In a criminal case in the Supreme Court of India, the appellant, Javed Shaukat Ali Qureshi (accused no.6), was convicted along with others for their involvement in a mob incident. The mob had assaulted individuals, and 13 accused were prosecuted. The Trial Court convicted seven of them, including the appellant, with life imprisonment under Section 396 of the IPC. The High Court later reduced the sentence to 10 years.

The appellant argued that only one witness had identified him and that her testimony was unreliable due to the large mob present during the incident and the time that had passed since the crime. Additionally, no test identification parade was conducted. The appellant sought acquittal based on these grounds.

The Supreme Court emphasized the importance of corroboration in cases relying on the testimony of a single eyewitness. The Court found the witness’s identification of the appellant unreliable and lacking corroboration, leading to the appellant’s acquittal.

Regarding accused nos.2, 3, and 4, the Court noted inconsistencies in witness testimonies and the absence of a test identification parade. The Court applied the principle of parity and acquitted accused nos.3 and 4, following the precedent set by a prior case.

The Court also considered the case of accused no.2, extending the benefit of parity to him and acquitting him of the charges.

In conclusion, the Supreme Court acquitted the appellant and accused nos.2, 3, and 4, setting aside their convictions in the lower courts.

Javed Shaukat Ali Qureshi … Appellant
versus
State of Gujarat … Respondent
decided by the Supreme Court of India on Sept 13, 2023

By aor.sanjivnarang@gmail.com

Sanjiv Narang Adv. is an Advocate on Record in the Supreme Court of India. His qualifications include an LLB from University of Delhi and a Masters degree in Personnel Management from Panjab University,Chandigarh.In his more than 3 decades of experience, he has practiced law at the District, High Court and Supreme Court levels.He also has more than a decade of experience in the field of Management. He is the author of two books namely Laws for Women in India and Innovation, Why What and How.