Court acquits 3 accused of murder charges as witnesses turn hostile

Excelsior Correspondent

UDHAMPUR, May 25: Additional Sessions Judge Udhampur, MK Sharma today acquitted three accused namely Shalinder Singh, Pawan Kumar and Som Raj of the murder charges and issued show-cause notice to all those witnesses, who earlier recorded their statements under Section 164-A CrPC before the Magistrate but later contradicted the same.
According to the police case, on December 30, 2008, the accused persons killed Varinder Singh alias Vicky in Barrian area. During the course of investigation, police arrested five accused, collected evidence, recovered weapons of offence on the basis of disclosure statements of the accused.
After hearing Special PP JA Kazmi along with APP Tariq Mugal for the State whereas Advocate Ajay Bandral for the accused, Additional Sessions Judge observed, “prosecution witness Natha Singh, father of the deceased, has stated that the deceased had no enmity with the accused Shalinder Singh, Pawan Sharma, Som Raj, Onkar Singh and Mohd Shabir. However, he has attributed enmity to the accused who are absconding and have not been sent to trial”.
“There is no other material also on the file as to what was the motive of the accused persons facing the trial behind the crime. The prosecution has, therefore, failed to prove the motive of the accused behind the occurrence. In the absence of motive, the accused cannot be convicted”, the Court said, adding “the evidence collected by the prosecution is insufficient to hold the accused guilty of the charge”.
With these observations, the Court acquitted the accused facing trial and directed that Shalinder Singh, Pawan Kumar and Som Raj be released from the custody in case they were not involved in any other case.
Taking serious note of the witnesses turning hostile, the Court observed, “it is necessary to point out that most of the witnesses have turned hostile and they did not support the prosecution for whom they were cited as witnesses”, adding “the statements of some of the material witnesses during investigation were recorded under Section 164-A CrPC before the Magistrate but while deposing before the court during trial they contradicted statements”.
“The adversarial system of justice delivery is based upon the evidence. If these things are not taken seriously and the guilty punished, the day is not far when the system as a whole will collapse. It is the mandate of Section 164-A CrPC that the person makes the statement voluntarily and the Magistrate recording the statement makes an endorsement to the effect”, Additional Sessions Judge said, adding “court shall proceed against only those witnesses whose statements during investigation under Section 164-A CrPC were recorded. Let show cause notice be issued to all these witnesses to explain as to why they may not be proceeded for making false statement”.

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