17 June 2024


Judgments

Supreme Court

Mohammed Khalid And Another vs. State of Telangana (Neutral Citation: 2024 INSC 158)

MANU/SC/0154/2024

01.03.2024

Narcotics

Confession of an accused recorded by a Police Officer is not admissible as evidence

Present appeals take exception to the final impugned judgment passed by the High Court rejecting the Criminal Appeal preferred by the appellants assailing the judgment passed by the trial Court. Trial Court, convicted the Appellants for the offence punishable under Section 8(c) read with Section 20(b)(ii)(c) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985( ‘NDPS Act’)

Admittedly, no proceedings under Section 52A of the NDPS Act were undertaken by the Investigating Officer PW-5 for preparing an inventory and obtaining samples in presence of the jurisdictional Magistrate. In this view of the matter, the FSL report is nothing but a waste paper and cannot be read in evidence. The accused A-3 and A-4 were not arrested at the spot. The offence under Section 20(b)(ii)(c) deals with production, manufacture, possession, sale, purchase, transport, import or export of cannabis. It is not the case of the prosecution that the accused A-3 and A-4 were found in possession of ganja. The highest case of the prosecution which too is not substantiated by any admissible or tangible evidence is that these two accused had conspired sale/purchase of ganja with A-1 and A-2. The entire case of the prosecution as against these two accused is based on the interrogation notes of A-1 and A-2.

Further, it is trite that, confession of an accused recorded by a Police Officer is not admissible in evidence as the same is hit by Section 25 of the Evidence Act, 1872. Neither the trial Court nor the High Court adverted to this fatal flaw in the prosecution case and proceeded to convict A-3 and A-4 in a sheerly mechanical manner without there being on iota of evidence on record of the case so as to hold them guilty.

The prosecution has miserably failed to prove the charges against the accused. The evidence of the police witnesses is full of contradictions and is thoroughly unconvincing. The conviction of the accused appellants as recorded by the trial Court and affirmed by the High Court is illegal on the face of record and suffers from highest degree of perversity. The judgment passed by the High Court affirming the judgment of the trial Court convicting and sentencing the accused appellants for the charge under Section 8(c) read with 20(b)(ii)(c) of the NDPS Act is quashed and set aside. The appellants are acquitted of all the charges. Appeals allowed.

Tags : Conviction Evidence Credibility

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