K.M. Nanavati Vs. State of Maharashtra

Manvi Jain

RESPONDENT: State of Maharashtra
BENCH: Hon’ble Sri Justice K Subbarao
DATE OF JUDGEMENT: 24th November, 1961
CITATION: 1962 AIR 605

• The accused, Nanavati, at the time of the alleged murder, was second in command of the Indian armed service Ship “Mysore”. He married Sylvia in 1949 and had 3 kids. As Nanavati was a naval officer they were to move to several different places since the very time of wedding, to the exigencies of service of Nanavati. Finally, they shifted to Mumbai.
• Ahuja the deceased was also living in the same city. He was engaged in the business of automobiles. Agnik, who was common friend of both of Nanavati and Ahuja, introduced Ahuja and his sister to Nanavati. Ahuja was single and was about 34 years aged at the time of his death.
• Nanavati, as an officer, was oftentimes going from Mumbai in his ship, leaving his wife and kids in city. With due time the relationship between Sylvia and Ahuja got developed
That resulted in illicit intimacy between them.
• At noon on April 27, 1959 he questioned her concerning her fidelity, she shook her head to point that she was unfaithful to him. Sylvia confessed to Nanavati of her illicit relationship which she is having with Ahuja. He guessed that her paramour was Ahuja. Sylvia pleaded with him not move to Ahuja’s house, as he would possibly shoot him.
• Enraged at the conduct of Ahuja, and in anger he drove his wife, and 2 of his kids and a neighbour’s kid in his car to a cinema house, dropped them there and promised to return and pick them up at 6 P.M. once the movie is over. After going from there he visited his ship, took from the stores of the ship a semi-automatic revolver and 6 cartridges on a false pretext, loaded the same, after which Nanavati drove to Ahuja’s workplace and he was not able to find him there so he drove to Ahuja’s flat and rang the bell, it was opened by the servant who showed him the way to Ahuja’s bedroom.
• Nanavati went into the bed-room and shut the door behind him. Nanavati goes to the bedroom of the Ahuja and called him filthy swine and asked him whether or not he would marry Sylvia and look after the kids. Ahuja laughed and aforementioned, “Am I to marry every lady I sleep with?” This statement of Ahuja’s made Nanavati furious, he took out the envelope containing the revolver and first of all kept it away however later with the same threatened to shoot him. There was a fight between both of them to grasp the revolver and after which Nanavati whipped the revolver and told him to get back. A struggle ensued between the 2 and through that struggle two shots went off accidentally and hit Ahuja leading to his death. after the shooting the accused went back to his car and drove it to the police headquarters.
• Thereafter, the accused relinquished himself to the police. He was arrested and in due time he was charged under section 302 of the Indian penal code.
• The trail court convicted under S.304 A of IPC and in appeal the court convert it into S.302 of IPC. So, the accused created an appeal before the SC and at the same time he made an application to governor under Art.161.

• Whether SLP will be entertained without fulfilling the order under Art. 142?
• Whether the pardoning power of SLP and Governor will be affected together?

• 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 along as each are completely different. If SLP is filed then the power of governor in such condition are going to be ceased. The SLP was discharged by the Supreme Court, by majority, holding that the appellants SLP couldn't be listed for hearing unless he surrenders under Art. 142.
• Further court held that the Art.142 and 161 are totally different in nature. the 2 Articles are reconcilable and may be reconciled. The rule of statutory coexistence expressed that it's generally found that the 2-statute conflict, as their objective are different and language of each is restricted to its own object or subject, in order that they run parallel and never meet. Under Art. 142 unless the order of inferior court doesn’t follow SC might not entertain the SLP and in Art. 145 court has all power to form the Law to offer justice.
• It was held that No rule of construction will need that once the words of a statute convey the clear meaning, it shall be necessary to introduce another part of the statute that speaks with less perspicuity and of that the word could also be capable of such construction as by risk to diminish the efficaciousness of the other provision of the Act.
• The mere proven fact that before the shooting the accused abused the deceased and the abuse provoked an equally abusive reply couldn't conceivably be a provocation for the murder. The court held that the case does not fall under any Exceptions mentioned under section 300 of IPC.
• In the result, conviction of the accused under section 302 of the Indian penal code and sentence of imprisonment for life passed on him by the court are correct, and there are completely no grounds for interference.

• The court held that the conduct of the accused clearly shows that the murder was deliberate and calculated one and therefore the the} facts of the case do not attract the provisions of exceptions 1 of sec 300 of IPC as the accused also didn't bring the case under General exception of IPC by adducing evidence. The court made the conviction of the accused i.e., Nanavati under section 302 of IPC and sentenced him of imprisonment of life.
• From this we will say the literal rule has been applied the court and just read the plain text of the constitution that clearly utilized by the SC during this case. Only when there is a failure in applying the principle of literal rule then only other rules of interpretation can be used. However, the law is extremely clear and then there's no purpose of applying the other rule. The judgement made by the SC is correct in this case. As there is no issue that 2 remedy cannot be granted for one cause and same thing is set down here.