HC dismisses trial courts verdict, orders release of 2008 murder case accused

Srinagar: A 2008 murder case convict who was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for life by Baramulla trial court has been given a breather by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court and hence ordered his release.

The court has set aside the trial court order in connection with a murder of a woman in 2008.

Pertinently, Raj Mohammad Piswal had an appeal against the Sessions Judge, Baramulla verdict in June 2012.

As per the prosecution, police registered a case on a complaint from Abdul Gaffar Ahangar, husband of the deceased on 28 April 2008. He submitted that his mother, Mst. Mukhti, and his wife, Mst. Sakina, went to a nearby forest for getting firewood.

Raj Mohammad Piswal (accused) with the intention to kill his wife, was hiding in the forest and abruptly caught hold of his wife and attacked her with an axe repeatedly and killed her, Ahangar said.

On the basis of complaint, police registered as FIR (No.14/2008) at police station Panzullah.

On completion of investigation, charge sheet (challan) was presented to the effect that during investigation Paswal was established to have committed the offence punishable under Section 302 RPC.

“The trial court has fallen in error while appreciating the evidence vis-à-vis disclosure statement and the recovery memo. In a most casual fashion and in a most irresponsible manner, has discarded the testimony of (witness) Karamdin Khatana who has stated that the weapon of offence was not recovered from his house, at the same time trial court has lost sight of an important aspect i.e. as to why IO had cited (only one witness) alone as a witness to  why IO has not cited any other person as witness when he himself has stated that many persons were present at the time of recovery,” a division bench of Justices Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and  Ali Mohammad Magrey.

“Casual appreciation” of evidence by trial court is totally disturbing because it is of essence for reaching to any conclusion, the court said.

“The trial court has unfortunately erroneously laid much stress on disclosure statement ignoring that the recovery memo has not been proved at all. Such type of appreciation runs contrary to the basic object of Sections 25, 26 and 27 of the Evidence Act,” the court said and set aside the trial court’s order by virtue of which Paswal was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

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