15 Dec 2021 12:07 PM GMT
On Thursday (9th December), the Supreme Court opined that recovery under Section 27 of the Evidence Act would not be admissible if the disclosure statement was made in connection to a crime undergoing separate trial, especially when such statement was not made to the jurisdictional police officer. A bench comprising Justices U.U. Lalit, S. Ravindra Bhat and Bela M. Trivedi...
On Thursday (9th December), the Supreme Court opined that recovery under Section 27 of the Evidence Act would not be admissible if the disclosure statement was made in connection to a crime undergoing separate trial, especially when such statement was not made to the jurisdictional police officer.
A bench comprising Justices U.U. Lalit, S. Ravindra Bhat and Bela M. Trivedi upheld the order of the Trial Court acquitting the appellants who were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by the High Court, for committing murder.
An unidentified dead body of a man was recovered near Dentam, West Sikkim. The information of the same was received via telephonic call. On the basis of this, the Kaluk Police Station registered a report under Section 174 Cr.P.C. During the course of the investigation, it came to be alleged that the deceased was murdered by four unknown person. They were tried by the Court of Sessions, South and West Sikkim at Namchi for offences punishable under Section 302 read with Section 34 of the IPC. All the accused were acquitted. The State challenged only the acquittal of the appellants (Rakesh Rai and Tenzing Tamang) before the Sikkim High Court, which accepted the appeal filed by the State and sentenced them, inter alia, to imprisonment for life.
The Prosecution's Case
Beena (deceased pertaining to another trial) and Sonam were found in the company of the four accused, on the day and around the time of murder. A Maruti car which was driven by one of the appellants, Rakesh Rai was seen at the Dentam Bridge. Owner of a guest house, one of the prosecution witnesses had deposed that Rakesh Rai had put up at his guest house under false identity with a girl in his company. The prosecution also relied on the recovery of the dead body of Beena on the disclosure statement made by Rakesh Rai.
On hearing, Advocate, Ms. Ashima Mandla appearing on behalf of the appellants and Advocate, Mr. Raghvendra Kumar appearing on behalf of the respondent State, the Court observed that:
Pertinently, the Court observed that the disclosure statement recorded by the police was not with respect to the present matter, but in the case pertaining to the murder of Beena, which is subject matter of a completely different trial. Furthermore, the Court found the disclosure statement to be inadmissible in evidence under Section 27 of the Evidence Act in the light of it not being recorded by the police officer of the jurisdictional police station.
"It is relevant to note that the disclosure statement was not recorded in the instant matter. A3 Rakesh Rai was in custody in connection with a completely different crime and during the course of said investigation, he allegedly made a disclosure statement. Without making him over to the police which was concerned with the investigation in the present crime, his statement was recorded and at his pointing out, according to the prosecution, dead body of Beena was recovered."
[Case Title: Rakesh Rai @ Vishal Rai @ Purna Rai & Anr. v. State of Sikkim, Criminal Appeal No. 172 of 2018]
Citation : LL 2021 SC 744
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