Benefit of infirmities in the investigation by the prosecution is to be given to the accused, the Supreme Court said, in State of Uttarakhand vs Jairnail Singh, while upholding a high court verdict reversing conviction awarded by the trial court.
Jairnail Singh was convicted by the trial court under Section 307 IPC and Section 25 of the Arms Act. Noticing several infirmities in the prosecution case, the high court acquitted the accused. The state appealed before the apex court.
A bench of Justice RK Agrawal and Justice AM Sapre observed that the infirmities noticed by the high court were neither irrelevant nor in any way insignificant or technical in nature as compared only to the ocular version of the witnesses. The prosecution, in our view, should have taken care of some of the infirmities noticed by the High Court and appropriate steps should have been taken before filing of the charge-sheet to overcome them. It was, however, not done. The benefit of such infirmities was, accordingly, rightly given to the respondent by the High Court, the bench observed.
Some of the infirmities noticed by the high court include non-explanation of why no particular type of mark where the bullet was hit was noticed on the body of the deceased. It was also not explained why the accused would keep the pistol all along in his pocket after the incident for such a long time and roam all over.
When the High Court while reversing the decision of the Session Court acquits the accused and assigns the reasons by appreciating the entire evidence 10 in support of the acquittal, then this Court would not be inclined to interfere in the order of acquittal, the bench added.