Supreme Court of India
Edward vs Inspector Of Police, Aandimadam … on 11 March, 2015Author: P C Ghose
Bench: Pinaki Chandra Ghose, R.K. Agrawal
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 707 OF 2007
Inspector of Police, Aandimadam Police Station …Respondent
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 774 OF 2007
Periyanagayasamy and Ors. ….Appellants
Inspector of Police, Aandimadam Police Station ….Respondent
Pinaki Chandra Ghose, J.
1. These appeals have been filed by accused persons against the judgment
and order dated 16.3.2006 passed by the Madras High Court in Criminal
Appeal No.1540 of 2002 by which the High Court has dismissed the appeal
filed by the appellants. The facts of the case as narrated by the
prosecution are briefly stated as under:
2. The deceased Michaelraj and the accused persons were residents of the
same Village in Taluk Udayarapalayam in District Perambalur. There was a
land dispute between Michaelraj and the accused persons on account of which
there was enmity between them. Originally, the grandmother of the deceased
Michaelraj executed a settlement deed in favor of Michaelraj which was
subsequently cancelled. Thereafter, a portion of the property was executed
in favor of the appellant. Despite the settlement deed, the appellant
claimed that his possession of property was disturbed by the deceased and
his relatives. Therefore, the appellant filed a suit against the deceased
and his relatives. The appellant further claimed that even though interim
orders were passed in the suit, Michaelraj and his relatives did not allow
the appellant to enjoy his possession of the property.
3. On 10.12.1997 at around 7:30 p.m., when Michaelraj along with his
friend John Paul was returning from the house of his father-in-law, the
appellant and other accused persons attacked him with deadly weapons. This
occurrence was witnessed by John Paul (PW-1) and Anthoni Raj (PW-3). The
deceased sustained injuries and was taken to the hospital in a serious
condition. In the meantime, PW-1 went to the Police Station and filed an
FIR to PW-11. Subsequently, a case was registered under Sections 147, 148,
341, 324 and 307 of the Indian Penal Code (“IPC”). On 14.12.1997,
Michaelraj died at the hospital and thereafter the inspector of police (PW-
12) altered the case into one under Section 302 of the IPC. PW-12 filed an
application seeking police custody from the Court. On police custody, he
obtained confession from the appellant, which led to the recovery of
weapons, which were sent for chemical examination. Thereafter, PW-14 took
up the matter from PW-12 and investigated the case further and filed a
charge-sheet for offence under Section 302 of the IPC.
4. The matter came up before the Trial Court, which after going through
the evidence provided by the sole-eyewitness PW-3, concluded that the case
of prosecution is proved beyond doubt and thereby convicted the accused
under Sections 148, 149, 302 & 341 of IPC. Aggrieved by the judgment of the
Trial Court, the accused preferred an appeal before the Madras High Court.
The High Court vide its judgment and order dated 16.3.2006, partly allowed
the appeal filed by the accused persons, convicted them under Section 304
Part II of IPC and sentenced them to rigorous imprisonment for five years,
stating that the doctor who treated the deceased was not examined and the
documents regarding the nature of treatment were not produced. Aggrieved by
the said judgment and order passed by the High Court, the sole appellant is
5. We have heard the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the parties.
Learned counsel appearing for the appellant has relied on the case of State
of Orissa v. Brahamananda Nanda, (1976) 4 SCC 288, in which the entire case
of the prosecution rested on the oral evidence provided by an eye-witness,
which was rejected by the High Court and simultaneously dismissed by this
Court. The counsel for the appellant also relied on the case of State of
Karnataka v. Venkatesh and others, (1992) Suppl.1 SCC 539, in which it has
been held by this Court that in absence of reliable testimony and evidence,
guilt of the accused cannot be proved. The learned counsel contended that
in the present case, there was no reliable evidence adduced by PW-3 as he
was the only witness providing evidence against the accused and it can be
further seen that PW-1 had turned hostile.
6. Learned counsel for the appellant further relied on the case of
Harish Kumar v. State Delhi Administration, (1994) Suppl. 1 SCC 462, in
which it has been held by this Court that it was not given proper materials
to examine the nature of the treatment given to the deceased. The counsel
stated that in the present case, the nature of treatment given to the
deceased by the doctors had not been recorded and the deceased died four
days after the occurrence of the incident. So it cannot be concluded that
the deceased died exclusively due to the injuries.
7. Learned counsel for the Respondent on the other hand, supported the
impugned judgment passed by the High Court.
8. With regard to the contention of the counsel for appellant where he
has stated that the single eye-witness is inimical towards the accused, in
the case of Dalip Singh and Ors. v. State of Punjab, (1954) 1 SCR 145, it
has been held by this Court that, it is true when feelings run high and
there is a personal cause for enmity, there is a tendency to drag in an
innocent person against whom the witness has a grudge but foundation must
be laid for such a criticism and each case must be judged and governed on
its own facts. In this case we do not see any evidence for the eye-witness
to be inimical towards the accused.
9. In the case of Bipin Kumar Mondal v. State of West Bengal, (2011) 2
SCC (Cri) 150 = (2010) 12 SCC 91, it has been held by this Court that there
is no legal impediment in convicting a person on the sole testimony of a
single witness provided he is wholly reliable. In the present case there is
no ground to doubt the reliability of the evidence provided by PW-3.
10. Even if there is a difference between ocular and medical evidence, it
is clear from the facts that the accused were present there with the common
intention to attack the deceased. Thus, a difference between ocular and
medical evidence will not stand any ground in acquitting the accused in the
11. In view of the above discussion, we are of the considered opinion
that the facts and circumstances of the case do not warrant any
interference by us in the matter. The appeals lack merit and are
(Pinaki Chandra Ghose)
March 11, 2015.
ITEM NO.1A COURT NO.12 SECTION IIA
S U P R E M E C O U R T O F I N D I A
RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS
Criminal Appeal No(s). 707/2007
INSPECTOR OF POLICE, AANDIMADAM P.S. Respondent(s)
Crl.A. No. 774/2007
Date : 11/03/2015 These appeals were called on for pronouncement
of judgment today.
For Appellant(s) Mr. M.N. Rao, Sr. Adv.
Mr. S. Thananjayan, Adv.
Mr. Basant R., Sr. Adv.
Ms. Promila, Adv.
Mr. Karthik Ashok, Adv.
For Respondent(s) Mr. M. Yogesh Kanna, Adv.
Ms. J. Janani, Adv.
Mr. A. Santha Kumaran, Adv.
Hon’ble Mr. Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose pronounced the reportable
judgment of the Bench comprising His Lordship and Hon’ble Mr. Justice R.K.
The appeals are dismissed in terms of the signed reportable judgment.
(R.NATARAJAN) (SNEH LATA SHARMA)
Court Master Court Master
(Signed reportable judgment is placed on the file)