The Supreme Court, in a judgement passed by it on Wednesday, reversed, an impugned judgement which was passed by High Court of Jharkhand a decade ago wherein the High Court had upheld the conviction of appellant-accused , i.e., brother in law of deceased , on the basis of judgement by trial court.
The Supreme Court acquitted the appellant-accused of charges of cruelty which were levelled against him and ordered discharge of bail bonds of the appellant-accused for same.
This case commenced in the year 1998 wherein the husband of deceased had taken deceased outside of her matrimonial home on the pretext of taking her for a walk and later when the husband returned, the wife (now deceased) was missing and the husband was also reluctant in answering for whereabouts of deceased. Later, the parents of deceased found her dead near the canal. On the basis of investigation report, charge sheet was filed and, the husband, the brother in law of deceased, and the father in law of deceased were convicted by trial court. Later, an appeal was filed in High Court by all accused wherein the High Court upheld the decision of Trial Court and then an appeal was made only by brother in law of deceased in Supreme Court.
The division bench, while deciding the case, was of the view that the allegations against the appellant were vague in nature and unsubstantiated by evidence and that none of prosecution witnesses had named the appellant “particularly” in connection to case and all independent witnesses turned hostile and didn’t supported the prosecution story. The court was satisfied by arguments of counsel for appellant and held that on basis of testimonies of witnesses, the ingredients of crime of cruelty aren’t proved against appellant beyond standard of reasonable doubt and for this reason his conviction can’t be sustained and he needs to be acquitted in the interest of justice.