Review of Death Penalty X

Accused were awarded Death Penalty by Learned Sessions Court. The High Court confirmed the Death Penalty so far as A1, A2 and A4 were concerned. The case rests on the deposition of two eye-witnesses, PW1 & PW8. Neither PW1 nor PW8 gave details about the description of the culprits – heights, hair, facial features, complexion, beard – during the investigation. We are of the opinion that PW8 is not a reliable and trustworthy witness. Her entire testimony is full of material omissions/contradictions/improvements. It has to be uppermost kept in mind that impartial and truthful investigation is imperative. We are of the opinion that there was no fair and honest investigation. We are of the opinion that this is a fit case for further investigation. We have no other alternative, but to acquit.”

Hon’ble Justice M.R. Shah, Ankush Maruti Shinde v. State of Maharashtra, [Criminal Appeal Nos. 1008-1009 of 2007].