Prosecution has to Complete the Chain of Evidences to prove Guilt: Gauhati High Court

To prove the guilt of the accused persons in a case on the basis of circumstantial evidence, the prosecution is required not only to prove the circumstances but also to complete the chain of circumstances on the basis of which the guilt of the accused can be established. But in the present case, the prosecution has failed to complete the chain of events and the evidence so as to prove the guilt of the accused beyond all reasonable doubt and the said chain of evidence remained incomplete. This remarkable judgment was passed by the Gauhati High Court in the matter of MD JAKIR HUSSAIN V THE STATE OF ASSAM and ANR [Crl.A./163/2016] by Honourable Justice Manash Ranjan Pathak And Honourable Justice Mir Alfaz Ali.

This appeal is against the judgment and order of conviction and sentence dated 20.04.2016 which was passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Sonitpur, Tezpur whereby the appellants was convicted under Sections 302/34 of the IPC and was sentenced to suffer Rigorous Imprisonment for life with fine of Rs. 1000/- each in default Rigorous Imprisonment for further 1 month each.

The facts of the case that lead to conviction are, an ejahar was lodged on 07.04.2013 by Nayab Ali wherein it was stated on 06.04.2013 at about 7.00 p.m. his son Hussain Ali left his house for Borguri village on a bicycle along with Rs. 3000/- to purchase a Godrej Almirah but did not return home that night and went missing. Later, on the morning of 07.04.2013 his dead body was found with a severed head and the money and phone were missing. In the ejahar the informant stated that he suspected Jakir Hussain, Jiabur Rahman and Babul Ali son of Abdul Hussain as the persons involved in murdering his son as those persons resided near his house and had been working as laborers along with his son for the last 4/5 months and his said son use to spend his leisure time with them.

During the course of investigation, all relevant steps were taken by the investigative officer. The three accused were then apprehended and arrested and their statements were also recorded. Since no such incriminating materials were found against the alleged arrested accused Babul Ali and Halima Khatun, they were not sent up for trial. The learned Trial Judge after completion of recording of evidence of prosecution witnesses recorded the statements of the accused-appellants under Sections 313 CrPC.  During the cross-examination, it was contended that the accused Jakir told police that he had killed Hussain Ali 1-2 days before he led police to the recovery of lathi used in the incident.

The witnesses during cross-examination specified that the accused Jakir has agreed and confessed to the crime. Later, Dr. Gopendra Mohan Das, the autopsy doctor who conducted the post mortem examination of the deceased Hussain Ali during the recording of his evidence in chief deposed before the learned Trial Court that the deceased was a male of 23 years of age and during such examination, he found the following injuries that the head was severed by a sharp object. He also deposed that as per his opinion the cause of death of the deceased was due to haemorrhage and shock sustained by him as a result of amputation, head cut injury over the neck.

However, the learned counsels for the appellants submitted that the prosecution failed to prove the guilt of the accused persons beyond all reasonable doubt and the required completion of the chain so they are entitled to acquittal in the case. Additionally, statements were made in police custody regarding the commission of the crime thence they cannot be considered in evidence against them so as to punish them under Section 302 IPC.

The court observed that “Though the death of the deceased was homicidal in nature and gruesome there was no eye witness to the incident and the prosecution is required to prove the guilt of the accused on the basis of circumstantial evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.

It was also, stated that “Though, the disclosure statement made by the accused Jakir Hussain Exhibit-6 before police and then he led the police persons along with other witnesses to the house of Amir (PW.7) from where the dao and the split bamboo, alleged weapons of offence, used in the commission of the crime, were seized; but police did not send those articles to the FSL for their necessary examination so as to ascertain whether those were used by the accused person in committing the crime or not.

Thus, the HC acquitted the appellant since the chain of evidences remained incomplete.

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