The Supreme Court
on Tuesday ordered the release of a man who has been in custody for the last 17 years. Jitender Kumar, of Hisar, had been accused of allegedly murdering Jaibir. However, due to lack of evidence, the apex court gave Jaibir benefit of doubt.
The bench of Justice AK Goel and Justice UU Lalit observed, in its single page order, “We are unable to discern adequate credible evidence in support of conviction of the appellant. He is said to have been in custody for 17 years.”
The judgment does not provide any reason for setting aside concurrent convictions in this murder case but only observes that the appellant is entitled to benefit of doubt, according to LiveLaw
Jabir was murdered, cut into pieces, disposed of
Seventeen years ago, Jaibir was murdered in his house. His wife Santra Devi and Jitendra were accused of conspiring against him and sent to custody. Santra Devi and Jitender had two children. He sold clothes on the move.
According to the prosecution case, Jabir was murdered in a room in his house, his body was cut into pieces with a sword and, thereafter, burnt and disposed of by throwing the bones and ash near a canal and by concealing the sword. In the said case, affirming the conviction of both Santra and Jitendra, the high court had observed that the inability of the prosecution to prove by medical evidence the cause of death or the sex of the bones recorded, in our considered opinion, is insufficient to grant the benefit of doubt.
In February 2015, the division bench of Punjab and Haryana High Court in a 27-page judgment dismissed the appeal preferred by Jitendra against the judgement of the trial court which had sentenced him to life imprisonment, for the murder he was alleged to have committed in the year 1997. The prosecution had charged Santra Devi and Jitender for conspiring to murder Jaibir, the husband of Santra.