Mere Denial To The Obligation Of Giving A Plausible Explanation Could Not Be The Answer To The Death That Takes Place Within The Privacy Of House: Supreme Court - Synopsis
Tarandeep Singh 23 Nov 2020

In the case of Jayanti Lal Verma vs. state of Madhya Pradesh (now Chhattisgarh)[1], the appeal was filed before the Supreme Court against the judgment of High Court convicting appellant, which was dismissed by the Supreme Court and affirmed the judgment of High Court.

In this case the husband, father-in-law and mother-in-law of the deceased were arrested  under the Section 302 and Section 34 of the Indian penal code, 1860 under FIR No. 72/99 registered on 29.08.1999 at Kawardha district. The Session Court convicted three of them noting that the deceased was found dead lying on her cot and no other evidences have been produced by convicts proving their absence at the time of death. As the case was wholly based on circumstantial evidences, the Court was heavily relied upon the evidence submitted by Kishore Kumar (brother of deceased) which confirmed that there was a history of animosity of deceased with the appellant and her in-laws. Also there were no evidences found which reflects any theft or housebreaking and the suicide theory was also ruled out after considering the scratches found on deceased’s neck. However, relying upon the post mortem report submitted by doctor that deceased was died because of strangulation which caused asphyxia, justified by the scratches on her neck and that such nature of death was homicidal, the High Court had sustained the conviction of the appellant and acquitted the mother in law, where as the father-in-law died during the pendency of appeal.

The Bench comprising of Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice Hrishikesh Roy observing that the appellant had not offered any explanation for the death of her wife which took place within the privacy of the home said that “No explanation has been given as to how the wife could have received the injuries. This is a strong circumstance indicating that he is responsible for commission of the crime. The appellant herein was under an obligation to give a plausible explanation regarding the cause of the death in the statement recorded under Section 313 of the Cr.P.C. and mere denial could not be the answer in such a situation.”

The Bench while concluding held that “We, however, direct the respondent State to examine whether the appellant herein has completed 14 years of actual sentence or not and if it is so, his case should be examined within a maximum period of two months for release in accordance with norms. If not, the exercise be undertaken within the same time on completion of 14 years of actual sentence.”

[1] criminal appeal no. 590 of 2015


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