Orissa HC Acquits Primary School Headmaster Convicted In 16-Yr-Old Murder Case

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court has acquitted headmaster of a primary school in Odisha’s Kandhamal district sentenced to life imprisonment by a trial court in a murder case, 12 years ago.

A division bench of Justices Debabrata Dash and Gourishankar Satapathy on May 21 acquitted him on the ground that the case appeared ‘doubtful’ and the evidence was ‘not up to standard’ to hold him guilty.

According to the prosecution, a mob attacked the house of one Naresh Digal in Dakerpanga village under Raikia police limits on the evening of August 25, 2008. While Naresh and other family members managed to escaped, his younger brother Ramesh’s body was recovered from Budamaha, a nearby village, the following day.

The prosecution alleged that the headmaster in charge of Luhuringia Primary School, Kartik Paramanik and his associates had assaulted and killed him.

Paramanik was sentenced to imprisonment for life by the adhoc additional sessions judge, Fast Track Court No 1, Phulbani on March 24, 2012. He challenged the verdict in high court on April 27, 2012 and has been out on bail since July 1, 2014.

The high court ruled that in such a situation and circumstance, benefit of doubt must go to convict-appellant, who has a fundamental right not to be convicted on suspicion or surmise, unless his guilt is proved beyond all reasonable doubt. “On analysis of oral and documentary evidence on record, there appears that the prosecution case against the convict appears to be doubtful and the evidence of the witnesses are shrouded with suspicion and no clear and clinching evidence is forthcoming to maintain the conviction of the appellant as recorded by the trial court,” the bench added.



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