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Benefit of doubt: The Curious Case of the Fourth Accused

The discrepancy regarding the time of recording the FIR statement, based on the facts of the instant case, is not sufficient to discredit the testimony of an important eyewitness, whose presence at the scene cannot be doubted in any way.

The maximum consequence that such a discrepancy may have, given the facts of this case, is that the First Information Statement cannot be used to corroborate the evidence it contains.

Of course, the prosecution attempted to demonstrate that the 4th accused (D) harbored a grudge against the deceased and, therefore, might have shared a common intention with the other assailant. However, the evidence regarding the alleged grudge was too weak to infer that the fourth accused truly had a common intention with the other assailants.

Considering the overall evidence, the court entertained a reasonable doubt about the fourth accused's complicity in the murder of the deceased, ultimately granting him the benefit of doubt.

Given the serious flaws in the prosecution's case, coupled with the absence of an independent eyewitness, the accused is entitled to the benefit of doubt.

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