The Supreme Courtroom whereas calling the order of conviction handed by the Trial Courtroom which was later upheld by the Excessive Courtroom, a ‘Travesty of Justice’, acquitted a person who was accused of murdering his spouse 35 years in the past.
The attraction was filed by the accused in opposition to an order of conviction by the Trial Courtroom and which was in a while upheld by the Excessive Courtroom underneath which he was discovered responsible for murdering his spouse underneath Part 302 and for inflicting disappearance of proof underneath Part 201 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. In 1988 the deceased physique was present in a properly, two days after she had gone lacking. Till the physique was not discovered, it was assumed that she had run away with another individual. However when the physique was recovered, some major witnesses made allegations that the accused could have killed the deceased and later dumped the physique within the properly.
Rivalry by the Prosecution
The Prosecution contended that the accused had dedicated homicide of the deceased and in a while dumped her lifeless physique within the properly of the village with an intent to trigger disappearance of the proof. Later, he approached the Police with unclean arms by fabricating a false story, whereby he reported his spouse to be ‘lacking’.
Perusal of information by the Courtroom
The 2 choose bench presided by Justice B.R. Gavai and Justice Sanjay Karol discovered there isn’t any proof, ocular or documentary, that exhibits that the accused induced disappearance of proof i.e.; the physique of the deceased by dumping it within the properly. And, simply because he gave data to the police concerning the lacking standing of his spouse doesn’t elevate the presumption that he did so in an effort to forestall himself from being prosecuted. The Investigation Officer was additionally not examined.
The Courtroom additionally seen that the prosecution examined ten witnesses out of whom six witness’s testimonies have been merely formal in nature. Therefore, the Courtroom considerably said that when their testimonies are thought-about independently and even collectively, they don’t level something in the direction of the guilt of the accused.
The Courtroom relied on the landmark case of Sharad Birdhichand Sarda v. State of Mahrashtra, (1984 SC) in which it was held that when a conviction relies on circumstantial proof, the information must be proved past cheap doubt.
The Courtroom discovered the chain of proof to be lacking. The Courtroom said that the Trial Courtroom and Excessive Courtroom could have proceeded with the acquired assumption of the guilt of the accused given that he was lastly seen with the deceased (Final Seen Collectively Idea), and that the truth that he lodged a false report.
The Courtroom discovered that the 9 circumstances on which the prosecution has primarily based his case, linking the accused to the crime should not confirmed in any respect, therefore there isn’t any query of proving them past cheap doubt. The Courtroom famous that to determine guilt of the accused there was no correct ocular or in any other case circumstantial proof.
The courtroom additionally identified that usually, the Courtroom doesn’t intervene with concurrent findings of each the Trial Courtroom in addition to the Excessive Courtroom. It’s only in distinctive circumstances that the courtroom is pressured to do the identical, when the findings are absurd and result in travesty of justice, therefore it turns into the obligation of the Courtroom to rectify such miscarriage of justice.
Therefore the Courtroom whereas stating that the courts severely erred in passing the order of conviction primarily based on incorrect and incomplete appreciation of proof, which induced severe prejudice to the accused, allowed the attraction and put aside orders handed by each the Trial Courtroom in addition to the Excessive Courtroom.
Case Title: Guna Mahto Versus State of Jharkhand 2023 LiveLaw (SC)