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In a significant legal development, the Supreme Court of India has rendered its judgment in  Criminal Appeal of 2012, along with related appeals, affirming the convictions of individuals  involved in a heinous crime resulting in the death of a person named Shivanna.  

Bench comprising of Justice Abhay S and Pankaj Mithal up-held the conviction in a murder  case while observing that when an ocular piece of evidence is available to sufficiently prove the  guilt of the accused then conviction cannot be set aside merely on the ground that the expert  evidence of the professional doctor suggests otherwise.  

In the present case the court had convicted three accused for offense of murder on the  allegation that they along with other persons gathered outside the house of the deceased and  assaulted him and his family members, namely his wife and his daughter, with a chopper.  

The convicts in the case also gathered unlawfully in front of deceased person’s house giving  rise to Sec 149 IPC, Court in the case held that an overt act of some of the accused persons of an unlawful  assembly with the common object to kill the deceased Shivanna and to cause grievous hurt to  the other family members is enough to rope in all of them for an offense under Section 302  IPC in aid with Section 149 IPC. 

Besides this the apex court also did not entertain the second contention advanced on behalf of  appellants was which was that the medical evidence or the medical report on record does not  substantiate the stand taken by the prosecution. They testified about the use of a chopper  whereas the medical expert held otherwise but without discarding the probability of the use of a chopper. The court here observed that the ocular evidence of family members is sufficient  enough to prove that only chopper was used as a weapon of crime. The eyewitness testimony  of family members was considered of prime importance as they were the only possible  witnesses to the incident inside the deceased’s house. Therefore, this contention in the eyes of  the bench lacked merit.  

The High Court had upheld the convictions of these appellants, leading to their appeals being  dismissed. In the case at hand, the Court found no perversity in the findings of the lower  courts and concluded that there was no error or illegality in their judgments. Therefore, all  three appeals were dismissed as without substance. 



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