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Supreme Court states that testimony of witnesses without corroboration is unsustainable

The Supreme Court has held that the conviction of accused will depend on the oral testimony of witnesses. It added that witnesses without sufficient corroboration, are not be sustainable.

A bench comprising of Justice BR Gavai,  Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Sanjay Karol made the above statement while they were setting aside the judgment of the eChhattisgarh High Court which upheld conviction and life imprisonment to three appellants for the offence of murder.

The bench said that the the long taken for lodging the FIR, that too without any names been mentioned in the contemporaneous documents, there lies a great possibility of fault acquisition  .

The appellants, and his co-acquaints have been charged for entering the house of the deceased with deadly weapons,assaulting him, which led to his death.

As per the appellants argued before the top court arguing that their names had not been mentioned in any of the documents such as the merg panchnama, inquest panchnama and spot panchnama whereas the names of other accused were mentioned.

The appellant has also apprised the Court that the inordinate delay in registering the First Information Report (FIR) had not been explained by the prosecution.

According to the appellants, the conviction was based on non-trust worthy testimony which were not sustainable unless there was corroboration of their testimony. 

The prosecution, however submitted that all three eyewitnesses had clearly implicated the appellants.

It was also stated that merely because the witnesses were interested witnesses cannot be ground to discard their testimonies as long as their evidence was found to be trustworthy, reliable and cogent. 

The argument as to delay in lodging the FIR was also rebutted by the prosecution which said that it was not a strong ground since their case had been proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

While examining the issues, the bench said that in cases where evidence from witnesses is partly reliable and partly unreliable, the Court is required to be circumspect and separate the chaff from the grain to seek further corroboration from reliable testimony. 

Considering the lack of corroboration in the case at hand, the court set aside the decision of the High Court as well as the trial court and acquitted the appellants.

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