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'You see, but don’t observe’: SC quotes Sherlock Holmes while dismissing plea

By | Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Avik Roy
Jul 06, 2021 07:37 PM IST

The Supreme Court judge quoted Sherlock Holmes when advocate Pijush Kanti Roy, who has been appointed amicus in the matter, said that during the night of the murder, all the four witnesses could not have seen the face of the petitioner as it was dark.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday, while upholding a life term awarded to a man in a murder case, quoted popular fictional detective character Sherlock Holmes and said, “You see, but you do not observe.”

The Supreme Court was hearing a plea by a man, who had been awarded the life sentence by a trial court in July 2012 in the murder of a fellow villager.

The apex court dismissed an appeal filed by the man himself against the conviction, news agency PTI reported. The court rejected the submission of amicus curiae that it was impossible for the four eye witnesses to see at night the face of the man, who had committed the murder.

The man in question is one Mukesh, who is currently lodged in Jaipur jail, after the trial court awarded life sentence to him in the murder of a fellow villager named Gopal Lal in July 2012, PTI reported. In April 2019, the Rajasthan high court dismissed his plea challenging the trial court’s order.

During the latest hearing in the top court, advocate Pijush Kanti Roy, who has been appointed amicus in the matter, said that at the time of the murder in an isolated place, it was a dark night and that there was no way all the four witnesses in the case could have seen the face of the petitioner.

The bench, however, upheld the order passed by the high court that all the witnesses saw the face of the petitioner in the light of a motorcycle’s headlight. “It’s like Sherlock Holmes telling Dr Watson, ‘You see, but you do not observe’,” Justice Nariman said, PTI reported.

The division bench of the apex court also told Roy that he has done “more than the duty of amicus curiae.”

“You are flogging a dead horse…There is a clear-cut finding,” the bench added, as per the PTI report.

In his plea, Mukesh said that the high court ought to have appreciated the fact that there was no enmity between the petitioner and Gopal Lal, and that he had no intention to kill him.

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