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Friday, March 27, 2015

whether, in the given facts and circumstances the case, the role attributed to the present three Accused-respondents lead to their implication under Section 34 of IPC. 11. Limiting ourselves to the above question, we find that there is indeed enough material to infer the common and shared intention of the present accused-respondents with that of Shyamu. Although, the learned counsel for the respondents has argued that they had not thrown the deceased down to the drain with intention of killing him but merely assaulting him. According to him, the shooting by Shyamu was an independent act. However, we find that firstly, there was no justifiable reason for the 4 accused persons to go 100-150 yards inside the field of the complainant. Second, the fact that they carried a weapon being 315 bore country-made pistol with them clearly shows that they had all the wrong intentions. Nowhere in the case of defence has this come out that the present three accused-respondents were not aware of the fact that Shyamu carried the weapon. Also, the exhortation made by the accused persons against the complainant and the deceased mentioned about killing them. Having made such an exhortation, they threw the deceased on the ground. It goes on to show that they all shared a common intention and worked in tandem. Balbir Singh is the father of other three accused persons; he could have asked Shyamu to stop short of shooting, but he did not do so. We find, in the light of these circumstances, that the High Court erred in acquitting the present accused-respondents. We are satisfied that the view taken by the High Court is not even a possible view and therefore calls for interference in this appeal. 12. On the basis of above discussion, we allow the present appeal. The impugned judgment of the High Court is set aside and the judgment and order passed by the Sessions Court is restored. 13. Learned counsel for the accused persons - respondents herein has submitted that there is a marriage in the house of the accused persons on 22nd April, 2015 and prayed that the accused may not be arrested till the marriage is solemnized. In view of this submission, we grant six weeks' time to the three accused-respondents to surrender, failing which the Court concerned shall take appropriate steps to take them into custody.

                                                                  REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                       CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                      CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 205  OF  2009

Ranbeer  Singh  (dead) by L.R.                          ...Appellant

                                  :Versus:

State of U.P. and Ors.                            ...Respondents



                               J U D G M E N T

Pinaki Chandra Ghose,  J.

1.    This is an appeal by the Complainant  against  the  impugned  judgment
and order dated 30-04-2008  passed  by  the  High  Court  of  Judicature  at
Allahabad in Criminal Appeal No.1674 of 2006. In the impugned  judgment  the
High Court had allowed the appeal of three  accused  persons  and  acquitted
them while maintaining the conviction  of  the  main  accused.  The  present
appeal before us has been filed by the complainant against the acquittal  of
the three accused by the High Court. The  Sessions  Court  after  trial  had
convicted the main accused Shyamu under S. 302, IPC along  with  Section  25
of the Arms Act while it convicted the other three accused  persons,  Balbir
Singh, Vinod and Karua  (respondents herein) under S. 302, IPC read with  S.
34 IPC. The appeal of Shyamu against his conviction by the  High  Court  was
filed in this Court but was dismissed, thus,  his  conviction  has  attained
finality.

2.    The facts of the present case are that Shyamu,  Karua  and  Vinod  are
sons of  Balbir  Singh  and  Balbir  Singh  is  the  elder  brother  of  the
complainant Ranbeer Singh. The deceased Pooran Singh  was  the  son  of  the
complainant Ranbeer Singh. Admittedly, there is pending criminal  litigation
between Ranbeer Singh and  Balbir  Singh,  the  two  brothers.  The  pending
criminal litigation relates to an incident 13 to  14  months  prior  to  the
incident in question in present case  wherein  Balbir  Singh  had  fired  at
Ranbeer Singh with intention of killing him. The  pending  civil  litigation
related to some property between the two brothers. As per the  case  of  the
prosecution, on the date of the incident in the  instant  case  i.e.  07-02-
2002, the complainant was irrigating his field along  with  his  son  Pooran
Singh (the deceased) while the 7 year old son of Pooran  Singh  was  sitting
on the Mendh nearby. The four accused persons were irrigating  their  field,
which was adjoining the field of the complainant, and  while  they  were  at
the tubewell of their field, which is 100-150 yards away from  the  tubewell
of the complainant's field, at around 4:45 pm, four accused persons came  to
the complainant making an exhortation "Aaj mauke par  mil  gaye  hain.  Inhe
jaan se maar do aur maan lo ki mukdmein ka faisla ho gaya aur zameen  humain
mil gayi." (Today, they have met at an opportune time. Kill them  and  treat
the litigation as decided and we got  the  land).  Thereafter,  the  present
three respondents Balbir Singh, Karua and Vinod held Pooran Singh and  threw
him on the ground and Shyamu made a shot with his gun  from  behind  at  the
Pooran Singh. As this happened,  the  Complainant  along  with  7  year  old
grandson Ankit, ran away to save their life. On hearing the  shouts  of  the
complainant, the persons  working  in  the  nearby  field  saw  the  accused
persons fleeing from the place of occurrence. The FIR was registered on  the
same day at 6:05 pm by the  Complainant.  During  investigation  the  weapon
being country made pistol of 315 bore was recovered from the  field  of  the
accused on the disclosure statement made by Shyamu.

3.     The  prosecution  evidence  consisted  of  PW1  Ranbeer  Singh   (eye
witness),  PW2 Ankit (eye witness and child witness),   PW3  Dr.  S.K.  Seth
(proved post mortem report),  PW4 Constable Saiyed  Mohd.  Kasim,  PW5  S.I.
Roop Chandra Verma, PW6 Inspector Incharge  Narendra  Kumar  Singh  and  PW7
Constable Pradeep Kumar.

4.    The PW1 Ranbeer Singh stated that the accused persons  out  of  enmity
in light of pending civil and criminal litigation and with  motive  to  take
revenge, killed his son on the fateful day. He testified that on  07.02.2002
he was irrigating his field with tubewell along with his  son  and  grandson
Ankit  was  sitting  nearby.  At  the  same  time,  the  four  accused  were
irrigating their field from a tubewell  which was about 100-150  yards  away
from the tubewell of complainant. At around 4:45 pm, they came and  exhorted
that "today they are alone, hold them and kill them and so we would get  our
farmland also". Then Balbir, Karua and Vinod held Pooran  Singh  and  pushed
him on the ground in/near the drain and Shyamu shot at him from behind.

5.    The PW2 Ankit  was 7 years old when the incident happened and 9  years
old when his statement was recorded. He testified that he was sitting  11-12
feet away from where his grandfather and father were irrigating  the  field.
He saw that Shyamu shot his father at  the  back  of  his  head  and  before
Shyamu shot, Balbir, Karua  and  Vinod  pushed  his  father  in  the  drain.
Thereafter his grandfather carrying him in his lap, ran away from there.

6.    PW-3 Dr. S.K. Seth had conducted  the  autopsy  of  the  deceased  and
found two wounds on head. The bullet entry wound on the front head near  the
nose while exit wound on the  back  side  of  the  head.  The  parietal  and
occipital bone of both sides of the head were fractured. He told  the  cause
of death was coma resulting from ante mortem injuries.

7.    The Session Court after  going  through  the  evidence  concluded  the
guilt of all the  accused  and  convicted  Balbir,  Karua  and  Vinod  under
Section 302/34 of IPC and Shyamu under Section 302  of  IPC,  and  sentenced
all of them to imprisonment for life, along with a fine of Rs.3000/- and  in
default of payment of fine, they shall have to undergo  simple  imprisonment
for a period of seven months.  Shyamu  was  further  sentenced  to  rigorous
imprisonment for three years under Section 25 of Arms Act.

8.    The High Court in  appeal  dealt  extensively  with  the  question  of
interested witness and child witness. After a long discussion  on  both  the
points, the High Court found that the testimony of the  PW1  Complainant  as
well as PW 2 Ankit is  reliable.  The  High  court  found  that  there  were
questions asked to  PW2  to  test  his  understanding  and  only  thereafter
examination pertaining  to  the  case  were  asked.  The  statement  of  PW2
completely  corroborated  the  case  of  the  prosecution.  However,   after
accepting the evidence of the prosecution, the High Court found  that  there
was no case made  out  as  against  the  present  three  respondent  accused
persons under S. 34 as there was no common intention. The High  Court  found
that there was no prior meeting of minds  or  premeditation  to  commit  the
offence and that the incident was a  sudden  scuffle.  These  three  accused
persons did not share the intention to kill  the  deceased.  Therefore,  the
High Court acquitted the three accused-respondents.

9.     The  learned  counsel  for  the  complainant-Appellant   has   sought
conviction of the present respondents. The main contention is that when  the
case of prosecution has been believed and relied upon by the High Court  and
on that basis the main  accused  Shyamu  is  convicted,  the  present  three
respondents cannot be acquitted.

10.   The learned counsel  for  the  Respondents  has  tried  to  point  out
certain contradictions in the facts of the prosecution. However, in view  of
the dismissal of appeal of Shyamu by this Court,  the  facts  in  this  case
have become final and  cannot  be  challenged  anymore.  If  we  accept  any
contention with respect to those  facts,  it  would  upset  the  finding  of
conviction in Shyamu's appeal to this Court. Therefore,  the  only  question
before us is whether, in the given facts and  circumstances  the  case,  the
role attributed to the  present  three  Accused-respondents  lead  to  their
implication under Section 34 of IPC.

11.   Limiting ourselves to the  above  question,  we  find  that  there  is
indeed enough material to infer the  common  and  shared  intention  of  the
present accused-respondents with  that  of  Shyamu.  Although,  the  learned
counsel for the  respondents  has  argued  that  they  had  not  thrown  the
deceased down to  the  drain  with  intention  of  killing  him  but  merely
assaulting him. According to him, the shooting by Shyamu was an  independent
act. However, we find that firstly, there was no justifiable reason for  the
4 accused persons to go 100-150 yards inside the field of  the  complainant.
Second, the fact that they carried a  weapon  being  315  bore  country-made
pistol with them clearly shows that  they  had  all  the  wrong  intentions.
Nowhere in the case of defence has this come  out  that  the  present  three
accused-respondents were not aware of  the  fact  that  Shyamu  carried  the
weapon. Also, the exhortation  made  by  the  accused  persons  against  the
complainant and the deceased mentioned about killing them. Having made  such
an exhortation, they threw the deceased on the ground. It goes  on  to  show
that they all shared a common intention and worked in tandem.  Balbir  Singh
is the father of other three accused persons; he could have asked Shyamu  to
stop short of shooting, but he did not do so.  We  find,  in  the  light  of
these circumstances, that the High Court erred  in  acquitting  the  present
accused-respondents. We are satisfied that the view taken by the High  Court
is not even a possible view and therefore calls  for  interference  in  this
appeal.

12.   On the basis of above discussion,  we allow the  present  appeal.  The
impugned judgment of the High Court is set aside and the judgment and  order
passed by the Sessions Court is restored.

13.   Learned counsel for the  accused  persons  -  respondents  herein  has
submitted that there is a marriage in the house of the  accused  persons  on
22nd April, 2015 and prayed that the accused may not be  arrested  till  the
marriage is solemnized.  In view of this submission,  we  grant  six  weeks'
time to the three accused-respondents to surrender, failing which the  Court
concerned shall take appropriate steps to take them into custody.
                  ........................................J
                                             (Pinaki Chandra Ghose)

                  ........................................J
                                               (Uday Umesh Lalit)
New Delhi;
March  27,  2015.

ITEM NO.1B              COURT NO.12               SECTION II

               S U P R E M E  C O U R T  O F  I N D I A
                       RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

                      Criminal Appeal  No(s).  205/2009

RANBEER SINGH (DEAD) BY LRS.                       Appellant(s)

                                VERSUS

STATE OF U.P.& ORS.                                Respondent(s)

Date : 27/03/2015      This appeal was called on for pronouncement of
            judgment today.

For Appellant(s) Mr. Manoj Swarup, Adv.
                       Ms. Lalita Kohli, Adv.
                       Mr. Abhishek Swarup, Adv.
                       For M/s Manoj Swarup & Co., Advs.

For Respondent(s)      Mr. Ajay Veer Singh Jain, Adv.
                       Mr. U.R. Bokadia, Adv.
                       Ms. Divya Garg, Adv.
                       For Mr. Mohd. Irshad Hanif, AOR

                       Mr. Ashutosh Sharma, Adv.
                       Mr. Rajeev Dubey, Adv.
                       For Mr. Ravi Prakash Mehrotra, Adv.


      Hon'ble Mr. Justice Pinaki Chandra  Ghose  pronounced  the  reportable
judgment of the Bench comprising His Lordship and Hon'ble Mr.  Justice  Uday
Umesh Lalit.

      The appeal is allowed.  The impugned judgment of  the  High  Court  is
set aside and the judgment  and  order  passed  by  the  Sessions  Court  is
restored.

      Learned counsel for the  accused  persons  -  respondents  herein  has
submitted that there is a marriage in the house of the  accused  persons  on
22nd April, 2015 and prayed that the accused may not be  arrested  till  the
marriage is solemnized.  In view of this submission,  we  grant  six  weeks'
time to the three accused-respondents to surrender, failing which the  Court
concerned shall take appropriate steps to take them into  custody  in  terms
of the signed reportable judgment.

      (R.NATARAJAN)                                 (SNEH LATA SHARMA)
       Court Master                                    Court Master
            (Signed reportable judgment is placed on the file)

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