Analysis of Evidence and Court’s Ruling

Basant, learned senior counsel, appearing for the appellants/accused; Shri Mahfooz Ahsan Nazki, learned counsel, appearing for the State of Andhra Pradesh; and Shri Y. Upon receiving information, he arrested A2 at 01.15 am on 22.08.2008 at Radhamveedhi, Jagannadhaswamy Temple, Ichapuram, in the presence of mediators and recovered from his possession part of the stolen property, i.e., gold ornaments weighing 1748 750 grams and cash of 18,340/-. At his request, the Inspector of Police, FPB Unit, Srikakulam (PW-24), went to the scene of the offence along with the Clues Team and developed four chance fingerprints.

They were sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life under Section 302 IPC and to pay fine of 2,000/- each; imprisonment for a period of 10 years under Section 450 IPC and to pay a fine of 2,000/- each; and imprisonment for 7 years under Section 397 IPC.

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The State of Uttar Pradesh

[(2022) 10 SCC 321], this Court pointed out that, in an appeal by special leave under Article 136 of the Constitution against concurrent findings of fact by the Trial Court and the High Court after appreciation of evidence, each and every finding of fact cannot be contested and such an appeal cannot be dealt with as if this Court is another forum for reappreciation of evidence. State of Assam [(2010) 10 SCC 374], this Court affirmed that Article 136 of the Constitution does not confer a right of appeal on a party and only confers discretionary power on this Court to be exercised sparingly to interfere in suitable cases where grave miscarriage of justice has resulted from illegality or misapprehension or mistake in reading evidence or from ignoring, excluding or illegally admitting material evidence. In this context, the following facts may be noted: Vetcha Kesava Rao (PW-1) stated that, on 21.08.2008 at about 05.00 pm, he went to Sompeta for business purposes and received a call from PW-7/LW-8 at about 09.30 pm that the accused went to his house at about 09.00 pm and that they heard loud cries and shouts coming from the house.

PW-1 stated that he told the police that his wife and son were killed by the accused. Another Civil Assistant Surgeon at the Community Health Centre, Ichapuram (PW-20), conducted the autopsy over the body of deceased No 2 and issued a post-mortem certificate (Ex.P-15)

stating to the same effect as to the cause of her death.

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Along with them, they all went inside the house of PW-1 and found that the wife and son of PW-1 were lying dead. PW-6 stated that, on 21.08.2008 at about 09.00 pm, he and PW-4 were going towards his house and PW-4 was then going to his 9 sister’s house via Chinnamedaraveedhi. PW-7 stated that, on 21.08.2008 at about 09.00 pm, he closed his kirana shop and was returning home and by the time he reached PW-1’s house, he heard loud sounds coming from PW-1’s house and some people had gathered there.

In his cross-examination, he stated that, by the time the police came there, he was present outside PW-1’s house. PW-17 stated that he was the Village Revenue Officer of Koligam Village and on 22.08.2008, at around 01.00 am, he was called to Ichapuram Town Police Station by the Inspector of Police. PW-16, the Village Revenue Officer, Purushottapuram, Ichapuram Mandal, stated that, on 22.08.2008 at about 02.30 am, the Inspector of Police, Ichapuram, called him and LW-25 and both of them, along with the Inspector of Police and other police staff, went to Gollaveedhi in a police jeep.

He stated that, on 21.08.2008, while he was holding additional charge of Ichapuram Circle, he received information from the Sub-Inspector of Police, Ichapuram Rural Police Station (PW-23) 13 about the subject crime.

Then, PW-26, along with the accused, his staff and mediators, rushed to the house of the other accused, Dakkata Balaram Reddy, situated on Gollaveedhi of Ichapuram Municipality, and upon seeing the police, one person (A1) tried to escape. He stated that, on receipt of a telephone message from the Police Station, Ichapuram, he visited the scene of offence along with a Clues Team on 22.08.2008 at about 06.00 am and developed four chance fingerprints on a glass show case and one chance fingerprint on a cream-coloured plastic box. Therefore, PW-24’s evidence that two of the chance prints tallied with the fingerprints of the accused cannot be given any weightage. If that was so, it is difficult to believe that there would be no street lighting in such an area.

In any event, as already noted hereinbefore, this Court would not undertake a roving inquiry on factual issues or reappreciate the evidence, unless it is brought out that there is some perversity in appreciation of evidence by the Trial Court or the High Court, leading to manifest miscarriage of justice. IIA, provides that identification of properties has to be done in the Court premises, under the order of the Magistrate, either by the Magistrate or through independent witnesses, if the properties are already sent to Court, and in other cases, independent witnesses should conduct the process of identification of the property in the absence of the police, under a Panchnama. This part of his confession would, therefore, be admissible under Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, as it led to the recovery of the stolen gold ornaments.

Given the totality of the case, which demonstrates that the sequence of events unfolded in quick succession during the intervening night of 21.08.2008 and 22.08.2008, leading to not only identification of the accused by the witnesses present but also their apprehension and arrest, apart from seizure of the stolen gold ornaments and cash from their possession, it is amply clear that there was no time or possibility for the police to hoist a false case upon them.

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…………………………………….,J (Dinesh Maheshwari)………………………,J (Sanjay Kumar) April 21, 2023 New Delhi.


Case Number: Crl.A. No.-001295-001295 / 2019

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