When an offence like murder is committed in secrecy inside a house, the initial burden to establish the case would undoubtedly be upon the prosecution. In view of Section 106 of the Evidence Act, there will be a corresponding burden on the inmates of the house to give cogent explanation as to how the crime was committed.
The inmates of the house cannot get away by simply keeping quiet and offering no explanation on the supposed premise that the burden to establish its case lies entirely upon the prosecution and there is no duty at all on the accused to offer.
7 Important Murder Cases
1. Gajanan Dashrath Kharate Vs. State of Maharashtra, (2016) 43 SCD 446
Upon appreciation of oral evidence and the circumstance of the recovery of blood stained clothes of the accused and the conduct of the accused in not offering any explanation for the homicidal death of his father, by concurrent findings, the trial court and the High Court rightly convicted the appellant-accused under Section 302 IPC and do not find any reason to interfere with the impugned judgment.
2. Trimukh Maroti Kirkan v. State of Maharashtra (2006) 10 SCC 681
Where an accused is alleged to have committed the murder of his wife and the prosecution succeeds in leading evidence to show that shortly before the commission of crime they were seen together or the offence takes place in the dwelling home where the husband also normally resided, it has been consistently held that if the accused does not offer any explanation how the wife received injuries or offers an explanation which is found to be false, it is a strong circumstance which indicates that he is responsible for commission of the crime.
3. Nika Ram v. State of H.P.(1972) 2 SCC 80
It was observed that the fact that the accused alone was with his wife in the house when she was murdered there with “khukhri” and the fact that the relations of the accused with her were strained would, in the absence of any cogent explanation by him, point to his guilt.
4. Ganeshlal v. State of Maharashtra (1992) 3 SCC 106
The appellant was prosecuted for the murder of his wife which took place inside his house. It was observed that when the death had occurred in his custody, the appellant is under an obligation to give a plausible explanation for the cause of her death in his statement under Section 313 CrPC. The mere denial of the prosecution case coupled with absence of any explanation was held to be inconsistent with the innocence of the accused, but consistent with the hypothesis that the appellant is a prime accused in the commission of murder of his wife.
5. State of U.P. v. Dr. Ravindra Prakash Mittal (1992) 3 SCC 300
The medical evidence disclosed that the wife died of strangulation during late night hours or early morning and her body was set on fire after sprinkling kerosene. The defence of the husband was that the wife had committed suicide by burning herself and that he was not at home at that time. The letters written by the wife to her relatives showed that the husband ill-treated her and their relations were strained and further the evidence showed that both of them were in one room in the night. It was held that the chain of circumstances was complete and it was the husband who committed the murder of his wife by strangulation and accordingly this Court reversed the judgment of the High Court acquitting the accused and convicted him under Section 302 IPC.
6. State of T.N. v. Rajendran (1999) 8 SCC 679
The wife was found dead in a hut which had caught fire. The evidence showed that the accused and his wife were seen together in the hut at about 9.00 p.m. and the accused came out in the morning through the roof when the hut had caught fire. His explanation was that it was a case of accidental fire which resulted in the death of his wife and a daughter. The medical evidence showed that the wife died due to asphyxia as a result of strangulation and not on account of burn injuries. It was held that there cannot be any hesitation to come to the conclusion that it was the accused (husband) who was the perpetrator of the crime.
7. State of Rajasthan v. Parthu (2007) 12 SCC 754
Same view was reiterated by Apex Court.