17 June 2024


High Court of Calcutta

Jagu Vs. The State of West Bengal




Examination of any particular number of witnesses is not required for proving prosecution case and reliance can be placed on solitary witness

Present appeal has been preferred by the Appellant assailing the judgment and order of conviction passed by the trial Court. By virtue of the impugned judgment, Appellant was convicted for the commission of Offence punishable under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and was sentenced to suffer imprisonment for life and to pay fine of Rs. 2000 in default to suffer simple imprisonment for six months with a direction for set off against substantive sentence of imprisonment as per provisions of Section 428 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC). The other accused was acquitted from the charge punishable under Sections 302/109 of IPC.

With regard to reliance on the solitary eye witness, it is a settled proposition of law of evidences that, examination of any particular number of witnesses is not required for proving the prosecution case and reliance can be placed on the solitary witness, if the Court comes to the conclusion that, said statement is true and correct version of the case of prosecution.

In Alamgir vs. State (NCT, Delhi), it was also observed by the Hon'ble Court that, reliability of a witness cannot be questioned on the ground that she is an interested witness. The test of creditworthiness ought to be the guiding factor. P.W.1, the only eye witness had fully corroborated the prosecution case. Moreover, FIR was lodged at the P.S. on the same date immediate after the death of the victim directly naming the Appellant.

It is settled law that, for certain defects in investigation, lapses on the part of the investigating officer, the accused cannot be acquitted, when the prosecution case is otherwise proved based on the testimony of the eye witness corroborated by post occurrence witnesses and the medical evidence. In the instant case, P.W.1, the only eye witnesses has vividly narrated the entire incident implicating the Appellant and the weapon used in the commission of the offence and she withstood the rigour of cross-examination and remained unshaken during cross-examination and the same also found corroboration from the post occurrence witnesses and the medical evidence. Further, there is no rule of law that the inquest can be held only after receipt of the complaint at the police station.

The number and nature of the injuries suggest that, the intention was clearly to cause death. Therefore, there was no impropriety on the part of the learned Court below to pass the order of conviction and sentence under Section 302 of IPC against the Appellant. The conviction and sentence imposed on the Appellant is affirmed. Appeal dismissed.

Tags : Solitary witness Conviction Validity

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