BY: SUKRITI VERMA
A judgment has been passed by the Supreme Court that an accused of rape and murder cannot be convicted because of extra-judicial confession. Basically, an extra-judicial confession is a confession that is not a part of any judicial examination or investigation and is a confession that is made out of the Court. Such a confession must always be validated by some other proof of the facts and circumstances constituting the crime ( corpus delicti), otherwise, it will be considered insufficient for the authorization of a sentence or conviction.
The case Vinod Kumar and Manoj Kumar Versus State of Haryana, where Vinod Kumar is the appellant and state of Haryana respondent. The accused in the case of rape and murder of Sushma and Babli a 15-year-old girl that means the appellant has challenged the judgment passed on the 8th of December, 2006 in which he was convicted under Section 364, 302, 376 and 201 of Indian Penal Code.
The facts of the rape and murder case of a 15-year-old girl Sushma and Babli are that the girl along with her mother used to live in a village in Haryana and one day she was found missing. After a long search, her dead body was found in a well-named “ Pihiwala Kuan “. In the post – mortem report it was given that due to hardly hurt on her head and sexual intercourse Sushma died. Sushma’s uncle stated that some boys Dhillu son of Mani Ram and Manoj Kumar son of Suresh Kumar used to tease the girl and also followed her. Shanti Devi the mother of the deceased said that she saw Vinod and Manoj, Sunil and Dhillu roaming around their house and she also saw Vinod Kumar coming towards their house. After all this the Trial Court came to a conclusion that it was the accused Vinod Kumar who had kidnapped, raped and murdered Sushma, by placing reliance on the statements of Rajesh Kumar, Suresh Kumar and Shanti Devi with medical evidence and the extra-judicial confession of the accused and he was sentenced to undergo life imprisonment .
CURRENT ISSUES :
- A young man was exculpated by the Supreme Court, he had spent for about thirteen years in jail after he was sentenced to undergo life imprisonment in a rape and murder case.
- It is considered unfortunate that the appellant that means the accused Vinod Kumar and Manoj Kumar had to remain in jail for about thirteen years .
- The Bench comprising Justice setting aside the simultaneous conviction given by the High Court and Trial Court that on the basis of the extra judicial confession the accused Vinod Kumar was sentenced to undergo life imprisonment ,observed that legal proceeding against the appellant – Vinod Kumar has failed to prove other facts and circumstances apart from an extra judicial confession reckoned upon by it beyond reasonable doubt.
- It was said by the Court that in their considered opinion , the accused cannot be convicted for the offence of rape and murder on the basis of extra judicial confession , merely because extra judicial confession is proved to be a weak type of circumstance.
One of the circumstantial evidence on which the Trial Court counted upon was that the mother of the deceased saw the accused roaming around and walking towards their house . On this aspect , aforementioned , the Bench highlighted that this evidence could not be considered as a ground for connecting the accused with the crime . The Bench said the accused that means Vinod Kumar was not only the one to roam about their house as there were many other boys present there and roaming about . But , none of the boys other than the accused was suspected merely, it was because of the age as the accused was the only of 18 years and there was no other boy of that age on the date of the incident . It was said by the Bench that roaming around the house of the deceased would not lead to the conclusion that the accused has committed the crime of rape and murder . It is considered that unless the accused is connected to the crime directly with some judicial confession , till then the Court cannot come to the aid of the prosecution merely on the basis of suspects and conjectures .
At last , it was held by the Bench that the prosecution has not proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and therefore the benefit should go in favour of the appellant that means Vinod Kumar and Manoj Kumar .