A Supreme Court Bench of Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Bela M Trivedi has held that the entire prosecution case cannot be disbelieved and discarded simply because one Police Witness did not project the case in a consistent manner.

Counsel Chanchal Kumar Ganguli appeared for the Appellant, while Counsel Joseph Aristotle S appeared for the State.

In this case, an appeal was preferred against an order which held the appellant guilty of the offence punishable under Section 302 of the IPC, awarding her the punishment of imprisonment for life. The appellant had been convicted of the murder of her five-year-old child in her mother-in-law's house.

According to the prosecution case, the appellant’s husband was living abroad to earn a livelihood and the appellant was mostly living with her father. However, on being forced to live with her mother-in-law for the purpose of upbringing and education of the child, she found the child to be an obstacle in her desire to live separately and hence, strangulated the child to death when her mother-in-law had gone out of the house. It was alleged that the appellant was last seen with the child and after having killed the child, when her mother-in-law and other witnesses reached the scene of crime, she ran away and was apprehended later.

The Court examined the testimonies of all the witnesses in a detailed manner and found certain inconsistencies in the version projected by the mother-in-law. In response to it, the Court observed that "The said discrepancy in the version of PW-1 is also of no relevance and the concurrent findings of the two Courts cannot be displaced on that count."

Further, the Court also observed that "Taking an overall view of the matter, we do not find any reason that entire prosecution case be disbelieved and discarded because PW-1 has not projected the case in a consistent manner. Apart from the private witnesses, all the relevant facts have been duly established in the testimonies of the official witnesses too. The discrepancies as noticed in the present case, at the most, could be said to be of minor contradictions or inconsistencies or embellishments of trivial nature".

Subsequently, the Court held that "In an overall comprehension of the material on record and the findings recorded by the Trial Court and the High Court, in our view, no case for interference with the concurrent findings of fact is made out." Therefore, the appeal was dismissed.

Cause Title: Vahitha v. State of Tamil Nadu

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