Rehan Showkat

Srinagar, Oct 28: The Jammu and Kashmir has ordered acquittal of a man who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in 2014 for an alleged murder in 2004.

According to the prosecution, Ghulam Nabi Mougal on 02 September 2004, he, after entering into a conspiracy with the two other accused persons in Hotel Shamim in order to obtain arms and ammunitions of Abdul Rashid Mougal of Hyhama Manigah and to kill him. They took Rashid Mougal to a desolate place near Jummatari and Ghulam Nabi, in the presence of the other accused, pushed the deceased, who fell on the ground, the prosecution said. Ghulam Nabi snatched the rifle of the Abdul Rashid and, using the same, fired at him.

He also took a pistol, wireless set and rifle and kept these arms and ammunitions hidden in two houses which during investigation were recovered, the prosecution said. Consequently, the Ghulma Nabi was charged along with two others of having committed the offences under Sections 120-B, 302, 379 RPC and 7/25 of the Arms Act.

However, Ghulam Nabi and others denied the charges. Consequently, the trial ensued and culminated in the conviction of Ghulam Nabi under Section 302 RPC and 7/25 of the Indian Arms Act, while the other two accused— Shazad Ahmad Khan and Khurshid Ahmad— were acquitted. “The trial court has convicted (Ghulam Nabi) on the basis that (he) and the deceased were last seen together by placing reliance on, inter alia, the testimony of Mst. Lethi (sister of deceased) which we find to be insufficient for the purposes of returning a finding of conviction. The trial court, surprisingly also placed reliance on the fact that everybody was suspecting the involvement of the appellant,” a division bench of Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey said, adding, no amount of suspicion can result in conviction without there being tangible evidence direct or circumstantial indicating culpability beyond reasonable doubt.

“We are of the view that the prosecution has not been able to establish its case against (Ghulam Nabi) beyond reasonable doubt,” the court according to Kashmir Glory said, consequently, set aside the order of conviction and sentence.

“The appeal (by Ghulam Nabi) is allowed and the reference is also disposed of as there does not survive any sentence. The appellant is liable to be released forthwith as he has been acquitted of all charges,” the court said and ordered the concerned Jail Superintendent to set-free Ghulam Nabi.