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The testimony of hostile witnesses can be relied on to the extent, it supports the prosecution case: Allahabad High Court

There is no reason to falsely implicate the accused-appellant by his real brother. Thus, his witness cannot be thrown away merely on the ground of being hostile. Such an observation was made by the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court before Hon’ble Justice Dr. Kaushal Jayendra Thaker & Hon’ble Justice Ajai Tyagi in the matter of Prakash vs State Of U.P. [JAIL APPEAL No. – 315 of 2013] on  27.10.2021.

The facts of the case revolved around the homicidal death of one Phoolkali who was alleged to be killed by his own husband by a spade. The eye-witness was of the incident, who was the complainant, was the real brother of the accused-appellant. After examining the pieces of evidence led by the prosecution the learned session judge found the accused guilty under section and awarded a sentence of life imprisonment including a fine of Rs. 10,000/-. He was directed to undergo further imprisonment for one year, in case of default of fine. The appellant was further convicted and sentenced under Section 323 IPC for six months rigorous imprisonment and further convicted and sentenced under Section 324 IPC for one year rigorous imprisonment. All sentences were directed to run concurrently. Thus, the present appeal was preferred by the appellant stating that the witnesses cannot be held to be valid on the reason of being hostile.

The Hon’ble High Court referred to the judgment in the case of Koli Lakhmanbhai Chandabhai vs. the State of Gujarat [(1999) 8 SCC 624] in which Hon’ble Supreme Court held that “ evidence of hostile witness can be relied upon to the extent it supports the version of prosecution and it is not necessary that it should be relied upon or rejected as a whole. Evidence of such a witness cannot be treated as washed off the record. It remains admissible in the trial and there is no legal bar to base his conviction upon his testimony if corroborated by other reliable evidence.

Finally, the Hon’ble High Court upheld that the order conviction of the learned session judge but turned the conviction from 304 to 304 of IPC, 1860.

Click Here To Read The Judgment

Judgment Reviewed by: Rohan Kumar Thakur

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