Bombay High Court acquits a man convicted for murder for lack of evidence

Title: Suresh v. The State of Maharashtra and Ors.

Decided on: 18th JULY, 2023

+ Cri.Apeal.513/2016


Facts of the Case:

Appellant had illicit relations with one Shobhabai. Deceased Anil desisted appellant from maintaining and continuing such relations. Therefore, according to prosecution, deceased was viewed as obstruction and to eliminate him, appellant called him near the water tank and by use of knife he stabbed him to death and thereafter threw the body in the well for causing disappearance of evidence. Hence, he convicted for offences under IPC Sec. 302 and 201. This was challenged by him in this appeal.


Was the conviction of the appellant valid?


The appellants claimed that the conviction was wrong for there was no incriminating evidence proving his guilt; The conviction was based only on circumstantial evidence and not any direct evidence. The prosecution was not able to prove beyond reasonable doubt and therefore, the accused must be given the benefit of doubt.

The Respondents contented that the appellant was rightly contended as there was enough incriminating evidence. The appellant being the last person in the company of deceased, he is rightly arrested, tried and rightly held guilty. As per the statement of the deceased’s wife he went to the tank (place where he was found dead) only after receiving a call from the appellant. The appellant was also seen purchasing a knife. All the evidence directly points to his involvement in the death and therefore, he is rightly convicted.


The evidence presented by the Respondents is not direct evidence. None of the circumstances firmly and cogently proved beyond reasonable doubt. The chain of circumstances is not getting complete. Therefore, case of prosecution cannot be said to be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

Therefore, the appellant was acquitted and the previous order of the Court was set aside.

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Written by- Aparna Gupta, University Law College & Dept. of Studies in Law

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