Anjan Das Gupta v/s. State of West Bengal & Ors.

In the instant judgement, the Honourable Apex Court of the country has made the accused liable for murder under section 302/34 of Indian Penal Code, 1960. It is interesting how the Honourable Supreme Court by placing reliance on Arya Joseph alias current Kunjukunju v/s. State of Kerala held that the FIR in the question is not anti-dated or anti-timed.

 Anjan Das Gupta v/s. State of West Bengal & Ors. 

Criminal Appeal No. 298 of 2016

Before the Supreme Court of India

Coram: Ashok Bhushan and Pinaki Chandra Ghose, JJ.

Author of the Judgement: Justice Ashok Bhushan

Delivered on: November 25, 2016.

Advocate for Appellant: Kapil Sibal, Senior Counsel.

Advocate for Respondent: Rupesh Kumar, Senior Counsel.

Advocate for State: Parijat Sinha, Senior Counsel.

Brief Facts: On 16th June In2000, at around 4:50 PM, the deceased- Debol Kumar Ghosh was sitting in his party office and at that time Anjan Das Gupta along with 4 other persons arrived there. The present appellant- Debol Kumar Ghosh has ordered certain persons to shoot the deceased from the pipe gun. This led to the death of the accused. Sandip Ghosh, the son of the deceased, was an eye-witness to this incident.

In the initial proceedings of the case, the accused were charge-sheet under Indian Penal Code as:

  • Section 302/34– Anjan Das Gupta, Bhola Kundu, Saroj Roy and Biswanath Paul
  • Section 212 – Basudev Paul.

Issues Raised:

  • When two views (regarding acquittal and conviction) are possible, does the High Court have the right to interfere with the order of acquittal passed by the trial court?
  • In the present facts and circumstances, was the FIR anti-dated and anti-timed?
  • Will the delay in lodging FIR question the authenticity of FIR?

Procedural History- The learned Add. Sessions Judge passed an order of acquittal against them all. Against this, the state filed an appeal in the High Court and the complainant filed a revision application. The high court set aside the order of acquittal against Anjan Das & Biswanath Paul on 16.02.2006. However, for other accused,  the punishment was confirmed. Anjan Das Gupta, thus, has challenged this order of the High Court in the present appeal.

Appellants Contention:

  • The evidence led by the prosecution contradicts the prosecution case, as to the genesis of occurrence. Hence the trial court did not commit any error in acquitting.
  • FIR was anti-dated and anti-timed and thus it causes serious concern about the authenticity of the FIR and subsequent inquest report.
  • High Court should not interfere with the judgement passed by the trial court when two views are possible.
  • The prosecution has failed to prove any motive for the murder and in absence of any motive, appellant could not be convicted.

Respondents Contention:

  • More than one eyewitness who by their evidence have proved- the place of occurrence, death by bullet injury, presence and participation of the appellant in crime which has been established beyond doubt.
  • There was no delay or discrepancy in lodging FIR.

Held: The Supreme Court agreeing with the contentions of the High Court dismissed the appeal.

Ratio:

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