Sharad Birdhi Chand Sarda v State of Maharashtra
 1 SCR 88
Bench: Fazal Ali, Syed Murtaza
Date of Judgment - 17/07/1984
In this case one-woman naming Manju Shri found dead at her Husband's Apartment.
As this is a criminal case here one Party is Manju Shri's husband Shard
Birdichand Sarda with two Co-Accused his uncle Ramvilas and Brother Rameswar and
another party is State of Maharashtra.
Cause of death of Manu Shri was found Potassium Cyanide (Poisonous Substance) in
her body as per the Autopsy report.
In this case Accused got convicted and pronounced Life Imprisonment by High
Court of Maharashtra where petition filed by party in Hon'ble Supreme Court
through SLP under Article 136 of Indian Constitution.
This case provides a wide explanation of Circumstantial Evidence which became
Landmark decision in the area of Evidence Law.
In this case:
- High Court of Maharashtra heard the Confirmation of Death sentence which was
given by Session Court.
- Appeal against Trial Court's Decision.
- Criminal Revision Application filed by State
All these three pleas were combined by the High Court of Maharashtra.
Rational of the Court
- Firstly, case went for trial in Pune Additional Judge Court where judge made
the decision that all the accused are liable for murder where main accused
naming Shard will be punished by Death sentence and other two accused shall be
punished through Rigorous Imprisonment.
- After appeal, confirmation and revision application from the state the
High court of Maharashtra decided that the mail accused will punish by Life
Imprisonment and other two Co-Accused shall be made free.
- Through SLP under Article 136 of Indian Constitution the Petitioner
approached Supreme Court, where SC stated that the Prosecution is not able to
prove the conclusiveness of Evidence, the guilt of Accused was not proved.
After trial and Revision in High Court of Maharashtra the Petition made before
Hon'ble Supreme Court where the Defence smartly produced the relevancy of the
Evidences which were provided before the court, they all were Circumstantial
Evidences without any conclusive nature.
SC stated that all the evidences provided by Prosecution e.g., Autopsy Report,3
Letters written by Manju to her sister and one Friend, Last appearance of Sharad
in the Apartment all are Circumstantial Evidences which were not conclusively
provided by Prosecution because In such cases where direct evidences are not
available at that time The Burden of Proof lies upon Prosecution which is the
basic doctrine of Evidence Law.
SC further stated that when there are two presumptions like:
- Offence is committed by Accused.
- Offence is not committed by the Accused.
Available before the court then Benefit of Doubt always go with the Accused.
This case becomes the Landmark Judgement of Evidence Law which always helps in
the interpretation of Circumstantial Evidence, Hearsay Evidence, Dying
Declaration and Relevancy of the Evidences.
SC introduced one Panchsheel Test for the Relevancy of the Evidences which will
be applied in such type of cases where Direct Evidences are not available.
Written By Ashutosh Banshwar
, Final Yr. Student Of Law From Sharda