SC Rules Doctrine of Res Ipsa Loquitor Will Not Apply to Criminal Cases

Khushi Gupta

Published on: May 18, 2022 at 17:38 IST

The Supreme Court recently noted that Doctrine of Res Ipsa Loquitor Stricto Sensu will not apply to Criminal Cases.

The Bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana, Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli observed that to bring him the guilt of the Accused, the Prosecution has to prove negligence and then they have to establish a direct nexus of accused’s negligence and the death of the victim. Observing this the Court acquitted two persons under Section 304A of Indian Penal Code.

In this Case, the Prosecution said that the victim was watching TV when he heard a sound. On inspection, he found that the dish wire, telephone and the TV connection wire have entwined together. When the tried to separate the wires, he got an electric shock and succumbed to injuries.

The investigation of the incident revealed that the incident occurred because a supervisor from the telephone department and a daily wage laborer employed by him were negligent.

Before the Supreme Court, the Appellants submitted that it was implied that the shock was due to TV and not due to the telephone wire. The Court noted that there are no eyewitnesses that say that the Appellant carried out the work.

The Court referred to the dictum set in Syad Akbar Vs. the State of Karnataka wherein it was ruled that Doctrine of Res Ipsa Loquitor Stricto Sensu will not apply to Criminal Cases.

As per the Bench, it was implausible that the telephone wire would carry an extremely high electric load and the victim got away with just a few abrasions.

Therefore, the Court acquitted the two Appellants from charges under Section 304A IPC.

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