4 Dec 2022 10:08 AM GMT
There cannot be any sentence/punishment less than imprisonment for life if an accused is convicted of murder offence under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, the Allahabad High Court observed in a judgment delivered recently.The Court observed thus while relying upon the ruling of the Apex Court in the case of State of Madhya Pradesh vs Nandu @ Nandua 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 732, wherein it...
There cannot be any sentence/punishment less than imprisonment for life if an accused is convicted of murder offence under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, the Allahabad High Court observed in a judgment delivered recently.
The Court observed thus while relying upon the ruling of the Apex Court in the case of State of Madhya Pradesh vs Nandu @ Nandua 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 732, wherein it was ruled that any punishment less than the imprisonment for life for the offence punishable under Section 302 would be contrary to Section 302 IPC.
With this, the bench of Justice Mahesh Chandra Tripathi and Justice Rajendra Kumar-IV rejected the argument of the 3 murder case convicts (appellants before the Court) for their release on medical grounds by sentencing them to the period of sentence already undergone by them.
In this case, the accused Vakeel Quraishi, Uvaish, and Aarfeen had been found guilty by the trial court of murdering the deceased (Mukim), with whom they had previous enmity too, for not inviting them to the marriage of his brother Naeem (informant).
The case in brief
As per the prosecution's case, on account of there being the previous enmity between the appellants and the deceased, on the night of 30th May 2014 at about 10 PM while Mukim (deceased) was sitting in front of the house of his uncle (Mamu) and talking to Karam Ilahi and Zahid, all of sudden the appellants came there and told the deceased that by not inviting them in the marriage of his brother, he had insulted them in the community and thereafter, they assaulted the deceased with knives in which he sustained serious injuries and died.
The aforesaid incident was witnessed by PW-1 Naim and PW-2 Karam Elahi. During the trial of the case, they supported the prosecution case and their credibility as eyewitnesses to the incident remained intact in their cross-examination.
Since the evidence appeared to be consistent so far as the assault by the appellants on the deceased is concerned, the trial Court convicted the appellants under Section 302/34 IPC and sentenced them to undergo imprisonment for life. Challenging their conviction, the appellants moved to the HC.
High Court's observations
At the outset, the Court scrutinized the testimony of PW-1 and PW-2 (the eyewitnesses) and found that there was no contradiction, exaggeration or embellishment in their testimony and further, all the witnesses of fact remained consistent regarding the manner in which the occurrence took place.
"We have gone through the entire evidence very carefully, and find no material contradiction, so as to disbelieve the prosecution case or the individual witness. Minor contradictions are bound to occur but the same will not be fatal as the prosecution has otherwise produced a trustworthy witness to prove the guilt of the accused," the Court remarked.
Further, the Court also rejected the argument put forth by the accused-appellants that the eyewitnesses were related/interested witnesses as it noted that in case the evidence of such witnesses has a ring of truth to it, is cogent, credible, and trustworthy, the same can't be disbelieved merely on the ground that the witnesses are related to each other or to the deceased.
Consequently, the Court concluded that the prosecution had successfully proved the guilt of the appellants beyond all reasonable doubt on the basis of evidence, and medical, adduced by it and after appreciating the evidence available on record, and that the trial Court had rightly convicted and sentenced the appellants as aforementioned.
Therefore, the criminal appeal, being devoid of merit, was dismissed.
Case title - Vakeel Quraishi and 2 Ors.v. State of U.P. [CRIMINAL APPEAL No. - 4041 of 2018]
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AB) 516
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