Criminal Appeal No. 253 of 2019
Hon’ble Judge(s): Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Justice Deepak Gupta
Judgement Date: February 12, 2019
The undisputed facts are that the deceased Arun along with Sivaprakash and Chandrasekaran traveled to Chennai on 30.10.2004. They went to Meena Guest House and they were allotted room no. 203 at 9:00 pm. At 9:30, Venkatesh went to their house and injected 4 ml of Tidijesic drug into the left wrist of deceased Arun. The next morning i.e. on 31.10.2004, it was found that Arun was dead. The body of the deceased was sent for post-mortem. It stated that the cause of death was possible by drug injection.
There are no eye¬witnesses to the case and this is a case based on circumstantial evidence.
Whether the circumstances relied upon by the prosecution lead to an inference to the guilt of the accused is proved beyond doubt?
LAWS SPECIALLY TO BE OBSERVED IN THE CASE OF CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE
1) The circumstances relied upon by the prosecution which lead to an inference to the guilt of the accused must be proved beyond doubt.
2) The circumstances should unerringly point towards the guilt of the accused.
3) The circumstances should be linked together in such a manner that the cumulative effect of the chain formed by joining the links is so complete that it leads to only one conclusion i.e. the guilt of the accused.
4) That there should be no probability of the crime having been committed by a person other than the accused.
The various circumstances relied upon by the prosecution:
- LAST SEEN TOGETHER – The manner in which the accused reached Chennai and the guest house in question suggests a total different story. It is clear that it was not the accused, who had organised the trip but it was the deceased, who had organised the trip and, therefore, it cannot be said that the accused had taken the deceased to the guest house with the intention of killing him. This assumption by both the courts below is based on no evidence.
- MEDICAL EVIDENCE – Medical evidence indicates that the deceased died due to overdose of Tidijesic. 4 ml of Tidijesic was injected into the wrist of the deceased by Venkatesh. after chemical analysis it was found that the amount of the offending substance found in the blood of the deceased would be equal to injecting 40 ml of Tidijesic. It stands proved that the deceased died due to overdose of drug, the prosecution has miserably failed to link the accused with the death of the deceased.
- MOTIVE – The motive put forth is that R was close to accused Siva, who introduced her to Arun. No evidence has been led to prove that R had any special relationship with accused Siva or that she had developed any special relationship with deceased Arun. the motive has not been proved.
- CHANDRASEKARAN WAS A MEDICAL STUDENT– Both the courts below have come to the conclusion that Chandrasekaran was asked by Siva to commit the crime because Chandrasekaran was a medical student and he alone knew how to inject the substance into the body of the deceased. We are constrained to observe that the inference drawn by the courts below was totally ill-founded. From the evidence on record, it stands established that the deceased was a drug addict and had been taking injectable drugs for a long time. It is well known that such drug addicts can easily inject themselves. What has happened in this case is not clear but it cannot be said with certainty that Chandrasekaran had injected the poisonous substance into the body of the deceased. There is no evidence in this regard.
All that is proved is that the deceased and the accused were sleeping in one room and the deceased died due to overdose of drug. The prosecution had miserably failed to prove that the accused injected this drug. It is the case of the prosecution that the first injection was administered by Venkatesh, which was only 4 ml. There is a possibility of the deceased injecting himself on the second occasion sometime in the middle of the night or early in the morning. The circumstances proved cannot lead to the inference that it is the accused alone who committed the offense. The prosecution has even failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that death is homicidal. It is not proved that it was the accused who injected the deceased. The accused-appellants are acquitted.