MOHIBUR RAHMAN Vs. STATE OF ASSAM
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
STATE OF ASSAM
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R. C. Lahoti, J. -
(1.)The two accused-appellants have been held guilty of the offences punishable under Sections 302/34 and 201/34 of the IPC. Each of the accused-appellants has been sentenced to imprisonment for life and a fine of Rs. 2,000/-, in default to suffer R.I. for one year and seven years R.I. and a fine of Rs. 500/- in default to suffer R.I. for three months respectively for the two offences. The substantive terms of imprisonment have been directed to run concurrently. The conviction and sentence as recorded by the trial Court have been upheld by the High Court.
(2.)There were in all seven accused persons put up for trial out of which five were acquitted by the trial Court and their acquittal has achieved a finality. There is no eye-witness to the crime. The conviction rests on circumstantial evidence. Without entering into very many details of the prosecution story and the nature of evidence coming through the mouth of several prosecution witnesses at the trial, it would suffice for our purpose, in the facts and circumstances of the case, to set out the circumstances which in the opinion of the High Court are incriminating and form such chain of incriminating circumstantial evidence as would fasten beyond reasonable doubt the finding of guilt against the accused-appellants. The circumstances are :-
(i) the deceased Rahul was last seen in the company of the two accused-appellants;
(ii) The deceased was having an affair with the sister-in-law of the accused Taijuddin which was not to the liking of the accused which had caused strained relationship between the deceased and the accused;
(iii) The accused Taijuddin visited the house of the deceased Rahul after his disappearance and told the family members that Rahul might have eloped with his sister-in-law or might have been killed by ULFA;
(iv) The trunk of the body of the deceased, the severed head, the clothes and shoes of the deceased were recovered on being pointed out by the two accused-appellants.
(3.)It is well settled by a catena of decisions of this Court that in order to find conviction on circumstantial evidence each of the incriminating pieces of circumstantial evidence should be proved by cogent and reliable evidence and the Court should be satisfied that the proved pieces of circumstantial evidence taken together forge such a chain wherefrom no inference other than of guilt can be drawn against the accused person or, in other words, the proved pieces of circumstantial evidence should not be capable of being explained on any hypothesis other than the guilt of the accused. Based on these parameters we proceed to examine the evidence in the case.
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