26 October 2020


Judgments

High Court of Himachal Pradesh

Vinay Kumar Vs. State of H.P.

MANU/HP/0139/2019

28.02.2019

Criminal

Minor contradictions, inconsistencies or improvements on trivial matters without effecting core of prosecution case cannot be made a ground to reject evidence in its entirety

In facts of present case, after completion of the investigation, final report, under Section 173 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) was prepared and presented in the Court with a prayer to take cognizance of the case to try the Appellant for commission of the offence. Consequently, the Appellant was charged under Section 307 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC). The prosecution examined as many as 14 witnesses and upon closer of its evidence, statement of the Appellant under Section 313 CrPC was recorded, wherein he pleaded not guilty and claimed trial. The Appellant also examined one witness in his defence.

The Appellant/Accused was tried and convicted to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of five years and to pay a fine of Rs. 10,000 for commission of an offence punishable under Section 307 of IPC and in default of payment of fine, to further undergo simple imprisonment for a period of six months.

There is no difference between an appeal against conviction and an appeal against acquittal except that when dealing with an appeal against acquittal, the Court keeps in view the position that the presumption of innocence in favour of the Accused has been fortified by his acquittal and if the view adopted by the court below is reasonable one and the conclusion reached by it had its grounds well set on the materials on record. However, in case the findings of the Court below are perverse, then irrespective of the findings, be it that of the acquittal or conviction, the same are liable to be set aside.

The version put forth by the victim was duly corroborated by his wife, Kanchan, who appeared as PW 3 and deposed on similar lines as those of the victim. As regards the injuries sustained by the victim, the same have been duly proved on record by PW 4 Doctor, who after detailing out the injuries had opined that the injuries were sufficient to attract the applicability of Section 307 IPC.

The version put forth by all witnesses is duly corroborated by the Investigating Officer, who appeared as PW 14. Not only the mode and manner in which the cross-examination of the prosecution witnesses has been conducted establishes the presence of the Appellant beyond any shadow of doubt at the spot, but more importantly, in the complaint lodged by the Appellant himself vide Ext. PW 9/A, his presence as also some kind of altercation having been taken between him and the victim is duly established on record.

It is more than settled that, while appreciating evidence, the Court has to take into consideration whether the contradictions/omissions are of such magnitude that they materially affect the trial. Minor contradictions, inconsistencies, embellishments or improvements on trivial matters without effecting the core of the prosecution case cannot be made a ground to reject the evidence in its entirety.

Mere marginal variations in the statements cannot be dubbed as improvements as the same may be elaborations of the statement made by the witness earlier. The omissions which amount to contradictions in material particulars i.e. go to the root of the case/materially affect the trial or core of the prosecution's case, render the testimony of the witness liable to be discredited.

There is hardly any contradiction with regard to place of occurrence as is sought to be established by the learned counsel for the Appellant. Secondly, even if so called contradiction is taken into consideration, the same is so trivial that it does not affect the core of the prosecution case because what was primarily required to be established by the prosecution was not the place of occurrence, but the offence under Section 307 of IPC.

The findings recorded by the learned trial court are based on correct appreciation of material on record and in absence of perversity, these findings cannot be interfered with. Appeal is accordingly dismissed.

Tags : Conviction Evidence Credibility

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