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“Even if a particular document is not disputed, the Court has the discretion to analyze the same in evidence”: SC

Case title:- Pankaj Singh Versus State of Harayana

Case No:-CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.1753/2023

Decided on:-March 21,2024

Quorum:- ABHAY S.OKA, J

Facts of the case:-

 In this instance, the rosecutrix was 28 years old at the time of the incident. The prosecutrix and the appellant-accused were both married. It is documented that the Prosecutrix held a degree. The prosecutrix made the allegation. Is that the appellant was her husband’s brother’s friend.She knew the appellant, for that reason. The appellant went to a place named Hansi on May 22, 2018, to see a physician.The appellant arrived as she was waiting to board a bus to return to Bhiwani, where she was lodging. He was heading to Bhiwani and asked the Prosecutrix to ride along in his automobile. Under the guise of experiencing stomach pain and he led the appellant to a room in the Jindal Guest House in Bhiwani so he could discharge himself. After forcing the door open from the inside, he had an intimate relationship with the Prosecutrix. He threatened to send her the offensive photos to her family if she told anybody about the situation after taking them.

Legal Provisions

The Offences punishable under Sections 342, 376 and 201 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.The maximum sentence imposed is life imprisonment for the offence punishable under Section 376 of the IPC with a fine of Rs.1,00,00/-.It is against the appellant-accused for the Offences punishable under Sections 365, 354D(1)(ii) and 506 of the IPC.

Appellant Contentions:-

The Prosecutrix’s testimony as well as that of the other significant prosecution witnesses have been reviewed by the knowledgeable attorney representing the accused appellant. His submission is that the appellant-accused and the prosecutrix had a consensual relationship. He said that both the prosecutor and the accused went around, and it is acknowledged that the prosecutor accompanied the accused person voluntarily. He further argued that had the police presented the CCTV tape from the Jindal Guest House, the supposed site of the incident, it would have demonstrated that the appellant-accused and the prosecutrix had entered and exited the building with joy. His argument is that the Prosecutrix’s proof should be rejected.

Respondent Contentions:-

The State’s knowledgeable attorney defended the contested rulings. He argued that since the prosecutrix had proven there had been coerced sexual relations, her evidence could not be rejected on technical grounds. He also argued that as it is established law that the Prosecutrix cannot be injured, this version cannot be discounted on the grounds that she was not hurt. The Prosecutrix’s WhatsApp exchange with the accused appellant was cited by the Prosecutrix’s knowledgeable legal representation. In light of Section 294 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, he argued that even though the certificate required by Section 65B of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 was not produced regarding the WhatsApp conversation that was produced on record, the appellant-accused had not objected to its production. The WhatsApp exchange is acceptable as proof. He made use of the Indian Evidence Act of 1872’s Section 114A presumption. He stated that It would have to be assumed that the prosecutor’s consent was not obtained for the sexual encounter. He argued that the offense in this instance falls under sub-Section (2), clause (f), of Section 376 of the IPC. He further argued that the appellant-accused was in a position of trust as far as the Prosecutrix was concerned, meaning that clause (f) of sub-Section (2) of Section 376 of the IPC Will apply. As a result, he claimed, the presumption under Section 114A of the Evidence Act should be applied in this particular case. Additionally, he stated that no proof had been presented by the accused appellant to support his innocence. He stated that there is no need for intervention considering the concurrent findings recorded by the Trial court.

Judgement:-

In this case, It is nobody’s case that the appellant-accused was called upon to admit or deny the genuineness of the WhatsApp chats. Moreover, Sub-Section (3) of Section 294 of the Cr.PC indicates that even if a particular document is not disputed, the Court has the discretion to read or not to read the same in evidence without formal proof of the signature of the person to whom it purports to be signed. The Court always has the power to require the signature to be proved. Therefore, the contention of the learned counsel appearing for the Prosecutrix based on Section 294 of the Cr.PC has absolutely no merit. In any case, a certificate under Section 65B of the Evidence Act has not been produced. Therefore, in our considered opinion, the prosecution has failed to prove the appellant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Hence, the impugned orders cannot be sustained, and they are hereby quashed and set aside. The appellant-accused is acquitted of the Charges framed against him. The Appeal is, accordingly, allowed. The appellant is on bail. Therefore, his bail bond shall stand cancelled.

“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.”

Judgement Analysis Written by – K.Immey Grace

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“Even if a particular document is not disputed, the Court has the discretion to analyze the same in evidence”: SC

Case title:- Pankaj Singh Versus State of Harayana

Case No:-CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.1753/2023

Decided on:-March 21,2024

Quorum:- ABHAY S.OKA, J

Facts of the case:-

 In this instance, the rosecutrix was 28 years old at the time of the incident. The prosecutrix and the appellant-accused were both married. It is documented that the Prosecutrix held a degree. The prosecutrix made the allegation. Is that the appellant was her husband’s brother’s friend.She knew the appellant, for that reason. The appellant went to a place named Hansi on May 22, 2018, to see a physician.The appellant arrived as she was waiting to board a bus to return to Bhiwani, where she was lodging. He was heading to Bhiwani and asked the Prosecutrix to ride along in his automobile. Under the guise of experiencing stomach pain and he led the appellant to a room in the Jindal Guest House in Bhiwani so he could discharge himself. After forcing the door open from the inside, he had an intimate relationship with the Prosecutrix. He threatened to send her the offensive photos to her family if she told anybody about the situation after taking them.

Legal Provisions

The Offences punishable under Sections 342, 376 and 201 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.The maximum sentence imposed is life imprisonment for the offence punishable under Section 376 of the IPC with a fine of Rs.1,00,00/-.It is against the appellant-accused for the Offences punishable under Sections 365, 354D(1)(ii) and 506 of the IPC.

Appellant Contentions:-

The Prosecutrix’s testimony as well as that of the other significant prosecution witnesses have been reviewed by the knowledgeable attorney representing the accused appellant. His submission is that the appellant-accused and the prosecutrix had a consensual relationship. He said that both the prosecutor and the accused went around, and it is acknowledged that the prosecutor accompanied the accused person voluntarily. He further argued that had the police presented the CCTV tape from the Jindal Guest House, the supposed site of the incident, it would have demonstrated that the appellant-accused and the prosecutrix had entered and exited the building with joy. His argument is that the Prosecutrix’s proof should be rejected.

Respondent Contentions:-

The State’s knowledgeable attorney defended the contested rulings. He argued that since the prosecutrix had proven there had been coerced sexual relations, her evidence could not be rejected on technical grounds. He also argued that as it is established law that the Prosecutrix cannot be injured, this version cannot be discounted on the grounds that she was not hurt. The Prosecutrix’s WhatsApp exchange with the accused appellant was cited by the Prosecutrix’s knowledgeable legal representation. In light of Section 294 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, he argued that even though the certificate required by Section 65B of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 was not produced regarding the WhatsApp conversation that was produced on record, the appellant-accused had not objected to its production. The WhatsApp exchange is acceptable as proof. He made use of the Indian Evidence Act of 1872’s Section 114A presumption. He stated that It would have to be assumed that the prosecutor’s consent was not obtained for the sexual encounter. He argued that the offense in this instance falls under sub-Section (2), clause (f), of Section 376 of the IPC. He further argued that the appellant-accused was in a position of trust as far as the Prosecutrix was concerned, meaning that clause (f) of sub-Section (2) of Section 376 of the IPC Will apply. As a result, he claimed, the presumption under Section 114A of the Evidence Act should be applied in this particular case. Additionally, he stated that no proof had been presented by the accused appellant to support his innocence. He stated that there is no need for intervention considering the concurrent findings recorded by the Trial court.

Judgement:-

In this case, It is nobody’s case that the appellant-accused was called upon to admit or deny the genuineness of the WhatsApp chats. Moreover, Sub-Section (3) of Section 294 of the Cr.PC indicates that even if a particular document is not disputed, the Court has the discretion to read or not to read the same in evidence without formal proof of the signature of the person to whom it purports to be signed. The Court always has the power to require the signature to be proved. Therefore, the contention of the learned counsel appearing for the Prosecutrix based on Section 294 of the Cr.PC has absolutely no merit. In any case, a certificate under Section 65B of the Evidence Act has not been produced. Therefore, in our considered opinion, the prosecution has failed to prove the appellant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Hence, the impugned orders cannot be sustained, and they are hereby quashed and set aside. The appellant-accused is acquitted of the Charges framed against him. The Appeal is, accordingly, allowed. The appellant is on bail. Therefore, his bail bond shall stand cancelled.

“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.”

Judgement Analysis Written by – K.Immey Grace

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“Even if a particular document is not disputed, the Court has the discretion to analyze the same in evidence”: SC

Case title:- Pankaj Singh Versus State of Harayana

Case No:-CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.1753/2023

Decided on:-March 21,2024

Quorum:- ABHAY S.OKA, J

Facts of the case:-

 In this instance, the rosecutrix was 28 years old at the time of the incident. The prosecutrix and the appellant-accused were both married. It is documented that the Prosecutrix held a degree. The prosecutrix made the allegation. Is that the appellant was her husband’s brother’s friend.She knew the appellant, for that reason. The appellant went to a place named Hansi on May 22, 2018, to see a physician.The appellant arrived as she was waiting to board a bus to return to Bhiwani, where she was lodging. He was heading to Bhiwani and asked the Prosecutrix to ride along in his automobile. Under the guise of experiencing stomach pain and he led the appellant to a room in the Jindal Guest House in Bhiwani so he could discharge himself. After forcing the door open from the inside, he had an intimate relationship with the Prosecutrix. He threatened to send her the offensive photos to her family if she told anybody about the situation after taking them.

Legal Provisions

The Offences punishable under Sections 342, 376 and 201 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.The maximum sentence imposed is life imprisonment for the offence punishable under Section 376 of the IPC with a fine of Rs.1,00,00/-.It is against the appellant-accused for the Offences punishable under Sections 365, 354D(1)(ii) and 506 of the IPC.

Appellant Contentions:-

The Prosecutrix’s testimony as well as that of the other significant prosecution witnesses have been reviewed by the knowledgeable attorney representing the accused appellant. His submission is that the appellant-accused and the prosecutrix had a consensual relationship. He said that both the prosecutor and the accused went around, and it is acknowledged that the prosecutor accompanied the accused person voluntarily. He further argued that had the police presented the CCTV tape from the Jindal Guest House, the supposed site of the incident, it would have demonstrated that the appellant-accused and the prosecutrix had entered and exited the building with joy. His argument is that the Prosecutrix’s proof should be rejected.

Respondent Contentions:-

The State’s knowledgeable attorney defended the contested rulings. He argued that since the prosecutrix had proven there had been coerced sexual relations, her evidence could not be rejected on technical grounds. He also argued that as it is established law that the Prosecutrix cannot be injured, this version cannot be discounted on the grounds that she was not hurt. The Prosecutrix’s WhatsApp exchange with the accused appellant was cited by the Prosecutrix’s knowledgeable legal representation. In light of Section 294 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, he argued that even though the certificate required by Section 65B of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 was not produced regarding the WhatsApp conversation that was produced on record, the appellant-accused had not objected to its production. The WhatsApp exchange is acceptable as proof. He made use of the Indian Evidence Act of 1872’s Section 114A presumption. He stated that It would have to be assumed that the prosecutor’s consent was not obtained for the sexual encounter. He argued that the offense in this instance falls under sub-Section (2), clause (f), of Section 376 of the IPC. He further argued that the appellant-accused was in a position of trust as far as the Prosecutrix was concerned, meaning that clause (f) of sub-Section (2) of Section 376 of the IPCWill apply. As a result, he claimed, the presumption under Section 114A of the Evidence Act should be applied in this particular case. Additionally, he stated that no proof had been presented by the accused appellant to support his innocence. He stated that there is no need for intervention considering the concurrent findings recorded by the Trial court.

Judgement:-

In this case, It is nobody’s case that the appellant-accused was called upon to admit or deny the genuineness of the WhatsApp chats. Moreover, Sub-Section (3) of Section 294 of the Cr.PC indicates that even if a particular document is not disputed, the Court has the discretion to read or not to read the same in evidence without formal proof of the signature of the person to whom it purports to be signed. The Court always has the power to require the signature to be proved. Therefore, the contention of the learned counsel appearing for theProsecutrix based on Section 294 of the Cr.PC has absolutely no merit. In any case, a certificate under Section 65B of the Evidence Act has not been produced. Therefore, in our considered opinion, the prosecution has failed to prove the appellant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Hence, the impugned orders cannot be sustained, and they are hereby quashed and set aside. The appellant-accused is acquitted of the Charges framed against him. The Appeal is, accordingly, allowed. The appellant is on bail. Therefore, his bail bond shall stand cancelled.

“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.”

Judgement Analysis Written by – K.Immey Grace

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If there are inconsistencies in eyewitness testimony, failure to recover the weapon of crime would be fatal to the prosecution’s case: Supreme Court

Case title: Ram Singh Vs State of U.P

Case no.: Criminal Appeal No. 206 Of 2024

Decided on: 21.02.2024

Quorum: Hon’ble Justice Abhay S. Oka, Hon’ble Justice Ujjal Bhuyan.

 

Hon’ble Justices stated that, “ When there is direct eye witness account which is found to be credible, omission to obtain ballistic report and non- examination of ballistic expert may not be fatal to the prosecution case but if the evidence tendered including that of eyewitnesses do not inspire confidence or suffer from glaring inconsistencies coupled with omission to examine material witnesses, the omission to seek ballistic opinion and examination of the ballistic expert may be fatal to the prosecution case.”

 

BRIEF FACTS:

In the present case, appellant Ram Singh fired a shot with a country-made pistol, killing the informant’s mother. In the sessions trial, appellant Ram Singh was convicted under Sections 301 and 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. He also received a conviction under Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code. The appellant was sentenced to life imprisonment under Section 301/302 IPC and five years rigorous imprisonment under Section 307 IPC, both sentences being served simultaneously.

As a result, the appellant’s appeal before the High Court of Judicature in Allahabad was dismissed. Consequently, the High Court confirmed the appellant’s conviction and sentence imposed by the Sessions Court. The current appeal is against the high court’s order.

 

COURT ANALYSIS AND JUDGEMENT:

Following a careful examination of the evidence, the court determined that the evidence presented by the eyewitnesses contains significant gaps. As a result, their evidence lacks credibility. Apart from that, no material witnesses have been questioned. Overall, the evidence presented on behalf of the prosecution cannot be considered complete proof, to the point where the failure to recover the weapon of offence, obtain a ballistic opinion, or examine a ballistic expert would be irrelevant.

The court on evidence for conviction ruled that the appellant should be given the benefit of the doubt because, according to us, the prosecution failed to prove his guilt beyond all reasonable doubt. Any lingering doubt about an accused’s involvement in the crime for which he is accused must be considered by the court, and in such cases, the accused must be given the benefit of the doubt. This is especially true when the trial court acquits the co-accused based on the same evidence.

 

“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

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Circumstantial evidence requires that the facts to support the hypothesis of the accused’s guilt: Supreme Court

Case title: Pradeep Kumar vs The state of Haryana

Case no.: Criminal Appeal No. 1338 of 2010

Decided on: 05.01.2024

Quorum: Hon’ble Justice B.R Gavai, Hon’ble Justice Pamidighantam Sri Narasimha

 

FACTS OF THE CASE:

The sole appellant in this case was tried alongside another accused for the murder of one Samsher Singh, and the Trial Court convicted him under Section 302 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment for life. The High Court of Punjab and Haryana dismissed the appeal and confirmed the conviction and sentence in the judgement impugned. This brings us to the current appeal.

LEGAL PROVISIONS:

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.

APPELLANTS CONTENTION:

The appellants contended that the evidence which was accepted by the Trial Court and High Court, is based on circumstantial evidence said to have been established by the witnesses are unreliable.

COURT ANALYSIS AND JUDGEMENT:

After analysing the witnesses’ statements, the court concluded that there is a significant gap between the charge against the Appellant and the evidence presented by the prosecution. The circumstances do not establish the appellant’s guilt. While the principle of circumstantial evidence requires that the facts be consistent with the accused’s guilt hypothesis, the evidence presented in this case raises doubts, improbabilities, and inconsistencies. The court stated that after carefully considering the case and noting the various discrepancies and improbabilities, it is clear that the prosecution has not established its case beyond reasonable doubt. The Appellant is eligible for acquittal.

 

“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

 

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