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Ombir Singh vs The State Of Uttar Pradesh - (Supreme Court) (26 May 2020)

Mere delay in forwarding FIR to Magistrate is not a ground to acquit accused



The Appellant 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’) and Section 27 of the Arms Act, 1959. The Appellant has also challenged the sentence of life imprisonment and fine of Rs. 11,000 imposed by the Trial Court and confirmed by the High Court.

The prime arguments on behalf of the Appellant are that, the alleged eye-witnesses, the original complainant and brother of the deceased who has deposed as PW-1, and (PW-2) are unreliable, and they had been set-up and planted by the prosecution.

It was highlighted that, the First Information Report (‘FIR’), purportedly recorded on the details and information furnished by Dinesh Singh (PW-1), contrary to the mandate of Section 157 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) was belatedly sent and received by the ilaka magistrate (Chief Judicial Magistrate in this case) after 11 days, and that the FIR was not sent to Doctor (PW-3) along with the inquest papers. There was undoubtedly a delay in compliance of Section 157 of the CrPC, as the FIR was received in the office of the Chief Judicial Magistrate with a delay of 11 days. Delay in compliance of Section 157 of the CrPC cannot, in itself, be a good ground to acquit the appellant.

Further, the fact that the field unit had not recorded the name of the deceased in the proceedings, is inconsequential as these details are duly mentioned in the panchayatnama and other documents which were prepared on the same day and were sent to Doctor (PW-3) who had conducted the post mortem. The lapse on the part of the field unit in non-mentioning the name of the deceased would not justify an order of acquittal.

Further, the acquittal of co-accused by the Trial Court was for the reason that he was supposed to have used tamancha (a local firearm), but the police had not recovered the empty cartridges or the pellets from the spot. Pertinently, the Post Mortem Report also does not refer to any pellet injuries. Thus, co-accused was given a benefit of doubt. The Trial Court, on the basis of the evidence on record, had convicted the Appellant both under section 302 read with Section 34 of IPC and section 27 of the Arms Act, for the murder of deceased. The Appellant is not entitled to the same benefit. There is no 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 IPC with Section 27 of the Arms Act.


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