The Supreme Court acquitted a young man who spent about thirteen years in jail after he was convicted in a rape and murder case.
The bench comprising Justice set aside the concurrent conviction by the High Court and the Trial Court and observed that the prosecution has failed to prove other circumstances apart from an extra judicial confession relied upon by it beyond reasonable doubt.
In our considered opinion, merely because extra judicial confession is proved which is a weak type of circumstance, the accused cannot be convicted for the offence of rape and murder, said the Court.
Vinod @ Manoj was convicted for rape and murder of a minor school going girl and was sentenced to life imprisonment.
One of the circumstantial evidence relied by the Trial Court was that the accused was seen roaming around the house of the deceased . on this aspect, the bench said:
“This cannot be a ground to connect the accused with the crime. Not only the accused but also the other boys of the same age were roaming around the house of the deceased. None of the other boys were suspected. Merely, because the accused was 18 years of age as on the date of the incident, roaming around the house of deceased would not lead to the conclusion that the accused has committed the crime of rape and murder. Unless the prosecution is able to connect the accused with the crime with appropriate material, the court cannot come to the aid of the prosecution merely on the basis of the surmises and conjectures.”