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Karnataka HC Advises Judges Trying Heinous Offences to Administer Caution

Karnataka HC Advises Judges Trying Heinous Offences to AdministerCaution
Two Judge Bench of Justice S Sunil Dutt Yadav and Justice P Krishna Bhat while deciding an appeal filed by two brothers challenging their conviction for murder, said "It is difficult to remain uninfluenced by impressions, passions, inclination, predilection, tides, current, events and even what is commonly regarded as 'personal baggage' to which the human mind is a normal habitat." 

The Court has advised judges that while trying the heinous offences they should be more cautious. It also said that "When his moral science is disturbed, he is likely to fail into an error, including in him an instinctive reaction against the dispassionate judicial scrutiny of the facts and law". 

Facts of the case are that the appellant Yankappa Hirekurbur (24) and Hanmant Hirekurbur (26) and their parents were constantly humiliating deceased Laxmi by blaming her that she was not looking good and she did not know to do the household chores. On July 2nd, 2013 at about 4 p.m. the appellant and their parents quarrel with the disease, and when she was beating appellant number 1 directed her to go and cook food for them when she did not do the same Apple ID number one hit her on the back. The accused dragged her and threw her into a well which was in the land being cultivated by them. 

From the judgment dated December 31, 2014, in S.C No. 191/2013, the present appellant was convicted for the offences punishable under Section 302(punishment for murder), 498-A( Cruelty to wife by husband or relative of her husband ) read with Section 34 (common intention) of India Penal Code,1860 and their parents were acquitted by the Court. The Court has quoted evidence in its order and said that "We are wholly convinced that this is a fit case for acquittal of present appellants by allowing the appeal".

The question as to why the learned Sessions Judge has entered a finding of guilt against the appellant for such heinous crime as under Section 302, 498A read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 the bench observes that:- 

"Session Judge was swept by the fact that a woman who was heavily pregnant had to meet a tragic and for no discriminable reason and due to the same, subconsciously perhaps on the account of nature of the death permitted himself to be provoked to connect, what appears to his mind the several links in the chain of evidence, albeit, non-existent ones resulting in his getting an impression that case was proved beyond a reasonable doubt". 

The Court highlight the observation of Justice Vivian Bose in the case of Kashmira v. State of Madhya Pradesh AIR 1952 SC 159 as follows:- 

"The murder was a particularly cruel and revolting one and for that reason, it will be necessary to examine the evidence with more than ordinary care Les the shocking nature of the crime induced and inductive reaction against dispassionate judicial scrutiny of the facts and law"

The bench has rejected only circumstances which are cited as A reason by the trial court to hold the accused guilty it was observed by the Karnataka High Court that:- 

“To sum up the material witnesses have completely turned hostile. The prosecution entirely raised its case on circumstantial evidence. Trial courts should always be there in mind the correct principles of law while deciding whether the evidence is placed before it passes master on the touchstone of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The principles of law on this aspect are precisely stated in Jawaharlal Das v. State of Orissa (1991) 3 SCC 27 "

The court concluded by saying that “On re-appreciation of the evidence on record we are satisfied that there is nothing to support the conclusion arrived at by the learning Session Judge and he has entirely acted on instincts and conjectures which is impermissible in law. Therefore the impugned judgment dated December 31, 2014, convicting the appellants for the offence punishable under Section 302, 498A read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 is liable to the set aside "


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