SC:Acquittal of co-accused per se doesn’t entitle other co-accused to same

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 3rd September 2019, in the matter of Manjit Singh v. The State of Punjab observed that even if the material evidence against all the accused persons is the same, acquittal of some of them does not lead to a corollary that the other accused also need to be acquitted.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

Acquittal of co-accused per se is not sufficient to result in acquittal of the other accused. Even if the material evidence against all the accused persons is the same, acquittal of some of them does not lead to a corollary that the other accused also need to be acquitted. (Para 9.1)

Facts that the IO did not make any attempt for recovery of the weapon of offence used or the fact that IO chose to proceed in the direction that accused was innocent and was falsely implicated, would not have an adverse bearing on the prosecution case, where involvement of the accused stands established beyond doubt. (This inference has been drawn on the basis of Para 13)

There is no rule that in every criminal case, the testimony of an injured eye-witness needs corroboration from the so-called independent witness(es). When the statement of injured eye-witness is found trustworthy and reliable, the conviction on that basis could always be recorded, of course, having regard to all the facts and surrounding factors. (Para 13.2)

The important ingredients of an unlawful assembly are the number of persons forming it i.e., five; and their common object. Common object of the persons composing that assembly could be formed on the spur of the moment and does not require prior deliberations. The course of conduct adopted by the members of such assembly; their behaviour before, during, and after the incident; and the arms carried by them are a few basic and relevant factors to determine the common object. (Para 14.5)

Copy of judgement:Judgement_03-Sep-2019

-Adv. Tushar Kaushik

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