08 Jun 2121

The evidence should be appreciated with logic by applying the Rule of ‘Deductive reasoning - Bombay High Court

Case : Jafar Khijar Sheikh v. The State of Maharashtra (Through Lonavala Police Station) Criminal Appeal No. 592 of 2012

Court : Bombay High Court

Bench : Justice Sadhana S. Jadhav & Justice N. R. Borkar

Decided on : 08 Jun 2121

Relevant Statutes

Section 201,302 and 307 read with Section 34 & Section 120-B of Indian Penal Code,1860,

 Section 157 of Criminal Procedure Code,1973.

Brief Facts and Procedural History

1. On 26th May 2009 at about 1.30 p.m. when Mr. Choudhari, who was the president of Municipal Council Lonavala, was in his office of Municipal Council along with PW.6 Umesh Mudliyar, two persons barged into his chamber with deadly weapons and had mounted assault upon Raju Chaudhari and also assaulted PW. 6 and thereafter, they had fled from the office.

2. Due to which Mr. Choudhari lost his life. PW. 6 was taken to Parmar Hospital. The statement of the PW. 6 was recorded in Parmar Hospital. which was marked at ‘Exhibit-92’. In which he stated that the accused Sumit Prakash Gavali along with one unknown person had assaulted them. On the basis of the station diary crime was registered against Sumit Gavali and one unknown person for the offence punishable under section 302, 307 read with 34 of Indian Penal Code,1860.

3. Thereafter, a case was registered in which the prosecution examined 26 and the accused examined two defence witnesses. There were 7 accused who faced the trial. Except for the appellants, all other accused get acquittal and the appellants were convicted for the offence punishable under sections 201, 302 and 307 read with 34 of Indian Penal Code,1860. In the present case, PW.6 happens to be an injured eyewitness and the first informant.

The Issue of the Case

Whether the conviction can be quashed on the basis of the inconsistencies in the deposition of eye witness PW. 6?

The Observations of the Court

1. The Honourable Bombay High Court referred to the relevant cross-examination and admissions of witnesses and observed that the conduct of PW.6 post-incident does not inspire confidence. The fact that he did not rush out of the Chamber to call the staff when the President was being assaulted and non-disclosure of the names of the perpetrators of crime till, he reached Parmar Hospital, and then admitting that his statement was not recorded till 30th May 2009 clearly indicates that there is suppression of genesis, suppression of facts and an attempt to mislead the investigation as well as the Court of law.

2. The Honourable Bombay High Court further observed that there was no compliance with the mandate of Section 157 of Criminal Procedure Code,1973. The printed proforma of the first information report does not indicate the date on which the first information report was sent to the Court of the Judicial Magistrate First Class.

3. The Honourable Bombay High Court noted that the identity of Jafar Shaikh was disclosed to PW.6 by the police on 30th May 2009, however, that PW.6 had not given the description of Jafar Shaikh nor a sketch was drawn. The recovery of the weapons at the hands of the accused does not inspire confidence as the weapons were purportedly recovered at the behest of the accused from a flowing river and drainage on 30th May 2009. It would be difficult to hold that the alleged recovery would establish the use of the said weapon by the accused to kill the deceased.

4. By applying the Rule of ‘Deductive reasoning’- “Deductive reasoning is the process of reasoning from one or more statements (premises) to reach a logical conclusion. If all premises are true, the terms are clear, and the rules of deductive logic are followed, then the conclusion reached is necessarily true”. The court found that the prosecution has failed to prove the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Decision Held by the Court

1. The Honourable Bombay High Court allowed the appeals and quashed and set aside the judgment and order passed by District Judge-10 and Additional Sessions Judge, Pune thereby, convicting the appellant for the offence punishable under sections 302, 307 and 201 read with 34 of Indian Penal Code,1860. The appellants are acquitted of the offence punishable under sections 302, 307 and 201 read with 34 of the Indian Penal Code,1860.

2. The appeals were accordingly disposed of.

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