Absence of Second Ligature Mark rules out strangulation

The Supreme Court on 14th August 2018 in the case of State of Karnataka vs. Srinivasa came out with a short decision refusing to interfere with the decision of the High Court acquitting the accused person in a charge of 302.

Simple Facts

A1 was alleged to be in a relationship with A2. A1 was running a power loom in the ground floor of his house and had his residence in the first floor, wherein he was staying with his spouse (the deceased). Frequent fights erupted between A1 and his wife on the alleged relationship. This being so, the deceased was found to be hanging on a telephone cable on the date of occurrence – 05.01.2001 at about 4.30 p.m. The father of the deceased informed the occurrence to the police.


The trial court convicted the accused and the High Court gave a decision of acquittal based on the medical evidence of the doctor who had done the post-mortem. 

Evidence of the Autopsy Doctor

In the cross-examination, the Doctor has stated that it could be a case of suicide as the ligature mark was not found on the neck. The High Court in extenso referred to the evidence of the Doctor who stated that the ligature mark is ante-mortem (before death) in nature and that if the death is caused by strangulation and the body if put in hanging posture there is every possibility of another ligature mark around the neck. The post mortem report does not disclose the presence of another ligature mark around the neck.

Decision of High Court and Supreme Court

The Supreme Court came to the conclusion that the decision of the High Court is plausible and does not warrant interference. The doctor’s evidence clearly does not rule out death by suicide as there was only one ligature mark around the neck, which has been caused by hanging prior to the death of the person. 

State of Karnataka vs. Srinivasa decided by Supreme Court on 14/08/2018. Decision authored by R. Banumathi J. in a bench consisting of herself and Vineet Saran J.


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