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Indian Case Summary

State Thorugh C.B.I vs Mahender Singh Dahiya on 28 January, 2011 – Case Summary

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In the case of “State through C.B.I vs Mahender Singh Dahiya on 28 January, 2011”, the Supreme Court of India was called upon to review a case involving a gruesome murder and subsequent acquittal. The case was presided over by Justice Surinder Singh Nijjar and Justice B. Sudershan Reddy.

Facts of the Case

The case revolves around Dr. Mahender Singh Dahiya, an Orthopedic Surgeon, who was accused of murdering his wife, Namita, a British national of Indian origin, on the night of their honeymoon in Brussels, Belgium on 27th/28th May, 1979. The prosecution alleged that Dahiya had not only committed the murder but had also dismembered and extensively mutilated the body of his wife, disposing of the body parts at different places in Brussels to destroy evidence.

Issues and Court Observations

The case was unique and complex due to several factors. The accused was an Indian, the victim was a British citizen of Indian origin, and the crime was allegedly committed in a third country, Belgium. The investigation was conducted in three different countries, each with its own laws and procedures, adding to the complexity of the case.

The High Court of Delhi, in its judgment dated 19th December 2002, acquitted Dahiya of the charges under Sections 302 and 201, Indian Penal Code (IPC), setting aside the judgment of the trial court where he had been convicted under the same sections. The State, through CBI, appealed against this judgment in the Supreme Court.

Ruling

The Supreme Court, in its judgment, considered the evidence and arguments presented by both sides. The prosecution presented a series of circumstantial evidence, including the last known whereabouts of the victim, the respondent’s behavior after the alleged crime, and the recovery of body parts identified as those of the victim. The defense, on the other hand, pointed out several inconsistencies and improbabilities in the prosecution’s case.