Circumstantial Evidence and Conviction

Circumstantial Evidence and Conviction Benefit of doubt Case Laws Chance Witness Circumstantial Evidence Criminal Appeal Criminal Law Evidence Improvements Knowledge - Criminal Law Lahore High Court Litigation & Arbitration Motive Non-Production of Important Witness Solutions - Criminal Law Supplementary Statement Mrs. Justice Erum Sajad Gull in her judgment has decided the issue regarding circumstantial evidence and conviction in Criminal Appeal No. 134-J of 2013.

1. Mazhar Hussain, Muhammad Mansha alias Chabba and Mst. Rubina alias Perveen Bibi (appellants) have filed the afore titled appeal challenging their convictions and sentences passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Lahore vide judgment dated 02.05.2013 in case FIR No.345 dated 15.04.2006 registered under sections 302, 380, 411 and 34 PPC, at Police Station Harbanspura, Lahore. Sentences awarded to the appellants are as under:

“All the three accused Mazhar Hussain, Muhammad Mansha and Mst. Rubina @ Perveen are hereby convicted u/s 302 (b) read with section 34 PPC as Ta’azir.

17. So far as the quantum of sentence is concerned; since it is not clear that out of three accused, which one has played a vital role in committing the murder of the deceased as there is no direct evidence/witness who might have seen the accused while committing the murder of the deceased but there is strong circumstantial evidence in the shape of “Wajj Takkar” evidence adduced by Ghulam Hussain PW.7 and Hidayat Ali PW.8; so while considering this circumstance as extenuating and mitigating one; the accused are sentenced to Life Imprisonment each for the commission of Qalt-e-Amd of Muhammad Sarfraz, brother of the complainant. Each convict shall also pay compensation to the tune of Rs.100,000/- to the legal heirs of the deceased as required u/s 544-A, Cr.P.C. and in default of payment of compensation, to further undergo six months SI. The convicts are also extended benefit of section 382-B, Cr.P.C.”

2. The complainant of the case Khizar Hayat, appeared before the trial court as PW-4. His statement before the trial court is hereby reproduced for narration of the facts of the case as under:

“On 14.4.2006, at about 11.00 P.M, a loaded truck of chaff arrived at the tall of my brother Sarfraz deceased of this case. The driver of the truck visited my house and told me that my brother was not attending his call, please call him and asked him to come his tall so that the chaff may be unloaded. I alongwith Amanat Ali, Sarfraz went to the house of Muhammad Sarfaz alias Sharfa my deceased brother. The door of the house of my brother was closed but it was not chained but inside room was opened and light was on. My brother was lying dead and his throat was cut with a sharp edged weapon. I went to the police station and reported the matter. My deceased brother has contracted love marriage with Mst. Parveen and accused Mst. Perveen alongwith Mansha committed the murder of my brother. The IO recorded my statement and it was read over to me and I thumb marked it Exh.PA in token of its correctness. On the following day, I made supplementary statement before the police officer as Mansha and Robina accused were not present in the house. Ghulam Hussain PW and Hadayat Ali visited the house on the day of occurrence at about 10.00 P.M and knocked the door and inquired from Mazhar Hussain about the deceased and he was informed that the deceased was not in the house. They also told that Mazhar Hussain, Robina alias Parveen, Muhammad Mansha alias Jappa has committed the murder of my brother Sarfraz. The accused also took away Rs. 5 lacs after committing the murder of my brother. ”

3. After registration of the case the police proceeded with the investigation. On completion of the investigation, report under section 173 Cr.P.C. was submitted in the trial court. Learned trial court after observing all the legal formalities provided under the Criminal Procedure Code framed the charge on 24.11.2006 against the appellants to which they pleaded not guilty, thereafter the trial commenced.

4. To prove its case the prosecution produced thirteen witnesses. Muhammad Iqbal, ASI as PW-1, Muhammad Nasir 10088/C as PW-2, Mirza Muhammad Baig, SI as PW-3, Khizar Hayat (complainant) as PW-4, Ch. Hameed ud Din as PW-5, Amanat Ali as PW-6, Ghulam Hussain as PW-7, Hidayat Ali as PW-8, Nadeem Ahmad as PW-9, Zulfiqar Ali, SI as PW-10, Muhammad Muzaffar, ASI as PW-11, Khalid Mehmood 11131/C as PW-12, Zulfiqar Ali, SI as PW-13. Learned DDPP gave up PWs Sarfraz Ahmad and Amjad Ali, 5989/C as being unnecessary and submitted the reports of Chemical Exh.PO, Exh.PP, Exh.PQ and the reports of the Serologist Exh.PR and Exh.PS. Thereafter, the prosecution evidence was closed.

5. The statements of the appellants were recorded under section 342 Cr.P.C. who refuted the allegations levelled against them and opted not to appear as their own witness under section 340(2) Cr.P.C. Thereafter, the defence evidence was closed.

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