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Presumptions based on Reasonable doubt not sufficient to establish Guilt: Delhi High Court

Presumptions solely based on reasonable doubts are not sufficient to establish guilt of the accused. Relevant material evidences must be provided for establishing guilt of a person and benefits of reasonable doubts must not be used to implicate for solving the case. This assertion was made on behalf of the Delhi High Court by J. Suresh Kumar Kait in the case of Arvind alias Bodyguard vs. State [CRL.A. 589/2018].

The genesis of the case come from the time when ASI Anand Kumar was assigned along with Ct. Dinesh reached just ahead of Metro line at Yamuna Bank Railway Line, Delhi, and met complainant Anil Kumar, and with him, they walked towards the said spot, and the ASI recorded statement of complainant who stated that he was working in a Security Office. When train reached ahead of Metro Line, it stopped. The complainant got down from the train and started walking when a boy mugged him and threatened him with a knife.  Later on, the appellant was pointed out by the secret informer and he was arrested in the case. During police custody remand of the appellant, the mobile phone of the complainant and the knife used in the commission of the offence could not be recovered.

In the instant case, the honorable court held, “Admittedly, the stolen phone has not been recovered from the appellant, or at all. As such, other than the weak identification by the appellant, which itself was based on a fleeting and momentary glance, there is nothing on record to connect the appellant to the crime in question. 33. Further important to note that the complainant has nowhere disclosed about the kind of knife that was allegedly used by the offender. Moreover, no knife has been recovered. As such, the conviction u/s 397, IPC cannot be sustained since there is no proof that a ‘deadly weapon’ was used.” The court further asserted, “In view of recorded facts, it is established that the complainant, who had only got a fleeting glance of the offender during the incident, was informed and convinced by the police that the police had found the offender, and the complainant in his zeal to assist the police ‘solve’ the case, identified the appellant as the offender. The appellant herein was a vagabond and I have no hesitation to place on record that the appellant was easy to implicate for ‘solving’ the case. Thus, it cannot be said that the prosecution had established the appellant’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt”.

In case of Ghanshyam alias Bablu v. State, Crl. A. 757/2007, this Court observed, “At the time of committing dacoity one of the offenders caused injury by knife on the hand of the victim but the said knife was not recovered. This Court having considered the facts and circumstances of the case, and the material brought on record and the submissions made on behalf of the parties is of the view that since in the present case, prosecution has not been able to establish the dimensions of the knife and to recover and produce the same at the time of trial, it will not be appropriate to raise a presumption that the knife so used by the appellant was in fact a deadly weapon within the meaning of the term.”

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