PRAVEEN Ram's prayers were answered yesterday.
The worries that had plagued him for the past few years ended in the Supreme Court in Suva as he walked out of the courtroom with his sister and a neighbour, wiping tears from his eyes.
Mr Ram was jailed for life in October 2008 for the murder of his father, Paras Ram.
Justice Daniel Goundar agreed with the unanimous opinion of the three assessors and convicted Mr Ram then.
Mr Ram (senior) died on July 25, 2000 after being allegedly struck on the head with an iron rod by his son (Praveen) on July 22, 2000. Praveen Ram, who was 18 years old at the time of his father's death and 26 when convicted, had consistently denied hitting his father.
He had sought special leave to appeal from a judgment of the Court of Appeal on March 31, 2011, which affirmed the conviction and sentence imposed on him by the High Court.
Suva lawyer Ritesh Naidu represented him in the appeal.
Mr Ram told The Fiji Times yesterday he was charged in 2008 for his father's murder.
"I was charged eight years after my father's death and no reason was given to me by the police for it," he said.
"After being convicted and sentenced by the High Court in October 2008, I spent one month and four days in prison and appealed against my conviction and sentence.
"I was released on bail pending appeal and while waiting for my appeal outcome, I couldn't go anywhere or do anything."
Mr Ram, 30, who is single, said he was very happy with yesterday's judgment of the Supreme Court.
"I've been a Christian from a very young age and my relatives and I have prayed over the years that justice would prevail," he said.
"And we're all happy justice has prevailed - the Supreme Court has acquitted me of murder."
Supreme Court judge Justice Saleem Marsoof said: "The question is whether in the instant case, the Court of Appeal performed its duty to make an independent assessment of the evidence as required by law.
"It is manifest that the Court of Appeal did not do so, as it was content that 'the learned judge had adequately directed the assessors on the inconsistent statements of Timoci and Mesake'.
"The Court of Appeal did not proceed to examine the inconsistencies and make an independent assessment of the evidence."
Mesake Ravui and Timoci Delai were prosecution witnesses who told the High Court during the trial they saw Mr Ram hit his father on the head with an iron rod.
None of the other prosecution witnesses claimed they saw the deceased being hit by Mr Ram.
Justice Marsoof said he was not satisfied that there was in this case sufficient legal evidence to satisfy reasonable men to the exclusion of any reasonable doubt of the petitioner's (Praveen Ram) guilt.