Much reliance cannot be lent to photographs when eyewitnesses have not at all supported the prosecution case

High Court of Himachal Pradesh: A Single Judge Bench of Tarlok Singh Chauhan, J. allowed a Criminal Revision Petition and set aside the impugned judgments of the lower courts whereby the petitioner was convicted for offences punishable under Sections 279, 337, 304-A of IPC.

The petitioner-accused was alleged to drive the car which hit the deceased person in a road accident. Allegedly, the car hit the deceased, which resulted in fatal injuries and consequent death of the deceased. The petitioner-accused was accordingly charged and convicted vide the impugned judgment.

The Court perused the statements of the prosecution witnesses. It was found that the PWs did not support the prosecution case with regard to vehicle driven by the petitioner in a rash and negligent manner. On perusing the impugned judgments it was found that one of the main grounds for convicting the accused was the photographs whereas the mechanical report which showed that the brakes of the car had failed was discarded solely on the basis of the photographs. As per the mechanical report the brake oil of the car was found missing and there was failure of brake and it was on account of mechanical defect that the accident occurred.

PW-2, the Photographer in his cross-examination, stated that he visited the spot of accident at 1.15 A.M. and took the photographs meaning thereby that the photographs were clicked at night. However, from the perusal of the photograph it was evidently clear that the same were taken in broad day light and there was no explanation for the same. Thus, in such circumstances, it was not safe or even prudent for the Courts below to place much reliance on the photographs especially in teeth of the mechanical report.

It was held that findings recorded by the courts below were perverse, illegal and erroneous on account of misreading of evidence and were not sustainable in the eyes of law. Accordingly the petition was allowed and the impugned order was set aside. [Kishori Lal v. State of H.P., Criminal Revision No. 100 of 2008, order dated September 8, 2017]

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