Summary of Recent judgment

Case: Pradeep Kumar v. State of Haryana

Date of Order / Judgment: 5th January, 2024

The Matter Heard By Bench of : Justice B.R. Gavai and Justice P.S. Narasimha


In the case at hand, as per the Prosecution, the deceased has left the shop to go to a market with his motorcycle. When the deceased didn't reach his house in night, the wife of deceased informed the complainant. In order to know about the whereabouts of the deceased, the complainant along with another prosecution witness went on a search, and in the meanwhile the complainant got an information that a dead body was found lying, thereafter he along with other prosecution witnesses reached the spot and saw that the deceased lying there with his throat having knotted with some cloth. The complainant informed about the incident to the Police, and a F.I.R. was registered by the police. The Appellant was convicted under Section 302 r/w Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Trial Court for the murder of the deceased. The Appellant filed an appeal against this decision where the High Court of Punjab & Haryana dismissed the appeal and confirmed the conviction and sentence. The Appellant then approached the Supreme Court against the High Court’s decision.


Whether the decision of the High Court against the person accused under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 was justified?

Observation of the Supreme Court

The Court observed that “There is a yawning gap between the charge against the Appellant and the evidence that the prosecution has adduced. The circumstances do not establish the guilt of the Appellant at all. While the principle applicable to circumstantial evidence requires that the facts must be consistent with the hypothesis of the guilt of the accused, in the present case the evidence adduced gives rise to doubts, improbabilities and inconsistencies.”


The Supreme Court noted that when the prosecution case is solely based on the circumstantial evidence, then the courts must be vigilant while examining the facts proving the circumstantial evidence. Thus, the Court acquitted the accused from all the charges and accordingly the appeal was allowed.