Balveer Singh Yadav was convicted by a district and sessions court while his friend was acquitted. Yadav was awarded life imprisonment.
Balveer Singh Yadav was convicted by a district and sessions court while his friend was acquitted. Yadav was awarded life imprisonment.

In jail for 14 yrs, ex-army man acquitted of murder charge

Balveer Singh said: “I was made accused just because I was seen with Surendra Yadav before his death. I am happy that stigma of being a murderer has been removed but I lost my job, pride and important 14 years.”
By Shruti Tomar, Bhopal, Gwalior
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 04:06 AM IST

An ex-army man, who was arrested in 2006 in connection with a murder in Madhya Pradesh’s Morena district, has been acquitted by the Gwalior bench of the MP high court just 11 days before his release from prison, la lawyer said .

Balveer Singh Yadav, 45, a resident of Bharrad village in Morena and his friend Radheshyam Yadav had been arrested for the murder of Surendra Rajput, a resident of Banmore in the same district.

He was convicted by a district and sessions court while his friend was acquitted. Yadav was awarded life imprisonment.

“Yadav completed the jail term of 14 years and the state government was going to give him benefit of remission on January 26, 2021 (Republic Day) but before his release, the MP high court’s, Gwalior bench declared him innocent on January 15,” said Atul Gupta, the lawyer of Balveer Singh Yadav.

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

“It is concluded that prosecution wasn’t able to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt and there are material contradictions, omissions and discrepancies {that} crept into the case of {the} prosecution. It is the duty of prosecution to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt and here eyewitness account, dying declaration, evidence nowhere [were] sufficient to conclude that Balveer committed offence. In the absence of motive, rely 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,” read the order.

Balveer Singh said: “I was made accused just because I was seen with Surendra Yadav before his death. I am happy that 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 judiciary to fix the time limit for a judgment of any case because it was very tough for me to take punishment for a crime which I never committed,” Singh added.

(With inputs from Mahesh Shivhare from Gwalior)

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