The Supreme Court set aside the conviction of the accused for murder due to lack of credence of the testimony of witness.

The court found the testimony of witnesses unreliable and not worthy of credence. The witness failed to make inquiries and was not a spot witness. The testimony of the witness was self-belied as he admitted that no quarrel had taken place between the deceased and accused, and he had never lodged a report regarding any quarrel. The court found that there was no independent corroborated material to prove the recovery of keys and money, and the confessional statement of the accused was hit by Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. The deposition of the witnesses did not reveal the truth and was not supported by other co-villagers. The court found the witness not reliable and trustworthy due to his stoic silence in not informing or meeting any of the family members of the deceased, neighbors or police.

“We find neither the chain of circumstances to have been completely established nor the
guilt of the accused alone, having committed the crime to be proven, much less beyond reasonable doubt.The accused cannot be convicted on the principles of preponderance of probability. It is the duty of this Court to ensure avoidance of miscarriage of justice at all costs and the benefit of doubt, if any, given to the accused.”

The accused was acquitted by the Supreme Court.

PRADEEP KUMAR …APPELLANT
VERSUS
STATE OF CHHATTISGARH …RESPONDENT
decided by the Supreme Court of India on 16.03.23.

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.