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State Vs. Budhabhai Bhalabhai and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtGujarat High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1982)2GLR524
AppellantState
RespondentBudhabhai Bhalabhai and ors.
Excerpt:
- - the learned public prosecutor has laid considerable emphasis on the evidence of the complainant and has said that his evidence is quite reliable and the learned magistrate ought to have based conviction on his evidence. with the evidence being not quite reliable it cannot be said that the learned magistrate has erred in acquitting the accused. the court's conscience has got to be fully satisfied that there is a grave miscarriage of justice and on the evidence on record it is safe and imperative that the finding of acquittal must be converted in to one of conviction and that the accused must be punished......sounds quite improbable and, therefore, he has disbelieved those witnesses. the learned public prosecutor has laid considerable emphasis on the evidence of the complainant and has said that his evidence is quite reliable and the learned magistrate ought to have based conviction on his evidence. it is quite obvious that the complainant is an interested witness and, therefore, conviction cannot be safely based on his evidence alone. the learned assistance public prosecutor has been argued that if corroboration is required to support the evidence of the complainant the police officer who is said to have come on the scene of offence and helped in releasing the complainant should have been believed. in accepting this argument of the learned asstt. public prosecutor there is some.....
Judgment:

A.S. Qureshi, J.

1. This is the appeal by the State against the order of acquittal passed by the learned Judicial Magistrate, First-Class, Anand on 16-5-79. The prosecution case is that the complainant Punjabhai Bhikhabhai was unlawfully tied by a rope, at village Rampura in Anand Taluka of Kaira District on 22nd June, 1977 at 16-00 hours and thus the accused are said to have committed offences under Section 342 read with Section 114 of the Indian Penal Code.

2. The prosecution has examined the complainant and several other persons who are said to have helped in untiring the rope with which the complainant was tied and releasing him from illegal detention. The learned Magistrate after having considered the evidence of the prosecution witnesses in considerable details, has come to the conclusion that there are material contradictions in their evidence and that the story of the prosecution sounds quite improbable and, therefore, he has disbelieved those witnesses. The learned Public Prosecutor has laid considerable emphasis on the evidence of the complainant and has said that his evidence is quite reliable and the learned Magistrate ought to have based conviction on his evidence. It is quite obvious that the complainant is an interested witness and, therefore, conviction cannot be safely based on his evidence alone. The learned Assistance Public Prosecutor has been argued that if corroboration is required to support the evidence of the complainant the Police Officer who is said to have come on the scene of offence and helped in releasing the complainant should have been believed. In accepting this argument of the learned Asstt. Public Prosecutor there is some difficulty in this that the Police Officer in drawing the panchnama has put a wrong date of 23-6-77 and has subsequently corrected it to 22-6-77 which according to him was wrongly written by mistake which he corrected later. This circumstance is sufficient to create a doubt about the veracity of the evidence of the said Police Officer.

3. Moreover, it is also difficult to base conviction solely on the evidence of this kind of witness who admits having made mistake in pulling the date on the panchnama. Even the panchas have been declared hostile and, therefore, their evidence also does not help the prosecution. The learned Assistant Public Prosecutor has then referred to the evidence of the Doctor who has said that the injuries which are mostly abrasions on the arm and neck of the complainant are possible if there was scuffle between the complainant and other persons. The doctor has also said that the injuries on the complainant can also be caused if he is tied very hard by a rope. But at the same time he also says that such injuries are possible in a scuffle. Under these circumstances, the medical evidence also does not help the prosecution to any considerable extent. With the evidence being not quite reliable it cannot be said that the learned Magistrate has erred in acquitting the accused. It must be borne in mind that the findings of acquittal cannot be lightly set aside by the appellate court on certain probabilities or by explaining away some of the contradictions. The court's conscience has got to be fully satisfied that there is a grave miscarriage of justice and on the evidence on record it is safe and imperative that the finding of acquittal must be converted in to one of conviction and that the accused must be punished. In this case, there are no such circumstances or compelling reasons for this Court to convert this finding of acquittal into one of conviction.

4. For the reasons stated above, the State appeal fails and is therefore dismissed.


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