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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Whether the presence of appellant-Ramvilas at the scene of occurrence was doubtful as no ‘katta’ was seized from him nor any gun shot injury was found on the person of deceased-Bansilal. As observed by the High Court all the eye witnesses have spoken in one voice so far as carrying of ‘katta’ by appellant-Ramvilas and therefore his presence at the scene of occurrence cannot be doubted merely because no ‘katta’ was recovered from him. It has come out in the evidence that the appellant-Ramvilas had exhorted the other accused in attacking the deceased and also actually participated in the attack. As pointed out by the courts below that the appellant-Ramvilas nowhere pleaded in his examination under Section 313 Cr.P.C. that he was neither present at the scene of occurrence nor involved in the incident.

                                                                  REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                       CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                   CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS. 1786-1787  OF 2009

RAMVILAS                                                 ...Appellant
                                   Versus

STATE OF M.P.                                                 ...Respondent

                                    WITH

                   CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS. 1788-1789 OF 2009



                               J U D G M E N T

R. BANUMATHI, J.


In these appeals, the appellants challenge the correctness of  the  judgment
passed by the High Court of Madhya Pradesh at Jabalpur in  Criminal  Appeals
No.377 of 1995 and  481  of  1995  whereby  the  High  Court  confirmed  the
conviction and sentence awarded to the appellants by the trial  court  under
Sections 302 read with Section 149 IPC, 324, 323 read with Section  149  IPC
and 148 IPC.
2.          Case of the prosecution is that  on  23.07.1991  at  about  7.00
O’clock in the morning at  village  Hathighat,  deceased-Bansilal  had  gone
towards the riverside to attend nature’s call.  One  Harisingh  Kachhi  (PW-
7), Jagdish (PW-13) and Noor Khan  (PW-9)  came  to  the  house  of  Narmada
Prasad (PW-3) and informed him that the accused-appellants  were  assaulting
his brother-Bansilal. Narmada Prasad (PW-3) immediately rushed to  the  spot
alongwith them and near ‘otla’ of Hardul  Baba,  he  noticed  that  all  the
appellants armed with lethal weapons had  surrounded  his  brother-Bansilal.
Appellants Chhotelal, Kailash and Suresh were armed with spears,  appellant-
Ramvilas was armed with pistol,  whereas  appellants  Ramsingh  and  Gorelal
were carrying lathis with them. When Bansilal tried  to  escape,  appellant-
Ramvilas fired  a  shot  from  his  pistol  and  when  Bansilal  fell  down,
appellants Chhotelal and Kailash attacked him with spear on  his  scalp  and
forehead.  When Narmada Prasad (PW-3) tried to intervene,  appellant-Kailash
attacked Narmada Prasad with spear and caused injury below  his  right  eye.
Then Uma Bai (PW-5) sister of  the  deceased  and  Sona  Bai-mother  of  the
deceased tried to save Bansilal, the appellants Kailash and Ram  Singh  also
attacked them. Appellant-Ramvilas intimidated  and  threatened  the  persons
present there and said that if anybody would intervene,  he  would  be  shot
dead. The appellants gave repeated blows to Bansilal  by  spear  and  lathis
and then fled away.  Injured Bansilal was immediately taken to the  hospital
where he was declared dead. On the complaint lodged by Narmada  Prasad  (PW-
3), brother of the deceased, FIR was registered in Criminal Case  No.131  of
1991 under Sections 147, 148, 149, 341 and 302  IPC  at  PS  Nasirullahganj.
After due investigation, the appellants were prosecuted under Sections  148,
302, 302 read with Section 149, 324, 324 read with Section 149, 323 and  323
read with Section 149 IPC.
3.          Upon consideration of the evidence, the  trial  court  convicted
the appellant-Ramvilas and  other  accused  under  Sections  302  read  with
Section 149, 324, 323 read with Section 149 and 148 IPC and  sentenced  them
to undergo life imprisonment and further imposed  sentence  of  imprisonment
for other offences.  On appeal, the High Court confirmed the  conviction  of
the appellants and also the sentence of  imprisonment  imposed  on  each  of
them. These appeals assail the correctness  of  the  impugned  judgment.  On
application filed onbehalf of the appellants, the appeal  was  dismissed  as
withdrawn qua the appellants Suresh (A1), Kailash (A2) and  Ram  Singh  (A4)
by the Chamber Judge Order dated 18.02.2013.
4.          We have heard the arguments of Mr. Ajay Veer Singh, the  learned
counsel for the  third  appellant-Ramvilas  and  also  the  learned  counsel
appearing for the State. We have carefully considered the rival  contentions
and perused the evidence on record and also the impugned judgment.
5.          Conviction of the appellant-Ramvilas and other accused is  based
mainly on the evidence adduced by six eye witnesses, namely, Narmada  Prasad
(PW3), Rekha Bai(PW-4), Uma Bai (PW-5), Hari Singh (PW-7), Noor Khan  (PW-9)
and Jagdish (PW-13) coupled with other corroborative evidence.  All the  eye
witnesses have consistently spoken about the occurrence and the  overt  acts
of the accused including the appellant-Ramvilas. Courts below have  recorded
the concurrent  findings  of  fact  observing  that  the  testimony  of  eye
witnesses is credible and trustworthy.  Deceased-Bansilal had  sustained  as
many  as  twenty  six  injuries.   Evidence  of  eye  witnesses   is   amply
corroborated by medical evidence. By  perusal  of  the  records,  no  cogent
reasons are forthcoming to disbelieve the testimony  of  the  eye  witnesses
and we find no reason to interfere with the concurrent findings recorded  by
the courts accepting the evidence of eye witnesses as trustworthy.
6.          In the incident,  Narmada  Prasad  (PW-3)  and  Uma  Bai  (PW-5)
sister of the deceased sustained injuries and  Ex.P-9 and  Ex.P-10  are  the
MLC Reports of Narmada Prasad (PW-3) and Uma Bai (PW-5) respectively  issued
by Dr. S.K. Dhoble (PW-10). Narmada Prasad (PW-3) and Uma Bai  (PW-5)  being
injured witnesses, their presence  at  the  time  and  place  of  occurrence
cannot be doubted. Evidence of the injured witnesses is entitled to a  great
weight and very cogent and convincing grounds are required  to  discard  the
evidence of the injured witnesses. We do not find any ground  to  disbelieve
the evidence of injured witnesses Narmada Prasad (PW-3) and Uma Bai (PW-5).
7.          Learned counsel for the appellant Mr. Ajay Veer Singh  contended
that the presence of appellant-Ramvilas  at  the  scene  of  occurrence  was
doubtful as no ‘katta’ was seized from him  nor  any  gun  shot  injury  was
found on the person of deceased-Bansilal.  As observed  by  the  High  Court
all the eye witnesses have spoken  in  one  voice  so  far  as  carrying  of
‘katta’ by appellant-Ramvilas and therefore his presence  at  the  scene  of
occurrence cannot be doubted merely because no ‘katta’  was  recovered  from
him.  It has come out  in  the  evidence  that  the  appellant-Ramvilas  had
exhorted the other accused in  attacking  the  deceased  and  also  actually
participated in the attack. As pointed out by  the  courts  below  that  the
appellant-Ramvilas nowhere pleaded in  his  examination  under  Section  313
Cr.P.C. that he was neither present at the scene of occurrence nor  involved
in the incident.
8.          The  conviction  of  the  appellant-Ramvilas  is  based  on  the
evidence of injured witnesses which is amply corroborated  by  the  evidence
of eye witnesses and medical evidence. Conviction of the appellant is  based
on  proper  appreciation  of  evidence  and  courts  below   have   recorded
concurrent findings and the same is not liable  to  be  interfered  with  in
exercise of power under Article 136 of the Constitution of India.
9.          These appeals are dismissed.


                                                                …………………………J.
                                                                    (T.S.
THAKUR)


                                                                …………………………J.
                                                 (R. BANUMATHI)
New Delhi;
August 18, 2015

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