Absence of motive in a case depending on circumstantial evidence is a factor that favors the accused: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court said “Absence of motive in a case depending on circumstantial evidence is a factor that weighs in favor of the accused,”

The 3-judge bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah reinstate the acquittal of two accused Anwar Ali and Sharif Mohammad, by wiping out the conviction recorded by the Himachal Pradesh High Court. They were accused for the murder of Deepak.  One of the main arguments raised from the side of the accused in the appeal before High Court was that the prosecution has failed to establish and prove the motive and therefore the accused deserves acquittal. In this regard, the bench observed:

“It is true that the absence of proving the motive cannot be a ground to reject the prosecution case. It is also true and as held by this Court in the case of Suresh Chandra Bahri v. State of Bihar 1995 Supp (1) SCC 80 that if motive is proved that would supply a link in the chain of circumstantial evidence but the absence thereof cannot be a ground to reject the prosecution case. However, at the same time, as observed by this Court in the case of Babu (supra), absence of motive in a case depending on circumstantial evidence is a factor that weighs in favour of the accused.”

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