Case Study: Sansar Chand v. State of Rajasthan

By Mohammad Adil Ansari 4 Minutes Read

Citation: (2010) 10 SCC 604

Date of Judgement: 20th October, 2010

Bench: Markandey Katju (J), T. S. Thakur (J)


  • Sansar Chand, the Appellant had a long history of poaching and dealing in tiger and leopard skins since 1974 and accounted for about 57 wildlife cases till 2005.
  • Other members of his family were also involved in illegal trade in wildlife.
  • On 5th January, 2003 police arrested Balwan with carton containing leopard’s skin in a train.
  • During the investigation, Balwan, on 7th January, 2003, made a disclosure statement that 2-leopard skin were to be delivered to the appellant.

Lower court’s decision

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Railways), Ajmer convicted him on 29th April, 2004. The appeal was also dismissed by Special Judge, SC (Prevention of Atrocities) cases, Ajmer on 19th August, 2006. The High court also dismissed the revision petition on 10th December, 2008.

Key legal issues discussed in the case

Whether Extra Judicial Confession can be the basis of conviction?


Court held that there is no absolute rule that extra judicial confession can never be the basis of conviction. Referring to cases like, Thimma v. The state of Mysore[1], Mulk Raj v. The state of UP[2], Mohd. Azad v. State of west Bengal[3], and Shiva Karam Payaswami Tewar v. State of Maharashtra[4], court observed that extra judicial confession should be corroborated with other material facts.

In the present case, extra judicial confession of Balwan was corroborated with other material facts like other persons were also arrested and equipment used for killing and removing skin were recovered. The written confession was also given under judicial custody, so no proof of any kind of pressure. So, the confession was voluntary and was not the result of inducement, threat or promise as contemplated by Section 24 of the Evidence Act.


Court held that extra judicial confession was voluntary and corroborated with other material facts. The appellant was doing the skin trade for last 30 years and was habitual offender. A number of cases were pending against him in Delhi, UP, and Rajasthan. There was no doubt left as regard to his guilt, so appeal was dismissed.

Moreover, court ordered Central and State Governments and their agencies to make all efforts to preserve the wild life of the country and take stringent actions against those who are violating the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, as this is necessary for maintaining the ecological balance in our country.

[1] AIR 1971 SC 1871.

[2] AIR 1959 SC 902.

[3] AIR 2009 SC 1307.

[4] AIR 2009 SC 1692.

Mohammad Adil Ansari

Founding Member & Editor in Chief @LegalWires.

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