Sen @ Sujoy Kr. Sen Vs. The State of West Bengal  Insc 523 (8 May 2007)
S. B. Sinha & Markandey Katju
MARKANDEY KATJU, J.
1. This appeal has been filed against the impugned judgment and order dated
22.8.2005 of the Calcutta High Court in C.R.A No. 125 of 1996.
2. Heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the record.
3. The prosecution case is that on 22.3.1991 at about 11.30 hrs., one Anindita
Sengupta @ Pom, the only daughter of Pranab Sengupta was alone in their
residence. It is alleged that the appellant came to the said residence and
finding Anindita alone in the house, murdered her by throttling her neck.
Pranab Sengupta, on the ground of his son Joy Sengupta's Madhyamik
examination took permission from his school, where he was a teacher, to return
to his house early and when he came to his house early, he noticed Anindita
lying on the floor of a room, and being suspicious of the situation he raised
hue and cry and at this neighbours rushed to the place of occurrence and soon
thereafter Anindita was removed to Ranaghat Sub- Divisional Hospital where she
was declared dead by the attending doctor.
4. After the investigation held by the C.I.D, West Bengal in connection with
this incident, a charge-sheet was submitted against the appellant under Section
5. The trial court after considering the evidence on record convicted the
appellant and his appeal before the High Court was dismissed. Hence, this
6. In our opinion this appeal has to be allowed.
7. This is a case of circumstantial evidence, and it is well settled that in
a case of circumstantial evidence the prosecution has to establish the chain of
circumstances which inevitably connect the accused to the crime. Even if a
single link breaks, the whole prosecution case collapses.
8. In the present case, a perusal of the FIR which was lodged on 22.3.1991
at 6 P.M. shows that the first informant, who is the father of the deceased,
has not stated that he saw the accused leaving the house of the deceased when
the first informant was entering into it. In fact, in the FIR Pranab Sengupta,
the first informant, stated that the accused entered into the house of the
first informant during his absence. Thus, according to the FIR version, the
first informant never saw the accused leaving his house when he was entering
into it. It is only subsequently in his evidence before the trial court that
the first informant stated that the accused was leaving the house of the first
informant when he was entering into the house.
9. PW4, Surath Biswas who is a neighbour, stated in his evidence that he saw
the accused entering into the house of Pranab Sengupta at 12 noon, but he has thereafter stated that he did not state before the Police that he saw the
accused entering into the said house. Thus the statement of PW4 that he saw the
accused entering into the house of the first informant Pranab Sengupta, father
of the deceased, cannot be believed as he had not stated that fact in his
statement to the Police recorded under Section 161 Cr.P.C.
10. Similarly, PW7 Dilip Das in his deposition stated that he saw the
accused coming down from the door steps of the house of Pranab Sengupta at the
relevant time and he heard Pranab say "Sujoy ki korli". However,
subsequently, in his deposition he stated that he had not stated before the
Police that PW4 Surath Biswas disclosed to him that he saw the accused entering
into the house of Pranab.
11. Learned counsel for the respondent has relied upon a decision of this
Court in Manoj @ Bhau and others vs. State of Maharashtra (1999) 4 SCC 268,
where it has been stated that FIR need not be an encyclopaedia.
That may be true, but an FIR is a very vital material as it is the first
information about the incident and has less chances of altering the version and
12. It appears to us that the appellant was implicated only on the strong
suspicion on the part of the first informant against the appellant. It has come
in evidence that the appellant, who is a young man, used to visit the daughter
of the first informant and this was resented by the first informant and also by
some neighbours. In fact, the first informant told the appellant not to meet
his daughter. It is quite possible that on the basis of suspicion the first
informant has implicated the appellant. However, from the version given in the
FIR it is evident that the first informant had not seen the accused leaving the
house of the first informant when the latter entered into it. In fact, in the
FIR it is mentioned clearly that the appellant entered into the house of the
first informant in the absence of the latter. Thus, it appears to us that the
first informant never saw the appellant leaving the house of the first
informant when the latter entered into it and the subsequent version is an
improvement. A vital link in the chain of circumstances is missing in this
13. No doubt a minor discrepancy in a FIR will not be fatal to the
prosecution case. But the discrepancy in the FIR in the present case is not a
minor discrepancy, but a major one. Had the first informant seen the accused
entering into the house at the time of the incident he would have definitely
mentioned the fact in the FIR.
14. Thus, we are of the opinion that the prosecution has not been able to
prove the chain of circumstances linking the accused to the crime beyond
reasonable doubt. Thus, the appellant is entitled to the benefit of doubt. We
15. Resultantly, the impugned orders of the Courts below are set aside.
The appeal is allowed. The appellant shall be released forthwith unless
required in connection with any other case.
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