17 June 2024


High Court of Himachal Pradesh

Narain Tiwari Vs. State of H.P.




Standard of proof requires proof that it was accused alone who had committed offence

In instant matter, the learned Trial Court after recording evidence and evaluating the same convicted the Petitioner under Sections 279, 337 and 338 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and Section 181 of the Motor Vehicle Act. Aggrieved by the aforesaid judgment of conviction and sentence, the Petitioner filed an appeal before the learned Sessions Judge, however, the same was dismissed constraining the Petitioner to file the instant revision petition.

The revisionary jurisdiction of this Court under Section 397 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) is extremely limited and this Court would only interfere in case the Petitioners have been convicted and sentenced without examining the material placed on record with a view to ascertain that, the judgments so rendered by the learned Courts below are not perverse and are based on the correct appreciation of evidence on record. This Court would definitely interfere in case it comes to the conclusion that there is a failure of justice and misuse of judicial mechanism or procedure or where the sentence awarded is not correct.

However, it was on the basis of the statement of the accused under Section 313 of CrPC that, he has been ordered to be convicted whereas it is more than settled that, the statement of accused under Section 313 of CrPC cannot be the sole basis for convicting the accused. Though, said statement can be used to lend assurance to the other evidence adduced by the prosecution.

Evidently, from the testimonies of witnesses especially that of the complainant while appearing as P.W. 1 and that of P.W. 2 Faruq Khan, it is absolutely clear that not only they did not support the case of the prosecution but they further did not even identify the vehicle or its driver.

Thus, it is evident that the prosecution has failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. The Court has to keep in mind that the standard of proof required in a criminal case is that it has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt that it was the accused alone who had committed the offence. Therefore, in the given circumstances and on the basis of the aforesaid discussion, it can conveniently be held that the findings recorded by the learned Sessions Judge are also perverse and, therefore, cannot be upheld. The judgments of conviction and sentence as passed by the learned Courts below are ordered to be set aside and the Petitioner is honourably acquitted. Petition allowed.

Tags : Conviction Legality Standard of proof

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