The complainant’s testimony alone is not sufficient to prove motive, even where the accused chooses to remain silent. A lack of motive means a capital sentence cannot be awarded.
Even a confession recorded before a Magistrate will not be credited if the Magistrate fails to comply with the High Court Rules and CrPC sections 364 and 164. “It is a consistent view of the Courts that extra-judicial confession, if made before a person of influence and authority, expected to extend helping hand to the accused, which is also strongly corroborated, can only be considered as a piece of circumstantial evidence . . . Such evidence is held to be the weakest type of evidence. No conviction on capital charge can be recorded on such evidence.”
“The extra judicial confession has never been considered sufficient for recording conviction on a capital charge unless it is strongly corroborated by tangible evidence coming from unimpeachable source.”
The heinous nature of a crime does not affect a court’s right to appraise all evidence and to extend the accused the benefit of the doubt.
When the accused fires only a single shot in a sudden occurrence crime, life imprisonment is an appropriate sentence.