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Where the prosecution’s testimony is inadequate to support the charge levied against the perpetrator, the accused’s plea of alibi will not be required to be investigated: Gauhati High Court

If the evidence, adduced by the prosecution is insufficient to uphold the charge brought against the accused, the plea of alibi taken by the accused may not be necessary to be examined. The judgment was passed by The High of Court Gauhati in the case of Sri Anupam Baruah Vs the State of Assam and Anr. [Crl.A./63/2020] by Division Bench consisting of Hon’ble Shri Justice Suman Shyam & Mir Alfaz Ali.

The prosecution case in a husk was that the deceased Janmoni Baruah was the wife of the appellant Anupam Baruah. The appellant hacked his wife Janmoni Baruah to death. Having come to know about the occurrence, the brother of the deceased lodged the FIR, based on which, police registered Case Section 302 IPC and upon completion of investigation submitted a charge sheet against the appellant.

Learned Counsel for the Appellant submitted that there was no direct evidence and the conviction of the appellant was recorded solely based on circumstantial evidence. The prosecution could neither adduce actionable evidence to establish any of the circumstances conclusively, nor could any chain of circumstances capable of drawing an inference unerringly pointing to the guilt of the accused, be established and as such, the conviction and sentence of the appellant are unsustainable.

Learned Counsel on the corollary contended that overwhelming evidence adduced by the prosecution has established the incriminating circumstances pointing to the guilt of the accused. The incriminating circumstances duly established together with the falsity of the defence plea completed the chain, to bring home the charge against the accused beyond all reasonable doubt and as such, the impugned judgment calls for no interference.

The court relying on this court judgment Narayan Debnath –Vs.- State of Assam, it was held that “We may also point out that before a Court examines the correctness of the plea of alibi taken by an accused, the evidence on record must, otherwise, be sufficient to bring home the charge against the accused. If the evidence, adduced by the prosecution, is insufficient to uphold the charge brought against the accused, the plea of alibi, taken by the accused, may not be necessary to be examined.”

While allowing the appeal the court noticed that “the prosecution has not been able to discharge its burden to establish the charge against the accused and as such, the court is not even required to examine the plea of alibi in the instant case. Be that as it may, the probability of the defence plea to the effect that the injury-causing death of the deceased was self-inflicted is sufficient to raise a reasonable doubt on the prosecution case. Therefore, we are of the considered opinion that prosecution evidence is grossly inadequate to bring home the charge against the appellant.”

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