114 of the Evidence Act and under Section 411 of Indian Penal Code as a receiver of stolen property knowing the same to be stolen.

4. Counsel appearing for the State submitted that as the accused had given no explanatian. therefore the inference should be drawn that he must have murdered the deceased. We are however unable to draw any such inference. It is for the prosecution to prove its case affirmatively and it cannot gain any strength from the conduct of the accused in remaining silent. In these circumstances, we do not find any evidence to support the conviction of the appellant under Section 302 or under Section 394 but having regard to the evidence ltd by the prosecution, a case under Section 411 of IPC has been clearly made out. We therefore allow this appeal to this extent that the appellant is acquitted of the charges under Sections 302 & 394 but is convicted of the minor offence of Section 411 IPC and sentenced to three years Rigorous Imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 5,000/- (Rupees five thousand only) in default one year's Rigorous Imprisonment.


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