Bharat Express

Allahabad High Court Acquits Brothers Sentenced to Death in Brutal Murder Case

Allahabad HC has acquitted two cousin brothers who were sentenced to death in a horrific murder case.

PRAYAGRAJ: The Allahabad High Court has acquitted two cousin brothers who were sentenced to death in a horrific murder case involving the killing of their mother, sister, and wife by axing them 17 years ago and subsequently shooting them. This verdict was delivered by the division bench comprising Justice Siddharth Verma and Justice Anish Kumar Gupta. Mohd. Shakeel and Mohd. Kaleem had appealed against the death sentence and a fine of Rs 60,000 imposed by the Special Judge of Farrukhabad EC Act Court.

According to the prosecution, Shakeel, a resident of Mohalla Khatakpura, filed a report at Kotwali police station in Farrukhabad on July 26, 2007. The report stated that his relative Mohammad Kalim resided in Mohalla Chhawni Phatak, where his wife Yasmin, mother Noor Jahan, and sister Nasreen lived. All three were attacked with a sharp weapon while asleep at night and subsequently shot. Kaleem, the brother, was also severely injured during the incident.

Subsequently, Inspector Ashok Kumar Shukla, the investigating officer, charged Mohd. Kaleem and Mohd. Shakeel with murder. A charge sheet was filed against them and Lallan alias Lalla, a resident of neighbouring Mohalla Chobdaran.

Following a trial spanning nearly 15 years, Special Judge of EC Act Court Rakesh Kumar Singh found both brothers guilty on October 13, 2022, sentenced them to death, and imposed a fine of Rs 60,000. However, the third accused, Lallan alias Lalla, was acquitted due to insufficient evidence.

After considering the reference sent from the district court to confirm the death sentence and the appeal filed by both convicts, the division bench of the Allahabad High Court acquitted them. In its 31-page judgment, the court also criticized the police investigation and prosecution, stating that the arrests were made based on confessional statements, but failed to ascertain the motive behind the murders. Furthermore, the prosecution could not establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The court emphasized that mere confessions and recoveries are insufficient grounds for conviction. Establishing intent to commit a crime is essential for conviction, a requirement that the prosecution failed to meet.

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