Deprivation Of Accused's Right To Cross Examine Injured Is Fatal To Prosecution- Chhattisgarh High Court
A Chhattisgarh High Court Bench of Justice Sanjay K Agrawal and Justice Mohan Pandey has set aside the conviction of a man by holding that "the prosecution has failed to prove that the appellant had intention or knowledge relating to commission of murder or towards it."
In that context, the Court noted that "due to non-examination of Ganiram, the appellant has been deprived of the opportunity to cross-examine him which is fatal to the prosecution."
Counsel Suresh Kumar Verma appeared for the Appellant, while Counsel Ashish Tiwari appeared for the State.
In this case, the Appellant preferred the appeal calling into question the legality, validity, and correctness of the judgment convicting and sentencing him under Section 147, Section 148, and Section 307 r/w Section 149 of the IPC. The allegation against the Appellant was that he was a member of a banned Naxalite organization and had constituted unlawful assembly, used force, and assaulted a Constable, along with other members.
The Apex Court examined a catena of judgments, including Jage Ram and others v. State of Haryana and Parsuram Pandey and others v. State of Bihar. Subsequently, the Court concluded that the prosecution failed to bring home the offence under Section 307 of the IPC against the Appellant.
In that context, the Court noted that "it is quite vivid that the appellant has been convicted for causing attempt to murder of Ganiram (injured), but the said injured has not been examined by the prosecution". The Court also noted that "Apart from the fact that the appellant was apprehended as he was getting himself hide immediately after the incident during search operation conducted by the police party, no incriminating article has been seized from the appellant as no disclosure statement of the appellant has been recorded." Consequently, the Court was of the opinion that "the prosecution has failed to prove that the appellant had intention or knowledge relating to commission of murder or towards it. No weapon has been seized from the possession of the appellant."
Consequently, the conviction and sentences imposed on the Appellant were set aside and he was acquitted.
Cause Title: Sannu Kudami v. State of Chhattisgarh
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