Pulukuri Kottaya vs. King Emperor Case Summary 1946 SC

Pulukuri Kottaya vs. King Emperor Case Summary 1946 SC

Pulukuri Kottaya vs. King Emperor is a landmark case that discussed Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

RELEVANT PROVISIONS:

Section 27 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872: How much information received from the accused may be proved-

When any fact is deposed to as discovered in consequence of information received from a person accused of any offence, in the custody of a police officer, so much of such information, whether it amounts to a confession or not, as relates distinctly to the fact thereby discovered, may be proved.

FACTS OF PULUKURI KOTTAYA CASE:

  • Here, the appellants were charged with murder. In the police custody, one of them made a statement that:

“about 14 days ago, I Kottaya and people of my party waited for Sivayay and others at about sunset time at the corner of one tank. We all beat Boddupati China Sivayya and Subayya to death. The remaining persons, ran away. Dondapti, one of the member of my party had spear in his hand which he gave it to the me. The spear and my stick are hidden in the rick of Venkatanasaru in the village, I will show if you come.”

  • This is an appeal by special leave against the judgment and order of the High Court of Judicature at Madras. In the appeal, the accused contended their statements were admitted in violation of section 26 and 27 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

LEGAL ISSUE:

Whether confession made before police while in custody revealing the discovery of a weapon admissible as evidence against the accused?

RATIO DECIDENDI:

Justice John Beaumont observed that:

  • Section 26 of the Indian Evidence Act says that confession by the accused while in the custody of police is not to be proved against him.
  • But Section 27 provides an exception to the prohibition imposed by Section 26 of the Indian Evidence Act.
  • The court held that the whole of the states except the passage “I hid it (a spear) and my stick in the village, I will show if you come” is inadmissible. And only the discovery statement, even being admissible, is not sufficient evidence and cannot be sole ground of conviction.

CONCLUSION:

Pulukuri Kottaya case clarified that only that part of a confessional statement would be taken into account, which may lead to discovery of fact, and that discovery should be a physical object and not only a mental fact.

Appellant while making the statement does not clarify that they have killed the persons using their spear and sticks. That’s why their evidence is not admitted and therefore cannot be the sole ground for the conviction of the accused.

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Ankit Kumar

Ankit Kumar

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