The Allahabad High Court upheld the conviction of a man who murdered an infant in order to offer ‘human sacrifice’ and observed that this is a classic case of blind faith and unfortunate realities.

An appeal was filed by the convict challenging the judgment passed by the Sessions Judge whereby he was convicted for the offence under Sections 302 IPC and awarded the sentence of life imprisonment with a fine of Rs.5,000/- with default stipulation.

The Division Bench of Justice Rajiv Gupta and Justice Mohd. Azhar Husain Idrisi observed “Moreover, the instant case is a classic case of blind faith and unfortunate realities of our times still prevalent in remote areas. Human/child sacrifice has been practiced on a number of different occasions and in many different cultures. Human/child sacrifice is typically intended to bring good fortune and to appease the Gods, which in our opinion, shocks the conscience of the civilized society and is to be condemned by one and all, to curb such social evils.”

Advocate Chetan Chatterjee appeared for the Appellant whereas AGA Jitendra Kumar Jaiswal appeared for the Respondent.

In an unfortunate series of events, the prosecution story was that there was a 'Bramh Baba Sthan', where every year during Navratra a fair is held, in which, exorcism is practised and 'Bhabooti' is given to the victims by the priest. The informant, and the infant aged about 11 months, had reached the fair with for treatment of his wife through the practice of exorcism, as his wife was suffering from mental sickness. Subsequently, out of the said crowd, a person aged about 26-27 years wearing a vest and underwear, having a knife in his hand came and picked up his fondling child and after moving 10 paces ahead kept the child on the ground and started stabbing him with a knife.

The Court held, “Considering the entire aspect of the matter and taking a holistic view of the circumstances in which the present offence has been committed, we are of the view that the judgment and order passed by the trial court is well considered and discussed and the trial court has rightly held that the prosecution has succeeded to prove the guilt of the accused- appellant beyond reasonable doubt, as such, the impugned judgment and order passed by the trial court is liable to be upheld and the appeal has no force and it is, accordingly, liable to dismissed.”

The Court also discussed the principles of appreciation of evidence of a rustic witness. It said, “The basic principle of appreciation of evidence of a rustic witness who is not educated and comes from a poor strata of society is that the evidence of such a witness should be appreciated as a whole. The rustic witness as compared to an educated witness is not expected to remember every small detail of the incident and the manner in which the incident had happened more particularly when his evidence is recorded after a lapse of time. Further, a witness is bound to face shock of the untimely death of his near relative(s). Therefore, the court must keep in mind all these relevant factors while appreciating evidence of a rustic witness.”

Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.

Cause Title: Rajendra Prasad Gaur v. State of U.P.


Appellant: Advocates S.S. Singh, Chetan Chatterjee

Respondent: AGA Jitendra Kumar Jaiswal

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