Failure To Recover Dead Body By Itself Doesn't Entitle Accused To Benefit Of Doubt: SC [Read Judgment]

Failure To Recover Dead Body By Itself Doesn

"It is not an invariable rule of criminal jurisprudence that the failure of the police to recover the corpus delecti will render the prosecution case doubtful entitling the accused to acquittal on benefit of doubt."

The Supreme Court has observed that the failure of the police to recover the corpus delecti will not by itself render the prosecution case doubtful entitling the accused to acquittal on benefit of doubt.

It is only one of the relevant factors to be considered along with all other attendant facts and circumstances to arrive at a finding based on reasonability and probability based on normal human prudence and behavior., the bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Navin Sinha said.

The bench in this case [Sanjay Rajak vs. State of Bihar], was dealing with the submission made on behalf of the convict-appellant, that non recovery of the dead body makes the prosecution case doubtful. The accused in this case was convicted under Section 364A of the Indian Penal Code for Kidnap and killing a child aged 5-6 years.

Rejecting the said submission, the bench said that, in this case, the failure of the police to recover the dead body is not much of consequence in the absence of any explanation by the appellant both with regard to the victim last being seen with him coupled with the recovery from his house of the belongings of the deceased. It added:

"It is not an invariable rule of criminal jurisprudence that the failure of the police to recover the corpus delecti will render the prosecution case doubtful entitling the accused to acquittal on benefit of doubt. It is only one of the relevant factors to be considered along with all other attendant facts and circumstances to arrive at a finding based on reasonability and probability based on normal human prudence and behavior. In the facts and circumstances of the present case, the failure of the police to recover the dead body is not much of consequence in the absence of any explanation by the appellant both with regard to the victim last being seen with him coupled with the recovery from his house of the belongings of the deceased"

The bench, in this regard, referred to judgments in Rama Nand and others vs. State of Himachal Pradesh and Sevaka Perumal and another vs. State of Tamil Nadu, wherein the convictions were affirmed by the Apex Court even though Corpus Delecti was not recovered.

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