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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Acquittal granted by Punjab high court charged under section 3 of the ST and SC Act,due to inadequate evidence produced by prosecution

TITLE: Rajbir Singh v State of Punjab   

Decided On-:June 7, 2023

CRA-S-2323-SB-2006 (O&M)

CORAM: Hon’ble Justice Mr. N.S Shekawat

INTRODUCTION- For the offense covered by Section 3 of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act, Rajbir Singh was found guilty. The accused prays for acquittal


The FIR in the present case was filed by Swaranjit Kaur, the wife of Caste Majhabi Sikh Baljit Singh, a resident of Bhagwanpura. She had three children and was married to Baljit Singh for 13 years, the complainant claimed. Both she and her husband were working manually. Around 8:00 p.m. on May 22, 2005, the complainant’s son Karampal Singh, who was about 10 years old, and she were crossing the street in front of Kaka Singh’s home to get milk from Bhikar Singh when they saw Rajbir Singh, the appellant, standing there while intoxicated. When he saw the complainant, he immediately started abusing her.

She went to get milk, but she didn’t say anything because she was afraid. Rajbir Singh, the appellant, met her in front of Kaka Singh’s house as she was walking back to her house. He called the complainant “chuhriya” and warned her and other “dheds” that if they failed to harm the Mazhabis, they would be expelled from the community. Rajbir Singh, the appellant, raised his shirt in front of the complainant and hurled crude insults at her despite her attempts to explain. She didn’t say a word as she and her son returned to their home.


Four witnesses were questioned by the prosecution to support the charge.

According to the FIR, Swaranjit Kaur, the complainant, who served as PW-1, was questioned in order to support the prosecution’s case. She claimed that Rajbir Singh met her as she was walking back from getting milk, close to Kaka Singh’s home. Rajbir Singh referred to her as “chuhri” and “dhedni” and demanded that she clean the dung from the cattle heads and trash at his house, but she refused. At the time, Rajbir Singh, the appellant, was intoxicated.

She asked the accused to keep quiet, but he spoke a lot before raising his shirt. Following the testimony of the witnesses for the prosecution, the appellant’s statement was recorded in accordance with Section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The appellant claimed that he had been the victim of a planted case. No incident had occurred in the village, but rather, there was a dispute over Jumlan Malkan land between Harijans and the village’s farmers.

The appellant’s knowledgeable attorney vehemently argued that there is no evidence of an offence under Section 3(1)(x) of the SC & ST Act against the current appellant. Since no one was present at the scene of the incident, it was impossible to confirm that it had actually happened. In a location that is “public view”. Aside from that, the prosecution did not present any other evidence.

“This Court finds sufficient force in the argument raised by the learned counsel for the appellant that there was a dispute relating to land between the members of the scheduled caste and the agriculturists of the village. The prosecution examined the complainant Swaranjit Kaur as PW-1. Even she was subjected to cross-examination and she was evasive in her replies, while she was cross-examined by the defense counsel.”

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Written by-  Steffi Desousa

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Haryana High Court- Observes good behavior for over 22 years on bail and grants acquittal

TITLE: Yogesh v State of Haryana

Decided On-:02.6.2023

CRM-M No. 27293 of 2023

CORAM: Hon’ble Justice Mr. N.S Shekhawat  

INTRODUCTION- The accused/appellant was found guilty and sentenced to two and a half years of rigorous imprisonment for violating Section 17(b) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (the “NDPS Act”). The present appeal is directed against the judgement of conviction dated April 27, 2005, and order of sentence dated April 29, 2005, passed by the learned Special Judge, Rohtak. The sentences were set to run simultaneously.

FACTS OF THE CASE- According to the evidence presented by the prosecution, on April 30, 2001, Inspector Satbir Singh of the CIA in Rohtak received a top-secret tip that the accused, Yogesh @ Pappe, was selling charas at the “Kashaiyon Wala Chowk” (Butcher’s circle) Indira market in Rohtak. If a raid were to be launched right away, he could have been captured there. In this regard, a note was made in the Daily Dairy Register, and Constable Pardeep Kumar forwarded a copy of the note to the senior police officers. A raiding party was organised, and the group led by Inspector Satbir Singh arrived at the designated location.He identified himself as Yogesh @ Pappe, son of Ramesh, when the police team questioned him. The appellant received a notice under Section 50 of the NDPS Act and was informed of his right to request a search of himself in front of a gazetted officer or a Magistrate. The defendant chose to have his search done before a gazetted after responding right away. When the accused was searched at Inspector Satbir Singh’s request, 400 grammes of charas that had been kept by him in the right side pocket of his trousers were discovered, wrapped in polythene paper. Two distinct parcels were made from the five grammes of charas that were separated as a sample. In addition, 100 grammes of opium that was wrapped in polythene paper was found in his shirt’s front pocket, and 5 grammes of that quantity was taken out as a sample and placed in an empty matchbox. The defendants, witnesses, and case materials were presented to Kailash Chand, SHO, Police Station City Rohtak, who confirmed the information with them and affixed his seal, which read “KC,” to each parcel, and told Inspector Satbir Singh to give the case property to MHC while keeping the accused locked up. The challan was presented against the accused before the appropriate court following the necessary investigation.


The appellant’s knowledgeable attorney vehemently argued that because Section 42 of the NDPS Act’s mandatory provisions were not followed in this case and there was a violation of those provisions, the appellant should be found not guilty by this Court. Further, the appellant’s knowledgeable attorney argued that PW-4 DSP Kartar Singh was summoned to the scene and made an offer to the accused via notice Ex.PC that the search could be conducted in either his or a Magistrate’s presence.In addition, there was no proof that the seal sample impressions had been created on-site or that the entire process had taken place in the police station. On the other hand, experienced legal representation representing the State of Haryana disagreed with the appellant’s submissions. The learned state attorney argued that the recovery in this case had taken place from a public location, specifically “Kashaiyon Wala Chowk” (butchers’ circle), Indira market, Rohtak. The NDPS Act’s Section 42 would not apply because the recovery was carried out from a public location; instead, Section 43’s provisions would take effect. The argument put forth by the appellant that there was a violation of the mandatory provision of Section 50 of the NDPS Act under the facts and circumstances of the current case is rejected by the court as having no merit. In actuality, Section 50 of the NDPS Act did not mandate that a second notice be given. In this instance, the appellant was already aware of his legal right—as stated in notice —to request that his search be conducted in front of a gazetted officer or a magistrate, as required by law. Therefore, it is impossible to claim that there was a violation of a law’s mandatory provisions, and this Court is likely to reject the aforementioned argument. It was clear that the appellant had paid the fine on the spot that day. Expert legal counsel for the appellant argued that a lenient view could be adopted while still giving him the sentence. The said argument put forth on behalf of the appellant is deemed to have sufficient weight by this Court. This Court is aware that the current appellant had been found to be in possession of contraband. Taking into consideration the totality of the circumstances, the substantive sentence of the appellant is reduced to the period already undergone by him

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Written by-  Steffi Desousa

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