Un-retracted and proved confessional statement of the petitioner recorded by the officer of RPF can by itself be the sole basis of conviction of the petitioner : Jharkhand High Court

Confessional statements can be truly powerful, especially in the court of law. Once recorded through proper procedural rules, it can play the most crucial role in the trial. This was held in the judgment passed by a single bench judge comprising HON’BLE MRS. JUSTICE ANUBHA RAWAT CHOUDHARY, in the matter Salim Khan V. State of Jharkhand (Cr. Rev. No. 448 of 2012), dealt with an issue where the petitioner filed for an appeal against the judgement that convicted and sentenced the petitioner for Imprisonment of two years and a fine of Rs. 10,000/-, and imprisonment for another six months for offence under Section 3(a) of Railway Property (Unlawful Possession) Act, 1966.

The learned amicus appearing on behalf of the petitioner submitted that the impugned judgements suffer from perversity, inasmuch as, neither the complainant has been examined, nor the complaint petition has been proved and the petitioner has been convicted on the basis of the confessional statement of the petitioner and that of co-accused. He further submitted that apart from the confessional statements, there is no other material whatsoever to connect the petitioner with the alleged offence. The learned amicus further submitted that on one hand, there is no recovery pursuant to confession and on the other hand, the confession by itself cannot be the sole basis of conviction of the petitioner as the same is hit by Section 25 of the Evidence Act.

The learned A.P.P. appearing on behalf of the Opposite Party-State, on the other hand, while opposing the prayer of the petitioner submitted that there are concurrent findings recorded by the learned courts below after scrutinizing the evidences on record and accordingly, there is no scope for reappreciation of evidences and coming to a different finding in revisional jurisdiction. However, the learned A.P.P. does not dispute the fact that the petitioner was made accused on the basis of confessional statement of the co-accused.

He relied upon the judgement passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court reported in (1980) (Balkishan A. Devidayal -vs- State of Maharashtra) to submit that the officers of Railway Protection Force (RPF) are not “police officers” so as to attract the bar under Section 25 of the Evidence Act, 1872 and further submitted that the confession made by the petitioner before the Inspector of RPF is admissible in evidence. He also submitted that non-examination of the complainant and consequently, the complaint has not been proved is not fatal to the case of the prosecution. The complaint was filed in official capacity and the prosecution witnesses have proved the case against the petitioner beyond all reasonable doubts.

After hearing both the parties, the Hon’ble Jharkhand High court dismissed the petition as the   Court is of the  view that there is no illegality or perversity in the impugned judgements calling for any interference in revisional jurisdiction. This Court also finds the punishment imposed upon the petitioner as adequate and no interference is called for in his sentence also.

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