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Case Law Details

Case Name : State of Gujarat Vs Hasmukhbhai @ Harshadbhai Dahyabhai Makwana (Gujarat High Court)
Appeal Number : Criminal Misc. Application No. 9857 of 2022
Date of Judgement/Order : 04/07/2022
Related Assessment Year :
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State of Gujarat Vs Hasmukhbhai @ Harshadbhai Dahyabhai Makwana (Gujarat High Court)

Present complaint is filed merely on suspicion and doubt. Suspicion, however strong, cannot take the place of proof, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has said, stressing that an accused is presumed to be innocent unless proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

No doubt the alleged offence is a shocking one but the gravity of the offence cannot by itself overweigh as far as legal proof is concerned.

It may not be necessary to refer to other decisions of this Court except to bear in mind a caution that in cases pending largely upon circumstantial evidence there is always a danger that the conjecture or suspicion may take the place of legal proof and such suspicion however so strong cannot be allowed to take the place of proof. The Court has to be watchful and ensure that conjectures and suspicions do not take the place of legal proof. The Court must satisfy that the various circumstances in the chain of evidence should be established clearly and that the completed chain must be such as to rule out a reasonable likelihood of the innocence of the accused. Bearing these principles in mind we shall now consider the reasoning of the courts below in coming to the conclusion that the accused along has committed the offence.

A reasonable doubt has already been thoroughly explained in the case of Latesh @ Dadu Baburao Karlekar Versus The State of Maharashtra, (2018) 3 SCC 66 wherein ‘reasonable doubt’ has been enunciated by this Court as “a mean between excessive caution and excessive indifference to a doubt, further it has been elaborated that reasonable doubt must be a practical one and not an abstract theoretical hypothesis.” In this case at hand, the imposter has not been found or investigated into by the concerned officer. Law is well settled with regard to the fact that however strong the suspicion may be, it cannot take the place of proof. Strong suspicion, coincidence, grave doubt cannot take the place of proof. Always a duty is cast upon the Courts to ensure that suspicion does not take place of the legal proof. The standard of proof in a criminal trial is proof beyond reasonable doubt because the right to personal liberty of a citizen can never be taken away by the standard of preponderance of probability.

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