28 Yr Old Man Deposed About Parents' Murder He Witnessed When He Was Six: Tripura HC Upholds Conviction
“At the time of crime, he was a minor aged 6 years, but at the time of deposition, 28 years of age.”
A 28 year old man deposed about the murder of his parents he had witnessed when he was a just a six year old boy.
Recently, the Tripura High court upheld a Trial Court judgment convicting an accused for a murder that took place about three decades ago, relying on the deposition of eye witnesses including that made by Sujit Sinha, the son of the duo who was killed.
Incident took place in the night intervening 29-30th August, 1990 in which two persons namely, Rajyeswar Sinha and Sumitra Sinha were murdered. To quote from the high court judgment itself, "the incident happened in the year 1990. The first witness was examined on 16.05.1993; prosecution examined its witnesses till 2014; statement of the accused person u/Sec. 313 of the Cr. P.C. was recorded on 10.02.2014 and the judgment delivered on 28.02.2014. Thus, evidently it took more than 24 years (from 1990 to 2014) for the investigation and trial to be concluded."
During these period, the accused had absconded and he was arrested only after fifteen years in 2009. Further investigation was conducted by the police as per directions of the High Court in a petition filed by Sujit Sinha himself. The Trial Court convicted the accused, Tapan Majumder, and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
The accused then challenged the Trial court judgment mainly contending that testimony of Sujit Sinha having witnessed the incident as a child, and thus really being a child witness, cannot be said to be inspiring in confidence.
"At the time of crime, he was a minor aged 6 years, but at the time of deposition, 28 years of age. Obviously, he has to depose as to what all he saw at the time of occurrence of the incident. As such, we proceed on the assumption that testimony of the witness is to be taken as that of a minor.", the court said.
Referring to the depositions he had made before the Trial Court, the bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Arindam Lodh observed: "We find the witness to have categorically established the factum of brutal murder of his parents, through the hands of the appellant."
The bench, however, noticed that the names of these witnesses were subsequently included in such list and as such, their testimonies recorded. "Faulty investigation, in any manner, cannot be allowed to suppress the truth. It cannot be said that these witnesses are planted, on a later date, only for strengthening the prosecution case.", the court added, affirming the Trial Court findings.