The Complete Supreme Court Criminal Law Digest 2023

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2 March 2024 8:19 AM GMT

  • The Complete Supreme Court Criminal Law Digest 2023

    Abkari ActAbkari Act, 1077; Section 57A- Offence under Section 57A is not limited to the holders of the license under the Act, but refers to anybody who mixes or permits to be mixed any noxious substance, likely to endanger human life with any liquor. (Para 43) Sajeev v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 974 : 2023 INSC 998Abkari Act, 1077; Section 55 - Alcohol as mentioned in Section 55,...

    Abkari Act

    Abkari Act, 1077; Section 57A- Offence under Section 57A is not limited to the holders of the license under the Act, but refers to anybody who mixes or permits to be mixed any noxious substance, likely to endanger human life with any liquor. (Para 43) Sajeev v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 974 : 2023 INSC 998

    Abkari Act, 1077; Section 55 - Alcohol as mentioned in Section 55, has been defined under Section 3(10) as any liquid consisting of or made of alcohol. Therefore, Section 55 applies to the transmission of methyl alcohol. (Para 48) Sajeev v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 974 : 2023 INSC 998

    Abkari Act; Section 8 - The testimonies of official witnesses cannot be discarded simply because independent witnesses were not examined - the person receiving the information of the crime or detecting the occurrence thereof, can investigate the same. Questioning such an investigation on the basis of bias or such like factor, would depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. It is not amenable to a general unqualified rule that lends itself to uniform application. (Para 16-26) Sathyan v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 627 : 2023 INSC 703 : AIR 2023 SC 4627 : (2023) 11 SCR 95

    Adultery

    "It is not as if this court approved of adultery": Supreme Court clarifies 'Joseph Shine' judgment that declared Section 497 IPC unconstitutional. Joseph Shine v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 117 : 2023 INSC 87

    Armed Forces Personnel liable to face disciplinary action for adultery despite striking down of Section 497 IPC. Joseph Shine v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 117 : 2023 INSC 87

    Adultery - Joseph Shine v. Union of India (2019) 3 SCC 39 - It is not as if this Court approved of adultery. This Court has found that adultery may be a moral wrong (per Hon'ble Ms. Justice Indu Malhotra). This Court has also held that it will continue to be a ground for securing dissolution of marriage. It has also been described as a civil wrong. (Para 23) Joseph Shine v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 117 : 2023 INSC 87

    Bail

    Bail applications from the same FIR should be listed before one bench : Supreme Court to all High Courts. Rajpal v. State of Rajasthan, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1066

    Bail - Same FIR - Issue of conflicting decisions on bail applications arising from the same FIR, despite earlier directives to list all matters related to one FIR before the same Judge. In light of continued discrepancies across High Courts, the Court directs to communicate the order to all High Courts, emphasizing the importance of uniformity in handling bail applications arising from the same FIR. (Para 3 – 5) Rajpal v. State of Rajasthan, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1066

    Ensure bail applications are listed at the earliest; personal liberty at stake : Supreme Court to all High Courts. Kavish Gupta v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1062

    Section 498A IPC - Bail condition that husband should resume conjugal life with wife can't be imposed. Kunal Choudhary v. State of Jharkhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1045

    Mere claim of innocence or undertaking to participate in trial not sufficient reasons to grant bail in serious offences. State of Jharkhand v. Dhananjay Gupta @ Dhananjay Prasad Gupta, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1038

    Once the Court concludes that a person is entitled to bail, granting bail for a limited period is illegal. If an order granting interim bail was to be passed, the bail application should have been kept pending. Manoranjan Rout v. State of Odisha, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1028

    Supreme Court denies anticipatory bail to IPS officer who allegedly got conman to pose as HC Chief Justice to influence corruption probe. Aditya Kumar v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1013

    Police must secure transit remand for arrests outside the state to safeguard rights under Article 22. Priya Indoria v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 996 : 2023 INSC 1008

    Conditions for transit anticipatory bail in FIRs registered in other states : Supreme Court explains. Priya Indoria v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 996 : 2023 INSC 1008

    High Courts, Session Courts can grant interim/transit anticipatory bail even when fir is registered in another state. Priya Indoria v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 996 : 2023 INSC 1008

    Can't seek bail merely because the co-accused got bail; to apply parity, the individual role of accused must be seen. Tarun Kumar v. Assistant Director Directorate of Enforcement, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 995 : 2023 INSC 1006 : AIR 2024 SC 169

    Section 362 Cr.P.C. bar not applicable to bail orders. Ramadhar Sahu v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 945

    Grant of bail can't be made dependent on surrender of co-accused. Munshi Sah v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 944

    If trial is delayed for no fault of the accused, Courts must consider grant of bail. Manish Sisodia v. Central Bureau of Investigation, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 934 : 2023 INSC 956

    Supreme Court denies bail to former Delhi Dy CM Manish Sisodia in Delhi excise policy scam case; directs to fast track trial. Manish Sisodia v. Central Bureau of Investigation, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 934 : 2023 INSC 956

    Bail - Cancellation of - If it is found that an undertrial has attempted to misuse the concession of bail either by influencing the witnesses or tampering with the evidence or trying to flee from justice, such person can be committed to custody by withdrawing the concession of bail. (Para 20) Munilakshmi v. Narendra Babu, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 924 : 2023 INSC 943 : AIR 2023 SC 5620

    'Trial took 40 years!': Supreme Court grants bail to 75 year-old rape-murder convict, asks HC to hear his appeal on priority. Banamali Choudhury v. State of West Bengal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 836

    The Supreme Court disapproves of the High Court order limiting bail to three months. Ranjit Digal v. State of Odisha, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 772

    'One can't apply one bail order to all subsequent cases' : Supreme Court refuses bail in PACL scam. PACL v. Central Bureau of Investigation, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 747 : 2023 INSC 795

    Can anticipatory bail be granted to proclaimed offender ? only in exceptional & rare cases, holds the Supreme Court. State of Haryana v. Dharamraj, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 739 : 2023 INSC 784

    Expressing serious concern, the Supreme Court asks Patna HC CJ to look into the delay in uploading the court order. Manish Kumar v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 738

    Supreme Court surprised by Gujarat HC granting bail to murder accused based on 'settlement' with victim's son; chastises state for not challenging order. Bharwad Sanotshbhai Sondabhai v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 728

    Supreme Court affirms bail granted to former Andaman Chief Secretary Jitendra Narain in Port Blair gang rape case. XXX v. Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 718 : 2023 INSC 767

    'Age-old principle "where women are respected, gods live there" would recede to background' : Supreme Court cancels bail to gang-rape accused. Bhagwan Singh v. Dilip Kumar @ Deepu @ Deepak, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 707 : 2023 INSC 761 : AIR 2023 SC 4165

    “How can we start selling bail like this": supreme court says onerous bail conditions must not be imposed ordinarily. Mursaleen Tyagi v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 700

    Antilia bomb scare case - Supreme Court grants bail to former Mumbai Police officer pradeep sharma. Pradeep Rameshwar Sharma v. National Investigation Agency, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 699 : 2023 INSC 755

    Can bail condition requiring assurance from the embassy that foreign accused will not leave India be imposed? Supreme Court to examine. Frank Vitus v. Narcotics Control Bureau, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 681

    Bail conditions imposed by courts must be realistic considering the socio-economic background of the accused. In Re Policy Strategy for Grant of Bail, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 610

    Supreme Court grants bail to Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in Bhima Koregaon case. Vernon v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 575 : 2023 INSC 655 : AIR 2023 SC 3926

    Cannot grant interim protection to accused while rejecting anticipatory bail plea : Supreme Court 'amazed' at HC's self-contradictory order. State of Uttar Pradesh v. Mohd. Afzal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 566

    'Bail orders must be backed by reasons considering vital aspects': Supreme Court sets aside 'casual & cryptical' HC order. Rohit Bishnoi v. State of Rajasthan, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 560 : AIR 2023 SC 3547

    Accused not filing a petition to quash FIR / Chargesheet has no relevance in deciding bail application. Teesta Atul Setalvad v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 554 : 2023 INSC 637

    Supreme Court grants bail to Teesta Setalvad; calls Gujarat HC observations 'perverse', 'contradictory'. Teesta Atul Setalvad v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 554 : 2023 INSC 637

    Anticipatory Bail - Personal liberty is important, but courts must also consider the gravity of offence & impact on society. Pratibha Manchanda v. State of Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 514 : 2023 INSC 612 : AIR 2023 SC 3307 : (2023) 8 SCC 181

    Don't grant bail in private cheating cases merely because the accused undertook to deposit money : Supreme Court reminds courts. Ramesh Kumar v. State NCT of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 496 : AIR 2023 SC 3484 : (2023) 7 SCC 461

    Condition to furnish bank guarantee for granting bail is unsustainable in law. Karandeep Singh v. CBI, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 482

    Accused cannot be denied bail on the sole ground that the co-accused has not surrendered. Sebil Elanjimpally v. State of Odisha, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 474 : 2023 INSC 557

    The Supreme Court has expressed concern over the practice prevailing in Orissa High Court whereby different bail applications arising out of same FIR are listed before different Benches of the High Court. Such practice leads to 'anomalous situation' as some accused may be granted bail by a Bench while some other accused persons (in the same crime) may be denied bail by a different Bench, notwithstanding that all of them are similarly placed in many cases. Pradhani Jani v. State of Odisha, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 455

    High Courts can issue additional directions while considering bail pleas by virtue of powers under Article 226/227. Sanjay Dubey v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 435 : 2023 INSC 519 : AIR 2023 SC 3263

    The Supreme Court directs to send Sessions Judge for training as he was not following judgments on bail. Satender Kumar Antil v. Central Bureau of Investigation, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 410

    Chargesheet not incomplete merely because it was filed without sanction; the accused can't seek default bail on that ground. Judgebir Singh @ Jasbir Singh @ Jasbir v. National Investigation Agency, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 377 : 2023 INSC 472

    Don't seek extension of time for investigation at the last moment, accused will get right to default bail: Supreme Court to NIA, Police. Judgebir Singh @ Jasbir Singh @ Jasbir v. National Investigation Agency, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 377 : 2023 INSC 472

    In matters pertaining to citizens' liberty, courts should act promptly; avoid detailed deliberation of evidence in bail pleas. Sumit Subhaschandra Gangwal v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 373

    Filing an incomplete chargesheet without completing the investigation would not extinguish the right of the accused to get default bail. Ritu Chhabaria v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 352 : 2023 INSC 436

    Seeking pre-deposit of bank guarantee for grant of bail is unsustainable. Makhijani Pushpak Harish v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 345

    No reasonable grounds to believe accusations are prima facie true: Supreme Court grants bail to two alleged maoists after 4.5 years' custody. Yedala Subba Rao & Anr. v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 317 : (2023) 6 SCC 65 : 2023 INSC 382

    Accused not entitled to default bail when first extension (passed in absence of accused) wasn't challenged & second extension was passed in his presence. Qamar Ghani Usmani v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 297 : AIR 2023 SC 1901 : (2023) 2 SCR 824 : 2023 INSC 337

    'Trial judges shouldn't be placed in a sense of fear': Supreme Court sets aside HC order seeking explanation from judge for granting bail. Totaram v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 289

    The order of the High Court directing that the appellant be arrested immediately and seeking an explanation from the Second Additional Sessions Judge was wholly disproportionate and was not warranted. Such orders of the High Court produce a chilling effect on the District judiciary. The members of the district judiciary cannot be placed in a sense of fear if they were to exercise the jurisdiction lawfully entrusted to them for granting bail in appropriate cases. Totaram v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 289

    Supreme Court expresses anguish at trial court dismissing bail application ignoring its judgment in Satender Kumar Antil v. Central Bureau of Investigation, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 577 - Directs District Judge to transfer case to another Magistrate - Reminds that Prosecutors have duty to inform the court of the correct legal position. Deepak Kumar Azad @ Pappu v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 278

    Bail can be granted in NDPS cases on ground of undue delay in trial despite stringent conditions in Section 37. Mohd. Muslim v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 260 : AIR 2023 SC 1648 : 2023 INSC 311

    Plain and literal interpretation of Section 37 NDPS Act would make bail impossible: Supreme Court adopts 'Prima Facie' Test. Mohd. Muslim v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 260 : AIR 2023 SC 1648 : 2023 INSC 311

    Right to Speedy Trial - Laws which impose stringent conditions for grant of bail, may be necessary in public interest; yet, if trials are not concluded in time, the injustice wrecked on the individual is immeasurable - Incarceration has further deleterious effects - where the accused belongs to the weakest economic strata: immediate loss of livelihood, and in several cases, scattering of families as well as loss of family bonds and alienation from society. The courts therefore, have to be sensitive to these aspects (because in the event of an acquittal, the loss to the accused is irreparable), and ensure that trials – especially in cases, where special laws enact stringent provisions, are taken up and concluded speedily. Mohd. Muslim v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 260 : AIR 2023 SC 1648 : 2023 INSC 311

    Day of remand should be included for considering default bail claim: Supreme Court answers reference. Enforcement Directorate v. Kapil Wadhawan, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 249 : 2023 INSC 723

    All those undertrial prisoners and convicts who have been released on emergency parole / interim bail pursuant to the recommendations of the High-Powered Committee in compliance of the orders passed by this Court have to surrender before the concerned prison authorities within 15 days. In Re: Contagion of COVID-19 Virus in Prisons, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 238 : 2023 INSC 294

    'Large number of remand orders passed in violation of law are from Uttar Pradesh': Supreme Court seeks Allahabad HC's intervention. Satendra Kumar Antil v. Central Bureau of Investigation, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 233

    Supreme Court warns magistrates who don't follow judgments on bail; says they might be taken off from judicial work & sent for training. Satendra Kumar Antil v. Central Bureau of Investigation, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 233

    All prosecuting agencies / State Governments / UTs should issue directions to the Public Prosecutors so that neither in pleadings nor in arguments, is a stand taken contrary to the legal position enunciated by this Court. The circulation in this behalf should be made through the Director of Prosecution and training programmes be organized to keep on updating the Prosecutors in this behalf. (Para IV) Satendra Kumar Antil v. Central Bureau of Investigation, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 233

    Supreme Court displeased that Magistrates are passing custody orders in violation of the directions in Satender Kumar Antil v. Central Bureau of Investigation, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 577 - It is the duty of the High Courts that it ensures that the subordinate judiciary under their supervision follows the law of the land. If such orders are being passed by some Magistrates it may even require some judicial work to be withdrawn and the magistrate to be sent to judicial academies for upgradation of their skills. (Para ii) Satendra Kumar Antil v. Central Bureau of Investigation, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 233

    Ensure basic essentials such as FIR number, police station are recorded in bail orders: Supreme Court to all High Courts. Ravish Kumar v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 206

    Bail can be cancelled if serious offences are subsequently added to FIR': Supreme Court sets aside bail in 'casting couch' case. Ms. X v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 205

    Section 438 Cr.P.C. - Can HCs refuse to entertain anticipatory bail pleas for not exhausting Sessions Court remedy? Supreme Court to Consider. Gauhati High Court Bar Association v. State of Assam, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 177

    Section 45 PMLA conditions applicable to anticipatory bail applications for money laundering offence. Directorate of Enforcement v. M. Gopal Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 138 : 2023 INSC 163

    Supreme Court expresses anguish at trial courts acting in violation of its judgments in Siddharth vs. State of Uttar Pradesh LL 2021 SC 391 & Satender Kumar Antil v. Central Bureau of Investigation & Anr. – 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 577 - We fail to understand why despite these judgments having been circulated, some of the trial Courts are conducting and passing the orders in the teeth of these judgments. It is a matter of concern that these cases thus, keep on coming up to the apex Court unnecessarily. Chandmal v. State of M.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 94

    Interim victim compensation cannot be imposed as a condition for bail. Talat Sanvi v. State of Jharkhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 83 : (2023) 1 SCR 289 : 2023 INSC 80

    Supreme Court issues directions to avoid delay in release of prisoners after getting bail. In Re Policy Strategy for Grant of Bail, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 76

    If bail bonds are not furnished within one month, Trial Courts may consider suo motu relaxing conditions. In Re Policy Strategy for Grant of Bail, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 76

    Supreme Court disapproves Allahabad HC dismissing several bail applications on the same day for default. Rahul Sharma v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 64

    Supreme Court overturned a bail condition imposed by the High Court that a person accused of illegally claiming Input Tax Credit must deposit Rs. 70 lakhs, the alleged amount of improperly claimed ITC - Centre conceded that such a condition is unsustainable when final assessment has not taken place. Subhash Chauhan v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 61

    Process of criminal law not for money recovery; Bail can be granted irrespective of payment of money involved. Bimla Tiwari v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 47 : (2023) 1 SCR 501 : 2023 INSC 45

    Excessive conditions cannot be imposed while granting bail / suspension of sentence. Guddan @ Roop Narayan v. State of Rajasthan, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 45

    Default bail can be cancelled on merits after presentation of chargesheet. State through CBI v. T. Gangi Reddy @ Yerra Gnagi Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 37 : AIR 2023 SC 457 : (2023) 4 SCC 253 : (2023) 1 SCR 741 : 2023 INSC 44

    View that default bail cannot be cancelled on merits will reward lethargic investigation. State through CBI v. T. Gangi Reddy @ Yerra Gnagi Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 37 : AIR 2023 SC 457 : (2023) 4 SCC 253 : (2023) 1 SCR 741 : 2023 INSC 44

    Cheque

    Notice under S.138 NI Act invalid if omnibus demand is made without specifying cheque amount. Upasana Mishra v. Trek Technology India Pvt. Ltd., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1075

    S.138 NI Act - Availability of funds in other bank accounts not a defence; cheque dishonour relates to specific account. Harpal Singh v. State of Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1046

    Cheque dishonour cases - What should courts ask accused once presumption under s.139 ni act is applicable? the Supreme Court explains. Rajesh Jain v. Ajay Singh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 866 : 2023 INSC 888 : (2023) 10 SCC 148 : AIR 2023 SC 5018

    Section 141 NI Act - Only that person who was responsible for conduct of company's affairs at the time of cheque dishonour is liable. Siby Thomas v. Somany Ceramics Ltd., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 869 : 2023 INSC 890 : AIR 2023 SC 4929

    The Supreme Court comes to the rescue of a party who filed a cheque bounce case in wrong court after noting he got incorrect legal advice. Bijoy Shankar Mishra v. State of Jharkhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 798

    Section 148 NI Act - Deposit of minimum 20% amount is not an absolute rule; can be relaxed if an exceptional case is made out. Jamboo Bhandari v. M.P. State Industrial Development Corporation Ltd; 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 776 : 2023 INSC 822

    Cheque bounce case can be quashed u/s 482 only if the amount is patently non-recoverable; whether debt time-barred or not is a question of evidence. K. Hymavathi v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 752 : 2023 INSC 811 : AIR 2023 SC 4369

    Section 202 Cr.P.C. - Evidence of witnesses on behalf of the complainant in cheque cases can be taken on affidavit. Vishwakalyan Multistate Credit Co. Op. Society Ltd. v. Oneup Entertainment, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 706

    Cheque case against the firm's partner can be quashed only on strong evidence that he didn't have any concern with issuing the cheque. Riya Bawri v. Mark Alexander Davidson, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 695 : 2023 INSC 757 : AIR 2023 SC 4044

    NI Act - In a cheque case against a company, persons can't be made accused only because they're managing the company's business. Ashok Shewakramani v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 622 : 2023 INSC 692

    Cheque Dishonour - Concurrent sentencing rule only when cases arise out of a single transaction. K. Padmaja Rani v. State of Telangana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 584

    NI Act - In cheque dishonour case, interim compensation can be ordered to be paid only after the accused pleads not guilty. Pawan Bhasin v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 537

    Insolvency resolution of the company will not extinguish director's liability under Section 138 NI Act. Ajay Kumar Radheyshyam Goenka v. Tourism Finance Corporation of India Ltd., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 195 : 2023 INSC 232

    Cheque cases can be transferred from one state to another invoking Section 406 Cr.P.C. Yogesh Upadhyay v. Atlanta Ltd., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 125 : AIR 2023 SC 1151 : (2023) 2 SCR 511 : 2023 INSC 150

    Section 138 NI Act - Conviction cannot be confirmed overriding agreement between parties to compound the offence. B.V. Seshaiah v. State of Telangana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 75 : AIR 2023 SC 717 : (2023) 2 SCR 293 : 2023 INSC 93

    Section 138 NI Act - Accused relies on income tax returns to show complainant did not have financial capacity; Supreme Court affirms acquittal. Rajaram Sriramulu Naidu v. Maruthachalam, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 46 : AIR 2023 SC 471 : (2023) 1 SCR 809 : 2023 INSC 51

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 - Difference in the power of Police to register and investigate an FIR under Section 154(1) read with 157 of the Code, and the Magistrate's direction to register an FIR under Section 156(3) of the Code. Power of the Magistrate to direct registration of an FIR under Section 156(3) in contrast with post-cognizance stage power under Section 202 of the Code – Explained. (Para 23 -38) Kailash Vijayvargiya v. Rajlakshmi Chaudhuri, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 396 : 2023 INSC 494

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 - Inherent power of the High Court under the Code to quash the FIR – Explained. (Para 19-22) Kailash Vijayvargiya v. Rajlakshmi Chaudhuri, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 396 : 2023 INSC 494

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 - Principles in respect of the exercise of power under Section 482 Cr.P.C. – Explained. Peethambaran v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 402 : 2023 INSC 481

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 - Section 173(3) read with Section 158 does not permit the Secretary (Home) to order for further investigation or reinvestigation by another agency - The order passed by the Secretary (Home) transferring the investigation / ordering further investigation by another agency and that too, on the basis of the application / complaint submitted by mother of the accused is unknown to law - In any case, as it is a case of reinvestigation, the same is not permissible and that too by another agency without the prior permission of the learned Magistrate even while exercising the powers under Section 173(8) of the Cr.P.C. (Para 7.1, 7.3) Bohatie Devi v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 376 : 2023 INSC 465

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 - The power under the Code to investigate generally consists of following steps: (a) proceeding to the spot; (b) ascertainment of facts and circumstances of the case; (c) discovery and arrest of the suspected offender; (d) collection of evidence relating to commission of offence, which may consist of examination of various persons, including the person accused, and reduction of the statement into writing if the officer thinks fit; (e) the search of places of seizure of things considered necessary for investigation and to be produced for trial; and (f) formation of opinion as to whether on the material collected there is a case to place the accused before the Magistrate for trial and if so, taking the necessary steps by filing a chargesheet under Section 173. (Para 12) Kailash Vijayvargiya v. Rajlakshmi Chaudhuri, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 396 : 2023 INSC 494

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 - No accused can be permitted to play with the investigation and/or the court's process. No accused can be permitted to frustrate the judicial process by his conduct. It cannot be disputed that the right of custodial interrogation/ investigation is also a very important right in favour of the investigating agency to unearth the truth, which the accused has purposely and successfully tried to frustrate. Therefore, by not permitting the CBI to have the police custody interrogation for the remainder period of seven days, it will be giving a premium to an accused who has been successful in frustrating the judicial process. (Para 8) Central Bureau of Investigation v. Vikas Mishra @ Vikash Mishra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 283 : AIR 2023 SC 1808 : (2023) 6 SCC 49 : 2023 INSC 345

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 - Powers of the Appellate Court while dealing with the appeal against an order of acquittal - General principles discussed. (Para 14) Siju Kurian v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 338 : AIR 2023 SC 2239 : 2023 INSC 378

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 - Supreme Court directs Police to not file closure report in cases where proceedings/FIR have been quashed by the High Court - In case of quashing of the criminal proceedings/FIRs by the High Court, there is no question of preparing/filing a closure report under Section 173 Cr.P.C. State of Uttarakhand v. Umesh Kumar Sharma, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 335

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 – Remand - There seems to be a practice followed by Courts to remand the accused to custody, the moment they appear in response to the summoning order. The correctness of such a practice has to be tested in an appropriate case. (Para 10) Mahdoom Bava v. Central Bureau of Investigation, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 218 : AIR 2023 SC 1570 : 2023 INSC 263

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 - High Courts should endeavour to ensure that all basic essentials (i.e. FIR No., Date, the concerned police station and the offences allegedly committed etc.) are duly recorded or reflected in the format of the bail orders. Ravish Kumar v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 206

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 - Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002; Section 46(1), 65, 71 - The provisions of the Cr.P.C. are applicable to all proceedings under the Act including proceedings before the Special Court, except to the extent they are specifically excluded. Hence, Section 71 of the PMLA providing an overriding effect, has to be construed in tune with Section 46(1) and Section 65. (Para 28-29) Rana Ayyub v. Directorate of Enforcement, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 86 : AIR 2023 SC 875 : (2023) 4 SCC 357 : 2023 INSC 101

    Chapter XII - Information to the Police and their Powers to Investigate

    Code of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 - Chapter XII - The Investigating Officer is the person tasked with determining a direction, the pace, manner and method of the investigation. (Para 38 - 43) Maghavendra Pratap Singh @ Pankaj Singh v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 358 : 2023 INSC 415

    Code of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 - Chapter XII - Whether the Investigating Officer had complied with the duties and responsibilities cast upon him - Held, the Investigating Officer did not examine the owner of the house; (b) did not enter his movement in the case diary; (c) did not record that he took the accused for effecting the recovery; (d) was not able to describe clearly the area from where the recovery was effected; (e) admits both the independent witnesses, who do not belong to the area from where the recoveries were effected; (f) does not associate any of the residents of the area for conducting the search; (g) does not examine any of the residents for carrying out any further investigation and (h) Most importantly he admits that both the memo of arrest as also the recovery not to have been prepared by him or bearing his signature and the same too, have many corrections and over­writing, thus reducing the correctness and authenticity of this document. Furthermore, he is not clear about the description of the articles recovered. The Investigating Officer did not meet the obligations he was under. Numerous infirmities affected the conduct of the Investigation Officer calling into question, credibly, the investigation conducted by him or upon his directions. (Para 35) Maghavendra Pratap Singh @ Pankaj Singh v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 358 : 2023 INSC 415

    Chapter XXV - Provisions as to accused persons of Unsound Mind

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Chapter XXV; Sections 328 to 339 - Though procedural in nature, Chapter XXV becomes substantive when it deals with an accused person of unsound mind - There is not even a need for an application under Section 329 of Cr.P.C. in finding out as to whether an accused would be sound enough to stand a trial, rather it is the mandatory duty of the Court -The whole idea under the provisions discussed is to facilitate a person of unsound mind to stand trial, not only because of his reasoning capacity, but also to treat him as the one who is having a disability. The role of the Court is to find the remedial measures and do complete justice. (Para 15-16) Prakash Nayi @ Sen v. State of Goa, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 71 : (2023) 5 SCC 673 : (2023) 1 SCR 823 : 2023 INSC 24

    Section 41 - When police may arrest without warrant

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 41, 154 - To strike a balance, distinction is drawn between power of arrest of an accused person under Section 41 and registration of an FIR under Section 154 of the Code. While registration of an FIR is mandatory, the arrest of the accused on registration of the FIR is not. FIR is registered on the basis of information without any qualification like credible, reasonable or true information. Reasonableness or credibility of information is not a condition precedent for registration of the FIR. However, for making arrest in terms of Section 41(1)(b) or (g), the legal requirements and mandate is reflected in the expression 'reasonable complaint' or 'credible information'. (Para 15) Kailash Vijayvargiya v. Rajlakshmi Chaudhuri, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 396 : 2023 INSC 494

    Section 102 - Power of police officer to seize certain property

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 102 - Company's bank account cannot be frozen for criminal investigation against an unrelated party. Jermyn Capital LLC Dubai v. CBI, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 412 : 2023 INSC 509

    Section 125 - Order for maintenance of wives, children and parents

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 125 - Judges not following guidelines on maintenance - Direction to circulate Rajnesh v. Neha, (2021) 2 SCC 324 to all Judicial Officers. (Paras 14 & 16) Aditi @ Mithi v. Jitesh Sharma, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 963 : 2023 INSC 981

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 125 - Supreme Court issues directions for sale and attachment of assets to clear arrears of maintenance to woman abandoned by husband. Manmohan Gopal v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 921 : 2023 INSC 953

    Section 154 - Information in cognizable cases

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 154 - Delay in filing fir not satisfactorily explained could be fatal to prosecution case. (Para 11) Sekaran v. State of Tamil Nadu, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1052 : 2023 INSC 1062 : AIR 2024 SC 397

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 154 - Delay in lodging an FIR by itself cannot be regarded as the sufficient ground to draw an adverse inference against the prosecution case, nor could it be treated as fatal to the case of prosecution. The Court has to ascertain the causes for the delay, having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case. If the causes are not attributable to any effort to concoct a version, mere delay by itself would not be fatal to the case of prosecution. (Para 10) Hariprasad @ Kishan Sahu v. State of Chattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 968 : 2023 INSC 986

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 154 - Delay in registration of FIR - Explanation offered by the prosecution that the FIR was not registered as the cause of death was not stated by the Doctor who carried out the post-mortem and the report of Chemical examiner was awaited, is a reasonable and acceptable. There was no mala fide intention on the part of any of the witnesses or the police not to register the FIR or to delay the registration of FIR. It was only when the report of Chemical examiner was received after one year, the FIR. Held; FIR being only a corroborative piece of evidence and not a substantive piece of evidence, mere delay in registering the FIR could not be held to be a ground adverse to the case of prosecution. (Para 18) Hariprasad @ Kishan Sahu v. State of Chattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 968 : 2023 INSC 986

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 154 - Registration of an FIR - Mandatory nature of Section 154(1) of the Code – Explained. (Para 14-18) Kailash Vijayvargiya v. Rajlakshmi Chaudhuri, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 396 : 2023 INSC 494

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 154 and 157 - there is a distinction between Section 154 and 157 as the latter provision postulates a higher requirement than under Section 154 of the Code. Under Section 157(1) of the Code, a Police officer can foreclose the investigation if it appears to him that there is no sufficient ground to investigate. The requirement of Section 157(1) for the Police officer to start investigation is that he has “reason to suspect the commission of an offence”. Therefore, the Police officer is not liable to launch investigation in every FIR which is mandatorily registered on receiving information relating to commission of a cognizable offence. When the Police officer forecloses investigation in terms of clauses (a) and (b) of the proviso to Section 157(1), he must submit a report to the Magistrate. Here, the Magistrate can direct the Police to investigate, or if he thinks fit, hold an inquiry. Where a Police officer, in a given case, proceeds to investigate the matter, then he files the final report under Section 173 of the Code. The noticeable feature of the scheme is that the Magistrate is kept in the picture at all stages of investigation, but he is not authorised to interfere with the actual investigation or to direct the Police how the investigation should be conducted. (Para 16) Kailash Vijayvargiya v. Rajlakshmi Chaudhuri, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 396 : 2023 INSC 494

    Code of Criminal Procedure 1973; Section 154 - Principles of natural justice are not applicable at the stage of reporting a criminal offence - Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 does not provide for right of hearing before the registration of an FIR. (Para 30) State Bank of India v. Rajesh Agarwal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 243 : AIR 2023 SC 1859 : (2023) 6 SCC 1 : 2023 INSC 303

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 154 - Delay in registering FIR - The immediate lodging of an FIR removes suspicion with regard to over implication of number of persons, particularly when the case involved a fight between two groups. When the parties are at loggerheads, the immediate lodging of the FIR provides credence to the prosecution case. (Para 31) Nand Lal v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 186 : AIR 2023 SC 1599 : [2023] 2 SCR 276 : 2023 INSC 224

    Section 156 - Police officer's power to investigate cognizable case

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 156(3) - Proposed accused has right to be heard in revision filed under Section 401 Cr.P.C. against dismissal of petition under Section 156(3) Cr. P.C. Santhakumari v. State of Tamil Nadu, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 465

    Code of Criminal Procedure 1973; Section 156(3) - In order to cause registration of an F.I.R. and consequential investigation based on the same the petition filed under Section 156(3), Cr.P.C., must satisfy the essential ingredients to attract the alleged offences. In other words, if such allegations in the petition are vague and are not specific with respect to the alleged offences it cannot lead to an order for registration of an F.I.R. and investigation on the accusation of commission of the offences alleged. (Para 10) Usha Chakraborty v. State of West Bengal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 67 : AIR 2023 SC 688 : 2023 INSC 86

    Code of Criminal Procedure 1973; Section 156(3) - Supreme Court quashes criminal proceedings after noting that the attempt was to give a cloak of criminal offence to a civil dispute. The Court noted that the application filed under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. were vague and did not attract the essential ingredients of the offences. Also, the pendency of a civil suit on the issue was suppressed in the application. Usha Chakraborty v. State of West Bengal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 67 : AIR 2023 SC 688 : 2023 INSC 86

    Section 161 - Examination of witnesses by police

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Sections 161 and 162 - Statement given to police during investigation under Section 161 cannot be read as an "evidence". It has a limited applicability in a Court of Law as prescribed under Section 162 Cr.P.C.. (Para 18) Birbal Nath v. State of Rajasthan, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 941 : 2023 INSC 957 : AIR 2023 SC 5644

    Section 164 - Recording of confessions and statements

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 164 - Non-examination of the statement under section 164 Cr.P.C. also has no relevance or bearing to the findings and conclusions arrived at by the courts below. It was for the Investigating Officer to have got the statement under section 164 Cr.P.C. recorded. If he did not think it necessary in his wisdom, it cannot have any bearing on the testimony of PW-1 and the other material evidence led during trial. (Para 22) Ajai @ Ajju v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 110 : AIR 2023 SC 996 : 2023 INSC 127

    Section 167 - Procedure when investigation cannot be completed in twenty-four hours

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 167(2) - Default Bail - If NIA as well as the State investigating agency they want to seek extension of time for investigation, they must be careful that such extension is not prayed for at the last moment - The right to be released on default bail continues to remain enforceable if the accused has applied for such bail, notwithstanding pendency of the bail application or subsequent filing of the chargesheet or a report seeking extension of time by the prosecution before the court. However, where the accused fails to apply for default bail when the right accrues to him, and subsequently a chargesheet, or a report seeking extension of time is preferred before the Magistrate or any other competent court, the right to default bail would be extinguished. The court would be at liberty to take cognizance of the case or grant further time for completion of the investigation, as the case may be, though the accused may still be released on bail under other provisions of the CrPC. Judgebir Singh @ Jasbir Singh @ Jasbir v. National Investigation Agency, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 377 : 2023 INSC 472

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 167(2) - Filing of a chargesheet is sufficient compliance with the provisions of Section 167 of the CrPC and that an accused cannot claim any indefeasible right of being released on statutory / default bail under Section 167(2) of the CrPC on the ground that cognizance has not been taken before the expiry of the statutory time period to file the chargesheet - Grant of sanction is nowhere contemplated under Section 167 of the CrPC - Once a final report has been filed, that is the proof of completion of investigation and if final report is filed within the period of 180 days or 90 days or 60 days from the initial date of remand of accused concerned, he cannot claim that a right has accrued to him to be released on bail for want of filing of sanction order. (Para 44, 63) Judgebir Singh @ Jasbir Singh @ Jasbir v. National Investigation Agency, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 377 : 2023 INSC 472

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 167(2), 193 - National Investigation Agency Act, 2008; Section 16 - Error on the part of the investigating agency in filing chargesheet first before the Court of Magistrate has nothing to do with the right of the accused to seek statutory / default bail under Section 167(2) of the CrPC. The committal proceedings are not warranted, when it comes to prosecution under the UAPA by the NIA by virtue of Section 16 of the NIA Act. This is because the Special Court acts as one of the original jurisdictions. By virtue of Section 16 of the NIA Act, the Court need not follow the requirements of Section 193 of the CrPC. Judgebir Singh @ Jasbir Singh @ Jasbir v. National Investigation Agency, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 377 : 2023 INSC 472

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 167(2), Section 173 - We find no merit in the principal argument canvassed on behalf of the appellants that a chargesheet filed without sanction is an incomplete chargesheet which could be termed as not in consonance with sub section (5) of Section 173 of the CrPC - Once a final report has been filed with all the documents on which the prosecution proposes to rely, the investigation shall be deemed to have been completed - Once a final report has been filed, that is the proof of completion of investigation and if final report is filed within the period of 180 days or 90 days or 60 days from the initial date of remand of accused concerned, he cannot claim that a right has accrued to him to be released on bail for want of filing of sanction order. Judgebir Singh @ Jasbir Singh @ Jasbir v. National Investigation Agency, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 377 : 2023 INSC 472

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 167 - Filing incomplete chargesheet without completing investigation would not extinguish the right of accused to get default bail. Ritu Chhabaria v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 352 : 2023 INSC 436

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 167(2) - Accused cannot claim the benefit of default bail, when he did not challenge the first extension of time granted for investigation and the second extension was granted in his presence and when the chargesheet was subsequently filed within the period of extension. Qamar Ghani Usmani v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 297 : AIR 2023 SC 1901 : (2023) 2 SCR 824 : 2023 INSC 337

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 167(2) - It is true that in the case of Central Bureau of Investigation v. Anupam J. Kulkarni, reported in (1992) 3 SCC 141, this Court observed that there cannot be any police custody beyond 15 days from the date of arrest. In our opinion, the view taken by this Court in the case of Anupam J. Kulkarni (supra) requires re-consideration. (Para 7, 7.1) Central Bureau of Investigation v. Vikas Mishra @ Vikash Mishra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 283 : AIR 2023 SC 1808 : (2023) 6 SCC 49 : 2023 INSC 345

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 167 - The day of remand is to be included for considering a claim for default bail - the stipulated 60/90 day remand period under Section 167 CrPC ought to be computed from the date when a Magistrate authorizes remand - In cases where the chargesheet / final report is filed on or after the 61st/91st day, the accused in our considered opinion would be entitled to default bail. In other words, the very moment the stipulated 60/90 day remand period expires, an indefeasible right to default bail accrues to the accused - 3 judge bench answers reference. Enforcement Directorate v. Kapil Wadhawan, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 249 : 2023 INSC 723

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Proviso to Section 167(2) - Default bail can be cancelled on merits - there is no absolute bar that once a person is released on default bail under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C., his bail cannot be cancelled on merits and his bail can be cancelled on other general grounds like tampering with the evidence/witnesses; not cooperating with the investigating agency and/or not cooperating with the concerned Trial Court etc. [Para 11] State through CBI v. T. Gangi Reddy @ Yerra Gnagi Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 37 : AIR 2023 SC 457 : (2023) 4 SCC 253 : (2023) 1 SCR 741 : 2023 INSC 44

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Proviso to Section 167(2) - Grant of Default Bail - the bail so granted is not on merits - when an accused is released on default bail they are released on furnishing the bail bond by them on the failure of the investigating agency to complete the investigation and file the chargesheet within the stipulated time mentioned therein - the object and purpose of proviso to Section 167(2) Cr.P.C. is to impress upon the need for expeditious investigation within the prescribed time limit and to prevent laxity - the object is to inculcate a sense of its urgency and on default the Magistrate shall release the accused if he is ready and does furnish bail - it cannot be said that order of release on bail under proviso to Section 167(2) Cr.P.C. is an order on merits. [Para 8.1] State through CBI v. T. Gangi Reddy @ Yerra Gnagi Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 37 : AIR 2023 SC 457 : (2023) 4 SCC 253 : (2023) 1 SCR 741 : 2023 INSC 44

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Proviso to Section 167(2) - Grant of Default Bail - deemed to be released under provisions of Chapter XXXIII of the Cr.P.C., which includes Section 437 and 439 also - deeming fiction under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C. cannot be interpreted to the length of converting the order of default bail, which is not on merits as if passed on merits. [Para 8.1] State through CBI v. T. Gangi Reddy @ Yerra Gnagi Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 37 : AIR 2023 SC 457 : (2023) 4 SCC 253 : (2023) 1 SCR 741 : 2023 INSC 44

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; proviso to Section 167(2) - Grant of Default Bail - the merits brought out in the chargesheet and attending circumstances are relevant, as the bail was granted due to default of the investigating officer without Court's adverting to the merits but strong grounds are necessary to cancel the bail and mere filing of the chargesheet itself is not sufficient. [Para 9.2, 9.4, 9.7] State through CBI v. T. Gangi Reddy @ Yerra Gnagi Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 37 : AIR 2023 SC 457 : (2023) 4 SCC 253 : (2023) 1 SCR 741 : 2023 INSC 44

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Proviso to Section 167(2) - Grant of Default Bail - Order granting bail shall be deemed to be under Section 437(1) or (2) or Section 439(1) of the Cr.P.C. and that order can be cancelled when a case for cancellation is made out under Section 437(5) or 439(2) Cr.P.C. [Para 9.6, 9.7] State through CBI v. T. Gangi Reddy @ Yerra Gnagi Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 37 : AIR 2023 SC 457 : (2023) 4 SCC 253 : (2023) 1 SCR 741 : 2023 INSC 44

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Proviso to Section 167(2) - In a case where an accused is released on default bail under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C., and thereafter on filing of the chargesheet, a strong case is made out and on special reasons being made out from the chargesheet that the accused has committed a non-bailable crime and considering the grounds set out in Sections 437(5) and Section 439(2), his bail can be cancelled on merits and the Courts are not precluded from considering the application for cancelation of the bail on merits. However, mere filing of the chargesheet is not enough, but as observed and held hereinabove, on the basis of the chargesheet, a strong case is to be made out that the accused has committed non-bailable crime and he deserves to be in custody. [Para 13] State through CBI v. T. Gangi Reddy @ Yerra Gnagi Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 37 : AIR 2023 SC 457 : (2023) 4 SCC 253 : (2023) 1 SCR 741 : 2023 INSC 44

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Proviso to Section 167(2) - To hold that default bail cannot be cancelled on merits will be giving premium to lethargic investigation-In a given case, even if the accused has committed a very serious offence, may be under the NDPS or even committed murder(s), still however, he manages through a convenient investigating officer and he manages not to file the chargesheet within the prescribed time limit mentioned under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C. and got released on default bail, it may lead to giving a premium to illegality and/or dishonesty- Such an interpretation frustrates the course of justice. [Para 12] State through CBI v. T. Gangi Reddy @ Yerra Gnagi Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 37 : AIR 2023 SC 457 : (2023) 4 SCC 253 : (2023) 1 SCR 741 : 2023 INSC 44

    Section 173 - Report of police officer on completion of investigation

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 173 and 482 - Quashing of FIR - High Court has observed that the Investigating Officer will give opportunity to the accused to explain the material collected against him during the investigation before submission of the final report - Such approach is very strange and contrary to law. Shiv Kumar Sharma v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 950

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 173 (8) - Victim has a fundamental right of fair investigation and fair trial. Therefore, mere filing of the chargesheet and framing of the charges cannot be an impediment in ordering further investigation / re-investigation / de novo investigation, if the facts so warrant. (Para 12.3) Anant Thanur Karmuse v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 136 : (2023) 5 SCC 802 : 2023 INSC 168

    Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 - Sections 173, 207 - Direction to publicly upload chargesheets against the scheme of Cr.P.C. - If all the chargesheets and relevant documents produced along with the chargesheets are put on the public domain or on the websites of the State Governments it will be contrary to the Scheme of the Criminal Procedure Code and it may as such violate the rights of the accused as well as the victim and/or even the investigating agency. Putting the FIR on the website cannot be equated with putting the chargesheets along with the relevant documents on the public domain and on the websites of the State Governments. (Para 4.5) Saurav Das v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 52 : AIR 2023 SC 615 : 2023 INSC 76

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 173 (8) - District Police Chief cannot order further investigation without permission from magistrate or higher court - Power to order further investigation rests with either with the concerned magistrate or with a higher court and not with an investigating agency. Peethambaran v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 402 : 2023 INSC 481

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 173(8) - Even after the final report is laid before the Magistrate and is accepted, it is permissible for the investigating agency to carry out further investigation in the case. There is no bar against conducting further investigation under Section 173(8) of the CrPC after the final report submitted under Section 173(2) of the CrPC has been accepted - Prior to carrying out further investigation under Section 173(8) of the CrPC it is not necessary that the order accepting the final report should be reviewed, recalled or quashed - Though the order passed by the Magistrate accepting a final report under Section 173 is a judicial order, there is no requirement for recalling, reviewing or quashing the said order for carrying out further investigation under Section 173(8) of the CrPC - There is nothing in the CrPC to suggest that the court is obliged to hear the accused while considering an application for further investigation under Section 173(8) of the CrPC - Mere fact that there may be further delay in concluding the trial should not stand in the way of further investigation if that would help the court in arriving at the truth and do real and substantial and effective justice. (Para 50, 73, 76- 77) State v. Hemendhra Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 365 : 2023 INSC 460

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 173(8), 173(2)(i) - Alternatives before a Magistrate when a “Final Report” is filed - The Magistrate may either: (1) accept the report and take cognizance of offence and issue process, (2) may disagree with the report and drop the proceeding or may take cognizance on the basis of report/material submitted by the investigation officer, (3) may direct further investigation under Section 156(3) and require police to make a report as per Section 173(8) of the CrPC. (4) may treat the protest complaint as a complaint, and proceed under Sections 200 and 202 of the CrPC. State v. Hemendhra Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 365 : 2023 INSC 460

    Section 190 - Cognizance of offences by Magistrates

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 190 - the cognizance is taken of an offence and not of the offender - As such the phrase “taking cognizance” has nowhere been defined in the Cr.PC, however has been interpreted by this Court to mean “become aware of” or “to take notice of judicially. (Para 10) Cardinal Mar George Alencherry v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 203 : (2023) 2 SCR 1014 : 2023 INSC 250

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 190, 203 - an order of dismissal under Section 203 of the Criminal Procedure Code is no bar to the entertainment of a second complaint on the same facts, but it will be entertained only in exceptional circumstances, e.g. that the previous order was passed on an incomplete record or on a misunderstanding of nature of complaint or it was manifestly absurd. Cardinal Mar George Alencherry v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 203 : (2023) 2 SCR 1014 : 2023 INSC 250

    Section 197 – Prosecution of Judges and public servants

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 – Section 197(1) – Discharge of Official Duties by Public Servants – Previous sanction requirement – Determination of the existence of a reasonable nexus between an alleged offence by a public servant and their official duties – Held, a public servant would be considered to have acted to purported to have acted in the discharge of their official duty at the time of the commission of an alleged offence if the said government employee could take cover – rightly or wrongly – under any existing policy, and as such, would be granted protection under Section 197(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 – Appeal allowed. A. Srinivasulu v. State of Rep. by the Inspector of Police, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 485 : 2023 INSC 971

    Section 200 - Examination of complainant

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 200 - No doubt, summoning of an accused is a serious matter and therefore the Magistrate before issuing the summons to the accused is obliged to scrutinize carefully the allegations made in the complaint with a view to prevent a person named therein as accused from being called upon to face any frivolous complaint, nonetheless one of the objects of Section 202 Cr.P.C. is also to enable the Magistrate to prosecute a person or persons against whom grave allegations are made. Just as it is necessary to curtail vexatious and frivolous complaints against innocent persons, it is equally essential to punish the guilty after conducting a fair trial. (Para 18) Cardinal Mar George Alencherry v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 203 : (2023) 2 SCR 1014 : 2023 INSC 250

    Section 202 - Postponement of issue of process

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 202, 204 - While summoning an accused who resides outside the jurisdiction of court, it is obligatory upon the Magistrate to inquire into the case himself or direct investigation be made by a police officer or such other officer for finding out whether or not there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused. (Para 22) Deepak Gaba v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 3 : AIR 2023 SC 228 : (2023) 3 SCC 423 : 2023 INSC 1

    Section 204 - Issue of process

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 256 - Where the complainant had already been examined as a witness in the case, it would not be appropriate for the Court to pass an order of acquittal merely on non-appearance of the complainant. BLS Infrastructure Ltd. v. Rajwant Singh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 153 : (2023) 4 SCC 326 : (2023) 2 SCR 183 : 2023 INSC 187

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 204 - Summoning order is to be passed when the complainant discloses the offence, and when there is material that supports and constitutes essential ingredients of the offence. It should not be passed lightly or as a matter of course. When the violation of law alleged is clearly debatable and doubtful, either on account of paucity and lack of clarity of facts, or on application of law to the facts, the Magistrate must ensure clarification of the ambiguities. Summoning without appreciation of the legal provisions and their application to the facts may result in an innocent being summoned to stand the prosecution/trial. Initiation of prosecution and summoning of the accused to stand trial, apart from monetary loss, sacrifice of time, and effort to prepare a defence, also causes humiliation and disrepute in the society. It results in anxiety of uncertain times. (Para 21) Deepak Gaba v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 3 : AIR 2023 SC 228 : (2023) 3 SCC 423 : 2023 INSC 1

    Section 211 - Contents of charge

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Sections 211-224, 464 - Trial Courts ought to be very meticulous when it comes to the framing of charges. In a given case, any such error or omission may lead to acquittal and/or a long delay in trial due to an order of remand which can be passed under sub-section (2) of Section 464 of CrPC. Apart from the duty of the Trial Court, even the public prosecutor has a duty to be vigilant, and if a proper charge is not framed, it is his duty to apply to the Court to frame an appropriate charge. (Para 16) Soundarajan v. State, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 314 : AIR 2023 SC 2136 : 2023 INSC 377

    Section 227 - Discharge

    Criminal Procedure Code, 1973; Section 227 - If the necessary ingredients of an offence are not made out from the admitted evidence of the prosecution, then the Court is not obligated to frame a charge for such an offence against the accused. (Para 12) Shashikant Sharma v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1037 : 2023 INSC 1036

    Section 235 - Judgment of acquittal or conviction

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 235(2) - Appellate court reverses acquittal of two accused in murder case - However imposes sentences on them without hearing them on sentence as per Section 235(2) - Supreme Court sets aside the sentence finding it to be ex-facie illegal as accused were not heard - In view of sub Section (2) of Section 235 of CrPC, the court is obliged to hear the accused persons after their conviction on the quantum of sentence before passing a sentence against them - The principle of according opportunity of hearing to the convict before sentencing him is equally applicable where the sentencing is done by the appellate court. Fedrick Cutinha v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 326 : AIR 2023 SC 2102 : 2023 INSC 384

    Section 277 - Language of record of evidence

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 277 - The evidence of the witness has to be recorded in the language of the court or in the language of the witness as may be practicable and then get it translated in the language of the court for forming part of the record. However, recording of evidence of the witness in the translated form in English language only, though the witness gives evidence in the language of the court, or in his/her own vernacular language, is not permissible - The text and tenor of the evidence and the demeanor of a witness in the court could be appreciated in the best manner only when the evidence is recorded in the language of the witness - When a question arises as to what exactly the witness had stated in his/her evidence, it is the original deposition of the witness which has to be taken into account and not the translated memorandum in English prepared by the Presiding Judge - All courts while recording the evidence of the witnesses, shall duly comply with the provisions of Section 277 of Cr.PC. (Para 25) Naim Ahamed v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 66 : (2023) 1 SCR 1061 : 2023 INSC 85

    Section 306 - Tender of pardon to accomplice

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 306 (4)(a) - Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; Section 5(2) - When the Special Court chooses to take cognizance directly under Section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, the question of Approver being examined as a witness in the Court of the Magistrate as required by Section 306 (4)(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure does not arise. A. Srinivasulu v. State of Rep. by the Inspector of Police, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 485 : 2023 INSC 971

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Sections 306 and 307 - Section 306(4) CrPC contemplates that every person accepting a tender of pardon be examined as a witness both in the Court of the Magistrate taking cognizance and in the subsequent trial. The requirement of Section 306(4)(a) CrPC is relaxed in cases falling under Section 307 CrPC, which empowers the Court to which the case is committed for trial, itself to grant pardon. Where the Special Judge takes cognizance of offence directly, Section 306 of the Code would get by-passed it is Section 307 of the Code which would become applicable. A. Srinivasulu v. State of Rep. by the Inspector of Police, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 485 : 2023 INSC 971

    Section 311 - Power to summon material witness, or examine person present

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 311 - Power to recall witnesses under Section 311 Cr.P.C. ought to be exercised sparingly and mere hostility by a witness, per se, would not be a sufficient ground to infer misuse of concession of bail. (Para 31) Munilakshmi v. Narendra Babu, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 924 : 2023 INSC 943 : AIR 2023 SC 5620

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 311 - Constitution of India, 1950; Article 142 - Recalling the witnesses for an effective, fair, and free adjudication of the trial – The Apex Court is vested with vast and ample powers to have such recourse not only under Article 142 of the Constitution but also under Section 311 Cr.P.C., be it on the request of the prosecution or suo moto. Such Constitutional or statutory power is not limited by any barriers like the stage of inquiry, trial, or other proceeding. A person can be called and examined though not summoned as a witness, or can be recalled, or re-examined so as to throw light upon the imputations. Section 311 Cr.P.C., of course, does not intend to fill the lacunae in the prosecution's case and cause any serious prejudice to the rights of an accused. The exercise of power under this provision is intended to meet the ends of justice and to gather overwhelming evidence to scoop out the truth. (Para 28) Munilakshmi v. Narendra Babu, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 924 : 2023 INSC 943 : AIR 2023 SC 5620

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Sections 311 and 391 - Power of the court to take additional evidence - Section 311 of the Cr.P.C. consists of two parts; the first gives power to the court to summon any witness at any stage of inquiry, trial or other proceedings, whether the person is listed as a witness, or is in attendance though not summoned as a witness. Secondly, the trial court has the power to recall and re-examine any person already examined if his evidence appears to be essential to the just decision of the case. On the other hand, the discretion under Section 391 of the Cr.P.C. should be read as somewhat more restricted in comparison to Section 311 of the Cr.P.C., as the appellate court is dealing with an appeal, after the trial court has come to the conclusion with regard to the guilt or otherwise of the person being prosecuted. The appellate court can examine the evidence in depth and in detail, yet it does not possess all the powers of the trial court as it deals with cases wherein the decision has already been pronounced. (Para 16) State of Rajasthan v. Asharam @ Ashumal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 316 : AIR 2023 SC 2228 : 2023 INSC 383

    Section 311A – Power of Magistrate to order person to give specimen signatures or handwriting

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 311A – Evidence Act, 1872; Section 73 - Specimen Signatures and Handwriting Samples - “to be a witness against himself” - Since specimen signatures and handwriting samples are not incriminating by themselves as they are to be used for the purpose of identification of the handwriting on a material with which the investigators are already acquainted with, compulsorily obtaining such specimens would not infringe the rule against self-incrimination enshrined in Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India. (Para 53, 57) Santosh @ Bhure v. State (G.N.C.T.) of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 418 : 2023 INSC 443

    Section 313 - Power to examine the accused

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 313 - Failure to put material circumstances while examining the accused under Section 313 Cr.P.C. was a serious and material illegality. Nababuddin @ Mallu @ Abhimanyu v. State of Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1014 : 2023 INSC 1020

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 313 - The accused has a duty to furnish some explanation of an incriminating circumstance, with the prosecution crossing the threshold of proving its case beyond reasonable doubt. In the event of complete denial or silence, the Court is entitled to draw an adverse inference against the accused. (Para 41) Sajeev v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 974 : 2023 INSC 998

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1908; Section 313 - Although there is a requirement by law to disclose the aspects required to adjudicate in a criminal matter such duty cannot unreasonably and unwarrantedly step over the fundamental right of privacy. (Para 36) Indrakunwar v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 932 : 2023 INSC 934 : AIR 2023 SC 5221

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1908; Section 313 - The object, evident from the Section itself, is to enable the accused to themselves explain any circumstances appearing in the evidence against them. The intent is to establish a dialogue between the Court and the accused. This process benefits the accused and aids the Court in arriving at the final verdict. (Para 34.1 & 2) Indrakunwar v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 932 : 2023 INSC 934 : AIR 2023 SC 5221

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1908; Section 313 - The process enshrined is not a matter of procedural formality but is based on the cardinal principle of natural justice, i.e., audi alterum partem. The ultimate test when concerned with the compliance of the Section is to enquire and ensure whether the accused got the opportunity to say his piece. (Para 34.3 & 4) Indrakunwar v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 932 : 2023 INSC 934 : AIR 2023 SC 5221

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1908; Section 313 - In such a statement, the accused may or may not admit involvement or any incriminating circumstance or may even offer an alternative version of events or interpretation. The accused may not be put to prejudice by any omission or inadequate questioning. The right to remain silent or any answer to a question which may be false shall not be used to his detriment, being the sole reason. (Para 34.5 & 6) Indrakunwar v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 932 : 2023 INSC 934 : AIR 2023 SC 5221

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1908; Section 313 - This statement cannot form the sole basis of conviction and is neither a substantive nor a substitute piece of evidence. It does not discharge but reduces the prosecution's burden of leading evidence to prove its case. They are to be used to examine the veracity of the prosecution's case. This statement is to be read as a whole. One part cannot be read in isolation. (Para 34.7 & 8) Indrakunwar v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 932 : 2023 INSC 934 : AIR 2023 SC 5221

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1908; Section 313 - Such a statement, as not on oath, does not qualify as a piece of evidence under Section 3 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872; however, the inculpatory aspect as may be borne from the statement may be used to lend credence to the case of the prosecution. The circumstances not put to the accused while rendering his statement under the Section are to be excluded from consideration as no opportunity has been afforded to him to explain them. (Para 34.9 & 10) Indrakunwar v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 932 : 2023 INSC 934 : AIR 2023 SC 5221

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1908; Section 313 - The Court is obligated to put, in the form of questions, all incriminating circumstances to the accused so as to give him an opportunity to articulate his defence. The defence so articulated must be carefully scrutinized and considered. Non-compliance with the Section may cause prejudice to the accused and may impede the process of arriving at a fair decision. (Para 34.11 & 12) Indrakunwar v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 932 : 2023 INSC 934 : AIR 2023 SC 5221

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 313 - Power to examine the accused - (i) It is the duty of the Trial Court to put each material circumstance appearing in the evidence against the accused specifically, distinctively and separately. The material circumstance means the circumstance or the material on the basis of which the prosecution is seeking his conviction; (ii) The object of examination of the accused under Section 313 is to enable the accused to explain any circumstance appearing against him in the evidence; (iii) The Court must ordinarily eschew material circumstances not put to the accused from consideration while dealing with the case of the particular accused; (iv) The failure to put material circumstances to the accused amounts to a serious irregularity. It will vitiate the trial if it is shown to have prejudiced the accused; (v) If any irregularity in putting the material circumstance to the accused does not result in failure of justice, it becomes a curable defect. However, while deciding whether the defect can be cured, one of the considerations will be the passage of time from the date of the incident; (vi) In case such irregularity is curable, even the appellate court can question the accused on the material circumstance which is not put to him; and (vii) In a given case, the case can be remanded to the Trial Court from the stage of recording the supplementary statement of the concerned accused under Section 313 of CrPC. (viii) While deciding the question whether prejudice has been caused to the accused because of the omission, the delay in raising the contention is only one of the several factors to be considered. (Para 16) Raj Kumar @ Suman v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 434 : AIR 2023 SC 3113 : 2023 INSC 520

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 313 – Power to examine the accused - While recording the statement under Section 313 of CrPC in cases involving a large number of prosecution witnesses, the Judicial Officers should take benefit of Section 313 (5) of CrPC, which will ensure that the chances of committing errors and omissions are minimized. Section 313(5) CrPC says that the Court may take help of the Prosecutor and Defence Counsel in preparing relevant questions which are to be put to the accused and the Court may permit filing of written statement by the accused as sufficient compliance of this section. (Para 21) Raj Kumar @ Suman v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 434 : AIR 2023 SC 3113 : 2023 INSC 520

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 313 - It is optional for the accused to explain the circumstances put to him under section 313, but the safeguard provided by it and the valuable right that it envisions, if availed of or exercised, could prove decisive and have an effect on the final outcome, which would in effect promote utility of the exercise rather than its futility. (Para 16) Premchand v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 168 : AIR 2023 SC 1487 : (2023) 5 SCC 522 : (2023) 2 SCR 119 : 2023 INSC 207

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 313 - Iudicial experience has shown that more often than not, the time and effort behind such an exercise put in by the trial court does not achieve the desired result. This is because either the accused elects to come forward with evasive denials or answers questions with stereotypes like 'false', 'I don't know', 'incorrect', etc. Many a time, this does more harm than good to the cause of the accused. For instance, if facts within the special knowledge of the accused are not satisfactorily explained, that could be a factor against the accused. Though such factor by itself is not conclusive of guilt, it becomes relevant while considering the totality of the circumstances. (Para 16) Premchand v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 168 : AIR 2023 SC 1487 : (2023) 5 SCC 522 : (2023) 2 SCR 119 : 2023 INSC 207

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 313 - Settled principles summarized. (Para 15) Premchand v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 168 : AIR 2023 SC 1487 : (2023) 5 SCC 522 : (2023) 2 SCR 119 : 2023 INSC 207

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 313 (5) - Once a written statement is filed by the accused under Section 313(5) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and the Trial Court marks it as exhibit, such statement must be treated as part of the statement of the accused under Section 313(1) read with Section 313(4) Cr.P.C. (Para 17) Premchand v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 168 : AIR 2023 SC 1487 : (2023) 5 SCC 522 : (2023) 2 SCR 119 : 2023 INSC 207

    Section 317 - Provision for inquiries and trial being held in the absence of accused in certain cases

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 317 (2) - Splitting of the Trial - When the High Court permitted splitting of the trial, two important aspects were not noted by the High Court. The first one was that the Magistrate was not satisfied that the police have made sufficient efforts to procure the presence of all the accused. The second factor which is more important is the order of further investigation. Therefore, this was not the stage at which the High Court could have permitted splitting of the case. (Para 5) S. Mujibar Rahman v. State, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1016

    Section 319 - Power to proceed against other persons appearing to be guilty of offence

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 - Section 319 Cr.P.C., which envisages a discretionary power, empowers the court holding a trial to proceed against any person not shown or mentioned as an accused if it appears from the evidence that such person has committed a crime for which he ought to be tried together with the accused who is facing trial. Such power can be exercised by the court qua a person who is not named in the FIR, or named in the FIR but not shown as an accused in the charge-sheet. Therefore, what is essential for exercise of the power under section 319, Cr. PC is that the evidence on record must show the involvement of a person in the commission of a crime and that the said person, who has not been arraigned as an accused, should face trial together with the accused already arraigned. (Para 9) Jitendra Nath Mishra v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 480 : AIR 2023 SC 2757 : 2023 INSC 576

    Code of Criminal Procedure 1973; Section 319 - Power under Section 319 ought to be exercised sparingly and would require much stronger evidence than near probability of the accused person's complicity. The test elucidated by the Constitution Bench is as under -The test that has to be applied is one which is more than prima facie case as exercised at the time of framing of charge, but short of satisfaction to an extent that the evidence, if goes unrebutted, would lead to conviction. Vikas Rathi v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 172 : (2023) 2 SCR 6 : 2023 INSC 186

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 319 - Supreme Court lays down procedural guidelines to prevent abuse. Juhru v. Karim, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 128 : AIR 2023 SC 1160 : (2023) 5 SCC 406 :(2023) 2 SCR 519 : 2023 INSC 148

    Section 320 - Compounding of offences

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 320 - Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881; Section 147 - Compounding of offences - The Appellants cannot be convicted on the basis of the orders passed by the courts below, as the settlement is nothing but a compounding of the offence-This is a very clear case of the parties entering into an agreement and compounding the offence to save themselves from the process of litigation. When such a step has been taken by the parties, and the law very clearly allows them to do the same, the High Court then cannot override such compounding and impose its will. (Para 8, 9, 11) B.V. Seshaiah v. State of Telangana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 75 : AIR 2023 SC 717 : (2023) 2 SCR 293 : 2023 INSC 93

    Section 362 - Court not to alter judgment

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 362 - Refusal of Bail - Section 362 which prohibits modification of a judgment or final order, will not be applicable in an order for refusal of bail. An order for refusal of bail however, inherently carries certain characteristics of an interlocutory order in that certain variation or alteration in the context in which a bail plea is dismissed confers on the detained accused right to file a fresh application for bail on certain changed circumstances. Thus, an order rejecting prayer for bail does not disempower the Court from considering such plea afresh if there is any alteration of the circumstances. Conditions of bail could also be varied if a case is made out for such variation based on that factor. Prohibition contemplated in Section 362 of the Code would not apply in such cases. (Para 5) Ramadhar Sahu v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 945

    Section 378 - Appeal in case of acquittal

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 378 - An acquittal will only be overturned in the presence of very compelling reasons. The presumption of innocence in favour of the accused is bolstered if the trial court hands down an acquittal. (Para 32) Manjunath v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 961 : 2023 INSC 978

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 378 - Appeal against acquittal- Scope of interference - Unless such a finding is found to be perverse or illegal/impossible, it is not permissible for the appellate Court to interfere with the same. Nikhil Chandra Mondal v. State of West Bengal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 171 : AIR 2023 SC 1323 : (2023) 2 SCR 20 : 2023 INSC 198

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 378, 397-401 - In an appeal/revision, the High court could have set aside the order of acquittal only if the findings as recorded by the trial Court were perverse or impossible. (Para 7) P. Sivakumar v. State, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 116

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 378 - Scope of interference in an appeal against acquittal is limited - Unless the High Court found that the appreciation of the evidence is perverse, it could not have interfered with the finding of acquittal recorded by the Trial Court. (Para 21) Rajaram Sriramulu Naidu v. Maruthachalam, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 46 : AIR 2023 SC 471 : (2023) 1 SCR 809 : 2023 INSC 51

    Section 385 - Procedure for hearing appeals not dismissed summarily

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 385 - Procedure for hearing appeals not dismissed summarily - The language of Section 385 shows that the Court sitting in appeal governed thereby is required to call for the records of the case from the concerned Court below. The same is an obligation, power coupled with a duty, and only after the perusal of such records would an appeal be decided. (Para 36) Jitendra Kumar Rode v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 347 : 2023 INSC 419

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 385 - Whether, in the absence of the records of the Court of Trial, the appellate Court could have upheld the conviction and enhanced the quantum of fine? Held, the Accused, in appeal, has a right to have the record perused by the Appellate Court and, therefore, upholding a conviction by merely having noted that the counsel for the accused not having the record at the time of filing the appeal is “doubtful” and that “no one can believe” the appeal would have been filed without perusing the record, as observed by the High Court is not correct. The job of the Court of Appeal is not to depend on the lower Court's judgment to uphold the conviction but, based on the record available before it duly called from the Trial Court and the arguments advanced before it, to come to a conclusion thereon. (Para 33) Jitendra Kumar Rode v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 347 : 2023 INSC 419

    Section 389 - Suspension of sentence pending the appeal; release of appellant on bail

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 389 - the Appellate Court should not reappreciate the evidence at the stage of Section 389 of the Cr.P.C. and try to pick up few lacunas or loopholes here or there in the case of the prosecution. Such would not be a correct approach. (Para 33) Omprakash Sahni v. Jai Shankar Chaudhary, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 389 : AIR 2023 SC 2202 : (2023) 6 SCC 123 : 2023 INSC 478

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 389 - to suspend the substantive order of sentence under Section 389 Cr.P.C., there ought to be something apparent or gross on the face of the record, on the basis of which, the Court can arrive at a prima facie satisfaction that the conviction may not be sustainable - the endeavour on the part of the Court, therefore, should be to see as to whether the case presented by the prosecution and accepted by the Trial Court can be said to be a case in which, ultimately the convict stands for fair chances of acquittal. (Para 33) Omprakash Sahni v. Jai Shankar Chaudhary, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 389 : AIR 2023 SC 2202 : (2023) 6 SCC 123 : 2023 INSC 478

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 389 - Appellant was convicted by the Trial Court under Sections 307,323 and 341 IPC - High Court suspended the sentence, but imposed strict conditions of deposit of fine amount of Rs. 1,00,000/- along with a surety of Rs. 1,00,000/- and two bail bonds of Rs. 50,000/- each - Waiving these conditions, the Supreme Court observed: Excessive conditions imposed on the appellant, in practical manifestation, acted as a refusal to the grant of bail - Can the Appellant, for not being able to comply with the excessive requirements, be detained in custody endlessly? To keep the Appellant in jail, that too in a case where he normally would have been granted bail for the alleged offences, is not just a symptom of injustice, but injustice itself. Guddan @ Roop Narayan v. State of Rajasthan, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 45

    Section 391 - Appellate Court may take further evidence or direct it to be taken

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 391 - Appellate Court may take further evidence or direct it to be taken - The power to take additional evidence in an appeal is to be exercised to prevent injustice and failure of justice, and thus, must be exercised for good and valid reasons necessitating the acceptance of the prayer. (Para 17) State of Rajasthan v. Asharam @ Ashumal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 316 : AIR 2023 SC 2228 : 2023 INSC 383

    Section 406 - Power of Supreme Court to transfer cases and appeals

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 406 - That most of the accused and witnesses are from A state is not a ground to transfer case from B state to A state. (Para 12) Ka Rauf Sherif v. Directorate of Enforcement, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 284 : (2023) 6 SCC 92 : 2023 INSC 347

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 406 - The lack of jurisdiction of a Court to entertain a complaint can be no ground to order its transfer. A congenital defect of lack of jurisdiction, assuming that it exists, inures to the benefit of the accused and hence it need not be cured at the instance of the accused to his detriment. (Para 11) Ka Rauf Sherif v. Directorate of Enforcement, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 284 : (2023) 6 SCC 92 : 2023 INSC 347

    Code of Criminal Procedure 1973; Section 406 - This Court has allowed transfers only in exceptional cases considering the fact that transfers may cast unnecessary aspersions on the State Judiciary and the prosecution agency. Thus, over the years, this Court has laid down certain guidelines and situations wherein such power can be justiciably invoked. Afjal Ali Sha @ Abjal Shaukat v. State of West Bengal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 268 : (2023) 2 SCR 1090 : 2023 INSC 257

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 432 - Remission - It is not open to the State to adopt an arbitrary yardstick for picking up cases for premature release. It must strictly abide by the terms of its policies bearing in mind the fundamental principle of law that each case for premature release has to be decided on the basis of the legal position as it stands on the date of the conviction subject to a more beneficial regime being provided in terms of a subsequent policy determination. The provisions of the law must be applied equally to all persons. Moreover, those provisions have to be applied efficiently and transparently so as to obviate the grievance that the policy is being applied unevenly to similarly circumstanced persons. An arbitrary method adopted by the State is liable to grave abuse and is liable to lead to a situation where persons lacking resources, education and awareness suffer the most. Rajkumar v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 144 : 2023 INSC 718

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 406 - Transfer of case from one state to another must be ordered sparingly - followed Umesh Kumar Sharma vs. State of Uttarakhand, 2020 (11) SCALE 562 - It is also important to bear in mind that transfer of a criminal case from one State to another implicitly reflect upon the credibility of not only the State judiciary but also of the prosecution agency. Neelam Pandey v. Rahul Shukla, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 141

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 406 - Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881; Section 138, 142(1) - Notwithstanding the non obstante clause in Section 142(1) of the NI Act, the power of this Court to transfer criminal cases under Section 406 Cr.P.C. remains intact in relation to offences under Section 138 of the NI Act - the contention that the non obstante clause in Section 142(1) of the Act of 1881 would override Section 406 Cr.P.C. and that it would not be permissible for this Court to transfer the said complaint cases, in exercise of power thereunder, cannot be countenanced. (Para 13) Yogesh Upadhyay v. Atlanta Ltd., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 125 : AIR 2023 SC 1151 : (2023) 2 SCR 511 : 2023 INSC 150

    Section 432 – Power to suspend or remit sentences

    Code of Criminal Procedure 1973; Section 432 – Remission - In determining the entitlement of a convict for premature release, the policy of the State Government on the date of the conviction would have to be the determinative factor. However, if the policy which was prevalent on the date of the conviction is subsequently liberalised to provide more beneficial terms, those should also be borne in mind. (Para 4) Hitesh v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 72

    Section 433 - Power to commute sentence.

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 433 (2) - Grant of Remission - Presiding Judge should give adequate reasons while giving opinion under Section 432 (2) Cr.P.C. Jaswant Singh v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 33 : AIR 2023 SC 419 : 2023 INSC 31

    Section 437 - When bail may be taken in case of non-bailable offence

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 437 - Seeking pre-deposit of bank guarantee for grant of bail is unsustainable. Makhijani Pushpak Harish v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 345

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 437 - 439, Section 357 - Interim victim compensation cannot be imposed as a condition for anticipatory bail - Question of interim victim compensation cannot form part of the bail jurisprudence - Victim compensation is simultaneous with the final view taken in respect of the alleged offence, i.e., whether it was so committed or not and, thus, there is no question of any imposition pre-finality of the matter pre-trial - In cases of offences against body, compensation to the victim should be methodology for redemption. Similarly, to prevent unnecessary harassment, compensation has been provided where meaningless criminal proceedings had been started. Such a compensation can hardly be determined at the stage of grant of bail. Talat Sanvi vs State of Jharkhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 83 : (2023) 1 SCR 289 : 2023 INSC 80

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 437 - 439 - The process of criminal law cannot be utilised for arm-twisting and money recovery, particularly while opposing the prayer for bail - The question as to whether pre-arrest bail, or for that matter regular bail, in a given case is to be granted or not is required to be examined and the discretion is required to be exercised by the Court with reference to the material on record and the parameters governing bail considerations. The concession of pre-arrest bail or regular bail could be declined even if the accused has made payment of the money involved or offers to make any payment; conversely, in a given case, the concession of pre-arrest bail or regular bail could be granted irrespective of any payment or any offer of payment. (Para 10) Bimla Tiwari v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 47 : (2023) 1 SCR 501 : 2023 INSC 45

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 437-439, 389 - Excessive conditions cannot be imposed while granting bail/suspension of sentence - Conditions of bail cannot be so onerous that their existence itself tantamounts to refusal of bail. (Para 9-16) Guddan @ Roop Narayan v. State of Rajasthan, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 45

    Section 438 - Direction for grant of bail to person apprehending arrest.

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 438 - Considering the constitutional imperative of protecting a citizen's right to life, personal liberty and dignity, the High Court or the Court of Session could grant limited anticipatory bail in the form of an interim protection under Section 438 of CrPC in the interest of justice with respect to an FIR registered outside the territorial jurisdiction of the said Court, and subject to conditions: (Para 36) Priya Indoria v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 996 : 2023 INSC 1008

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 438 - Power to grant extra-territorial anticipatory bail should be exercised in exceptional and compelling circumstances only which means where, denying transit anticipatory bail or interim protection to enable the applicant to make an application under Section 438 of CrPC before a Court of competent jurisdiction would cause irremediable and irreversible prejudice to the applicant. (Para 37) Priya Indoria v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 996 : 2023 INSC 1008

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 438- Accused can seek limited transit anticipatory bail or limited interim protection from the Court in the State in which he resides but in such an event, a 'regular' or full-fledged anticipatory bail could be sought from the competent Court in the State in which the FIR is filed. (Para 39) Priya Indoria v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 996 : 2023 INSC 1008

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 438 - If an offence has been committed by a person in a particular State and if the FIR is filed in another State and the accused is a resident in a third State, bearing in mind access to justice, the accused who is residing in the third State or who is present there for a legitimate purpose should be enabled to seek the relief of limited anticipatory bail of transitory nature in the third State. (Para 41) Priya Indoria v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 996 : 2023 INSC 1008

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 438 - Use of the word “the” before the words “High Court” and “Court of Session” also does not mean that only the High Court or the Court of Session, as the case may be, within whose jurisdiction the FIR is filed, is competent to exercise jurisdiction for the grant of transit anticipatory bail. (Para 44) Priya Indoria v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 996 : 2023 INSC 1008

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 438 - Accused cannot seek full-fledged anticipatory bail in a State where he is a resident when the FIR has been registered in a different State. However, he would be entitled to seek a transit anticipatory bail from the Court of Session or High Court in the State where he is a resident which necessarily has to be of a limited duration so as to seek regular anticipatory bail from the Court of competent jurisdiction. (Para 45) Priya Indoria v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 996 : 2023 INSC 1008

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 438 - Detailed elaboration of evidence has to be avoided at the stage of grant / rejection of bail / anticipatory bail. We do not appreciate such a lengthy elaboration of evidence at this stage - In the matters pertaining to liberty of citizens, the Court should act promptly - An inordinate delay in passing an order pertaining to liberty of a citizen is not in tune with the constitutional mandate. Sumit Subhaschandra Gangwal v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 373

    Code of Criminal Procedure 1973; Section 438 - Supreme Court sets aside anticipatory bail granted to an accused in a 'casting couch' rape case - The nature and gravity of the alleged offence has been disregarded by the HC - So has the financial stature, position and standing of the accused vis-à-vis the appellant/prosecutrix been ignored. (Para 22) Ms. X v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 205 : (2023) 2 SCR 1112 : 2023 INSC 252

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 438 - Addition of a serious offence can be a circumstance where a Court can direct that the accused be arrested and committed to custody even though an order of bail was earlier granted in his favour in respect of the offences with which he was charged when his application for bail was considered and a favourable order was passed. The recourse available to an accused in a situation where after grant of bail, further cognizable and non-bailable offences are added to the FIR, is for him to surrender and apply afresh for bail in respect of the newly added offences. The investigating agency is also entitled to move the Court for seeking the custody of the accused by invoking the provisions of 437(5)3 and 439(2)34 Cr.P.C., falling under Chapter XXXII of the Statute that deals with provisions relating to bails and bonds. (Para 20) Ms. X v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 205 : (2023) 2 SCR 1112 : 2023 INSC 252

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 438 - Victim has right to be heard in bail application of the accused - No doubt, the State was present and was represented in the said proceedings, but the right of the prosecutrix could not have been whittled down for this reason alone. In a crime of this nature where ordinarily, there is no other witness except for the prosecutrix herself, it was all the more incumbent for the High Court to have lent its ear to the appellant. (Para 23, 24) Ms. X v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 205 : (2023) 2 SCR 1112 : 2023 INSC 252

    Code of Criminal Procedure 1973; Section 438 - Is it necessary to exhaust remedy available in Sessions Court before approaching High Court?- Whether the High Court exercising jurisdiction under Section 438 has discretion not to entertain such an application on the ground that the applicant must first apply to the Court of Sessions - SC to consider. Gauhati High Court Bar Association v. State of Assam, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 177

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 438 - Anticipatory bail application for money laundering offence should satisfy rigours of Section 45 PMLA - Observations made by the High Court that the provisions of Section 45 of the Act, 2002 shall not be applicable in connection with an application under Section 438 Cr.P.C. is just contrary to the decision in the case of Assistant Director Enforcement Directorate vs Dr VC Mohan and the same is on misunderstanding of the observations made in the case of Nikesh Tarachand Shah Vs. Union of India and Anr.; (2018) 11 SCC 1. (Para 5) Directorate of Enforcement v. M. Gopal Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 138 : 2023 INSC 163

    Code of Criminal Procedure; Section 438 - Dismissal for default / non prosecution of bail application - Practice adopted by the High Court in passing orders for dismissal of bail application in default disapproved. Rahul Sharma v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 64

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 438 - Ordinarily, there is no justification in adopting such a course that for the purpose of being given the concession of pre-arrest bail, the person apprehending arrest ought to make payment. (Para 11) Bimla Tiwari v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 47 : (2023) 1 SCR 501 : 2023 INSC 45

    Section 439 - Special powers of High Court or Court of Session regarding bail

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 439 - While applying the principle of parity, the Court is required to focus upon the role attached to the accused whose application is under consideration. (Para 18) Tarun Kumar v. Assistant Director Directorate of Enforcement, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 995 : 2023 INSC 1006 : AIR 2024 SC 169

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 439 - though usually the proper course of action of the High Court ought to have been to confine itself to the acceptance/rejection of the prayer for bail made by the accused under Section 439 of the Code; however, the High Court, being satisfied that there were, in its opinion, grave lapses on the part of the police/investigative machinery, which may have fatal consequences on the justice delivery system, could not have simply shut its eyes. (Para 13) Sanjay Dubey v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 435 : 2023 INSC 519

    Section 482 - Saving of inherent power of High Court.

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 482 - While exercising power under Section 482 Cr.P.C., the High Court was legally bound to see if allegations / accusations constitute any offence or not. (Para 7) Abhishek Saxena v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1072 : 2023 INSC 1088

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 482 - the High Court should not have examined and recorded a conclusion on the disputed fact to quash the FIR. Digvijaysinh Himmatsinh Jadeja v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1039 : 2023 INSC 1045

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 482 - The protection against vexatious and unwanted prosecution and from being unnecessarily dragged through a trial by melting a criminal proceeding into oblivion, either through quashing a FIR/Complaint or by allowing an appeal against an order rejecting discharge or by any other legally permissible route, as the circumstances may be, in the deserving case, is a duty cast on the High Courts. (Para 23) Vishnu Kumar Shukla v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1019 : 2023 INSC 1026 : AIR 2024 SC 90

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 482 - Though it is clear that there can be no blanket rule that a second petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. would not lie in any situation and it would depend upon the facts and circumstances of the individual case, it is not open to a person aggrieved to raise one plea after the other, by invoking the jurisdiction of the High Court under Section 482 Cr.P.C., though all such pleas were very much available even at the first instance. Permitting the filing of successive petitions under Section 482 Cr.P.C. ignoring this principle would enable an ingenious accused to effectively stall the proceedings against him to suit his own interest and convenience, by filing one petition after another under Section 482 Cr.P.C., irrespective of when the cause therefor arose. Such abuse of process cannot be permitted. (Para 11) Bhisham Lal Verma V. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 935 : 2023 INSC 955

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 482 - Unexplained inordinate delay must be taken into consideration as a very crucial factor and ground for quashing a criminal complaint. (Para 16) Chanchalapati Das v. State of West Bengal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 446

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 482 - Where purely civil disputes, more often than not, relating to land and/or money are given the colour of criminality, only for the purposes of exerting extra-judicial pressure on the party concerned, which, we reiterate, is nothing but abuse of the process of the court. (Para 36) Gulam Mustafa v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 421 : AIR 2023 SC 2999 : 2023 INSC 511

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 482 - High Court cannot quash criminal proceedings at section 482 Cr.P.C. stage by saying charges aren't proved - High Court cannot conduct a "mini trial" while exercising powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. - At the stage of discharge and/or while exercising the powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C., the Court has a very limited jurisdiction and is required to consider “whether any sufficient material is available to proceed further against the accused for which the accused is required to be tried or not.” - Whether the criminal proceedings was/were malicious or not, is not required to be considered at this stage. The same is required to be considered at the conclusion of the trial - What is required to be considered is a prima facie case and the material collected during the course of the investigation, which warranted the accused to be tried. Central Bureau of Investigation v. Aryan Singh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 292 : AIR 2023 SC 1987 : (2023) 2 SCR 819 : 2023 INSC 338

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 482 - Supreme Court criticises Kerala HC for overstepping jurisdiction to pass general orders - High Court in its overzealous approach" exceeded its jurisdiction under Section 482 CrPC by enlarging the scope of the petition and crossed all the boundaries of judicial activism and judicial restraint by passing such orders under the guise of doing real and substantial justice. (Para 28) Cardinal Mar George Alencherry v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 203 : (2023) 2 SCR 1014 : 2023 INSC 250

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 482 - Supreme Court opines that it is desirable that High Courts refrain from quashing cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act even if it suspected that the case is registered by a new government against officers who supported the previous government-it would be eminently desirable if the high courts maintain a hands-off approach and not quash a first information report pertaining to “corruption” cases, specially at the stage of investigation, even though certain elements of strong-arm tactics of the ruling dispensation might be discernible. (Para 74) State of Chattisgarh v. Aman Kumar Singh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 158 : AIR 2023 SC 1441 : 2023 INSC 189

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 482 - Penal Code, 1860; Section 420 - A breach of contract does not give rise to criminal prosecution for cheating unless fraudulent or dishonest intention is shown right at the beginning of the transaction. Merely on the allegation of failure to keep up promise will not be enough to initiate criminal proceedings - The criminal Courts are not meant to be used for settling scores or pressurise parties to settle civil disputes. Sarabjit Kaur v. State of Punjab, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 157 : (2023) 5 SCC 360 : 2023 INSC 188

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 482 - Constitution of India, 1950; Article 142 - In cases of offences relating to matrimonial disputes, if the Court is satisfied that the parties have genuinely settled the disputes amicably, then for the purpose of securing ends of justice, criminal proceedings inter-se parties can be quashed. Rangappa Javoor v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 74

    Code of Criminal Procedure 1973; Section 482 - Criminal proceedings quashed - the respondent had failed to make specific allegation against the appellants herein in respect of the aforesaid offences. The factual position thus would reveal that the genesis as also the purpose of criminal proceedings are nothing but the aforesaid incident and further that the dispute involved is essentially of civil nature. The appellants and the respondents have given a cloak of criminal offence in the issue-coupled with the fact that in respect of the issue involved, which is of civil nature, the respondent had already approached the jurisdictional civil court by instituting a civil suit and it is pending, there can be no doubt with respect to the fact that the attempt on the part of the respondent is to use the criminal proceedings as weapon of harassment against the appellants. (Para 10, 11) Usha Chakraborty v. State of West Bengal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 67 : AIR 2023 SC 688 : 2023 INSC 86

    Code of Criminal Procedure 1973; Section 482 - Jurisdiction under Section 482 Cr.P.C. is to be exercised with care and caution and sparingly. To wit, exercise of the said power must be for securing the ends of justice and only in cases where refusal to exercise that power may result in the abuse of process of law. (Para 3) Usha Chakraborty v. State of West Bengal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 67 : AIR 2023 SC 688 : 2023 INSC 86

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 482 - Appeal against High Court order that quashed criminal proceedings observing that that the complaint lodged against the husband demand of dowry is inherently improbable and that it falls in the category of a bogus prosecution - Allowed - Merely because the wife was suffering from the disease AIDS and/or divorce petition was pending, it cannot be said that the allegations of demand of dowry were highly/inherently improbable - Once the charge sheet was filed after the investigation having been found prima facie case, it cannot be said that the prosecution was bogus. X v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 26

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 482 - As per the settled position of law, it is the right conferred upon the Investigating Agency to conduct the investigation and reasonable time should be given to the Investigating Agency to conduct the investigation unless it is found that the allegations in the FIR do not disclose any cognizable offence at all or the complaint is barred by any law. State represented by the Inspector of Police v. Maridass, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 25

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 482 - Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989; Sections 3(1)(v) and (va) - Private civil dispute between the parties is converted into criminal proceedings - Initiation of the criminal proceedings therefore, is nothing but an abuse of process of law and Court - Complaint and summoning order quashed. B. Venkateswaran v. P. Bakthavatchalam, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 14 : AIR 2023 SC 262 : 2023 INSC 18

    Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974

    Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974 - Special Leave Petition challenging a report of the Advisory Board / Opinion of the Board under the COFEPOSA Act is not maintainable. Union of India v. Dharanessh Raji Shetty, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 547

    Corruption

    PC Act - Once it is proved that a public servant received gratification beyond legal remuneration, statutory presumption operates. P. Sarangapani v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 819 : 2023 INSC 844 : AIR 2023 SC 4739

    Public servants lose immunity in pre-2014 corruption cases; Supreme Court clarifies that striking down of Sec 6A DSPE Act has retrospective effect. Central Bureau of Investigation v. R.R. Kishore, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 770 : 2023 INSC 817

    Prevention of Corruption Act - HC cannot reverse special court findings on validity of sanction unless it finds that failure of justice had occurred. State of Karnataka Lokayukta Police v. S. Subbegowda, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 595 : 2023 INSC 669 : AIR 2023 SC 3770

    Approver need not be examined as witness by magistrate when cognizance is taken by Special Court under PC Act. A. Srinivasulu v. State of Rep. by the Inspector of Police, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 485 : 2023 INSC 971

    Failure to plead material facts concerning alleged corrupt practice is fatal to an election petition. Senthilbalaji V. v. A.P. Geetha, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 471 : 2023 INSC 571

    Supreme Court acquits man accused of taking rs 300 bribe twenty years ago. Jagtar Singh v. State of Punjab, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 232 : AIR 2023 SC 1567 : 2023 INSC 279

    PC Act - Constitution Bench Judgment allowing circumstantial evidence does not dilute requirement of proof beyond reasonable doubt. Neeraj Dutta v. State (GNCTD), 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 211 : 2023 Cri.LJ 1856 : (2023) 2 SCR 997 : 2023 INSC 245

    Desirable that FIRs in corruption cases aren't quashed at the investigation stage: Supreme Court To High Courts. State of Chattisgarh v. Aman Kumar Singh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 158 : AIR 2023 SC 1441 : 2023 INSC 189

    Corruption is the main reason for not achieving equal distribution of wealth; botched investigations of scams a bigger scam. State of Chattisgarh v. Aman Kumar Singh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 158 : AIR 2023 SC 1441 : 2023 INSC 189

    Criminal Law

    High Courts while exercising Section 482 Cr.P.C. power legally bound to see if accusations constitute any offence. Abhishek Saxena v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1072

    No adverse inference against prosecution merely because witnesses are withheld. Maheshwari Yadav v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1063 : 2023 INSC 1068

    Delay in filing fir not satisfactorily explained could be fatal to prosecution case. Sekaran v. State of Tamil Nadu, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1052 : 2023 INSC 1062

    Mere absconding by accused and remaining untraceable for long can't establish guilt. Sekaran v. State of Tamil Nadu, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1052 : 2023 INSC 1062

    Section 498A IPC - One trivial instance not sufficient for 'cruelty': Supreme Court quashes case against husband's sisters and cousins. Mahalakshmi v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1041 : 2023 INSC 1050

    Supreme Court restores cheating case against fugitive Mehul Choksi and wife; says Gujarat High Court erred in quashing FIR. Digvijaysinh Himmatsinh Jadeja v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1039 : 2023 INSC 1045

    A wrong may be civil wrong, or in a given case be a civil wrong and equally constitute a criminal offence. Digvijaysinh Himmatsinh Jadeja v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1039 : 2023 INSC 1045

    Court not obligated to frame charges if offences are not made out from admitted evidence of prosecution. Shashikant Sharma v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1037 : 2023 INSC 1036

    Section 34 IPC - Common intention doesn't mean prior agreement, it can be formed even a minute before the incident. Ram Naresh v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1036 : 2023 INSC 1037 : (2024) 1 SCC 443

    Abetment of Suicide - Instigation must be in close proximity to suicide : supreme court quashes case under Section 306 IPC. Mohit Singhal v. State of Uttarakhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1035 : 2023 INSC 1035 : (2024) 1 SCC 417

    Section 307 IPC - 'Simple injuries, no repeated or severe blows': Supreme Court overturns conviction for attempt to murder. Sivamani v. State, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1024 : 2023 INSC 1027

    The Supreme Court doubts precedent which limited the High court's scope in deciding discharge applications. Vishnu Kumar Shukla v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1019 : 2023 INSC 1026 : AIR 2024 SC 90

    High Courts have a duty to quash vexatious criminal prosecutions. Vishnu Kumar Shukla v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1019 : 2023 INSC 1026 : AIR 2024 SC 90

    No expert opinion produced to show if adulterated mixture was sold instead of petrol & diesel : Supreme Court quashes chargesheet. Suresh v. State of M.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1017 : 2023 INSC 1021

    Splitting of trial under Section 317(2) of Cr.P.C. can't be done when further investigation has already been ordered. S. Mujibar Rahman v. State, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1016

    FIRs in multiple states can't be clubbed when offences under state enactments are also involved. Amandeep Singh Sran v. State of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1012 : 2023 INSC 1028

    Courts where the wife takes shelter after leaving matrimonial home due to cruelty can entertain Section 498a ipc complaint. Priya Indoria v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 996 : 2023 INSC 1008

    Magistrate can't entertain a protest petition against own order taking cognisance. Ramakant Singh v. State of Jharkhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 988 : 2023 INSC 1002

    Supreme Court explains essentials to prove conspiracy while affirming life sentence to convicts in Kerala hooch tragedy. Sajeev v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 974 : 2023 INSC 998

    E-Copies of trial court records will help faster disposal of criminal appeals: Supreme Court suggests amendments to SC rules. Sajeev v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 974 : 2023 INSC 998

    No hard and fast rule that a convict must undergo a particular period of sentence before seeking its suspension. Vishnubhai Ganpatbhai Patel v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 955

    For conviction under Section 149 IPC, no overt act needed; membership of unlawful assembly enough. Parshuram v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 953 : 2023 INSC 973 : AIR 2023 SC 5685 : 2024 CriLJ 81

    Accused can't be given opportunity to explain before filing final report : Supreme Court sets aside 'strange' HC Order. Shiv Kumar Sharma v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 950

    Second petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C on grounds available at the time of first petition not maintainable. Bhisham Lal Verma V. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 935 : 2023 INSC 955

    Section 313 Cr.P.C. - 'Right to remain silent not be used against accused' : Supreme Court summarises 12 principles. Indrakunwar v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 932 : 2023 INSC 934 : AIR 2023 SC 5221

    Requirement for disclosures in criminal trial can't step over right to privacy : Supreme Court acquits woman accused of killing newborn. Indrakunwar v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 932 : 2023 INSC 934 : AIR 2023 SC 5221

    SLPs in criminal cases don't divulge crucial information : Supreme Court says changes in rules of practice needed. Kulwinder Singh v. State of Punjab, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 928

    Court's duty to ensure witnesses are not under threat: Supreme Court cancels accused's bail after witnesses turn hostile, orders fresh examination. Munilakshmi v. Narendra Babu, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 924 : 2023 INSC 943 : AIR 2023 SC 5620

    Criminal Justice System - The Courts are under an onerous duty to ensure that the criminal justice system is vibrant and effective; perpetrators of the crime do not go unpunished; the witnesses are not under any threat or influence to prevent them from deposing truthfully and the victims of the crime get their voices heard at every stage of the proceedings. (Para 21) Munilakshmi v. Narendra Babu, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 924 : 2023 INSC 943 : AIR 2023 SC 5620

    Conviction under Section 498-A IPC can be upheld despite acquittal under Section 304-B IPC. Paranagouda v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 915 : 2023 INSC 933

    'Hurried trial' - Supreme Court sets aside death penalty given in child rape-murder case within 23 days; orders fresh trial. Naveen @ Ajay v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 908 : 2023 INSC 936 : AIR 2023 SC 5254

    Section 149 IPC - Prosecution must prove the accused was aware of offences likely to be committed to achieve common object. Naresh @ Nehru v. State of Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 880 : 2023 INSC 889

    Accused has no right to produce any material at the time of framing of charge. State of Gujarat v. Dilipsingh Kishorsinh Rao, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 874 : 2023 INSC 894

    Distinction between 'common intention' and 'common object' : Supreme Court explains while setting aside conviction in triple murder case. Chandra Pratap Singh v. State of M.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 870 : 2023 INSC 887 : (2023) 10 SCC 181 : AIR 2023 SC 5012

    'If convict's advocate was absent, hc should've appointed a lawyer for him' : Supreme Court criticises High Court deciding criminal appeal without hearing. Chandra Pratap Singh v. State of M.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 870 : 2023 INSC 887 : (2023) 10 SCC 181 : AIR 2023 SC 5012

    Section 313 CrPC - Failure to put incrimination circumstances to the accused will not vitiate trial if no prejudice is caused. Sunil v. State of NCT of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 815 : 2023 INSC 840 : AIR 2023 SC 4822

    High time to have code of investigation for police so that guilty don't walk free on technicalities. Rajesh v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 814 : 2023 INSC 839 : AIR 2023 SC 4759

    Supreme Court acquits two death row convicts, perplexed at trial court & hc awarding capital punishment despite loopholes in evidence. Rajesh v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 814 : 2023 INSC 839

    Supreme Court refuses to quash FIR against UP Congress leader over alleged 'Modi-Adani love affair' remark. Sachin Chaudhary v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 797

    Criminal liability of transferee company for acts of transferor company after amalgamation : Supreme Court explains. Religare Finvest Ltd v. State of NCT of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 790 : 2023 INSC 819 : AIR 2023 SC 4537

    DBS bank directors can't be prosecuted for acts of Lakshmi Vilas bank before amalgamation : Supreme Court quashes criminal case. Religare Finvest Ltd v. State of NCT of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 790 : 2023 INSC 819 : AIR 2023 SC 4537

    'Can't convict one accused & acquit another when evidence is the same': supreme court acquits persons who didn't file an appeal. Javed Shaukat Ali Qureshi v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 782 : 2023 INSC 829 : AIR 2023 SC 4444 : (2023) 9 SCC 164

    Standard of proof to prove insanity is only 'reasonable doubt' : Supreme Court acquits man accused of killing his grandfather. Rupesh Manger (Thapa) v. State of Sikkim, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 781 : 2023 INSC 826 : AIR 2023 SC 4431 : (2023) 9 SCC 739

    Supreme Court refers sedition law challenge to larger bench, says new bill to replace IPC can't affect past cases. S.G. Vombatkere v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 780

    The Supreme Court upholds life sentence for men who murdered woman alleging witchcraft. Bhaktu Gorain v. State of West Bengal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 779 : 2023 INSC 821 : AIR 2023 SC 4386

    'State assisted accused, failed to prosecute fairly': Supreme Court directs Bihar Govt to compensate victims in 1995 double murder case. Harendra Rai v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 760 : 2023 INSC 738 : AIR 2023 SC 4331

    Judge is not a mere recording machine; must actively search for truth in trial : Supreme Court sends back death penalty matter to HC. Munna Pandey v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 744 : 2023 INSC 793

    Section 162 CrPC does not prevent a trial court from putting questions to witnesses suo motu to contradict them. Munna Pandey v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 744 : 2023 INSC 793

    Section 323 Cr.P.C. - Power can be invoked even after deposition / chief examination of witness. Archana v. State of West Bengal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 742

    HC can act on Section 482 petition to quash FIR even if chargesheet has been filed during its pendency. Abhishek v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 731 : 2023 INSC 779 : AIR 2023 SC 4209

    'Far-fetched, vague allegations' : Supreme Court quashes Section 498A IPC case by wife against mother-in-law & brothers-in-law. Abhishek v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 731 : 2023 INSC 779

    Magistrate can take cognizance of a protest petition after rejecting the police final report. Zunaid v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 730 : 2023 INSC 778 : AIR 2023 SC 4550 

    Remission shouldn't be denied solely on reports of presiding judge or police : Supreme Court lays down factors for premature release. Rajo @ Rajwa @ Rajendra Mandal v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 717 : 2023 INSC 771 : AIR 2023 SC 4084

    Section 307 IPC - Conviction for attempt to murder can be sustained even if injuries to the complainant were very simple in nature. S.K. Khaja v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 715

    Chargesheet filed in a language which the accused does not understand is not illegal; translation can be given. Central Bureau of Investigation v. Narottam Dhakad, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 708 : 2023 INSC 770 : AIR 2023 SC 4066

    Test identification parade not violative of Article 20(3) of Constitution; accused cannot refuse to join TIP. Mukesh Singh v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 703 : 2023 INSC 765 : AIR 2023 SC 4097

    Section 202(1) Cr.P.C. procedure mandatory when one of the accused is a resident of a place outside magistrate's jurisdiction. Odi Jerang v. Nabajyoti Baruah, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 702

    'Great caution needed' : Supreme Court lists out factors to be considered while relying on dying declarations. Irfan @ Naka v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 698 : 2023 INSC 758 : AIR 2023 SC 4129

    Supreme Court acquits convict on death row; orders immediate release. Irfan @ Naka v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 698 : 2023 INSC 758

    Supreme Court sets aside order suspending conviction of Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal; asks Kerala HC to decide afresh. U.T. Administration of Lakshadweep v. Mohammed Faizal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 690

    Supreme Court on evaluating criminal revision petition - Presence of party not obligatory. Taj Mohammed v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 689

    'Presumption of innocence a human right; life & liberty are not matters to be trifled with': Supreme Court acquits 1995 murder case accused. Suresh Thipmppa Shetty v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 682 : 2023 INSC 749

    Principle “falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus” not applicable to Indian Courts : Supreme Court Reiterates. T.G. Krishnamurthy v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 671

    Section 149 IPC - Cannot expect witness to speak about specific overt act by each accused with graphic detail. Bhole v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 669

    "Shabby trial, tainted investigation": Supreme Court reverses acquittal of former MP Prabhunath Singh in 1995 double murder case. Harendra Rai v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 664 : 2023 INSC 738

    'Prosecutor has duty to State, accused and Court; they are not representatives of any party. Harendra Rai v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 664 : 2023 INSC 738

    Supreme Court allows former MP & murder convict Prabhunath Singh to appear virtually for hearing on sentence. Harendra Rai v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 664 : 2023 INSC 738

    Supreme Court sentences former MP Prabhunath Singh to life imprisonment in 1995 double murder case. Harendra Rai v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 664 : 2023 INSC 738

    Maharashtra Co-Operative Societies Act does not curtail power of police investigation under Cr.P.C. Dhanraj N. Asawani v. Amarjeetsingh Mohindersingh Basi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 652 : 2023 INSC 710

    If an escaped convict already serving life term is subsequently convicted, subsequent sentence will run concurrently with previous life sentence. State of Andhra Pradesh v. Vijayanagram Chinna Redappa, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 647

    Supreme Court orders release of vegetable vendor convicted for possessing 43 counterfeit ten rupees notes. Palanisamy v. State, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 643

    Correctness of witness statements cannot be decided in Section 482 Cr.P.C. proceedings. Manik B. v. Kadapala Sreyes Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 642

    To attract Section 306 IPC, there must be evidence to substantiate existence of suicide. Yaddanapudi Madhusudhana Rao v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 641

    Registration of FIR mandatory if information discloses cognizable offence : supreme court reiterates. Sindhu Janak Nagargoje v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 639

    The Supreme Court sets aside directions issued by P&H High Court regarding appearance of prosecution witnesses. State of Haryana v. Darshan Singh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 638

    Supreme Court sets aside Calcutta HC order allowing FIR against Suvendhu Adhikari; asks CJ to take fresh decision. Suvendu Adhikari v. State of West Bengal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 636

    Sessions Court should first see if the case is of 'culpable homicide not amounting to murder' before proceeding with murder trial.  Shaji v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 625

    Section 482 Cr.P.C. - Criminal antecedents of accused cannot be the sole consideration to decline to quash criminal proceedings. Mohammad Wajid v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 624 : 2023 INSC 683 : AIR 2023 SC 3784

    Supreme Court quashes Gujarat Police FIR against senior advocate & former ASG IH Syed after complainant says allegation was based on misconception. Iqbal Hasanali Syed v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 620

    Threatening a person to withdraw fir/complaint or settle dispute will not attract offence under Section 195A IPC. Salib @ Shalu @ Salim v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 618 : 2023 INSC 687

    Section 482 Cr.P.C. - The High Court can try to read in between the lines while considering a plea to quash the FIR. Mahmood Ali v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 613 : 2023 INSC 684 : AIR 2023 SC 3709

    15 days police custody meant to be applied to the entire period of investigation as a whole : Supreme Court doubts 1992 precedent. V. Senthil Balaji v. State, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 611 : 2023 INSC 677

    The Supreme Court vacated a stay order in a 16-year-old criminal appeal as it pulled up the appellant-lawyer for seeking repeated adjournments. Gulshan Bajwa v. Registrar, High Court of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 608

    'Trivial' : Supreme Court quashes 2014 criminal case over petty office altercation. Sunil Kumar v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 606 : 2023 INSC 668

    The Supreme Court reduced the sentence awarded to a woman for assaulting a government official during a laborer's protest 30 years ago. Razia Khan v. State of M.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 605 : 2023 INSC 667

    Judge also has a public duty to see that the guilty man does not escape : the supreme court upholds the conviction of a man for killing wife. Wazir Khan v. State of Uttarakhand. 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 601 : 2023 INSC 674 : AIR 2023 SC 3778 : (2023) 8 SCC 597

    Section 202(1) Cr.P.C. - Magistrate has to examine witnesses named in the complaint before dismissing the complaint u/Sec 203 Cr.P.C. Dilip Kumar v. Brajraj Shrivastava, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 597 : 2023 INSC 670

    'Strictly follow Arnesh Kumar guidelines on arrest': Supreme Court directs High Courts & DGPs to ensure compliance. Md. Asfak Alam v. State of Jharkhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 583 : 2023 INSC 660 : AIR 2023 SC 3610 : (2023) 8 SCC 632

    Not necessary to give opportunity of hearing to person summoned u/section 319 Cr.P.C. before adding him as accused. Yashodhan Singh v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 576 : 2023 INSC 652 : AIR 2023 SC 3878 : (2023) 9 SCC 108

    Section 319 Cr.P.C. - Merits of evidence has to be appreciated only during trial; not at the stage of summoning the accused. Sandeep Kumar v. State of Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 573 : 2023 INSC 654 : AIR 2023 SC 3648

    Modality proposed by Calcutta High Court to CBI for filing appeals not a mandate. Central Bureau of Investigations v. S.R. Ramamani, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 558

    Teesta Setalvad case - 'What investigation was done in 24 hours? What was the State doing for 20 yrs?' : questions by Supreme Court to Gujarat Police. Teesta Atul Setalvad v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 554 : 2023 INSC 637

    'Guilty Intention' vs 'Guilty Knowledge' : Supreme Court explains fine distinction between two parts of Section 304 IPC. Anbazhagan v. State, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 550 : 2023 INSC 632 : AIR 2023 SC 3660

    'No Overt Act' : Supreme Court set aside conviction under Section 323 r/w 34 IPC. Boini Mahipal v. State of Telangana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 546 : 2023 INSC 627 : AIR 2023 SC 3544 : (2023) 8 SCC 398

    Supreme Court upholds acquittal of three policemen in 36 year old murder case; dismisses CBI's appeal. Central Bureau of Investigation v. Shyam Bihari, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 542 : 2023 INSC 623

    Death by accidental firing : Supreme Court converts conviction of cop from Section 302 to Section 304A IPC. Arvind Kumar v. State, NCT of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 539  : 2023 INSC 622 : AIR 2023 SC 3653 : (2023) 8 SCC 208

    Ballistic expert's evidence important in cases of murder caused by firearms. Pritinder Singh @ Lovely v. State of Punjab, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 516 : 2023 INSC 614

    Attempt to culpable homicide - Conviction under section 308 IPC not sustainable if accused had no intention or knowledge to cause death.  Abdul Ansar v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 510 : 2023 INSC 602

    Continuing trend of projecting purely civil financial dispute as criminal matter 'extremely disturbing'. Gagan Baba v. Samit Mandal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 500

    Section 180 IPC can't be applied against a person for refusing to sign statement given to police : Supreme Sourt castigates DYSP. Supriya Jain v. State of Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 494 : 2023 INSC 595 : AIR 2023 SC 3287 : (2023) 7 SCC 711

    'Downright Bizarre' : Supreme Court on High Court Judgment resulting in different jail terms for convicts in the same offence. Uggarsain v. The State of Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 492 : 2023 INSC 587 : AIR 2023 SC 3105 : (2023) 8 SCC 109

    Section 197 Cr.P.C. - Sanction required even for acts done in excess of official duty. A. Srinivasulu v. State of Rep. by the Inspector of Police, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 485

    Section 319 Cr.P.C. - Person not named in the FIR can be added as accused if there's sufficient evidence of his involvement. Jitendra Nath Mishra v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 480 : AIR 2023 SC 2757 : 2023 INSC 576

    'Courts below failed to properly evaluate evidence': Supreme Court acquits two convicts in 22 year old murder case. Ravi Mandal v. State of Uttarakhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 470 : AIR 2023 SC 2554 : 2023 INSC 552

    Proposed accused has the right to be heard in revision filed against dismissal of petition under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. Santhakumari v. State of Tamil Nadu, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 465

    Magistrate can direct collection of voice samples of accused. Pravinsinh Nrupatsinh Chauhan v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 463

    Accused can be discharged only if no case is made out even after presuming entire prosecution evidence to be true. Captain Manjit Singh Virdi v. Hussain Mohammed Shattaf, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 462 : AIR 2023 SC 2480 : 2023 INSC 555 : (2023) 7 SCC 633

    'Numerous lapses in investigation': Supreme Court frees man awarded death penalty in case for rape & murder of 6 year old girl. Prakash Nishad @ Kewat Zinak Nishad v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 461 : AIR 2023 SC 2938 : 2023 INSC 561

    'Unexplained inordinate delay crucial factor to quash complaint' : Supreme Court quashes criminal case against ISKCON Bangalore leaders. Chanchalapati Das v. State of West Bengal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 446

    Supreme Court sets aside Bombay HC Order acquitting G.N. Saibaba, Remands appeals to HC for consideration by another Bench. State of Maharashtra v. Mahesh Kariman Tirki, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 438

    Supreme Court laments trial judges not using section 313(5) Cr.P.C.; asks judicial academies to take notice. Raj Kumar @ Suman v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 434 : AIR 2023 SC 3113 : 2023 INSC 520

    Supreme Court sets aside conviction in 23 year old murder case; says prosecution failed to prove chain of circumstances. Santosh @ Bhure v. State (G.N.C.T.) of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 418 : 2023 INSC 443

    Supreme Court upholds acquittal of a death row convict by High Court. State of Madhya Pradesh v. Phoolchand Rathore, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 408 : (2023) 5 SCR 601 : 2023 INSC 444

    The District Police Chief can't order further investigation without permission from the Magistrate or Higher Court. Peethambaran v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 402 : 2023 INSC 481

    'Court not to sermonise on morality': SC allows premature release of woman convicted for killing sons while attempting suicide. Nagarathinam v. State through the Inspector of Police, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 401 : AIR 2023 SC 2263 : 2023 INSC 495

    'Gives arbitrary powers to police': Supreme Court upholds quashing of TN decision to constitute anti-land grabbing cell. Government of Tamil Nadu v. R. Thamaraiselvam, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 400 : (2023) 7 SCC 251 : 2023 INSC 490

    Supreme Court sets aside Magistrate's order directing police investigation into allegation of rape against BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya. Kailash Vijayvargiya v. Rajlakshmi Chaudhuri, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 396 : 2023 INSC 494

    'Trial Judge shouldn't be a mute spectator; has duty to ask crucial questions' : Supreme Court while setting aside conviction in murder case. Dinesh Kumar v. State of Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 395 : AIR 2023 SC 2795 : 2023 INSC 493

    Section 389 Cr.P.C. - Sentence can be suspended in appeal only if the convict has fair chances of acquittal. Omprakash Sahni v. Jai Shankar Chaudhary, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 389 : AIR 2023 SC 2202 : (2023) 6 SCC 123 : 2023 INSC 478

    The Home Secretary cannot order further investigation or reinvestigation of case by another agency. Bohatie Devi v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 376 : 2023 INSC 465

    Investigating officer did not meet the obligations': Supreme Court reverses murder conviction imposed by Trial Court, affirmed by High Court. Maghavendra Pratap Singh @ Pankaj Singh v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 358 : 2023 INSC 415

    Not necessary to review / recall / quash order accepting closure report before carrying out further investigation. State v. Hemendhra Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 365 : 2023 INSC 460

    Supreme Court commutes death sentence of man who murdered his sister & her lover from another caste; takes note of 'social pressure'. Digambar v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 361 : AIR 2023 SC 2827 : 2023 INSC 445

    Supreme Court sets aside Telangana HC Order directing CBI to provide printed questions to YSRCP MP Avinash Reddy; says such orders gravely prejudice investigation. Suneetha Narreddy v. Y.S. Avinash Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 355 : 2023 INSC 422

    If the prosecution proposes death sentence, it must produce before the Trial Court information about the background of the accused. Vikas Chaudhary v. State of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 336 : 2023 INSC 412

    Supreme Court shocked to see police filing closure report in case where FIR was quashed; directs to discontinue such practice. State of Uttarakhand v. Umesh Kumar Sharma, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 335

    Appellate Court should separately hear convict on quantum of sentence when acquittal is reversed. Fedrick Cutinha v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 326 : AIR 2023 SC 2102 : 2023 INSC 384

    Asaram Bapu Case : Supreme Court sets aside Rajasthan HC order to summon IPS officer Ajay Lamba as witness. State of Rajasthan v. Asharam @ Ashumal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 316 : AIR 2023 SC 2228 : 2023 INSC 383

    Trial Courts, Public Prosecutors should be vigilant while framing of charges against accused. Soundarajan v. State, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 314 : AIR 2023 SC 2136 : 2023 INSC 377

    Accused not entitled to default bail when first extension (passed in absence of accused) wasn't challenged & second extension was passed in his presence. Qamar Ghani Usmani v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 297 : AIR 2023 SC 1901  : (2023) 2 SCR 824 : 2023 INSC 337

    The High Court cannot quash criminal proceedings at Section 482 Cr.P.C. stage by saying charges aren't proved. Central Bureau of Investigation v. Aryan Singh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 292 : AIR 2023 SC 1987 : (2023) 2 SCR 819 : 2023 INSC 338

    Alleged lack of jurisdiction of court no ground to transfer case: Supreme Court dismisses PFI student wing leader's plea. Ka Rauf Sherif v. Directorate of Enforcement, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 284

    View that there cannot be police custody beyond 15 days from date of arrest should be reconsidered. Central Bureau of Investigation v. Vikas Mishra @ Vikash Mishra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 283 : AIR 2023 SC 1808 : (2023) 6 SCC 49 : 2023 INSC 345

    Power to transfer cases to be used sparingly; may cast unnecessary aspersions on state judiciary & prosecution agency. Afjal Ali Sha @ Abjal Shaukat v. State of West Bengal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 268 : (2023) 2 SCR 1090 : 2023 INSC 257

    'Possible that police set up false case after killing deceased in the process of arrest': Supreme Court acquits 4 in 1989 murder case. Pulen Phukan v. State of Assam, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 265 : AIR 2023 SC 1639 : 2023 Cri LJ 1789 : 2023 INSC 305

    Constitutional Courts can impose life sentence for fixed term without remission even in cases where the death penalty wasn't imposed. Shiva Kumar @ Shiva @ Shivamurthy v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 252 : AIR 2023 SC 1774 : 2023 INSC 306

    Accused can't claim right of hearing before registration of FIR. State Bank of India v. Rajesh Agarwal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 243 : AIR 2023 SC 1859 : (2023) 6 SCC 1 : 2023 INSC 303

    Supreme Court allows plea of Delhi DG (Prisons); Directs prisoners who were released on covid-19 parole to surrender within 15 days. In Re: Contagion of COVID-19 Virus in Prisons, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 238 : 2023 INSC 294

    Period of parole granted by HPC during COVID-19 can't be counted towards the actual sentence. Anil Kumar v. State of Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 237 : AIR 2023 SC 1759 : (2023) 3 SCR 666 : 2023 INSC 296

    Smuggling & Foreign Exchange Manipulations - Necessary to deprive persons engaged in such acts of their ill gotten gains. Platinum Theatre v. Competent Authority, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 226 : AIR 2023 SC 1614 : 2023 INSC 273

    The Supreme Court questions the practice of some trial courts to remand accused the moment they appear in response to summons. Mahdoom Bava v. Central Bureau of Investigation, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 218 : AIR 2023 SC 1570 : 2023 INSC 263

    Supreme Court dismisses Cardinal George Alencherry's plea to quash criminal cases over land scam. Cardinal Mar George Alencherry v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 203 : (2023) 2 SCR 1014 : 2023 INSC 250

    Section 438 Cr.P.C. - Can HCs refuse to entertain anticipatory bail pleas for not exhausting Sessions Court remedy? Supreme Court to Consider. Gauhati High Court Bar Association v. State of Assam, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 177

    Section 319 Cr.P.C. power is to be exercised only if strong & cogent evidence occurs against a person. Vikas Rathi v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 172 : (2023) 2 SCR 6 : 2023 INSC 186

    Sex with minor wife: Supreme Court acquits husband of rape relying on exception 2 to Sec 375 IPC. Siddaruda @ Karna v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 170

    Section 313 Cr.P.C. - Written statement of the accused has to be considered in the light of prosecution evidence. Premchand v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 168 : AIR 2023 SC 1487 : (2023) 5 SCC 522 : (2023) 2 SCR 119 : 2023 INSC 207

    Section 313 Cr.P.C.: Supreme Court Summarises 10 well-settled principles. Premchand v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 168 : AIR 2023 SC 1487 : (2023) 5 SCC 522 : (2023) 2 SCR 119 : 2023 INSC 207

    Mere intimidation to silence kidnapped child victim not sufficient to prove threat to life & limb. Ravi Dhingra v. State Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 167 : AIR 2023 SC 1243 : 2023 Cri LJ 1913 : 2023 INSC 182 : (2023) 6 SCC 76 : (2023) 2 SCR 164

    Mere breach of contract can't be the basis for a criminal case for cheating. Sarabjit Kaur v. State of Punjab, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 157 : (2023) 5 SCC 360 : 2023 INSC 188

    Power to transfer cases to CBI should be used sparingly. Royden Harold Buthello v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 154 : AIR 2023 SC 1231 : 2023 INSC 180

    Section 256 Cr.P.C. - Not proper to acquit the accused merely for the non-appearance of the complainant who was already examined. BLS Infrastructure Ltd. v. Rajwant Singh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 153 : (2023) 4 SCC 326 : (2023) 2 SCR 183 : 2023 INSC 187

    State should not be arbitrary in allowing premature release; policy must be applied equally to all. Rajkumar v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 144 : 2023 INSC 718

    Transfer of criminal case from one state to another implicitly reflect on the credibility of the State Judiciary & Prosecution Agency. Neelam Pandey v. Rahul Shukla, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 141

    'Mere framing of charges no bar to order further investigation; Victim has fundamental right of fair investigation'. Anant Thanur Karmuse v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 136 : (2023) 5 SCC 802 : 2023 INSC 168

    Supreme Court upholds life sentence for mother who killed her 5-year old child. Vahitha v. State of Tamil Nadu, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 132 : AIR 2023 SC 1165 : 2023 INSC 151

    Section 319 Cr.P.C.: Supreme Court reiterates procedural safeguards to prevent misuse of power to summon additional accused. Juhru v. Karim, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 128 : AIR 2023 SC 1160 : (2023) 5 SCC 406 :(2023) 2 SCR 519 : 2023 INSC 148

    Criminal proceedings inter-se parties can be quashed if they have genuinely settled matrimonial disputes. Rangappa Javoor v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 74

    To consider premature release of convict, State Policy prevailing on the date of conviction is relevant. Hitesh v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 72

    Section 482 Cr.P.C. - Pendency of suit concealed, cloak of criminal offence given to civil dispute: Supreme Court quashes criminal proceedings. Usha Chakraborty v. State of West Bengal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 67 : AIR 2023 SC 688 : 2023 INSC 86

    Don't record witness testimonies in english translations alone; Follow sec. 277 Cr.P.C.: Supreme Court to trial courts. Naim Ahamed v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 66

    Chargesheets not 'public documents', Can't direct investigating agencies to upload them on websites. Saurav Das v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 52 : AIR 2023 SC 615 : 2023 INSC 76

    Default bail can be cancelled on merits after presentation of chargesheet. State through CBI v. T. Gangi Reddy @ Yerra Gnagi Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 37 : AIR 2023 SC 457 : (2023) 4 SCC 253 : (2023) 1 SCR 741 : 2023 INSC 44

    View that default bail cannot be cancelled on merits will reward lethargic investigation. State through CBI v. T. Gangi Reddy @ Yerra Gnagi Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 37 : AIR 2023 SC 457 : (2023) 4 SCC 253 : (2023) 1 SCR 741 : 2023 INSC 44

    Grant of Remission - Presiding Judge should give adequate reasons while giving opinion under Section 432(2) Cr.P.C. Jaswant Singh v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 33 : AIR 2023 SC 419 : 2023 INSC 31

    'Reasonable time should be given for investigation': SC sets aside madras HC order quashing FIR against youtuber Maridhas in 4 days. State represented by the Inspector of Police v. Maridass, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 25

    "Private civil dispute converted to criminal proceedings": Supreme Court quashes complaint alleging offence under SC-ST (prevention of Atrocities) Act. B. Venkateswaran v. P. Bakthavatchalam, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 14 : AIR 2023 SC 262 : 2023 INSC 18

    The Parole period can't be included in the period of actual imprisonment. Rohan Dhungat v. State of Goa, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 10 : AIR 2023 SC 265 : (2023) 1 SCR 1029 : 2023 INSC 16

    Magistrate Must Examine If Complaint Constitutes Only A Civil Wrong Before Summoning Accused. Deepak Gaba v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 3 : AIR 2023 SC 228 : (2023) 3 SCC 423 : 2023 INSC 1

    "Burden to prove mental incapacity is on the defence": Supreme Court upholds conviction of man accused of killing his two sons. Prem Singh v. State of NCT of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 2 : AIR 2023 SC 193 : (2023) 3 SCC 372 : 2023 INSC 3

    Criminal Trial

    Abscondence by a person against whom an FIR has been lodged and who is under expectation of being apprehended is not very unnatural. Mere absconding by the appellant after alleged commission of crime and remaining untraceable for such a long time itself cannot establish his guilt or his guilty conscience. Abscondence, in certain cases, could constitute a relevant piece of evidence, but its evidentiary value depends upon the surrounding circumstances. This sole circumstance, therefore, does not enure to the benefit of the prosecution. (Para 23) Sekaran v. State of Tamil Nadu, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1052 : 2023 INSC 1062 : AIR 2024 SC 397

    Interference in concurrent convictions is only warranted when: i. The finding is perverse. ii. The finding is based or built on inadmissible evidence. iii. The Courts below have not considered or wrongly discarded vital pieces of evidence that would tilt the balance in favor of the accused. Sajeev v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 974 : 2023 INSC 998

    Criminal Trial - Right to Privacy - The essence of a woman's fundamental right to equality and privacy, regarding private matters of bodily and psychological integrity is the ability to make autonomous decisions about her own body and reproductive choices. It is entirely within the realm of privacy of a woman to decide whether or not to bear a child or abort her pregnancy (within the framework of law). (Para 27) Indrakunwar v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 932 : 2023 INSC 934 : AIR 2023 SC 5221

    Criminal Trial - Omission to frame charge does not disable the court from convicting the accused for the offence which is found to have been proved on the evidence on record. (Para 27) Paranagouda v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 915 : 2023 INSC 933

    Section 197 Cr.P.C. - Sanction required even for acts done in excess of official duty. A. Srinivasulu v. State of Rep. by the Inspector of Police, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 485

    Section 319 Cr.P.C. - Person not named in the FIR can be added as accused if there's sufficient evidence of his involvement. Jitendra Nath Mishra v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 480 : AIR 2023 SC 2757 : 2023 INSC 576

    'Courts below failed to properly evaluate evidence': Supreme Court acquits two convicts in 22 year old murder case. Ravi Mandal v. State of Uttarakhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 470 : AIR 2023 SC 2554 : 2023 INSC 552

    Proposed accused has the right to be heard in revision filed against dismissal of petition under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. Santhakumari v. State of Tamil Nadu, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 465

    Criminal Investigation – Voice Sample - Magistrate has the power to order the collection of a voice sample for the purpose of investigation. Pravinsinh Nrupatsinh Chauhan v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 463

    At the stage of hearing on the charges, the entire evidence produced by the prosecution is to be believed and if no offence is made out, then only an accused can be discharged. Truthfulness, sufficiency and acceptability of the material produced can be done only at the stage of trial. At the stage of charge, the Court has to satisfy that a prima facie case is made out against the accused persons. Interference of the Court at that stage is required only if there is strong reasons to hold that in case the trial is allowed to proceed, the same would amount to abuse of process of the Court. (Para 11) Captain Manjit Singh Virdi v. Hussain Mohammed Shattaf, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 462 : AIR 2023 SC 2480 : 2023 INSC 555 : (2023) 7 SCC 633

    The High Court has not even referred to the evidence collected by Investigating Agency produced alongwith chargesheet in its entirety. Rather there is selective reference to the statements of some of the persons recorded during investigation. It shows that there was total non-application of mind. The High Court had exercised the jurisdiction in a manner which is not vested in it to scuttle the trial of a heinous crime. (Para 20) Captain Manjit Singh Virdi v. Hussain Mohammed Shattaf, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 462 : AIR 2023 SC 2480 : 2023 INSC 555 : (2023) 7 SCC 633

    'Numerous lapses in investigation': Supreme Court frees man awarded death penalty in case for rape & murder of 6 year old girl. Prakash Nishad @ Kewat Zinak Nishad v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 461 : AIR 2023 SC 2938 : 2023 INSC 561

    Supreme Court sets aside Bombay HC Order acquitting G.N. Saibaba, Remands appeals to HC for consideration by another Bench. State of Maharashtra v. Mahesh Kariman Tirki, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 438

    Supreme Court laments trial judges not using section 313(5) Cr.P.C.; asks judicial academies to take notice. Raj Kumar @ Suman v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 434 : AIR 2023 SC 3113 : 2023 INSC 520

    Supreme Court sets aside conviction in 23 year old murder case; says prosecution failed to prove chain of circumstances. Santosh @ Bhure v. State (G.N.C.T.) of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 418 : 2023 INSC 443

    The District Police Chief can't order further investigation without permission from the Magistrate or Higher Court. Peethambaran v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 402 : 2023 INSC 481

    'Court not to sermonise on morality': SC allows premature release of woman convicted for killing sons while attempting suicide. Nagarathinam v. State through the Inspector of Police, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 401 : AIR 2023 SC 2263 : 2023 INSC 495

    Supreme Court sets aside Magistrate's order directing police investigation into allegation of rape against BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya. Kailash Vijayvargiya v. Rajlakshmi Chaudhuri, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 396 : 2023 INSC 494

    The duty of the presiding judge of a criminal trial is not to watch the proceedings as a spectator or a recording machine but he has to participate in the trial by evincing intelligent active interest by putting questions to witnesses in order to ascertain the truth. (Para 11, 12) Dinesh Kumar v. State of Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 395 : AIR 2023 SC 2795 : 2023 INSC 493

    Section 389 Cr.P.C. - Sentence can be suspended in appeal only if the convict has fair chances of acquittal. Omprakash Sahni v. Jai Shankar Chaudhary, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 389 : AIR 2023 SC 2202 : (2023) 6 SCC 123 : 2023 INSC 478

    The Home Secretary cannot order further investigation or reinvestigation of case by another agency. Bohatie Devi v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 376 : 2023 INSC 465

    Investigating officer did not meet the obligations': Supreme Court reverses murder conviction imposed by Trial Court, affirmed by High Court. Maghavendra Pratap Singh @ Pankaj Singh v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 358 : 2023 INSC 415

    Not necessary to review / recall / quash order accepting closure report before carrying out further investigation. State v. Hemendhra Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 365 : 2023 INSC 460

    Criminal Investigation - Criminal offence is considered as a wrong against the State and the Society even though it has been committed against an individual. Normally, in serious offences, prosecution is launched by the State and a Court of law has no power to throw away prosecution solely on the ground of delay. Mere delay in approaching a Court of law would not by itself afford a ground for dismissing the case. Though it may be a relevant circumstance in reaching a final verdict. (Para 84) State v. Hemendhra Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 365 : 2023 INSC 460

    Supreme Court commutes death sentence of man who murdered his sister & her lover from another caste; takes note of 'social pressure'. Digambar v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 361 : AIR 2023 SC 2827 : 2023 INSC 445

    Supreme Court sets aside Telangana HC Order directing CBI to provide printed questions to YSRCP MP Avinash Reddy; says such orders gravely prejudice investigation. Suneetha Narreddy v. Y.S. Avinash Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 355 : 2023 INSC 422

    If the prosecution proposes death sentence, it must produce before the Trial Court information about the background of the accused. Vikas Chaudhary v. State of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 336 : 2023 INSC 412

    Supreme Court shocked to see police filing closure report in case where FIR was quashed; directs to discontinue such practice. State of Uttarakhand v. Umesh Kumar Sharma, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 335

    Appellate Court should separately hear convict on quantum of sentence when acquittal is reversed. Fedrick Cutinha v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 326 : AIR 2023 SC 2102 : 2023 INSC 384

    Asaram Bapu Case - Supreme Court sets aside Rajasthan HC order to summon IPS officer Ajay Lamba as witness. State of Rajasthan v. Asharam @ Ashumal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 316 : AIR 2023 SC 2228 : 2023 INSC 383

    Criminal Trial - Right to speedy trial, including speedy disposal of an appeal, is not the exclusive right of an accused, but an obligation of the court towards the society in general, and the victim in particular. (Para 17) State of Rajasthan v. Asharam @ Ashumal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 316 : AIR 2023 SC 2228 : 2023 INSC 383

    Trial Courts, Public Prosecutors should be vigilant while framing of charges against accused. Soundarajan v. State, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 314 : AIR 2023 SC 2136 : 2023 INSC 377

    Accused not entitled to default bail when first extension (passed in absence of accused) wasn't challenged & second extension was passed in his presence. Qamar Ghani Usmani v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 297 : AIR 2023 SC 1901 : (2023) 2 SCR 824 : 2023 INSC 337

    The High Court cannot quash criminal proceedings at Section 482 Cr.P.C. stage by saying charges aren't proved. Central Bureau of Investigation v. Aryan Singh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 292 : AIR 2023 SC 1987 : (2023) 2 SCR 819 : 2023 INSC 338

    Alleged lack of jurisdiction of court no ground to transfer case: Supreme Court dismisses PFI student wing leader's plea. Ka Rauf Sherif v. Directorate of Enforcement, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 284 : (2023) 6 SCC 92 : 2023 INSC 347

    View that there cannot be police custody beyond 15 days from date of arrest should be reconsidered. Central Bureau of Investigation v. Vikas Mishra @ Vikash Mishra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 283 : AIR 2023 SC 1808 : (2023) 6 SCC 49 : 2023 INSC 345

    Power to transfer cases to be used sparingly; may cast unnecessary aspersions on state judiciary & prosecution agency. Afjal Ali Sha @ Abjal Shaukat v. State of West Bengal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 268 : (2023) 2 SCR 1090 : 2023 INSC 257

    'Possible that police set up false case after killing deceased in the process of arrest': Supreme Court acquits 4 in 1989 murder case. Pulen Phukan v. State of Assam, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 265 : AIR 2023 SC 1639 : 2023 Cri LJ 1789 : 2023 INSC 305

    The job of the prosecution is not to accept the complainant's version as Gospel Truth and proceed in that direction but the investigation must be made in a fair and transparent manner and must ascertain the truth. The evidence collected during investigation should then be analysed by the Investigating Officer and accordingly a report under Section 173(2) of the CrPC should be submitted. Further, the duty of the Trial Court is to carefully scrutinise the evidence, try to find out the truth on the basis of evidence led. Wherever necessary the Trial Court may itself make further inquiry on its own with regard to facts and circumstances which may create doubt in the minds of the Court during trial. If the investigation is unfair and tainted then it is the duty of the Trial Court to get the clarifications on all the aspects which may surface or may be reflected by the evidence so that it may arrive at a just and fair conclusion. If the Trial Court fails to exercise this power and discretion vested in it then the judgment of the Trial Court may be said to be vitiated. [Para 13] Pulen Phukan v. State of Assam, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 265 : AIR 2023 SC 1639 : 2023 Cri LJ 1789 : 2023 INSC 305

    The Courts must refrain from committing such grave errors in the future, whereby innocent people are made to suffer incarceration for over a period of nearly two decades, without proper appreciation of evidence. (Para 19) Narendrasinh Keshubhai Zala v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 227 : (2023) 2 SCR 746 : 2023 INSC 241

    Delay in sending FIR - Unless serious prejudice is caused, mere delay in sending the FIR to the Magistrate would not, by itself, have a negative effect on the case of the prosecution. One of the external checks against ante-dating or antetiming an FIR is the time of its dispatch to the Magistrate or its receipt by the Magistrate. A dispatch of a copy of the FIR forthwith ensures that there is no manipulation or interpolation in the FIR. (Para 17.6) Ravasaheb @ Ravasahebgouda v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 225 : (2023) 5 SCC 391 : (2023) 2 SCR 965 : 2023 INSC 238

    Delay in the FIR reaching the Magistrate - It is the settled position of law that each and every delay caused is not fatal to a case in the absence of demonstrated prejudice. In the present case, though, while there is reliance at the Bar on this principle no submission has been made to show prejudice having been caused to the accused. Statements sans adequate backing cannot sway the Court. Even the delay in the receipt of the FIR with the concerned Magistrate cannot be a reason to disbelieve the prosecution case. It is not a case of non-compliance of provisions equally the delay is not inordinate so as to cast any doubt. (Para 20) Ravasaheb @ Ravasahebgouda v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 225 : (2023) 5 SCC 391 : (2023) 2 SCR 965 : 2023 INSC 238

    Power of Court of Appeal - The Court of appeal has wide powers of appreciation of evidence in an order of acquittal as in the order of conviction, along with the rider of presumption of innocence which continues across all stages of a case. Such Court should give due importance to the judgment rendered by the Trial Court. The High Court, being the First Appellate Court must discuss/re-appreciate the evidence on record. Failure to do so is a good ground enough to remand the matter for consideration. (Para 17.9) Ravasaheb @ Ravasahebgouda v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 225 : (2023) 5 SCC 391 : (2023) 2 SCR 965 : 2023 INSC 238

    Preponderance of probabilities - To entitle a person to the benefit of a doubt arising from a duality of views, the possible view in favour of the accused must be as nearly reasonably probable as that against him. (Para 17.5) Ravasaheb @ Ravasahebgouda v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 225 : (2023) 5 SCC 391 : (2023) 2 SCR 965 : 2023 INSC 238

    Constitutional Courts can impose life sentence for fixed term without remission even in cases where the death penalty wasn't imposed. Shiva Kumar @ Shiva @ Shivamurthy v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 252 : AIR 2023 SC 1774 : 2023 INSC 306

    Accused can't claim right of hearing before registration of FIR. State Bank of India v. Rajesh Agarwal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 243 : AIR 2023 SC 1859 : (2023) 6 SCC 1 : 2023 INSC 303

    Smuggling & Foreign Exchange Manipulations - Necessary to deprive persons engaged in such acts of their ill-gotten gains. Platinum Theatre v. Competent Authority, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 226 : AIR 2023 SC 1614 : 2023 INSC 273

    Supreme Court questions practice of some trial courts to remand accused the moment they appear in response to summons. Mahdoom Bava v. Central Bureau of Investigation, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 218 : AIR 2023 SC 1570 : 2023 INSC 263

    Supreme Court dismisses Cardinal George Alencherry's plea to quash criminal cases over land scam. Cardinal Mar George Alencherry v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 203 : (2023) 2 SCR 1014 : 2023 INSC 250

    Section 438 Cr.P.C. - Can HCs refuse to entertain anticipatory bail pleas for not exhausting Sessions Court remedy? Supreme Court to Consider. Gauhati High Court Bar Association v. State of Assam, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 177

    Section 319 Cr.P.C. power is to be exercised only if strong & cogent evidence occurs against a person. Vikas Rathi v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 172 : (2023) 2 SCR 6 : 2023 INSC 186

    Sex with minor wife: Supreme Court acquits husband of rape relying on exception 2 to Sec 375 IPC. Siddaruda @ Karna v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 170

    Section 313 Cr.P.C. - Written statement of the accused has to be considered in the light of prosecution evidence. Premchand v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 168 : AIR 2023 SC 1487 : (2023) 5 SCC 522 : (2023) 2 SCR 119 : 2023 INSC 207

    Section 313 Cr.P.C.: Supreme Court Summarises 10 well-settled principles. Premchand v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 168 : AIR 2023 SC 1487 : (2023) 5 SCC 522 : (2023) 2 SCR 119 : 2023 INSC 207

    Mere intimidation to silence kidnapped child victim not sufficient to prove threat to life & limb. Ravi Dhingra v. State Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 167 : AIR 2023 SC 1243 : 2023 Cri LJ 1913 : 2023 INSC 182 : (2023) 6 SCC 76 : (2023) 2 SCR 164

    Mere breach of contract can't be the basis for a criminal case for cheating. Sarabjit Kaur v. State of Punjab, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 157 : (2023) 5 SCC 360 : 2023 INSC 188

    Transfer of Investigation to CBI - The power to transfer the investigation is an extraordinary power. It is to be used very sparingly and in an exceptional circumstance where the Court on appreciating the facts and circumstance arrives at the conclusion that there is no other option of securing a fair trial without the intervention and investigation by the CBI or such other specialized investigating agency which has the expertise. Royden Harold Buthello v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 154 : AIR 2023 SC 1231 : 2023 INSC 180

    Section 256 Cr.P.C. - Not proper to acquit the accused merely for the non-appearance of the complainant who was already examined. BLS Infrastructure Ltd. v. Rajwant Singh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 153 : (2023) 4 SCC 326 : (2023) 2 SCR 183 : 2023 INSC 187

    State should not be arbitrary in allowing premature release; policy must be applied equally to all. Rajkumar vs State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 144 : 2023 INSC 718

    Transfer of criminal case from one state to another implicitly reflect on the credibility of the State Judiciary & Prosecution Agency. Neelam Pandey v. Rahul Shukla, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 141

    'Mere framing of charges no bar to order further investigation; Victim has fundamental right of fair investigation'. Anant Thanur Karmuse v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 136 : (2023) 5 SCC 802 : 2023 INSC 168

    Section 319 Cr.P.C.: Supreme Court reiterates procedural safeguards to prevent misuse of power to summon additional accused. Juhru v. Karim, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 128 : AIR 2023 SC 1160 : (2023) 5 SCC 406 :(2023) 2 SCR 519 : 2023 INSC 148

    Criminal proceedings inter-se parties can be quashed if they have genuinely settled matrimonial disputes. Rangappa Javoor v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 74

    Section 482 Cr.P.C. | Pendency of suit concealed, cloak of criminal offence given to civil dispute: Supreme Court quashes criminal proceedings. Usha Chakraborty v. State of West Bengal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 67 : AIR 2023 SC 688 : 2023 INSC 86

    Criminal Investigation - A defective investigation is not always fatal to the prosecution where ocular testimony is found credible and cogent. While in such a case the court has to be circumspect in evaluating the evidence, a faulty investigation cannot in all cases be a determinative factor to throw out a credible prosecution version -Non-examination of the Investigating Officer must result in prejudice to the accused; if no prejudice is caused, mere non-examination would not render the prosecution case fatal - Though mere defects in the investigative process by itself cannot constitute ground for acquittal, it is the legal obligation of the Court to examine carefully in each case the prosecution evidence de hors the lapses committed by the Investigating Officer to find out whether the evidence brought on record is at all reliable and whether such lapses affect the object of finding out the truth. (Para 28, 42) Munna Lal v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 60 : AIR 2023 SC 634 : 2023 Cri LJ 1726 : 2023 INSC 78

    Criminal Trial - The circumstance that most of the witnesses were related to the deceased does not per se exclude their testimony. (Para 14) Prasad Pradhan v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 59 : AIR 2023 SC 643 : 2023 Cri LJ 1726 : 2023 INSC 78

    Chargesheets not 'public documents', Can't direct investigating agencies to upload them on websites. Saurav Das v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 52 : AIR 2023 SC 615 : 2023 INSC 76

    Chargesheets - Supreme Court refuses to direct that chargesheets filed by investigating agencies should be uploaded on a public website for public access- Court says that the directions in Youth Bar Association of India vs Union of India (2016) 9 SCC 473 regarding uploading of FIR cannot be extended to chargesheets - Court directed the copies of the FIRs to be published within 24 hours on the police websites or on the websites of the State Government, looking to the interest of the accused and so that innocent accused are not harassed and they are able to get the relief from the competent court and they are not taken by surprise. Therefore, the directions issued by this Court are in favour of the accused, which cannot be stretch to the public at large so far as the chargesheets are concerned. (Para 4.1) Saurav Das v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 52 : AIR 2023 SC 615 : 2023 INSC 76

    Default bail can be cancelled on merits after presentation of chargesheet. State through CBI v. T. Gangi Reddy @ Yerra Gnagi Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 37 : AIR 2023 SC 457 : (2023) 4 SCC 253 : (2023) 1 SCR 741 : 2023 INSC 44

    View that default bail cannot be cancelled on merits will reward lethargic investigation. State through CBI v. T. Gangi Reddy @ Yerra Gnagi Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 37 : AIR 2023 SC 457 : (2023) 4 SCC 253 : (2023) 1 SCR 741 : 2023 INSC 44

    Grant of Remission - Presiding Judge should give adequate reasons while giving opinion under Section 432(2) Cr.P.C. Jaswant Singh v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 33 : AIR 2023 SC 419 : 2023 INSC 31

    'Reasonable time should be given for investigation': SC sets aside madras HC order quashing FIR against youtuber Maridhas in 4 days. State represented by the Inspector of Police v. Maridass, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 25

    Supreme Court takes exception to Madras High Court quashing an FIR in four days without giving adequate time for investigation. State represented by the Inspector of Police v. Maridass, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 25

    "Private civil dispute converted to criminal proceedings": Supreme Court quashes complaint alleging offence under SC-ST (prevention of Atrocities) Act. B. Venkateswaran v. P. Bakthavatchalam, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 14 : AIR 2023 SC 262 : 2023 INSC 18

    Magistrate Must Examine If Complaint Constitutes Only A Civil Wrong Before Summoning Accused. Deepak Gaba v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 3 : AIR 2023 SC 228 : (2023) 3 SCC 423 : 2023 INSC 1

    "Burden to prove mental incapacity is on the defence": Supreme Court upholds conviction of man accused of killing his two sons. Prem Singh v. State of NCT of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 2 : AIR 2023 SC 193 : (2023) 3 SCC 372 : 2023 INSC 3

    Criminal Trial - Motive - If motive is proved, that would supply another link in the chain of circumstantial evidence but, absence of motive cannot be a ground to reject the prosecution case, though such an absence of motive is a factor that weighs in favour of the accused. (Para 15, 17.1) Prem Singh v. State of NCT of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 2 : AIR 2023 SC 193 : (2023) 3 SCC 372 : 2023 INSC 3

    Death Penalty

    'Past conduct is not always a factor when imposing the death penalty' : Supreme Court Commutes Death Sentence. Madan v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 982 : 2023 INSC 990

    When the role attributed in the evidence of the eye witnesses is identical to all the accused, the High Court was not justified in imposing death penalty on appellant while converting the death penalty imposed upon co accused to life imprisonment. (Para 76) Madan v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 982 : 2023 INSC 990

    Supreme Court declines to commute death penalty of Balwant Singh Rajoana, allows centre to decide mercy petition 'when necessary'. Balwant Singh v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 391 : AIR 2023 SC 2195 : 2023 INSC 482

    Decide mercy petitions against death sentence at the earliest so that convicts won't take advantage of delay : Supreme Court to all Authorities. State of Maharashtra v. Renuka Shinde, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 305

    Rarest of rare doctrine requires death sentence be imposed only if there is no possibility of reformation. Sundar @ Sundarrajan v. State by Inspector of Police, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 217

    Defamation

    Magistrate can dismiss defamation complaint by applying exceptions under Section 499 IPC before issuing summons to accused. Iveco Magirus Brandschutztechnik Gmbh v. Nirmal Kishore Bhartiya, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 860 : 2023 INSC 880

    Allegations in complaint made in good faith to lawful authority cannot attract offence of defamation. Kishore Balkrishna Nand v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 602 : 2023 INSC 675 : AIR 2023 SC 3804 : (2023) 8 SCC 358

    Domestic Violence

    Courts should not impose onerous conditions on complainants under Domestic Violence Act. Bhawna v. Bhay Ram, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 148

    Dowry

    Dowry death case - the Supreme Court surprised at HC using the same dying declaration to convict husband while disbelieving it for father-in-law. Phulel Singh v. State of Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 833 : 2023 INSC 863 : AIR 2023 SC 4653 : (2023) 10 SCC 268

    Unnatural death of wife in matrimonial home within seven years of marriage in itself not sufficient to convict husband for dowry death. Charan Singh @ Charanjit Singh v. State of Uttarakhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 341 : AIR 2023 SC 2095 : 2023 INSC 404

    Criminal proceedings for dowry demand cannot be quashed merely because divorce petition is pending. X v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 26

    Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961

    Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961; Section 3 & 4 - Denial of anticipatory bail and a further direction to surrender before the Court and seek regular bail – Held, there are no startling features or elements that stand out or any exceptional fact disentitling the appellant to the grant of anticipatory bail. Once the chargesheet was filed and there was no impediment, at least on the part of the accused, the court having regard to the nature of the offences, the allegations and the maximum sentence of the offences they were likely to carry, ought to have granted the bail as a matter of course. However, the court did not do so but mechanically rejected and, virtually, to rub salt in the wound directed the appellant to surrender and seek regular bail before the Trial Court. Therefore, the High Court fell into error in adopting such a casual approach. The impugned order of rejecting the bail and directing the appellant, to surrender and later seek bail, therefore, cannot stand, and is hereby set aside. (Para 12) Md. Asfak Alam v. State of Jharkhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 583 : 2023 INSC 660

    Enforcement

    Why must the ED furnish grounds of arrest to the accused in writing? the Supreme Court explains. Pankaj Bansal v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 844 : 2023 INSC 866

    Mere non-cooperation to ed summons not a ground for arrest under PMLA; ED can't expect admission of guilt from a person summoned. Pankaj Bansal v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 844 : 2023 INSC 866

    ED can't be vindictive, grounds of arrest must be furnished in writing to accused at the time of arrest. Pankaj Bansal v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 844 : 2023 INSC 866

    Enforcement officer competent to file complaint under repealed provisions of FERA during sunset period of 2 years after enforcement of FEMA. First Global Stockbroking Pvt. Ltd. v. Anil Rishiraj, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 820 : 2023 INSC 845 : AIR 2023 SC 4524

    Violation of Section 19 PMLA will vitiate arrest; Magistrate should ensure that ED followed the arrest procedure. V. Senthil Balaji v. State, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 611 : 2023 INSC 677

    'Custody' under Section 167 CrPC includes custody of other investigating agencies such as ED, not just police. V. Senthil Balaji v. State, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 611 : 2023 INSC 677

    Habeas corpus writ not maintainable against ED alleging illegal arrest; Plea to be raised before Magistrate. V. Senthil Balaji v. State, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 611 : 2023 INSC 677

    Supreme Court dismisses Tamil Nadu Minister Senthil Balaji's plea challenging ED custody. V. Senthil Balaji v. State, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 611 : 2023 INSC 677

    Supreme Court extends Ed Director Sk Mishra's term till September 15 "in larger national interest"; says no further extensions. Jaya Thakur v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 578

    Supreme Court Invalidates Extensions Of ED Director SK Mishra's Term; Permits Him To Continue Till July 31. Dr. Jaya Thakur v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 518 : 2023 INSC 616

    Supreme Court rejects argument that 'piecemeal' extensions will affect independence of directors of CBI & ED; upholds amendments to CVC Act & DSPE Act. Dr. Jaya Thakur v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 518 : 2023 INSC 616 : AIR 2023 SC 3444 : (2023) 10 SCC 276

    Evidence Act, 1872

    Evidence Act, 1872 - Murder trial - Principle of corpus delicti – non-recovery of the corpse would have relevance in considering the links of chain of circumstances. (Para 16) Indrajit Das v. State of Tripura, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 152 : AIR 2023 SC 1239 : 2023 INSC 175

    Section 6 - Relevancy of facts forming part of same transaction

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 6 - Principle of res gestae - Relevancy of facts forming part of same transaction - The rule embodied in Section 6 is usually known as the rule of res gestae. What it means is that a fact which, though not in issue, is so connected with the fact in issue “as to form part of the same transaction” becomes relevant by itself. To form particular statement as part of the same transaction utterances must be simultaneous with the incident or substantial contemporaneous that is made either during or immediately before or after its occurrence. (Para 49) Balu Sudam Khalde v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 279 : AIR 2023 SC 1736 : 2023 INSC 314

    Section 9 - Facts necessary to explain or introduce relevant facts

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 9 - Test Identification Parade - The entire necessity for holding an investigation parade can arise only when the accused are not previously known to the witnesses. The whole idea of a test identification parade is that witnesses who claim to have seen the culprits at the time of occurrence are to identify them from the midst of other persons without any aid or any other source - Investigation parade does not hold much value when the identity of the accused is already known to the witness. (Para 9) Udayakumar v. State of Tamil Nadu, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 242 : 2023 INSC 239

    Section 24 - Confession caused by inducement, threat or promise, when irrelevant in criminal proceeding

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 24 - When prosecution relies upon the evidence of extra judicial confession, normally, the evidence of the persons before whom extra judicial confession is allegedly made, must be of sterling quality. (Para 7) Prabhatbhai Aatabhai Dabhi v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 989 : 2023 INSC 1003

    Section 27 - How much of information received from accused may be proved

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 27 - The recovery of a weapon from an open place accessible to all is not reliable. (Para 25 & 26) Manjunath v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 961 : 2023 INSC 978

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 27 - As far as the recovery is concerned, the recovery is again weak. The so­called alleged place of crime and the recovery of tractor or the place where the tractor was abandoned had already been disclosed by the co­accused by the time the present appellant was arrested. Therefore, making a disclosure about the place of occurrence or the place where the tractor was abandoned is of no consequence. As far as the recovery of watch, currency notes of Rs. 250/­, hair and 'Parna' from the residence of the accused are concerned, the currency notes and hair have not been identified with the deceased. What we can call as discovery here under Section 27 of the Act, is the discovery of 'Parna' and watch of the deceased. This evidence in itself is not sufficient to fix guilt on the accused. (Para 15) Dinesh Kumar v. State of Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 395 : AIR 2023 SC 2795 : 2023 INSC 493

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 27 - Disclosure statements, consequential discoveries and their connect with crime - Having doubted the recovery of clothes at the instance of the accused, the circumstance that the clothes carried blood of same group as of the deceased is rendered meaningless because there is no admissible evidence to connect the clothes with the two accused. The disclosure statement made to the police, even if not discarded, was not admissible for proving that the clothes recovered were the one which the accused were wearing at the time of murder. The reason being that only so much of the disclosure would be admissible under Section 27 of the IEA, 1872 as distinctly relates to the fact thereby discovered which, in the instant case, would be the place where the clothes were concealed. (Para 76) Santosh @ Bhure v. State (G.N.C.T.) of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 418 : 2023 INSC 443

    Evidence Act, 1872 - Section 27 permits the derivative use of custodial statement in the ordinary course of events. There is no automatic presumption that the custodial statements have been extracted through compulsion. A fact discovered is an information supplied by the accused in his disclosure statement is a relevant fact and that is only admissible in evidence if something new is discovered or recovered at the instance of the accused which was not within the knowledge of the police before recording the disclosure statement of the accused. The statement of an accused recorded while being in police custody can be split into its components and can be separated from the admissible portions. Such of those components or portions which were the immediate cause of the discovery would be the legal evidence and the rest can be rejected. (Para 18) Siju Kurian v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 338 : AIR 2023 SC 2239 : 2023 INSC 378

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 27 – Confessional statement not liable to be rejected merely because it was recorded in a language not known to the accused through translator. Siju Kurian v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 338 : AIR 2023 SC 2239 : 2023 INSC 378

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 27 - The law expects the IO to draw the discovery panchnama as contemplated under Section 27. (Para 25-26) Boby v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 50 : (2023) 1 SCR 335: 2023 INSC 23

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 27 - There is no statement of accused recorded under Section 27 of the Evidence Act - The prosecution has failed to prove the circumstance that the dead body of the deceased was recovered at the instance of the accused - Section 27 of the Evidence Act requires that the fact discovered embraces the place from which the object is produced and the knowledge of the accused as to this, and the information given must relate distinctly to the said fact. The information as to past user, or the past history, of the object produced is not related to its discovery. (Para 20 -26) Boby v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 50 : (2023) 1 SCR 335: 2023 INSC 23

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 27 - Two essential requirements for the application of Section 27 - (1) the person giving information must be an accused of any offence and (2) he must also be in police custody - The provisions of Section 27 of the Evidence Act are based on the view that if a fact is actually discovered in consequence of information given, some guarantee is afforded thereby that the information was true and consequently the said information can safely be allowed to be given in evidence. (Para 31-33) Boby v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 50 : (2023) 1 SCR 335 : 2023 INSC 23

    Section 32 - Cases in which statement of relevant fact by person who is dead or cannot be found, etc.

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 32 - Principles in regard to Dying Declarations – The basic premise is “nemo moriturus praesumitur mentire” i.e. man will not meet his maker with a lie in his mouth. For a statement to be termed a “dying declaration”, and thereby be admissible under Section 32 of IEA, the circumstances discussed / disclosed therein “must have some proximate relation to the actual occurrence”. A dying declaration inspires confidence of the court it can, even sans corroboration, form the sole basis of conviction. If such a declaration does not inspire confidence in the mind of the court, i.e., there exist doubts about the correctness and genuineness thereof, it should not be acted upon, in the absence of corroborative evidence. The Court must be satisfied that at the time of making such a statement, the deceased was in a “fit state of mind”. In case of a plurality of such statements, it is not the plurality but the reliability of such declaration determines its evidentiary value. The presence of a Magistrate in recording of a dying declaration, is not a necessity but only a rule of Prudence. Dying Declaration is not to be discarded by reason of its brevity. Examination of the person who reduced into writing, the dying declaration, is essential. It is required that such statement be free from tutoring, prompting, or not be a product of imagination. (Para 11 & 20) Manjunath v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 961 : 2023 INSC 978

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 32 - Dying Declaration - If the scribe, for reasons beyond control, such as incapacitation or death, would be unavailable, it would be open for the prosecution to take necessary aid of secondary evidence. That not being the case however, such unexplained nonexamination would, render the case to be doubtful if not, land a fatal blow to the prosecution case. (Para 19) Manjunath v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 961 : 2023 INSC 978

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 32- Dying declaration - The physical disability suffered by deceased on account of the burn injuries sustained would not disentitle her to make statement, if said statement had been made consciously knowing the consequences thereof and such statement or declaration cannot be brushed aside only on the ground of burn injuries (in the instant case 70% to 80%) having been sustained by her. (Para 12) Paranagouda v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 915 : 2023 INSC 933

    Section 63 - Secondary Evidence

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 63 - Principles relevant for examining the admissibility of secondary evidence - Explained. (Para 33) Vijay v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1022 : 2023 INSC 1030

    Section 65B - Admissibility of electronic records

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 65B - A certificate under Section 65B of the Indian Evidence Act to prove electronic evidence can be produced at any stage of the trial. (Para 11) State of Karnataka v. T. Naseer @ Thadiantavida Naseer, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 965 : 2023 INSC 988

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 65B - Fair trial in a criminal case does not mean that it should be fair to one of the parties. Rather, the object is that no guilty should go scot-free and no innocent should be punished. A certificate under Section 65-B of the Act, which is sought to be produced by the prosecution is not an evidence which has been created now. It is meeting the requirement of law to prove a report on record. By permitting the prosecution to produce the certificate under Section 65B of the Act at this stage will not result in any irreversible prejudice to the accused. The accused will have full opportunity to rebut the evidence led by the prosecution. This is the purpose for which Section 311 of the Cr.P.C. is there. The object of the Code is to arrive at truth. However, the power under Section 311 of the Cr.P.C. can be exercised to subserve the cause of justice and public interest. In the case in hand, this exercise of power is required to uphold the truth, as no prejudice as such is going to be caused to the accused. (Para 15) State of Karnataka v. T. Naseer @ Thadiantavida Naseer, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 965 : 2023 INSC 988

    Section 69 - Proof where no attesting witness found

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 69 - In the event where attesting witnesses may have died, or cannot be found, the propounder is not helpless, as Section 69 of the Evidence Act, 1872 is applicable. (Para 17) Ashutosh Samanta v. Ranjan Bala Dasi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 190 : AIR 2023 SC 1422 : (2023) 2 SCR 237 : 2023 INSC 225

    Section 74 - Public documents

    Evidence Act, 1872 - Section 74, 76 - Copy of the chargesheet along with the necessary documents cannot be said to be public documents within the definition of Public Documents as per Section 74 of the Evidence Act - As per Section 75 of the Evidence Act all other documents other than the documents mentioned in Section 74 of the Evidence Act are all private documents. Therefore, the chargesheet / documents along with the chargesheet cannot be said to be public documents under Section 74 of the Evidence Act, reliance placed upon Sections 74 & 76 of the Evidence Act is absolutely misplaced. (Para 5) Saurav Das v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 52 : AIR 2023 SC 615 : 2023 INSC 76

    Section 90 - Presumption as to documents thirty years old

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 90 - Wills cannot be proved only on the basis of their age – the presumption under Section 90 as to the regularity of documents more than 30 years of age is inapplicable when it comes to proof of wills - Wills have to be proved in terms of Sections 63(c) of the Succession Act, 1925, and Section 68 of the Evidence Act, 1872. (Para 13) Ashutosh Samanta v. Ranjan Bala Dasi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 190 : AIR 2023 SC 1422 : (2023) 2 SCR 237 : 2023 INSC 225

    Section 101 - Burden of Proof

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 101 and 106 – Burden of proving fact especially within knowledge - Section 106 of the Act is an exception to the rule which is Section 101 of the Act, and it comes into play only in a limited sense where the evidence is of a nature which is especially within the knowledge of that person and then the burden of proving that fact shifts upon him that person. The burden of proof is always with the prosecution. It is the prosecution which has to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Section 106 of the Act does not alter that position. It only places burden for disclosure of a fact on the establishment of certain circumstances. (Para 12) Dinesh Kumar v. State of Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 395 : AIR 2023 SC 2795 : 2023 INSC 493

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 101 - 102 - Declaration of Title - Onus of proof, no doubt shifts and the shifting is a continuous process in the evaluation of evidence, but this happens when in a suit for title and possession, the plaintiff has been able to create a high degree of probability to shift the onus on the defendant. In the absence of such evidence, the burden of proof lies on the plaintiff and can be discharged only when he is able to prove title. The weakness of the defence cannot be a justification to decree the suit. Smriti Debbarma v. Prabha Ranjan Debbarma, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 19 : AIR 2023 SC 379 : (2023) 1 SCR 355 : 2023 INSC 8

    Section 106 - Burden of proving fact especially within knowledge

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 106 – Last Seen Theory - What has to be kept in mind is that Section 106 of the Act, only comes into play when the other facts have been established by the prosecution. In this case when the evidence of last seen itself is on a weak footing, considering the long gap of time between last seen by PW­10 and the time of death of the deceased. Section 106 of the Act would not be applicable under the peculiar facts and the circumstances of the case. In the present case the prosecution has not been able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. The evidence of last seen, only leads upto a point and no further. It fails to link it further to make a complete chain. All we have here is the evidence of last seen, which as we have seen looses much of its weight under the circumstances of the case, due to the long duration of time between last seen and the possible time of death. (Para 13, 15) Dinesh Kumar v. State of Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 395 : AIR 2023 SC 2795 : 2023 INSC 493

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 106 - It is true that the burden to prove the guilt of the accused is always on the prosecution, however in view of Section 106 of the Evidence Act, when any fact is within the knowledge of any person, the burden of proving that fact is upon him. (Para 6) Ram Gopal Mansharam v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 120 : AIR 2023 SC 1145 : (2023) 5 SCC 534 : (2023) 2 SCR 402 : 2023 INSC 133

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 106 - It is, of course, the duty of prosecution to lead the primary evidence of proving its case beyond reasonable doubt but, when necessary evidence had indeed been led, the corresponding burden was heavy on the accused in terms of Section 106 of the Evidence Act to explain as to what had happened at the time of incident and as to how the death of the deceased occurred. (Para 16.4.1) Prem Singh v. State of NCT of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 2 : AIR 2023 SC 193 : (2023) 3 SCC 372 : 2023 INSC 3

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 106 - Last seen theory - On its own, last seen theory is considered to be a weak basis for conviction. However, when the same is coupled with other factors such as when the deceased was last seen with the accused, proximity of time to the recovery of the body of deceased etc., the accused is bound to give an explanation under Section 106 of the Evidence Act, 1872. If he does not do so, or furnishes what may be termed as wrong explanation or if a motive is established – pleading securely to the conviction of the accused closing out the possibility of any other hypothesis, then a conviction can be based thereon. (Para 17.7) Ravasaheb @ Ravasahebgouda v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 225 : (2023) 5 SCC 391 : (2023) 2 SCR 965 : 2023 INSC 238

    Section 113A - Presumption as to abetment of suicide by a married woman

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 113A - Penal Code, 1860; Section 306 - Mere fact of commission of suicide by itself would not be sufficient for the court to raise the presumption under Section 113A of the Evidence Act, and to hold the accused guilty of Section 306 IPC. (Para 14) Kashibai v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 149 : 2023 INSC 722

    Section 114 - Court may presume existence of certain facts

    Evidence Act, 1872 - Section 114 - If courts find evidence in possession of a party that has not been produced it can assume that production of the same would be unfavourable to the person who withholds it as per illustration (g) of Section 114 of the Evidence Act. However, on the basis of the fact that an evidence that ought to have been adduced was not adduced, the High Court cannot remand the matter - merely because a particular evidence which ought to have been adduced but had not been adduced, the Appellate Court cannot adopt the soft course of remanding the matter. (Para 14) Sirajudheen v. Zeenath, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 145 : 2023 INSC 173

    Section 134 - Number of witnesses

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 134 - Evidence has to be weighed and not counted. In other words, it is the quality of evidence that matters and not the quantity - Even in a case of murder, it is not necessary to insist upon a plurality of witnesses and the oral evidence of a single witness, if found to be reliable and trustworthy, could lead to a conviction - Discrepancies do creep in, when a witness deposes in a natural manner after lapse of some time, and if such discrepancies are comparatively of a minor nature and do not go to the root of the prosecution story, then the same may not be given undue importance - Generally speaking, oral testimony may be classified into three categories, viz.: (i) Wholly reliable; (ii) Wholly unreliable; (iii) Neither wholly reliable nor wholly unreliable. The first two category of cases may not pose serious difficulty for the court in arriving at its conclusion(s). However, in the third category of cases, the court has to be circumspect and look for corroboration of any material particulars by reliable testimony, direct or circumstantial, as a requirement of the rule of prudence. (Para 28) Munna Lal v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 60 : AIR 2023 SC 634 : 2023 Cri LJ 1726 : 2023 INSC 78

    Section 145 - Cross- examination as to previous statements in writing

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 145 - No doubt statement given before police during investigation under Section 161 are “previous statements” under Section 145 of the Evidence Act and therefore can be used to cross examine a witness. But this is only for a limited purpose, to “contradict” such a witness. Even if the defence is successful in contradicting a witness, it would not always mean that the contradiction in her two statements would result in totally discrediting this witness. (Para 19) Birbal Nath v. State of Rajasthan, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 941 : 2023 INSC 957 : AIR 2023 SC 5644

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 145 - The rural setting, the degree of articulation of such a witness in a Court of Law are relevant considerations while evaluating the credibility of such a witness. Moreover, the lengthy cross examination of a witness may invariably result in contradictions. But these contradictions are not always sufficient to discredit a witness. (Para 20) Birbal Nath v. State of Rajasthan, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 941 : 2023 INSC 957 : AIR 2023 SC 5644

    Section 154 - Question by party to his own witness

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 154 - Testimony of a hostile witness can be accepted to the extent that the version is found to be dependable on careful scrutiny thereof. Testimony of such a witness can be relied upon and cannot be treated as being washed off the record. (Para 19) Sajeev v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 974 : 2023 INSC 998

    Evidence Law

    Absconding

    Effects of Absconding - Mere absconding by itself cannot constitute a sole factor to convict a person. It may be because an accused may abscond as he might fear an illegal arrest. (Para 25) Harvinder Singh @ Bachhu v. State of Himachal Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 889 : 2023 INSC 907

    Admission

    Any concession or admission of a fact by a defence counsel would definitely be binding on his client, except the concession on the point of law. (Para 39) Balu Sudam Khalde v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 279 : AIR 2023 SC 1736 : 2023 INSC 314

    Adverse Inference

    It is not axiomatic that in every case where the eyewitnesses are withheld from the court, an adverse inference must be drawn against the prosecution. The totality of the circumstances must be considered for concluding whether an adverse inference could be drawn. (Para 8) Maheshwari Yadav v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1063 : 2023 INSC 1068

    When independent witnesses are available who are not connected with the rival parties, and the prosecution omits to examine them by confining its case to examining related witnesses, an adverse inference can undoubtedly be drawn against the prosecution. When the evidence of the eyewitnesses is of sterling quality, an adverse inference need not be drawn. Quality is more important than quantity. (Para 10) Maheshwari Yadav v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1063 : 2023 INSC 1068

    Alibi

    Principles relating to plea of alibi & delaying in registering FIR : Supreme Court explains. Kamal Prasad v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 891 : 2023 INSC 895

    Ballistic Expert

    In cases where injuries are caused by firearms, the opinion of the ballistic expert is of a considerable importance where both the firearm and the crime cartridge are recovered during the investigation to connect an accused with the crime. Failure to produce the expert opinion before the trial court in such cases affects the creditworthiness of the prosecution case to a great extent. (Para 23, 24) Pritinder Singh @ Lovely v. State of Punjab, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 516 : 2023 INSC 614

    Burden of Proof

    Burden of Proof - There are two senses in which the phrase 'burden of proof' is used in the Evidence Act. One is the burden of proof arising as a matter of pleading and the other is the one which deals with the question as to who has first to prove a particular fact. The former is called the 'legal burden' and it never shifts, the latter is called the 'evidential burden' and it shifts from one side to the other. (Para 29) Rajesh Jain v. Ajay Singh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 866 : 2023 INSC 888

    Principles of applying Section 106 of Evidence Act : Supreme Court explains. Balvir Singh v. State of Uttarakhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 861 : 2023 INSC 879

    Certified Copy

    Certified copy can be produced to prove original sale deed in trial. Appaiya v. Andimuthu @ Thangapandi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 811 : 2023 INSC 835

    Chance Witness

    Deposition of a chance witness whose presence at the place of incident remains doubtful should be discarded. Ravi Mandal v. State of Uttarakhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 470 : AIR 2023 SC 2554 : 2023 INSC 552

    Child Witness

    Corroboration of the testimony of a child witness is not a rule but a measure of caution and prudence. A child witness of tender age is easily susceptible to tutoring. However, that by itself is no ground to reject the evidence of a child witness. The Court must make careful scrutiny of the evidence of a child witness. The Court must apply its mind to the question whether there is a possibility of the child witness being tutored. Therefore, scrutiny of the evidence of a child witness is required to be made by the Court with care and caution. (Para 8) Pradeep v. State of Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 501 : 2023 INSC 599 : AIR 2023 SC 3245

    Trial Courts should make proper preliminary examination of child witnesses before recording their evidence. Pradeep v. State of Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 501 : 2023 INSC 599 : AIR 2023 SC 3245

    Close Relative

    Testimony of a close relative - A witness being a close relative is not a ground enough to reject his testimony. Mechanical rejection of an even “partisan” or “interested” witness may lead to failure of justice. The principle of “falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus” is not one of general application. (Para 17.4) Ravasaheb @ Ravasahebgouda v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 225 : (2023) 5 SCC 391 : (2023) 2 SCR 965 : 2023 INSC 238

    Circumstantial Evidence

    Circumstantial Evidence - One has to be circumspect and cautious while undertaking the exercise of linking the evidence available. Courts should not lose sight of the fact that such evidence should unerringly lead and point out the accused alone, of course, on the facts of each case. (Para 22) Harvinder Singh @ Bachhu v. State of Himachal Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 889 : 2023 INSC 907

    Circumstantial Evidence - In a case resting on circumstantial evidence, the prosecution must establish a chain of unbroken events unerringly pointing to the guilt of the accused and none other. (Para 14) Rajesh v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 814 : 2023 INSC 839

    Law with regard to conviction based upon circumstantial evidence - Circumstances from which the conclusion of guilt is to be drawn should be fully established - Circumstances concerned “must or should” and not “may be” established - There is not only a grammatical but a legal distinction between “may be proved” and “must be or should be proved” - Facts so established should be consistent only with the hypothesis of the guilt of the accused, that is to say, they should not be explainable on any other hypothesis except that the accused is guilty - Circumstances should be of a conclusive nature and tendency and they should exclude every possible hypothesis except the one sought to be proved, and that there must be a chain of evidence so complete so as not to leave any reasonable ground for the conclusion consistent with the innocence of the accused and must show that in all human probability the act must have been done by the accused - However strong a suspicion may be, it cannot take place of a proof beyond reasonable doubt. (Para 18, 19) Kamal v. State (NCT) of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 617 : 2023 INSC 678

    Circumstantial Evidence - Cases are frequently coming before the Courts where the husbands, due to strained marital relations and doubt as regards the character, have gone to the extent of killing the wife. These crimes are generally committed in complete secrecy inside the house and it becomes very difficult for the prosecution to lead evidence - No member of the family, even if he is a witness of the crime, would come forward to depose against another family member - If an offence takes place inside the four walls of a house and in such circumstances where the assailants have all the opportunity to plan and commit the offence at the time and in the circumstances of their choice, it will be extremely difficult for the prosecution to lead evidence to establish the guilt of the accused, if the strict principle of circumstantial evidence, is insisted upon by the Courts. Wazir Khan v. State of Uttarakhand. 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 601 : 2023 INSC 674

    Murder case based on circumstantial evidence - Death caused by firearms - In view of the serious doubt with regard to the credibility of the witnesses on the issue of extra-judicial confession and last seen theory, the failure to examine Ballistic Expert would be a glaring defect in the prosecution case - Prosecution has failed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt and, as such, the accused are entitled to benefit of doubt - Accused acquitted. Pritinder Singh @ Lovely v. State of Punjab, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 516 : 2023 INSC 614

    The circumstances from which the conclusion of guilt is to be drawn should be fully established - Circumstances concerned “must or should” and not “may be” established -There is not only a grammatical but a legal distinction between “may be proved” and “must be or should be proved” - The facts so established should be consistent only with the hypothesis of the guilt of the accused, that is to say, they should not be explainable on any other hypothesis except that the accused is guilty - The circumstances should be of a conclusive nature and tendency and they should exclude every possible hypothesis except the one sought to be proved, and there must be a chain of evidence so complete so as not to leave any reasonable ground for the conclusion consistent with the innocence of the accused and must show that in all human probability the act must have been done by the accused - However strong a suspicion may be, it cannot take place of a proof beyond reasonable doubt. (Para 5-8) Pritinder Singh @ Lovely v. State of Punjab, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 516 : 2023 INSC 61

    In a criminal trial, the prosecution has to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. This heavy burden has to be discharged by the prosecution. It becomes even more difficult in a case of circumstantial evidence. In the present case, the nature of circumstantial evidence is weak. In order to establish a charge of guilt on the accused, the chain of evidence must be completed and the chain must point out to one and only one conclusion, which is that it is only the accused who have committed the crime and none else. We are afraid the prosecution has not been able to discharge this burden. (Para 15) Dinesh Kumar v. State of Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 395 : AIR 2023 SC 2795 : 2023 INSC 493

    In a case where there is no direct eye witness to the crime, the prosecution has to build its case on the circumstantial evidence. It is a very heavy burden cast on the prosecution. The chain of circumstances collected by the prosecution must complete the chain, which should point to only one conclusion which is that it is the accused who had committed the crime, and none else. Each evidence which completes the chain of evidences must stand on firm grounds. In our considered opinion, the evidence placed by the prosecution in this case does not pass muster the standard required in a case of circumstantial evidence. (Para 15) Dinesh Kumar v. State of Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 395 : AIR 2023 SC 2795 : 2023 INSC 493

    Failure to render plausible explanation - In a case based on circumstantial evidence, false explanation or non-explanation can only be used as an additional circumstance when the prosecution has proved the chain of circumstances leading to a definite conclusion with regard to the guilt of the accused. (Para 83) Santosh @ Bhure v. State (G.N.C.T.) of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 418 : 2023 INSC 443

    In cases where heavy reliance is placed on circumstantial evidence, is that where two views are possible, one pointing to the guilt of the accused and the other towards his innocence, the one which is favourable to the accused must be adopted. Pradeep Kumar v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 239 : (2023) 2 SCR 682 : (2023) 5 SCC 350 : 2023 INSC 242

    Law relating to Circumstantial Evidence– Discussed. (Para 5 - 11) Shankar v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 212 : (2023) 2 SCR 661 : 2023 INSC 234

    The law with regard to conviction in the case of circumstance evidence – Explained. (Para 8 to 10) Nikhil Chandra Mondal v. State of West Bengal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 171 : AIR 2023 SC 1323 : AIR 2023 SC 1323 : (2023) 2 SCR 20 : 2023 INSC 198

    Every link in the chain of circumstances necessary to establish the guilt of the accused must be established beyond reasonable doubt - All the circumstances must be consistently pointing towards the guilt of the accused. (Para 10) Indrajit Das v. State of Tripura, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 152 : AIR 2023 SC 1239 : 2023 INSC 175

    In a case of circumstantial evidence, motive has an important role to play. It is an important link in the chain of circumstances - The basic links in the chain of circumstances starts with motive, then move on to last seen theory, recovery, medical evidence, expert opinions if any and any other additional link which may be part of the chain of circumstances. (Para 12, 15) Indrajit Das v. State of Tripura, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 152 : AIR 2023 SC 1239 : 2023 INSC 175

    Golden principles with regard to conviction in a case which rests entirely on circumstantial evidence - It is necessary for the prosecution that the circumstances from which the conclusion of the guilt is to be drawn should be fully established - The accused 'must be' and not merely 'may be' guilty before a court can convict the accused - There is not only a grammatical but a legal distinction between 'may be proved' and “must be or should be proved" - The facts so established should be consistent only with the guilt of the accused, that is to say, they should not be explainable on any other hypothesis except that the accused is guilty - The circumstances should be such that they exclude every possible hypothesis except the one to be proved - There must be a chain of evidence so complete as not to leave any reasonable ground for the conclusion consistent with the innocence of the accused and must show that in all human probabilities the act must have been done by the accused. (Para 9-10) Boby v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 50 : (2023) 1 SCR 335 : 2023 INSC 23

    The prosecution is obliged to prove each circumstance, beyond reasonable doubt, as well the as the links between all circumstances; such circumstances, taken cumulatively, should form a chain so complete that there is no escape from the conclusion that within all human probability, the crime was committed by the accused and none else; further, the facts so proved should unerringly point towards the guilt of the accused. The circumstantial evidence, in order to sustain conviction, must be complete and incapable of explanation of any other hypothesis than that of the guilt of the accused, and such evidence should not only be consistent with the guilt of the accused but should be inconsistent with his innocence - These panchsheel precepts, so to say, are now fundamental rules, iterated time and again, and require adherence not only for their precedential weight, but as the only safe bases upon which conviction in circumstantial evidence cases can soundly rest. (Para 21) Jabir v. State of Uttarakhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 41 : AIR 2023 SC 488 : (2023) 1 SCR 969 : 2023 INSC 48

    Cross-examination

    Supreme Court deprecates advocates raising unnecessary objections to questions in cross-examinations, urges bar to co-operate with trial courts. Brihan Karan Sugar Syndicate Pvt. Ltd. v. Yashwantrao Mohite Krushna Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 784 : 2023 INSC 831

    Cross-Examination - Huge pendency of suits in the Trial Courts - If the members of the Bar do not cooperate with the Trial Courts, it will be very difficult for our Courts to deal with the huge arrears. While a trial is being conducted, the members of the Bar are expected to act as officers of the Court. They are expected to conduct themselves in a reasonable and fair manner. The members of the Bar must remember that fairness is a hallmark of great advocacy. If the advocates start objecting to every question asked in the cross-examination, the trial cannot go on smoothly. The trial gets delayed. In the facts of the case, looking at the persistent objections raised by the learned advocate, the Court was required to record a substantial part of the cross-examination in question-and-answer form which consumed a lot of time of the Court. (Para 19) Brihan Karan Sugar Syndicate Pvt. Ltd. v. Yashwantrao Mohite Krushna Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 784 : 2023 INSC 831

    During the course of cross-examination with a view to discredit the witness or to establish the defence on preponderance of probabilities suggestions are hurled on the witness but if such suggestions, the answer to those incriminate the accused in any manner then the same would definitely be binding and could be taken into consideration along with other evidence on record in support of the same. (Para 44) Balu Sudam Khalde v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 279 : AIR 2023 SC 1736 : 2023 INSC 314

    The main object of cross-examination is to find out the truth on record and to help the Court in knowing the truth of the case. It is a matter of common experience that many a times the defence lawyers themselves get the discrepancies clarified arising during the cross-examination in one paragraph and getting themselves contradicted in the other paragraph. The line of cross-examination is always on the basis of the defence which the counsel would keep in mind to defend the accused. (Para 43) Balu Sudam Khalde v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 279 : AIR 2023 SC 1736 : 2023 INSC 314

    Delayed Disclosure

    A mere chance witness, whose presence at the spot, at that hour, is not satisfactorily explained therefore, bearing in mind that he kept silent for unusually long i.e. for more than three and a half months, his testimony is not worthy of any credit. The courts below erred by placing reliance on his testimony. Ravi Mandal v. State of Uttarakhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 470 : AIR 2023 SC 2554 : 2023 INSC 552

    Testimony of witnesses who made a delayed disclosure of the incriminating circumstances of which he was aware much earlier - If a witness professes to know about a gravely incriminating circumstance against a person accused of the offence of murder and the witness keeps silent for over two months regarding the said incriminating circumstance against the accused, his statement relating to the incriminating circumstance, in the absence of any cogent reason, is bound to lose most of its value. Ravi Mandal v. State of Uttarakhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 470 : AIR 2023 SC 2554 : 2023 INSC 552

    Disclosure Statement

    Section 27 Evidence Act - Disclosure statements cannot be the sole basis for conviction. Manoj Kumar Soni v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 629 : 2023 INSC 705 : AIR 2023 SC 3857

    Discovery

    S. 27 Evidence Act - Discovery can't be proved against a person if he wasn't accused of any offence & wasn't in custody of police at the time of confession. Rajesh v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 814 : 2023 INSC 839

    Double Presumption

    When the view of the trial court, which had the benefit of seeing the demeanour of the witnesses, is both a possible and plausible one, it shall not be replaced by yet another one. The presumption of innocence in favour of the accused gets strengthened by the decision of the trial court when he gets an order of acquittal. (Para 23) Harvinder Singh @ Bachhu v. State of Himachal Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 889 : 2023 INSC 907

    Dying Declaration

    Examination of person who recorded dying declaration essential. Manjunath v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 961 : 2023 INSC 978

    Principles to be followed in case of multiple dying declarations: Supreme Court explains. Abhishek Sharma v. State(Govt of NCT of Delhi), 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 907 : 2023 INSC 924 : AIR 2023 SC 5271

    FIR is a public document u/s74 Evidence Act; Injured person's statement recorded as FIR can be treated as dying declaration. Harendra Rai v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 664 : 2023 INSC 738

    Effect of omissions, deficiencies

    Evidence examined as a whole, must reflect/ring of truth. The court must not give undue importance to omissions and discrepancies which do not shake the foundations of the prosecution's case. (Para 17.2) Ravasaheb @ Ravasahebgouda v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 225 : (2023) 5 SCC 391 : (2023) 2 SCR 965 : 2023 INSC 238

    Electronic Records

    S.65B Evidence Act certificate can be produced at any stage of trial: Supreme Court allows prosecution plea in 2008 Bangalore Blasts Case. State of Karnataka v. T. Naseer @ Thadiantavida Naseer, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 965 : 2023 INSC 988

    Expert Opinion

    Admissibility of the FSL Report - Handwriting Expert Opinion - though it is not impermissible to base a finding with regard to authorship of a document solely on the opinion of a handwriting expert but, as a rule of prudence, because of imperfect nature of the science of identification of handwriting and its accepted fallibility, such opinion has to be relied with caution and may be accepted if, on its own assessment, the Court is satisfied that the internal and external evidence relating to the document in question supports the opinion of the expert and it is safe to accept his opinion. (Para 65) Santosh @ Bhure v. State (G.N.C.T.) of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 418 : 2023 INSC 443

    Handwriting Expert Opinion - Suicide Letter - Taking into account that the accused has denied the incriminating circumstance of writing the suicide letter and no internal or external evidence, save the expert report, supports the writing of suicide letter by the accused, though the expert evidence was admissible as an opinion on the writing in the suicide letter but, on overall assessment of the evidence led by the prosecution, solely on its basis, it would be extremely unsafe to hold that the suicide letter retrieved from the trouser of the deceased was written by the accused. (Para 69) Santosh @ Bhure v. State (G.N.C.T.) of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 418 : 2023 INSC 443

    Extra-judicial confession

    Extra-judicial confession must be of sterling quality: Supreme Court doubts 'confession' to brother of deceased. Prabhatbhai Aatabhai Dabhi v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 989 : 2023 INSC 1003

    Newspaper reports only hearsay evidence, extra-judicial confession has no greater credibility because newspapers reported. Dinesh B.S v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 594

    While extra-judicial confessions are typically considered weak pieces of evidence, they can still serve as grounds for conviction if proven to be voluntary, truthful, and free of inducement. The court must be convinced of the reliability of the confession, and this evaluation takes into account the surrounding circumstances. (Para 6) Moorthy v. State of Tamil Nadu, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 679 : 2023 INSC 739 : AIR 2023 SC 3960

    Extra-judicial confession must be established to be true and made voluntarily and in a fit state of mind. The words of the witnesses must be clear, unambiguous and should clearly convey that the accused is the perpetrator of the crime. The extrajudicial confession can be accepted and can be the basis of conviction, if it passes the test of credibility. The extra-judicial confession should inspire confidence and the court should find out whether there are other cogent circumstances on record to support. (Para 12) Pritinder Singh @ Lovely v. State of Punjab, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 516 : 2023 INSC 614

    Evidentiary value of extra-judicial confession also depends on the person to whom it is made. Pawan Kumar Chourasia v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 197 : AIR 2023 SC 1464 : (2023) 2 SCR 875 : 2023 INSC 227

    Generally, it is a weak piece of evidence. However, a conviction can be sustained on the basis of extra-judicial confession provided that the confession is proved to be voluntary and truthful. It should be free of any inducement. The evidentiary value of such confession also depends on the person to whom it is made. Going by the natural course of human conduct, normally, a person would confide about a crime committed by him only with such a person in whom he has implicit faith. (Para 5) Pawan Kumar Chourasia v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 197 : AIR 2023 SC 1464 : (2023) 2 SCR 875 : 2023 INSC 227

    Normally, a person would not make a confession to someone who is totally a stranger to him. Moreover, the Court has to be satisfied with the reliability of the confession keeping in view the circumstances in which it is made. As a matter of rule, corroboration is not required. However, if an extra-judicial confession is corroborated by other evidence on record, it acquires more credibility. (Para 5) Pawan Kumar Chourasia v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 197 : AIR 2023 SC 1464 : (2023) 2 SCR 875 : 2023 INSC 227

    Extra-Judicial confession is a weak piece of evidence, independent corroboration needed. Nikhil Chandra Mondal v. State of West Bengal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 171 : AIR 2023 SC 1323 : AIR 2023 SC 1323 : (2023) 2 SCR 20 : 2023 INSC 198

    It is a settled principle of law that extra-judicial confession is a weak piece of evidence. It has been held that where an extra-judicial confession is surrounded by suspicious circumstances, its credibility becomes doubtful and it loses its importance. It has further been held that it is well-settled that it is a rule of caution where the court would generally look for an independent reliable corroboration before placing any reliance upon such extra-judicial confession. It has been held that there is no doubt that conviction can be based on extra-judicial confession, but in the very nature of things, it is a weak piece of evidence. (Para 15) Nikhil Chandra Mondal v. State of West Bengal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 171 : AIR 2023 SC 1323 : AIR 2023 SC 1323 : (2023) 2 SCR 20 : 2023 INSC 198

    The extra-judicial confession is a weak piece of evidence and especially when it has been retracted during trial. It requires strong evidence to corroborate it and also it must be established that it was completely voluntary and truthful. (Para 21) Indrajit Das v. State of Tripura, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 152 : AIR 2023 SC 1239 : 2023 INSC 175

    Eyewitness

    Merely because there are certain lacunae in the investigation, it cannot be a ground to disbelieve the testimony of eye-witnesses. (Para 47) Madan v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 982 : 2023 INSC 990

    Ocular evidence undoubtedly fares better than other kinds of evidence and is considered evidence of a strong nature. The principle is that if the eyewitness testimony is “wholly reliable”, then the court can base conviction thereupon. This applies even in cases where there is a sole eyewitness. For an eye-witness to be believed, his evidence, it has been held, should be of sterling quality. It should be capable of being taken at face value. (Para 12 & 22) Manjunath v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 961 : 2023 INSC 978

    Eyewitness account can't be discarded merely because of inconsistencies with medical evidence. Rameshji Amarsingh Thakor v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 804

    In the case of a sole eye witness, the witness has to be reliable, trustworthy, his testimony worthy of credence and the case proven beyond reasonable doubt. Unnatural conduct and unexplained circumstances can be a ground for disbelieving the witness. (Para 8) Narendrasinh Keshubhai Zala v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 227 : (2023) 2 SCR 746 : 2023 INSC 241

    'It's quality & not quantity of witnesses which matters': Supreme Court relies on solitary eyewitness testimony to affirm sentence. Ajai @ Ajju v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 110 : AIR 2023 SC 996 : 2023 INSC 127

    Forensic / Ballistic Report

    Forensic / Ballistic Report has not even been put to the accused, from whom the country made pistol was seized, while recording his statement under section 313 of Cr.P.C., therefore, in any event, it would have to be eschewed from consideration. (Para 32) Ravi Mandal v. State of Uttarakhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 470 : AIR 2023 SC 2554 : 2023 INSC 552

    Guilty Mind

    Accused were not traceable - Once the body was found and police entered the scene, after the first information report, even if the accused had been away and innocent, his instinct of self-preservation would have got the better of him to evade arrest till better counsel prevailed upon him to surrender. Such conduct by itself is not reflective of a guilty mind. (Para 70) Santosh @ Bhure v. State (G.N.C.T.) of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 418 : 2023 INSC 443

    Hostile Witness

    a) Corroborated part of the evidence of a hostile witness regarding the commission of offence is admissible. Merely because there is deviation from the statement in the FIR, the witness's statements cannot be termed totally unreliable; b) the evidence of a hostile witness can form the basis of conviction. c) The general principle of appreciating the evidence of eye-witnesses is that when a case involves a large number of offenders, prudently, it is necessary, but not always, for the Court to seek corroboration from at least two more witnesses as a measure of caution. Be that as it may, the principle is quality over quantity of witnesses. (Para 17.1) Ravasaheb @ Ravasahebgouda v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 225 : (2023) 5 SCC 391 : (2023) 2 SCR 965 : 2023 INSC 238

    Injured Witness

    The evidence of injured witness has greater evidentiary value and unless compelling reasons exist, their statements are not to be discarded lightly. (Para 26) Balu Sudam Khalde v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 279 : AIR 2023 SC 1736 : 2023 INSC 314

    Insanity

    Burden of proof on accused to prove plea of insanity is one of preponderance of probability. Prakash Nayi @ Sen v. State of Goa, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 71 : (2023) 5 SCC 673 : (2023) 1 SCR 823 : 2023 INSC 24

    Section 27 Evidence Act - Recovery cannot be relied upon when the statement of the accused is not recorded. Boby v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 50 : (2023) 1 SCR 335: 2023 INSC 23

    Last Seen Theory

    'Last seen' theory can be invoked only when the same stands proved beyond reasonable doubt - The burden on the accused would kick in, only when the last seen theory is established. (Para 15-17) R. Sreenivasa v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 751 : 2023 INSC 803 : AIR 2023 SC 4301

    Once the theory of “last seen together” was established by the prosecution, the accused was expected to offer some explanation as to when and under what circumstances he had parted the company of the deceased-If the accused offers no explanation or furnishes a wrong explanation, absconds, motive is established and some other corroborative evidence in the form of recovery of weapon etc. forming a chain of circumstances is established, the conviction could be based on such evidence. (Paras 6 to 9) Ram Gopal Mansharam v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 120 : AIR 2023 SC 1145 : AIR 2023 SC 1145 : (2023) 5 SCC 534 : (2023) 2 SCR 402 : 2023 INSC 133

    Last­ seen theory comes into play where the time­gap between the point of time when the accused and the deceased were last seen alive and when the deceased is found dead is so small that possibility of any person other than the accused being the author of the crime becomes impossible. If the gap between the time of last seen and the deceased found dead is long, then the possibility of other person coming in between cannot be ruled out - Solely on the basis of last seen theory, the conviction could not have been recorded. (Para 16, 17, 29) Boby v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 50 : (2023) 1 SCR 335: 2023 INSC 23

    'Last seen' circumstance cannot be the sole basis for conviction: Supreme Court acquits murder accused. Jabir v. State of Uttarakhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 41 : AIR 2023 SC 488 : (2023) 1 SCR 969 : 2023 INSC 48

    Last Seen Doctrine - The “last seen” doctrine has limited application, where the time lag between the time the deceased was seen last with the accused, and the time of murder, is narrow; furthermore, the court should not convict an accused only on the basis of the “last seen” circumstance. (Para 23) Jabir v. State of Uttarakhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 41 : AIR 2023 SC 488 : (2023) 1 SCR 969 : 2023 INSC 48

    Marking of Evidence

    The marking of a piece of evidence as 'exhibit' at the stage of evidence in a Trial proceeding is only for the purpose of identification of evidence adduced in the trial and for the convenience of the Court and other stakeholders in order to get a clear picture of what is being produced as evidence in a Trial proceeding. (Para 85) Harendra Rai v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 664 : 2023 INSC 738

    Medical Evidence

    Lack of positive viscera report not conclusive proof that victim didn't die of poisoning: supreme court upholds conviction in dowry death case. Buddhadeb Saha v. State of West Bengal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 794

    Minor Discrepancies

    An eyewitness to a gruesome killing cannot in deposition narrate blow by blow account of the knife strikes inflicted on the deceased like in a screenplay. Just because there were more injuries than the ones narrated by the eyewitness cannot negate the prosecution version. Even if in the opinion of the autopsy surgeon there was mismatch of the knife with the injuries caused, the doctor's evidence cannot eclipse ocular evidence. (Para 7 & 9) Rameshji Amarsingh Thakor v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 804

    Motive

    Though motive could be an important aspect in a case based on circumstantial evidence, in the case of direct evidence, the motive would not be that relevant. (Para 44) Madan v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 982 : 2023 INSC 990

    Non-exhibition of Evidence

    In the present case, considering the failure of State machinery and failure of the Trial Court to ensure a fair trial from the perspective of the victim side, the aspect of non-marking of the FIR and Written Statement of the deceased as an exhibit, non-production of the formal witnesses to prove the lodging of FIR/ Written Statement and the flimsy rejection of application for examination as a witness in the Trial proceeding do not vitiate the genuineness of the FIR and Written Statement, and we refuse to give any discount to the accused persons for non-exhibition thereof. (Para 89) Harendra Rai v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 664 : 2023 INSC 738

    Notice

    When notice is returned as 'unclaimed', it must be deemed proper service; 'unclaimed' same as 'refusal'. Priyanka Kumari v. Shailendra Kumar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 904

    Panchnama

    Panchnama inadmissible in court where witnesses merely acted as attestors and did not disclose how objects were discovered. Rajesh v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 814 : 2023 INSC 839

    Previous Enmity

    Previous enmity is a double-edged weapon; on the one hand it provides the motive, whereas on the other hand, the possibility of false implication cannot be ruled out. (Para 17) Balaram v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 981 : 2023 INSC 1000

    Production of Document

    At the stage of evidence, when any document/paper is formally produced for being treated as a piece of evidence, the Court looks at two basic aspects. Firstly, the existence of the document on the Court's record and, secondly, the proof of its execution or its contents being sufficiently deposed to by a witness having requisite knowledge thereof, whereafter, the document in question is marked as exhibit. At the stage of exhibiting any document as a piece of evidence, the truth of what is stated in the document is not considered. It is left open to final evaluation at the trial after cross-examination, and the entire testimony of the witness about the existence and contents of the document is weighed in conjunction with various other factors emerging during a trial. At the final evaluation stage, the Trial Court concludes whether the document speaks the truth and decides what weight to give it for final decision. In other words, its evidentiary value is analysed by the Courts at the time of final judgment. (Para 85) Harendra Rai v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 664 : 2023 INSC 738

    Recovery

    Recovery of a weapon from an open place accessible to all not reliable. Manjunath v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 961 : 2023 INSC 978

    Reputation

    Merely because a person is educated & god fearing, it can't be said that he has a good reputation. Harvinder Singh @ Bachhu v. State of Himachal Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 889 : 2023 INSC 907

    Right of Private Defence

    If a specific question is put to a witness by way of a suggestion indicative of exercise of right of private defence then the Court would well be justified in taking into consideration such suggestion and if the presence of the accused is established the same would definitely be admissible in evidence. (Para 45) Balu Sudam Khalde v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 279 : AIR 2023 SC 1736 : 2023 INSC 314

    Secondary Evidence

    If document required to be stamped is insufficiently stamped, copy of document cannot be adduced as secondary evidence. Vijay v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1022 : 2023 INSC 1030

    Principles on admissibility of secondary evidence: supreme court explains. Vijay v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1022 : 2023 INSC 1030

    Single Witness

    Testimony of sole eyewitness who is the complainant needs examination with great caution. Chhote Lal v. Rohtash, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1069 : 2023 INSC 1072

    Reliance on Single Witness - If a witness is absolutely reliable then conviction based thereupon cannot be said to be infirm in any manner. (Para 17.3) Ravasaheb @ Ravasahebgouda v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 225 : (2023) 5 SCC 391 : (2023) 2 SCR 965 : 2023 INSC 238

    Standard of Proof

    Standard of proof in criminal proceedings differs with that in civil proceedings - Adjudication in civil matters is based on preponderance of probabilities whereas adjudication in criminal cases is based on the principle that the accused is presumed to be innocent and the guilt of the accused should be proved to the hilt and the proof should be beyond all reasonable doubt. (Para 29-30) Rajaram Sriramulu Naidu v. Maruthachalam, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 46 : AIR 2023 SC 471 : (2023) 1 SCR 809 : 2023 INSC 51

    Suggestions

    Suggestions made to the witness by the defence counsel and the reply to such suggestions would definitely form part of the evidence and can be relied upon by the Court along with other evidence on record to determine the guilt of the accused. (Para 42) Balu Sudam Khalde v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 279 : AIR 2023 SC 1736 : 2023 INSC 314

    The suggestion made by the defence counsel to a witness in the cross-examination if found to be incriminating in nature in any manner would definitely bind the accused and the accused cannot get away on the plea that his counsel had no implied authority to make suggestions in the nature of admissions against his client. (Para 38) Balu Sudam Khalde v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 279 : AIR 2023 SC 1736 : 2023 INSC 314

    Suicide

    Mere fact of commission of suicide itself not sufficient to raise presumption under Section 113A Evidence Act. Kashibai v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 149 : 2023 INSC 722

    Suspicion

    Suspicion, howsoever great it may be, is no substitute of proof in criminal jurisprudence - Only such evidence is admissible and acceptable as is permissible in accordance with law. (Para 8) Narendrasinh Keshubhai Zala v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 227 : (2023) 2 SCR 746 : 2023 INSC 241

    It is a settled principle of law that however strong a suspicion may be, it cannot take place of a proof beyond reasonable doubt. (Para 11) Nikhil Chandra Mondal v. State of West Bengal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 171 : AIR 2023 SC 1323 : AIR 2023 SC 1323 : (2023) 2 SCR 20 : 2023 INSC 198

    Test Identification Parade

    Test Identification Parade (TIP) - If the accused are already shown to the witnesses in the Police Station, then the sanctity of TIP before the court is doubtful. (Para 13) Kamal v. State (NCT) of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 617 : 2023 INSC 678 : AIR 2023 SC 3841

    Test Identification Parade doesn't have much value when the accused is already known to witness. Udayakumar v. State of Tamil Nadu, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 242 : 2023 INSC 239

    Testimony

    Need to separate the chaff from the grain only where testimony is partly reliable and partly unreliable. Balaram v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 981 : 2023 INSC 1000

    Witness not discredited by mere contradiction between testimony and statement given to police. Birbal Nath v. State of Rajasthan, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 941 : 2023 INSC 957 : AIR 2023 SC 5644

    Translator

    Section 27 Evidence Act statement not liable to be rejected merely because it was recorded in a language not known to the accused through translator. Siju Kurian v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 338 : AIR 2023 SC 2239 : 2023 INSC 378

    Weapon

    It is the duty of the prosecution to establish use of the weapon discovered in the commission of the crime. Failure to do so may cause aberration in the course of justice. (Para 15) Narendrasinh Keshubhai Zala v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 227 : (2023) 2 SCR 746 : 2023 INSC 241

    Witness

    Merely because some of the witnesses are interested or inimical witnesses, their evidence cannot be totally discarded. The only requirement is that their evidence has to be scrutinized with greater care and circumspection. (Para 39) Madan v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 982 : 2023 INSC 990

    There are three types of witnesses. If the witness is wholly reliable, there is no difficulty inasmuch as relying on even the solitary testimony of such a witness conviction could be based. Again, there is no difficulty in the case of wholly unreliable witnesses inasmuch as his/her testimony is to be totally discarded. It is only in the case of the third category of witnesses which is partly reliable and partly unreliable that the Court faces the difficulty. The Court is required to separate the chaff from the grain to find out the true genesis of the incident. (Para 11) Balaram v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 981 : 2023 INSC 1000

    Non-Examination of Material Witnesses - Failure on the part of the prosecution in not examining a witness, though material, by itself would not vitiate the trial. However, when facts are so glaring and with the witnesses available, particularly when they are likely to give a different story, the Court shall take adequate note of it. When a circumstance has been brought to the notice of the Court by the defense and the Court is convinced that a prosecution witness has been deliberately withheld, as it in all probability would destroy its version, it has to take adverse notice. Anything contrary to such an approach would be an affront to the concept of fair play. (Para 24) Harvinder Singh @ Bachhu v. State of Himachal Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 889 : 2023 INSC 907

    It is not the quantity but the quality of witnesses and evidence that can either make or break the case of the prosecution. It is the duty of the prosecution to prove that the testimonies of the witnesses that it seeks to rely upon are of sterling quality. (Para 10) Narendrasinh Keshubhai Zala v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 227 : (2023) 2 SCR 746 : 2023 INSC 241

    It is not the quantity of the witnesses but the quality of witnesses which matters. (Para 21) Ajai @ Ajju v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 110 : AIR 2023 SC 996 : 2023 INSC 127

    Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973

    Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973; Sections 56, 57, 61 - Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999; Sections 49 (1), (3), (4) - Enforcement Officer appointed and authorised under the repealed provisions of the FERA, will continue to have the authority and competence to file a complaint for the offences punishable under the Act before the expiry of the sunset period of 2 years provided under Section 49(3) of the FEMA. (Para 11) First Global Stockbroking Pvt. Ltd. v. Anil Rishiraj, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 820 : 2023 INSC 845

    Hate Speech

    The Supreme Court directs all States/UTs to register suo motu FIR against hate speeches irrespective of religion. Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 405

    Supreme Court directs videography of Sakal Hindu Samaj meet; Asks police to take preventive action if necessary to prevent hate speech. Shaheen Abdullah v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 80

    Hate speech strikes at foundational values of the Constitution; Political parties must control speeches of members: Justice B.V. Nagarathna. Kaushal Kishore v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 4 : (2023) 4 SCC 1 : 2023 INSC 4

    Juvenile

    JJ Rules 2007 - Where exact assessment of age is not possible, reduction of 1 year can be given: Supreme Court accepts juvenility plea in 95 murder case. Pawan Kumar v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1003 : 2023 INSC 1012

    JJ Act - 'May' in Section 19(1) be read as 'shall'; the Children's Court must hold an inquiry on whether a child should be tried as an adult. Ajeet Gurjar v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 857 : 2023 INSC 875

    The Supreme Court releases a man incarcerated for 12 years after finding that he was a juvenile at the time of offence. Makkella Nagaiah v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 757 : 2023 INSC 800 : AIR 2023 SC 4564 : (2023) 9 SCC 807

    The Supreme Court releases a death row prisoner after 28 years on finding him to be a juvenile at the time of offence. Narayan Chetanram Chaudhary v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 244 : AIR 2023 SC 1826 : 2023 INSC 298

    Person convicted for rape-murder found to be juvenile: Supreme Court sets aside death sentence, sustains conviction. Karan @ Fatiya v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 159 : AIR 2023 SC 1355 : (2023) 5 SCC 504 : (2023) 2 SCR 587 : 2023 INSC 197

    Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015

    Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 - Bone Ossification test does not give precise age, not entirely accurate. Pawan Kumar v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1003 : 2023 INSC 1012

    Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 - Courts must extend the benefit of juvenility where 2 views are possible on the same evidence. Pawan Kumar v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1003 : 2023 INSC 1012

    Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 - Primary school certificate valid proof of evidence, takes precedence over panchayat register. Pawan Kumar v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1003 : 2023 INSC 1012

    Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000; Section 2(k) - Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2007; Rule 12 - Procedure to be followed in determination of Age - Where exact assessment of age not possible, reduction of 1 year can be given. Pawan Kumar v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1003 : 2023 INSC 1012

    Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015; Section 19(1)(i) - Children's Court must hold an inquiry to determine whether the child should be tried as an adult. (Para 9 - 12) Ajeet Gurjar v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 857 : 2023 INSC 875

    Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000; Section 16 r/w 15(1)(g) - If the date of birth of the petitioner is 02.05.1989, he was 16 years 7 months old as on the date of the crime, i.e., 21.12.2005. Accordingly, the petitioner was a juvenile in conflict with the law on the date of commission of the offence. The maximum period for which the petitioner could have been in custody is three years. However, as the plea of juvenility was raised for the first time in the present writ petition before us, the process of criminal law, which commenced in 2005, led to the petitioner being convicted and sentence for life imprisonment concurrently by the Trial Court, the High Court as well as the Supreme Court. In the meanwhile, the petitioner has undergone more than 12 years of imprisonment. Having accepted the report of the II Additional Sessions Judge, the petitioner can no longer be incarcerated. (Para 6 – 8) Makkella Nagaiah v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 757 : 2023 INSC 800

    Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015; Section 75 - Penal Code, 1860 - Sections 323 and 504 - Muzaffarnagar school student slapping case, in which a primary school teacher punished a Muslim boy by asking other students to slap him. Held, the victim must have undergone trauma. The State Government to ensure that proper counselling is extended to the victim of the offence through an expert child counsellor. Even the other students, who were involved in the incident, in the sense that they allegedly followed the mandate issued by the teacher and assaulted the victim, need counselling by an expert child counsellor. The State Government will take immediate steps to do the needful by providing services of an expert child counsellor. Tushar Gandhi v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 843

    Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015; Section 75 - Penal Code, 1860 - Sections 323 and 504 - Student slapping case - Physical punishment inflicted upon a student who belongs to a minority community. Considering the manner in which the Police have delayed action and especially the fact that though a case of cognizable offence was made out, only a non-cognizable case was reported, we direct that the investigation shall be conducted under the supervision of a senior IPS Officer, nominated by the State Government. The IPS Officer so nominated will go into the question of whether the second proviso to Section 75 of the JJ Act is attracted and whether Section 153A of the IPC needs to be applied. Tushar Gandhi v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 843

    Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 - Section 9 (2) - Once the applicant has discharged his onus, in support of his claim of juvenility by producing the date of birth certificate from the school, the State had to come up with any compelling contradictory evidence to show that the recordal of his date of birth in the admission register was false. Narayan Chetanram Chaudhary v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 244 : AIR 2023 SC 1826 : 2023 INSC 298

    Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015; Section 9 (2) - Death penalty case reopened to inquire into juvenility claim - Convict found to be a juvenile after 28 years of offence - Supreme Court orders release. Narayan Chetanram Chaudhary v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 244 : AIR 2023 SC 1826 : 2023 INSC 298

    Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015; Section 9 (2) - So far as the procedure for making an inquiry by the Court, Section 9(2) of the 2015 Act does not prescribe scrupulously following trial procedure, as stipulated in the 1973 Code and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. Narayan Chetanram Chaudhary v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 244 : AIR 2023 SC 1826 : 2023 INSC 298

    Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015; Section 18 - The JJB having found a child to be in conflict with law who may have committed a petty or serious offence and where heinous offence is committed, the child should be below 16 years, can pass various orders under clauses (a) to (g) of sub-section (1) and also sub-section (2). However, the net result is that whatever punishment is to be provided, the same cannot exceed a period of three years and the JJB has to take full care of ensuring the best facilities that could be provided to the child for providing reformative services including 19 education, skill development, counselling and psychiatric support. (Para 16) Karan @ Fatiya v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 159 : AIR 2023 SC 1355 : (2023) 5 SCC 504 : (2023) 2 SCR 587 : 2023 INSC 197

    Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015; Section 9(3) - A trial conducted and conviction recorded by the Sessions Court would not be held to be vitiated in law even though subsequently the person tried has been held to be a child - It is only the question of sentence for which the provisions of the 2015 Act would be attracted and any sentence in excess of what is permissible under the 2015 Act will have to be accordingly amended as per the provisions of the 2015 Act. (Para 30-33) Karan @ Fatiya v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 159 : AIR 2023 SC 1355 : (2023) 5 SCC 504 : (2023) 2 SCR 587 : 2023 INSC 197

    Media

    'Police briefing should not result in media trial': Supreme Court directs MHA to frame guidelines; asks DGPs to give suggestions. People's Union for Civil Liberties v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 792 : 2023 INSC 833 : AIR 2023 SC 4497 : (2023) 9 SCC 186

    Money Laundering

    ED can't invoke PMLA using Section 120B IPC when criminal conspiracy isn't linked to a scheduled offence. Pavana Dibbur v. Directorate of Enforcement, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1021 : 2023 INSC 1029 : AIR 2024 SC 117

    Person accused of a PMLA offence need not be an accused in a scheduled offence. Pavana Dibbur v. Directorate of Enforcement, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1021 : 2023 INSC 1029

    When detention of an accused is continued by court, trial must be completed in a reasonable time. Tarun Kumar v. Assistant Director Directorate of Enforcement, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 995 : 2023 INSC 1006 : AIR 2024 SC 169

    Manish Sisodia Bail - The Supreme Court doubts ED's contention that mere generation of proceeds of crime amounts to money laundering. Manish Sisodia v. Central Bureau of Investigation, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 934 : 2023 INSC 956

    PMLA - Courts not obliged to grant bail just because the accused is a woman; first proviso to S.45 not mandatory. Saumya Chaurasia v. Directorate of Enforcement, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1057 : 2023 INSC 1073

    Supreme Court dismisses bail plea of Saumya Chaurasia, former Chhattisgarh CM's Dy Secretary, in money laundering case. Saumya Chaurasia v. Directorate of Enforcement, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1057 : 2023 INSC 1073

    ED needn't give reasons in writing to accused at time of arrest, can give within 24 hrs; 'pankaj bansal' doesn't apply retrospectively. Ram Kishor Arora v. Directorate of Enforcement, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1059 : 2023 INSC 1082

    PMLA - If arrest of accused isn't valid & lawful as per Section 19, an order of remand shall fail on that ground. Pankaj Bansal v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 844 : 2023 INSC 866

    Unitech Case : Supreme Court rejects ED's challenge to bail granted to Preeti Chandra in money laundering case. Directorate of Enforcements v. Preeti Chandra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 603

    Supreme Court allows ED probe against TN Minister V Senthil Balaji in cash-for-jobs scam, quashes HC Order for fresh investigation. Y. Balaji v. Karthik Desari, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 440 : AIR 2023 SC 3171 : (2023) 8 SCR 1026 : 2023 INSC 542

    The Supreme Court refuses to refer 'Vijay Madanlal Choudhary' judgment, which upheld PMLA provisions, to a larger bench. Y. Balaji v. Karthik Desari, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 440 : AIR 2023 SC 3171 : (2023) 8 SCR 1026 : 2023 INSC 542

    'Receipt of bribe is an act of money laundering': Supreme Court says registration of FIR in corruption case sufficient to launch ED probe.Y. Balaji v. Karthik Desari, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 440 : AIR 2023 SC 3171 : (2023) 8 SCR 1026 : 2023 INSC 542

    PMLA - Accused not entitled to bail in money laundering case merely because chargesheet has been filed in predicate offence. Directorate of Enforcement v. Aditya Tripathi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 433 : AIR 2023 SC 2324 : 2023 INSC 531

    Section 45 PMLA conditions applicable to anticipatory bail applications for money laundering offence. Directorate of Enforcement v. M. Gopal Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 138 : 2023 INSC 163

    Jurisdiction of PMLA Court to try money laundering offence not limited to the place where proceeds of crime come into possession of the accused. Rana Ayyub v. Directorate of Enforcement, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 86 : AIR 2023 SC 875 : (2023) 4 SCC 357 : 2023 INSC 101

    Supreme Court dismisses Rana Ayyub's plea challenging jurisdiction of ghaziabad court to try PMLA case against her. Rana Ayyub v. Directorate of Enforcement, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 86 : AIR 2023 SC 875 : (2023) 4 SCC 357 : 2023 INSC 101

    Trial of scheduled offence should take place in special court which has taken cognizance of offence of Money-Laundering. Rana Ayyub v. Directorate of Enforcement, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 86 : AIR 2023 SC 875 : (2023) 4 SCC 357 : 2023 INSC 101

    Murder Trial

    Person guilty of murder even when he mistakenly kills another person : Supreme Court applies 'doctrine of transfer of malice'. Nanhe v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1005 : 2023 INSC 1011

    Supreme Court rejects defence of intoxication in murder case, says accused walking properly & returning to shoot indicated alert mental state. Nanhe v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1005 : 2023 INSC 1011

    4 circumstances to be proved in cases of murder by poison : Supreme Court explains. Hariprasad @ Kishan Sahu v. State of Chattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 968 : 2023 INSC 986

    Murder Trial - Non-Explanation of injuries on accused will create doubts on prosecution version. Parshuram v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 953 : 2023 INSC 973 : AIR 2023 SC 5685 : 2024 CriLJ 81

    Murder Trial - Exception 4 to Section 300 IPC not applicable if the accused took "undue advantage" of the situation. Anil Kumar v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 948 : 2023 INSC 965 : : AIR 2023 SC 5512 : (2024) 1 SCC 327 : 2024 CriLJ 199

    'Sudden provocation as Rs. 500 for daughter not given' : Supreme Court modifies murder conviction of wife who killed husband. Nirmala Devi v. State of Himachal Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 585 : 2023 INSC 662 : AIR 2023 SC 3683

    Murder case - 'Cruel' is a relative term; if its ordinary meaning is used, exception 4 of Section 300 IPC can never be applied. Gursewak Singh v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 571 : 2023 INSC 648 : AIR 2023 SC 3569

    Supreme Court acquits father-son duo in a 27 years old murder case by according benefit of doubt. Mohd. Muslim v State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 489 : AIR 2023 SC 3086 : (2023) 7 SCC 350 : 2023 INSC 579

    Supreme Court acquits man accused of murdering wife 35 years ago; says conviction resulted in 'travesty of justice'. Guna Mahto v. State of Jharkhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 240

    Witness went to sleep after seeing his friend murdered ? Supreme Court doubts testimony, acquits convict in murder case after two decades. Narendrasinh Keshubhai Zala v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 227 : (2023) 2 SCR 746 : 2023 INSC 241

    Murder Trial - Credible testimony of a single eyewitness sufficient to prove a case beyond reasonable doubt. Ravasaheb @ Ravasahebgouda v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 225 : (2023) 5 SCC 391 : (2023) 2 SCR 965 : 2023 INSC 238

    Murder Trial - Last seen theory : time at which deceased was lastly seen with accused should be proved conclusively. Shankar v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 212 : (2023) 2 SCR 661 : 2023 INSC 234

    Murder Trial - Prosecution's omission to explain injuries on accused assumes importance when evidence consists of interested witnesses. Nand Lal v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 186 : AIR 2023 SC 1599 : [2023] 2 SCR 276 : 2023 INSC 224

    'Non-Recovery of corpse relevant in considering chain of circumstances' : Supreme Court reverses conviction in murder case. Indrajit Das v. State of Tripura, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 152 : AIR 2023 SC 1239 : 2023 INSC 175

    Murder Trial - Once prosecution establishes 'last seen theory', the accused is bound to give explanations. Ram Gopal Mansharam v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 120 : AIR 2023 SC 1145

    'Entitled to benefit of doubt': Supreme Court acquits accused in a 1985 murder case. Munna Lal v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 60 : AIR 2023 SC 634 : 2023 Cri LJ 1726 : 2023 INSC 78

    Mere long standing pre-existing dispute will not attract exception of 'grave & sudden provocation'. Prasad Pradhan v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 59 : AIR 2023 SC 643 : 2023 Cri LJ 1649 : (2023) 1 SCR 241 : 2023 INSC 79

    NDPS

    'Material circumstances not put to the accused under Section 313 Cr.P.C.': Supreme Court overturns conviction in NDPS Act case after 22 years. Nababuddin @ Mallu @ Abhimanyu v. State of Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1014 : 2023 INSC 1020

    Law does not require only an independent witness to prove NDPS Act charges. Jagwinder Singh v. State of Punjab, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 990

    NDPS Act - If samples are drawn violating Section 52A, trial stands vitiated. Yusuf @ Asif v. State, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 890 : 2023 INSC 912 : AIR 2023 SC 5041

    Section 50 NDPS Act not applicable to recovery from bag carried by a person. Ranjan Kumar Chadha v. State of Himachal Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 856 : 2023 INSC 878

    'Contraband recovered in violation of section 50 NDPS Act inadmissible' : Supreme Court summarises principles for search of persons. Ranjan Kumar Chadha v. State of Himachal Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 856 : 2023 INSC 878

    NDPS Act - Confession to NCB officials not admissible in evidence; possession must be established to draw presumption under S. 54. Balwinder Singh (Binda) v. Narcotics Control Bureau, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 813 : 2023 INSC 852 : AIR 2023 SC 4684

    Section 50 NDPS - Conviction cannot be sustained if accused were not informed about their right to be searched before magistrate/gazetted officer. Mina Pun v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 724 : 2023 INSC 776

    Prolonged incarceration of undertrials violates constitutional principles of dignity & liberty: SC relaxes bail conditions imposed on Nigerian accused in NDPS case. Ejike Jonas Orji v. Narcotics Control Bureau, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 670

    NDPS Act - Conviction liable to be set aside if samples weren't drawn in magistrate's presence as per Section 52A. Simarnjit Singh v. State of Punjab, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 570

    The Mandate of Section 52A NDPS Act has to be duly complied before disposal / destruction of seized narcotic substances. Mangilal v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 549 : 2023 INSC 634 

    NDPS Act - In case of prolonged incarceration, liberty will override embargo under Section 37 : Supreme Court grants bail. Rabi Prakash v. State of Odisha, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 533

    Ganja seeds are not banned contraband under NDPS Act. Hasubhai Kamabhai Thakor v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 354

    Plain and literal interpretation of Section 37 NDPS Act would make bail impossible: Supreme Court adopts 'Prima Facie' Test. Mohd. Muslim v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 260 : AIR 2023 SC 1648 : 2023 INSC 311

    Bail can be granted in NDPS cases on ground of undue delay in trial despite stringent conditions in Section 37. Mohd. Muslim v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 260

    Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985

    Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 - the law does not require only an independent witness to prove a charge attracting the provisions of NDPS Act. (Para 7) Jagwinder Singh v. State of Punjab, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 990

    Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985; Section 52A – Disposal of seized narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances - In the absence of any material on record to establish that the samples of the seized contraband were drawn in the presence of the Magistrate and that the inventory of the seized contraband was duly certified by the Magistrate, it is apparent that the said seized contraband and the samples drawn therefrom would not be a valid piece of primary evidence in the trial. Once there is no primary evidence available, the trial as a whole stand vitiated. (Para 16) Yusuf @ Asif v. State, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 890 : 2023 INSC 912

    Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985; Section 52A – Disposal of seized narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances - No evidence has also been brought on record that the samples were drawn in the presence of the Magistrate and the list of the samples so drawn were certified by the Magistrate. The mere fact that the samples were drawn in the presence of a gazetted officer is not sufficient compliance of the mandate of sub­section (2) of Section 52A of the NDPS Act. The failure of the concerned authorities to lead primary evidence vitiates the conviction and as such in our opinion, the conviction of the accused deserves to be set aside. (Para 13, 17) Yusuf @ Asif v. State, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 890 : 2023 INSC 912

    Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985; Section 52A – Disposal of seized narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances - When any contraband / narcotic substance is seized and forwarded to the police or to the officer so mentioned under Section 53, the officer so referred to in subsection (1) shall prepare its inventory with details and the description of the seized substance like quality, quantity, mode of packing, numbering and identifying marks and then make an application to any Magistrate for the purposes of certifying its correctness and for allowing to draw representative samples of such substances in the presence of the Magistrate and to certify the correctness of the list of samples so drawn. (Para 12) Yusuf @ Asif v. State, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 890 : 2023 INSC 912

    Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985; Section 52A (2), (3) and (4) - The aforesaid provisions provide for the procedure and manner of seizing, preparing the inventory of the seized material, forwarding the seized material and getting inventory certified by the Magistrate concerned. It is further provided that the inventory or the photographs of the seized substance and any list of the samples in connection thereof on being certified by the Magistrate shall be recognized as the primary evidence in connection with the offences alleged under the NDPS Act. (Para 10) Yusuf @ Asif v. State, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 890 : 2023 INSC 912

    Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 - Conditions for personal search as specified in Section 50 of the NDPS Act are applicable only for the search of the physical body of the person and not for the search of any bag carried by the person. (Para 125) Ranjan Kumar Chadha v. State of Himachal Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 856 : 2023 INSC 878

    Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 - Section 50 of the NDPS Act envisions certain requirements for conducting searches, which include the right of the person to be searched to have the search conducted in the presence of a Gazetted Officer or Magistrate if they so desire. The police officer has the obligation to inform the person of this right before proceeding with the search. If the person declines to exercise this right, the search can proceed, but a written statement should be taken from the person indicating their choice. The communication of this right should be clear, either orally or in writing, and should provide only two options: a Gazetted Officer or a Magistrate, who must be independent and not connected to the raiding party. Each person to be searched in a group must be individually informed of their right. If the right is exercised, the police officer can choose whether to take the suspect before a Gazetted Officer or Magistrate, with an endeavor to take them before the nearest Magistrate. Section 50 applies exclusively to searches under the NDPS Act and does not apply to searches conducted under any other statute. In cases where contraband under the NDPS Act is discovered during a search under another statute, the NDPS Act provisions come into effect, even if Section 50 compliance was not required. The burden of proving compliance with Section 50 rests on the prosecution, and any incriminating contraband recovered in violation of Section 50 is inadmissible but does not vitiate the trial, while other articles recovered may be used in separate proceedings. (Para 64) Ranjan Kumar Chadha v. State of Himachal Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 856 : 2023 INSC 878

    Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985; Section 53 - Any confessional statement made by an accused to an officer invested with the powers under Section 53 of the NDPS Act, is barred for the reason that such officers are “police officers” within the meaning of Section 25 of the Evidence Act, a statement made by an accused and recorded under Section 67 of the NDPS Act cannot be used as a confessional statement in the trial of an offence under the NDPS Act. (Para 10) Balwinder Singh (Binda) v. Narcotics Control Bureau, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 813 : 2023 INSC 852

    Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985; Section 54 - For attracting the provisions of Section 54 of the NDPS Act, the prosecution must first establish possession of contraband by the accused, only then will the burden shift to the accused to prove his innocence. The possession of the contraband must be proved beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution. (Para 16) Balwinder Singh (Binda) v. Narcotics Control Bureau, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 813 : 2023 INSC 852

    Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985; Section 50 - Accused were not informed about their right to be searched before a Magistrate or a Gazetted officer - There was a violation of the safeguard provided by Section 50 of the NDPS Act - Conviction cannot be sustained. Mina Pun v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 724 : 2023 INSC 776

    Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 - Conviction liable to be set aside if samples weren't drawn in magistrate's presence as per Section 52A. Simarnjit Singh v. State of Punjab, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 570

    Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 - In case of prolonged incarceration, liberty will override embargo under Section 37 : Supreme Court grants bail. Rabi Prakash v. State of Odisha, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 533

    Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985; Section 37 - In case of prolonged incarceration, conditional liberty will override the statutory embargo under Section 37 of the Act. Prolonged incarceration is against fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21, ie, protection of life and personal liberty. (Para 4) Rabi Prakash v. State of Odisha, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 533

    Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985; Section 52A - Evidence Act, 1872; Section 114(g) - Section 52A of the NDPS Act is a mandatory rule of evidence which requires the physical presence of a Magistrate followed by an order facilitating his approval either for certifying an inventory or for a photograph taken apart from list of samples drawn - Before any proposed disposal / destruction mandate of Section 52A of the NPDS Act requires to be duly complied with starting with an application to that effect. A Court should be satisfied with such compliance while deciding the case. The onus is entirely on the prosecution in a given case to satisfy the Court when such an issue arises for consideration. Production of seized material is a factor to establish seizure followed by recovery - Provisions of the NDPS Act are both stringent and rigorous and therefore the burden heavily lies on the prosecution. Non-production of a physical evidence would lead to a negative inference within the meaning of Section 114(g) of the Indian Evidence Act. (Para 6-9) Mangilal v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 549 : 2023 INSC 634

    Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985; Section 52-A - the process of drawing of samples under Section 52-A of the NDPS Act has to be in the presence and under the supervision of the Magistrate. The entire exercise of collecting the sample must be certified by the Magistrate to be correct. Simarnjit Singh v. State of Punjab, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 570

    Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 - Definition of "ganja" under the Act does not include ganja seeds - Ganja seeds not a banned contraband. Hasubhai Kamabhai Thakor v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 354

    Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985; Section 37 – Effect of delay in trial – Grant of bail on ground of undue delay in trial not fettered by Section 37 – Imperative of Section 436A of Code of Criminal Procedure Act – Requires inter alia the accused to be enlarged on bail if the trial is not concluded within specified periods – Applicable to offences under the NDPS Act – Held, special conditions as enacted under Section 37 can only be considered within constitutional parameters when the court is reasonably satisfied on a prima facie look at the material on record that the accused is not guilty – A plain and literal would effectively exclude grant of bail altogether - Further held, appellant deserves to be enlarged on bail – Appeal allowed. Mohd. Muslim v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 260 : AIR 2023 SC 1648 : 2023 INSC 311

    Negotiable Instruments Act 1881

    Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 - In a notice of demand made under the N.I. Act demand shall not be omnibus, there must be a clear demand for the cheque amount lest notice will be invalid. (Para 6) Upasana Mishra v. Trek Technology India Pvt. Ltd., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1075

    Negotiable Instruments Act 1881; Section 138 - In a proceeding under Section 138 of the N.I. Act, the accused cannot rely upon other bank accounts for the dishonoured cheque which relates to specific bank account of the accused. (Para 6) Harpal Singh v. State of Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1046

    Negotiable Instruments Act 1881; Section 141 (1) - It is not averred anywhere in the complaint that the appellant was in charge of the conduct of the business of the company at the relevant time when the offence was committed. What is stated in the complaint is only that the accused being the partners are responsible for the day-to-day conduct and business of the company. It is also relevant to note that an overall reading of the complaint would not disclose any clear and specific role of the appellant. The appellant has also got a contention that he retired from the partnership firm much prior to the issuance of the cheque in question. Held, that the averments in the complaint filed by the respondent are not sufficient to satisfy the mandatory requirements under Section 141(1) of the NI Act. Since the averments in the complaint are insufficient to attract the provisions under Section 141(1) of the NI Act, to create vicarious liability upon the appellant, he is entitled to succeed in this appeal. The appellant has made out a case for quashing the criminal complaint in relation to him, in exercise of the jurisdiction under Section 482 of Cr.PC. (Para 17) Siby Thomas v. Somany Ceramics Ltd., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 869 : 2023 INSC 890

    Negotiable Instruments Act 1881; Section 141 (1) - Only that person who, at the time the offence was committed, was in charge of and was responsible to the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company alone shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished. (Para 16) Siby Thomas v. Somany Ceramics Ltd., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 869 : 2023 INSC 890

    Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 - Once the accused adduces evidence to the satisfaction of the Court that on a preponderance of probabilities there exists no debt/liability in the manner pleaded in the complaint or the demand notice or the affidavit-evidence, the burden shifts to the complainant and the presumption 'disappears' and does not haunt the accused any longer. The onus having now shifted to the complainant, he will be obliged to prove the existence of a debt/liability as a matter of fact and his failure to prove would result in dismissal of his complaint case. Thereafter, the presumption under Section 139 does not again come to the complainant's rescue. Once both parties have adduced evidence, the Court has to consider the same and the burden of proof loses all its importance. (Para 45) Rajesh Jain v. Ajay Singh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 866 : 2023 INSC 888

    Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 - Once the presumption under Section 139 was given effect to, the Courts ought to have proceeded on the premise that the cheque was, indeed, issued in discharge of a debt/liability. The entire focus would then necessarily have to shift on the case set up by the accused, since the activation of the presumption has the effect of shifting the evidential burden on the accused. The nature of inquiry would then be to see whether the accused has discharged his onus of rebutting the presumption. If he fails to do so, the Court can straightaway proceed to convict him, subject to satisfaction of the other ingredients of Section 138. If the Court finds that the evidential burden placed on the accused has been discharged, the complainant would be expected to prove the said fact independently, without taking aid of the presumption. The Court would then take an overall view based on the evidence on record and decide accordingly. (Para 55) Rajesh Jain v. Ajay Singh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 866 : 2023 INSC 888

    Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 - The fundamental error in the approach lies in the fact that the High Court has questioned the want of evidence on part of the complainant in order to support his allegation of having extended loan to the accused, when it ought to have instead concerned itself with the case set up by the accused and whether he had discharged his evidential burden by proving that there existed no debt/liability at the time of issuance of cheque. (Para 62) Rajesh Jain v. Ajay Singh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 866 : 2023 INSC 888

    Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 - When the Courts have concluded that the signature in the cheque has been admitted and its execution has been proved, then the Courts should inquire into either of the two questions: 1. Has the accused led any defense evidence to prove and conclusively establish that there existed no debt/liability at the time of issuance of cheque? 2. In the absence of rebuttal evidence being led the inquiry would entail: Has the accused proved the nonexistence of debt/liability by a preponderance of probabilities by referring to the 'particular circumstances of the case? (Para 56) Rajesh Jain v. Ajay Singh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 866 : 2023 INSC 888

    Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881; Section 138 and 142(2)(a) - Territorial Jurisdiction - When the case was fixed for final arguments, the Magistrate, on examining the records, came to the conclusion that the court did not have territorial jurisdiction. No opportunity was granted to the complainant to take remedial steps. The Magistrate passed the order without realizing the legal consequences as well as the fact that the trial had remained pending for more than four years and had proceeded without any objection to territorial jurisdiction, till the stage of final arguments. There was a lapse and proper legal guidance, which was not provided to the complainant. Held, that the complainant should not suffer on account of lack of proper legal assistance. Procedural defect / lapse, had a remedy, and was not substantial as to constitute lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. The Code is procedural in nature and technical defects and irregularities should not come in the way of substantial justice. Bijoy Shankar Mishra v. State of Jharkhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 798

    Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881; Section 138, 139 - Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 482 - If the question as to whether the debt or liability being barred by limitation was an issue to be considered in such proceedings, the same is to be decided based on the evidence to be adduced by the parties since the question of limitation is a mixed question of law and fact. It is only in cases wherein an amount which is out and out non-recoverable, towards which a cheque is issued, dishonoured and for recovery of which a criminal action is initiated, the question of threshold jurisdiction will arise. In such cases, the Court exercising jurisdiction under Section 482 CrPC will be justified in interfering but not otherwise. K. Hymavathi v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 752 : 2023 INSC 811

    Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881; Section 148 - Normally, Appellate Court will be justified in imposing the condition of deposit as provided in Section 148. However, in a case where the Appellate Court is satisfied that the condition of deposit of 20% will be unjust or imposing such a condition will amount to deprivation of the right of appeal of the appellant, exception can be made for the reasons specifically recorded. (Para 5 - 6) Jamboo Bhandari v. M.P. State Industrial Development Corporation Ltd; 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 776 : 2023 INSC 822

    Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881; Section 138 - Only when the conviction arise out of the single transaction, concurrent sentence would be merited - Where there were several transactions over a period of time for which the cheques tendered towards payment, were dishonoured, convict cannot take benefit out of the ratio in V.K. Bansal v. State of Haryana, (2013) 7 SCC 211. K. Padmaja Rani v. State of Telangana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 584

    Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881; Section 141 - Offences by Companies - A person will become vicariously liable when a company is accused of the offence under Section 138 (Dishonour of cheque for insufficiency of funds) of the Act, only if such a person was "in charge of" and was "responsible to the company for the conduct of the business of the company" at the time the offence was committed. Just because a person is managing a company and is involved in its day-to-day affairs, he does not automatically come under the ambit of Section 141 of the NI Act. (Para 19) Ashok Shewakramani v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 622 : 2023 INSC 692

    Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881; Section 143A(1) - Where a cheque is dishonoured, the interim compensation can be directed to be paid only after the accused has pleaded not guilty. Pawan Bhasin v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 537

    Negotiable Instruments Act 1881 - Section 138, 147 - The nature of offence under section 138 of the N.I Act is primarily related to a civil wrong and is a compoundable offence. (Para 10) B.V. Seshaiah v. State of Telangana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 75 : AIR 2023 SC 717 : (2023) 2 SCR 293 : 2023 INSC 93

    Negotiable Instruments Act 1881; Section 138 - Approval of resolution plan of corporate debtor will not extinguish the liability of erstwhile director for dishonour of cheque. (Para 17, 18 & 47, 52) Ajay Kumar Radheyshyam Goenka v. Tourism Finance Corporation of India Ltd., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 195 : 2023 INSC 232

    Negotiable Instruments Act 1881; Section 138 - Where the proceedings under Section 138 of the NI Act had already commenced and during the pendency the plan is approved or the company gets dissolved, the directors and the other accused cannot escape from their liability by citing its dissolution. (Para 52) Ajay Kumar Radheyshyam Goenka v. Tourism Finance Corporation of India Ltd., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 195 : 2023 INSC 232

    Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881; Section 138 - by operation of the provisions of the IBC, the criminal prosecution initiated against the natural persons under Section 138 read with 141 of the NI Act read with Section 200 of the CrPC would not stand terminated. (Para 47) Ajay Kumar Radheyshyam Goenka v. Tourism Finance Corporation of India Ltd., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 195 : 2023 INSC 232

    Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881; Section 138 - Conviction cannot be confirmed overriding the agreement between the parties to compound the offence- Terms and conditions of the settlement entered into by the parties binds them to settle the dispute amicably, or through an arbitration as has been stated in clause 8 of the Memorandum of Understanding. In such a circumstance, the Appellants cannot be convicted on the basis of the orders passed by the courts below, as the settlement is nothing but a compounding of the offence- This is a very clear case of the parties entering into an agreement and compounding the offence to save themselves from the process of litigation. When such a step has been taken by the parties, and the law very clearly allows them to do the same, the High Court then cannot override such compounding and impose its will. (Para 8, 9, 11) B.V. Seshaiah v. State of Telangana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 75 : AIR 2023 SC 717 : (2023) 2 SCR 293 : 2023 INSC 93

    Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881; Section 138 - The offence under Section 138 is complete upon dishonour of the cheque but prosecution in relation to such offence is postponed, by virtue of the provisos therein, till the failure of the drawer of the cheque to make the payment within 15 days of receiving the demand notice. (Para 5) Yogesh Upadhyay v. Atlanta Ltd., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 125 : AIR 2023 SC 1151 : (2023) 2 SCR 511 : 2023 INSC 150

    Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881; Section 138, 142(2)(a) - Section 142(2)(a) vests jurisdiction for initiating proceedings for an offence under Section 138 in the Court where the cheque is delivered for collection, i.e., through an account in the branch of the bank where the payee or holder in due course maintains an account. (Para 12) Yogesh Upadhyay v. Atlanta Ltd., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 125 : AIR 2023 SC 1151 : (2023) 2 SCR 511 : 2023 INSC 150

    Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881; Section 139 - The standard of proof for rebutting the presumption is that of preponderance of probabilities - once the execution of cheque is admitted, Section 139 of the N.I. Act mandates a presumption that the cheque was for the discharge of any debt or other liability - The presumption under Section 139 is a rebuttable presumption and the onus is on the accused to raise the probable defence. The standard of proof for rebutting the presumption is that of preponderance of probabilities - To rebut the presumption, it is open for the accused to rely on evidence led by him or the accused can also rely on the materials submitted by the complainant in order to raise a probable defence - Inference of preponderance of probabilities can be drawn not only from the materials brought on record by the parties but also by reference to the circumstances upon which they rely. Referred to Baslingappa v. Mudibasappa (2019) 5 SCC 418 (Para 12-20) Rajaram Sriramulu Naidu v. Maruthachalam, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 46 : AIR 2023 SC 471 : (2023) 1 SCR 809 : 2023 INSC 51

    Penal Code 1860

    Penal Code, 1860 - Constitutional Courts can impose fixed term sentence even in cases where death penalty was not proposed - "Even in a case where capital punishment is not imposed or is not proposed, the Constitutional Courts can always exercise the power of imposing a modified or fixed-term sentence by directing that a life sentence, as contemplated by “secondly” in Section 53 of the IPC, shall be of a fixed period of more than fourteen years, for example, of twenty years, thirty years and so on. (Para 13) Shiva Kumar @ Shiva @ Shivamurthy v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 252 : AIR 2023 SC 1774 : 2023 INSC 306

    Penal Code, 1860 - That the accused has no antecedents, is no consideration by itself for deciding whether the accused will fall in the category of the 'rarest of the rare' cases. It all depends on several factors. The Court, while considering the possibility of reformation of the accused, must note that showing undue leniency in such a brutal case will adversely affect the public confidence in the efficacy of the legal system. The Court must consider the rights of the victim as well. (Para 15) Shiva Kumar @ Shiva @ Shivamurthy v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 252 : AIR 2023 SC 1774 : 2023 INSC 306

    Penal Code, 1860 - Distinction between murder and the culpable homicide not amounting to murder – Explained. (Para 54) Balu Sudam Khalde v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 279 : AIR 2023 SC 1736 : 2023 INSC 314

    Penal Code, 1860 - Trial Court has no jurisdiction to sentence the accused to life imprisonment for the remainder of their life, or life imprisonment without entitlement to remission for a fixed term, in serious crimes which carry the death penalty apart from life sentence as a sentencing option - The court took note that the Apex Court in Union of India vs Sriharan @ Murugan & Ors., [2015] 14 SCR 613, has approved a special category of sentence for serious crimes where death sentence is substituted with life imprisonment for a fixed number of years which may be longer than the minimum sentence specified in Section 433A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) and may extend to considerably long periods, such as 30 years. However, Sriharan (2015) reserves the power to impose such special or fixed term sentences only with the High Courts and the Supreme Court. Vikas Chaudhary v. State of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 336 : 2023 INSC 412

    Section 34 - Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 34 - In a given case, where the offence is punishable under Section 302 of IPC, when the common intention is proved, but no overt act of assaulting the deceased is attributed to the accused who have been implicated based on Section 34, vicarious liability under Section 34 will be attracted. (Para 7) Maheshwari Yadav v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1063 : 2023 INSC 1068

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 34 - To bring a case within Section 34, it is not necessary to prove prior conspiracy or pre­meditation. It is possible to form a common intention just before or during the occurrence. (Para 7) Maheshwari Yadav v. State of Bihar, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1063 : 2023 INSC 1068

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 34 - A reading of Section 34 of the IPC reveals that when a criminal act is done by several persons with a common intention each of the person is liable for that act as it has been done by him alone. Therefore, where participation of the accused in a crime is proved and the common intention is also established, Section 34 IPC would Page 4 of 8 come into play. To attract Section 34 IPC, it is not necessary that there must be a prior conspiracy or premeditated mind. The common intention can be formed even in the course of the incident i.e. during the occurrence of the crime. (Para 8) Ram Naresh v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1036 : 2023 INSC 1037 : (2024) 1 SCC 443

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 34 - For applying Section 34 IPC there should be a common intention of all the coaccused persons which means community of purpose and common design. Common intention does not mean that the co-accused persons should have engaged in any discussion or agreement so as to prepare a plan or hatch a conspiracy for committing the offence. Common intention is a psychological fact and it can be formed a minute before the actual happening of the incidence or as stated earlier even during the occurrence of the incidence. (Para 13) Ram Naresh v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1036 : 2023 INSC 1037 : (2024) 1 SCC 443

    Section 53 - Punishments

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 53 - The majority view in the case of Union of India v. V. Sriharan @ Murugan & Ors., 2016 (7) SCC 1 cannot be construed to mean that power to impose fixed term sentence cannot be exercised by the Constitutional Courts unless the question is of commuting the death sentence - When a Constitutional Court finds that though a case is not falling in the category of 'rarest of the rare' case, considering the gravity and nature of the offence and all other relevant factors, it can always impose a fixed-term sentence so that the benefit of statutory remission, etc. is not available to the accused. (Para 12) Shiva Kumar @ Shiva @ Shivamurthy v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 252 : AIR 2023 SC 1774 : 2023 INSC 306

    Section 84 - Act of a person of unsound mind.

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 84 - Evidence Act, 1872; Section 105 - The burden of proving the existence of circumstances so as to bring the case within the purview of Section 84 IPC lies on the accused in terms of Section 105 of the Evidence Act; and where the accused is charged of murder, the burden to prove that as a result of unsoundness of mind, the accused was incapable of knowing the consequences of his acts is on the defence, as duly exemplified by illustration (a) to the said Section 105 of the Evidence Act - The mandate of law is that the Court shall presume absence of the circumstances so as to take the case within any of the General Exceptions in IPC. (Para 21) Prem Singh v. State of NCT of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 2 : AIR 2023 SC 193 : (2023) 3 SCC 372 : 2023 INSC 3

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 84 - Evidence Act, 1872; Section 105, 8 - The burden of proof does lie on the accused to prove to the satisfaction of the Court that one is insane while doing the act prohibited by law. Such a burden gets discharged based on a prima facie case and reasonable materials produced on his behalf. The extent of probability is one of preponderance. This is for the reason that a person of unsound mind is not expected to prove his insanity beyond a reasonable doubt. Secondly, it is the collective responsibility of the person concerned, the Court and the prosecution to decipher the proof qua insanity by not treating it as adversarial. Though a person is presumed to be sane, once there are adequate materials available before the Court, the presumption gets discharged - The behaviour and conduct before, during and after the occurrence has to be looked into. (Para 8-9) Prakash Nayi @ Sen v. State of Goa, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 71 : (2023) 5 SCC 673 : (2023) 1 SCR 823 : 2023 INSC 24

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 84 - The existence of an unsound mind is a sine qua non to the applicability of the provision. A mere unsound mind per se would not suffice, and it should be to the extent of not knowing the nature of the act - A mere medical insanity cannot be said to mean unsoundness of mind. There may be a case where a person suffering from medical insanity would have committed an act, however, the test is one of legal insanity to attract the mandate of Section 84 of the IPC. There must be an inability of a person in knowing the nature of the act or to understand it to be either wrong or contrary to the law. (Para 4-7) Prakash Nayi @ Sen v. State of Goa, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 71 : (2023) 5 SCC 673 : (2023) 1 SCR 823 : 2023 INSC 24

    Section 86 - Offence requiring a particular intent or knowledge committed by one who is intoxicated

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 86 - In so far as the impact of intoxication and causing death while in the state of intoxication is concerned, a reference to Section 86 of IPC is relevant which provides for the offence caused by a person under intoxication and incapable of understanding the nature of his act. The said provision absolves the accused of committing an offence by reason of intoxication and incapability of knowing the nature of his act. However, for applying the said provision, it has to be noticed that such intoxication has to be administered to him against his will or without his knowledge which means that it should not be a voluntary intoxication. (Para 17) Nanhe v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1005 : 2023 INSC 1011

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 86 - the following twin conditions have to be satisfied. The first that the accused was administered a thing which intoxicated him without his knowledge or against his will. Secondly, the intoxication has to be of the level which incapacitated him of knowing the nature of the act committed or likely to be committed by him. (Para 19) Nanhe v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1005 : 2023 INSC 1011

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 86 - Not only the accused be intoxicated but also the level of his intoxication be such as to render him incapable of knowing and understanding what he is doing or likely to do. Therefore, evidence to prove his incapacity to understand the nature of his action is mandatory to reduce the criminality of the accused. (Para 20) Nanhe v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1005 : 2023 INSC 1011

    Section 107 - Abetment of a thing

    Penal Code, 1860 – Section 107 - To attract the first clause, there must be instigation in some form on the part of the accused to cause the deceased to commit suicide. Hence, the accused must have mens rea to instigate the deceased to commit suicide. The act of instigation must be of such intensity that it is intended to push the deceased to such a position under which he or she has no choice but to commit suicide. Such instigation must be in close proximity to the act of committing suicide. (Para 9) Mohit Singhal v. State of Uttarakhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1035 : 2023 INSC 1035 : (2024) 1 SCC 417

    Section 120B - Punishment of criminal conspiracy

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 120B - To establish conspiracy it is necessary to establish an agreement between the parties. Further, the offence of criminal conspiracy is of joint responsibility, all conspirators are liable for the acts of each of the crimes which have been committed as a result of the conspiracy. (Para 36) Sajeev v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 974 : 2023 INSC 998

    Penal Code, 1860 – Sections 120B, 420, 468, and 471 – Previous Sanction – Contended that any act done by a public servant, which constitutes an offence of cheating, cannot be taken to have been committed while acting or purporting to act in the discharge of official duty – Distinguishing Parkash Singh Badal v. State of Punjab, (2007) 1 SCC 1, held, observations contained are too general in nature and cannot be regarded as the ratio flowing out of the said case or taken as judicially carving out an exception to a statutory prescription – Also held, no public servant is appointed with a mandate or authority to commit an offence and therefore, if the observations are applied, any act which constitutes an offence under any statute will go out of the purview of an act in the discharge of official duty – Appeal allowed. A. Srinivasulu v. State of Rep. by the Inspector of Police, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 485 : 2023 INSC 971

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 120B - For the charge of criminal conspiracy to be established, an agreement between the parties to do an unlawful act must exist. In some cases, direct evidence to establish conspiracy may be absent, but when the lack of evidence is apparent, it is not safe to hold a person guilty under this section. To prove the offence of criminal conspiracy, it is imperative to show a meeting of the minds between the conspirators for the intended common object. (Para 31) Maghavendra Pratap Singh @ Pankaj Singh v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 358 : 2023 INSC 415

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 120B - the accused cannot be convicted of criminal conspiracy solely for having concealed the location of the incriminating materials / articles and, in the absence of any evidence establishing meeting of the minds. Given that all the other co­accused have been acquitted by the courts below, meaning they were innocent of the crime, the fundamental requirement of a criminal conspiracy is not met. Needless to say, the charge of criminal conspiracy also fails on the ground that a single person cannot hatch a conspiracy. (Para 32, 33) Maghavendra Pratap Singh @ Pankaj Singh v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 358 : 2023 INSC 415

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 120B - The charge of criminal conspiracy requires meeting of the minds prior to commission of offence, and with four of the five appeals being allowed and only the present appellant being convicted, the basic requirement of the section, that is of two or more persons agreeing to or causing to be done an illegal act or an act which is not per se illegal but it is done by illegal means, is not met. (Para 34) Maghavendra Pratap Singh @ Pankaj Singh v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 358 : 2023 INSC 415

    Section 149 - Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object.

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 149 and 302 - Accused were members of the unlawful assembly. No doubt that there is no specific role attributed to the present accused of assaulting the deceased. However, since the accused were members of the unlawful assembly, it is not necessary that such a person, for being convicted, must have actually assaulted the deceased. (Para 15) Parshuram v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 953 : 2023 INSC 973 : AIR 2023 SC 5685 : 2024 CriLJ 81

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 149 and 302 - Non-explanation of injuries on the persons of the accused would create a doubt, as to, whether, the prosecution has brought on record the real genesis of the incident or not. (Para 23) Parshuram v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 953 : 2023 INSC 973 : AIR 2023 SC 5685 : 2024 CriLJ 81

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 149 - When five persons were specifically named in the FIR and five persons are facing the trial may be separately, Section 149 IPC would be attracted. (Para 10) Surendra Singh v. State of Rajasthan, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 318 : AIR 2023 SC 1889 : (2023) 3 SCR 354 : 2023 INSC 354

    Penal Code 1860; Section 149 - if an offence is committed by any member of unlawful assembly in prosecution of the common object of that assembly, every person who, at the time of that offence, is a member of the same assembly, is guilty of that offence. (Para 10.2) Surendra Singh v. State of Rajasthan, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 318 : AIR 2023 SC 1889 : (2023) 3 SCR 354 : 2023 INSC 354

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 149 - Cases involving several accused Persons - Section 149 of the Indian Penal Code is declaratory of the vicarious liability of the members of an unlawful assembly for acts done in prosecution of the common object of that assembly or for such offences as the members of the unlawful assembly knew would be committed in prosecution of that object. If an unlawful assembly is formed with the common object of committing an offence, and if that offence is committed in prosecution of the object by any member of the unlawful assembly, all the members of the assembly will be vicariously liable for that offence even if one or more, but not all committed the offence. Again, if an offence is committed by a member of an unlawful assembly and that offence is one which the members of the unlawful assembly knew to be likely to be committed in prosecution of the common object, every member who had that knowledge will be guilty of the offence so committed. While overt act and active participation may indicate common intention of the person perpetrating the crime, the mere presence in the unlawful assembly may fasten vicariously criminal liability under Section 149. When a case involves large number of assailants it is not possible for the witness to describe the part played therein by each of such persons. It is not necessary for the prosecution to prove each of the members' involvement especially regarding which or what act. (Para 17.8) Ravasaheb @ Ravasahebgouda v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 225 : (2023) 5 SCC 391 : (2023) 2 SCR 965 : 2023 INSC 238

    Section 279 - Rash driving or riding on a public way

    Penal Code, 1860; Sections 279, 304A – Motor Accident Case – Reduction of sentence of convict – Object of Indian Penal Code is to punish offenders for offences under the act – Indian Penal Code punitive and deterrent – Corrective measures ought to be recognised while sentencing convict but deterrence became imperative necessity under certain circumstances – Expressing undue sympathy by imposing inadequate sentence harms justice system by causing the erosion of public confidence in efficacy of law – Held, undue sympathy expressed by the high court unsustainable and order liable to be quashed and set aside thereby restoring the original sentence imposed by lower courts – Appeal allowed. State of Punjab v. Dil Bahadur, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 267 : AIR 2023 SC 1767 : (2023) 3 SCR 766 : 2023 INSC 307

    Section 299 - Culpable homicide

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 299, 300 - Distinction between murder and culpable homicide not amounting to murder - Locus classicus on the issue viz. Virsa Singh v. State of Punjab [1958] S.C.R. 1495. (Para 16-17) Prasad Pradhan v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 59 : AIR 2023 SC 643 : 2023 Cri LJ 1649 : (2023) 1 SCR 241 : 2023 INSC 79

    Section 300 - Murder

    Penal Code, 1860; Sections 300 Exception 4, 302 and 498A - The exception clearly in unequivocal term states that it would be applicable where culpable homicide is committed not only without premeditated mind in a sudden fight or quarrel but also without the offender taking “undue advantage” of the situation. In the instant case, the appellant upon seeing the deceased drenched in kerosene clearly took advantage of the situation and lighted a matchstick and threw it upon her so that she can be burnt. The appellant having taken “undue advantage” of the situation cannot be extended the benefit of Exception 4 to Section 300 IPC so as to bring the case within the ambit of Part II of 304 IPC. (Para 21) Anil Kumar v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 948 : 2023 INSC 965 : : AIR 2023 SC 5512 : (2024) 1 SCC 327 : 2024 CriLJ 199

    Penal Code, 1860; Sections 300 Exception 4, 302 and 498A - The First Information Report and the dying declarations on record clearly contain the statement of the deceased that when she had poured kerosene upon herself to deter the appellant from fighting and assaulting, he lighted a matchstick and with the intention to kill her, threw it upon her by saying “You Die”. The aforesaid evidence clinches the issue and establishes beyond doubt that the appellant is guilty of the offence of culpable homicide amounting to murder and is not entitled to benefit of the Exception 4 to Section 300 IPC. (Para 23 & 24) Anil Kumar v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 948 : 2023 INSC 965 : : AIR 2023 SC 5512 : (2024) 1 SCC 327 : 2024 CriLJ 199

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 300 - the sine qua non for the application of an Exception to Section 300 always is that it is a case of murder but the accused claims the benefit of the Exception to bring it out of that Section and to make it a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. (Para 57) Balu Sudam Khalde v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 279 : AIR 2023 SC 1736 : 2023 INSC 314

    Penal Code, 1860; Exception 4 to Section 300 - Essential requirement - Four conditions must be satisfied to bring the matter within Exception 4 - (i) it was a sudden fight; (ii) there was no premeditation; (iii) the act was done in the heat of passion; and; that (iv) the assailant had not taken any undue advantage or acted in a cruel manner - On a plain reading of Exception 4, it appears that the help of Exception 4 can be invoked if death is caused (a) without premeditation, (b) in a sudden fight, (c) without the offenders having taken undue advantage or acted in a cruel or unusual manner; and (d) the fight must have been with the person killed. To bring a case within Exception 4 all the ingredients mentioned in it must be found. (Para 58 & 59) Balu Sudam Khalde v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 279 : AIR 2023 SC 1736 : 2023 INSC 314

    Penal Code, 1860; Exception 4 to Section 300 - It is very difficult to accept the submission that the case would fall within the Exception 4 to Section 300 of the IPC and such benefit be extended to the accused. Assuming for the moment that the incident had occurred in the heat of the moment and fight was also sudden, we should not overlook the fact that the appellants herein inflicted as many as nine blows with a dangerous weapon on the deceased who was unarmed and was helpless. For cases to fall within clause (3) of Section 300 of the IPC, it is not necessary that the offender intended to cause death, so long as the death ensues from the intentional bodily injury or injuries sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of nature. (Para 61) Balu Sudam Khalde v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 279 : AIR 2023 SC 1736 : 2023 INSC 314

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 300 - The requirement of Section 300 thirdly is fulfilled if the prosecution proves that the accused inflicted an injury which would been sufficient to have resulted in death of the victim. The determinative fact would be the intention to cause such injury and what was the degree of probability (gravest, medium, or the lowest degree) of death which determines whether the crime is culpable homicide or murder - When the nature of injury being so dangerous as to result in death (Section 300 fourthly), accused's disregard to the consequences of the injury, and an element of callousness to the result, denotes or signifies the intention. (Para 18-19) Prasad Pradhan v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 59 : AIR 2023 SC 643 : 2023 Cri LJ 1649 : (2023) 1 SCR 241 : 2023 INSC 79

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 300 - The standard of reasonableness for applying the “grave and sudden” provocation - mere long-standing preexisting dispute does not attract the exception. (Para 23-24) Prasad Pradhan v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 59 : AIR 2023 SC 643 : 2023 Cri LJ 1649 : (2023) 1 SCR 241 : 2023 INSC 79

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 300 - There can be no stereotypical assumption or formula that where death occurs after a lapse of some time, the injuries (which might have caused the death), the offence is one of culpable homicide. Every case has its unique fact situation. However, what is important is the nature of injury, and whether it is sufficient in the ordinary course to lead to death. The adequacy or otherwise of medical attention is not a relevant factor. (Para 25-26) Prasad Pradhan v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 59 : AIR 2023 SC 643 : 2023 Cri LJ 1649 : (2023) 1 SCR 241 : 2023 INSC 79

    Section 301 - Culpable homicide by causing death of person other than person whose death was intended

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 301 - The aforesaid provision is based up on the 'Doctrine of Transfer of Malice or Transmigration of Motive' which provides that where there is 'mens rea' of committing an offence, it can be transferred to another. To illustrate the said doctrine, an example could be given of a person who had intention to kill a person but by mistake kills another person, then he would still be held guilty of committing murder even in the absence of intention to kill that particular person. In simpler words, if a person has an intention to commit an offence or cause a death of any person but kills one whose death he never intended to cause, he would still be guilty of causing death. (Para 12) Nanhe v. State of U.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1005 : 2023 INSC 1011

    Section 302 - Punishment for murder

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 302 - Circumstances to be proved in case of murder by poison- explained. (Para 20 & 26) Hariprasad @ Kishan Sahu v. State of Chattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 968 : 2023 INSC 986

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 302 - Ante-timing of the FIR - Benefit of Doubt - In the absence of any credible eye witness to the incident and the fact that the presence of the accused at the place of incident is also not well established, we are constrained to accord benefit of doubt to both the accused. Even if we ignore certain other minor discrepancies in the oral evidence, the delay in conducting the post-mortem, the difference in the name of the weapons of crime, i.e., “tabal” or “palkati” which are more or less similar types of instruments for cutting crops, etc., it is a case where the prosecution has miserably failed to prove that the accused appellants have committed the offence beyond any reasonable doubt. Mohd. Muslim v State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 489 : AIR 2023 SC 3086 : (2023) 7 SCC 350 : 2023 INSC 579

    Penal Code, 1860; Sections 302 – Murder – Accused taking the deceased from home on a bicycle - Even if we accept PW4 daughter's testimony that the accused, on that fateful day, took the deceased on a bicycle to the fields that by itself is not conclusive to indicate that he took her to kill her; because, admittedly, the accused held agricultural holding and it is quite possible that he may have taken his wife to assist him in the agricultural operations. It is common practice in villages for ladies to help their menfolk in agricultural operations. The allegation that while taking her a declaration was made that she would be killed does not inspire our confidence for the reason that the motive set out by the prosecution for such a quarrel has not been proved. (Para 24) State of Madhya Pradesh v. Phoolchand Rathore, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 408 : (2023) 5 SCR 601 : 2023 INSC 444

    Penal Code, 1860; Sections 302 – Murder - Circumstantial Evidence - there is no direct eye witness account of the murder. The body of the deceased was found in the open on a railway track. In such circumstances to sustain a conviction the court would have to consider — (i) whether the circumstances relied by the prosecution have been proved beyond reasonable doubt; (ii) whether those circumstances are of a definite tendency unerringly pointing towards the guilt of the accused; (iii) whether those circumstances taken cumulatively form a chain so far complete that there is no escape from the conclusion that within all human probability the crime was committed by the accused; (iv) whether they are consistent only with the hypothesis of the accused being guilty; and (v) whether they exclude every possible hypothesis except the one to be proved. (Para 23) State of Madhya Pradesh v. Phoolchand Rathore, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 408 : (2023) 5 SCR 601 : 2023 INSC 444

    Penal Code, 1860; Sections 302 – Murder – Disclosure Statement and Recovery - The prosecution placed heavy reliance on recovery of blood-stained clothes and stones from the hut of the accused on the basis of disclosure made by him - All papers were prepared at one go rendering the entire exercise of disclosure and consequential discovery/recovery doubtful - the High Court was justified in doubting the recovery of blood-stained clothes etc. at the instance of the accused from the hut and on the basis of a disclosure statement made by him. (Para 24) State of Madhya Pradesh v. Phoolchand Rathore, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 408 : (2023) 5 SCR 601 : 2023 INSC 444

    Penal Code, 1860; Sections 302 – Murder – Extra Judicial Confession - The alleged extra judicial confession made by the accused to PW4 daughter was neither disclosed in the FIR nor in the previous statement of PW4 made during investigation. PW4 was confronted with that omission during her deposition in court. That apart, the testimony of PW4 with regard to the accused returning home, making extra judicial confession, changing clothes, washing blood-stained clothes and spreading them to dry has been found unreliable and shaky by the High Court for cogent reasons, which do not appear perverse as to warrant an interference. Thus, the circumstance of extra judicial confession is also not proved beyond doubt. (Para 24) State of Madhya Pradesh v. Phoolchand Rathore, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 408 : (2023) 5 SCR 601 : 2023 INSC 444

    Penal Code, 1860; Sections 302 – Murder – Motive - the original motive for the crime was a dispute arising from keeping of jewellery by the deceased with her sister, whereas the statement of prosecution witnesses established that the jewellery had been returned much before the incident, therefore, there existed no cogent motive for the crime - the prosecution failed to prove the motive set out by it. No doubt absence of motive by itself may not be sufficient to dislodge the prosecution case if the other proven circumstances could form a chain so complete as to indicate that in all human probability it is the accused and no one else who committed the crime but, in a case based on circumstantial evidence, motive plays an important part. Because, not only it makes the story believable but also helps the court in fortifying an inference which may be drawn against the accused from other attending circumstances. (Para 24) State of Madhya Pradesh v. Phoolchand Rathore, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 408 : (2023) 5 SCR 601 : 2023 INSC 444

    Penal Code, 1860; Sections 302 – Murder – Quarrels and disputes between husband and wife are everyday phenomena and not such an event which may create a strong suspicion of an impending crime much less murder. (Para 24) State of Madhya Pradesh v. Phoolchand Rathore, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 408 : (2023) 5 SCR 601 : 2023 INSC 444

    Penal Code, 1860; Sections 302 – Murder – The Supreme Court upheld the decision of High Court which acquitted an accused who was awarded death sentence by the Trial Court for the alleged murder of his wife on the ground that prosecution has failed to prove the circumstances (i.e. motive, disclosure, recovery, and extra judicial confession) beyond reasonable doubt. State of Madhya Pradesh v. Phoolchand Rathore, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 408 : (2023) 5 SCR 601 : 2023 INSC 444

    Penal Code, 1860; Sections 302 read with 34 and 120B – Evidence Act, 1872; Section 106 - Apartment from where the dead body was found stood in the tenancy and possession of accused - the prosecution has failed to prove a chain of incriminating circumstances as to conclusively point out that in all human probability it was the two accused or any one of them, and no one else, who had committed the murder. In such circumstances, even if the accused failed to explain as to how the dead body of the deceased was found in his apartment, an inference of his guilt cannot be drawn. In a nutshell, it is a case where the prosecution failed to elevate its case from the realm of "may be true" to the plane of "must be true" as is indispensably required for conviction on a criminal charge. (Para 86) Santosh @ Bhure v. State (G.N.C.T.) of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 418 : 2023 INSC 443

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 302 - the circumstances in which the accused is said to have administered poison to her two sons is clearly reflective of her being under a state of tremendous mental stress. However, it is difficult to grant the benefit of bringing the case under the ambit of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Be that as it may, the Court is not pursuaded to convert the conviction from Section 302, IPC to one under Section 304 Part I, IPC. (Para 10) Nagarathinam v. State through the Inspector of Police, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 401 : AIR 2023 SC 2263 : 2023 INSC 495

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 302 r/w. 34 and 201 - Arms Act, 1959; Sections 4, 25 - the case in hand is a quintessential case where to solve out a blind murder, occurring in a forest in the darkness of night, bits and pieces of evidence were collected which warranted a strict scrutiny before basing a conviction thereupon. On putting the prosecution evidence to strict scrutiny and testing the same on the anvil of settled legal principles, the evidence is not confidence inspiring as to uphold the conviction of the accused. The courts below have failed to properly evaluate and test the evidence by applying the correct legal principles. In such circumstances, the judgments of the courts below are liable to be set aside. (Para 33) Ravi Mandal v. State of Uttarakhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 470 : AIR 2023 SC 2554 : 2023 INSC 552

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 302 r/w. 34 and 201 - Arms Act, 1959; Sections 4, 25 - there was no disclosure in the FIR as to how the dead body was found in the forest - who had seen the deceased in the company of the two persons was not disclosed in the FIR - the prosecution made later improvements in the story and made deliberate attempt to multiply the witnesses - all these circumstances taken cumulatively create a doubt in our mind as to whether it is a quintessential case of a blind murder (i.e. taking place at a secluded place in the darkness of night where no one could witness the crime), therefore, to solve the case, while groping for witnesses, the prosecution story kept evolving, either on the basis of information received from time to time, or on guess work emanating from strong suspicion, or police suggestions. Ravi Mandal v. State of Uttarakhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 470 : AIR 2023 SC 2554 : 2023 INSC 552

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 302 - Having regard to the nature of the injuries caused by dangerous weapons like sickle and sword which, were applied on the vital part of the body, there is no escape from the conclusion that it is a case of Section 302 of the IPC. (Para 60) Balu Sudam Khalde v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 279 : AIR 2023 SC 1736 : 2023 INSC 314

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 302 - Prosecution has failed to prove the real genesis of the incident. There is absolutely no evidence to establish that the accused had any motive to commit the murder of her own father. On the contrary, her father had brought her to the house of PW.1 for treating her mental ailment. The prosecution has utterly failed to establish that the act was done by the accused, with the intention to cause the death of the deceased. The case would fall under Part-I of Section 304 of the IPC and as such, conviction under Section 302 of the IPC would not be tenable. Therefore, the appeal is partly allowed and the conviction under Section 302 of the IPC is altered to Part-I of Section 304 of the IPC. Since the accused has been incarcerated for a period of more than 12 years, the said sentence would subserve the ends of justice for the offence punishable under Section 304, Part-I of the IPC. Sumitra Bai v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 322 : 2023 INSC 343

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 302 – the Supreme Court commutes death sentence of accused who murdered his sister & her lover from another caste; takes note of 'social pressure' - Accused, who has been sentenced to capital punishment, was a young boy of about 25 years at the time of the incident. The medical evidence would further reveal that the accused have not acted in a brutal manner, inasmuch as there is only single injury inflicted on both the deceased. As such, the present case cannot be considered to be 'rarest of rare' case. Thus, the Court after taking into consideration, the young age of the accused at the time of incidence, the manner in which the crime was committed, no criminal antecedent of the accused and the report of the Probation Officer as well as the Superintendent of the Correctional Home in which the accused is serving his sentence, commuted the death sentence imposed on the accused to the life imprisonment. Digambar v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 361 : AIR 2023 SC 2827 : 2023 INSC 445

    Penal Code, 1869; Section 302 - Appeal against concurrent conviction in a murder case - Allowed - Conviction set aside - The time gap between when the deceased was seen in the company of the accused on 09-10-1999 and the probable time of his death, based on the post mortem report, which was conducted two days later, but was silent about the probable time of death, though it stated that death occurred approximately two days before the post mortem, is not narrow. Given this fact, and the serious inconsistencies in the depositions of the witnesses, as well as the fact that the FIR was lodged almost 6 weeks after the incident, the sole reliance on the “last seen” circumstance (even if it were to be assumed to have been proved) to convict the accused-appellants is not justified. Jabir v. State of Uttarakhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 41 : AIR 2023 SC 488 : (2023) 1 SCR 969 : 2023 INSC 48

    Penal Code 1860; Section 302 - Murder Trial - Supreme Court reverses concurrent findings of guilt entered by the trial court and High Court - Says exceptional case where gross errors are committed, overlooking crying circumstances and well-established principles of criminal jurisprudence leading to miscarriage of justice. Pradeep Kumar v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 239 : (2023) 2 SCR 682 : (2023) 5 SCC 350 : 2023 INSC 242

    Penal Code, 1860 - Sections 302 r/w. 34 - In a case rested on circumstantial evidence and 'last seen' theory is relied on as a link in the chain of circumstances, the evidence relating the time at which the deceased was lastly seen with the accused has to be proved conclusively as when it is proximate with the time of finding the dead body the burden to establish the innocence would be that of the accused. (Para 24) Shankar v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 212 : (2023) 2 SCR 661 : 2023 INSC 234

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 300, 302 - Concurrent conviction of murder accused set aside - There is a fair degree of uncertainty in the prosecution story and the courts below appear to have somewhat been influenced by the oral testimony of PW-2 and PW-3, without taking into consideration the effect of the other attending circumstances, thereby warranting interference. Munna Lal v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 60 : AIR 2023 SC 634 : 2023 Cri LJ 1726 : 2023 INSC 78

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 302 - Murder Trial - In case of proven previous enmity, a possibility of false implication cannot be ruled out. (Para 34) Nand Lal v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 186 : AIR 2023 SC 1599 : [2023] 2 SCR 276 : 2023 INSC 224

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 302 - Murder Trial - Omission on the part of the prosecution to explain the injuries on the accused would assume greater importance where the evidence consists of interested or inimical witnesses or where the defence gives a version which competes in probability with that of the prosecution one. (Para 26) Nand Lal v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 186 : AIR 2023 SC 1599 : [2023] 2 SCR 276 : 2023 INSC 224

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 302 - Murder Trial - Supreme Court affirms sentence and conviction of accused for murder based on solitary eyewitness testimony. Ajai @ Ajju v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 110 : AIR 2023 SC 996 : 2023 INSC 127

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 302 - Murder Trial - Supreme Court sets aside conviction in a murder case - Notes that the Trial Court and the High Court grossly erred in their appreciation of evidence. Narendrasinh Keshubhai Zala v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 227 : (2023) 2 SCR 746 : 2023 INSC 241

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 302 - Murder Trial - When there is concurrent findings of fact by the Trial Court and the High Court, the Apex Court ought not to re-appreciate the evidence to examine the correctness of such findings of fact, unless there is manifest illegality or grave and serious miscarriage of justice on account of misreading or ignoring material evidence - Conviction and sentence of mother for killing her 5-year old child upheld. Vahitha v. State of Tamil Nadu, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 132 : AIR 2023 SC 1165 : 2023 INSC 151

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 302, 211 - Accused allegedly took his two sons, aged about 9 years and 6 years, to Haiderpur Canal, and strangulated them. Thereafter, he threw the dead bodies into the canal; and attempted to project as if it were a case of accidental drowning - Concurrent conviction under Sections 302, 211 IPC upheld by the Apex Court. Prem Singh v. State of NCT of Delhi, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 2 : AIR 2023 SC 193 : (2023) 3 SCC 372 : 2023 INSC 3

    Section 304B - Dowry Death

    Penal Code, 1860 - Section 304B and 498A - Mere death of a wife under unnatural circumstances, in a matrimonial home, within seven years of marriage is not sufficient to convict the husband for dowry death. (Para 23) Charan Singh @ Charanjit Singh v. State of Uttarakhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 341 : AIR 2023 SC 2095 : 2023 INSC 404

    Section 306 - Abetment of suicide

    Penal Code, 1860; Sections 306, 107 - In order to convict a person for the offences under Section 306 IPC, the basic constituents of the offence namely where the death was suicidal and whether there was an abetment on the part of the accused as contemplated in Section 107 IPC have to be established - In order to bring the case within the purview of 'Abetment' under Section 107 IPC, there has to be an evidence with regard to the instigation, conspiracy or intentional aid on the part of the accused. For the purpose proving the charge under Section 306 IPC, also there has to be an evidence with regard to the positive act on the part of the accused to instigate or aid to drive a person to commit suicide. (Para 6-10) Kashibai v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 149 : 2023 INSC 722

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 306 - Evidence Act, 1872; Section 113A - Mere fact of commission of suicide by itself would not be sufficient for the court to raise the presumption under Section 113A of the Evidence Act, and to hold the accused guilty of Section 306 IPC. (Para 14) Kashibai v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 149 : 2023 INSC 722

    Section 307 - Attempt to murder

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 307 - To sustain a conviction under Section 307, IPC, it was not necessary that a bodily injury capable of resulting in death should have been inflicted. As such, non-conviction under Section 307, IPC on the premise only that simple injury was inflicted does not follow as a matter of course. The court has to see whether the act, irrespective of its result, was done with the intention or knowledge and under circumstances mentioned in the section.' The position that because a fatal injury was not sustained alone does not dislodge Section 307, IPC conviction. While grievous or life-threatening injury was not necessary to maintain a conviction under Section 307, IPC, 'The intention of the accused can be ascertained from the actual injury, if any, as well as from surrounding circumstances. Among other things, the nature of the10 weapon used and the severity of the blows inflicted can be considered to infer intent. (Para 9) Sivamani v. State, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1024 : 2023 INSC 1027

    Section 363 - Punishment for kidnapping

    Penal Code, 1860 – Sections 363, 364A – Kidnapping for ransom vis-à-vis kidnapping simpliciter – Proof of kidnapping for ransom – Punishable with death or imprisonment for life and as such has a higher evidentiary threshold – Three stages or components, namely, first, kidnapping or abduction of a person and keeping them in detention; second, threat to cause death or hurt, and the use of kidnapping, abduction, or detention with a demand to pay the ransom; and third, when the demand is not met, then causing death – Fulfilment of second ingredient, namely, threat to cause death or hurt – Intimidation of child victim, for the purpose of making them silent not adequate – Held, prosecution's case did not prove second ingredient beyond reasonable doubt as a result of the victim's statement being subsequently modified to reflect crucial differences that would enable the prosecution to drive home the kidnapping for ransom charge – Further held, conviction under Section 364A ought to be altered in exercise of power under Section 216 of Code of Criminal Procedure into the lesser offence under Section 363 – Appeal partly allowed. Ravi Dhingra v. State Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 167 : AIR 2023 SC 1243 : 2023 Cri LJ 1913 : (2023) 6 SCC 76 : (2023) 2 SCR 164 : 2023 INSC 182

    Section 375 - Rape

    Penal Code 1860; Section 375 Exception 2 - Sex with minor wife aged 16 years - Supreme Court acquits husband relying on exception 2 to Section 375 IPC. Siddaruda @ Karna v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 170

    Section 376 - Punishment for rape

    Penal Code, 1860; Sections 376 - The evidence of a prosecutrix in a case of rape is of the same value as that of an injured witness. It is again true that conviction can be made on the basis of the sole testimony of the prosecutrix. All the same, when a conviction can be based on the sole testimony of the prosecutrix, the courts also have to be extremely careful while examining this sole testimony. (Para 5) Manak Chand v. State of Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 937 : 2023 INSC 959 : AIR 2023 SC 5600

    Penal Code, 1860; Sections 376 - Proof submitted by the prosecution with regard to the age of the prosecutrix in the form of the school register was not sufficient to arrive at a finding that 13 the prosecutrix was less than sixteen years of age, especially when there were contradictory evidences before the Trial Court as to the age of the prosecutrix. (Para 9) Manak Chand v. State of Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 937 : 2023 INSC 959 : AIR 2023 SC 5600

    Penal Code, 1860; Sections 376 - Since age was such a crucial factor in the present case, the prosecution should have done a bone ossification test for determination of the age of the prosecutrix. (Para 9) Manak Chand v. State of Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 937 : 2023 INSC 959 : AIR 2023 SC 5600

    Penal Code, 1860; Sections 376, 377, 302 and 201 - Rape & Murder of 6-year-old girl - Numerous lapses in investigation - the reasons why the investigation officers were changed time and again from PW 6 to PW 12 and then to PW 13, is surprising and unexplained. No reason stands given for having decided that there was no need to comply with the provisions of Section 53A of CrPC. There is unexplained delay in sending the samples collected for analysis. A premises already searched was searched again, the reason for which is not borne from record. Lock panchnama is not prepared. No samples of blood and semen of the accused can be said to have been drawn by any medical or para medical staff, allegedly an additional sample is taken from the accused more than a month after the arrest. Alleged disclosure statement of the accused was never read over and explained to the accused in his vernacular language. The accused was not residing alone at the place alleged to be his residence. What was the basis of the accused being a suspect at the first instance, remains a mystery. Persons who may have shed light on essential aspects went unexamined. Such multitudinous lapses have compromised the quest to punish the doer of such a barbaric act in absolute peril. Thus, the Court set aside the conviction and sentences of death penalty and life imprisonment imposed on the accused and set him at liberty. Prakash Nishad @ Kewat Zinak Nishad v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 461 : AIR 2023 SC 2938 : 2023 INSC 561

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 376 - Accused concurrently convicted under Section 376 IPC for rape - Allowing his appeal and acquitting him, the Supreme Court observed: The prosecutrix being a married woman and the mother of three children was matured and intelligent enough to understand the significance and the consequences of the moral or immoral quality of act she was consenting to. Even otherwise, if her entire conduct during the course of such relationship with the accused, is closely seen, it appears that she had betrayed her husband and three children by having relationship with the accused, for whom she had developed liking for him. She had gone to stay with him during the subsistence of her marriage with her husband, to live a better life with the accused. Till the time she was impregnated by the accused in the year 2011, and she gave birth to a male child through the loin of the accused, she did not have any complaint against the accused of he having given false promise to marry her or having cheated her. She also visited the native place of the accused in the year 2012 and came to know that he was a married man having children also, still she continued to live with the accused at another premises without any grievance. She even obtained divorce from her husband by mutual consent in 2014, leaving her three children with her husband. It was only in the year 2015 when some disputes must have taken place between them, that she filed the present complaint. The accused in his further statement recorded under Section 313 of Cr.P.C. had stated that she had filed the complaint as he refused to fulfill her demand to pay her huge amount. Thus, having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, it could not be said by any stretch of imagination that the prosecutrix had given her consent for the sexual relationship with the appellant under the misconception of fact, so as to hold the appellant guilty of having committed rape within the meaning of Section 375 of IPC. Naim Ahamed v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 66 : (2023) 1 SCR 1061 : 2023 INSC 85

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 376 - It would be a folly to treat each breach of promise to marry as a false promise and to prosecute a person for the offence of rape under Section 376 IPC - Difference between giving a false promise and committing breach of promise by the accused - In case of false promise, the accused right from the beginning would not have any intention to marry the prosecutrix and would have cheated or deceited the prosecutrix by giving a false promise to marry her only with a view to satisfy his lust, whereas in case of breach of promise, one cannot deny a possibility that the accused might have given a promise with all seriousness to marry her, and subsequently might have encountered certain circumstances unforeseen by him or the circumstances beyond his control, which prevented him to fulfill his promise. (Para 20) Naim Ahamed v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 66 : (2023) 1 SCR 1061 : 2023 INSC 85

    Section 384 - Punishment for Extortion

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 384 - To attract the offence the following twin ingredients are to be satisfied: (i) Intentionally putting a person in fear of injury to himself or another; (ii) Dishonestly inducing the person so put to deliver to any person any property or valuable security. In the absence of such ingredients / accusations in the chargesheet to constitute the said offence it cannot be said a prima facie case of commission of offence under Section 384 is made out. (Para 11) Abhishek Saxena v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1072 : 2023 INSC 1088

    Section 405 - Criminal breach of trust

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 405, 406 - A mere dispute on monetary demand does not attract the offence of criminal breach of trust - Mere wrong demand or claim would not meet the conditions specified by Section 405 of the IPC in the absence of evidence to establish entrustment, dishonest misappropriation, conversion, use or disposal, which action should be in violation of any direction of law, or legal contract touching the discharge of trust. (Para 15) Deepak Gaba v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 3 : AIR 2023 SC 228 : (2023) 3 SCC 423 : 2023 INSC 1

    Section 406 - Punishment for Criminal Breach of Trust

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 406 - Essential ingredients - In the absence of basic ingredient of entrustment of property and dishonest usage or disposal of any such property to satisfy the offence punishable under Section 406 IPC, the charge of commission of the offence thereunder cannot be attracted. (Para 11) Abhishek Saxena v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1072 : 2023 INSC 1088

    Section 415 - Cheating

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 415, 420 - The sine qua non of Section 415 of the IPC is “fraudulence”, “dishonesty”, or “intentional inducement”, and the absence of these elements would debase the offence of cheating - For the offence of cheating, there should not only be cheating, but as a consequence of such cheating, the accused should also have dishonestly adduced the person deceived to deliver any property to a person; or to make, alter, or destroy, wholly or in part, a valuable security, or anything signed or sealed and which is capable of being converted into a valuable security. (Para 17) Deepak Gaba v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 3 : AIR 2023 SC 228 : (2023) 3 SCC 423 : 2023 INSC 1

    Section 420 - Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 420 - Ingredients to constitute an offence of cheating - Explained. Peethambaran v. State of Kerala, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 402 : 2023 INSC 481

    Penal Code, 1860; Sections 420, 465, 466, 467, 468, 471 - Representation of People Act, 1951; Section 29A – Allegation that the Memorandum annexed with the application for registration was false – Held, Even the application under Section 29A of the Act, 1951 was made as far as back in the year 1989 and thereafter even the respondent No. 1 filed the complaint before the ECI, which came to be dismissed by the ECI and thereafter the present complaint has been filed in the year 2009, i.e., after a period of 20 years from the date of filing of the application for registration under Section 29-A of the Act, 1951, which was made in the year 1989. Even assuming the complaint's averments to be true, do not make out the ingredients of the offences, for which the learned Trial Court has passed the summoning order. (Para 5.12, 6) Sukhbir Singh Badal v. Balwant Singh Khera, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 359 : AIR 2023 SC 3053 : 2023 INSC 466

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 420 - Looking to the averments and allegations in the complaint, it is not appreciable at all, how the appellants are alleged to have committed the offence of cheating. The ingredients for the offence of cheating are not at all satisfied. There is no question of deceiving any person, fraudulently or dishonestly to deliver any property to any person. Therefore, even on bare reading of the averments and allegations in the complaint, no case even remotely for the offence under Section 420 IPC is made out. (Para 5.6) Sukhbir Singh Badal v. Balwant Singh Khera, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 359 : AIR 2023 SC 3053 : 2023 INSC 466

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 420 - Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 482 - A breach of contract does not give rise to criminal prosecution for cheating unless fraudulent or dishonest intention is shown right at the beginning of the transaction. Merely on the allegation of failure to keep up promise will not be enough to initiate criminal proceedings - The criminal Courts are not meant to be used for settling scores or pressurise parties to settle civil disputes. Sarabjit Kaur v. State of Punjab, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 157 : (2023) 5 SCC 360 : 2023 INSC 188

    Section 463 - Forgery

    Penal Code, 1860; Sections 463, 464 and 471 - For the offence of forgery, there must be making of a false document with intent to cause damage or injury to the public or to any person. Therefore, making the false documents is sine qua non - Making a false claim and creating and producing the false document both are different and distinct. (Para 5.9) Sukhbir Singh Badal v. Balwant Singh Khera, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 359 : AIR 2023 SC 3053 : 2023 INSC 466

    Section 464 - Making a false document

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 464, 470 471 - The condition precedent of an offence under Section 471 of the IPC is forgery by making a false document or false electronic record or part thereof - A person is said to have made a 'false document': (i) if he has made or executed a document claiming to be someone else or authorised by someone else; (ii) if he has altered or tampered a document; or (iii) if he has obtained a document by practising deception, or from a person not in control of his senses. Unless, the document is false and forged in terms of Sections 464 and 470 of the IPC respectively, the requirement of Section 471 of the IPC would not be met. (Para 18) Deepak Gaba v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 3 : AIR 2023 SC 228 : (2023) 3 SCC 423 : 2023 INSC 1

    Section 498A - Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty.

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 498A - While granting anticipatory bail to the accused husband under Section 498A of the IPC, a condition that the husband shall take his wife to his house and maintain and honor her, cannot be imposed. Kunal Choudhary v. State of Jharkhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1045

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 498A - One instance unless portentous, in the absence of any material evidence of interference and involvement in the marital life of the complainant, may not be sufficient to implicate the person as having committed cruelty. Mahalakshmi v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1041 : 2023 INSC 1050

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 498A and 304B - Evidence Act, 1872; Section 32 - When dying declaration would not suggest that there was any proximate nexus to the act of committing suicide on account of preceding demand for dowry or in other words the demand of dowry on any particular date having triggered the deceased to commit the suicide or forced her to selfimmolate, conviction of the accused under Section 304B cannot be sustained. (Para 17) Paranagouda v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 915 : 2023 INSC 933

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 498A and 304B - Irrespective of the fact that accused have been acquitted for the offence punishable under Section 304B, Section 498A would cover the cases in which the wife is subjected to cruelty by husband or relatives of the husband which may result in death by way of suicide or cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (whether mental or physical). (Para 21) Paranagouda v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 915 : 2023 INSC 933

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 498A and 306 - Mere omission on the part of the trial judge to mention Section 306 IPC with 498A would not preclude the Supreme Court from convicting the accused for the said offence when found proved. (Para 27) (Para 21) Paranagouda v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 915 : 2023 INSC 933

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 498A - When marriage has been found to be null and void, the conviction under Section 498A IPC would not be sustainable. (Para 7) P. Sivakumar v. State, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 116

    POCSO

    Provide counselling for child victims of sexual offences, ensure their education : Supreme Court directs states. State of Rajasthan v. Gautam Mohanlal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 875 : 2023 INSC 903

    State must provide 'support' persons' for child victims; it can't be left to parents' discretion. We the Women of India v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 892

    The Supreme Court emphasises the importance of “support persons” for victims under the POCSO act; issues guidelines. Bachpan Bachao Andolan v. Union of India, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 667 : 2023 INSC 745

    School transfer certificate cannot be relied upon to determine POCSO victim age. P. Yuvaprakash v. State, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 538 : 2023 INSC 626 : AIR 2023 SC 3525

    Penetrative sexual assault against child below 12 years punishable as 'aggravated sexual assault'. State of U.P. v. Sonu Kushwaha, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 502 : 2023 INSC 603 : AIR 2023 SC 3210 : (2023) 7 SCC 475

    Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988

    Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; Section 7 and 13(1)(d) r/w. 13(2) - In the instant case the pre-trap and post-trap proceedings were duly proved by the prosecution by examining the concerned witnesses, who had duly supported the case of prosecution. Both the courts below have recorded the findings that the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt the conscious acceptance of the tainted currency by the accused and also the recovery of tainted currency from the accused. Therefore, the burden had shifted on the accused to dispel the statutory presumption under Section 20 of the said Act, and prove that it was not accepted as a motive or reward for the performance of his public duty, which the accused had failed to dispel. The explanation offered by the accused did not tally with the statement of the complainant recorded under Section 164 of Cr.P.C. The High Court had also recorded that the defence taken by the accused that the acceptance of tainted currency by him was towards the Audit fees of the Society was not proved by him in as much as there was nothing on record to show that the amount paid by the complainant to the accused was out of the funds of the Society. Both the courts have appreciated the evidence on record threadbare in the right perspective and have found the accused guilty for the offence. (Para 12 - 14) P. Sarangapani v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 819 : 2023 INSC 844

    Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; Section 7 and 20 - Presumption where public servant accepts any undue advantage - Once the undue advantage i.e., any gratification whatever, other than the legal remuneration is proved to have been accepted by the accused, the Court is entitled to raise the presumption under Section 20 that he accepted the undue advantage as a motive or reward under Section 7 for performing or to cause performance of a public duty improperly or dishonestly. No doubt, such presumption is rebuttable. (Para 11) P. Sarangapani v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 819 : 2023 INSC 844

    Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; Section 19 - The question with regard to the validity of such sanction should be raised at the earliest stage of the proceedings, however could be raised at the subsequent stage of the trial also - The stages of proceedings at which an accused could raise the issue with regard to the validity of the sanction would be the stage when the Court takes cognizance of the offence, the stage when the charge is to be framed by the Court or at the stage when the trial is complete i.e., at the stage of final arguments in the trial - Competence of the court trying the accused also would be dependent upon the existence of the validity of sanction, and therefore it is always desirable to raise the issue of validity of sanction at the earliest point of time - In case the sanction is found to be invalid, the trial court can discharge the accused and relegate the parties to a stage where the competent authority may grant a fresh sanction for the prosecution in accordance with the law. (Para 10) State of Karnataka Lokayukta Police v. S. Subbegowda, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 595 : 2023 INSC 669

    Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; Section 19(3), 19(4) - Findings recorded by the Special Judge could not have been and should not have been reversed or altered by the High Court in the petition filed by the accused challenging the said order of the Special Judge, in view of the specific bar contained in sub-section (3) of Section 19, and that too without recording any opinion as to how a failure of justice had in fact been occasioned to the respondent-accused as contemplated in the said subsection (3). (Para 12-14) State of Karnataka Lokayukta Police v. S. Subbegowda, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 595 : 2023 INSC 669

    Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; Section 13(1)(e) - Second proviso is in the nature of additional safeguard for the public servant who are accused of the offence punishable under Section 13(1)(e) of the 1988 Act against an investigation by a police officer without the knowledge and consent of superior police officer not below the rank of Superintendent of Police. A superior police officer of the rank of Superintendent of Police or any officer higher in rank is required to pass an order before an investigation, if any, for such offence is commenced. It is needless to point-out that, before directing such investigation, the Superintendent of Police or an officer superior to him is required to apply his mind to the information and come to an opinion that the investigation on such allegations is necessary. (Para 88) State v. Hemendhra Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 365 : 2023 INSC 460

    Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; Section 7 - To attract Section 7 of the PC Act, the demand for gratification has to be proved by the prosecution beyond a reasonable doubt. The word used in Section 7, as it existed before 26th July 2018, is 'gratification'. There has to be a demand for gratification. It is not a simple demand for money, but it has to be a demand for gratification. If the factum of demand of gratification and acceptance thereof is proved, then the presumption under Section 20 can be invoked, and the Court can presume that the demand must be as a motive or reward for doing any official act. This presumption can be rebutted by the accused. (Para 11) Soundarajan v. State, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 314 : AIR 2023 SC 2136 : 2023 INSC 377

    Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 - Demand and recovery both must be proved to sustain conviction under the Act - Conviction set aside as demand was not proved. Jagtar Singh v. State of Punjab, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 232 : AIR 2023 SC 1567 : 2023 INSC 279

    Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 - In the present case, there are no circumstances brought on record which will prove the demand for gratification. Therefore, the ingredients of the offence under Section 7 of the PC Act were not established and consequently, the offence under Section 13(1)(d) will not be attracted. Neeraj Dutta v. State (GNCTD), 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 211 : 2023 Cri. LJ 1856 : (2023) 2 SCR 997 : 2023 INSC 245

    Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 - the complainant did not produce a copy of the application made by him for providing electricity meter - the complainant did not clearly tell that he had given such application. In absence of proof of making such application, the prosecution's case regarding demand of bribe for installing new electricity meter becomes doubtful. (Para 18) Neeraj Dutta v. State (GNCTD), 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 211 : 2023 Cri. LJ 1856 : (2023) 2 SCR 997 : 2023 INSC 245

    Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; Section 7 - Demand of Gratification - When we consider the issue of proof of demand within the meaning of Section 7, it cannot be a simpliciter demand for money but it has to be a demand of gratification other than legal remuneration - Every demand made for payment of money is not a demand for gratification. It has to be something more than mere demand for money. (Para 16, 17) Neeraj Dutta v. State (GNCTD), 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 211 : 2023 Cri. LJ 1856 : (2023) 2 SCR 997 : 2023 INSC 245

    Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; Sections 20 and 7 - The presumption under Section 20 can be invoked only when the two basic facts required to be proved under Section 7, are proved. The said two basic facts are 'demand' and 'acceptance' of gratification. The presumption under Section 20 is that unless the contrary is proved, the acceptance of gratification shall be presumed to be for a motive or reward, as contemplated by Section 7. It means that once the basic facts of the demand of illegal gratification and acceptance thereof are proved, unless the contrary are proved, the Court will have to presume that the gratification was demanded and accepted as a motive or reward as contemplated by Section 7. However, this presumption is rebuttable. Even on the basis of the preponderance of probability, the accused can rebut the presumption. (Para 11) Neeraj Dutta v. State (GNCTD), 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 211 : 2023 Cri. LJ 1856 : 2023 INSC 245 : (2023) 2 SCR 997

    Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; Sections 7 and 13 – In absence of direct evidence, the demand and/or acceptance can always be proved by other evidence such as circumstantial evidence – Also, allegation of demand of gratification and acceptance made by a public servant has to be established beyond a reasonable doubt - the Constitution Bench ruling in Neeraj Dutta v. State, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 1029 that direct evidence of demand or acceptance of bribe is not necessary for a conviction under the Act does not dilute the requirement of proof beyond reasonable doubt. (Para 14) Neeraj Dutta v. State (GNCTD), 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 211 : 2023 Cri. LJ 1856 : 2023 INSC 245 : (2023) 2 SCR 997

    Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; Sections 7 and 13 - The Constitution Bench was dealing with the issue of the modes by which the demand can be proved and laid down that the proof need not be only by direct oral or documentary evidence, but it can be by way of other evidence including circumstantial evidence. When reliance is placed on circumstantial evidence to prove the demand for gratification, the prosecution must establish each and every circumstance from which the prosecution wants the Court to draw a conclusion of guilt. The facts so established must be consistent with only one hypothesis that there was a demand made for gratification by the accused. (Para 14) Neeraj Dutta v. State (GNCTD), 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 211 : 2023 Cri. LJ 1856 : (2023) 2 SCR 997: 2023 INSC 245

    Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 - It is desirable that High Courts maintain a "hands-off" approach and not quash FIRs relating to corruption cases at investigation stage-This is because, it is difficult to form an opinion conclusively at the stage of reading a first information report that the public servant is either in or not in possession of property disproportionate to the known sources of his/her income. It would all depend on what is ultimately unearthed