Supreme Court Overturns High Court's Verdict, Acquits Accused in Land Dispute Murder Case

Supreme Court acquits accused in murder case. High Court verdict overturned due to lack of evidence. Land dispute turned fatal. Accused set free.

In a groundbreaking decision, the Supreme Court has acquitted the accused in a case that had seen them sentenced to life imprisonment by the Karnataka High Court. Justices B.R Gavai and Sandeep Mehta delivered the verdict, criticizing the High Court's judgment as deviating from established legal principles.

The case stemmed from an incident where the complainant's son was allegedly murdered by the accused following a dispute over land. The prosecution's narrative posited that the deceased, along with others, was attacked by the accused after completing work on their land. Despite the filing of an FIR and subsequent trial, the trial court had acquitted all six accused due to lack of conclusive evidence.

However, the State, unsatisfied with the trial court's decision, appealed to the Karnataka High Court, which reversed the acquittal for three of the accused, sentencing them to life imprisonment. Unhappy with this outcome, the accused appealed to the Supreme Court, seeking justice.

The Supreme Court, in its detailed judgment, emphasized the legal principles governing appeals against acquittals. It reiterated that a judgment of acquittal could only be overturned if it suffered from "patent perversity" or if crucial evidence had been overlooked. The Court stressed that the appellate court must provide clear findings on these factors.

Upon scrutinizing the High Court's judgment, the Supreme Court found glaring discrepancies. It noted that the High Court had essentially acted as a trial court, conducting an independent evaluation of evidence rather than adhering to established legal norms for appellate proceedings.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court pointed out several flaws in the prosecution's case. It highlighted inconsistencies in the testimony of witnesses and raised doubts about the genuineness of the FIR, which it deemed a "post-investigation document."

The Court also questioned the motive attributed to the accused, noting that the alleged revenge for a previous murder occurred two years prior, casting doubt on the immediacy of the motive.

Ultimately, the Supreme Court concluded that the prosecution's case was riddled with doubt and that the trial court's acquittal had been justified. It criticized the High Court for unjustly overturning the trial court's decision and ordered the accused to be released, absolving them of all charges.