38.6c New Delhi, India, Saturday, April 20, 2024
Judiciary

Supreme Court Frees Death Row Convicts Due to Flawed Investigation in 2013 Kidnap Murder Case [Read Judgment]

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      23 September, 2023 12:09 PM      0 Comments
Supreme Court Frees Death Row Convicts Due to Flawed Investigation in 2013 Kidnap Murder Case

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has set free two men awarded death penalty and another person sentenced to life imprisonment in a case related to kidnap and murder of a 15-year-old boy of their neighbour in July 2013.

Emphasising the need for consistent and dependable code of investigation for the police to avoid accused taking benefit of technicalities, a bench of Justices B R Gavai, J B Pardiwala and Sanjay Kumar noted there were "shocking lapses, slipshod investigation'' and "dubious process" adopted by the Madhya Pradesh police in the case based on circumstantial evidence.

Appellants Om Prakash Yadav, his borther Raja Yadav and son Rajesh Yadav alias Rakesh filed appeal against the Madhya Pradesh High Court judgement which confirmed the trial court's findings and sentence against them.

Om Prakash, a neighbour of the victim's family in a locality in Jabalpur was sentenced to life term and Raja and Rajesh were awarded the capital punishment for killing Ajit Pal after kidnapping him for ransom. The prosecution alleged the accused wanted to extract a huge sum of money received by the victim's family after sale of a house.

Upon hearing senior advocate Sidharth Luthra and advocate Supriya Juneja for the appellants,  the court granted the three benefit of doubt due to "yawning infirmities and gaps in the chain of circumstantial evidence".

The court rejected the prosecution's bid to rely upon "concocted" DNA analysis, recoveries and call details records. It also found even the original SIM card owner on whose number the ransom call was made not examined in the matter.

"The higher principle of ‘proof beyond reasonable doubt’ and more so, in a case built on circumstantial evidence, would have to prevail and be given priority," the court said.

The court voiced deep and profound concern over the disappointing standards of police investigation that seem to be the invariable norm.

It said as long back as in the year 2003, the Report of Dr Justice V S Malimath’s ‘Committee on Reforms of Criminal Justice System’ had recorded their role in critical importance of the criminal justice system.

The bench also pointed out the Law Commission of India's 239 report of March, 2012 had observed that the principal causes of low rate of conviction due to inept, unscientific investigation by the police and lack of proper coordination between police and prosecution machinery. 

"Despite passage of considerable time since these gloomy insights, we are dismayed to say that they remain sadly true even to this day," the bench said.

"It is high time, perhaps, that a consistent and dependable code of investigation is devised with a mandatory and detailed procedure for the police to implement and abide by during the course of their investigation so that the guilty do not walk free on technicalities, as they do in most cases in our country," the bench said.

In the present case, the bench said, a young boy in the first flush of youth was cruelly done to death and the wrongdoers necessarily had to be brought to book for the injustice done to him and his family. However, the police tailored their investigation, with complete indifference to the essential norms in proceeding against the accused and in gathering evidence; leaving important leads unchecked and glossing over other leads that did not suit the story that they had conceived.

"It is high time, perhaps, that a consistent and dependable code of investigation is devised with a mandatory and detailed procedure for the police to implement and abide by during the course of their investigation so that the guilty do not walk free on technicalities, as they do in most cases in our country," the bench said.

In strong observations, the bench said it is indeed perplexing that, despite the innumerable weak links and loopholes in the prosecution’s case, the trial court as well as the High Court were not only inclined to accept the same at face value but went to the extent of imposing and sustaining capital punishment on Rajesh Yadav and Raja Yadav.

"No valid and acceptable reasons were put forth as to why this case qualified as the ‘rarest of rare cases’, warranting such drastic punishment. Per contra, we find that the yawning infirmities and gaps in the chain of circumstantial evidence in this case warrant acquittal of the appellants by giving them the benefit of doubt," the bench said.

 

[Read Judgment]



Share this article:

About:

Explore Comprehensive Legal Reporting with LawStreet Journal: Your Go-To Source for Supreme Court an...Read more

Follow:
TwitterLinkedinInstagram


Leave a feedback about this
Related Posts
View All

Ayodhya verdict: SC rules in favour of Ram Lalla, Sunni Waqf Board gets alternate land Ayodhya verdict: SC rules in favour of Ram Lalla, Sunni Waqf Board gets alternate land

SC bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi has allotted the dispute site to Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, while directing the government to allot an alternate 5 acre land within Ayodhya to Sunni Waqf Board to build a mosque.

Himachal Pradesh High Court Grant Bail to a Man Accused of Committing Unnatural Acts with Cow, Said that there is no Criminal History Depicting Pervert Mind [READ ORDER] Himachal Pradesh High Court Grant Bail to a Man Accused of Committing Unnatural Acts with Cow, Said that there is no Criminal History Depicting Pervert Mind [READ ORDER]

without commenting on the merits of the case at this stage of investigation and the period of detention he faced in jail, the Court after analyzing all things allowed bail to the accused person ( Jai Ram). Himachal Pradesh High Court, Grant Bail, Justice Anup Chitrakara

How the Waqf Board has the third largest ownership of land after the Indian Railways and the Defense Dept.? How the Waqf Board has the third largest ownership of land after the Indian Railways and the Defense Dept.?

SHO Bhardwaj was quick to defend the Maulvi in questioning regarding the Mazar but harassed the reported who sought truth. Why did the SHO have to harass a Media reporter when he was doing his job? Who benefits from this? Why is there a Mazar on a flyover? Why is a Minority Welfare development Board in control of so much property? || #Mazar #SHOBhardwaj #Mazar #Mosque #WaqfBoard #Islam #News #Waqf #RemoveSHOBharadwaj

Does the Waqf board hold any relevance in the secular India of today? Does the Waqf board hold any relevance in the secular India of today?

Towards the end of the clip, Advocate Jain can be seen questioning the leaders of our land, the Central Government, and the parliament to look into the above and review such biased provisions for the greater good of all.  In the end, we are made to question if India is a secular country in the true sense of the term, after all! Wakf board land scam, Central Waqf Board, secular India article

TRENDING NEWS

kejriwal-eating-mangoes-sweets-and-having-tea-with-sugar-ed-tells-court
Trending Judiciary
Kejriwal eating mangoes, sweets and having tea with sugar, ED tells court

Enforcement Directorate alleges Delhi CM Kejriwal consumed mangoes, sweets, and tea with sugar in jail, raising doubts on his diabetes claim for bail plea.

19 April, 2024 11:01 AM
sc-to-consider-forming-guidelines-on-trial-for-deaf-dumb-people
Trending Judiciary
SC to consider forming guidelines on trial for deaf-dumb people [Read Order]

Supreme Court to consider guidelines for trials of deaf-dumb individuals, addressing fairness in cases like rape. Notice issued to Union and Chhattisgarh govt.

19 April, 2024 11:50 AM

TOP STORIES

need-to-safeguard-judiciary-from-unwarranted-pressures-21-ex-judges-write-letter-to-cji
Trending Legal Insiders
Need to safeguard judiciary from unwarranted pressures: 21 ex-judges write letter to CJI

21 ex-judges write to CJI Chandrachud urging protection of judiciary from pressures undermining its integrity and autonomy.

15 April, 2024 12:17 PM
sc-notice-to-ed-declines-early-date-on-plea-by-delhi-cm-arvind-kejriwal-against-arrest
Trending Judiciary
SC notice to ED; declines early date on plea by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal against arrest

SC issues notice to ED, declines early hearing on Delhi CM Kejriwal's plea against arrest in liquor scam.

15 April, 2024 03:08 PM
call-for-chapters-gender-based-violence-and-religion
Trending Law School
Call For Chapters: Gender-Based Violence and Religion

Calling For Book Chapters: As an editor, Dr. Amit Anand, Assistant Professor, School of Legal Studies, REVA University, Bengaluru, is inviting people to contribute to a book, entitled "Gender-Based Violence and Religion." This book is scheduled to be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

15 April, 2024 04:21 PM
cannot-stop-any-public-rally-bombay-hc-says-on-allegation-that-ram-navami-processions-deliberately-pass-through-muslim-majority-areas
Trending Top Stories
Cannot stop any public rally, Bombay HC on allegation that Ram Navami processions deliberately pass through Muslim-majority areas

The Bombay High Court calls upon the Maharashtra Police to ensure that no law and order issues occur during a Ram Navami rally in a Muslim-majority area in Mumbai.

15 April, 2024 06:36 PM

ADVERTISEMENT


Join Group

Signup for Our Newsletter

Get Exclusive access to members only content by email