Faction-Ridden Village Community

A land dispute caused loss of life of Abdul Wahab. An endeavour to escape by taking shelter did not succeed. Taijuddin said, “Wahab is there in house of Shorab“. It is right, mere fact of not being brave enough to conceal where Wahab was hiding doesn’t make Taijuddin part of an unlawful assembly. Once we examine, presence of Taijuddin is explained because his house being almost adjacent to where deceased was hiding. He was carrying no weapon and he did not assault anybody.

Subal Ghorai v. State of West Bengal, (2013) 4 SCC 607 considered possibility of people gathering at scene of offence out of curiosity. Ranjit Singh v. State of Punjab, (2013) 16 SCC 752 referred to aspect of ‘faction-ridden village community’ having a tendency to implicate innocents along with guilty especially when a large number of assailants are involved.

We cannot say, by any stretch of imagination, case against Taijuddin has been proved beyond reasonable doubt. No case seems to have been proved.

– Hon’ble Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Taijuddin v. State of Assam, [Criminal Appeal No. 1526 of 2021].