In the Matter of Laxman Prasad v. State of Maharashtra an appeal against the decision and order made by the Madhya Pradesh High Court on September 28, 2010, which upheld the conviction and life sentence imposed under Section 302 of the Penal Code, 1860, and dismissed the appeal
Analysis of court order
The conviction and sentencing of the appellant were overturned by the Supreme Court Vacation Bench comprising Justices Vikram Nath and Ahsanuddin Amanullah
The Court observed that in the current circumstantial evidence case, the prosecution provided evidence for establishing three links of the chain, including the motivation, the last place has seen, and the retrieval of the assault weapon. It was observed that the High Court valued the determination of the suspect’s motivation and final whereabouts but nullified the retrieval of the weapon and the victim’s blood-stained clothing. The High Court said that the finding of recovery did not prove that the appellant had committed the crime. But the High Court considered everything involved and upheld the conviction.
Further, the Court did not conclude that the High Court’s judgment was strictly legal. The Court stated that in a case involving circumstantial evidence, the chain must be complete in every way to prove the accused’s guilt and rule out any alternate theories of the crime. According to the Court’s interpretation of the applicable case law, the High Court should have interfered with the conviction when it discovered that one of the connections in the circumstantial evidence was absent or unproven. Therefore, the Court upheld the appeal in this instance and overturned the appellant’s conviction and punishment.