New Delhi, Mar 20: Four persons, accused of beating a man to death, have been acquitted by a Delhi court which rejected the victim's alleged oral dying declaration as medical evidence stated that he was not fit to make a statement.
Additional Sessions Judge Dig Vinay Singh, while absolving the accused Prem Arora, Anil Kumar, Pankaj Goel and Rajesh Kumar, said, "Dying declaration is not believable, eye witness account of the case rather supports accused and circumstances against them were not satisfactorily proved to indict them."
"Benefit of doubt therefore goes to the four accused and they are acquitted of the charges," the court said, while freeing them of the offences under sections 302(murder), 201 (destruction of evidence), 120B(criminal conspiracy) read with 34(common intention) of the IPC.
"When none of the doctors deposed that the victim was fit to give statement at the time when his brothers spoke to him in ICU, the dying declaration cannot be believed and acted upon.
"It is needless to say that before a dying declaration can be acted upon, court has to be absolutely sure that it was indeed made and also that the person making dying declaration was fit to make statement," the judge said.
The court said prosecution could not establish beyond reasonable doubt that victim Sachin Arora, a resident of Hari Nagar here, was beaten by the accused.
"In a criminal case, the burden of proof is on prosecution which is quite heavy. Suspicion, however, strong cannot take place of proof. Prosecution cannot take advantage of weakness of defence," it said.
According to prosecution, Sachin was allegedly beaten up by the accused persons on April 14, 2007 at the office of accused Prem and died during treatment at a hospital.
The complaint was lodged by Sachin's brothers, who alleged that Prem and three others killed him over a financial dispute and claimed that the victim had told them about the incident in an oral dying declaration.
The court, while acquitting the accused, relied on the testimony of eyewitness Biru, who said Sachin fell down the stairs at accused Prem's office and got injured. Biru also said that none of the accused was present on the spot and Prem was telephonically informed about the incident.
The court noted that the post mortem report did not rule out the possibility of Sachin having rolled down the stairs. During the trial, all the accused had denied the allegations and claimed they were falsely implicated.