Acquittal in murder case without witnesses being examined: Sorry state of affairs, says SC

07:43 PM May 23, 2022 | PTI |

The Supreme Court Monday termed it a ”very sorry” state of affairs and ”shocking” that a trial court in Bihar acquitted the accused in a murder case without examining all the witnesses. The apex court made the remarks while dismissing a plea against the Patna High Court verdict which had set aside an order of the trial court acquitting the accused.


The top court said it “shocks its conscience” that this kind of thing is happening in Bihar.

A vacation bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Bela M Trivedi, which was hearing a plea arising out of the high court judgement, said it is not inclined to interfere with the July 2018 verdict. “Does it not shock your conscience? At least, it shocks my conscience that this is what happens in states like Bihar. It is shocking, to be very honest,” Justice Chandrachud observed, adding, “It is a very sorry state of affairs.” “We are not inclined to entertain the Special Leave Petition under Article 136 of the Constitution of India. The Special Leave Petition is accordingly dismissed,” the bench said in its order.

The top court observed that it is more than satisfied that justice has been done and it would not interfere under Article 136.

The high court had delivered the verdict on an appeal against the July 2015 judgment of a trial court in Begusarai which had acquitted several accused in the case.


The high court had noted that the counsel appearing for the appellant had argued before it that neither any notice nor any other process was ever served upon him for giving evidence in the case.

“From the perusal of the lower court records, we do not find any execution report of warrant of arrest issued against the informant and other prosecution witnesses nor there is anything on the record to show that the process, issued by the trial court, was ever served upon the informant and other prosecution witnesses,” it had noted in its 2018 verdict. The high court had said it has no option except to set aside the judgment of acquittal and remit the matter to the trial court with a direction to give the proper opportunity to the prosecution for adducing evidence and pass a fresh judgment after recording the evidence of the prosecution as well as the defence.


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