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State of Himachal Pradesh v. Prem Singh - (High Court of Himachal Pradesh) (10 Nov 2016)

Minor discrepancies not to be given undue emphasis and evidence is to be considered from point of view of trustworthiness

MANU/HP/1404/2016

Narcotics

Accused was charged with commission of offence under Section 20(b) (ii)(C) of Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, wherein he pleaded not guilty and claimed to be tried. Present appeal is preferred by Appellant/State assailing judgment of acquittal, passed by Additional Sessions Judge, whereby accused has been acquitted of charge framed against him under Section 20 of NDPS Act.

Prosecution has been able to prove recovery of Charas weighing 4.5 kgs from exclusive and conscious possession of accused. Therefore, it was for accused person to have explained his innocence, as envisaged under Sections 35 and 54 of Act. The present, as such, is a case where presumption, as envisaged under Sections 35 and 54 of the Act, has to be drawn against accused, as the accused failed to explain his innocence. Present is not a case where it can be said that, prosecution has failed to prove its case against accused beyond all reasonable doubts. No doubt, witnesses are police officials, but it was not possible to associate independent person, as witness, despite best efforts. Evidence as has come on record by way of testimony of official witnesses is consistent, categorical, cogent as well as reliable. Prosecution, as such, has discharged onus to prove that 4.5 kgs. charas has been recovered from exclusive and conscious possession of accused. Present is a fit case where presumption, as envisaged under Sections 35and 54 of Act, can also be drawn against accused, as there is no evidence to the contrary.

When recovery was proved from exclusive and conscious possession of accused to extent of 4.5 kgs of Charas, there was no merit in arguments that accused was called from home and falsely implicated, as to this effect, nothing has come on record while cross-examining official witnesses. Thus, at this stage, this plea is not available to accused. As prosecution has proved guilt of accused conclusively beyond all reasonable doubts, findings, as recorded by Court below, were perverse. Supreme Court in Yogesh Singh vs. Mahabeer Singh and others held that, it is well settled in law that minor discrepancies are not to be given undue emphasis and evidence is to be considered from point of view of trustworthiness. Test is whether same inspires confidence in mind of the Court. In view of law, and appraisal of evidence on record, findings arrived at by trial Court were quashed and accused convicted for commission of offence punishable under Section 20 of NDPS Act.

Relevant : Yogesh Singh vs. Mahabeer Singh and others, Sections 20, 35, 24 of Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985

Tags : ACQUITTAL   VALIDITY   CHARAS   RECOVERY  

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