The Supreme Court, in its two judge bench held by Sanjay Kishan Kaul J. and Hemant Gupta J. in case Mahendran vs. State of Tamil Nadu, by upholding the decisions of both Trial Court and Madras High Court held that one mere fact that the testimony given by witness half wrong cannot be the defense for discarding his whole statement.
Factual matrix of the case are, in Criminal Appeal No.1266 of 2010 by accused Mahendran and others, of charges of section 302 IPC that is,
“302. Punishment for murder.—Whoever commits murder shall be punished with death, or 1[imprisonment for life], and shall also be liable to fine.”
and section149 IPC that is
“149. Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object.—If an offence is committed by any member of an unlawful assembly in prosecution of the common object of that assembly, or such as the members of that assembly knew to be likely to be committed in prosecution of that object, every person who, at the time of the committing of that offence, is a member of the same assembly, is guilty of that offence”
were case arise on the statement of the witnesses Ganeshmoorthy and son in law of deceased Murugaiyan who was a Dalit person was killed by the Hindus community persons who shared a dispute with them and was to be decided by the panchyat of the village, according to witnesses the deceased Murugaiyan and the witness who is his son in law heard some noise and came outside the house were accuse A1 to A9 were standing outside with sickles and stones and Ravi the one of the accused pour the kerosene and another accuse Singaravelu put fire on the roof of the house and deceased in threat ran towards house of Mahalingam but was hit on head and was killed, after this FIR was lodged by the police, evidences were collected and chart sheet was made on statements given by witnesses and the post mortem of the deceased was submitted.
The both the learned counsel examined witnesses, where the learned counsel for appellants argued that the on of the witnesses i.e. PW1 Ganeshmoorthy is not even proper witness as he was not present at that place and other allegations were put by him telling that the statements given by witnesses are not fully correct.
The after examining the facts and evidences rejected contentions of the learned counsel for the appellants and stated that the argument of the counsel that theconviction of the accused on basis that the statement were false is not tenable in any sense, the court further deciding the matter, relying on the case Gangadhar Behera’s case stated;
“It is well settled that the maxim “falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus” has no application in India only for the reason that some part of the statement of the witness has not been accepted by the trial court or by the High Court.”
Therefore the court again on relying on Joseph’s case confirmed that the accused were liable for offences under section 302 murder and section 149 Unlawful Assembly of IPC.
Hence, in this case the facts,circumstances and evidences made it clear that the accused were guilty of forming Unlawful Assembly and killing the deceased, therefore on mere fact that the statements given by the witnesses half correct cannot be taken as defense in any sense and also the court could not deny the evidences found by the investigating officers such as bamboo and sickles which clearly in the post mortem report of the doctors said that these were the weapons which killed the deceased.
Legal NewsWriter: AKRITI SONWANI.