The Weekly Obiter

LAST SEEN TOGETHER ALONG WITH ABSENCE OF SATISFACTORY EXPLANATION INSUFFICIENT FOR CONVICTION. SC:MAY 23, 2017

June 27, 2017

The Supreme Court, in “Anjan Kumar Sarma vs State of Assam bearing Crl. A No. 560/2014”, has reiterated that “last seen together” along with “absence of satisfactory explanation” cannot be made the sole basis of conviction, when the other circumstances could not be proved. Referring to various decisions on the aspect of ‘last seen together’, the bench comprising Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice Navin Sinha observed that where the other links have been satisfactorily made out and the circumstances point to the guilt of the accused, the circumstance of last seen together and absence of explanation would provide an additional link which completes the chain. In the absence of proof of other circumstances, the only circumstance of last seen together and absence of satisfactory explanation cannot be made the basis of conviction, the bench added. The court, while acquitting the accused, also said other circumstances relied upon by the prosecution are not proved and the circumstances of last seen together along with the absence of satisfactory explanation are insufficient for convicting the accused. 

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