18 November 2019


Judgments

High Court of Allahabad

Girand Singh Vs. State of U.P.

MANU/UP/0772/2019

13.03.2019

Criminal

Minor irregularity/omission by Investigation Officer need not necessarily lead to rejection of prosecution version

The present appeal has been preferred against the judgment passed by Addl. Sessions Judge convicting and sentencing the Appellant-Girand under Sections 302 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and to undergo life imprisonment, and under Sections 307 of IPC to undergo 5 years Rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs. 2000 and in default of payment of fine, to further undergo 3 months additional imprisonment. All the sentences are ordered to run concurrently. By the impugned judgment, accused-Khoob Singh has been acquitted of the charges extending benefit of doubt.

Learned Counsel for the Appellant argued that, prosecution case is supported only by interested and inimical witnesses; an independent witness-Ram Autar, although present at the place of occurrence, as per the allegation of the FIR, but was not examined; injuries of injured Ganga Sahai have not been explained in the first information report; FIR is belated; neither recovery of weapon has been made, nor blood stained clothes were sent for forensic examination.

It is a settled principle of criminal jurisprudence that, mere delay in lodging the FIR may not prove fatal in all cases. Delay in lodging the FIR cannot be a ground by itself for throwing away the entire prosecution case. The Court has to seek an explanation for delay and check the truthfulness of the version put forward. If the Court is satisfied, then the case of the prosecution cannot fail on this ground alone.

The other argument of Appellant in respect of non dispatching of blood stained clothes for forensic examination, can be termed as laches on the part of investigating officer, but that omission would not affect prosecution case, if the ocular testimony is found credible and cogent, as has been held in Maqbool Vs. State of A.P. Thus, it can safely be held that, minor irregularity/omission by the I.O. need not necessarily lead to rejection of the prosecution version, in the facts and circumstances of the present case.

Further, argument that Ram Autar, an independent eye witness of the occurrence mentioned in the FIR has not been examined is also not tenable because, it is not necessary to produce each and every witness. The Court cannot draw adverse inference only because all the witnesses have not been examined, if the evidence of witnesses produced are trustworthy, the court can rely on the said evidence to convict the accused. This is because it is the quality and not the quantity of evidence that is material. In view of cumulative effect of the evidence, the trial Court was justified in convicting the Appellant in the present case. The appeal has no substance and the same is, accordingly, dismissed.

Relevant

Maqbool @ Zubir @ Shahnawaz and Anr. vs. State of A.P. MANU/SC/0472/2010

Tags : Conviction Evidence Credibility

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