The Patna High Court acquitted five accused in a murder case saying that an attempt was made by police to solve the mystery of two murders by putting words in the mouth of witnesses.

The Court was dealing with a batch of appeals filed by the accused against the judgment of conviction passed by the Sessions Judge, Begusarai.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Ashutosh Kumar and Justice Nani Tagia observed, “It appears that perhaps the appellants did not enjoy good reputation in the locality and, therefore, an attempt was made to solve the mystery of these two murders by putting words in the mouth of the witnesses. Holding back such necessary information about the case by the father-in-law-daughter-in-law dyad on the ground of their being petrified, is highly unacceptable. The fear curiously appears to have been quelled only after the arrest of the two of the appellants. This appears to be paranormal, suggesting very strange coincidence.”

Senior Advocate Rama Kant Sharma, Advocates Rabindra Kumar and Ram Prakash Kumar appeared for the appellants/convicts while APP Dilip Kumar Sinha appeared for the respondent/State.

In this case, the appellants were convicted under Sections 302 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) by the Trial Court and were sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life. The police in this case had adopted a shortcut in the investigation. A complaint was lodged when two dead bodies were found lying at a place and the same appeared to be shot dead.

The High Court in view of the above facts said, “The story, therefore, is completely unbelievable. This appears to be the handiwork of the police for closing the investigation. … This story was woven only after two of the aforenoted appellants were arrested by the police in connection with some other case. … What could be a more brazen attempt of the police to subvert the investigation and that also in such an unprofessional manner?”

The Court noted that the investigating agency did not at all consider it necessary to inquire about the relationship of the deceased with the family of the informant, which was extremely necessary.

“Admittedly, both the deceased persons are not residents of the State of Bihar. They perhaps are residents of West Bengal. They do not also appear to have been ransacked. Whether they were taken away from the house of P.W. 2 and then killed on the road is also very doubtful. Our reason for saying so is that the I.O. (P.W. 5) did not find any blood mark at the place where the dead bodies were found”, also noted the Court.

Furthermore, the Court said that the prosecution has miserably failed to prove the case and that the conviction of the appellants is based solely on the guess work of one of the witnesses aided by the unprofessional approach of the police.

“That the location of one of the appellants was found near the dead body, as was analyzed from the C.D.R., is not admissible in evidence for the requirements under Section 65B of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 have not been complied with. Even otherwise, that would not improve the prosecution case even a tad more”, concluded the Court.

Accordingly, the High Court allowed the appeals and set aside the conviction of the appellants.

Cause Title- Ajit Singh @ Shutarwa @ Ajeet Kumar v. The State of Bihar

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