In the Supreme Court of India Criminal Appeal No. 1438 of 2011 Decided on 26th March, 2021 Bench Hon'ble Judge Sanjay Kishan Kaul; Hon'ble Judge R. Subhash Reddy
The hon’ble Supreme Court of India has held that minor correction cannot be a ground to discredit witnesses to testimony. Further the Supreme Court has upheld the conviction & life-term imprisonment of four in a murder case of a coolie while stating that findings of trial court leading to acquittal are perverse and erroneous, it is always open for appellate court to reverse such findings on appreciation of evidence on record.
Facts of the case
In this case the complainant is Sheshamma, is wife of the deceased. one day , the complainant and her husband who was a coolie went to work in the morning and when they were returning ,they were attacked and get inflicted with fatal injuries.it is further alleged that the complainant rescued her husband but it went on vain. It is alleged in the complaint that all the accused have attacked the deceased and started abusing him saying that, in spite of telling not to pass from the front of their houses and to show their faces, they have come towards the side of the accused. Further, it is stated in the complaint that when she and her husband tried to escape and ran away from the back side of the hostel, all the accused followed them and attacked them. Further, it is stated that as her husband sustained grievous injuries he died on the spot. the incident was also witnessed by few people . Sheshamma in her complaint, she prayed to take action against the accused. The case went on trial court and after appreciating the ocular and documentary evidence on record, the trial court has acquitted all the accused from the charges.
On appeal by the State to the High Court, it found that the trial court has committed serious error in disbelieving their evidence. The High Court also considered the testimony of Medical Officer and held that the occurrence of incident of assault on the deceased by the accused resulting in spot death of the deceased, is proved beyond reasonable doubt.
- Whether the view taken by the trial court was a possible view.
Arguments in favour of appellant
- It is submitted by learned counsel that the view taken by the trial court was a possible view.
- It is submitted by learned counsel that postmortem report run contrary and that in view of such material contradictions, the High Court ought not to have interfered with the judgment of the trial court.
- Further, it is submitted that in any event it is not a case for conviction under Section 302 IPC as there was no intention to kill the deceased.
Arguments in favour of respondent:
- Learned counsel appearing for the State of Karnataka, has submitted that the findings in support of acquittal recorded by the trial court are perverse and erroneous.
- It is contended by learned counsel, the minor discrepancies if occurred, it cannot be a ground to discard their evidence.
It was held by the supreme court that “Having regard to evidence on record, as we are of the view that the view taken by the trial court was not at all a possible view and the findings run contrary to the evidence on record, the High Court has rightly reversed the judgment of the trial court”.
The court also finds that the evidence presented is consistent, reliable and trustworthy, the trial court, only by referring to minor contradictions, disbelieved the whole of their testimony.
Hence in the case of Rajendra @ Rajappa and Ors. Versus state of Karnataka it was rightly held that minor correction cannot be a ground to discredit witnesses to testimony. Further the Supreme Court also upheld the conviction & life-term imprisonment of four in a murder case of a coolie while stating that findings of trial court leading to acquittal are perverse and erroneous.