Conviction cannot be imposed based on statements made by untrustworthy witnesses: the Supreme Court

Case title: State of Haryana vs Mohd. Yunus & Ors.

Case no.: Criminal Appeal No. 1307 of 2012

Decided on: 12.01.2024

Quorum: Hon’ble Justice M.M Sundresh, Hon’ble Justice Prasant Kumar Mishra



There are four accused who have faced trail for the commission of offence of murder. The trail court acquitted one of the accused and convicted the other three. The other three who are convicted went for appeal to the high court. The court rejected the appeal of two of the accused and reduced the charges of one of the accused named Mohd. Yunus. The current appeal is by the State, challenging the High Court’s decision to acquit Mohd. Yunus of charges under Section 302 of the IPC while convicting him under Section 323 of the IPC.


Section 302 of the IPC states that a person who commits murder will face the death penalty. Section 34 of the IPC addresses common intention. When two or more people commit a criminal act with the same intention, all of them are liable.

Section 323 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) deals with punishment for voluntarily causing harm. It states that anyone who intentionally causes harm to another person will face imprisonment.


The appellant contended that the same set of evidence that was used to convict Mohd. Jamil, one of the accused, should have been considered when upholding Mohd. Yunus’ conviction for the offence under Section 302 read with Section 34 IPC. They contended that the High Court erred in acquitting Mohd. Yunus of the charge under Section 302 read with Section 34 of the IPC.


The court determined in the second trial that both of the prosecution’s star witnesses should be disbelieved because their statements are contradictory, the facts are twisted, and improvements are made. For a trial under Section 302 IPC, if a witness is branded as untrustworthy for allegedly twisting the facts and making a contrary statement, it is not safe to impose conviction based on such a statement. When there is an attempt to falsely implicate one accused person, a statement made by such an eyewitness cannot be trusted without strong corroboration. As a result, the State of Haryana’s criminal appeal challenging Mohd. Yunus’ acquittal under Section 302 read with Section 34 of the IPC has been dismissed.


“PRIME LEGAL is a full-service law firm that has won a National Award and has more than 20 years of experience in an array of sectors and practice areas. Prime legal fall into a category of best law firm, best lawyer, best family lawyer, best divorce lawyer, best divorce law firm, best criminal lawyer, best criminal law firm, best consumer lawyer, best civil lawyer.”


Written by – Surya Venkata Sujith


Click here to read judgement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *