Siddhartha Vashishat vs State (NCT Of Delhi)  CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 179 OF 2007
Dharti Shukla

Siddhartha Vashishat vs State (NCT Of Delhi) CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 179 OF 2007

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Siddhartha Vashishat vs State (NCT Of Delhi)




The Sidhartha Vashisht v. State (NCT of Delhi) case was a watershed moment for the Code of criminal procedure. In this case, it was decided that the court should only overturn an order of acquittal if there were serious flaws in it or if it thought the lower court had misinterpreted or overlooked any crucial facts or documents. The primary question in this case was whether the telephonic discussions that took place after the offence could be included in a FIR. The Supreme Court maintained the High Court's decision to find all 9 of the defendants guilty, including the appellant Sidharthha Vashisht. 

Facts of the case

A telephone call was sent to the Mehrauli Police Station on the evening of April 29 and 30, 1999, around 2:20 AM, reporting that someone had been shot by a man wearing a white shirt and pants. Sub-inspector (SI) Sharad Kumar and Constable Meenu Mathew left towards the murder scene after writing a note in the police station's journal. Sub-inspector (SI) Sunil Kumar and police officer Subhash departed towards the crime scene after a short while. The injured had been sent to Ashlock Hospital, SI, when the police arrived at the crime scene. Along with officer Subhash, Sunil Kumar departed towards the hospital. Beena Ramani, the restaurant's owner, was met by SI Sunil at the hospital, where he questioned her about the incident. Shyam Munshi's statement was written down and approved for use in the filing of an official complaint. FIR was filed at Police Station Mehrauli around 4 AM on April 30, 1999.Jessica Lal had been transferred to Apollo Hospital in the interim. After then, SI Sunil returned to the crime scene and learned that the black safari had been removed from the area. Two empty cartridges were taken into custody, and Shyam Munshi provided additional information. At 5:45 AM on April 30, 1999, word arrived that injured Jessica Lal had passed away at Apollo Hospital. The charges against Manu Sharma (the accused) were changed from section 307 to section 302 IPC/201/120B IPC, and under section 27 of the Arms Act. Additionally, charges under section 201/120B IPC were brought against Vikas Yadav, Tony Gill, and Alok Khanna, and charges under section 212 IPC were brought against Harvinder Chopra, Raja Chopra, Ruby Gill, and Yogiraj Singh. Manu Sharma was among the nine accused who were all found not guilty by the trial court's session judge, but the prosecution appealed this decision to the high court. The Supreme Court overturned the trial court's contested decision to find all nine of the case's defendants guilty and acquitted. This case stems from an appeal the accused filed before the current court.


Was the prosecution being successful in proving all of the defendant’s innocent beyond a reasonable doubt?

Whether the trial court has a good reason for clearing every defendant?

Whether the High Court's decision to convict the accused was enforceable?

Arguments of the appellant

The appellant's side argued that the High Court's review of the appeal against the trial court's decision to acquit him violated his fundamental right to a free and fair trial, which is protected by Art. 21 of the Indian Constitution, and that two witnesses were coerced into supporting the prosecution's case by being charged with a crime in order to register a FIR.




According to the appellant's side, the FIR listed on Mr. Shyam Munshi's statement is a written declaration rather than an actual FIR. The High Court made a number of mistakes in their observations of the ballistic report from CFSL, in disbelieving P.S. Manocha, and in concluding that witness Shravan Kumar was a planted witness.

Arguments of the respondent

The respondent side argued that the trial court's decision to acquit all of the defendants was incorrect, and that because the High Court is the appellate court, it had every right to review all of the evidence and testimony, find all nine defendants guilty, including Manu Sharma, and impose the appropriate sentences.

The respondent side also provided documentary evidence and other legal arguments demonstrating that the conviction and punishment imposed by the High Court are accepted by the respondents. They pleaded with the court to make no amendments or interference and to dismiss the accused's appeals.


The Supreme Court ruled that the appeal court had the necessary authority to review all of the evidence that was offered in the Court of Trial, to revaluate the Court of Trial's order of acquittal, and to do so while providing sufficient justification for doing revaluate court declared that the prosecution had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Manu Sharma and the other eight defendants were guilty of the allegations against them. The Supreme Court agreed with the first court's ruling and changed the order of acquittal to one of conviction. The Supreme Court ruled that all appeals were dismissed because they lacked any merit.


The court ruled that the higher appellate court should only overturn a judgement of acquittal where it exhibits serious flaws and only when it thinks the lower court misapplied or ignored the evidence.

Under the applicable common and procedural law principles, the Public Prosecutor's violation of the duty of disclosure does not invalidate the entire trial. And telephone conversations that may be regarded as the first information are those that cannot be described as obscure and ambiguous. The Supreme Court ruled that all appeals were dismissed because they lacked any merit.


The Jessica Lal case is regarded as a landmark decision with the facts being a nearly clear elaboration of the pre-trial process, with elaborate reasoning on what can be considered the first initial information received by the police and can constitute the FIR, search and seizure of the evidences. Furthermore in this case The 4th pillar of democracy has been proven to be more useful in finding out the reality behind lies, forgery, corruption, undue influence, and coercion by the accused and his family than it was led on to be.

In conclusion this case left an impact on everyone's heart as it appeared so personal to the masses. This case was politically loaded which made the public question about the prejudices of the courts. But the contrary was demonstrated by our legal system proving that Justice may be delayed but it will always be delivered.

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