How to investigate a murder case?


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Murder is an offence punishable under section 302 of IPC. Easy to detect but difficult to investigate and reach at proper conclusion. This article is our attempt to explain the procedural method to be followed in investigation of a murder case.

First, the investigation must establish quite objectively that a bodily injury is present.

Second, the nature of the injury must be proved. These are at this level is an objective investigation.

Thirdly, it must be proved that there was an intention to inflict that particular bodily injury, that is to say, that it was not accidental or unintentional, or that some other kind of injury was intended. Once these three elements are proved to be present, the enquiry proceeds further.

Fourth, the last but not the least, it must be proved that the injury of the type, described, made up of the three elements set out above, is sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of nature.

Read: Death due to strangulation in the bedroom is murder, not suicide

This part of inquiry is purely objective and inferential and has nothing to do with the intention of the offender. It is also not the requirement of the section that the injuries should be intended to be serious. In murder charge if the investigation is defective the accused will be given clean chit even if the accused has actually committed the crime, he will go unpunished.

Another principle that is followed in investigation of a murder is that graver is the offence stricter is the proof, that the investigation officer would leave no loophole or lacuna in the investigation. For instance, in a case, blood of “A” group was found on the gunny bag in which the murdered dead body of the victim was placed, the blood of the same group was found on electronic wire that tied the gunny bag, but the murder weapon which was gandasa was recovered at the discovery statement of accused was not at all sent to expert. No importance was attached to discovered murder weapon and the case ended in acquittal of the accused. In another case where the investigation of a murder case was conducted in a cavalier fashion entailing the fundamental personal liberty of a few poor person being trampled down. The supreme court said that undoubtedly heinous crimes are committed under great secrecy and that investigation of a crime is a difficult and tedious task. At the same time the liberty of a citizen is a precious one guaranteed by article 3 of Universal declaration of human Right and also Article 21 of the Constitution of India and its deprivation shall be only in accordance with law. Weaker the person accused of an offence, greater the caution and higher the responsibility of the law enforcement agencies. Before accusing an innocent person of the commission of a grave crime like one punishable under section 302 IPC an honest, sincere and dispassionate investigation has to be made and to feel sure that the person suspected of the crime alone was responsible to commit the offence.


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