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--------------- Print Magazine --------------
  May 2016
  April 2016

Murder by Police Officers for Grudge

Sadasivan Mohanachandran v . State of Kerala , AIR 1994 SC 565

Facts : The accused Nos. 1 to 3, 7 to 9 and 11 to 21 were police constables attached to the Fort Police Station, Trivandrum. A-10 was a sub-inspector attached to that station and A-4 was a police constable in the Central Crime Station, Trivandrum. A-6 was a constable attached to Armed Reserve Camp. On December 18, 1980 at about 2 p.m. A-6 went to the shop of Rajappan Nair, C.E. 8 to purchase plantains. A wordy quarrel took place between A-6 and Rajappan Nair over the manner in which the price of the fruits was paid. Hearing the quarrel, Bhuvanendran, the deceased came to the scene and dragged A-6 by his collar out of premises. A-6 left the place threateningly. He went to the Fort Police Station and complained of the incident to A-5, the Head Constable. A-5 deputed accused Nos. 1,7,8 and 9 to bring the culprit to the Police Station. They accordingly brought the deceased as the offender and also PWs. 5 and 6 as the persons present at the scene at about 2.30 p.m. On reaching the Police Station A-3 hit deceased on his back just below the neck with his bent elbow. A-1 made the deceased fall down by kicking him on his legs. Then A-4 kicked the deceased on his back 3 or 4 times. A-1 also kicked the deceased on his back. When the deceased attempted to rise up, A-1 pushed him and again kicked him on the chest.

As a result of the injuries inflicted, the victim's condition became very serious. Dr. K.M.K. Nair, PW 12 was summoned to the Police Station and he found the victim unconscious and his pulse very weak. The deceased was removed to the hospital at about 5 p.m. and he was examined by PW 1, Dr. K. Sudhakaran there but the deceased died at about 6 p.m. The inquest was held and dead body was sent for post-mortem. PW 19, who conducted the post-mortem, found contusions all over the body of the deceased and on internal examination he found that the pancreas, liver and duodenum were bruised. The Doctor opined that the death was the result of blunt injuries to the heart, lungs and brain of the deceased. An intimation was sent to the police and a case was registered and PW 31, the Detective Inspector took up the investigation and completed the same and laid the charge sheet. The prosecution examined PWs. 1 to 31 and the accused when questioned, totally denied the offence.

Decision of the Trial Court and the High Court

The learned trial Judge relying upon the evidence of PWs. 5 and 6 held that the prosecution proved its case only against A-1 and A-4 beyond all reasonable doubt and having regard to the nature of the attack, convicted them under section 304, Part-II of IPC and acquitted others as they were not identified by PW 5. They preferred an appeal to the High Court. The State also preferred an appeal against the acquittal of three of the other accused. The High Court dismissed both the appeals. Hence the present appeal.

Judgment of the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court held that the case rests mainly on the evidence of PWs. 5 and 6 which was accepted by both the Courts below. These Courts have concurrently held that the evidence of PW 5 as corroborated by the evidence of PW 6 established the guilt of the appellants beyond all reasonable doubt and according to the Supreme Court there was no ground to come to a different conclusion. Accordingly the appeal was dismissed. The Court ordered that the appellants who were on bail should surrender and serve out their remaining period of sentence.

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