M. B. Suresh Vs State of Karnataka on 6th January, 2014 Supreme Court of India : Case Brief

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Proof as to Murder Being a Result of Shock: Evidence (Appreciation).
Bench : Chandramauli Kr., Jagdish Singh Khehar.
Criminal Appeal No. 985 of 2007

The act of accused, though with intention or knowledge that by doing that act someone would die, is not often termed as murder under section 302 of the IPC, however, such acts, in the absence of evidences as to murder, and also if there are several possible conclusions can be covered under section 307 of the IPC. In the present case, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has observed that the doctor, who had conducted post- mortem, has specifically stated in his evidence that any injuries were not found on the body of deceased person. Also he further, stated that the firing of gunshot was from a certain distant range and had not state anywhere that the deceased died due to injuries inflicted by the Appellant-Son. The Court pointed that, in order to prove the guilt of Appellant-son as to offence of murder, the prosecution should firstly prove the occurrence comes under the offence of Culpable Homicide. As per Court’s observation, to bring an accused under the mischief of the provision of Culpable Homicide, the act of the accused must have caused death should be proved. Though the death of deceased person was caused due to shock, however, in the absence of evidence showing that such shock had resulted by injuries inflicted by Appellant-Son, it would be unjustifiable to hold the death was result of injuries inflicted by that Appellant. Considering the case narrated by the prosecution itself, it was observed by the Court that, when deceased person was being taken to the Hospital, then while carrying him the possibility of mishandling him resulting in shock which consequent to his death, could not be ignored. Also the bleeding on body parts of the deceased could have also resulted in the shock. As such the Court opined that the cause of death cannot taken only the act of Appellant-Son in the absence of strong evidence, thus the conviction of Appellant-son under section 302 of the IPC was refused to sustain by the Court. However, as against the Appellant-son the Offence which was proved, was that he had fired the gunshot at the deceased person. The intention behind firing such shot was to kill the deceased person or even as per Court, there was his knowledge that the act of firing gunshot at deceased person would cause his death. Thus, the Court, after having reliance with the judgement of Hon’ble Supreme Court, in Bhuprendra Singh’s case(Bhupendra Singh vs. State of U.P, (1991M. B. Suresh Versus State of Karnataka) 2 SCC 750), has held that the said act of Appellant-Son can be covered under section 307 of the IPC and not under 302 thereof, as such the Court has altered or modified Appellant’s conviction from Section 302 to 307 of the IPC and sentenced him accordingly. So far as conviction of another accused is concerned, the Court maintained the same by holding appreciation of evidence basing that conviction was correct and not warranted any interference.

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 by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.

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See Original Judgement-M. B. Suresh Vs State of Karnataka