In The Supreme Court Of India
Name of the Case:
K. M. Nanavati V. State Of Maharashtra
Ø Subbarao, K.
Ø Das, S.K.
Ø Dayal Raghubar
Decided On: 24.11.1961
Ø 1962 SCR Supl. (1) 567
Ø Indian Penal Code
Law applied :
Code of Criminal Procedure(Act, 5 of 1898), 88. 307, 410, 417, 418 (1), 423(2), 297,155 (1), 162
Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Act 45 of 1860), 88. 302, 300, Exception I
Indian Evidence Act,1872 (1 of 1872), 8. 105.
K. M. Nanavati vs. State of Maharashtra was a 1959 Indian court case where Kawas Manekshaw Nanavati, a Naval Commander, was tried for the murder of Prem Ahuja, his wife's lover. The incident received unprecedented media coverage and inspired several books and movies. Nanavati was initially declared not guilty by a jury, but the verdict was dismissed by the Bombay High Court and the case was retried as a bench trial. The case was the last to be heard as a jury trial in India, as the government abolished jury trials as a result of the case
Statement of Problem
In this case when the accuse had applied before the governor for pardoning of his punishment and at the same time he has applied for the appeal in the Supreme Court against the decision of the High Court. To this SC dismissed the petition on the ground that both (governors power and SC petition) cannot go on together.
The objective of this project is:
By studying this case I want to know the limitation/ scope of Art. 161 & 142
Both the procedure can work together as both are of different field.
Scope of The Study
The research is a doctrinal research. The researcher here would like to know more about the penal aspect in this context. The researcher has tried to analysis the topic by studying various authors, experts, cases of The Indian Apex Court and High courts, articles, etc. The researcher has strictly followed the boundary and has studied only with reference to Indian authors, experts, cases, etc.
The present research study is mainly a doctrinal and analytical. Keeping this in view, the researcher has gone through different books, journals, Web references, E-journal, reports etc.
The relevant material is collected from the secondary sources. Materials and information are collected both legal sources like books.
Brief facts of the case
The accused, Nanavati, at the time of the alleged murder, was second in command of the Indian Naval Ship “Mysore”. He married Sylvia in 1949 and had three children.
Since the time of marriage, the couple were living at different places having regard to the exigencies of service of Nanavati. Finally, they shifted to Bombay.
In the same city the deceased Ahuja was doing business in automobiles and in the year 1956, Agniks, who were common friends of Nanavatis and Ahujas, introduced Ahuja and his sister to Nanavatis. Ahuja was unmarried and was about 34 years of age at the time of his death.
Nanavati, as a Naval Officer, was frequently going away from Bombay in his ship, leaving his wife and children in Bombay.
Gradually, friendship developed between Ahuja and Sylvia, which culminated in illicit intimacy between them.
On April 27, 1959, Sylvia confessed to Nanavati of her illicit intimacy with Ahuja.
Enraged at the conduct of Ahuja, Nanavati went to his ship, took from the stores of the ship a semi-automatic revolver and six cartridges on a false pretext, loaded the same, went to the flat of Ahuja entered his bed-room and shot him dead.
Thereafter, the accused surrendered himself to the police. He was put under arrest and in due course he was committed to the Sessions for facing a charge under s. 302 of the Indian Penal code.
But the defence version was that the accused was away with his ship from April 6, 1959, to April 18, 1959. Immediately after returning to Bombay, he and his wife went to Ahmednagar for about three days. Thereafter, they returned to Bombay and the accused noticed that his wife was behaving strangely and was not responsive or affectionate to him. When questioned, she used to evade the issue.
At noon on April 27, 1959, when they were sitting in the sitting-room for the lunch to be served, the accused put his arm round his wife affectionately, when she seemed to go tense and unresponsive.
After lunch, when he questioned her about her fidelity, she shook her head to indicate that she was unfaithful to him. He guessed that her paramour was Ahuja. As she did not even indicate clearly whether Ahuja would marry her and look after the children, he decided to settle the matter with him. Sylvia pleaded with him not go to Ahuja’s house, as he might shoot him.
Thereafter, he drove his wife, two of his children and a neighbor’s child in his car to a cinema, dropped them there and promised to come and pick them up at 6 P.M. when the show ended. He then drove his car to his ship, as he wanted to get medicine for his sick dog, he represented to the authorities in the ship, that he wanted to draw a revolver and six rounds from the stores of the ship as he was going to drive alone to Ahmednagar by night, though the real purpose was to shoot himself.
On receiving the revolver and six cartridges, and put it inside a brown envelope. Then he drove his car to Ahuja’s office, and not finding him there, he drove to Ahuja’s flat, range the door bell, and, when it was opened by a servant, walked to Ahuja’s bed-room, went into the bed-room and shut the door behind him.
He also carried with him the envelope containing the revolver. The accused saw the deceased inside the bed-room, called him a filthy swine and asked him whether he would marry Sylvia and look after the children. The deceased retorted, “Am I to marry every woman I sleep with?” The accused became enraged, put the envelope containing the revolver on a cabinet nearby, and threatened to thrash the deceased.
The deceased made a sudden move to grasp at the envelope, when the accused whipped out his revolver and told him to get back. A struggle ensued between the two and during that struggle two shots went off accidentally and hit Ahuja resulting in his death. After the shooting the accused went back to his car and drove it to the police station where he surrendered himself.
The trail court convicted under S.304 A of IPC and in appeal the high court convert it into S.302 of IPC.
So the accuse made an appeal before the SC and at the same time he made an application to governor under Art.161.
Issues in context with interpretation of statute
# Whether SLP can be entertained without fulfill the order under Art. 142?
# Whether the pardoning power of governor and SLP can moved together?
Answer to issue 1
The SLP was dismissed by the supreme court, by majority, holding that the appellant’s SLP could not be lisited for hearing unless he surrender under Art. 142 (as per the judgement of HC).
Answer to issue 2
The appellant has made SLP and an application of pardoning power to the governor. The governor reduced his sentence. The SC held that SLP and pardoning power cannot operate together both are different. If SLP is filed then the power of governor in such condition will be ceased.
Further court held that the Art.142 and 161 are different in nature. The two Articles are reconcilable and should be reconciled. The rule of statutory coexistence stated that it is sometimes found that the 2 statute conflict, as their objective are different and language of each is restricted to its own object or subject, so they run parallel and never meet.
No rule of construction can require that when the words of a statute convey the clear meaning , it shall be necessary to introduce another part of the statute which speak with less perspicuity and of which the word may be capable of such construction as by possibility to diminish the efficacy of the other provision of the Act.
Under Art. 142 unless the order of lower court doesn’t follow SC may not entertain the SLP and in Art. 145 court has all power to make the Law to give justice.
The deceased seduced the wife of the accused. She had confessed to him of her illicit intimacy with the deceased. It was natural that the accused was enraged at the conduct of the deceased and had, therefore, sufficient motive to do away with the deceased. He deliberately secured the revolver on a false pretext from the ship, drove to the flat of Ahuja, entered his bed-room unceremoniously with a loaded revolver in hand and in about a few seconds thereafter came out with the revolver in has hand. The deceased was found dead in his bath-room with bullet injuries on his body. It is not disputed that the bullets that caused injuries to Ahuja emanated from the revolver that was in the hand of the accused. After the shooting, till his trial in the Sessions Court, he did not tell anybody that he shot the deceased by accident. Indeed, he confessed his guilt to the chowkidar Puransingh and practically admitted the same to his colleague Samuel. His description of the struggle in the bathroom is highly artificial and is devoid of all necessary particulars. The injuries found on the body of the deceased are consistent with the intentional shooting and the main injuries are wholly inconsistent with accidental shooting when the victim and the assailant were in close grips. The other circumstances brought out in the evidence also establish that there could not have been any fight or struggle between the accused and the deceased.
The court held that the conduct of the accused clearly shows that the murder was a deliberate and calculated one and the facts of the case do not attract the provisions of Exceptions 1 of Sec 300 of IPC as the accused also failed to bring the case under General Exception of IPC by adducing evidence. In the result, the conviction of the accused under section 302 of IPC and sentenced him of imprisonment for life.
From this we can say the literal rule has been applied the court and just read the plain text of the constitution which clearly used by the SC in this case. Only on the failure of literal rule the other rules of interpretation can be used. But the law is very clear and so there is no point of applying any other rule. The decision of the Supreme Court is perfect according to me in this Case. There is no issue that 2 remedy cannot be granted for one cause and same thing is laid down here.
# Sarthi V.P.Interpretation Of Statute Ed.5 P17
# Basu Dd Shoter Constitution P 1084-86,89
# Sarathi V.P. Interpretation of Statutes 5th Ed.
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