Image for representation. (REUTERS/Representative image)
Image for representation. (REUTERS/Representative image)

'Crime which I never committed': Ex-army man acquitted after 14 years in jail

  • Balveer Singh Yadav, 45, a resident of Bharrad village of Madhya Pradesh's Morena district had been arrested in 2006 in connection to a murder case.
By Shruti Tomar, Bhopal/gwalior
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 05:29 PM IST

An ex-army man, who was arrested in 2006 in connection to a murder in Morena district, was acquitted by Madhya Pradesh High Court Gwalior bench just 11 days before his release from the jail said an advocate.

Balveer Singh Yadav, 45, a resident of Bharrad village of Morena district, with his friend Radheshyam Yadav had been arrested in 2006 in connection to a murder case of Surendra Rajput, a resident of Banmore in Morena. Later, he was convicted by a district and session court while his friend was acquitted by the same court. Yadav was awarded punishment for life imprisonment.

“Yadav completed the jail term of 14 years and the state government was going to give him the benefit of remission on January 26, 2021 (Republic Day) but before his release, MP High Court, Gwalior bench declared him innocent on January 15, said Atul Gupta, the advocate of Yadav.

The double bench of the court, comprising judge Anand Pathak and judge Vishal Mishra, in its judgment delivered on Friday said, “Regretfully appellant’s 14 years which otherwise he could have served the nation as an army personnel cannot be returned back but certainly he can be given solace by removing the stigma of an accused from him, therefore, this court proceeded to conclude its findings on merits.”

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“It is concluded that the prosecution couldn’t prove the case beyond reasonable doubt and material contradictions, omissions and discrepancies crept into the case of the prosecution. It is the duty of the prosecution to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt and here the eye witness account, dying declaration nowhere evoke sufficient evidence to conclude that Balveer committed the offence. In the absence of the motive, relying on the evidence of last seen conviction cannot be maintained. On such doubtful pretext, appellant couldn’t have been convicted. Appellant is directed to be released,” the order stated.

Balveer Singh said, “I was accused just because I was seen with Surendra Yadav before his death. I am happy that the stigma of being a murderer has been removed but I lost my job, pride and important 14 years.”

“My trust on judiciary has increased but I will request the central government and the judiciary to fix the time limit for a judgement of any case because it was very tough for me to take the punishment for a crime which I never committed,” he added.

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