Spread the love

CITATION- 2024 INSC 60                





BENCH- ABHAY S. OKA, UJJAL BHUYAN                  


The judgment has been given by the Supreme Court of India in Criminal Appeal No. 2351 of 2011, involving the case of Krishan (appellant) versus the State of Haryana (respondent). The appellant and another individual, Mahesh, were convicted for offenses under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 25 of the Arms Act, relating to the murder of Pawan and Ajju Chaudhary. The case involves the murder of two individuals, Pawan and Ajju Chaudhary, for which Krishan (the appellant) and Mahesh, were convicted. The prosecution’s case relied primarily on eyewitness testimonies, the alleged recovery of the murder weapon at the appellant’s instance, and the appellant’s disclosure of the location where he had disposed of the bodies. 


  • Pawan and Ajju Chaudhary, were found shot dead on January 5, 2004. 
  • Pawan had gone to Rohini to visit his ailing sister on January 3, 2004. Dharmender, the brother of the deceased, deciphered Pawan’s criminal history, including his involvement in cases of dacoity and theft.
  • The prosecution presented 20 witnesses, including alleged eyewitnesses, police officers, and the complainant, Dharmender. Eyewitnesses Mukesh and Vijender did not support the prosecution’s case and were declared as hostile witness.
  • The case relied heavily on the recovery of a pistol, allegedly at the instance of the appellant, Krishan. The recovered pistol matched the bullets found in the bodies of the deceased.
  • Doubts arose regarding the reliability of the evidence, as it was made over a month after the incident from an open space accessible to the public.
  • Inconsistencies emerged regarding the manner of recovery, with no clear evidence that the weapon was buried underground. 
  • Suspects, such as Naresh Yadav, allegedly inimically linked to the deceased, were not adequately investigated.
  • The Supreme Court ultimately acquitted Krishan of all charges due to the lack of reliable evidence and doubts surrounding the prosecution’s case.


  • Whether Krishan was involved in the murder of Pawan and Ajju Chaudhary?
  • Whether the recovered pistol was the weapon used in the commission of the murder?
  • Whether the recovery of weapon at Krishan’s instance was reliable and admissible as evidence in the court of law?
  • Whether there was sufficient evidence to link Krishan to the crime of murder, considering the lack of support from alleged eyewitnesses and doubts raised regarding the investigation and impartiality?


  • The main contention from the appellant was Challenging the Witness Testimonies. The appellant challenged the reliability of the eyewitness testimonies presented by the prosecution in the court of law. This included arguments regarding inconsistencies behind the witnesses’ statements.
  • Another important contention was regarding the Recovery of the Weapon. The appellant contested the reliability and admissibility of the alleged recovery of the pistol. This involve arguments stating that the recovery was not conducted properly, the weapon could have been tampered, or the location of the recovery was accessible to others, raising various doubts about its connection to the crime.
  • The investigation was Questioned and the appellant rose concerns about the adequacy and impartiality of the police investigation. This involved highlighting the failure to explore suspects, one of them being Naresh Yadav. The pointing out of lapses and inconsistencies in the investigative process was done. 
  • The Assertion of Lack of Direct Evidence was contended by the appellant and he argued that there was a lack of direct evidence linking him to the crime. This involved emphasizing the absence of forensic evidence, such as fingerprints or DNA, connecting him to the murder, and the lack of reliability in eyewitness testimony.


  • One of the major contentions from the side of respondent was the importance of eyewitness testimonies presented by the prosecution, even if some witnesses turned hostile. They argued that the testimonies, even if inconsistent, still provided valuable insight into the events leading to the crime.
  • Another contention was regarding the validity of Recovery Evidence. The respondent defended the reliability and admissibility of the recovery of the country-made pistol at the appellant’s instance. They argued that the recovery was conducted in accordance with proper procedures and the weapon was crucial evidence linking the appellant to the crime.
  • The Justification of Police Investigation was posed by the respondent. He justified the police investigation, posing an argument that it was thorough and impartial.
  • As there was absence of direct evidence linking the appellant to the crime, the respondent emphasized the importance of circumstantial evidence. This included the matching of bullets recovered from the victim bodies to the recovered weapon, showing the appellant’s involvement.
  • The respondent opposed the appellant’s claim for the benefit of the doubt, arguing that the evidence presented by the prosecution, including eyewitness testimonies and the weapon recovery, supported a finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


This murder case involved Krishan as the appellant and the State of Haryana as the respondent. Despite the prosecution’s heavy reliance on eyewitness testimonies and the recovery of a murder weapon, doubts arose about the reliability of the evidence presented. Eyewitnesses identified by the prosecution did not support the case, casting doubt on the prosecution’s narrative. Moreover, inconsistencies and suspicions arose related to the recovery of the alleged murder weapon. The court noted lapses in the police investigation, including the failure to explore alternative suspects. The Supreme Court acquitted Krishan of all charges, thereby overturning the earlier convictions made by the lower courts. As a result, Krishan was released from custody, as the court found that the evidence presented by the prosecution was insufficient to establish his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


The judgment highlights the necessity and importance of robust evidence and diligent investigation in criminal cases. Scrutiny of witness testimonies and recovery evidence revealed doubts, leading to the appellant’s acquittal. It even underscores the importance of upholding legal standards to ensure justice and prevent wrongful convictions in the country.


The judgment in Criminal Appeal No. 2351 of 2011 underscores the fundamental principle of justice, the burden of proof lies with the prosecution, and guilt must be established beyond a reasonable doubt. The court’s analysis of the evidence, including eyewitness testimonies and the recovery of the murder weapon, revealed inconsistencies and doubts. As a result, the appellant, Krishan, was acquitted, emphasizing the importance of upholding legal standards to safeguard against wrongful convictions and ensure the integrity of the criminal justice system. 


This is written by Nyasa Tahim, student of Vivekananda Institute of professional studies (VIPS); Intern at Legal Vidhya.

Disclaimer: The materials provided herein are intended solely for informational purposes. Accessing or using the site or the materials does not establish an attorney-client relationship. The information presented on this site is not to be construed as legal or professional advice, and it should not be relied upon for such purposes or used as a substitute for advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Additionally, the viewpoint presented by the author is of a personal nature.


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *