Saket Court, Delhi

Saket Court, Delhi: In a case wherein five accused were charged for murder and conspiracy under Sections 320, 120-B and 499 of the Penal Code, 1860, a Single Judge Bench of Monika Saroha, J. released one of the five accused, as no material evidence was found against him, and thus, the Court held that the mere call detail records were not sufficient to proceed against the accused.

In the present case, five accused namely, Naveen Guliya, Rahul, Sonu, Chandra Shekhar, and Sunil, conspired to commit murder of the victim and so committed her murder in furtherance of their conspiracy. The victim was the wife of one of the accused (Naveen Guliya), who acted as the mastermind and hired the other accused Rahul, Sonu, and Chandra Shekhar, to trespass into the house where the victim resided. Naveen Guliya was alleged to have had an extramarital relationship and therefore, he wanted to get rid of his wife.

The Court considered the CCTV footage on record; the statement of the security guard; the statement of Bharti, with whom the accused was in an extramarital relation; the statement of child witness, the first person who saw the victim after she was attacked and, in whose presence, accused had allegedly locked the doors of the house and kept the keys with himself; and the recovery of the knife that was used to commit the offence and therefore, found sufficient material to charge the accused Rahul, Sonu, Chandra Shekhar and Naveen Guliya for offences under Sections 320 and 120-B of the Penal Code, 1860 (Code) and Rahul, Sonu and Chandra Shekhar separately for offence under Section 499 of the Code.

This Court found no material to charge the accused Sunil for any offence and therefore, this Court discharged him in the present matter. The Court held that there was no evidence worth its name to even prima facie form an opinion that the accused Sunil was involved in the entire offence in any manner. Further, the Court held that “there was no material to show his presence at the spot or his presence with the other accused at any time before or soon after the offence. The only material that was available against Sunil was the call detail records to show that he had telephonically spoken to the co-accused. What the conversation was about was also not on record”. Thus, the Court held that the mere call detail records were not sufficient to proceed against the accused Sunil and therefore, he was released.

[State v. Naveen Guliya, FIR No. 816 of 2022, Order dated 22-12-2022]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For the Victim: Advocate Sangram Singh

For the Accused: LAC Kapil Madan

Advocate S.P. Verma

*Simranjeet Kaur, Editorial Assistant has put this report together

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