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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019

Ludhiana police’s contradictory statements lead to acquittal in murder case

cities Updated: Sep 20, 2019 22:54 IST
Aneesha Sareen Kumar
Aneesha Sareen Kumar
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Hindustantimes
         

Finding several loopholes in the prosecution case, the Punjab and Haryana high court acquitted an accused convicted by Ludhiana sessions judge in a murder case in 2016. The discrepancies in the prosecution theory— as police officials gave contradictory versions while recording their statements in the court— led to the acquittal.

Accepting the appeal against a judgment passed on April 8, 2016, by the Ludhiana district court, the high court has acquitted Pawan Kumar of charges of murdering a maid, Krishna, in BRS Nagar in 2013.

While the material witness in the case, who was also injured, turned hostile, police officials who were part of the investigating team did not support the prosecution theory.

The closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera installed at the shop of the injured Kanwaljit Singh was also not taken into possession.

“The prosecution has failed to prove its case against the appellant beyond a reasonable doubt. Accordingly, the appeal is allowed,“ said a quorum headed by justice Rajiv Sharma and justice Harinder Singh Sidhu of the high court.

WOMAN WAS STABBED TO DEATH IN BRS NAGAR

The case dates back to September 17, 2013, when a woman identified as Krishna was stabbed to death in BRS Nagar.

As per the police FIR, Pawan, a relative of the victim, had followed her and stabbed her multiple times. Kanwaljit Singh, shopowner had tried to intervene and even attempted to grab the accused’s weapon but the latter attacked him too.

Krishna, meanwhile, bled to death on the spot while Kawaljit was admitted to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital with stab wounds.

Pawan, who was later arrested, reportedly told the police that he was unhappy with Krishna’s lifestyle. Krishna, who left her husband and came to the city, was earlier working as a maid at a doctor couple’s house in BRS Nagar.

GLARING LOOPHOLES

The court stated that no independent witnesses were joined at the time of the recovery of the knife. The police never recovered the chilly powder thrown on the victim by the accused before the crime.

The investigating officer had clicked photographs of the crime scene with his own mobile phone. However, SI Manjit Singh, the investigating officer, categorically deposed in his cross-examination that he had not got the place of occurrence photographed on the day of occurrence.

CURIOUS CASE OF THE KNIFE

Head constable Amarjit Singh deposed that the accused had made a disclosure statement following which the knife was recovered. However, prosecution witness head constable Partap Singh deposed that he had not seen the knife, which was picked by the investigating officer from the place of occurrence.

In his cross-examination, he deposed that he had not seen the case property in the court. The investigating officer had not recovered chilly powder from the place of occurrence in his presence.

HC Partap Singh also deposed in his cross-examination that the Sarabha Nagar station house officer had reached the spot five minutes after their arrival. He did not know if the SHO had recorded the statement of any person at the spot.