26 May 2020


Judgments

Supreme Court

Md. Rojali Ali and Ors. Vs. The State of Assam, Ministry of Home Affairs

MANU/SC/0234/2019

19.02.2019

Criminal

A related witness cannot be said to be an 'interested' witness merely by virtue of being a relative of victim

Present appeal is presented by the convicted Accused against the concurrent judgments of conviction and sentence passed by the Additional Sessions Judge and the judgment passed by the Gauhati High Court. The Trial Court after following due procedure convicted the Appellants under Sections 148, 323 and 302 read with 149 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and acquitted the other Accused.

The evidence of all eye-witnesses is consistent with the case of the prosecution with respect to all material particulars, and is credible and trustworthy. Their presence on the spot can also not be doubted as they are family members of the deceased, who could reasonably be expected to be in their respective houses at the relevant point of time, i.e., the early hours of the day.

It is by now well-settled that a related witness cannot be said to be an 'interested' witness merely by virtue of being a relative of the victim. In criminal cases, it is often the case that the offence is witnessed by a close relative of the victim, whose presence on the scene of the offence would be natural. The evidence of such a witness cannot automatically be discarded by labelling the witness as interested.

In the instant matter, the testimony of the eye-witnesses is consistent and reliable. There is no major contradiction in the evidence of the eye-witnesses. Their evidence is fully supported by the version of the doctors who conducted the post-mortem examinations.

The evidence clearly reveals that, the Accused are the aggressors who came in a group to the house of deceased, trespassed into their houses, dragged the deceased out and mercilessly assaulted the deceased with sharp spears, arrows and lathis. The incident had taken place at about 6.00 a.m., which suggests that, all the Accused came with the clear intention to commit the murder of the four persons in the early hours of the day. The Accused were armed with deadly weapons and they came with prior preparation and pre-meditation. There was no provocation by the deceased or by the injured. In view of the same, it cannot be said that there was no intention on the part of the Accused to commit murder. There is no ground to interfere with the impugned judgment. The appeal is dismissed.

Tags : Conviction Testimony Eye-witnesses Validity

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