Last Seen Theory

We may hasten to clarify, the fact of last seen should not be weighed in isolation or be segregated from other evidence. Courts have to not only consider the factum of last seen, but also have to keep in mind the circumstances that preceded and followed. State appears to be right in relying upon State of Rajasthan v. Kashi Ram, (2006) 12 SCC 254 to assert, once the fact of last seen is established, accused must offer some explanation as to the circumstances in which he departed the company of the deceased. This position of law was duly considered in Satpal v. State of Haryana, (2018) 6 SCC 610. If the accused fails to offer any plausible explanation, an adverse inference can be drawn.

Upon considering the evidence in its entirety and having meditated on the grounds raised to every possible extent, we find no reason to disbelieve the prosecution version of last seen theory.

Hon’ble Justice Surya Kant, Surajdeo Mahto v. State of Bihar, [Criminal Appeal No. 1677 of 2011].


Also see, Jabir v. State of Uttarakhand, [Criminal Appeal No. 972 of 2013] decided on 17.01.2023.