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One Can Not Be Punished Unless The Crime Is Proved Beyond Reasonable Doubt: High Court of Lucknow

Citation: Criminal Appeal No. – 2899 of 2003

Coram: Hon’ble Ashwani Kumar Mishra & Hon’ble Syed Aftab Husain Rizvi

Decided on: 08.11.2023

Introduction:

 The present appeals have been filed on behalf of accused-appellants- Arvind Kumar, Surjeet, and Babloo, who have been convicted by judgment and order dated 30.05.2003 passed by Additional Sessions Judge/ F.T.C. First, Jalaun in Session Trial No.77 of 2000 (State of U.P. vs. Arvind Kumar and others) arising out of Case Crime No.337 of 1999, under Sections 376(2)(g) and 302/34 I.P.C., Police Station- Kuthond, District- Jalaun and sentenced the appellants to 10 years rigorous imprisonment & fine of Rs.5000/- under Section 376(2)(g) and life imprisonment & fine of Rs.5000/- under Section 302/34 I.P.C.

Facts:

 The F.I.R. of this case was lodged on 30.11.1999 at 19:45 P.M., under Section 376/302 I.P.C. against Surjeet, Arvind Kumar, Babloo, and Raj Kishore on the written information alleging therein that on 30.11.1999, the 13-year-old daughter of informant had gone to collect the grass with Ram Prasad, Babu, and Pramod Kumar. At about 5 P.M., the informant came near the Arhar field of Brij Bhushan Tiwari to collect the grass cut by his father where he heard the screams of his daughter from the Arhar field.

On hearing the screams, the informant, his father, Babu, and Pramod Kumar entered the Arhar field. They saw Surjeet, Arvind, Babloo and Raj Kishore were strangulating her daughter by tying her neck with a bed-sheet. On exhortation, the accused ran away. When the informant reached near the victim, she had died. The accused have also committed sexual assault on her because her private part was bleeding and semen spots were present on the clothes. On hearing the noise, several villagers came to the spot. The informant leaving his family members and other villagers beside the dead body, came to the police station to lodge the F.I.R.

The informant P.W.-1, in his examination-in-chief has stated that Surjeet, Babloo, Arvind Kumar, and Raj Kishore who live in his village Panditpur, sexually assaulted her 13-year-old daughter and committed her murder. The incident occurred in the Arhar field of Brij Bhushan Tiwari.

Babu P.W.-2 has not supported the prosecution case. The witness has stated that he knows the daughter of the informant and the accused. The daughter of the informant is not alive. He does not know what incident had occurred with her and how she died. Witness has denied that accused persons sexually assaulted the victim and committed her murder. The witness has been declared hostile. Witness in his cross-examination by the defence has stated that Munni Devi, the wife of Raj Bahadur has died on the date of the incident. Her last rites were performed at about 4 P.M. Babloo, Arvind and Surjeet were present in the last rites of Munni Devi.

Another evidence produced by the prosecution is recovery of slipper of right foot of accused Raj Kishore, on his pointing out from the field of Brij Bhushan Tiwari. According to prosecution the other slipper of the left foot, however, was found on the spot by the Investigating Officer during spot inspection.

Court’s Analysis Judgement:

From the analysis of evidence on record, it is clear that the sole testimony of informant P.W.-1, who is a chance witness, is not inspiring and trustworthy. There are serious discrepancies, which makes it highly doubtful that he has seen the occurrence. No doubt that the victim has been sexually assaulted and was strangled to death but it is not proved that appellants accused are the real culprits and they have committed the offence. Their false implication on the basis of suspicion or with ulterior motive cannot be ruled out. There is no sufficient evidence on record to prove the prosecution case beyond reasonable doubt.

The learned trial Court had failed to notice the serious discrepancies in the ocular testimony of informant P.W.-1, who is also a chance witness and has erred in relying on it. The finding of guilt returned by the trial Court on the basis of his testimony is not sustainable.

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Written by- Sushant Kumar Sharma

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High Court of Bombay decision regarding the issue of improper sanction having been obtained has been raised.

High Court of Bombay decision  regarding the issue of improper sanction having been obtained has been raised.

Title : Chandar Mahadev Naik v. Income Tax Officer, Ward 5 and Ors.

Case No. : W.P (L) NO. 17578/2023

CORAM : HONBLE JUSTICE K.R. SHRIRAM & NEELA GOKHALE.

Decided on : 30 th OCTOBER 2023

Introduction

High Court of Bombay decision  regarding the issue of improper sanction having been obtained has been raised. These petitions relate to A.Y. 2016-2017. Counsel states that in these petitions the issue of improper sanction having been obtained has been raised amongst other grounds.

Fact of the Case

the issue of improper sanction has been decided by this court in Siemens Financial Services Private Limited Vs. Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax & Ors. 1 wherein the court has held that for A.Y. 2016-2017 the sanction should have been given under Section 151(ii) and not under Section 151(i) of the Income Tax Act 1961 (the Act). Consequently, the sanction is invalid. The court has stated that in view of the invalid sanction, the notice issued itself will be invalid and has to be quashed.

Case Analysis and Judgment

Findings in Siemens Financial Services Pvt Ltd. (Supra) would squarely apply to these petitions as well on the issue of sanction. If the notice has to be quashed, if there is an assessment order passed subsequently, those assessment orders having been passed relying on an incorrect sanction will also have to be quashed.

Therefore, impugned Assessment Order dated 27th May 2023 issued under Section 144 read with Section 147 of the Act is hereby quashed and set aside. In view of the above, all consequential proceedings including Notice of Demand, Penalty proceedings also stands quashed and set aside. Petition is disposed.

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Written  by Nimisha Sunny

 

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The Supreme Court decision on the appellant finding guilty for the commission of offences punishable under Sections 148, 302 read with Section 149.

The Supreme Court decision on the  appellant finding guilty for the commission of offences  punishable under Sections 148, 302 read with Section 149.

 

Title : BALARAM v. STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH

Case no. : C .A No. 2300/2009

CORAM : Hon’ble Justice Chandrachud

Date :  8 Nov 2023

Introduction

This appeal challenges the judgment and order passed by the Division Bench of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh at Jabalpur, Bench Gwalior in Criminal Appeal No.276 of 1995 thereby dismissing the appeal filed by the present appellant as well as Rameshwar (since deceased) and confirming the judgment and order passed by the learned Special Judge and Second Additional Sessions Judge, Bhind passed in Sessions Trial No.70 of 1984.

Fact of the Case

The prosecution case that Rameshwar (since deceased), appellant-Balaram, Uma Charan and Munna had come there after ten minutes of stopping of the cart, accused-Rameshwar fired the first shot and it hit Ashok in his chest. Thereafter, another shot was fired by accused Uma Charan, which hit Ashok as a result of firing, Ashok had become unconscious and was brought to Mau on cart. Pannalal reported the in the arms and thereafter, the third shot was fired which hit Ramkali  (PW.5) in her right thigh. incident to the police based on which an FIR came to be lodged initially for an offence punishable under Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code (for short ‘IPC’). Following the death of Ashok, the case was converted to one under Section 302 of the IPC.

Judgment and Analysis

Shri Chandrachud submits that, on the basis of evidence, the learned Trial Judge has acquitted four accused persons. He further submits that, though the evidence of PW.5-Ramkali and PW.6-Mulchand has specifically attributed a gunshot to Uma Charan, their evidence has been disbelieved insofar as Uma Charan is concerned. However, on the basis of the very same evidence, the appellant-Balaram has been convicted. It is submitted that, from the testimony of the other witnesses it would be clear that the appellant-Balaram was not even present at the spot and he has been falsely implicated.

The order of conviction and sentence as recorded by the learned Special Judge and Second Additional Sessions Judge, Bhind and the order of the High Court are quashed and set aside. The appellant is acquitted of the charges charged with. He is directed to be set at liberty forthwith, if his detention is not required in any other case.

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Delhi High Court on the award debtor has raised a preliminary issue as to the jurisdiction of this Court to entertain the enforcement proceedings

Delhi High Court on the award debtor has raised a preliminary issue as to the jurisdiction of this Court to entertain the enforcement proceedings.

Title : TAQA INDIA POWER VENTURES PRIVATE LIMITED & ANR v. NCC INFRASTRUCTURE HOLDINGS LIMITED

Case No. : O.M.P.(EFA)(COMM.) 1/2018

Decided on : 09.11.2023

CORAM : HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE PRATEEK JALAN

Introduction

The present enforcement proceedings have been filed for enforcement of a foreign award dated 24.01.2018, rendered by a three-member Arbitral Tribunal in an arbitration arising out of a Securities Purchase Agreement dated 19.09.2012 [“the SPA”]. The arbitration was held under the aegis of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre and the seat of the arbitration was in Singapore

Fact of the Case

The award debtor has raised a preliminary issue as to the jurisdiction of this Court to entertain the enforcement proceedings. Learned counsel for the parties have been heard on this issue, and this judgment will dispose of the preliminary objections, as well as four applications which turn only on this issue (I.As. 5648-50/2018 and I.A. 5652/2018).

The primary contention of the award debtor on the question of jurisdiction is that the award debtor is neither resident, nor does it possess assets within the jurisdiction of this Court, so as to attract the enforcement jurisdiction of this Court.

Case Analysis and Judgment

For the aforesaid reasons, the view that HGEPL’s debt remains an asset in the hands of its creditor – in the present case, the award debtor – and can legitimately form the basis of jurisdiction in enforcement proceedings against the award debtor. Whether the award holder is ultimately able to realise its dues through the aforesaid asset is a question which would arise subsequently but cannot inform the Court’s decision on jurisdiction. Consequently, this Court has jurisdiction to entertain the enforcement proceedings and determine the award debtor’s objections on merits.

The preliminary objection of the award debtor is, therefore, rejected and I.As. 5648-50/2018 and I.A. 5652/2018 stand dismissed.

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2019 Hate Speech Case: Allahabad High Court Issues Notice To SP Leader Azam Khan In UP Govt’s Appeal Challenging His Acquittal

CASE TITLE:  State of U.P. vs. Mohammad Azam Khan S/O Mohammad Mumtaj Khan [GOVERNMENT APPEAL No. – 339 of 2023]

DECIDED ON: 03.08.2023

CORAM: Hon’ble Raj Beer Singh,J.

APPELLANT: – State of U.P.

RESPONDENT: – Mohammad Azam Khan S/O Mohammad Mumtaj Khan

COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT: – Ashutosh Kumar Sand

INTRODUCTION:

The Allahabad High Court has served a notice to Azam Khan, a leader from the Samajwadi Party, in response to the Uttar Pradesh Government’s appeal against a Rampur Court’s decision to acquit Khan in a hate speech case from 2019. The hate speech incident resulted in his disqualification as an MLA the previous year. The bench, presided by Justice Raj Beer Singh, heard the appeal on Thursday and has requested the trial court’s records, along with the appellate records. The case will be further heard on September 27, 2023.

FACTS:

In May of this year, the Additional District and Sessions Judge Amitveer Singh overturned an October 2022 verdict from a special MP/MLA court in Rampur district, which had sentenced Azam Khan to three years in prison. The conviction stemmed from Khan’s provocative remarks against the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, and the then DM of Rampur, Aunjaneya K. Singh, during the campaigning of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019. The Court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate found him guilty of offenses under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between two groups), 505 (statement conducing to public mischief) of IPC, and Section 125 of the Representation of People Act 1951. An FIR was lodged against Khan after the returning officer took cognizance of the matter upon receiving a complaint.

CASE ANALYSIS AND DECISION:

Following his conviction in the case, Khan faced disqualification as a member of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly in accordance with the Representation of the People Act. Consequently, a by-poll was held, and the BJP’s Akash Saxena emerged victorious in the election last year.

However, Khan appealed the verdict, and the Additional District and Sessions Judge subsequently acquitted him. In response to this acquittal, the Uttar Pradesh Government has taken the matter to the High Court, challenging the ADJ’s order.

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Written by- Mansi Malpani

 

 

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