Acquittal of Accused: The Rajendra Sahu Case

In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court of India has acquitted the accused in the case involving the unfortunate incident of Rajendra Sahu’s death. The judgment delves into the intricacies of the legal system, emphasizing the need for concrete evidence and the establishment of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. This decision sets a significant precedent in the realm of criminal justice.


  • The High Court affirmed the conviction and sentence of imprisonment of the appellant-accused.
  • The Trial Court acquitted the co-accused Shailender Gautam.
  • The impugned judgment was passed by the High Court of Rajasthan at Jaipur Bench on 03.04.2008.
  • The appellant-accused was convicted under Section 302 IPC and Section 3 read with 25 of the Arms Act.
  • The sentence of life imprisonment was imposed upon the appellant-accused.
  • The deceased Rajendra Sahu was involved in the incident near Baheti Hospital in his auto-rickshaw on 17.04.2003 around 09:45 a.m.
  • The Trial Court’s decision was based on the parcha bayan statement of the deceased, evidence of PW-18 Constable, and the recovery of a country-made pistol from the appellant-accused.
  • The appellant was also convicted under Section 3 read with 25 of the Arms Act and sentenced to two years of imprisonment along with a fine of Rs. 1,000 with a default clause.
  • On completion of investigation, charge-sheet was filed against Sudhir Kumar Jain and co-accused Shailendra Gautam.
  • Eye witnesses Farooq (PW-17), Dilip Kumar (PW-9), Shambhu (PW-2), Harishankar (PW-3), and Nannu Khan (PW-5) did not support the prosecution case and turned hostile.
  • The deceased Rajendra Sahu was shot and taken to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
  • FIR was altered to Section 302 IPC based on the fatal outcome.
  • The dying declaration of the deceased recorded by ASI PW-22 was relied upon by the prosecution.
  • Post-mortem conducted by Dr. R.K.Sharma (PW-26) revealed that the cause of death was firearm injuries to the intestine and liver.
  • The witnesses Farooq (PW-17), Dilip Kumar (PW-9), Shambhu (PW-2), and Iqbal (PW-4) saw the appellant shooting the deceased and then fleeing in a car.
  • Constable PW-18 heard the sound of firing when he got down from the Maruti Car near Baheti Hospital.

Also Read: High Court Acquittal Case of State of Uttar Pradesh v. Jai Prakash


  • Deceased Rajendra Sahu narrated about the incident and firing by one of the occupants of the car, but did not mention the assailants’ names.
  • FIR does not include the names of the appellant-accused and co-accused Shailendra Gautam due to lack of mention by the deceased.
  • The Trial Court relied on the parcha bayan of deceased recorded by PW-22 ASI for its decision.
  • Dr. Renu Raonka (PW- 28) confirmed that Rajendra Sahu was conscious when the parcha bayan was recorded.
  • The deceased mentioned a Maruti Car with a specific number, which was recovered in front of the appellant’s father Niranjan Kumar.

Also Read: Judgment Review: Supreme Court’s Ruling on the Capital Punishment Appeal


  • Delay in recording statement of PW-18 and not reporting the matter to the police station raises doubt on credibility.
  • Witnesses for recovery of the pistol did not support the case of the prosecution; some turned hostile.
  • Ballistic expert opined pistol from recovery is not serviceable due to defects, raising doubt on its use.
  • All eye witnesses turned hostile, making reliance on weapon recovery and expert opinion unsafe.
  • Doubt raised on the weapon’s functionality and user due to defects and lack of definite last fire time.
  • The accused was arrested the same day as the occurrence, and the pistol was recovered immediately.
  • Opinion of the ballistic expert raises doubts on the weapon used in the occurrence.
  • The recovery of the Maruti Car in front of the father of the appellant alone is not sufficient basis for conviction under Section 302 IPC.
  • All eye witnesses turning hostile, lack of accused names in the FIR, and other circumstances lead to the conclusion that guilt is not established beyond reasonable doubt.
  • Conviction based on evidence of PW-18 Constable is not sustainable according to the court.
  • The Trial Court and the High Court made an error in relying on the evidence that cannot be upheld.
  • Therefore, the appellant’s conviction under Section 302 IPC cannot be sustained and is set aside.

Also Read: Compromise Reached: Reddy Satyanarayana vs Narapureddy Sanyasi Rao


  • The conviction of the appellant is set aside.
  • The appellant is acquitted under Section 302 IPC and under Section 3/25 of the Arms Act.
  • The appeal is allowed.


Case Number: Crl.A. No.-001392-001392 / 2008

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