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It is the responsibility of the prosecution to establish beyond a reasonable doubt all of the facts from which guilt is to be inferred: Uttarakhand High Court

It is the responsibility of the prosecution to establish beyond a reasonable doubt all of the facts from which guilt is to be inferred is upheld by the Uttarakhand High Court in the case of Balbhadra Singh And Another v. State Of Uttarakhand (Criminal Appeal No.37 of 2006) through Hon’ble Justice Alok Kumar Verma. 

FACTS OF THE CASE

In this instant case, Balbharda Singh who was the deceased’s mother-in-law and Smt. Shashi Devi who was deceased’s father-in-law were the appellants. The marriage of deceased and Rakesh Singh took place. After their marriage, the appellants began to harass the deceased. The deceased’s mother and father were informed by a resident of the village of Gadmil that the deceased was missing.

When the deceased’s disappearance was reported, the informants, that is, deceased’s mother and father arrived at the appellants’ home  when the accused individuals began insulting them. Then, they learned by telephone that an unidentified person’s dead body was found on the Alaknanda River bank. When they arrived, they discovered the body of the deceased.

Seven people were named in the First Information Report. After an investigation into the incident was completed, a charge sheet was submitted against the appellants. The Court of Session was given the matter. The appellants Balbhadra Singh and Smt. Shashi Devi were found guilty under Sections 304B and 498A of the I.P.C. and were sentenced to seven years of rigorous imprisonment for the crime.

The present appeal was brought by the appellants-accused persons in response to the judgement that was made by the learned District and Sessions Judge

JUDGEMENT

The Uttarakhand High Court held that in a criminal case, it is the responsibility of the prosecution to establish beyond a reasonable doubt all of the facts from which guilt is to be inferred. To condemn the guilty, more than just a hint of suspicion is required. The prosecution must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the appellants tormented the deceased with any dowry demand. Unimpeachable proof in regards to the dowry demand is a prerequisite for the presumption of the dowry death.

The Court also held that the available evidence did not back up the prosecution’s version of events. There was no conclusive evidence of dowry demands, and also, a connection between dowry demands and harassment could not be proven.

After carefully examining and scrutinising the prosecution’s evidence, this Court came to the conclusion that the prosecution has not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the appellants committed the accused crime.

Therefore, this Court accepted the appellants’ case. Accordingly, the appeal is granted.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NISHTHA GARHWAL

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