The Supreme Court on Thursday said that there is no sufficient evidence to prove that the appellant was present at the time of the murder and hence he is discharged.
Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice C.T. Ravikumar submitted that there is no evidence which in any way links the present appellant to the commission of the offence.
In this case, an FIR was lodged on behalf of the mother of the deceased that her son was burnt to death under suspicious circumstances in her rented house.
The police filed a charge sheet against the deceased's wife, mother and the appellant three persons under Section 302/120B/201/118 of the IPC.
The only allegation against the appellant was that he, in conspiracy with other accused, removed the evidence of the offense from the place where the alleged offense was committed.
The appellant has filed an appeal against the order of the Gauhati High Court dismissing the discharge application filed by the appellant under section 227 CrPC.
Appellant's counsel submitted that the trial judge was required to at least examine the existence of prima facie material with respect to the appellant's involvement in the commission of the offense or existence of serious doubt against him and when there is no prima facie material of suspicion So what to say about serious suspicion, the charge cannot be framed.
Counsel for the respondent submitted that there is sufficient evidence against the appellant to suspect the commission of an offense and only after examining the charge sheet and other material available on record, the charges have been framed by the learned Trial Judge.
The issue of consideration before the bench was:
Whether the order of the Gauhati High Court dismissing the application for discharge filed by the appellant was valid or not?
The Supreme Court said that the investigating officer has not even brought prima facie material in the charge sheet as to what was the motive of the appellant to commit the alleged offence.
The bench observed that “there is no evidence which in any way links the present appellant to the commission of the offense and neither the trial court nor the High Court has attempted to peruse the record to see whether any offense is committed or not. . Any oral/documentary evidence which in any way links the appellant to the alleged occurrence of the offense and, even in the absence of a prima facie material, oral/documentary, is being put on the charge sheet by the prosecution, the trial The Court as well as the High Court has committed a grave error in framing the charge against the appellant. Even the complainant has not mentioned the name of the appellant as the offender in the complaint, but has stated that he suspects malpractices.
In view of the above, the Supreme Court allowed the appeal.