The High Court as of late cleared father-son in a homicide case enlisted nearly a while back, in the wake of finding that the indictment had hopelessly neglected to demonstrate that the two blamed were liable for certain [Mohd. Muslim v. State of Uttar Pradesh, which is now known as Uttarakhand]
On June 15, Justices Pankaj Mithal and V Ramasubramanian overturned the verdicts of the Uttarakhand High Court and the trial court that had found the accused-appellants guilty of murder under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The Supreme Court came to the conclusion that “it is a case where the prosecution has miserably failed to prove that the accused appellants have committed the offence beyond any reasonable doubt.”
One of the two accused had passed away by the time the Court rendered its decision, while the other was 79 years old. After the High Court’s verdict in 2010, the appeal was filed in 2011.
For the alleged murder of one person, Altaf Hussain, the appellants had been given a life sentence in August 1995. The appellants guaranteed that they had been pointlessly outlined for the situation as they were new to the town.
On the other hand, the prosecution argued that the two accused had murdered the deceased over a land dispute while the deceased was on his way to court to attend the land dispute’s proceedings.
However, the prosecution’s account of the events lacked several details, according to the Supreme Court.
The Court noted, among other things, that the first information report (FIR) was ante-timed.
The Court determined that the FIR was actually filed on August 4, 1995, at 1:50 p.m., but the time was changed by overwriting to 9:00 a.m.
The Supreme Court inferred that this was done to support the prosecution’s claim that the deceased was on his way to court for morning proceedings in a land dispute case.
There were a number of signs that the FIR had been filed in the afternoon. Because the body was only produced in the evening, the Court noted that the post-mortem was only carried out the day after the death. The Court concluded that this was probably because the death occurred in the afternoon.
The court then emphasized that the FIR is an essential and valuable piece of evidence in a criminal case, particularly a murder case. The Court stated that any deficiencies in the FIR cast doubt on its authenticity and may also reduce the FIR’s value as an evidence.
The fact that the deceased was said to have been accompanied at the time of the incident by his son and nephew was also noted by the Court. Despite this, the bench stated that it is unreasonable to assume that neither his son nor his nephew attempted to protect the deceased from the appellants’ assault.
The Court noted that they did not provide the deceased with any medical assistance. The bench observed that instead, it was stated that they rushed to file a complaint in the morning itself.
The Court stated, “The conduct of these two individuals amply supports the defense version that they may not be present at the place of event.”
In addition, the court noted that the prosecution had not presented certain items that the accused had allegedly left behind at the crime scene to the trial court or examined any independent witnesses in the case.
“Had the aforementioned two items recovered from the scene been produced and established to be that of the accused appellants, the presence of the accused appellants could have been easily proved by the prosecution.” The Court made the observation that “there is no reason or explanation for not producing the above things in Court or for withholding the same.”
Because of these, the appellant who was still alive was cleared by the Supreme Court. He had served six years in prison before being released on bail in 2013.
Name -Sandeep K. Pareek, BALLB(2nd sem.), RNB Global University