Shanmugam vs State By Inspector Of Police on 6 April, 2021

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Supreme Court of India

Shanmugam vs State By Inspector Of Police on 6 April, 2021

Author: S. Abdul Nazeer

Bench: S. Abdul Nazeer, Sanjiv Khanna



                                IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                               CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                                CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.900 OF 2010

         SHANMUGAM                                                  Appellant(s)


         TAMIL NADU                                               Respondent(s)



1. This appeal by special leave is filed against the judgment

dated 26.02.2008 in Crl. Appeal No.508 of 2007 passed by the

High Court of Judicature at Madras, wherein the conviction of

the present appellant was upheld and his appeal was


2. Brief reference to the facts as per the prosecution are

necessary for the disposal of this case. The appellant was
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by

arrested by PW-1 Sub-Inspector of Police on 09.09.2005 at
Date: 2021.04.06
16:47:42 IST

about 7:30 p.m. for offences punishable under Sections 51 r/w

63, 52 A r/w 68-A and 65 of the Copyright Act, 1957. He was

then brought to the Office of the Video Piracy Cell at 11:30

p.m. and was kept in custody in the same room as that of the

Head Constable Kaliappan (deceased). On 10.09.2005, the

appellant made an attempt to escape from the custody by

attacking the deceased on his head with an iron stool causing

his death. However, he was caught by PW-1 (the Sub-Inspector

of Police) and PW-2 (the Head Constable) while attempting to


3. Upon investigation, a charge-sheet was filed against the

appellant and the case was committed to the learned

Additional Sessions Judge, Fast Track Court No. II, Coimbatore

in S.C. No.19 of 2006. The appellant pleaded not guilty and

claimed trial. After considering the arguments and analysing

the evidence on record, the learned Additional Sessions Judge

convicted the appellant for the offences punishable under

Section 302 of I.P.C. and under Sections 224 r/w 511 of I.P.C.

and sentenced him to undergo imprisonment for life and also

to pay a fine of Rs.500/-. Further, in default thereof to

undergo rigorous imprisonment for one month for the offence

under Section 302 of I.P.C. and to undergo rigorous

imprisonment for one year for the offence under Section 224

r/w 511 of I.P.C.

4. Aggrieved by the order of conviction, the appellant

appealed before the High Court being Crl. Appeal No.508 of

2007. On 26.02.2008, the Division Bench of the High Court

after thorough analysis of facts and circumstances confirmed

the conviction of the appellant and dismissed the appeal.

Being aggrieved the appellant has approached this Court by

way of Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No.4700/2009.

5. The learned Counsel Mr. V. Ramasubramanian, appearing

on behalf of the appellant, has contended that the case of the

prosecution is based upon circumstantial evidence alleging

that there is no circumstance pointed out by the prosecution to

prove the guilt of the accused-appellant beyond all reasonable

doubt. Thus, he argues that the conviction on the basis of the

assumptions is not sustainable in law.

6. On the other hand, the learned Counsel Mr. M. Yogesh

Kanna appearing on behalf of the State while supporting the

judgment of the High Court, has contended that this Court

should take a wholesome view instead of viewing

circumstances in isolation in order to conclude whether a

complete chain of events has been proved by the prosecution

or not.

7. We have carefully considered the submission of the

learned counsel for the parties and perused the impugned

judgment and other materials placed on record.

8. It is not in dispute that the appellant/accused was

arrested by the then Sub-Inspector of Police (PW-1), Video

Piracy Cell, at 7.30 p.m. on 09.09.2005 and at that time the

deceased was with him. The evidence of PW-1 discloses that

at the relevant point of time, the deceased did not have any

residence. Therefore, he requested PW-1 to permit him to stay

in the office (Video Piracy Cell) along with the accused where

the accused was brought. PW-6 has stated that till 2.00 a.m. on

10.09.2005, PW-1 was in the office and later on left the office

leaving the deceased constable and the accused inside the

office by locking the door from outside as per the request of

the deceased. This version of PW-1 has not been challenged in

the cross-examination.

9. Since the office premises was not shown in the rough

sketch (Ex.P.22), the evidence of PW-6 was also questioned.

However, this is nothing but an irregularity on the part of the

I.O. PW-6 has categorically stated that he did not have

residence in the nearby place. Therefore, he remained at the

office to finish his pending work. Keeping in mind the above

situation, we are of the view that the evidence of PW-6 cannot

be doubted and if the same is accepted, the story concocted

by the accused that the deceased was murdered by PW-1 is

only to falsely implicate PW-1.

10. The evidence adduced by PW-1 was also corroborated by

the evidence of the Head Constable (PW-2) who was

accompanying PW-1 at around 7.30 a.m. on 10.09.2005. It is

clear from the evidence of PW-2 that when PW-1 opened the

locked door, the accused tried to escape but was caught at the

spot. This deposition has also remained unchallenged in the


11. It is in the evidence of PW-9 that on 10.09.2005 around

2.30 a.m. she was on duty of receiving PCR calls. She deposed

that on that day she received a call from the accused who

informed about some commotion said to have taken place in

6th Street on 100 feet road, near Kalyan Silks. The accused did

not call to attribute the commission of the offence to PW-1.

This call was made deliberately to escape from the room where

he was locked. This evidence was corroborated by PW-10 who

was working as an operator at that time in the police control

room. After getting the information of commotion from PW-9,

PW-10 passed on the message to the Sub-Inspector (PW-7)

who was on patrolling duty. Accordingly, PW-7 proceeded to

the place of alleged occurrence. Since nobody was there in the

said place, PW-7 contacted the mobile number of the informer

disclosing his identity but the same was instantly

disconnected. This is evident from Ex.P.12. The said mobile

number belongs to the deceased constable. The evidence of

PW-7, PW-9 and PW-10 corroborated with each other in this

regard. It appears that the accused had made a call to the

control room by using the mobile phone of the deceased just to

divert the attention of the police so that he could escape in

case the locked door was opened. Perusal of Ex.P.10 shows

that on receipt of the phone call, an ambulance was sent to the

Street, near Kalyan Silks, which came back after waiting from

3.30 a.m. to 4.30 a.m. as nobody was found injured at the

place of commotion.

12. Perusal of the evidence in its entirety clearly shows that

the offence had taken place at 2.00 a.m. by which time PW-1

had already left the place of occurrence and at the relevant

point of time the accused and the deceased were alone inside

the premises of the office of the Video Piracy Cell. Under the

above circumstance, it was for the accused to explain under

what circumstances the deceased was dead. In our view, the

accused has failed to offer any cogent explanation in this

regard. We are of the view that the chain of circumstances has

been completely proved and established beyond reasonable

doubt. Therefore, we find no reason to interfere with the

concurrent findings of the courts below.

13. Accordingly, this Appeal fails and is accordingly

dismissed. The order of the Division Bench of the High Court in

Crl. Appeal No. 508 of 2007 dated 26.02.2008 is upheld.






New Delhi;

April 6, 2021

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