SC: Last Seen Together Cannot Be A Sole Basis of Conviction For Murder Cases If Hit by Section 26 of Evidence Act

The Supreme Courtroom on 16th April, 2018 while environment apart the judgment delivered by Madars Higher Courtroom said that final witnessed theory simply cannot be a sole foundation for conviction for murder offences if it is strike by Segment 26 of the Indian Proof Act. This judgment was supplied by Hon’ble Justices A.K. Sikri and R.K. Agarwal in the circumstance of Navaneethakrishnan V The Condition by Inspector of Police. [ CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1134 OF 2013].
These appeals had been directed from the prevalent judgment and order dated 23.11.2009 handed by the Higher Courtroom of Judicature at Madras in Prison Appeal Nos. 639 and 688 of 2009 whereby the Division Bench of the Higher Courtroom dismissed the appeals filed by the appellants herein from the order dated 18.09.2009 handed by the Quick Monitor Courtroom No. II, Salem, in Periods Scenario No. 21 of 2009 wherein realized Further District & Periods Judge convicted the appellants herein under Sections 302 go through with Segment 34, Segment 364 and Segment 379 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (in shorter ‘the IPC’) and sentenced to endure imprisonment for daily life with substantive sentences under the IPC.
A Initial Details Report (FIR) bearing No. 41 of 2008 at PS Yercaud, District Salem dated 16.02.2008 received registered by Mahimaidoss (PW-8) stating that on 14.02.2008, John Bosco (considering the fact that deceased), who was employed as the driver in his journey company, together with just one Madhan (considering the fact that deceased), took a Maruti Van from him but did not return for two days.
On the very future date, i.e., on 17.02.2008, just one a lot more FIR received registered by just one Asokan bearing No. 88 of 2008 stating that when he went to irrigate his fields, he observed a white colour sack floating in the perfectly. He straight away knowledgeable the identical to the area law enforcement and when the sack was opened, a male physique with arms tied at the again was observed.
On the foundation of FIR dated 16.02.2008, Crime No. 41 of 2008 was registered at Yercaud Police Station and all through the pendency of investigation, FIR No. 88 of 2008 received registered and a physique was observed which was discovered as of John Bosco.
In the course of investigation, Sivashankar (A-1 therein) was apprehended and he confessed about committing the crime together with (A-2 and A-3) appellants herein stating that they abducted John Bosco and his buddy Madhan and taken them in the Maruti Van getting pushed by John Bosco to just one of the kinfolk of Accused No. 2 therein wherever they prompted demise of John Bosco and Madhan by strangulating them just one by just one employing a rope and drowned their bodies in drinking water streams employing gunny baggage. A-1 also took athe investigation officer to the location wherever the physique of Madhan was observed in a gunny bag.
Becoming aggrieved by the judgment and order dated 18.09.2009, the appellants-accused desired Prison Appeal Nos. 639 and 688 of 2009 just before the Higher Courtroom. The Division Bench of the Higher Courtroom, vide judgment and order dated 23.11.2009, dismissed the appeals desired by the appellants herein.
Becoming aggrieved by the judgment and order dated 23.11.2009, the appellants herein desired these appeals by way of unique depart just before this Courtroom.

Troubles just before the Supreme Courtroom
The only level for consideration just before this Courtroom in the current facts and instances of the circumstance was whether the Higher Courtroom was proper in dismissing the appeals desired by the appellants-accused?
Realized counsel showing up for the appellants contended that the courts under unsuccessful to appreciate that the conviction simply cannot be based on a retracted confession and it can be utilized only in guidance of other proof. He even more contended that the courts under erred in convicting the appellants wherever the lead to of demise is not recognized.
For every contra, realized counsel showing up on the behalf of Respondent-Condition submitted that the judgment and order handed by the Division Bench of the Higher Courtroom upholding the selection of the Periods Courtroom is as for every the terms and dictates of legislation and ought to not be inferred with and the proof from the appellants-accused are sufficient sufficient to carry home the guilt.
The prosecution put reliance just before the Courtroom largely on three instances, to begin with, the final witnessed theory, next, the restoration of product objects which belonged to each the deceased from the appellants-accused and thirdly, the identification of the lifeless physique of Madhan from the river mattress as pointed out by the very first accused, having said that, the appellant herein has elevated particular uncertainties pertaining to the identical.
The pivotal proof in the supplied circumstance is the testimony of PW-11 who is believed to have lastly witnessed the appellants-accused with the deceased. Realized counsel showing up for the appellants-accused has contended that all the accused had been unknown to PW-11 but no identification parade was executed and the said witness has discovered the said accused specifically in court docket soon after a lapse of about 50 days’and consequently his proof ought to not be relied on.
The Supreme Courtroom while saying its verdict said ” we are of the considered feeling that each the courts under have erred in relying that aspect of the assertion which can be termed as confession which had been supplied to the law enforcement officer while they had been in custody and it will be strike by Segment 26 of the Indian Proof Act,1872 and only that aspect of the assertion which led to the discovery of numerous resources would be permissible. That’s why, in the absence of any other product proof from the appellants-accused, they simply cannot be convicted entirely on the foundation of proof of final witnessed jointly with the deceased.”
In the light-weight of the earlier mentioned dialogue, the judgment and order dated 23.11.2009 handed by the Higher Courtroom was established apart.