SUPREME COURT OBSERVES THAT THE LOWER COURTS HAD COMMITTED SERIOUS ERROR IN FRAMING MURDER CHARGES AGAINST THE APPELLANT
A Two Judge Bench of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India comprising of Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice C.T. Ravikumar in the matter of Vikramjit Kakati vs. The State of Assam Criminal Appeal No. 1140 of 2022 Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No(s). 1211 of 2022 passed a Judgment dated 04-08-2022 and while allowing the Appeal held that there is no iota of evidence which connects the Appellant with the commission of the crime.
On 28-04-2009, Lt. Qureshi Sahidul Islam’s (Deceased) Mother, Smt. Rajia Islam, filed an FIR at the Police Station stating that her Son was burnt to death by his wife and her accomplice, Vikramjit Kakati- Appellant, inside his rented house under suspicious circumstances. Her Son succumbed to the injuries sustained by him while on the way to the hospital. An FIR was registered at the Police Station bearing Case No. 198/2009 under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) (Punishment for murder). Along with a list of thirteen witnesses, the Police filed a Charge Sheet under Sections 302 IPC (Punishment for murder) / 120B IPC (Punishment of criminal conspiracy) / 201 IPC (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information, to screen offender) / 118 IPC (Concealing design to commit offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life) against three persons namely Smt. Zahida Imdad Islam (Wife of the Deceased), Smt. Jahanara Imdad Islam (Mother of Zahida Imdad Islam) and the present Appellant before the Additional Sessions Judge (Fast Track Court), Sivasagar, in Sessions Case No.57(SS) of 2012 (Trial Court). The only allegation brought against the current Appellant was that he conspired with other Accused to remove the evidence from the crime scene.
Initially, the Trial Court by Order dated 17-07-2012 framed charges against the Appellant and other Accused under Sections 302 and 120-B IPC (Punishment of criminal conspiracy) and under Section 201 IPC (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender). The Appellant preferred revision against the charges framed against him before the High Court of Gauhati. The High Court by an Impugned Order dated 03-12-2021 dismissed the revision filed by the Appellant. Hence the present Appeal has been filed before the Supreme Court.
The Counsel for the Appellant contented that the Appellant had no nexus with the commission of the crime. The Appellant was just a friend of the wife of the Deceased and they worked in the same office. On the day of the incident, the wife of the Deceased called the Appellant and informed him that the Deceased sustained burn injuries and requested him to come to their house. The Appellant along with his friend came to the Deceased’s house and took him to a nearby hospital in his car. After getting preliminary treatment at the Nursing home, the Deceased was taken to Dibrugarh Medical College by the Appellant where he succumbed to the injuries. The Learned Counsel contented that there is no evidence against the Appellant and prayed for discharge of the charges framed against him.
The Apex Court observed that there is not a single piece of evidence connecting the Appellant to the commission of the crime and neither the Trial Court nor the High Court looked closely into the record to see if there was any oral or documentary evidence which connects the Appellant to the alleged crime. Since the Prosecution did not provide any evidence against the Appellant in the Charge Sheet, the Supreme Court held that the Trial Court and the High Court have committed serious error in framing charges against the Appellant.
The Apex Court thus observed:
- In the given facts and circumstances, we are of the view that the appeal deserves to be allowed. The order impugned passed by the High Court of Gauhati dated 3rd December, 2021 as well as the order dated 21st June, 2012 passed by the Additional Sessions Judge (Fast Track Court), Sivasagar, in Sessions Case No.57(SS) of 2012 are quashed and set aside and the appellant stands discharged from the charges framed against him.
- We further make it clear that the observations made in this judgment are only confined to the appellant, Vikramjit Kakati and the trial Court may proceed with the matter against other accused persons independently without being influenced by the observations made herein and conclude the trial on its own merits in accordance with law.
Thus, the Supreme Court held that there is no evidence against the Appellant and that the Complainant (Mother of the Deceased) has not named the Appellant as perpetrator of the offence and that she only suspected that there is foul play by the Appellant. Thus, the Appeal was allowed and the Orders passed by the Trial Court and the High Court in relation to the Appellant were quashed and set aside.
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