Not all crimes are perfectly investigated. SC was recently evaluating the possibility of releasing Former Panachayat Chairman Balwan Singh, accused of murder [Balwan Singh v. State of Chattisgarh, Criminal Appeal No. 727 of 2015]. Learned Senior Counsel, Shri Sanjay Hegde successfully argued for Balwan.
Delay in recording statements of eye-witnesses need not necessarily raise suspicion. However, in the present case, there was no reason for the investigating officer to not record the statement of a certain eye-witness at the earliest point of time. SC found the whole story of the prosecution to be ‘artifical’ and ‘concocted’; ‘shaky’ and ‘suspicious’.
In Sattatiya, (2008) 3 SCC 210 and Shantabai, (2008) 16 SCC 354 one of the crucial factors that had led SC to reverse the conviction was that the bloodstains on the items seized in the recovery could not be linked with the blood of the deceased. At times, it indeed may be very difficult for the serologist to detect the origin of the blood due to the disintegration of the serum, or insufficiency of bloodstains, or haematological changes etc. In such situations, the Court, using its judicious mind, may deny the benefit of doubt, depending on the facts and circumstances of each case. If the recovery of bloodstained articles is proved beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution, and if the investigation is not found to be tainted, then it may be sufficient if the prosecution shows that the blood found on the articles is of a human. There cannot be any fixed formula that the prosecution has to prove, or need not prove, that the blood groups match.
In the instant case, if the investigation was not tainted, some reliance on the recovery could have been placed had the prosecution at least proved that the blood was of human origin. There was even a lack of positive material indicating that the stained blood was of human origin and of the same blood group as that of the accused or of the deceased.
Balwan shall be released.