The Delhi High Court has recently upheld the life imprisonment of a man who was convicted of killing a two-year-old child with a gunshot. The Court said that the enmity between the convict and the father of the victim has been proven.

The Court further noted that the motive of the said crime has been proved by the prosecution.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Gaurang Nath asserted, “The case of the Prosecution has been based on circumstantial evidences and last seen theory. It has been proved on record by the testimony of PW-7 that there was enmity between the Appellant and PW-7, which establishes the motive of the Appellant to commit the crime. Further, the Prosecution has sufficiently proved on record that PW-7 had last seen the Appellant at the spot of crime, which fact has further been corroborated by the testimony of PW-3.”

The Bench said that once the prosecution had discharged its onus of proving the fact that the appellant had committed the crime, then the onus was upon him to prove that he was innocent.

Advocate Manika Tripathy appeared for the appellant i.e., the convict while APP Shubhi Gupta appeared for the respondent i.e., the State.

Brief Facts -

An appeal was preferred by the appellant against the judgment passed by the Trial Court whereby the appellant was convicted for committing the offences under Sections 302 and 34 of IPC, and Sections 25, 27, 54, and 59 of the Arms Act. The appellant was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for life along with a fine of Rs. 10,000/-.

The appellant went to the complainant’s house asking him to accompany him to consume liquor and after returning, he fired from the window when the complainant was playing with his minor son. Such a gunshot hit the child which led to his death and the complainant saw the appellant fleeing from the spot on his bike.

The High Court in view of the above facts observed, “… the weapon of offence recovered from the Appellant’s almirah in his house at the instance of the Appellant, was in a working condition and the said reports read in conjunction with the testimonies of prosecution witnesses, especially PW-3 and PW-7 clearly establishes the chain/sequence of events which establishes the commission of offence by the Appellant by using country made pistol (katta) which was recovered from his possession.”

The Court did not agree with the defence taken by the appellant as he was not able to prove anything and even failed to lead any evidence in support of the defence taken by him before the Trial Court.

“… facts i.e., recovery of pistol found in working condition from the house of the Appellant based on his disclosure statement; the Appellant last seen at the spot of crime at the time of incident; opinion in post mortem report with respect to death due to gunshot injury coupled with the testimony of the prosecution witnesses clearly establishes a chain/sequence of events and circumstances pointing to the fact of the Appellant being guilty of charges framed against him”, noted the Court.

The Court said that the appellant even failed to prove his whereabouts on the date of the incident including in his statement recorded under Section 313 of Cr.P.C.

“The prosecution has also proved all the circumstantial evidences and the fact that the Appellant was last seen at the spot of incident. Thus, the chain of evidences has been completely proved by the Prosecution without any broken link in the said chain/sequence. Under these circumstances, this Court is of the view that the Impugned Judgment and Impugned Order passed by the learned Trial Court warrants no interference”, held the Court.

Accordingly, the Court dismissed the appeal and upheld the conviction of the appellant.

Cause Title- Vinod Kumar v. State (GNCT of Delhi) (Neutral Citation: 2023:DHC:2597-DB)

Click here to read/download the Judgment