Acquittal order passed in December 1981 set aside

NEW DELHI: Twenty-five years after he was acquitted of a murder charge by the trial court, Bal Kishan Bali will now have to face the prison bars as the Delhi High Court on an appeal from the prosecution has sentenced the accused to life imprisonment.

Setting aside the acquittal order passed in December 1981 by the Additional Sessions Judge, a Division Bench of Justice Manmohan Sarin and Justice J M Malik felt that the effort of the criminal court should be to confront the reality rather than find ``imaginative doubts'' to reject the prosecution's theory.

Accused Bali allegedly hacked to death his business partner Satpal Kohli on July 3, 1980, here at Kirti Nagar owing to certain financial disputes.

But Bali was immediately caught on the spot by Satpal's family members and neighbours who were all stated to be witnesses to the murder.

However, the Additional Sessions Judge despite evidence produced by the witnesses and Forensic Science Laboratory reports, acquitted the accused on certain assumptions like ``no proper motive could be established'' and that the ``FIR was not recorded at the time at which it is purported to have been recorded".

The trial judge rejected the prosecution's charge that the accused committed the murder due to financial dispute on the ground that the family members of the deceased ``did not have personal knowledge about the business dealings'' between the two. - PTI