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.”
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.
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Written by – Surya Venkata Sujith