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SC: Circumstantial evidence must point to guilt
March 21, 2006 19:29 IST
To secure a conviction on the basis of circumstiantial evidence, prosecution must establish that the chain of circumstances consistently point to the guilt of the accused, the Supreme Court has ruled.
"By now it is a well-settled principle that in order to sustain a conviction on circumstantial evidence, the prosecution must establish that the chain of circumstances only consistently point to the guilt of the accused and is inconsistent with his innocence," a Bench of Justice H K Sema and Justice C K Thakker said.
The apex court set aside an Allahabad High Court order acquitting Desh Raj of Uttar Pradesh, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for rape and murder of a 10-year-old girl. It also cancelled the bail bonds and sureties of the convict and ordered him to be taken into custody.
The Bench felt that the High Court erroneously held that the evidence of certain prosecution witnesses could not establish the chain of circumstantial evidence only pointing to the guilt of the accused.
After carefully examining the evidence on record, the court concluded that the testimony of four witnesses together with the medical evidence and the failure of the accused to explain the scratch marks on his face consistently established the guilt of the accused and was inconsistent with his innocence.