20 August 1996
Supreme Court







DATE OF JUDGMENT:       20/08/1996


CITATION:  JT 1996 (7)   349        1996 SCALE  (6)74



JUDGMENT:                 THE 20TH DAY OF AUGUST, 1996 Present:           Hon’ble Mr. Justice M.K.Mukherjee           Hon’ble Mr. Justice S.P.Kurdukar S.K.Bagga, Sr.Adv.,  Seeraj Bagga  and  Ms.Tanuj  Bagga  and Ms.Shureshtha Bagga, Advs. with him for the appellants. H.M.Singh, Advs  for R.S.Suri  and K.C.Dua,  Advs.  for  the Respondent                       J U D G M E N T The following Judgment of the Court was delivered: Karam Singh & Anr. V. State of Punjab                       J U D G M E N T S.P. KURDUKAR, J.      The appellants-accused  nos. 1  and 2 respectively were put up  for trial before the Judge, Special Court, Ferozepur for offences punishable under Sections 302/34 and 363 of the Indian Penal  Code., They  were tried  by the Special Court, under the Terrorist Affected Areas (Special Courts) Act. The appellants have  filed this criminal appeal under Section 14 of the Terrorist Affected Areas (Special Courts) Act. 2. The prosecution case may be summarized as under:      Karam Singh  (A-1) is  the father of Piara Singh(PW 2). Sardara Singh  (A-2) was  the employee.  of A-1. There was a dispute between  A-1 and  Piara Singh  (RW 2) as regards the partition of  the-property. Jagir Singh (since deceased) was related to  them. He  intervened in  the matter and effect a partition between  A-1 and Piara Singh (PW 2). A-1 felt that the said  partition was  totally inequitable and Jagir Singh had shown  favour to Piara Singh (PW 2) being related to him through his  wife A-1  and Piara  Singh  (PW  2)  reside  in village Badhini Kalan.  Piara Singh  (PW 2) owned a saw mill Sukhdial Singh  (PW 3)  used to  work in  the saw mill it is alleged by  the prosecution  that on  April 13,  1984 in the evening, Jagir  singh had come to the saw mill of Pira Singh



(PW 2).  At that time Sukhdial Singh (PW 3) was also present in the saw mill. At about 8.00 p.m., Piara Singh (PW 2) left his saw  mill to  bring food  from his  house.  A-1  at  the relevant time  was also  having a  shop adjacent  to the saw mill and  used to  sell fuel wood. A-1 in the mean time came to the  saw mil  with naked kirpan alongwith A-2. A-1 raised lalkara that  they would  teach Jagir  Singh  a  lesson  for favouring  Piara  Singh  while  effecting    the  partition. Suddenly A-1  and A-2  not to  do so.  Noticed the incident, requested A-1  and A-2,  Sukhdial singh  (PW 3)  went to the ahata of  A-1 and  knocked the  door put  nobody  responded. Realizing danger  to the life of Jagir Singh forcibly to the ahata of A-1. Sukhdial Singh (PW 3) went to the ahata of A-1 and knocked  the door put nobody responded. Realising danger to the  life of  Jagir Singh,  Sukhdial singh (PW 3) went to inform Piara Singh (PW 2) about the incident. Piara Singh(PW 2) then went to the police station, Badhani Kalan and lodged the FIR  9 Ex.P2  at about  9.00 p.m. The special report was then   despatched to  the Illaqa  Magistrate at  about 11.30 p.m. Hans Raj, ASI (PW 5) accompanied by Piara Singh (PW 2) and other  police officials  went to  the spot. A-1 was then found looking  his ahata  and A-2 standing by the side. Both the accused  care to  be arrested.  The  police  party  then noticed the  dead body of Jagir Singh which was lying in the ahata. Crime  was then  altered to  one under Section 302 of the Indian  Penal Code-  Hans Raj,  ASI( PW 5) commenced the investigation. During  the investigation,  parna Ex.M/O/5 of A-2 was  seized  since  it  was  stained  with  blood.  Dano Ex.M/O/4 which  was then  with A-2  was also seized. Seizure panchnama was  then effected. After completing the necessary investigation, both  the accused  were put  up for trial and they came  to be  charge sheeted  for of offences punishable under Sections 302/34 and 363 of the Indian Penal Code. 3.   Both the  accused denied  the charge  and according  to them, they  have been  falsely  implicated  in  the  present crime. They  pleaded that  they are  innocent   and they  be acquitted 4.   It is  not and  cannot be disputed that Jagir Singh met with a  homicidal death.  Dr. Jawahar  Lal, medical officer, Civil Hospital, Moga, performed the autopsy on the dead body of Jagir  Singh and  noted as many as twelve injuries out of which three were incised wounds and three were lacerated. In addition to  that there was a ligature mark around the neck. Dr. Jawahar  Lal (PW 1) has opined that the death was due to asphyxia as  a result  of strangulation  and the injuries to the head. We see no hesitation in accepting the opinion of Dr. Jawahar Lal (PW 1). 5.   The prosecution  in order  to bring  home the  guilt of both the  accused principally  relied upon  the evidence  of Sukhdial Singh  (PW 3) who witnessed a part of the incident, namely, that  both A-1 and A-2 came to the saw mill of Piara Singh (PW  2) and  forcibly dragged Jagir Singh to the ahata of A-1.  Piara Singh  (PW 2)  was examined  to prove that on getting the information from Sukhdial Singh (PW 3) about the incident, went  to the  police station  and lodged  the  FIR Ex.P3 at  about 9.00   p.m. in the same evening. In addition to the  formal    witnesses,  the  prosecution  relied  upon certain circumstances  namely recovery  of parna   and  dang from the  person of  A-2. Prosecution  also relied  upon the seizure  of turban of A-1 Ex.M/O/10 which was found lying at the entrance of the saw mill of Piara Singh ( PW 2). 6.   The learned Trial Judge after appraisal of the oral and documentary evidence  on record  vide his  impugned judgment dated 20th  February, 1985  found both the accused guilty of murder of  Jagir Singh  and convicted  them for  an  offence



punishable under  Section 302  read with  34 of  the  Indian Penal Code.  In view of the above finding, the learned Trial Judge, however,  did not  record any  conviction against the accused under  Section 363  of the  India  Penal  Code.  The learned Trial  Judge sentenced  both the  accused to  suffer life imprisonment.  It  is  this  order  of  conviction  and sentence passed  by learned Trial Judge which is the subject matter of challenge in this criminal appeal. 7.   Mr.Bagga, the  learned Senior  Advocate   appearing  in support of  this appeal  urged that  there  is    no  direct evidence as regards the fact of murder of Jagir Singh by any of the  accused. According to learned  counsel assuming that Jagir Singh  was dragged  by both   the accused from the saw mill to  the Ahata of A-1, there is no material on record to indicate  that  they  were  responsible  for  the  murderous assault on  Jagir Singh.  He also urged that in the ahata of A-1, a Transport  Union was also running its office and many truck drivers  used to  park their vehicles in that area. It was, therefore,  urged that  Jagir  Singh  might  have  been assaulted by  some unknown  persons, but  the  accused  were implicated in this crime on mere suspicion.      We find  no substance  in any  of  these    contentions raised on  behalf of  the appellants.  Piara Singh (PW 2) in his evidence  has stated  that A-1 was having a grievance as regards the  partition which was effected by Jagir Singh and it is  this grouse which was prompted A-1 to lay a murderous assault on  Jagir singh.  As regards  the presence  of Jagir Singh on  13th April  1984 in  the evening  at the saw mill, Piara Singh  (PW 2)  as well  as Sukhdial  Singh (PW 3) have stated that  Jagir Singh  had come  there and he was sitting until Piara  Singh (PW  2) left  for his house at about 8.00 p.m. to bring his food. What happened thereafter us narrated by Sukhdial  Singh(PW 3). He stated that A-1 came to the saw mill with  naked kirpan  alongwith Sardara  Singh (A-2)  and forcibly dragged  Jagir Singh  from the  compound of the saw mill to  the ahata owned by A-1 He further stated that after taking Jagir  Singh into  ahata they  closed the  door.  The witness then  went to  the ahata of A-1 and knocked the door but, nobody  opened it.  He then  went to inform Piara Singh (PW 2) about this incident who (PW 2) thereafter went to the police station  and lodged  FIR Ex.  P3 at  about 9.00  p.m. After recording the First Information Report, Hans Raj ASI (PW S)  accompanied by  Piara Singh  (PW 2)  and same police officials came to the ahata of A-1. 8. Piara  Singh (PW 2) and Sukhdial Singh (PW 3) have stated that when  the police  party came  to the ahata of A-1, they saw A-1  was standing  with the blood stained kirpan  in his hand at  that place. A-2 was also standing by his side. Both the witnesses  further stated  that the  dead body  of Jagir Singh was  lying in  that ahata. It needs to be mentioned at this stage that at about 8.00 p.m., Jagir Singh was forcibly dragged by A-1 and A-2 and he was then taken to the ahata of A-1. The  door of  the ahata was closed and despite knocking the said  door by  Sukhdial Singh  (PW 3)  nobody responded. Within an  hour, the  police party alongwith Piara Singh (PW 2) reached  the ahata  of A-1 and they noticed the dead body of Jagir  Singh at  that ahata and A-1 and A-2 were standing near the  dead body. The only legitimate inference that must follow from  the aforementioned evidence is that Jagir Singh was done  away with by both the accused in the ahata of A-1. There was hardly any time for Piara Singh (PW 2) or Sukhdial Singh (PW  3) to  concoct a false story against the accused. We have carefully gone through the evidence of PW 2 and PW 3 and we  see no hesitation in accepting the same as reliable. There is  nothing in  their  cross-examination  which  would



discredit their testimony. 9. In  addition to  the  evidence  that  we  have  discussed hereinabove, there  are two other very telling circumstances which are  pointer to  the  guilt  of  the  accused.  During investigation, a turban of A-1 found in the saw mill. It was seized and  marked as Ex.M/O/10. On this turban, name of A-1 (Karam Singh)  was printed.  Seizure of  this turban  in the compound of  saw mill of Piara Singh (PW 2) corroborates the story narrated  by Sukhdial  Singh (PW  3) that both accused had come  to saw  mill  and  forcibly  dragged  Jagir  Singh therefrom. No  exploration whatsoever  is coming from A-1 as to how  his turban  was found  in the  compound saw  mill of Piara Singh  (PW 2).  Mr. Bagga,  learnad counsel,  however. urged that  the seizure of turban Ex.M/O/10 is nothing but a bogus seizure. He urged that such a recovery and seizure has got to  be rejected because no names are printed on turbans. We are  again not  impressed by this argument because infact such a  seizure was  made and  it was  proved  by  the  Pach witnesses and the Investigating Officer. 10.  The next  connecting circumstance  is  the  seizure  of Ex.M/O/5 from  the said  of A-2.  The said  was stained with human blood and the Serologist reported it to be human blood (Ex. P20).  No explanation whatsoever was given by A-2 as to how his  parna was  stained with human blood. The serologist in his  report Ex.P20  also found  that the  earth from  the ahata of  A-1 and  kirpan seized  from A-1 were stained with Human blood. All these circumstance clearly and conclusively establish that  both the accused were responsible for murder of Jagir Singh.      It was  then urged  by Mr.  Bagga that  it is    highly improbable that  A-1 and A-2 would stand in the ahata with a naked kirpan  for more  than one hour. The prosecution story is highly  improbable  and  could  not  be  made  basis  for conviction. We  see no  merit in this contention since there is direct  evidence of Piara Singh (PW 2) and Sukhdial Singh (PW 3) as also the investigating officer Hans Raj ASI (PW 5) to establish this fact. 12.  In the  result, the  appeal falls  and  the  same    is dismissed. A-1  and A-E  to  surrender  to  their  bailbonds forthwith to serve out the remainder of their sentences.