Review of Death Penalty XXX


While every delay in forwarding FIRs may not necessarily be fatal, Courts may be duty bound to see effect of such delay on creditworthiness of investigation. State of Rajasthan v. Daud Khan, (2016) 2 SCC 607 interpreted ‘forthwith’ appearing in Section 157(1) of The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. On question of compliance of Section 157(1), Jafarudheen v. State of Kerala, 2022 SCC Online SC 495 may be usefully quoted: “ultimately, it is for Court concerned to take a call.” We hold, delay in transmitting of FIR, in facts and circumstances of this case, was fatal.

We do not wish to go into whether Section 53A is mandatory or not. Section 53A enables obtaining a significant piece of evidence. The failure to subject Chotkau to medical examination is certainly fatal too, especially when ocular evidence is found to be not trustworthy.

This erroneous approach on part of Sessions Court and High Court has Chotkau being ordained to be dispatched to the gallows. To be released ‘forthwith’ if not wanted in connection with any other case

Hon’ble Justice V. Ramasubramanian, Chotkau v. State of Uttar Pradesh, [Criminal Appeal Nos. 361-362 of 2018].



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