Jhar HC | Minor inconsistencies, exaggerations or embellishments in testimonies of eye-witness does not throw prosecution’s case into the winds

Jharkhand High Court: A Division Bench of Shree Chandrashekhar and Ratnaker Bhengra, JJ. dismissed a criminal appeal challenging the order of trial court wherein the appellant was convicted under Section 302 of the Penal Code, 1860.

Appellant herein was accused of murdering his wife on the basis of ‘fardbeyan’ of the informant, who is the deceased’s father. The deceased and the appellant were married; the deceased had returned to her maternal home due to disputes with the appellant. On the fateful night, the informant hearing cries of his daughter rushed to her room. When the deceased told him that her husband had stabbed her, the informant and his chased the appellant for some distance, but he escaped.

The Court noted that that minor inconsistency, exaggerations or embellishments in testimonies of eyewitnesses would not throw the prosecution’s case into the winds. As none of the witnesses had seen the accused stabbing the deceased, Court relied on Section 114 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, wherein the court may presume existence of any fact which it thinks is likely to have happened, regard being had to the common course of natural events, human conduct and public and private business, in their relation to the facts of the particular case.

The Court applied the principle of res gestae, under Section 6 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872 which provides that statement of a victim given immediately after the occurrence is a relevant fact, and admissible in evidence. The Court relied on Rattan Singh v. State of H.P., (1997) 4 SCC 161 wherein it was held that statement of deceased can be admitted under Section 6 of the Evidence Act on account of its proximity of time to the act of murder.

Keeping in mind the aforementioned state of affairs, the Court held that the prosecution had proved the charge under Section 302 of IPC against the appellant.

As such, the Court found no merit in the appeal, dismissed it. [Kandan Soren v. State of Jharkhand, 2019 SCC OnLine Jhar 1943, decided on 03-12-2019]

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