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Benefit Of Doubt Resulting In Acquittal Where Offences Could Not Be Compounded: Supreme Court Of India

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Benefit Of Doubt Resulting In Acquittal Where Offences Could Not Be Compounded: Supreme Court Of India
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The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday held that compoundable offences compounded during trial but since the offence under Section 302/34 IPC could not be compounded, the benefit to candidates including those acquitted by the Court by giving benefit of doubt.

In the case of The State of Rajasthan & Ors v Love Kush, the respondents were charged under Sections 302, 341, 323, 34 of Indian Penal Code and tried before the Additional Sessions Judge, Rajasthan. The complainant for tilling a disputed in field in jungle Patan by complainant who forbaded them to till the land and apparently stayed back in the field. At that time, the tractor driver drove the tractor and ran over. The complainant rushed to her side but were beaten up and knife injuries were inflicted upon them by respondents. Injured was taken in a Buggi to the hospital where the doctor declared her brought dead. The charge sheet was filled against all the accused persons. It was relevant to note that during the trial injured persons, filed a compromise in favour of accused persons under Sections 341,323 of IPC which was approved but naturally, there would not had been any compromise qua the offences under Section 302/34 IPC.

The Bench comprising of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice R. Subhash Reddy noted that,” We may note here that the circular dated 28.03.2017 is undoubtedly very wide in its application. It seeks to give the benefit to candidates including those acquitted by the Court by giving benefit of doubt. However, such circular has to be read in the context of the judicial pronouncements and when this Court has repeatedly opined that giving benefit of doubt would not entitle candidate for appointment, despite the circular, the impugned decision of the competent authority dated 23.05.2017 cannot be said to suffer from infirmity as being in violation of the circular when it is in conformity with the law laid down by this Court.”

While allowing the appeal, the Court stated;

“The impugned judgment of the Division Bench dated 16.07.2019 and learned Single Judge dated 14.05.2018 are set aside leaving the parties to bear their own costs. And the view that the impugned orders cannot be sustained and the appellants are well within their rights to have issued the order dated 23.05.2017.”

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