In the Supreme Court of India Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction Criminal Appeal Nos.1702-1706/2014 Appellant The State of Uttar Pradesh Respondent Wasif Haider Date of Judgement 28th November, 2018 Bench Hon'ble Mr. Justice N.V. Ramana, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar
A common impugned judgment given by Allahabad High Court on 29.05.2009 led to this appeal. The judgment was about conviction which the High Court reserved.
STATUTES & PROVISIONS INVOLVED
- Sections 4 and 15 of the Explosive Substances Act, 1908
- Section 25 and 27 Arms Act, 1959
- Sections 307, 395, 397, 436 and 153A of Indian Penal Code, 1860
The P.W. 2 (complainant) when along with other police personnel was on duty, he got to know that at the Chaubey Gola temple people were creating havoc and running a riot. Almost 2,00,300 people were involved in the riot. He (P.W. 2) was accompanied by other police personnel, then Finance and revenue ADM and Chandra Prakash Nayak (deceased); and they all went towards the said temple.
As a matter of fact, when the deceased alongside the police workforce was a ways off of around 100150 paces from Sunehri Mosque on the Nai Sarak, agitators/rioters began firing upon them resultantly harming the perished and his deliberate, Ram Chandra. So as to control the peace circumstance, the police were constrained to fire with all due respect. At the point when the police party arrived at the mosque, the agitators had just fled away.
In this way, when the police party came to Chaubey Gola Temple where agitators had just plundered a few houses and had additionally dedicated pyromania. In the interim, the police likewise got the data that the deceased got shot and went to the medical clinic. In the hospital, he succumbed to injuries. The bullet which was recovered from his ashes was sent to the forensic department for further examination.
Accused 1 to 4 to be specific Wasif Haider (on 04.08.2001), Mumtaz pseudonym Maulana (on 02.08.2001), Hazi Atiq (on 17.09.2001) and Safat Rasool (on 18.09.2001) were arrested by the police. From that point, the Test Identification Parade (hereinafter referred to as “TIP”) was hung on 27.09.2001 at District Jail, Kanpur. After finishing the examination consequently, the charge sheet was submitted.
By request dated 22.01.2004, the Additional Sessions Judge, Kanpur (“trial court”), while depending upon the prosecution’s version, defense of the accused was rejected and they were sentenced.
Bothered by the previously mentioned order of conviction and sentence, the accused respondents appealed before the High Court. The High Court on examination of proof found that not just here exist different logical inconsistencies in the declarations of the prosecution witnesses however there exists an absence of certification of the same. The High Court absolved the denounced respondents and put aside the order for the preliminary court as the indictment neglected to demonstrate its case past logical uncertainty and further saw that the instance of the arraignment was ridden with blemishes in the examination.
The criticizing nature of the order passed by the High Court made the accused feel aggrieved; vindicating all the accused, the State of Uttar Pradesh documented Criminal Appeal under the Supreme Court.
Whether the accused should be given benefit of doubt where frivolous investigation accrues in the favor of the accused?
- According to the arrest of the accused respondents, their distinguishing proof was appropriately done after playing it safe and following the strategy. In addition, the prosecution witnesses had obviously recognized the charged people in the distinguishing proof procession and the court also.
- On the issue of deferral caused in leading the TIP, the advice additionally energetically presented that there was no extreme postponement in directing the TIP as solicited by the insight for the accused respondents. The High Court has committed a grave blunder by not putting dependence on the TIP as there is nothing on record to vitiate the consequences of the equivalent. In conclusion, the counsel presented that since there existed adequate proof to demonstrate the culpability of the accused respondents, the Sessions Judge had effectively passed the order for conviction against them and hence prayed for putting aside the reprimanded order.
The whole story of prosecution relies on the accused – respondents’ identification, the validity of which in itself is flawed. It was additionally contended that, when in fact the observers were at a significant stretch from the spot of event, it was not conceivable to recognize explicitly the accused respondents, that too without a specific ‘hulia’ or recognizing marks from among a horde of 200300 agitators. Further, there was an exorbitant postponement in leading the TIP which was heavily flawed for the arraignment.
It was presented that accused respondent no. 2 has been hauled into the issue just because of the confessional statement of the accused which has not been supported, and no other implicating proof is accessible on record.
The Supreme Court agreed with the judgment passed by the High Court opining that the present case is ridden with numerous analytical lacunas and imperfections in its investigation which goes to the foundation of the issue.
Delay in TIP, the bullet recovered from the ashes of deceased 20 days after the incident was found to be blistered, the prosecution itself doesn’t follow the guidelines and didn’t ascertain about the place of riot, failure of the prosecution to substantiate the charges brought under section 307 of the Indian Penal Code. The prosecution’s incompetency to convince and adduce eyewitnesses; propelled the apex court to give the judgment in the favor of the accused.
The Apex Court observed that the aggregate impact of the previously mentioned analytical omissions in the investigation has invigorated the assumption of innocence of the accused and thus the advantage for an uncertainty emerging out of such broken examination gathers for the accused.
Therefore, the benefit of the doubt should be given to the accused. The Apex Court rejected the said criminal appeal opining that there exists no perversity in the judgment of the High Court of Allahabad.
The prosecution, it is aphoristic, must build up its argument against the charged by driving proof that is acknowledged by the set guidelines as per criminal law in any case whether the wrongdoing/offense is perpetrated in the course of unsettling communal influences or something else.
The comprehensive force of the critical faux pass in the investigation has revived the premise of the blamelessness of the accused and thus the lead for vagueness up-and-coming out of such ruined inspection draw together for the accused. Therefore, in such cases, the benefit of the doubt should be given to the accused.
“The views of the authors are personal“