Disapproving of a cryptic one-paragraph verdict of the Madhya Pradesh High court acquitting three alleged killers sentenced to death for murdering six people in the state, the Supreme Court has asked the high court to consider the case afresh.
"We are of the opinion that the high court's order was cryptic and did not minutely examine the evidence though it was the final court of fact and more particularly as it involved six murders," said an apex court bench.
The high court noticed several arguments raised before it but by a cryptic judgment disposed of the matter in one paragraph ……… saying the eye witnesses could not have identified the accused," said the bench of justices HS Bedi and CK Prasad.
"We remand the case to the high court for a fresh decision to be rendered after a re-appraisal of the evidence," the bench said.
The apex court noted that the case dated back to the intervening night of June 29-30, 1995, when accused Chandu, Balveer and Bheekham entered three houses in their village and shot dead six people.
The slain people were Devendra Singh and his relatives Shankar Singh and Komal Singh in the first house, Ashok Singh and his wife Purnawati in the second house and Betal Singh in the third house.
The apex court noted that the trial court had convicted the three on the basis of the accounts of three different eye witnesses.
The eyewitnesses had said that they did not have any difficulty in recognising the accused as they belong to the same village and all the houses had electric bulbs on the night the crime was committed.
But the high court acquitted all the three convicts saying "there appeared to be no light in any of the three houses where the murders had been committed and it was apparent that the eye witnesses could not have identified the accused."