HC rejects drug addict's testimony, acquits murder convict
The Bombay High Court has acquitted a man, sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case 11 years ago, after observing that evidence given by the sole eyewitness was not reliable as he is a drug addict.india Updated: Apr 10, 2011 11:01 IST
The Bombay High Court has acquitted a man, sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case 11 years ago, after observing that evidence given by the sole eyewitness was not reliable as he is a drug addict.
"We find it difficult to maintain the conviction of the accused solely on the basis of the eyewitness's evidence. He is a drug addict who has admitted that he smokes `ganja' everyday. Corroboration to his evidence is therefore, a must. Such corroboration is not available," a Division Bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Ranjana Desai noted last week and ordered the release of convict Dhirendrakumar Tiwari.
The case dates back to June 21, 1999 when one Sachin, a tempo cleaner, was allegedly murdered by Tiwari, who was later sentenced to life imprisonment by a Sessions Court. According to the prosecution, Tiwari had smashed Sachin's head with a stone when the victim and his friend Raju Kumbhar were asleep inside a tempo in central Mumbai.
Kumbhar had allegedly seen Tiwari murdering Sachin and when he tried to stop him, the accused threatened him with dire consequences if he approached the police.
Kumbhar fled from the scene and approached the police a few days later. Tiwari was arrested from Uttar Pradesh a week after the incident.
"The prosecution has not established the motive behind the murder. According to Kumbhar, the deceased and Tiwari were friends and there was no quarrel between them. Kumbhar's testimony casts a shadow of doubt on the prosecution case," the court said, accepting the defence arguments that Kumbhar must have been hallucinating. The HC acquitted Tiwari of murder charge and ordered his release from jail.