Summary of Recent judgment

Case: Chandra Pratap Singh v. State of M.P.

Date of Order / Judgment: 9th October, 2023.

The Matter Heard by Bench: Justice Abhay S. Oka & Justice Pankaj Mithal


A total of 17 people were accussed in the triple murder case of Uma Prasad, Vinod Kumar, and Munau @ Anant Kishore Khare. As per the facts of the case, Vinod Kumar drove his brother Munau to village Naugaon for medical treatment. Uma Prasad Khare, the father of Vinod Kumar Khare and Munau, delegated Naval Kishore and Manua Chammer to search for his sons because they did not return till 5 p.m. Uma Prasad also searched for Vinod Kumar and Munau Khare. When they arrived at Hanuman temple, they noticed the accused gathering around with firearms and other weapons such as farsa, axe, and ballam. The appellants, accused no’s. 2 and 16, were armed with spears. The involvement of accused numbers 2 and 16 is that they stopped Uma Prasad. As a result, he crashed his bicycle. Accused no. 2 was also alleged to have dragged and disposed of the body of Uma Prasad Khare into the well. The prosecution also claimed that all the accused persons intended to murder Vinod Kumar Khare and Munau Khare and went towards the bus stand. Gunshots were heard after about 15 minutes, and Vinod Kumar Khare and Munau Khare were allegedly murdered. The Trial Court acquitted all of the accused of this portion of the allegations and the judgement of the trial court became final. However, the appellant along with some other accused was convicted by the trial court under section 302 r/w Section 148, 149 and Section 201 of the Indian Penal Code. Aggrieved by the decision the appellant approached the Madhya Pradesh High Court. The High Court partially allowed his appeal, by substituting their conviction under Section 302 read with Sections 148 and/or 149 of IPC with Section 302 read with Section 34 of IPC. The appellant's conviction for the offence punishable under Section 201 of IPC was maintained. The appellant approached the Supreme Court against the decision of the High Court.

Observation of the Supreme Court

The Court noted that there is no evidence to establish common intention and observed that “There is no overt act attributed to the appellant by any prosecution witness in the assault on deceased Uma Prasad. It is difficult to infer a prior meeting of minds in this case. There is no material to prove the existence of common intention which is the necessary ingredient of Section 34 of IPC. In this case, there is no overlap between a common object and a common intention. Therefore, the conviction of the appellant under Section 302, read with Section 34 will have to be set aside.”
The court also observed that “However, the evidence of two consistent eyewitnesses (PW-1 and PW-2) detailed the appellant's role in dragging the deceased's body and disposing of it in a well. Given the lack of cross- examination on this crucial aspect, the Court found justification for convicting the appellant under Section 201 of IPC, which pertains to causing the disappearance of evidence in a crime. Consequently, the appellant's conviction and sentence for the offence under Section 201 of IPC were upheld.”


The Apex Court set aside the conviction of the appellant under section 302 read with section 34 and upheld the conviction under section 201 of the Indian Penal Code. The Court set the appellant free as he had already served the rigorous imprisonment sentence of five years for the offence under Section 201 of IPC.