SC upholds conviction in murder case; quotes Sherlock Holmes

New Delhi, Jul 6 (PTI) “You see, but you do not observe,” the Supreme Court said quoting Sherlock Holmes as it dismissed an appeal against the conviction and life term awarded to a man in a murder case.

The top court rejected the submission of amicus curiae that it was not possible for the four eye witnesses to see at night the face of the man who had committed the murder.

A bench of Justices R F Nariman, K M Joseph and B R Gavai said in its order passed on Monday, We find no ground to interfere with the impugned order passed by the High Court. The Special Leave Petition is, accordingly, dismissed .

During the hearing, advocate Pijush Kanti Roy, who has been appointed amicus in the matter, said it was a dark night in an isolated place and there was no way the four eyewitnesses in the case could have seen the face of the petitioner.

Justice Nariman then said, It’s like Sherlock Holmes telling Dr Watson, ‘You see, but you do not observe’.

Roy said that his only endeavour is that an innocent should not get punished for the crime he has not committed.

The bench said that there is a finding given by the trial court and upheld by the High Court that they (eyewitnesses) have seen the face in the light of the headlight of the motorcycle.

It told Roy, You are flogging a dead horse. You have done more than the duty of amicus curiae. There is a clear cut finding.

The top court was hearing an appeal filed by one Mukesh, currently lodged in Jaipur Jail, against the order of Rajasthan High Court passed on April 5, 2019, dismissing his petition against the conviction and life sentence awarded to him by the trial court in the murder of fellow villager Gopal Lal on July 18, 2012.

In his appeal, Mukesh has contended that he was falsely implicated in the case and no case under section 302 of IPC, was made out against him.

The High Court while dismissing the appeal of the petitioner failed to appreciate that the incident took place in the dark night in an isolated place and there was no light near the place of occurrence, as such identification of the petitioner by the prosecution witness in such a dark night in an isolated place remained questionable, as such evidence of the prosecution witnesses are not trustworthy, he has said in his appeal.

He said the high court ought to have appreciated the fact that there was no previous enmity between Mukesh and Gopal Lal and he had no intention to kill his co-villager.

Mukesh said that as per the prosecution the incident took place at the spur of the moment in course of their discussion and as such the case in hand at best could be a case under Section 304 Part-II and the order of conviction under Section 302 IPC has resulted in serious miscarriage of Justice.

He submitted that there were three other persons at the site of crime but only he was made an accused and no charge sheet was filed against the other two persons.

According to the prosecution, on July 19, 2012, one Babulal had submitted a complaint at the police station that his younger brother on July 18, 2012 was coming from Bhanpur to their village at around 10-11 pm, when villagers informed him that Gopal Lal was being beaten by three persons.

Babulal said that when he, along with the villagers reached the place of the incident, he saw that the three persons had already killed his brother with a knife.