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Thursday, May 23, 2013

murder case = i) As per site plan (Ex.P-9) mustard crop, standing on the land in dispute was destroyed by the tractor. ii) As many as 14 member of the complainant party sustained injuries. Veerpal died as a result of injuries received by him. iii) Member of complainant party had gone to the land in question unarmed and asked the accused party not to disturb mustard crop whereas accused party had gone with lethal weapons. iv) There is chequered history of litigation between the complainant party and the accused party. v) Accused Sita Ram and Ranveer had guns whereas accused Ranveer, Yogendra and Balla had kattas (country made pistols) and they indiscriminately opened fire at the members of complainant party. vi) According to Prahlad Singh I.O. (PW.29) cross case bearing FIR No.254/99 under sections 447, 323, 341, 147 and 148 IPC was registered against the members of accused party. Ghambhir Singh (appellant) sustained simple injuries that were incorporated in injury report (Ex.D.15).” 12. The High Court, after re-appreciating the evidence on record, has rightly rejected the contention of self-defence that had been raised, and acquitted some of the convicted accused, giving them the benefit of doubt. In light of such a fact-situation, we do not see any cogent reason to interfere with the impugned judgment.


Page 1
NON-REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.1946 of 2009
Yogendra @ Yogesh & Ors. …Appellants
Versus
State of Rajasthan …Respondent
J U D G M E N T
Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN, J.
1. This appeal has been preferred against the impugned judgment
and order dated 3.12.2007, passed by the High Court of Rajasthan
(Jaipur Bench), in Criminal Appeal No.583 of 2003, by way of which
the High Court has affirmed the judgment and order dated 8.4.2003,
passed by the learned Additional District and Sessions (Fast Track)
Judge No.1, Bharatpur, so far as the appellants are concerned. The
Trial Court therein, had convicted 9 accused, including the present 5
appellants as under:-Page 2
Sita Ram and Ramveer, under Section 302 of the Indian Penal
Code, 1860 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘IPC’). Yogendra @
Yogesh, Rattan Singh, Kalwa, Ranveer, Ghambhir Singh, Paras Ram
and Balla under Section 302/149 IPC. They have been awarded the
sentence of life imprisonment and a fine of Rs.1,000/- each has been
imposed on them. In default of payment of such fine, they have been
directed to suffer further Simple Imprisonment for a period of 2
months. All of them have further been convicted under Section 148
IPC, and punishments of 7 years’ RI, alongwith a fine of Rs.1,000/-
each, has been imposed on them, and in default, they have been
directed to suffer further SI for 1 month under Section 307/149 IPC.
The appellants Sita Ram, Ranveer and Yogendra have further been
convicted under Section 3/25 of the Arms Act, 1959, and have been
awarded the sentence of 3 years’ RI, alongwith a fine of Rs.1,000/-
each, and in default of payment of such fine, they must further suffer
SI for a period of 1 month. However, the substantive sentences were
ordered to run concurrently.
2. The High Court has modified the judgment and order of the
Trial Court, dismissing the appeal of some of the appellants and
convicting Sita Ram, Ranveer, Yogendra, Ramveer and Balla. Sita
2Page 3
Ram and Ramveer have been convicted under Section 302/149 IPC,
instead of Section 302 IPC, and the sentences awarded to them have
remained the same. Their conviction under Section 307/149 IPC and
under Section 3/25 of the Arms Act have remained intact. Conviction
and sentence of Yogendra, Ranveer and Balla under Section 302/149
IPC and 307/149 IPC, and of Ranveer and Yogendra under Section
3/25 Arms Act have remained intact. However, they have been
acquitted of the charge under Section 148 IPC. The appeals of the
other accused persons, namely, Ratan Singh, Kalwa, Ghambhir Singh
and Paras Ram were allowed.
3. Facts and circumstances giving rise to this appeal are that:-
A. That Karan Singh and Kewal Singh of the same village had
purchased some land in village Ajan from Shodan Singh and Raghubir
Singh in the year 1979. Since then they have been cultivating the said
land. On 18.10.1999, a written report Ex.P-1 was lodged by Shodan
Singh (PW.1), at the Police Station Udyog Nagar, Bharatpur, alleging
that 7-8 days prior to the incident, Karan Singh and others had sown
some mustard on the said land. On 18.10.1999 at about 12 noon, the
complainant party was informed by Shiv Singh, that the mustard that
had been sown by them was being removed by the appellants
3Page 4
alongwith others, with the help of a tractor. On receiving the said
information, the complainant party, i.e. Karan Singh, Kewal Singh,
Badan Singh, and a few other family members had proceeded to the
place of incident. They had seen the accused persons destroying the
mustard that had been sown by them. The accused persons had been
fully armed with lathis, kattas, and farsas. One of them had been
armed with a gun. When the complainant party had tried to stop the
accused, Ratan Singh had instigated the other accused persons to
assault the complainant party, and thus, the assault began. On hearing
the hue and cry raised as a result of the same, Vijay Pal and few others
had reached the place of occurrence. Shodan Singh (PW.1),
informant, had also witnessed the incident, as he had been coming
back from his fields at the relevant time. Some people from the
complainant’s side had received firearm injuries. Some of them had
also received injuries from lathis and farsas. The accused had then
fled away from the scene after injuring 15 people. The injured persons
had been taken to the hospital. Veer Pal and Satyendra had suffered
grievous injuries. They had been referred to Jaipur, and a case was
registered against the accused under Sections 147, 148, 149, 323, 341,
447 and 307 IPC, and investigation commenced in this respect.
4Page 5
B. During the course of the investigation, Veer Pal succumbed to
his injuries and therefore, Section 302 IPC was also added. His dead
body was subjected to an autopsy, and necessary memos had been
prepared. Statements of witnesses were recorded. The accused
persons were arrested, and on completion of the investigation, a
chargesheet had been filed. Upon conclusion of the trial, the Trial
Court had convicted the appellants alongwith several others, as has
been mentioned hereinabove, vide judgment and order dated 8.4.2003.
C. Aggrieved, they preferred Criminal Appeal No. 583 of 2003
which was disposed of vide impugned judgment dated 3.12.2007,
which acquitted a few people, but the conviction of the appellants
with certain modifications was upheld, as has been referred to
hereinabove.
Hence, this appeal.
4. Shri Altaf Hussain, learned counsel appearing for the appellants
has submitted, that the Trial Court had convicted 9 persons, out of
which, 4 have been acquitted by the High Court, though they had also
earlier been convicted on the basis of the same evidence. Hence, in
light of the same, the conviction of the appellants can also not be
sustained, owing to the fact that if the High Court has disbelieved
5Page 6
certain evidence with respect to 4 of the acquitted accused, the same
could not have been relied upon by it, so far as the appellants are
concerned. There are material discrepancies and contradictions in the
evidence of the witnesses. The same should not therefore, have been
relied upon. The judgments of the courts below are liable to be set
aside.
5. Per contra, Shri Ram Naresh Yadav, learned counsel for the
State has opposed the appeal, contending that the High Court has reappreciated the entire evidence on record, and has thereafter come to
the conclusion that the present appellants had been responsible for
causing the death of one person, and for causing grievous injuries to
fourteen others. Most of the injured persons have appeared as
witnesses, and their presence cannot be doubted. There may be a
possibility of false implication of some of the accused in the present
case, but the evidence of the injured witnesses deserves to be
accepted. It is not possible that such injured persons, in a case where
there has been loss of life, would spare the real culprit, and falsely
implicate anyone. Thus, the appeal lacks merit and is liable to be
dismissed.
6Page 7
6. We have considered the rival submissions made by learned
counsel for the parties, and perused the record.
7. The Trial Court has examined the evidence on record very
intricately, and after properly appreciating the same, has convicted all
9 accused. The High Court, after re-appreciating the evidence has
given 4 accused persons the benefit of doubt, in view of the fact that
they had not been in possession of any arms. Both the courts below
have rejected the theory of self-defence, and have held the appellants
to be aggressors. The courts have found that the presence of the
present appellants at the place of occurrence stands fully established
beyond any reasonable doubt. They had in fact been present at the
place of the incident, and had been armed with a gun and kattas. The
complainant party had in contrast, been entirely unarmed, and they
had remained outside the land in dispute and had simply requested
the appellants and others to not destroy the mustard crops that had
been sown by them. Even otherwise, the absence of any injury made
on the part of any of the assailants except Ghambhir Singh (acquitted
accused), renders false, the defence’s version. There was no question
raised regarding how so many injuries could have been caused to so
many persons. In the instant case, complainant Shodan Singh (PW.1),
7Page 8
and all other injured witnesses have deposed consistently, as regards
the involvement of the present appellants. They have also deposed
that the appellants had been heavily armed with weapons, and had
caused injuries to the deceased, as well as to the witnesses.
8. The post-mortem on the body of Veer Pal, had been conducted
on 19.10.1999, and the following ante-mortem injuries had been
found on his body:-
(i) Multiple punctured lacerated wound ¼ x ¼ cm oval to round
shape on (Rt) side lower neck to shoulder and upper part of
anterior and frontal medial (Rt) side of chest.
(ii) Punctured lacerated wound has entered (Rt.) side peritoneum to
(Rt.) liver lobe.
In the opinion of the Doctor, the cause of death was shock
hemorrhage, caused as a result of ante-mortem injuries to the lung and
liver, which was sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of
nature. Duration of injuries was fresh before death, by projectile
firearm weapon gun shot injury.
So far as the other injured persons are concerned, it is evident
from the record and the evidence provided by the doctors, that Padam
Singh had two injuries on his person. Satish Kumar also had various
8Page 9
wounds caused by trampling. Radhey Shyam had suffered two
injuries. Maharaj Singh had on his person, four injuries which had
been caused by a fire arm. Injury Nos. 1 & 4 were found to have been
caused by a blunt weapon. Chander Hans had two injuries on his
person. Bachcho Singh also had two injuries. Similarly, Raj Kumar
had two injuries, and Vijaypal also had two injuries. Kewal Singh had
suffered two injuries by a fire arm. Pushpender had also suffered
grievous injuries caused by a fire arm. Karan Singh had four injuries
on his person, out of which two injuries were found to be grievous.
Satyendra had only one injury on his person. The said injuries have all
been proved by doctor B.L. Meena (PW.18), and it has also been
deposed by various doctors, that such injuries were caused by fire
arm, lathis, sticks and farsas, thus collaborating the deposition of Dr.
Suman Dutta (PW.24).
9. The argument advanced by Shri Altaf Hussain, learned counsel
for the appellants, stating that the evidence which has been
disbelieved in respect of certain accused, cannot be enough to convict
the present appellants, has no force.
This Court, in Ranjit Singh & Ors. v. State of Madhya
Pradesh, AIR 2011 SC 255, has dealt with a similar issue. The Court
9Page 10
herein, considered its earlier judgments in Balaka Singh v. State of
Punjab, AIR 1975 SC 1962; Ugar Ahir & Ors., v. State of Bihar,
AIR 1965 SC 277; and Nathu Singh Yadav v. State of Madhya
Pradesh, AIR 2003 SC 4451, and has referred to the doctrine, "falsus
in uno, falsus in omnibus" and held, that the same has no application
in India. The court must assess the extent to which the deposition of a
witness can be relied upon. The court must make every attempt to
separate falsehoods from the truth, and it must only be in exceptional
circumstances, when it is entirely impossible to separate the grain
from the chaff, for the same are so inextricably entertwined, that the
entire evidence of such a witness must be discarded.
10. The courts below have examined the evidence and have
appreciated the same in correct perspective. The Trial Court, after
appreciating the medical evidence and the injuries etc. on the persons
of the injured witnesses, has come to the following conclusions:
“In this case there are a total 14 injured persons of
whom Veerpal has died due to injuries and the injured
Padma could not be examined due to his death and
Kewal could not be examined due to his mental
incapacity. In the remaining injured persons PW.1
Shodan (complainant), PW.5 Satish, PW.7 Maharaj
Singh, PW.10 Bachcho Singh, PW.12 Radhey Shyam,
PW.15 Pushpender, PW.16 Satyendra and PW.19 Karan
Singh have received injuries due to fire arm and PW.2
10Page 11
Raj Kumar, PW.4 Chander Hans and PW.11 Vijay Pal
have received injuries by the impact of blunt weapon.
Padma and Kewal who respectively expired and lost
mental balance could not be examined and they have
received fire arm injury. In the head of injured Karan
Singh and in the finger of his hand grievous injury has
been caused by the impact of a blunt weapon. From the
statement of Karan Singh it is clear that Paras Ram gave
lathi blow on his head and Ghambhir gave farsa blow on
his head and caused injuries thereon and one blow of the
farsa is stated to have landed on his finger also. Both the
injuries in the head and the hand are grievous. Firstly
the medical examination of Karan Singh was conducted
by Dr. B.L. Meena (PW.18) and found 4 injuries on his
person but after that Karan Singh was treated in the SMS
Hospital and from the statement of PW.35 Dr.
Vivekanand Goswami it is clear that on the person of
Karan Singh there were six injuries instead of four and
he had grievous injury on his head and there was a
punctured wound on the middle finger of his left hand.
This injury was also found to be grievous. On the right
hand of Karan Singh there were three trampling wounds
of fire arms.”
11. The High Court has re-appreciated the evidence on record and
considered the case taking into account the gravity of the injuries, as
well as the death of Veerpal, and has come to a conclusion as under:
“From the evidence of Shodan Singh (PW.1), Raj Kumar
(PW.2), Chandra Hans (PW.4), Satish Chand (PW.5),
Shiv Singh (PW.6), Maharaj Singh (PW.7), Foren Singh
(PW.8), Bachcho Singh (PW.10), Vijay Pal (PW.11),
Radhey Shyam (PW.12), Pushpendra (PW.15), Satyendra
Singh (PW.16) and Karan Singh (PW.19), the fact
situation that emerges may be summarized thus:
11Page 12
i) As per site plan (Ex.P-9) mustard crop, standing
on the land in dispute was destroyed by the
tractor.
ii) As many as 14 member of the complainant party
sustained injuries. Veerpal died as a result of
injuries received by him. 
iii) Member of complainant party had gone to the land
in question unarmed and asked the accused party
not to disturb mustard crop whereas accused party
had gone with lethal weapons. 
iv) There is chequered history of litigation between
the complainant party and the accused party.
v) Accused Sita Ram and Ranveer had guns whereas
accused Ranveer, Yogendra and Balla had kattas
(country made pistols) and they indiscriminately
opened fire at the members of complainant party.
vi) According to Prahlad Singh I.O. (PW.29) cross
case bearing FIR No.254/99 under sections 447,
323, 341, 147 and 148 IPC was registered against
the members of accused party. Ghambhir Singh
(appellant) sustained simple injuries that were
incorporated in injury report (Ex.D.15).” 
12. The High Court, after re-appreciating the evidence on record,
has rightly rejected the contention of self-defence that had been
raised, and acquitted some of the convicted accused, giving
them the benefit of doubt. In light of such a fact-situation, we
do not see any cogent reason to interfere with the impugned
judgment. The present appeal thus lacks merit, and is
12Page 13
accordingly dismissed. The appellants are on bail. Their bail
bonds are cancelled, and they are directed to surrender within a
period of four weeks from today, failing which the learned
Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bharatpur shall take them into
custody, and send them to jail to serve out the remaining part of
their sentence. A copy of this order be sent to the CJM,
Bharatpur by the registry for information and compliance.
……….………………………J.
 (Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN)
 ………………………………J.
 (DIPAK MISRA)
New Delhi,
May 21, 2013
13

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