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Parveen vs. The State of Haryana - (Supreme Court) (07 Dec 2021)

In absence of any evidence to show meeting of minds, it is not safe to hold a person guilty under Section 120-B of IPC

MANU/SC/1190/2021

Criminal

Present Appeal is directed against the judgment passed by the High Court whereby, the High Court has dismissed the Appeal filed by the Appellant / accused and upheld the conviction and order of sentence passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Rewari.

In present Appeal, it is contended by learned Counsel for the Appellant that, though there was no concrete proof to establish the participation of the Appellant in the alleged crime, the Trial Court as well as the High Court believed the prosecution story in absence of any supporting evidence and convicted him. It is submitted that, except the alleged confessional statements of co– accused, there was no other acceptable evidence to connect the Appellant herein to the crime.

It is fairly well settled, to prove the charge of conspiracy, within the ambit of Section 120-B, it is necessary to establish that there was an agreement between the parties for doing an unlawful act. At the same time, it is to be noted that it is difficult to establish conspiracy by direct evidence at all, but at the same time, in absence of any evidence to show meeting of minds between the conspirators for the intended object of committing an illegal act, it is not safe to hold a person guilty for offences under Section 120-B of IPC. A few bits here and a few bits there on which prosecution relies, cannot be held to be adequate for connecting the accused with the commission of crime of criminal conspiracy. Even the alleged confessional statements of the co-accused, in absence of other acceptable corroborative evidence, is not safe to convict the accused.

Further, in the case of Uppa alias Manjunatha v. State of Karnataka, this Court has held that when an accused is held guilty and sentenced to imprisonment, confirmation of sentence by the High Court is justifiable only in the event of giving sound reasons upon analysis of material evidence. In the case on hand, a perusal of the judgment of the High Court reveals that except referring to depositions, High Court has not considered the evidence and confirmed the conviction and sentence as ordered by the Trial Court.

Prosecution has failed to prove its case, that the Appellant herein, has conspired with other accused for the offences for which he was charged. Except the alleged confessional statements of the co-accused and in absence of any other corroborative evidence, it is not safe to maintain the conviction and sentence imposed upon the Appellant.

The findings recorded by the Trial Court in convicting the appellant mainly on the ground that he was one of the conspirators for the crime in question, is erroneous and illegal. The High Court has not considered the evidence on record in proper perspective and erroneously confirmed the conviction and sentence imposed on the appellant. Conviction recorded and sentence imposed on the Appellant is, hereby, set aside and he is acquitted of the charges levelled against him. Appeal allowed.

Tags : CONVICTION   EVIDENCE   CREDIBILITY  

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