Qatl-i-amd—Appreciation of evidence—Benefit of doubt—Un-witnessed incident

2020 P Cr. L J Note 67

—-S. 302—Qatl-i-amd—Appreciation of evidence—Benefit of doubt—Un-witnessed incident—Last seen evidence—Contradiction in medical and ocular evidence—Scope—Accused was alleged to have murdered the deceased by causing hatchet blows—Eye-witnesses claimed to have witnessed the murder when they were going on their bicycles along with the deceased; they had only seen the deceased running in the sugarcane crop and the accused chasing, none of the eye-witnesses had witnessed as to what happened in the sugarcane field—Said witnesses could not be termed as “eye-witnesses” but only “last seen witnesses”— One hatchet blow was alleged to have been caused to the deceased before running to sugarcane crop but no blood was found outside the crop and the blood stained earth was only found where the dead body was lying—Post-mortem report showed that 4 injuries were 6 cm long whereas 2 injuries were 10 cm long, which suggested that more than one instrument was used by the attacker(s)—Dimension of the hatchet’s sharp edge was not specified—Accused was allegedly on his cycle however, neither the same was recovered
from the site nor was there any evidence as to what happened with the cycle—Ocular account was not free from doubt, and needed corroboration, which was lacking in the case—Circumstances suggested that the murder was un-witnessed—Appeal was allowed, in circumstances while extending benefit of doubt.
—-S. 302—Qatl-i-amd—Appreciation of evidence—Recovery of crime weapon—Failure to match blood type and fingerprints—Scope—Accused was alleged to have murdered the deceased by causing hatchet blows—Recovered hatchet was easily available in the market having no distinctiveness and the same was sent to the Chemical Examiner for report (with a delay) to find human blood—Such recovery could not connect the accused with the commission of crime unless type of blood and fingerprinting was determined.
—-S. 302—Qatl-i-amd—Appreciation of evidence—Circumstantial evidence—Scope—Evidence, in a case based on circumstantial evidence, have to make an unbroken chain—Where any link is missing, the whole chain is broken and no conviction can be recorded in crimes entailing capital punishment.
(d) Criminal trial—
—-Recovery—Corroborative evidence—Scope—Recovery is only a corroborative piece of evidence and by itself alone cannot hold conviction.
(e) Criminal trial—
—-Benefit of doubt—Scope—If a single doubt prima facie causes material dent in the prosecution case benefit of the same to go to the accused.

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