Sonu Vs. State of Maharashtra - (High Court of Bombay) (15 Jan 2018)
Court cannot draw adverse inference against accused by invoking Section 106 of Evidence Act unless basic burden to prove the case is discharged by prosecution
The Appellant has assailed the judgment of conviction awarded by the Sessions Judge, for the offence punishable under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC). By the said judgment, the Appellant was sentenced to suffer life imprisonment and to pay a fine of Rs. 5,000, in default to suffer rigorous imprisonment for six months. Statement of Appellant was recorded under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC). He has denied material incriminating evidence against him. But he did not give any explanation as to how his wife died. After hearing prosecution and defence, learned Sessions Judge has convicted the Appellant.
In the case of Vishal @ Shivaji Mahadeo Kamble vs. The State of Maharashtra and another, The Division Bench of present Court has observed that, "the Court cannot draw adverse inference against the accused by invoking Section 106 of the Evidence Act, 1872 unless basic burden to prove the case is discharged by the prosecution." In the present case, prosecution has proved by the evidence of PW-3 and PW-4 that, the Appellant beat his wife by fist and kick blows. He beat her by stone and thereafter, he burnt her. PW-3 saw the Appellant sitting, when deceased was burning. His presence is not denied. As per the evidence of Medical Officer (PW-10), death of deceased was due to head and burn injuries. Prosecution has discharged it's burden. Prosecution has proved that, Appellant beat his wife by stone and caused head injury to her and thereafter, burnt her.
After discharging the burden by the prosecution, it was for the Appellant to explain as per Section 106 of Act as to how his wife died. But he has not stated anything about the incident or as to cause of death of deceased. Therefore, conduct of Appellant is material. Non-explanation by the Appellant shows that, he is the person who caused the death of his wife. The evidence on record, more particularly, the evidence of (PW-2) shows that, the Appellant was not doing any work. He was addicted to liquor and always used to beat his deceased wife. As per medical evidence, deceased died due to head and burn injuries. Prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that, Appellant committed murder of his wife. There is no infirmity or illegality in the impugned Judgment. The appeal is dismissed.
Relevant : Vishal @ Shivaji Mahadeo Kamble vs. The State of Maharashtra and another reported in MANU/MH/2679/2016: 2017 ALL MR (Cri) 1877
Tags : CONVICTION VALIDITY BURDEN DISCHARGE