Allahabad HC Sets Aside Conviction For Murder

In its latest Judgment, the Allahabad High Court has allowed the Criminal Appeal of a Murder Convict

Allahabad High Court held that conviction cannot be based upon the testimony of an interested, artificial and unnatural witness.

Brief Facts:

As per the version of FIR, Jamal’s (Informant) nephew Nasiruddin had enmity with Safat as Safat wanted the shop of Nasiruddin to be closed. On the fateful night i.e. 18.9.2000 at about 10.15 P.M. Nasiruddin was standing outside his shop and was talking to the first informant. 

Safat who was armed with country-made pistol along with Firasat and Liyaqat came and threatened Nasiruddin to close shop. Then Safat fired Nasiruddin with an intention to kill him as a result of which he received an injury and fell down on the road.

It was stated that the said incident was witnessed by the first informant Jamal P.W.-1, Mohd. Subhan, who was examined as P.W.-2 and Rasid Husain, who was examined as P.W.-3. They have alleged to come there to meet the first informant, in the light of a lantern, which was burning there and spreading ample light.

Further, it was stated that the accused persons then ran away threatening all the three persons present there. Then Nasiruddin in an injured condition was taken to the hospital and later he died.

The trial court framed charges against all three accused persons under Section 302 I.P.C. After considering the entire evidence on record, the Trial Court came to the conclusion that the murder of Nasiruddin was committed by the accused-appellant Safat. Whereas the court found that the implication of Firasat and Liyaqat is not borne out and thus, acquitted them of the charges levelled against them.

Feeling aggrieved Safat filed an Appeal before the Allahabad High Court

What was Submitted before the Allahabad High Court?

Appellant submitted that the presence of P.W.-1 Jamal is doubtful and as a matter of fact he was not present at the time and the place of occurrence so as to witness the said incident as stated by him.

Further, the reason for the murder is other than that mentioned by the prosecution which has been specifically put to P.W.-1 in the cross-examination though it has been denied by him.

Also, the alleged recovery of country-made pistol along with empty cartridge is in no manner, incriminating. The alleged recovery is manipulated as the police did not even make an attempt to secure any independent witness to the said recovery which thus is not supported by the evidence of any independent witness. 

The same was alleged to be recovered from an open place easily accessible by all. The alleged recovered weapon was sent for the ballistic examination and the ballistic report does not, in any manner, opine that the said weapon was used in the present murder.

It was also pleaded that the conduct of P.W.-1 is wholly unjustified which would clearly go to show that he was not present at the place of occurrence.

AGA for the State Government opposed the Appeal. He submitted that the presence of P.W.-1 cannot be doubted and he is a natural witness to the incident. It was argued that though he is a related witness but the same would not, in any manner, go to show that he is not a credible witness. 

Observation and Decision of the Allahabad High Court

The Division Bench of Hon’ble Justice Ramesh Sinha and Hon’ble Justice Samit Gupta allowed the Criminal Appeal.

Hon’ble Allahabad High Court observed that there are contradictory statement of witnesses. The court found that the Ballistic Report Shows that the recovered weapon was not used for committing the alleged crime.

It was also observed that the testimony of P.W.-1 Jamal remained uncorroborated with any other evidence. Therefore Court came to the conclusion that P.W.-1 Jamal is an interested, artificial and unnatural witness and was not present at the place and time of occurrence and is thus totally unreliable.

In view of the above Allahabad High Court held that the conviction of the appellant on the basis of sole testimony of P.W.-1 Jamal by the trial court is not sustainable in the eyes of law. 

Allahabad High Court set aside the judgement and order dated 4.3.2002 passed by the trial court.

Case Details:

Title: Sasfat vs State of UP

Case No.- Criminal Appeal No. – 1581 of 2002

Coram-Hon’ble Justice Ramesh Sinha and Hon’ble Justice Samit Gupta

Date of Judgment- 15.10.2020

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