By Our Legal Correspondent
New Delhi, Oct 29 (IVC) The supreme court has released a man sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case after learning that the entire case against him was based on the blind trust in the spotless reputation of the star witness as a “literate and god-fearing” person.
“A court of law cannot declare the reputation of a person based upon its own opinion merely because a person is educated and said to be God-fearing , that by itself will not create a positive reputation” the Supreme Court said in its recent order.
The case was based on the death of a woman 20 years ago in Himachal Pradesh. The prime witness her neighbor . He heard her cries for help and claimed to have seen two men. Later the police found the body of the woman in her house.
But a Bench of justices M M Sundresh and J B Pardiwala found the conduct of the witness strange in several instances.
Justice Sundresh noted that the man did not enter the house of his neighbor to check on her after the accused had left. Instead, he saw the school-going children of the woman and “advised” them to tell their mother to call the police.
The top court noted that the trial court had acquitted the accused of the crime. However, the Himachal Pradesh High Court had set aside the trial court judgment , blindly believing the evidence of the witness. “Courts are not expected to get carried away by the mere background of a person.. when his conduct, being a relevant fact, creates serious doubt”, Justice Sundresh observed.