Testimony of sole eye witness in the case isn’t truthful on a material particular and is inconsistent: Allahabad HC set aside the life sentence of a murder convict

Testimony of sole eye witness in the case isn't truthful on a material particular and is inconsistent: Allahabad HC set aside the life sentence of a murder convict

The Allahabad High Court set aside the life sentence of a murder convict and said that testimony of sole eye witness in the case isn’t truthful on a material particular and is inconsistent.

Background 

The informant Harish Chandra and his brother Phool Chandra (the deceased) were sitting at the door of their house when Satya Prakash (the appellant), Kanhaiya (who died during trial), both sons of Shiv Balak Tripathi, Bahadur son of Jaijram Yadav and Ramu Tripathi son of Kailash Nath Tripathi came armed with country made pistols and, on exhortation of Kanhaiya, the appellant (Satya Prakash) fired from his country made pistol at the deceased, with a view to take his life, which hit the deceased.

Arguments 

The  appellant contended that no serious motive for the crime has been proved as against the appellant to kill the deceased because the motive, if any, to commit crime was as against the informant, inasmuch as informant’s wife’s niece, who was married to the appellant, had left the appellant and, therefore, the appellant bore a grudge against the informant as, despite requests, he failed to ensure restitution of appellant’s conjugal rights.

AGA argued that it is well settled that the first information report need not be an encyclopedia therefore, even if the informant had not stated in the FIR that the deceased went out and was shot when he was on the road, the substratum of the prosecution story was that the deceased was shot by the appellant remaining intact, and the medical evidence indicated that the appellant died on account ante­mortem gunshot injury, the prosecution story is not liable to be disbelieved merely because all the details of the manner in which the incident occurred were neither disclosed in the FIR nor in the statement recorded under section 161 CrPC.

Decision 

The division bench of Justice Manoj Misra and Justice Sameer Jain stated that  the testimony of PW­1 having not been found truthful on a material particular and inconsistent as well, in the sense that it improves upon the earlier statement, in respect of the manner in which the incident occurred, it is not wholly reliable and this by itself is sufficient to extend the benefit of doubt to the accused appellant.

The court set aside the judgment and order of conviction and sentence recorded by the trial court and said that the prosecution has failed to prove its case beyond the pale of doubt and, therefore, the appellant is entitled to the benefit of doubt.

Case title: Satya Prakash v/s State of U.P. 

Citation: CRIMINAL APPEAL No. ­ 6969 of 2008

Click here to read the Order/Judgment

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