- The Allahabad High Court, currently acquitted a man accused for committing a crime of raping and murdering a minor young girl and facing capital punishment, having observed the evidence of the deceased being last seen with the charged defendant before the supposed case as not convincing enough.
- Name of the Case : Bal Govind Alias Govinda v. State of U.P.
- Foundation of the Case
- The deceased’s 6 years old younger sister mentioned that her sister and her were on their way to the bazaar (market) when Govinda (the defendant) bought her a toffee and sent her back home. Meanwhile, he took away her older sister. However, the younger sister didn’t mention what time the incident occurred.
- One person named Sushil Kumar mentioned that on the 6th of August, 2020, he informed the police relating to the involvement of Govinda by calling 112 and that, he saw Balgovinda taking away the deceased. However, he did not mention the time of the incident either.
- The shop owner also disclosed that Govinda had come to his shop with a little girl and purchased a pack of biscuits. During that time, he could not recognise the girl but later when the body was discovered, he confirmed that the deceased had come to the shop with Govinda.
- Further, in his cross examination he disclosed that the Govinda had bought salted snacks, toffee, and biscuit packet (for the deceased and her sister), and had sent back the younger sister, and took away the deceased with him
- The father of the deceased minor an FIR charging that his daughter had been tempted away by the defendant on August 6, 2020, and later, on August 8, 2020, she was tracked down dead.
- The FIR was for filed punishable under Sections 363, 302, and 201 I.P.C.
- Furthermore, the appealing party (Govinda) was arrested on August 9, 2020.
- Once the charge sheet was filed, the Special Judge, POCSO Act (First Additional Sessions Judge), Jaunpur outlined the charge under Sections 363, 302, 201, 376 A B I.P.C. Furthermore, Section 5/6 POCSO Act against the appealing party and started the Court trial.
- After finding out that the accused was a 25 year old man and the deceased was below 12 years of age, the trial concluded that the case warranted a death penalty.
- The Court noted that even the statement of Sushil Kumar was not valid enough to carry out the ‘Last seen theory’ forward, as no evidence was found to carry out that notion.
- Lastly, even the Shopkeeper’s statement wasn’t taken into consideration as it was based more on his thoughts than facts. "Such an evidence may, at best, create suspicion but would not partake the character of proof," the Court mentioned.
- The Court additionally noticed that in any perspective on the matter, the prosecution evidence couldn't finish the chain of conditions to demonstrate the guilt of the defendant by barring any remaining hypothesis.
- Eventually, the Court concluded that the prosecution evidence may, at best, be used to suspect the defendant but fails to prove the conditions of a conclusive nature and tendency from which it may, hold that the defendant has really committed the crime.
- Thus, on the following grounds, the Court rejected the death penalty of the accused.
- Whether the ‘last seen theory’ should be considered as a conclusive proof ?
- Whether the benefit of doubt should be given to the accused when he is the last person to be seen with the victim ?
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