The Hon’ble Supreme Court on 6th May 2021, in the case of Guru Dutt Pathak versus. State of Uttar Pradesh observed that “when the witness who is examined are found to be reliable and trustworthy, mere non-examination of the independent witnesses shall not be fatal to the case of the prosecution.”
The Hon’ble bench comprising of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and M.R. Shah was hearing an appeal filed by Guru Dutt Pathak, who was convicted for the offense punishable under Sections 302 r/w 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (hereinafter referred to as “IPC,1860”). Aggrieved by the judgment of the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court which had reversed the order given by the learned trial court acquitting the accused for his offenses, petitioner herein had contended that no independent witness was examined during the trial.
While dismissing the appeal against the Hon’ble Allahabad high court, the Hon’ble Apex Court referred to Surinder Kumar versus. The state of Punjab and Rizwan Khan versus. State of Chhattisgarh case and stated that “In the said judgment, this Court held that the examination of independent witnesses is not an indispensable requirement and such non-examination is not necessarily fatal to the prosecution case.”
Therefore, the Hon’ble SC held that there is no reason to interfere with the impugned judgment and order by the Hon’ble High Court reversing the acquittal and convicting the accused.