SOME IMPORTANT CITATIONS ON TIME GAP IN LAST SEEN THEORY
VILAS SHAMRAO GOYAR @ CHOTA PAPA V/S STATE OF MAHARASHTRA, THROUGH UNDER SECRETARY, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), MANTRALAYA AND ORS
2011 AllMR(Cri) 1491, 2011 (4) BCR(Cri) 468, 2011 (4) MhLJ(Cri) 495
Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers, Drug-offenders and Dangerous Persons Act, 1981 - Sec 12(1) - detention - continuation of - case of petitioner will have to be considered in view of fact that basis of detention order is pendency of nine criminal cases - if pendency of criminal cases was basis then authorities concerned ought to have minutely scrutinized, verified as to whether petitioner secured acquittal in any of cases or whether he was released on bail - however, authorities have not taken precaution in this regard - thus, authorities failed to adhere to mandatory procedure which ought to have been followed in passing detention order and confirming same - authorities ought to have explained in respect of time gap which was consumed from date of in camera recording of statements of persons till passing detention order - entire papers of criminal cases of petitioner not placed before detaining authority - detention order set aside - petition allowed.
KUSUMA ANKAMA RAO VERSUS STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH
2008 STPL (LE) 40319 SC [AIR 2008 SC 2819 = (2008) 13 SCC 257 = JT 2008 (7) SC 360 = 2008 AIR(SCW) 4669 = 2008 CRI. L. J. 3502 = (2009) 2 SCC(Cri) 298] SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
(D) Evidence Act, 1872, Section 3 - Evidence - Circumstantial evidence - Last seen theory - Comes into play where time gapm between the point of time when accused and deceased were last seen alive and the deceased is found dead is so small that possibility of any person other than the accused being the author of crime becomes impossible - Even in such a case the courts should look for some corroboration.
2008(14) SCC 667/2009 CrLJ 319 Chattarsingh VS Haryana
2009 CrLJ 3032 Tipparam Prabhakar VS AP
Last seen theory comes into play only when time gap between death and last seen is so small that possibility of any other person other than accused being the author of crime becomes impossible.
(Hatti Singh Vs. State of Harayana)6, reported in 2007 DGLS (soft) 427 : 2008(3) S.C.C.(Cri.) 246, the Honble Supreme Court observed that:h
The evidence of last seen by itself apart from having not been proved in this case cannot be of much significance. It may provide for a link in the chain but unless the time gap between the deceased of having been last seen in the company of the accused person and the murder is proximate, it is difficult to prove the guilt of the accused only on that basis.
Rambraksh @ Jalim Vs. State of Chhattisgarh2016 ALL SCR (Cri) 911
Penal Code (1860), S.302 - Evidence Act (1872), S.3 - Murder - Circumstantial evidence - Deceased last seen alive in company of accused 7 days before alleged skeleton of deceased was noticed in a field - Wife of deceased stated to have witnessed accused assaulting deceased with lathi and danda - However, no marks of injury found in any of the bones recovered from the field - Medical examination of bones even not showing cause of death - No attempt made by Investigation Officer to conduct DNA test of bones to prove that the skeleton was that of deceased - Death not proved - Conviction cannot be based merely on circumstance of last seen that too with such a long time gap of 7 days. (Paras
Shri Zahir Ahmed Saeed Ahmed Mistry & Ors. Vs. The State of Maharashtra2016 ALL MR (Cri) 3679
Penal Code (1860), Ss.364, 300, 201 - Evidence Act (1872), Ss.3, 8, 24, 27 - Kidnapping and murder - Circumstantial evidence - Identity of dead body of deceased established - Motive alleged that accused person developed jealousy on account of business of deceased - Time gap between deceased last seen with accused persons and recovery of dead body was about 20 hours - Accused persons stating that they departed with deceased at particular railway station - Last seen theory not established - Merely because accused persons were absconding after a particular date itself cannot be treated as determining factor - Extra judicial confession made to stranger about their guilt is highly improbable - Discovery of incriminating articles at instance of accused after a gap of four months in a proper condition is not reliable - Accused persons entitled to benefit of doubt. (Paras