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Lack Of Cogent Evidence and Flaws in Eyewitness Story Leads To Acquittal Of Appellants: Bombay High Court.

The Bombay high court passed an astonishing verdict on Wednesday, the 27th of July of the year 2022, in which all 24 accused have been acquitted from the crimes they were charged with. This declaration was seen in the case of Hasankhan S/o Jabajkhan & Anr. vs. State of Maharashtra (Criminal Appeal No. 149 Of 2012) and this ruling was given by the Honourable Mr. Justice S. B. Shukre and the Honourable Mr. Justice G. A. Sanap.

Facts of the case:

In a crime registered with the Police Station, in the town of Yavatmal, 24 persons were charge sheeted. Initially the Sessions Trial was registered against all these accused persons. However, at the stage of trial, accused Nasrullah Khan was absconding and therefore, his trial was separated out. Out of the 23 accused people, the learned Additional Sessions Judge after conducting a full-fledged trial, found six accused persons, namely Ijajkhan Jabajkhan Pathan, Hasankhan Jabajkhan, Firozkhan Jabajkhan, Nadimoddin Najmoddin, Ziyaullahkhan Jakaullakhan and Shamiullahkhan Anwarkhkan guilty of the offences punishable under Sections 147, 148, 302 read with section 149 and 326  read with 149 of the Indian Penal Code and convicted them for these offences by the judgment and order dated 29.02.2012. The learned Additional Sessions Judge acquitted the remaining accused persons of all the charges that were under offence punishable under Section 4 and 25 of the Arms Act.

The 6 declared guilty, due to being convicted for multiple charges, they were awarded with multiple sentences. The convicted were sentenced to suffer imprisonment for life, multiple other imprisonment sentences and to pay a multitude of fines for the various charges they were convicted under the Indian Penal Code.

The trial of absconding accused Nasrullah khan was conducted separately. The learned Additional Sessions Judge, found him guilty and by judgment and order dated 15.03.2016, convicted him for the offences punishable under Sections 302 read with Section 149, 307 read with Section 149, 147 and 148 of the Indian Penal Code. He is sentenced to suffer imprisonment for life as well, with multiple imprisonment charges and to pay all the fines he has been charged with under the Indian Penal Code.

Judgement:

The court in its judgement concluded that the learned Additional Sessions Judge has failed to extend the benefit of doubt to the 6 appellants, which the learned Additional Sessions Judge had extended to the 17 other accused persons. On revaluation of the evidence, the court found that the convicted deserve the benefit of doubt. The evidence provided to the court by the learned Additional Public Prosecutor is not cogent, credible, and reliable to prove the guilt against the accused persons or to reverse the judgment of acquittal against the 17 accused. The court also said that there are inherent flaws in the evidence of the eyewitnesses. The court, therefore, allows the appeals filed by the convicted to succeed.

The conviction and sentence are set aside and quashed for the accused Hasankhan Jabajkhan, Nadimoddin Najmoddin, Firozkhan Jabajkhan, Shamiullahkhan Anwarkhan, Ijajkhan Jabajkhan Pathan, Ziyaullahkhan Jakaullakhan and Nasrullah khan Jabajkhan. All the accused are acquitted of the offences they were charged with under the Indian penal code.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY TANAV ZACHARIAH.

Click here to view the Judgement

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