The court cannot doubt oral deposition made by natural witnesses who were present during the scene of the crime: High Court of Sikkim

Natural witnesses who were present at the time of the relevant events gave oral depositions. Except for the fact that the defense had not been able to prove the weapon of offence, their testimony cannot be questioned. This auspicious judgment was passed by The High Court Sikkim in the case Sudeep Rai vs. State of Sikkim [Crl. A. No. 01 of 2020] of by Honourable Justice Bhaskar Raj Pradhan.

The FIR was lodged by Sandeep Rai alleging that Randip Rai was hit on the head by his brother, the appellant, using a hammer and that he had been admitted to the Mangalbaria hospital. It was also asserted that he was hit on the verandah of his house. As per the prosecution, Randip Rai succumbed to his injuries. The investigation was conducted by the Police Inspector, who, on the closure of the investigation filed the charge-sheet dated alleging that an offence under section 302 IPC had been made out.

The learned counsel for the appellant submits that there are no eyewitnesses in the present case and therefore, it is a case based on circumstantial evidence. Further, it was submitted that the circumstantial evidence has not been proved in the manner required and there are broken links in the chain of circumstances.

The learned counsel on the other hand submits that the learned Sessions Judge had rightly convicted the appellant. He pointed out the various circumstances taken note of by the learned Sessions Judge in the impugned judgment and submitted that each of these circumstances was proved beyond reasonable doubt and they form an unbroken chain of circumstances leading to the only hypothesis that it is the appellant and the appellant alone who is guilty of the offence.

The court relied on The Supreme Court Judgment State of U.P. vs. Dr Ravindra Prakash Mittal wherein, it was held that “the essential ingredients to prove the guilt of an accused by circumstantial evidence are: (a) the circumstances from which the conclusion is drawn should be fully proved; (b) the circumstances should be conclusive in nature; (c) all the facts so established should be consistent only with the hypothesis of guilt and inconsistent with innocence; (d) the circumstances should to a moral certainty, exclude the possibility of guilt of any person other than the accused.”

While dismissing the petition court opined that “the oral depositions have been made by natural witnesses who were present during the relevant time. Their evidence cannot be doubted except for the fact that the prosecution had not been able to prove the weapon of offence.”

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