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Criminal appeals allowed as the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt- Jharkhand high court

Criminal appeals allowed as the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt- Jharkhand high court

The present criminal appeals are filed against the judgment and order of conviction passed in S.T. Case No. 285 of 2012 in which the appellants were convicted for offenses punishable under section  302/34 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 27 of the Arms Act and sentenced accordingly. the present appeal was heard and allowed by a Two judge bench of HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE RONGON MUKHOPADHYAY And HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SANJAY PRASAD in the case of Pawan Lohra and Ors versus The state of Jharkhand (Criminal Appeal (DB) No. 638 of 2016 with Criminal Appeal (DB) No. 288 of 2016 With Criminal Appeal (DB) No. 1374 of 2016)

The learned counsel appearing for the appellant in Cr. Appeal DB No. 638/2016 submits that the identification of the appellant itself is doubtful as there are contradictions in the evidence of eye witness with respect to the presence of the appellant in the place of occurrence and it is further submitted that identification without any test is a weak piece of evidence and the witness has identified petitioners form the physical features and the other accused while in evidence states that it was dark and could not be identified. the counsel further submits that as for the recovery of arms and ammunitions on the confession of the present appellant is concerned. The same could not be proved from the seizure list. The council states that the learned trial court has convicted the appellant u/s 27 of the Arms Act only based on assumption as neither the Sergeant Major was examined nor the report prepared by him exhibited.

The learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant in Cr. Appeal DB No. 288/2016 submitted that the witnesses who have identified the appellants, their statements were full of contradictions and not corroborative of each other. The council adds that the witnesses had the opportunity to participate in the Test Identification Parade but it was not conducted since the appellant has not been proved. The appellant should be acquitted

The learned Spl. P.P. submits that the identification of the appellants has been proved beyond any reasonable doubt and also submitted the confession of appellants and the recovery of murder weapons and ammunition.

The learned considered the rival submissions by both the parties and finds that The issue for determination to prove the charge u/s 302 I.P.C. is whether the presence of the appellants at the place of occurrence was beyond any reasonable doubt and if so whether all the appellants showed a common intention or not and the FIR was filed against the unknown persons the miscreants could not be identified and from further findings, there appears to be frailty in the evidence of the eyewitnesses regarding the identification of the appellants at the time of the incident and relies on the case of Sheo Shankar Singh v. the State of Jharkhand and another reported in (2011) 3 SCC 654. further facts were checked and the court came to the conclusion that the prosecution has miserably failed to prove its case beyond all reasonable doubts against the appellants u/s 302/34 I.P.C. and u/s 27 of the Arms Act and accordingly the judgment and order of conviction were set aside and the appeals were allowed.

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Judgment reviewed by Naveen Sharma

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