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Person can be convicted even if motive not established: SC

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 - 21:13

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has ruled
that a person can be convicted for murder even if no motive is
established as long as there is direct or circumstantial
evidence to link the accused to the crime.

"In a case relating to circumstantial evidence, motive
does assume great importance, but to say that the absence of
motive would dislodge the entire prosecution story is giving
this one factor an importance which is not due.
"Motive is in the mind of the accused and can seldom
be fathomed with any degree of accuracy," a bench of Justices
P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan said in a judgement.

The apex court delivered the verdcit while dismissing
the appeal filed by a murder convict Bipin Kumar Mandal who
had stabbed to death his wife Usha Rani and younger son Ajit

Interestingly, in this case, the prosecution was not
able to establish the motive for the murder though it managed
to rope in the accused` elder son Sujit Mondal as the eye
witness besides certain relatives to support the charge.

In the apex court, Bipin took the plea that he was
innocent and the prosecution had failed to establish any
motive for the murder.
Rejecting the argument, the apex court said
undoubtedly, there is nothing on record to show as what
could be the motive behind the murder of the wife and son by

"However, it can be difficult to understand the
motive behind the offence. The issue of motive becomes totally
irrelevant when there is direct evidence of a trustworthy
witness regarding the commission of the crime.

"In such a case, particularly when a son and other
closely related persons depose against the appellant, the
proof of motive by direct evidence loses its relevance," the
apex court observed.

In the instant case, the bench said the ocular
evidence is supported by the medical evidence.

"We reach the inescapable conclusion that there is
nothing on record to show that there could be any reason for
Sujit Mondal, PW-1, a son, to falsely implicate and rope his
father into such a gruesome murder or the other witnesses, who
had been so close relatives and neighbours of the appellant,
would support the prosecution case.

"In fact, motive is a thing which is primarily known
to the accused himself and it may not be possible for the
prosecution to explain what actually prompted or excited him
to commit a particular crime," the judges said while
dismissing the appeal.


First Published: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 - 21:13

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