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Gauhati HC sets aside trial court’s order; acquits man accused of killing mother

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Guwahati, Nov 28: The Gauhati High Court has, in a recent judgment, set aside a trial court’s order convicting a man for allegedly hacking his mother to death and grievously injuring his brother, on the argument that “the incriminating circumstances were not proved beyond reasonable doubt before the trial court.”

A division bench of the high court further observed that the allegedly incriminating circumstances did not form a complete chain of events in order to indicate that the accused person had committed the offence.

Accordingly, the impugned judgment and order of sentence of the trial court was set aside and the appellant was acquitted on “benefit of doubt”.

“As we have found that the incriminating circumstances were not proved beyond reasonable doubt and otherwise also the circumstance of last seen was inconclusive, in our view, the order of conviction recorded by the trial court is not justified,” the high court bench noted.

It may be noted that an FIR was lodged before the officer-in-charge, Barbari police station in Baksa district, stating that on August 9, 2009, the accused-appellant brutally attacked his mother and elder brother over a domestic matter and caused grievous injuries. The mother of the accused succumbed to her injuries in hospital.

A case was registered under Sections 302 and 326 of IPC against the accused and an investigation carried out. A chargesheet was submitted on completion of the probe.

The trial court thereafter convicted the accused and sentenced him to imprisonment for life under Section 302 and to rigorous imprisonment for five years under Section 326 of IPC.

Subsequently, the accused filed an appeal before the high court challenging his conviction and order of sentence.

The counsel appearing for the accused-appellant argued that there was no eyewitness to the incident and that the brother of the accused, while deposing before the trial court, said he was unable to identify the person who assaulted him from behind.

On the other hand, the additional public prosecutor submitted that the witnesses examined by the prosecution had failed to prove that the appellant was the perpetrator of the crime.

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