Convict under Section 302 IPC acquitted due to poor quality of investigation

Gauhati High Court: A Division Bench comprising of Ujjal Bhuyan and Nelson Sailo, JJ., allowed a criminal appeal filed against the order of the trial court whereby the appellant was convicted and sentenced for life under Section 302 IPC.

The appellant was convicted for murdering the deceased (his brother) due to a land dispute. The allegations were that the appellant trespassed into the house of the deceased and stabbed him to death. The information was given to the police by the son and Ranjit Boro, another brother of the deceased. The appellant was convicted on the basis of testimonies of the wife (PW1) and the daughter (PW 2) of the deceased. The appellant challenged the order of the trial court.

The High Court perused the record and held that there were material discrepancies in the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses (PWs). The scene of the crime as described by the wife and the daughter of the deceased differed in material particulars.  Material witnesses including the informants- the son and Ranjit Boro-were not examined by the prosecution. Moreover, the High Court held that the investigation in the case was done in a lackluster manner. Most important evidence including clothes of the deceased, soaked in blood, were neither collected nor sent for forensic examination. The Court reiterated the settled law that in order to convict an accused in a criminal trial, the charges must be proved beyond reasonable doubt. However, in the instant case, the Court held that the above-stated circumstances did not prove the charges against the accused beyond reasonable doubt. It was also observed that there was a land dispute between the parties, and as such possibility of false implication could not be ruled out. Accordingly, the appeal was allowed and the impugned order was set aside. [Kanak Boro v. State of Assam,2018 SCC OnLine Gau 634, dated 22-6-2018]

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