If Last Seen Theory Is Established, Accused Should Explain Circumstances In Which He Departed Company Of Deceased: Supreme Court

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Last Seen Theory Is Established, Accused Should Explain Circumstances

Case: Surajdeo Mahto vs. State of Bihar

Coram: CJI NV Ramana, Justices Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose

Case No: CrA 1677 of 2011

Court Observation: “We may hasten to clarify that the fact of last seen should not be weighed in isolation or be segregated from the other evidence led by the prosecution. The last seen theory should rather be applied taking into account the case of the prosecution in its entirety. Hence, the Courts have to not only consider the factum of last seen, but also have to keep in mind the circumstances that preceded and followed from the point of the deceased being so last seen in the presence of the accused.”

“Counsel for the State appears to be right in relying upon the decision of this Court in Kashi Ram (Supra) to assert that once the fact of last seen is established, the Accused must offer some explanation as to the circumstances in which he departed the company of the deceased. This position of law, as covered under section 106 of the IEA, was duly considered in the case of Satpal Singh (Supra), wherein, this Court clarified that if the accused fails to offer any plausible explanation, an adverse inference can be drawn against the accused.”

“If motive in a case is attributed to an accused(s) and thereafter proved, the probability of the crime being committed by the said accused is intensified. It is for this reason, that in cases of overwhelming circumstantial evidence, proof of motive will be an important piece of corroborative evidence, as well as, form a vital link in the chain of evidence.”

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