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Mere Enmity Even If Proved Cannot Be A Ground To Discard Witness's Evidence: Kerala High Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
27 July 2021 7:23 AM GMT
Mere Enmity Even If Proved Cannot Be A Ground To Discard Witnesss Evidence: Kerala High Court
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Mere enmity, even if it is proved cannot be a ground to discard the evidence, if the such evidence is found to be reliable, the Kerala High Court observed while upholding conviction of an accused in a murder case on the basis of evidence given by his wife.In this case, one of the contentions raised by the accused was that one of the witnesses, who is his wife, nursed an enmity with him and...

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Mere enmity, even if it is proved cannot be a ground to discard the evidence, if the such evidence is found to be reliable, the Kerala High Court observed while upholding conviction of an accused in a murder case on the basis of evidence given by his wife.

In this case, one of the contentions raised by the accused was that one of the witnesses, who is his wife, nursed an enmity with him and hence it is not safe to base a conviction on such evidence.

"It is a well settled position of law that, merely because, the witness is a close relative to the victim, evidence of such witness cannot be discarded, treating it as an interested version. Unless otherwise established, it cannot be concluded that a person who is closely related to the victim, would make any statement for falsely implicating any person, so as to permit the real culprit to escape from the clutches of law.. Regarding the suspicion thrown on the evidence of witness due to enmity, we are of the view that, mere enmity, even if it is proved cannot be a ground to discard the evidence, if the such evidence is found to be reliable.", the bench comprising Justices K. Vinod Chandran and Ziyad Rahman AA observed.

The wife of the accused had lodged the FIR in which she stated that her marital life with the accused was not at all happy, as he was in the habit of ill-treating her after consuming alcohol. As the ill-treatment became unbearable, she left him and started living with the deceased who was one of her relatives. That on 28-12-2014, at 4am, the accused committed trespass into the house of the victim by climbing over the concrete roof thereof, where the deceased and herself were sleeping, inflicted multiple blows on his head and body with a heavy hammer, and fled from the spot immediately thereafter. The deceased, thereafter, succumbed to the injuries. According to her, the reason for committing murder of the deceased is the grudge nursed by the accused against the victim, as she started living with the deceased.

While upholding the Trial Court judgment, the bench observed that even if there is only a single piece of evidence which is reliable and valuable, it could be the basis of a conviction.

"The fact that PW1 is the wife of accused who deserted him some days before the incident to live with the deceased, clearly indicate the grudge of the accused against the victim and thus establishes the motive for crime. The past of the accused, which is tainted with criminal antecedents, i.e his involvement in another murder case, makes the prosecution case stronger. From all the above crucial evidence, no conclusion, other than the guilt of the accused is possible and accordingly we hold him guilty as has been done by the trial Court.", the bench observed while upholding the conviction.


Case: Kumaran vs. State of Kerala [CrA 1078 OF 2017]
Coram:  Justices K. Vinod Chandran and Ziyad Rahman AA
Counsel: Adv P.P. Padmalayan, PP Alex Thombra


Click here to Read/Download Judgment





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