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Delay in compliance of Sec 157 Cr.P.C. in itself, does not result in acquittal of the accused: SC

The SC on May 26, 2020 {OMBIR SINGH vs STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH AND ANOTHER} held that delay in compliance of Section 157 Cr.P.C. cannot, in itself, be a good ground to acquit the appellant. However, it was held that this fact has to be considered when examining the credibility of the version of the eye-witnesses.

The SC Bench, comprising of Justice N.V. Ramana, Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar  & Justice Sanjiv Khanna, observed that it has examined the eye witnesses testimonies and find that they had correctly identified the appellant, and also narrated the motive, which would be a corroborative factor. 

In the present case, the appellant Ombir Singh has challenged the judgment by the Allahabad High Court, confirming his conviction under section 302 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’, for short) and section 27 of the Arms Act, 1959. It was the contention of the appellant that contrary to the mandate of Section 157 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (‘Code’, for short) the FIR was belatedly sent and received by the ilaka magistrate (Chief Judicial Magistrate in this case) after 11 days, and therefore his conviction was bad in law.

The SC held that it may be noted that the occurrence had taken place at 9:00 a.m. on 15.07.1999 and the appellant had absconded after the incidence and was arrested on 22.07.1999. Thus, it was held that the Court is not convinced and would reject the argument that the appellant should be acquitted for non-compliance of section 157 of the Code.

Accordingly, it was held by the SC that it does not find any merits in the present appeal and the same is dismissed confirming the conviction and sentence of the appellant under Section 302 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code with Section 27 of the Arms Act.

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