[Landmark Judgement] Harilal V. State of Chhattisgarh (2023)

Landmark Judgment Law Insider (1)

Published on: 16 September 2023 at 09:30 IST

Court: Supreme Court of India

Citation: Harilal V. State of Chhattisgarh (2023)

Honourable Supreme Court of India has held that the prosecution has to convincingly prove the genesis of the crime as also the manner in which the crime took place and by whom. It is held that evidence led by the prosecution must provide strong probability of the crime being committed by the Accused. It is held that in the absence of convincing theory of the crime by the Prosecution, then it would be fit case for grant of benefit of doubt to the accused.

21. Bearing the above principles in mind, when we test the deposition of PW-2 against the weight of PW-9’s testimony, the statement of PW-2 to the effect that after witnessing the incident, he left the spot and informed PW-9 appears unworthy of acceptance. That apart, PW-2 does not inculpate all the three accused. He only inculpates Harilal.

In this regard, PW-2 is inconsistent with his previous statement inasmuch as in his previous statement, with which he was confronted, he had inculpated all the three accused whereas in his deposition in Court he stated that he had not stated before the investigating officer that both Anshram and Harilal were assaulting the deceased. Moreover, PW-2 does not disclose the seriousness of the assault on the deceased. He does not state that the deceased was seriously injured by the blows inflicted on him. Therefore, his statement is inconclusive as regards the assault being the cause of death. Rather, it leaves room for a possibility that the assault which he witnessed was just the beginning of a mob assault on the deceased concerning his involvement with a lady of the village. More so, when the dead body of the deceased was found 300 feet away from the place where the deceased was allegedly assaulted. Further, PW-2’s statement in respect of number of persons assaulting the deceased appears inconclusive.

Taking the above into account and having regard to the fact that PW-2 is a chance witness, not a resident of the village where the incident occurred, and his statement was inconsistent with his previous statement, in our view, it would be unsafe to rely on PW-2 to convict the accused for the offence of murder.

Drafted By Abhijit Mishra

Related Post