Karnataka High Court: A Division Bench comprising of Ravi Malimath and H.B. Prabhakar Sastry, JJ., decided a criminal application filed under Section 374(2) CrPC, wherein the order of conviction and sentence passed by the trial court against the appellant-accused was set aside holding it as an erroneous judgment.

The appellant-accused was alleged to have murdered the deceased in the case and was arraigned as an accused in criminal case arising therefrom under Sections 302, 307 and 120 (B) of IPC along with Section 3(ii)(v) of SC & ST Act. He was convicted of and sentenced for the said offences by the learned Sessions Judge. Aggrieved thereby, the appellant filed the instant appeal.

The High Court perused entire evidence on record and found that the Sessions Judge did not appraise the prosecution evidence in proper light. There were material discrepancies in the case of prosecution. In a long and detailed judgment running into 82 pages, the High Court discussed and considered each evidence and found discrepancies therein. The Court was of the opinion that the evidence of PWs 22 and 23, upon which the conviction of the appellant by the Sessions Judge was based, did not inspire confidence. Also, other material and facts alleged by the prosecution were such that were hard to believe. Further, the prosecution miserably failed to prove the motive behind the alleged crime. The Court categorically observed that the lower court did not appreciate the evidence in their proper perspective, thus it was a perverse and erroneous judgment. There were serious doubts in the prosecution case, the benefit of which was ought to be given to the appellant.

Accordingly, the impugned order of conviction and sentence passed by the Sessions Judge was set aside and the appellant was acquitted of the alleged charges made against him. [Thimma Reddy v. State of Karnataka, Crl. Appeal No. 978 of 2012, dated 9.2.2018]

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