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Criminal Lawyer: Concealment of any fact or document by prosecution creates reasonable doubt; SC.

Supreme Court of India

Justice Navin Sinha and Justice Ashok Bhushan

The SC {Anand Ramachandra Chougule v. Sidarai Laxman Chougala and Others} was considering the acquittal of some of the accused for the offence, inter-alia, under Section 302 IPC, and also alteration of sentence to one under Section 304 part I of other accused in an appeal of the State as well as of the Complainant.

Affirming the judgment of the High Court, the SC held that relationship between the parties, and the existence of land dispute regarding which a civil suit was also pending are undisputed facts. It was also held that there were cross FIR's between the parties - the cross FIR of accused side was not investigated by the police, and also the accused injury report has not been brought on record by the prosecution, and no explanation has been furnished in that regard by the prosecution.

It was further held that the accused has only to create a doubt about the prosecution case, but the prosecution has to prove the allegations beyond all reasonable doubt. The SC held that the fact a defence may not have been taken by an accused under Section 313 CrPC, again cannot absolve the prosecution from proving its case beyond all reasonable doubt. The weakness of the defence cannot become the strength of the prosecution. It was also held that the failure of the prosecution to place all materials, as aforesaid, with regard to the matter before the Court has caused serious prejudice to the accused. The duty of the prosecution is that it does not conceal anything from the Court, and discharges its obligations in accordance with law - which has not been done in present case. Therefore, the appeals by the State and the complainant, were dismissed by the SC.

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