Over 8 Years After FIR, Delhi Court Acquits Man Accused of Murdering His Mother

A court here has acquitted a man accused of murdering his mother in 2014, saying the guilt of the accused could not be inferred from the evidence and that the prosecution failed to elevate its case from the realm of may be true’ to must be true’.

The court was hearing a case against Vinod, who was accused of assaulting his mother Maya Devi with a hammer on July 15, 2014, at Tigri jhuggi jhopri (JJ) camp in South Delhi. The victim later succumbed to the injuries.

According to the prosecution, Vinod often used to enter into a scuffle and even beat his mother upon her refusal to give him money to purchase liquor.

“The prosecution from the quality and quantity of the evidence could not prove the chain of circumstantial evidence which could only lead to one inference i.e., the guilt of the accused. Accordingly, accused Vinod stands acquitted in the instant case,” Additional Sessions Judge Vishal Pahuja said in a recent judgment.

The judge said that the circumstances relied upon by the prosecution were not conclusive, nor “fully established”.

“It is not a case where the only hypotheses of guilt of the accused can be inferred from the facts brought on record and the prosecution has failed to elevate its case from the realm of ‘may be true’ to ‘must be true’ as indispensably required in law for conviction on basis of circumstantial evidence on a criminal charge,” the court said.

It noted that the accused’s brother and sister-in-law did not support the prosecution’s case and turned hostile.

While the sister-in-law categorically stated that the accused never consumed liquor in her presence nor had he ever abused or beaten the deceased, the brother denied having any knowledge about his mother’s murder.

“The motive of the accused for killing his mother could also not be established in view of the tainted testimony of the aforesaid witnesses,” the court said.

It noted that the blood sample from the hammer allegedly recovered at the instance of the accused was sent to the forensic science laboratory (FSL), but DNA could not be generated from the alleged weapon of offence.

Two prosecution witnesses denied seeing the accused running away from his house in scared condition after the alleged incident and there was nothing in their testimonies to establish ‘the circumstance of last seen’, the court said.

“Therefore, in my view, once the prosecution fails to establish cogently ‘the circumstance of last seen’, the case of prosecution which essentially relies upon ‘the circumstance of last seen’ comes crumbling like a house of cards,” the judge said.

He observed that in cases based on circumstantial evidence, circumstances from which the conclusion of guilt is drawn should be fully proved and such circumstances must be conclusive in nature.

Also, all the circumstances should be complete, forming a chain and there should be no gap left in the chain of evidence, the judge said.

“The missing of important link snaps the chain of circumstances and the other circumstances cannot in any manner establish the guilt of the accused beyond all reasonable doubts,” the judge added.

Neb Sarai police station had filed a chargesheet against the accused under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code.

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