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Accused held guilty based on the statement of eye witnesses and medical reports: The Supreme Court of India

Considering the material on record including the eyewitness’s account as well as the corroborative pieces of material, it is firmly established that the accused Pardeep fired the fatal shot from the roof of the house. The involvement of accused-Pardeep is thus beyond any doubt.teh aforesaid was upheld by the Supreme Court of India while adjudicating the case of  Sandeep v. State Of Haryana [CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.1613 OF 2018] which was decided upon by a single judge bench comprising Justice Uday Umesh Lalit on 27th August 2021.

The appellants namely; (i) Pardeep son of Sh. Ishwar Singh, (ii) Ishwar Singh son of Sh. Ram Singh, (iii) Sandeep son of Sh. Ishwar Singh and (iv) Krishana wife of Sh. Ishwar Singh, R/o Vill. Lehrara, Distt. Sonepat were tried in the Court of Additional Sessions Judge/ Fast Track Court, Sonepat, Haryana in Sessions Case No.14-RBT of 2007-2008 for having committed the aforementioned offences. These appeals arise out of the common judgment and order dated 30.05.2014 passed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh dismissing Criminal Appeal No.D-372-DB of 2009 and thereby affirming the conviction and sentence of all the appellants in respect of the offences punishable under Section 302 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and under Section 25 of the Arms Act, 1959 qua Appellant-Pardeep. The Trial Court, thus, convicted and sentenced all the accused to suffer life imprisonment for having committed offences under Sections 302 read with 34 IPC and imposed fine in the sum of Rs.5,000/- each with default sentence of six months. Accused-Pardeep was separately convicted under Section 25 of the Arms Act, 1959 and was awarded sentence of one year with the imposition of fine with a sum of Rs.500/- with a default sentence of 10 days.

The court perused the facts and arguments presented. It was of the opinion that “all three accused are said to have exhorted accused-Pardeep but the exhortation given by accused-Sandeep was immediately before the shot was fired and of a greater impact in as much as he had seen accused-Pardeep at the rooftop along with the firearm and then made the exhortation. Considering the entirety of the circumstances, in our view, accused Ishwar and accused Krishana Devi are entitled to benefit of doubt whereas the involvement of accused Sandeep stands completely proved beyond reasonable doubt. We thus find that that the case of prosecution stands proved against accused-Pardeep and accused-Sandeep and their appeals deserve to be dismissed while the appeals preferred by accused-Ishwar and Krishana Devi deserve acceptance. Consequently, Criminal Appeal Nos.1613 and 1614 of 2018 preferred by accused-Sandeep and Pardeep respectively are dismissed 10 while Criminal Appeal No.1615 of 2018 preferred by accused Ishwar and Criminal Appeal arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No.8789 of 2014 preferred by Krishana Devi are allowed. The accused Ishwar and Krishana Devi be released forthwith unless their custody is required in connection with any other offence.”

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