Recovery Of Weapon Used In Commission Of Offence Is Not A Sine Qua Non For Conviction: Supreme Court

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Case: Rakesh vs. State of UP

Coram: Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah

Case No: [CrA 556 OF 2021]

Court Observation: “At the most, it can be said that the gun recovered by the police from the accused may not have been used for killing and therefore the recovery of the actual weapon used for killing can be ignored and it is to be treated as if there is no recovery at all. For convicting an accused recovery of the weapon used in commission of offence is not a sine qua non. PW1 & PW2, as observed hereinabove, are reliable and trustworthy eyewitnesses to the incident and they have specifically stated that A1- 13 Rakesh fired from the gun and the deceased sustained injury. The injury by the gun has been established and proved from the medical evidence and the deposition of Dr. Santosh Kumar, PW5. Injury no.1 is by gunshot.

Therefore, it is not possible to reject the credible ocular evidence of PW1 & PW2 – eyewitnesses who witnessed the shooting. It has no bearing on credibility of deposition of PW1 & PW2 that A1 shot deceased with a gun, particularly as it is corroborated by bullet in the body and also stands corroborated by the testimony of PW2 & PW5. Therefore, merely because the ballistic report shows that the bullet recovered does not match with the gun recovered, it is not possible to reject the credible and reliable deposition of PW1 & PW2.”

“Both the witnesses have been fully and thoroughly cross-examined. There may be some minor contradictions, however, as held by this Court in catena of decisions, minor contradictions which do not go to the root of the matter and/or such contradictions are not material contradictions, the evidence of such witnesses cannot be brushed aside and/or disbelieved”


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