Supreme Court Acquits Murder Accused Due to Doubts Surrounding Prosecution Case


Case No: 3684 OF 2023

Decided on: 7th May, 2024


Facts of the case

The documents are court records from a criminal case in which the accused appellant was found guilty of firing rounds that killed a person by the name of Sanju. To prove the accused appellant’s guilt, the prosecution cited the eyewitness accounts of Ram Prakash (PW-1), Sultan Singh (PW-2), and Ram Naresh (PW-5). The distance between the spots where the gunshots were fired and the witnesses’ places made it physically impossible for them to have witnessed the incident, according to the defense, who said that these witnesses were unreliable and had not been at the crime scene . In the end, the accused appellant was found not guilty when the appeal against the conviction was granted.


1. Whether the eyewitness testimony was untrustworthy, the court was urged to overturn the verdict and acquit?

Legal Provisions

The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) was the main source of the relevant legal legislation. The following are the main ideas and legal requirements:

IPC Section 302: This section addresses the penalty for murder.

Section 34 IPC, which deals with acts committed by multiple people in furtherance of a common intention, and this section were the original grounds for the accused jagvir Singh’s conviction.This section creates joint liability when a criminal act is committed by multiple people in furtherance of the common intention of all

Appellant’s Contentions

Due to concerns over the witnesses’ veracity, the defense argued that the eyewitness testimony was untrustworthy and urged the court to overturn the verdict and acquit Jagvir Singh. On the other hand, the State fiercely disagreed, highlighting the concurrent rulings of the trial Court and High Court, endorsing Jagvir Singh’s conviction for shooting the deceased, according to eyewitness accounts.

Respondent’s Contentions

The State angrily refuted the defense’s claims, emphasizing the trial and the High Court’s concurrent conclusions based on eyewitness accounts, which upheld Jagvir Singh’s conviction for shooting the deceased.

 Court Analysis and Judgement

Due to concerns about the eyewitnesses’ veracity, the appellant’s attorney claimed that the eyewitness testimony was untrustworthy and urged the court to overturn the verdict and acquit the accused. In contrast, the State’s attorney urged the Court to reject the appeal and uphold the conviction by highlighting the simultaneous convictions of guilt by two courts based on eyewitness testimony. Due to mistakes in the eyewitness identification, the High Court overturned the verdict, cleared the appellant, and allowed him to leave custody right away. The appellant and another were found guilty by the trial court based on the testimony of eyewitnesses; however, their conviction was subsequently reversed. In favor of the appellant’s acquittal, the defense contended that the eyewitnesses were untrustworthy and could not have witnessed the incident because of their location.

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Judgement Analysis Written by – K. Immey Grace

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