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Supreme Court refuses further relief to convict, says death sentence already commuted to life imprisonment

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The Supreme Court on Monday refused to grant any further relief to a man, who was convicted for murdering a person posted as corporal at Air Force Station Bhisiana and shredded his body into pieces more than four years back, and whose death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.

A bench comprising Justices S. Abdul Nazeer and Krishna Murari, while dismissing the appeal of Sailesh Kumar seeking remission of sentence, said “You have come in a bad case, you were given relief earlier.”

Advocate Sunil Kumar Jain, appearing for the petitioner, urged the court to remit the sentence of Sailesh.

Sunil Kumar Jain, advocate for Sailesh, submitted that there was no evidence, only on basis of Section 106 IPC, Sailesh was convicted, as except recovery, no last seen theory was established by any evidence.  He further submitted that there has to be other circumstantial evidence, which has to be proved by the prosecution.

Sailesh had moved the Supreme court against the Punjab and Haryana High Court order, wherein his death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment and he had to compulsorily serve minimum sentence of 20 years without being entitled to any remission/commutation. The trial court sent had reference in terms of Section 366 CrPC to the High court for confirmation of death sentence. The appeals were also filed by Sailesh and his wife Anuradha Patel, co-convict in the murder case.

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The apex court asked, “From where the parts of body recovered?”

Sunil replied, “From my flat.”

The matter pertains to murder of one Vipin Kumar Shukla, husband of complainant Kumkum Shukla. Vipin went missing on February 8, 2017, whose body was found shredded into pieces on February 21, 2017. The FIR was lodged by complainant Kumkum on February 15, 2017.

The fact of case is that Kumkum and her father-in-law Triveni Shukla came to know that Sailesh and Shashi Bhushan Patel had abducted Vipin and murdered him and that they had concealed his body after cutting the same into pieces and that Anuradha had instigated them and had also helped them in concealing the body. On getting information, they both went to the quarter of the accused, where they noticed a foul smell emanating and they saw Anuradha trying to shut doors and windows of their house on account of which they became sure that the three persons had murdered Vipin and had concealed the body in their house.

The information was conveyed to the police, which came to the spot and interrogated Sailesh. The accused told police about 16 black polythene bags containing the pieces of Vipin’s body, which were recovered from his house later. Inquest proceedings were conducted and post-mortem examination was conducted on the body.

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The Prosecution alleged that the body of the deceased, which had been chopped into pieces, was recovered at the instance of Sailesh from his house. this hardly leaves anything to be imagined, particularly when apart from recovery of the body, the weapon of offence and the mobile phones of the deceased were also recovered from the house of the accused.

Burden of proving fact is on the person having knowledge of it

The Counsel for Sailesh assailed the impugned judgment of trial court before High Court of Punjab that inter-alia, on the ground that it is a case based totally on circumstantial evidence, which is mainly in the shape of disclosure statement of the accused Sailesh himself, which can hardly be said to be a substantial or convincing piece of evidence and is rather a weak type of evidence, which would not justify conviction of the appellants in the absence of any other corroborative evidence pointing towards the guilt of the accused.

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