Supreme Court Quarterly Criminal Law Digest [Jan – Mar 2023]

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8 Jun 2023 4:50 AM GMT

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  • Supreme Court Quarterly Criminal Law Digest [Jan – Mar 2023]

    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) 117Adultery - 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....

    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

    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

    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

    Bail

    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

    Bail & Remand: 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

    '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

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

    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

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

    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

    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

    '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

    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

    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 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

    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

    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

    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

    The Supreme Court expresses anguish at Trial Courts acting in violation of its judgments on bail & remand. Chandmal v. State of M.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 94

    Virtual Hearing - We would normally expect that even in the District Courts, in the Covid period, arrangements would have been made for virtual hearing. It is not as if the virtual method of appearing before the Court has to be abandoned as this is an alternative method of appearance now which is to be followed by different Courts. Chandmal v. State of M.P., 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 94

    Cheque

    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

    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

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973

    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

    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

    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

    Section 173 - Report of police officer on completion of investigation

    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

    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

    Section 154 - Information in cognizable cases

    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

    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 : (2023) 2 SCR 276

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

    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

    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

    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

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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Section 313 - Power to examine the accused

    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) 2 SCR 119

    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) 2 SCR 119

    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) 2 SCR 119

    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) 2 SCR 119

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

    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

    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) 2 SCR 519

    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

    Section 378 - Appeal in case of acquittal

    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

    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

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

    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 406 - Power of Supreme Court to transfer cases and appeals

    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

    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

    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

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

    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

    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

    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 - 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Section 482 - Saving of inherent power of High Court.

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 14 : AIR 2023 SC 262

    Corruption

    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

    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

    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) 2 SCR 997

    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

    Criminal Law

    "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

    "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

    Accused can't claim right of hearing before registration of FIR. State Bank of India v. Rajesh Agarwal, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 243

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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) 2 SCR 965

    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) 2 SCR 965

    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

    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

    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

    '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

    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

    '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

    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) 2 SCR 965

    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) 2 SCR 965

    '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

    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

    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) 2 SCR 119

    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) 2 SCR 119

    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

    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) 2 SCR 519

    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 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Death Penalty

    Supreme Court commutes death sentence for kidnapping and murder of a 7 year old child to life imprisonment for not less than twenty years without remission of sentence-the ‘rarest of rare’ doctrine requires that the death sentence not be imposed only by taking into account the grave nature of crime but only if there is no possibility of reformation in a criminal’. (Para 89) Sundar @ Sundarrajan v. State by Inspector of Police, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 217

    Domestic Violence

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

    Dowry

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

    Evidence Law

    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) 2 SCR 965

    Circumstantial Evidence

    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

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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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) 2 SCR 965

    Extra-judicial confession

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Eyewitness

    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

    '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

    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) 2 SCR 965

    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

    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

    Last Seen Theory

    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

    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

    '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

    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

    Single Witness

    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) 2 SCR 965

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Test Identification Parade

    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

    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

    Witness

    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

    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

    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

    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

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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Section 101 - Burden of Proof

    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, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 19 : AIR 2023 SC 379

    Section 106 - Burden of proving fact especially within knowledge

    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

    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

    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) 2 SCR 965

    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

    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

    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

    Hate Speech

    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

    Apprehension of Hate Speech - Supreme Court issues directions regarding meeting proposed by Sakal Hindu Samaj - Records undertaking of State of Maharashtra that permission will be granted to the meeting only subject to condition that no hate speech will be made - Directs videography of the meeting by the Police and make the video available to the Court - Directs police to invoke the powers under Section 151 CrPC if occasion arises. 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

    Juvenile

    Prisoner awarded death penalty for five murders found to be a juvenile at the time of offence in 1994 - Supreme Court orders release forthwith. Narayan Chetanram Chaudhary v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 244

    Death Penalty - Supreme Court set aside the death sentence imposed on a convict for the rape and murder of a minor girl after he was found to be a juvenile at the time of the offence. Karan @ Fatiya v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 159 : AIR 2023 SC 1355 : (2023) 2 SCR 587

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

    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 : (2023) 2 SCR 529

    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

    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

    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) 2 SCR 587

    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) 2 SCR 587

    Murder Trial

    '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

    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

    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

    '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

    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 : (2023) 2 SCR 276

    Supreme Court acquits a man setting aside the concurrent findings of the High Court and the Trial Court. Udayakumar v. State of Tamil Nadu, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 242

    Supreme Court acquits man convicted for allegedly killing his wife thirty-five years ago - Reverses concurrent findings of trial court and High Court - Doubt and suspicion cannot form basis of guilt of the accused. The circumstances linking the accused to the crime are not proven at all, much less beyond reasonable doubt. Guna Mahto v. State of Jharkhand, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 240

    Whether on the basis of testimony of a solitary witness, eight men can be allowed to suffer incarceration for life? Held, Credible testimony of a single eyewitness sufficient to prove case beyond reasonable doubt - Merely because no recovery was made from anyone apart from accused Nos.2 and 4 would not mean that others were not present at the scene of the crime; simply because a number of witnesses had turned hostile, does not on its own give a ground to reject the evidence of PW-1; and that PW-1 being the brother of the deceased and therefore, is an interested as well a chance witness, are untenable submissions. (Para 21) Ravasaheb @ Ravasahebgouda v. State of Karnataka, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 225 : (2023) 2 SCR 965

    Money Laundering

    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

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

    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

    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

    Narcotic Drugs

    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

    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

    Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985

    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

    Negotiable Instruments Act 1881

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881; Section 138 - 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

    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

    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

    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

    Parole

    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

    Period of emergency parole granted on recommendation of HPC during COVID-19 cannot be counted towards actual sentence period. Anil Kumar v. State of Haryana, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 237

    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

    Parole Period - For the purpose of considering actual imprisonment, the period of parole is to be excluded-If the submission on behalf of the prisoners that the period of parole is to be included while considering 14 years of actual imprisonment is accepted, in that case, any prisoner who may be influential may get the parole for number of times as there is no restrictions and it can be granted number of times and if the submission on behalf of the prisoners is accepted, it may defeat the very object and purpose of actual imprisonment. Rohan Dhungat v. State of Goa, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 10 : AIR 2023 SC 265 : (2023) 1 SCR 1029

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Section 149 - Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object.

    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) 2 SCR 965

    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

    Section 300 - Murder

    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

    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

    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

    Section 302 - Punishment for murder

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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 : (2023) 2 SCR 276

    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 : (2023) 2 SCR 276

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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; 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

    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

    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

    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

    Section 420 - Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property

    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

    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

    Section 498A - Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty.

    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

    Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988

    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

    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) 2 SCR 997

    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) 2 SCR 997

    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) 2 SCR 997

    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) 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) 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) 2 SCR 997

    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 after the investigation is complete -The considerations that could apply to quashing of first information reports pertaining to offences punishable under general penal statutes ex proprio vigore may not be applicable to a P.C. Act offence. (Para 74) State of Chattisgarh v. Aman Kumar Singh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 158 : AIR 2023 SC 1441

    Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 - Zero Tolerance to Corruption - Though it is the preambular promise of the Constitution to secure social justice to the people of India by striving to achieve equal distribution of wealth, it is yet a distant dream. If not the main, one of the more prominent hurdles for achieving progress in this field is undoubtedly ‘corruption’. Corruption is a malaise, the presence of which is all pervading in every walk of life. (Para 49) State of Chattisgarh v. Aman Kumar Singh, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 158 : AIR 2023 SC 1441

    Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002

    Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002; Section 45 - Rigours under Section 45 are applicable to anticipatory bail applications. (Para 5) Directorate of Enforcement v. M. Gopal Reddy, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 138

    Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002; Section 3 - The area in which the property is derived or obtained or even held or concealed, will be the area in which the offence of money laundering is committed. (Para 39-40) Rana Ayyub v. Directorate of Enforcement, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 86 : AIR 2023 SC 875

    Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002; Section 44 - It is the Special Court constituted under the PMLA that would have jurisdiction to try even the scheduled offence. Even if the scheduled offence is taken cognizance of by any other Court, that Court shall commit the same, on an application by the concerned authority, to the Special Court which has taken cognizance of the offence of money-laundering. (Para 36) Rana Ayyub v. Directorate of Enforcement, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 86 : AIR 2023 SC 875

    Prevention of Money Laundering Act (Act 15 of 2003); Sections 3 and 44 Territorial Jurisdiction of Special PMLA Court – Place of commission of the offence of money-laundering – The involvement of a person in any one or more of certain processes or activities connected with the proceeds of crime, namely, concealment, possession, acquisition, use, projecting as untainted property, or claiming as untainted property, constitutes the offence of money-laundering – All the places where any one or more of these processes or activities take place are the places where the offence of money-laundering has been committed – Triable by the special court(s) constituted for the area(s) in which the offence of money-laundering has been committed – Held, the petition could not be entertained since the issue of territorial jurisdiction could not be decided in a writ petition, especially in the presence of a serious factual dispute about the place or places of commission of the offence – Petition dismissed. (Paras 38 to 40) Rana Ayyub v. Directorate of Enforcement, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 86 : AIR 2023 SC 875

    Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005

    Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 - In a complaint filed under the Protection of women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, it is not open to the Court to impose such onerous conditions upon the appellant, who claims to be a victim of domestic violence. What the Appellate Court and the High Court have ordered are actually in the nature of penalty for the appellant not proceeding with the trial. In the first instance, it is impermissible in law. Bhawna v. Bhay Ram, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 148

    Punishment

    Punishment for offence is with an object to create deterrence and curtailing such offences as it creates a fear in the mind of offender likely to commit the offence. (Para 47) State of Himachal Pradesh v. Goel Bus Service Kullu, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 27 : AIR 2023 SC 390

    Remission

    Court directs State to consider application in accordance with the policy which held the field on the date of the conviction. Hitesh v. State of Gujarat, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 72

    Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989

    Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 - Supreme Court refuses to interfere with HC order quashing FIR lodged by a Dalit IIT faculty member against his colleagues alleging caste-based harassment - Court favours a conciliatory approach and urges the Chairman of Board of Governor to invite the complainant and the accused for talks - Court observes allegations and counter-allegations damage the repute of a premier institution like IIT - Court impresses upon them to ensure that they work together as a team in the best interests of the institution and their students, and do not allow any unfortunate and untoward incidents to occur which might hurt the sentiments, feelings, respect and dignity of each other - Court says the continuation of criminal proceedings will be an impediment to restoration of normalcy and bringing cordiality back between the appellant and the respondents in their professional and personal capacities. Subrahmanyam Saderla v. Chandra Shekhar Upadhyay, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 126

    Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989; Sections 3(1)(v) and (va) - Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 482 - 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, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 14 : AIR 2023 SC 262

    Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act, 1976

    Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act, 1976 - Object behind enacting the Act, 1976 is to provide for forfeiture of illegally acquired properties of smugglers and foreign exchange manipulators, and at the same time to ensure effective prevention of smuggling activities and foreign exchange manipulation - It is necessary to deprive persons engaged in such activities and manipulations of their ill-gotten gains. It also provides that such persons have been augmenting such gains by violations of wealth tax, income tax or other laws or by other means and have thereby been increasing their resources for operating in a clandestine manner and to nail such persons who are holding the properties acquired by them through such gains in the name of their relatives, associates and confidants. (Para 9) Platinum Theatre v. Competent Authority, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 226

    Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes

    IIT-Kanpur caste discrimination complaint: Supreme Court favours conciliation, suggests talks between dalit faculty & his colleagues. Subrahmanyam Saderla v. Chandra Shekhar Upadhyay, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 126

    Unlawful Aactivites

    Mere membership of unlawful organization is UAPA offence: Supreme Court overrules 2011 precedents. Arup Bhuyan v. State of Assam, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 234

    No vagueness in UAPA provision criminalising membership of banned organisation; no chilling effect. Arup Bhuyan v. State of Assam, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 234

    Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967

    Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 - Section 10(a)(i) does not suffer from any vagueness and/or on the ground unreasonable and/or disproportionate. (Para 16.1) Arup Bhuyan v. State of Assam, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 234

    Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 - the view taken by this Court in the cases of State of Kerala v. Raneef, (2011) 1 SCC 784; Arup Bhuyan v. Union of India, (2011) 3 SCC 377 and Sri Indra Das v. State of Assam, 2011 (3) SCC 380 taking the view that under Section 3(5) of Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 and Section 10(a)(i) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 mere membership of a banned organization will not incriminate a person unless he resorts to violence or incites people to violence and does an act intended to create disorder or disturbance of public peace by resort to violence and reading down the said provisions to mean that over and 2 above the membership of a banned organization there must be an overt act and/or further criminal activities and adding the element of mens rea are held to be not a good law. (Para 18) Arup Bhuyan v. State of Assam, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 234

    Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 - Upholds the Constitutionality of Section 10(a)(i) - Overrules the judgments in Arup Bhuyan v. State of Assam, Indra Das v. State of Assam and State of Kerala v. Raneef which held that mere membership of a banned association is not sufficient to constitute an offence under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 or the Terrorism and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, unless it is accompanied with some overt violent-Court ought not to have read down Section 10(a)(i) of the UAPA, 1967 more particularly when neither the constitutional validity of Section 10(a)(i) of the UAPA, 1967 was under challenge nor the Union of India was heard. (Para 11.5, 18) Arup Bhuyan v. State of Assam, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 234

    Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 - When an association is declared unlawful by notification issued under Section 3 which has become effective of sub-section 3 of that Section, a person who is and continues to be a member of such association is liable to be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, and shall also be liable to fine under Section 10(a)(i) of the UAPA, 1967. (Para 18) Arup Bhuyan v. State of Assam, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 234

    Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967; Section 10(a)(i) - Mere possibility of misuse cannot be a ground and/or relevant consideration while considering the constitutionality. (Para 16) Arup Bhuyan v. State of Assam, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 234

    Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967; Section 10(a)(i) - Once an organization is declared unlawful after due procedure and despite that a person who is a member of such unlawful association continues to be a member of such unlawful association then he has to face the consequences and is subjected to the penal provisions as provided under Section 10 more particularly Section 10(a)(i) of the UAPA, 1967. (Para 14.5) Arup Bhuyan v. State of Assam, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 234

    Words and Phrases - Honourable Acquittal - The expressions “honourable acquittal”, “acquitted of blame”, “fully exonerated” are unknown to the Code of Criminal Procedure or the Penal Code, and it is difficult to define precisely what is meant by expressions “honourable acquittal”. (Para 8-11) Imtiyaz Ahmad Malla v. State of Jammu & Kashmir, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 150 : AIR 2023 SC 1308

    Z+ Security

    Highest Z+ security should be provided to mukesh ambani & family throughout India & abroad; cost to be borne by Ambanis. Union of India v. Bikash Saha, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 147

    Security for Mukesh Ambani and Family - Supreme Court directed that the Highest Z+ Security Cover provided to billionaire businessman Mukesh Ambani and his family is not restricted to Mumbai, but be made available across India and also when they are traveling abroad. The cost, as per the order of the Supreme Court, is to be borne by the Ambanis - when Mukesh Ambani and his family are within India, State of Maharashtra and the Ministry of Home Affairs are to ensure their security. When they are traveling abroad, the Ministry of Home Affairs would ensure the same. Union of India v. Bikash Saha, 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 147

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