PW3 Lalaram at 11.30 pm on
21.05.1982 that at about 8.30 pm while returning from his field he had
stayed at piao of Padmaji for having water and smoke.
That time he saw
Bhagirath, resident of Tausar ploughing his field with a tractor driven by
He also saw "one child" sitting on the tractor, whose name
he did not know.
While so sitting at piao he saw that the respondents-
accused and one more person armed with lathis and kassies had formed an
unlawful assembly and entered into the field of Bhagirath.
reporting, he was able to identify them all in the light of the tractor and
he had seen accused-respondent Manglaram stopping the tractor whereupon
Bhagirath came down from the tractor.
Accused Sampat Ram then allegedly
inflicted a kassi blow on the head of Bhagirath who fell down. Treating
him to be dead all the accused ran away. PW3 Lalaram went to the spot,
remained there for about an hour and since nobody appeared he left the dead
body of Bhagirath there itself.
The informant PW3
Lalaram turned hostile and could not identify the assailants. PW4
Ramkaran, driver of the tractor could identify all the accused and stated
that respondent Sampat Ram had dealt kassi blow on the head of Bhagirath
while the others with their lathis had given blows to him. He further
stated that immediately after the incident he had left the place of
occurrence with his tractor to his house. The person who was referred to
as "one child" in the initial reporting, according to the prosecution was
PW5 Ramratan. As a matter of fact, PW5 Ramratan was aged about 22 years
and a stout person. He could identify only one accused i.e. respondent
Sampat Ram, who allegedly was carrying a kassi and had given a blow on the
head of Bhagirath.
The High Court observed that the time and occurrence was between 8 to
9 pm, the night was dark, the accused were strangers to the witnesses and
no test identification was conducted during the investigation. It was
further observed that according to PW4 Ramkaran, the accused persons were
not in the front of the tractor or in the light of the tractor. His
behaviour in leaving the place of occurrence and not reporting the matter
to anyone was found to be against normal human behaviour. As regards PW5
Ramratan who was a total stranger and whose very presence was doubtful,
material contradictions were also found in his statement. On the overall
analysis of the matter the prosecution witnesses who claimed to be eye-
witnesses were found to be unreliable and untrustworthy by the High Court.
The High Court, thus, allowed the appeal and acquitted the respondents-
accused of all the charges.
We have gone though the record and considered the rival submissions.
PW3 Lalaram, having turned hostile, the matter completely hinges on the
testimony of PW4 Ramkaran. His behaviour in leaving the place of
occurrence and not reporting the matter to any one is extremely unnatural.
The incident having occurred in the darkness and as accepted by PW4
Ramkaran it was not in front of the tractor, the chance and opportunity for
him to have sufficiently identified the assailants is also doubtful. There
is nothing on record as to how "one child" who was on the tractor, has
after investigation been found to be none other than PW5 Ramratan, aged
about 22 years and a stout person.-2015 S.C. MSKLAWREPROTS