A crime against the accused must always be proved beyond reasonable doubt: Bombay High Court

The prosecution in a criminal case, especially that of a murder, must make all efforts to prove that the allegations against the accused are true beyond reasonable doubt, held, a division bench of Justice VK Jadhav and SG Dige, while adjudicating the matter in Sachin v. State of Maharashtra; [CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 245 OF 2014]

The informant Sanjay Ware is having an agricultural land at Lohasar, taluka Pathardi and he has constructed his residential house in the field itself. He was residing there along with his wife Vaishali (deceased), two sons and one daughter. The appellant-accused no.1 Sachin Chavan was working in his field since one and half year prior to the incident. The informant’s wife, namely deceased Vaishali, was having a sim-card of Idea Cellular Company. It was given to appellant-accused no.1 Sachin. The informant or his wife Vaishali used to contact appellant-accused no.1 Sachin on the said sim-card/cell phone in connection with the agricultural work. According to the prosecution, due to frequent visits to the house of the informant by appellant-accused no.1 Sachin and also due to use of the said sim-card for contact purposes, the appellant-accused no.1 Sachin had developed intimacy with the wife of the informant, namely, Vaishali (deceased). It is also the case of the prosecution that the appellant-accused no.1 Sachin had developed an evil eye on deceased Vaishali. Even deceased Vaishali had informed the same to the informant Sanjay.

About two months prior to the incident, the appellant-accused no.1 Sachin had made an attempt to outrage the modesty of deceased Vaishali and she had beaten him with the help of her slippers. It is also the case of the prosecution that thereafter, informant Sanjay and deceased Vaishali both had asked the appellant-accused no.1 Sachin not to come to their house. However, accused no.1 Sachin was trying to remain in contact with deceased Vaishali. deceased Vaishali had gone to the weekly market at Karanji for purchasing the essentials on the eve of the Sankranti festival. She had taken Rs.500/- from the informant husband Sanjay and left the house at about 9.00 a.m. However, she did not return to the house from the weekly market. The informant Sanjay and his brother-in-law had tried to search Vaishali, however they could not trace out her for about two days. The learned Additional Sessions Judge framed charge against both the accused under Sections 302, 201, 404 read with 34 of IPC. Both the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge and claimed to be tried.

The Court upon considering the aforesaid facts stated that; “Accused no.1 Sachin had demanded sexual relations from Vaishali and so Vaishali had assaulted accused Sachin and on that count, murder had taken place out of revenge with the help of accused no.2. However, we hardly find any evidence to draw a conclusion to that effect as deposed by the Investigating Officer. On the contrary, the evidence indicates otherwise. We are of the considered opinion that the prosecution has failed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt against both the accused persons. Thus, both the appellants-accused are entitled for the benefit of doubt.”

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