Allahabad High Court dismisses appeal against acquittal of Former MLC Brijesh Singh in 37-year-old Sikraura murder case

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The judgments were passed in government appeals against the Varanasi District Court's decision

The Allahabad High Court has recently upheld the district court's decision of acquitting former MLC Brijesh Singh, a notorious gangster, in a murder case involving the killing of seven members of a family in Sikraura, District- Chandauli back in 1986.

The bench of Chief Justice Pritinker Diwaker and Justice Ajai Bhanot, however, handed down life imprisonment to four other accused individuals—Devendra Singh, Vakil Singh, Rakesh Singh, and Pancham Singh—in connection with the same case.

The judgments were passed in government appeals against the Varanasi District Court's decision.

The FIR against four named (Pancham Singh, Devendra Pratap Singh, Vakil Singh and Rakesh Singh) and four unnamed persons was registered at the Balua Police Station in Varanasi district on April 10, 1986. The allegation against the accused persons was that they had brutally killed the informant's husband, two brothers-in-law, and four children during an assault.

After conclusion of the investigation, a charge sheet was filed by the police against 14 persons including Brijesh Kumar Singh @ Veeru Singh.

During the trial, Brijesh Kumar Singh absconded after getting parole, therefore, his trial was separated. Later, he was arrested by the Delhi Police in 2001. 

VIIth Additional Sessions Judge, Varanasi, on August 16, 2018, acquitted Brijesh Kumar Singh of the offence under Sections 147, 148, 302 read with 149, 307 read with 149, 120B I.P.C. and Section 25(1) (b) of the Arms Act.

The high court held that in acquitting Singh, the view taken by the trial court was one of the possible and plausible views and it could not be said to be perverse.

Court noted that the evidence against Singh was not clinching and conclusive, in nature. "Witnesses do not appear to be trustworthy," it said while highlighting that there was an old enmity between the husband of the complainant and the accused persons in respect of the land and Pradhani Election.

"In the FIR, there is no mention by PW-1 that she saw the accused respondent killing her sons but while improving in the court, in the subsequent trial, she states that she saw the respondent-accused Brijesh Singh killing his sons...The implication of respondent accused in a dramatic manner is nothing but an afterthought," court underscored. 

Court emphasised that while considering the scope of interference in an appeal or revision against acquittal, it has been held by the Supreme Court that if two views of the evidence are reasonably possible, one supporting the acquittal and the other indicating conviction, the high court should not, in such a situation, reverse the order of acquittal recorded by the trial court.

Therefore, considering this legal position and the factual aspects of the case, court held the trial court justified in acquitting Singh. 

Case Title: Smt. Heerawati Vs 1. State of U.P. 2. Brijesh Kumar Singh and Connected matter