Acquittal Cannot Be Turned Into Conviction On The Ground That Different View Is Possible

THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA  while exercising criminal appellate jurisdiction  in CRIMINAL APPEAL   Nos  . 407- 408   of   2009 Titled as  Mohd. Akhtar @ Kari & Ors Versus State of Bihar & Anr.  Has held that The High Court can not  reverse a judgment of acquittal merely because another view is possible.

The accused in this case were acquitted by the Trial Court, however the Patna  High Court  convicted the accused for the offence of Murder while holding that the evidence of the eye witnesses was reliable and there was sufficient light to identify the accused. 

 

 

 The facts of the case were that    On the statement of the informant         Md. Abu Daud (PW-6), the fardbeyan was recorded by the Officer Incharge of Matihani Police Station at 9.00 p.m. on 05.01.1984.  He stated that along with his brother Md. Nadir Sah @ Jumma (deceased), he had gone to the house of         Md. Mobin (PW-4) for collecting irrigation dues.  They were basking by the ghura (fire place) at Md. Mobin’s darwaza.     A mob of 10-11 persons armed with pistols, rifles and gun came there at that time.  The informant identified seven out of eleven persons.  Md. Chamru @ Sahadat was armed with gun, Noor Alam with rifle, Md. Jam Alam (Appellant No.4) with gun and Md. Kari @ Akhtar (Appellant No.1), Md. Samad and    Md. Sanjat (Appellant No.3) also had fire arms.  Immediately after the mob reached, the accused Md. Chamru@ Sahadat warned that nobody should try to escape and then Md. Sanjat (Appellant No.3) fired one shot which did not hit anybody.      The informant, Md. Nadir Sah @ Jumma (deceased) and      Md. Mobin (PW-4) started running and all the accused chased them.  The informant hid himself by the side of a Simal tree from where he saw his brother Md. Nadir Sah @ Jumma (deceased) being surrounded by the accused near the southern wall of the house of one Samshul.                             After being surrounded, the deceased Md. Nadir Sah @Jumma was shot dead by Md. Chamru @ Sahadat, Md. Jan Alam and Noor Alam.  The accused fled towards the village and soon after the informant and Md. Mobin rushed to where the deceased was lying and found that he was hit by the bullets.  They started shouting for help.  Md. Adil, Md. Ataul Rehman and several others came.  They were informed about the incident by the informant.  

The trial court acquitted the Appellants of all the charges against them.  

The High Court felt that apart from minor inconsistencies, the evidence of the eye witnesses was reliable and there was sufficient light to identify the accused.

The Supreme Court of India observed:

“The question that falls for determination in this case is whether the High Court was right in setting aside the acquittal of the Appellants and convicting them for an offence of murder.”

And Held as under :

“On a thorough examination of the entire evidence on record and the judgment of the trial court, we are of the considered view that the judgment of acquittal by the trial court is justified which ought not to have been interfered with by the High Court. The High Court could not have reversed a judgment of acquittal merely because another view is possible.”

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