Del HC | Statement recorded immediately after incident is more credible than the one recorded after 5 months; discharge of accused upheld

Delhi High Court: Sanjeev Sachdeva, J., upheld the order of the trial court discharging the respondent who was accused of committing offences punishable under Sections 304 and 323 IPC.

An FIR was lodged alleging that there was a dispute between families of the complainant and the accused. Consequent to an altercation, his father was assaulted by the accused persons. It was alleged that accused persons knew that his father was suffering from a heart ailment and had undergone angioplasty. Knowing the same, the accused persons assaulted the complainant’s father which resulted in his death. Immediately after the incident, the complainant along with his family members gave a vivid description and named all persons alleged to have been involved and their names were mentioned in the FIR. It is pertinent to note that the name of the present respondent was not mentioned in the FIR. It was mentioned in a supplementary statement given by the complainant under Section 161 CrPC after a gap of 5 months. Noticing that there was a substantial improvement in complainant’s case, the trial court discharged the respondent as stated above. Aggrieved thereby, the State filed the present revision petition.

Hirein Sharma, Additional Public Prosecutor appeared for the petitioner State. While the respondent accused was represented by Neeraj Anand, Advocate.

The High Court found no merit in the petition. It observed, “A statement which is recorded immediately after the incident has to be given greater credence as compared to a statement which is recorded after five months. The trial court has rightly observed in the impugned order that the addition of the name of the respondent appears to be an afterthought.” It was also noted as undisputed that during the interregnum of 5 months between the date of the incident and the supplementary statement, no incriminating material was found against the respondent. In the totality of the facts, the Court found no infirmity in trial court’s order discharging the respondent. The petition was thus dismissed. [State (NCT of Delhi) v. Nitin, 2019 SCC OnLine Del 7239, decided on 21-02-2019]

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