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Mere information - accused met deceased soon before death is not sufficient to attract last seen theory - accused acquitted by the SC.

Supreme Court of India

Justice L Nageswara Rao & Justice Deepak Gupta

The SC {Md. Younus Ali Tarafdar v. The State of West Bengal} holds that on an overall consideration of the evidence on record, especially the evidence of PWs 11, 12 and 16 would not lead to believe that the Appellant and the deceased were last seen together. It was held that the evidence of PWs 11 and 16 only shows that they were informed by the deceased that he was going to visit the Appellant. There is no evidence on record to show that the Appellant was last seen with the deceased. Section 106 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 is not applicable to the facts of the case. It cannot be said that the Appellant failed to explain as to what happened after they were last seen together especially when there is no evidence to show that they were last seen together.

Further, held that close scrutiny of the material on record would disclose that the circumstances relied upon by the prosecution to prove the guilt of the Appellant were not complete and do not lead to the conclusion that in all human probability the murder must have been committed by the Appellant.

The Appeal was accordingly allowed and the judgment of the High Court was set aside. The Appellant was acquitted by the SC of the charges under Section 302 read with Section 34 and Section 201 read with Section 34 of the IPC.

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