SC:Occurrence and contents of extra-judicial confession have to be proved

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 13th December 2019, in the matter of Shailendra Rajdev Pasvan and Others v. State of Gujarat Etc. observed that in absence of any credible corroboration of the actual occurrence of an extra-judicial confession and the incriminating facts alleged to have been disclosed in the confession, a conviction cannot be sustained on the basis of such a confession.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

(Para 12) In a case which rests on circumstantial evidence, law postulates two fold requirements:-

  • Every link in the chain of the circumstances necessary to establish the guilt of the accused must be established by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt.
  • All the circumstances must be consistent pointing only towards the guilt of the accused.

Another important aspect to be considered in a case resting on circumstantial evidence is the lapse of time between the point when the accused and deceased were seen together and when the deceased is found dead. It ought to be so minimal so as to exclude the possibility of any intervening event involving the death at the hands of some other person. (Para 14)

In a case based on circumstantial evidence the Courts ought to have a conscientious approach and conviction ought to be recorded only in case all the links of the chain are complete pointing to the guilt of the accused. Each link unless connected together to form a chain may suggest suspicion but the same in itself cannot take place of proof and will not be sufficient to convict the accused. (Para 16)

In the absence of any credible corroboration of both: the actual occurrence of an extra judicial confession and the incriminating facts alleged to have been disclosed in the confession, a conviction cannot be sustained on the basis of such a confession. (Para 20)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_13-Dec-2019

-Adv. Tushar Kaushik

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