A single-judge bench of Justice Smt. Vibha Kankanwadi of the Aurangabad seat of the Bombay High Court pronounced judgment in the case of Ramchandra v. State of Maharashtra and examined the loopholes in the story of the prosecution.
Facts of the Case
The case dates back to the year 2015. The accused named Ramchandra went to the house of the deceased Limbaji who was living with his wife and daughter. The accused and the deceased started talking. Then the accused asked for “bidi” from the deceased to which the latter said that he doesn’t have. A fight broke out between the two afterwards in which the accused starting beating Limabji with sticks and the deceased got injured. Meanwhile, first aid was provided to him. After some days Limbaji asked his wife to take him to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
An FIR was lodged and an investigation was conducted by the police after which the accused was arrested under the charge of section 302, 504 of IPC and section 3(2)(v) of Scheduled Castes And The Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. The trial court convicted him under section 304 of IPC along with section 3 of Atrocities act. Thereafter he filed an appeal before the High Court.
The counsel of the appellant/accused submitted before the court the following arguments:
- There was a delay in lodging the FIR.
- No FIR regarding the alleged assault was reported to the police.
- P.W 5 i.e. Dr Jagannath Barsale who examined the deceased also didn’t say in his statement that it was a medico-legal case.
- P.W. 4 Abhimanyu Jadhav ran to the house of Limbaji after hearing his shouts. He saw that Limbaji was lying on the ground but he was not the witness of the incident.
- There are discrepancies in the statements of the wife and daughter of the deceased.
The counsel of the respondent submitted before the court the following arguments:
- There were 3 external and 3 internal injuries. The external injuries were possible by stick only.
- Dr Barsale specifically stated that he had given the treatment and so also he had advised that the injured should be shifted to Civil Hospital, Jalna which corroborates FIR.
The court after examining all the arguments and the evidence gave the following observations:
- The incident happened on 31st December 2015 and the FIR was lodged after 5th January 2016. No reason was given for such delay in filing FIR.
- When Vimal was asked to take her husband to the hospital, she refused by saying that he is unable to walk. No explanation as to why no car was arranged for the same.
- The doctor was called the day after Limbaji suffered injuries to examine him. No explanation was given for such a delay.
- FIR stated that Limbaji was given injection and saline by Dr Barsale to which he was hesitant to accept considering his degree which was only Diploma in Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery.
- Dr Barsale said in his examination that the injuries sustained by Limbaji are possible by a fall also.
- Daughter of the deceased admitted in her statement that during the assault, no one was present in the house except her, her mother, deceased and the accused.
- The relation between Limbaji and the accused were already strained.
- No evidence adduced by the prosecution to show how the accused got a stick to beat the Limbaji.
The court held that the entire prosecution story was doubtful and therefore the trial court erred in convicting the accused. Hence, the court ordered setting aside his conviction and acquitted him of all charges.
Original Order of the Court
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