Summary of Recent judgment

Case: Sekaran v. The State Of Tamil Nadu

Date of Order / Judgment: 12th December, 2023

The Matter Heard by Bench: Justice B. R Gavai, Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Aravind Kumar


In the case at hand, there was a quarrel between the Appellant and the victim with regard to demand of wages. The allegation was that the Appellant picked up a rubber stick from behind a tea stall and attacked the victim. The victim succumbed to the injuries and later died. The High Court concluded that there was no premeditation or intention on the part of the Appellant to commit the murder of the victim and that it happened in the spur of the moment. The Sessions judge had convicted the Appellant for committing murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment. The High Court in turn found him guilty of the offence under section 304-Part II of the IPC and sentenced him to five years rigorous imprisonment. The Appellant dissatisfied by the judgment of the High Court filed an appeal in the Supreme Court.


Whether the High Court was justified in returning a finding that the appellant was guilty of the offence punishable under section 304- Part II of IPC and liable to be sentenced as a consequence thereof, as has been imposed on him based on the evidence on record?


The Court said that conviction can be based on part evidence, if it is credible. The Court observed that there seems to be no legal bar in convicting an accused resting on part of the evidence, which is primarily found to be credible and acceptable; however, where the evidence is so inseparable that any attempt to separate them would destroy the substratum on which the prosecution version is founded, then this Court would be within its legal limits to discard the evidence in its entirety.


Thus, the Supreme Court acquitted the appellant convicted by the High Court under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC, holding that the prosecution was unable to establish the accusation against him beyond reasonable doubt.