A bench of justices V Ramasubramanian and Pankaj Mithal last week acquitted father-son Mohd Muslim and Shamshad as it set aside the order of the Roorkee court and Uttarakhand High Court.
The court was hearing a father-son plea challenging the Uttarakhand HC order dated September 10 2010 which confirmed the Roorkee’s Sessions Court order dated April 25, 1998.
“In view of the above, the judgment and orders of the Courts below that is Additional Sessions Judge, Roorkee dated April 25, 1998, and High Court of Uttarakhand dated September 10, 2010, are accordingly set aside and the accused-appellant no 1 is acquitted by giving the benefit of the doubt,” the top court said.
Roorkee Court has convicted the father-son in a 1995 murder case and sentenced them to life imprisonment. The said conviction has been upheld by Uttrakhand High Court.
The top court noted that the prosecution failed to prove the guilt of the accused involved in the assault and death of the deceased Altaf Hussain.
“The totality of the facts and circumstances especially the unnatural behaviour and conduct of the son and nephew of the deceased Altaf Hussain, ante-timing of the FIR and that the ‘loi’ (blanket) and the cycle alleged to be that of the accused-appellants left behind at the site of the incident was not produced before the Court, compels us to doubt the presence of the son and nephew of the deceased Altaf Hussain at the site. Thus, in the absence of any credible eye witness to the incident and the fact that the presence of the accused-appellants at the place of the incident is also not well established, we are constrained to accord the benefit of the doubt to both the accused-appellants,” the top court noted.
The court also noted that apart from the two persons, there is no independent witness to the incident.
The incident took place on August 4, 1995, within the jurisdiction of Police Station Mangalore. The Police submitted a chargesheet under Section 302 IPC (murder) against the accused person, Mohd Muslim and Shamshad in the Court of Judicial Magistrate, Roorkee. (ANI)