Orissa HC: Life Imprisonment of 18 years Upheld, Post Bail Valid

Priya Gour

Published on: 16 August, 2022 at 20:04 IST

The Orissa High Court has recently upheld the conviction and life imprisonment of 18 years awarded in a 2001 murder case to a convict. The prolonged sentence was due to the convict’s enlargement on bail in 2004 by the High Court. The plea was dismissed by the Division Bench of Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar and Justice Radha Krishna Pattanaik.

The Case: Tapan Kumar Pradhan v. State of Odisha

Both the accused and the informant (PW-1) lived in the same village. The co-accused’s daughter eloped from the village for which his family reached the house of PW-1 and enquired from his daughters (one of whom is the deceased) about her.

The present appellant and the co-accused’s daughter returned to the village in April 2001. A conflict arose between the family members of both the appellant and the co-accused with the daughter of PW-1. They accused her of spreading rumours against the appellant and her co-accused’s daughter. The appellant and the co-accused threatened to murder the deceased on that very night. The prosecution alleged that the co-accused and his wife instigated the appellant to kill herself.

The same night, the deceased didn’t return back home after she went out to answer nature’s call. The next morning, she was found dead in the courtyard of her house with injuries by her sister. (PW 3) Subsequently, an FIR was lodged by PW 1, which led to the appellant’s arrest. The appellant, being in custody, was informed of the weapon or axe, which was recovered from his kitchen. Lately, on his information, his sports t-shirt, one navy-coloured blue half pant and one old chappal were also recovered and seized from his house.

Additional Sessions The Judge, Deogarh, convicted the appellant guilty of murder and sentenced him to serve rigorous imprisonment for life, and released the co-accused for lack of evidence. This was appealed before the High Court by the appellant.

The appellant’s counsel submitted that there is no information by the doctor who conducted the post-mortem claiming that it was a culpable homicide. There have been errors while filing the FIR and the appellant’s statements were not recorded properly. The circumstances were recorded to allege the appellant of murder.

However, the counsel for the respondent submitted that because of the close proximity between the quarrel and the death taking place, A reference was made to the 2011 case of Waman v. State of Maharashtra. Thus, minor differences in witness statements have not affected the case. The chain of circumstances, conclusive in nature, excluding every possible hypothesis except the one pointing to the guilt of the appellant, was established well before the Court.

The court held that it was proved by the appellant himself by producing the weapons. The court relied on the principles given in Kashmira Singh v. State of Punjab (1998).

“As my report reveals, the oblique incise wound was caused while the deceased was standing and the other blows were caused after the deceased fell down.”

The bench noted:

“The Court is satisfied that the prosecution in the present case has been able to establish convincingly each of the links in the chain of circumstances and further prove that the circumstances are so complete and incapable of an explanation of any other hypothesis than that of the guilt of the appellant.” The evidence is not only consistent with his guilt but is also inconsistent with his innocence. “

Thus, the prosecution has proved that the death was homicidal. Even the cross examination by the doctor of the post mortem proved so.

Resultantly, sentence declared by the Trial Court Was upheld by the High Court. The bail bonds of the appellant have been cancelled and he was ordered to surrender himself to serve his remainder sentence.

Related Post