In the case of Kaur v. State of Punjab a Criminal Revision Petition contesting the Juvenile Justice Board’s judgement convicting and sentencing the petitioner for crimes under Section 302 of the Penal Code, 1860 and Section 25 of the Arms Act, which was rendered on 12-03-2007, was dismissed The petitioner, a 16-year-old student, was detained for violating IPC Sections 302 and 120-B after seeing her father shoot someone. After more than two months, she was apprehended and confessed to having committed the crime at the direction of another. She was put on trial before the Juvenile Justice Board once a final report was presented. She asserted false implications and protested innocence during the trial. The petitioner was found guilty by the Trial Court due to the prosecution’s strong case. Although the case’s appeal was rejected, the issue is still open.
The petitioner’s attorney outlined all the flaws in the prosecution’s case, including the FSL report, the weapon, the statements of other family members that were not recorded, etc. He also pointed out that the petitioner had made a false claim that would have prevented her from inheriting any property, in violation of Section 25 of the Hindu Succession Act of 1956. It was also revealed that the petitioner’s grandmother, mother, and brother had all brought a civil lawsuit against her. Additionally, it was mentioned that the Trial Court had cleared the individual in front of whom the petitioner purportedly made an extrajudicial confession of committing a crime under Sections 302 and 120-B of the IPC.
The dead objected to her relationship with the co-accused, which the prosecution used as justification for the conviction. It was objected to taking into account civil actions taken after the petitioner’s conviction or any remarks made by other parties.
Observation of the court
Aman Chaudhary, a sole judge on the Punjab and Haryana High Court bench, overturned both judgements while pointing out “yawning gaps” in the evidence.
In Punjab, Haryana, the court exonerated a father in 2003 based on circumstantial evidence and the idea that unwitting family members had entered the deceased’s home jointly. No family members’ comments were written down, and neither the investigation site nor the search was able to turn up any signs of intoxicant pills. The petitioner, who claimed to be on visiting terms with the family but did not attend the deceased’s Bhog Ceremony, is accused of making an extrajudicial confession that served as the foundation for the instant conviction. The court discredited the petitioner’s decision by criticising the delay in informing the police about the confession and the lack of any outside confirmation.
The Court stated in reference to a number of instances that Mere suspicion or circumstantial doubt cannot absolve the prosecution from its fundamental obligation to establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, the guilt of the accused, for suspicion, regardless of its intensity, holds no evidentiary value. It further said that in convicting the petitioner, the Trial Court was influenced by its feelings over the alleged patricide act. The Court overturned the petitioner’s conviction in the challenged judgements after reaching the “ineluctable conclusion” that he was entitled to the benefit of the doubt.
CASE NAME – Kaur v. State of Punjab, Criminal Revision No. 684 of 2007