Summary of Recent judgment

Case: Darshan Singh v. The State Of Punjab

Date of Order / Judgment: 4th January, 2024

The Matter Heard by Bench: Justice B. R. Gavai, Justice P.S. Narasimha and Justice Aravind Kumar


The deceased, Amrik Kaur, was married to Darshan Singh (appellant). The marital relationship of the two was strained as Darshan Singh had developed an illicit partnership with Rani Kaur. The illicit relationship between Darshan Singh and Rani Kaur is said to have lasted for at least three years. According to the Prosecution, on the night of 18.05.1999 and 19.05.1999, Darshan Singh and Rani Kaur, with the motive of eliminating the deceased, administered poison and intentionally caused the death of Amrik Kaur. Both Darshan Singh and Rani Kaur were prosecuted for charges under Section 302 r/w Section 34 IPC. The Trial Court convicted both the accused persons for the offence under Section 302 r/w Section 34 and sentenced them to undergo imprisonment for life. The High Court affirmed the conviction of Darshan Singh but it acquitted Rani of all charges by giving her benefit of doubt. Aggrieved by this decision, Darshan Singh approached the Supreme Court.


Whether the statement recorded under Section 313 (Power to examine the accused) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, can form the sole basis of conviction?


The Court, after examining the evidences, found that there were crucial omissions in the testimonies of the witnesses. The Court also addressed that “Further, this Court has previously considered the consequences when a particular defence plea was not taken by accused u/s 313 CrPC and held that mere omission to take a specific plea by accused when examined u/s 313 CrPC, is not enough to denude him of his right if the same can be made out otherwise.”


The Court reinforced the principle that an accused’s statement under Section 313 Cr.P.C. cannot be the sole basis for conviction, especially when crucial elements of the case lack substantial evidence. Thus, the Court allowed the appeal and set aside the conviction.