03 September 2019
Supreme Court


Case number: Crl.A. No.-001079-001079 / 2011
Diary number: 12728 / 2008





MANJIT SINGH                      ….APPELLANT(S)   


THE STATE OF PUNJAB                     ….RESPONDENT(S)


Criminal Appeal No. 1076 of 2011


Dinesh Maheshwari, J.

1. These two appeals by special leave are directed against the common

judgment and order dated 11.03.2008, as passed by the High Court of Punjab

and Haryana at Chandigarh in Criminal Appeal Nos. 373 DB of 2005 and 350

DB of 2005 with other connected matters whereby, the High Court has upheld

the judgment and order dated 28/30.03.2005 by the Sessions Judge, Barnala

in Sessions Case No. 21 of 2001, convicting and sentencing the accused-

appellants for multiple offences, including those  punishable under Sections

148, 302/149, 323, 324 and 326/149 of the Indian Penal Code (‘IPC’).  

2. Put  in  brief,  the  relevant  background  aspects  of  the  matter  are  as




2.1. The prosecution case has been that on 03.03.2001, the deceased Dalip

Singh, Rajinder Pal Singh (PW-5), Gurnam Singh (PW-6) and the complainant

Beant Singh1, all residents of Village Mehal Kalan had gone to Barnala Court

Complex in connection with the hearing in a criminal case pertaining to FIR

No. 67 of 1997, Police Station Mehal Kalan, that was adjourned. That very

day, the accused persons Manjit Singh2, Labh Singh, Avtar Singh, Bakhtaur

Singh, Sukhwinder Singh3, Prem Kumar, and Narain Datt, had also been to

the same Court Complex to attend the proceedings in a complaint case of the

appellant Manjit Singh, that was also adjourned. At about 11.15 a.m., when

Gurnam Singh, Beant Singh, Rajinder Pal Singh and Dalip Singh were about

to board their car near the cabin of typists in the Court Complex, they were

attacked by the accused persons.  

2.2. It was alleged that for carrying out the assault in question, five of the

accused persons carried different weapons, where the appellant Sukhwinder

Singh as also Labh Singh and Avtar Singh were armed with kirpans; Bakhtaur

Singh was armed with  kirpan and  ghop; and the appellant Manjit Singh was

armed with kirch whereas Prem Kumar and Narain Datt were empty handed.

According to the allegations, with exhortation by the appellant Manjit Singh,

the accused persons carried out the assault in the manner that Labh Singh

gave  kirpan  blow aiming at the head of Beant Singh, who raised his hands

1 The complainant Beant Singh was examined as the first witness in the trial but he expired before  completion of his statement.  

2 The appellant of Cr. A. No. 1079 of 2011

3 The appellant of Cr. A. No. 1076 of 2011



and the blow hit  his right  hand; the appellant Sukhwinder Singh aimed his

kirpan blow on the head of Dalip Singh but since he raised his hands, the blow

hit his right hand; Bakhtaur Singh gave a blow of ghop on the head of Dalip

Singh; Prem Kumar and Narain Datt caught hold of the arms of Dalip Singh

and Bakhtaur Singh gave another ghop blow on the head of Dalip Singh; Avtar

Singh gave a blow of his  kirpan on the left leg of Gurnam Singh; Bakhtaur

Singh also gave three blows of ghop on the left cheek, back of the chest and

left thigh of Gurnam Singh; the appellant Manjit Singh gave the blows of his

kirch, hitting Rajinder Pal Singh on the right hand and on the left hand thumb;

and the appellant Sukhwinder Singh hit  Gurnam Singh on the back by the

handle of his kirpan.

2.3. It  was  further  alleged  that  upon such an  assault,  the injured  raised

alarm whereupon, Amarjit Singh, Balbir Singh, Jit Singh and Gurdeep Singh

reached the spot. The injured were taken to the hospital. Upon receiving a

message from the hospital,  Surinder Pal  Singh (PW-9),  SHO, P.S. Kotwali

went  to the hospital  and sought  the opinion of  doctor  about  fitness of  the

injured for taking their statements; the injured Beant Singh was declared fit

and his statement was recorded at 2.30 p.m., which led to the registration of

FIR No. 56 of 2001 for the offences punishable under Sections 307, 148, 149,

120-B IPC. The statements of  the injured Rajinder Pal  Singh and Gurnam

Singh were also recorded. However, the injured Dalip Singh was not found fit

for making any statement; he was referred to Rajindra Hospital, Patiala; and

he was, thereafter, shifted to Dayanand College and Hospital, Ludhiana. He



remained hospitalised until 12.03.2001 but the attempts by ASI Gulab Singh

(PW-11) to record his statement did not materialise. The injured Dalip Singh,

ultimately, expired on 12.03.2001 at 4.30 p.m.; the post mortem of his dead

body was conducted on 13.03.2001 at Civil Hospital, Ludhiana. In sequel, the

offence punishable under Section 302 was added to the FIR.

2.4. On 08.03.2001, the accused persons Bakhtaur Singh, Labh Singh and

Avtar Singh were arrested. The weapon ghop was recovered in pursuance of

the  disclosure  statement  of  Bakhtaur  Singh  whereas  one  kirpan was

recovered on the disclosure statement of Labh Singh and another kirpan was

recovered on the disclosure statement  of  Avtar  Singh.  On 14.03.2001,  the

appellant Sukhwinder Singh was arrested and in pursuance of his disclosure

statement, yet another kirpan was recovered.  

2.5. In  the  course  of  investigation,  the  soil  splattered  with  blood  was

collected  from  the  place  of  occurrence;  site  plan  was  prepared;  and

statements  of  other  witnesses  were  recorded.  As  per  the  FSL report,  the

ghop,  three  kirpans and soil  recovered from the place of  occurrence were

found to be stained with human blood.  

2.6. On 24.03.2001, while the other accused persons were charge-sheeted

for  various offences  but,  the present  appellant  Manjit  Singh as also  Prem

Kumar and Narain Datt  were allegedly found not involved in the crime and

they  were  kept  in  column  No.2  by  the  Investigating  Officer  (‘IO’).  After

committal of the case to the Sessions Court and after framing of charges, the

complainant Beant Singh was examined as the first witness of the prosecution



on 11.09.2001 but  his  deposition remained incomplete.  This  very  day,  the

complainant Beant Singh moved an application under Section 319 of the Code

of  Criminal  Procedure  (‘CrPC’)  for  proceeding  against  the appellant  Manjit

Singh  as  also  against  the  said  Prem  Kumar  and  Narain  Datt,  who  were

summoned  by  the  Trial  Court  by  its  order  dated  19.09.2001.  Thereafter,

charges  were  framed  against  all  the  accused  persons,  inter  alia,  for  the

offences  under  Sections  302,  148,  326,  325,  323  IPC.   The  prosecution

sought  leave  under  Section  321  CrPC  to  withdraw  the  case  against  the

appellant Manjit  Singh and the said Prem Kumar and Narain Datt  but  this

prayer was declined by the Trial Court by its order dated 09.11.2002 against

which, Cr.R. No. 2413 of 2002 and C.M. No. 2248 of 2002 were filed before

the  High  Court  that  were  also  dismissed  by  the  order  dated  14.10.2003.

Further, the petition for Special Leave to Appeal No. 5740 of 2003 filed in this

Court was also dismissed by the order dated 17.01.2004.

3. In the trial, the prosecution examined several witnesses, including the

injured eye-witnesses Rajinder Pal Singh as PW-5 and Gurnam Singh as PW-

6;  the  medical  officer  Dr.  Subhash  Singla,  who had  initially  examined the

injured persons and had prepared the injury reports, as PW-1; and Dr. Jasbir

Singh, who had conducted post-mortem on the dead body of Dalip Singh, as


3.1. The eye-witnesses, Rajinder Pal Singh and Gurnam Singh, PW-5 and

PW-6  respectively,  gave  the  ocular  account  of  the  entire  incident.  PW-5

Rajinder Pal Singh categorically stated that the assault commenced when the



appellant  Manjit  Singh  instigated  the  other  accused  persons  to  attack  the

complainant and his companions. This witness provided a detailed description

of participation and involvement of each of the accused in conformity with the

version  occurring  in  the  FIR.  His  testimony  was  corroborated  on  all  the

material particulars by PW-6 Gurnam Singh. As noticed, the testimony of the

informant Beant Singh remained incomplete due to his demise.

3.2. The  appellant  Manjit  Singh,  while  denying  the  allegations  in  his

statement under Section 313 CrPC, gave a purportedly detailed account that

the complainants were annoyed with Prem Kumar, Narain Datt and himself for

the reason that they had given evidence in the case of rape and murder of a

co-village girl KK*4, where the offence was allegedly committed by the relatives

of the complainant and the injured witnesses. We shall refer to the relevant

part of the statement made by the appellant Manjit Singh under Section 313

CrPC hereafter a little later.  

3.3. In defence evidence, the accused persons got examined as many as 13

witnesses. These had been as follows: DW-1 Dr. A.K. Singla, the handwriting

and fingerprint expert in relation to the signatures of Rajinder Pal Singh on the

court summons and jail records; DW-2, Head Constable Jaswinder Singh in

relation to the fact that DW-3 was deployed as driver of the vehicle in which

the undertrials  were brought  to the Court  Complex;  DW-3 Head Constable

Jora Singh, as the alleged eye-witness to the incident; DW-4 Gurcharan Singh

Dhaliwal, Advocate who was allegedly present near the scene of  crime; DW-5

4 The name of the said victim girl is not required to be mentioned and she is referred as KK* herein.



Lakhwinder Singh, the then Superintendent  of  Police (D) at  Barnala;  DW-6

Constable Amarjit Singh, another alleged eye-witness who had intervened in

the fight that had occurred between the two groups; DW-7 Head Constable

Gurcharan  Singh;  DW-8  J.N.  Sharma,  Advocate;  DW-9  Kulwant  Singh,

Member Panchayat of Village Dhaner; DW-10 Manjit Singh, teacher in Govt.

High  School,  Wazidke  Khurd;  DW-11  Rajinder  Kumar  ALM,  PSEB  Mehar

Kalan; DW-12 Darshan Kumar, Head Warden, Sub-Jail, Barnala; and DW-13

Santokh Singh, Maths Teacher in Govt. High School, Wazidke Khurd.

4. In its judgment and order dated 28/30.03.2005 in Sessions Case No. 21

of  2001,  the  Trial  Court  carried  out  in-depth  analysis  of  the  prosecution

evidence, including the testimony of injured eye-witnesses PW-5 and PW-6

and the medical officers, PW-1 and PW-7. The Trial Court also carried out an

equally thorough analysis of the evidence adduced by the accused and, after

finding that the defence witnesses were either irrelevant or unreliable, rejected

the defence theories and found it proved beyond reasonable doubt that the

accused joined together and attacked the complainant Beant Singh and his

companions,  causing various injuries  to several  persons and fatal  injury to

Dalip  Singh.  The  conclusion  of  the  Trial  Court  in  relation  to  the  present

appellants  as  also  cumulatively  in  relation  to  all  the  accused  persons,  as

occurring in paragraphs 45 to 48 of the judgment dated 28.03.2005, could be

usefully reproduced as under:-

“45.  Accused Manjit  Singh as per PW1 is  proved to have caused two injuries on the person of Rajinder Pal Singh by means of Kirch and which M.L.R. Ex. PD and X-ray report



Ex. PD/2 shows that both these injuries No. 1 & 2 are by sharp means and injury No. 3 which is reddish contusion is not attributed to any of the accused.

46. Accused Sukhwinder Singh is opined to have caused a blunt  injury  by  the  handle of  the Kirpan on the  person of Gurnam Singh on the back of the chest opined to be abraded contusion ad that Sukhwinder Singh is also proved to have caused injury to Dalip Singh on right hand by means of  a Kripan and which injury as per M.L.R. Ex. PA which is incised wound,  caused by sharp  edged weapon is  deemed to  be simple in view of lack of evidence in this regard.

47. That there is abundant evidence to show that accused persons with a common object armed with deadly weapons have rioted while assaulting the complainant side.

48. So, from the overall evidence of the prosecution by way of ocular evidence of the eye-witnesses account, the medical evidence  coupled  with  circumstantial  evidence overwhelmingly point out towards the guilt of the accused in the  commission  of  the  offence  for  which  they  have  been charged.  The accused are thus held guilty and convicted as detailed below:- i) All the accused U/S 148 of IPC ii) Accused Bakhtaur Singh U/S  302  and  323 IPC iii) All the co-accused (Numb 6) of U/S  302/149  IPC and     accused Bakhtaur Singh U/S 323/149 IPC iv) Accused Sukhwinder Singh U/S 324 IPC & 323

IPC v) All six co-accused of accused U/S  324/149  IPC and      Sukhwinder Singh U/S 323/149 IPC vi) Accused Labha Singh U/S 324 IPC vii) All the six co-accused U/S 324/149 IPC viii) Accused Avtar Singh U/S 326 IPC ix) All the six co-accused of accused U/S 326/149 IPC     Avtar Singh x) Accused Manjit Singh U/S 324 IPC xi) All the six co-accused of accused U/S 324/149 IPC     Manjit Singh”



4.1. In accordance with the conclusion aforesaid, the accused persons were

awarded varying sentences, including that of life imprisonment.

5. Against  the  order  of  conviction,  the  appellants  and  the  co-accused

preferred separate appeals  before the High Court  and pending disposal  of

appeals, the sentence awarded to the appellant Manjit Singh as also Prem

Kumar  and  Narain  Datt  were  suspended.  Thereafter,  by  an  order  dated

24.07.2007, the then Hon’ble Governor of  Punjab, in exercise of  his power

under Article 161 of the Constitution of India, granted pardon to the appellant

Manjit Singh as also to the two co-accused persons Prem Kumar and Narain

Datt;  and directed  that  they  be  released with  immediate  effect.  This  order

granting pardon was also challenged before the High Court  by way of  writ

petition bearing No. 2147 of 2008 that was taken up for consideration together

with  the  appeals  filed  against  conviction.  While  passing  the  final  common

judgment and order dated 11.03.2008, the High Court, after dealing with the

contentions urged on behalf of the appellants herein and the co-accused, while

extended benefit of doubt to Prem Kumar and Narain Datt but, affirmed the

conviction of the other five accused persons, including the appellants herein

and also set aside the order granting pardon5 while observing,  inter alia, as


5 This part of the common judgment dated 11.03.2008, setting aside the order passed by the Hon’ble Governor of Punjab granting pardon to the appellant Manjit Singh, was separately challenged in this Court in C.A. Nos. 2058-59 of 2011 [arising out of SLP (C) No. 11544 of 2008]. On 24.02.2011, this Court remanded the matter to the Governor of Punjab for fresh consideration in accordance with law. We were informed during the course of hearing that no fresh decision has been taken after such remand. Be that as it may, in view of the fact that the subject matter of the present appeals relates to the conviction and sentencing of the appellants, no further dilation on the matter relating to the grant of pardon is requisite herein.



“23. We are of the view that case of the prosecution stands fully  established  against  Sukhwinder  Singh,  Labh  Singh, Bakhtaur Singh, Avtar Singh and Manjit Singh, while Narain Datt and Prem Kumar are entitled to benefit of doubt.

24. PW5 Rajinder Pal Singh has fully supported the version given in the statement of Beant Singh on the basis of which, FIR  was  recorded.  He  has  confirmed  the  role  of  all  the accused.  Occurrence  took  place  in  the  broad  day  light. Identity of the accused was known to the witnesses. Rajinder Pal Singh is nephew of the deceased Dalip Singh. FIR was prompt. There is no improbability in the accused assaulting the  deceased  and  the  witnesses  in  the  manner  alleged. There is no serious infirmity in the evidence of PW5 Rajinder Pal Singh. His version is consistent and reliable. The assault was clearly  re-mediated as five of  the accused came with weapons.  His  version  is  fully  supported  by  PW6 Gurnam Singh.  Though,  cross-examined  at  length,  their  testimony remained  unshaken.  The  version  of  the  said  witnesses  is duly  corroborated  by  medical  evidence.  We  are  not  in agreement  with  the  observation  of  the  trial  Court  that evidence  of  Beant  Singh  could  be  relied  upon.  Excluding evidence  of  Beant  Singh,  who  died  before  cross- examination,  does  not  in  any  way  affect  the  case  of  the prosecution.

25. Reference to the statement of PW5 Rajinder Pal Singh shows  that  Manjit  Singh  raised  an  exhortation  to  the  co- accused to take revenge. He was armed with a ‘kirch’. Mere non-recovery of  ‘kirch’ is  not  by itself  of  any consequence once  his  participation  in  giving  exhortation  and  causing assault  is  established….His  role  is  established by medical evidence of  examination  of  Rajinder  Pal  Singh PW5,  who had two injuries with a sharp-edged weapon. Manjit  Singh not  only  gave  one  blow  but  also  repeated  the  blow  to Rajinder Pal Singh. PW-5 Rajinder Pal Singh could not have made  any  mistake  in  implicating  Manjit  Singh.  Contention that  Manjit  Singh  was  implicated  on  account  of  enmity, cannot be accepted. It is well known that enmity is a doubled edged weapon and the same reason could have provided motive  to  Manjit  Singh.  His  role  is  specific  and  is  duly corroborated. He was the first to initiate the assault.”



5.1. The High Court,  after  examining the defence evidence as also other

material on record, rejected the defence contentions, including the plea of alibi

of the appellant Manjit Singh, in the following: “32. We do not find any merit in the contention that the death of Dalip Singh was not on account of injuries caused by Bakhtaur Singh but only on account of surgical injuries or that the injuries were not sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death of  Dalip Singh.   It  is  clear  that  the death of Dalip Singh was on account of injuries caused by the accused Bakhtaur Singh.  Intention of causing death can be clearly inferred.  Sukhwinder Singh also assaulted Dalip Singh but he received injuries on the hand instead of on the head.  Though, Labh Singh and Avtar Singh caused injuries to Beant Singh and Gurnam Singh respectively, they cannot avoid responsibility for the consequences, which could easily be foreseen by them in respect of injuries caused to Dalip Singh.  Same is the position with regard to accused Manjit Singh.  There is no reliable evidence to accept the plea of alibi raised by Manjit Singh.  We have thus no hesitation in upholding conviction of Sukhwinder Singh, Labh Singh, Avtar Singh, Bakhtaur Singh and Manjit Singh.”

5.2. After upholding the conviction and the sentence of five of the accused

persons including the appellants, the High Court also examined the question of

validity of the order granting pardon to the appellant Manjit Singh and in that

regard, after a detailed survey of the case law relating to the power to grant

pardon/remission and its judicial  review, found that  in the present case, the

power was exercised only on the perceived public  opinion that was clearly

impermissible. However, as observed hereinbefore, this aspect of the matter

needs no further dilation herein.   6. Assailing the judgment  and order  aforesaid,  affirming their  conviction

and upholding the sentence as awarded, the appellants have preferred the

present appeals.



6.1. Learned counsel for the appellant Manjit Singh has strenuously argued

that so far this appellant is concerned, it is amply established in evidence that

he  was  not  present  at  the  scene  of  the  incident  in  question;  and  has

particularly referred to the statement of DW-9 to submit that on the date of

incident,  the appellant Manjit  Singh was present before the said witness at

11.30 a.m. at village Dhaner, that was about 25 kms from the Barnala Court

Complex and hence, his presence at the scene of crime at 11.15 a.m. is totally

ruled out.  Learned counsel has contended that the Trial  Court as also the

High Court have rejected the plea of alibi without assigning cogent reasons

and the same has resulted in  serious miscarriage of  justice.   The learned

counsel has argued that the High Court has failed to appreciate the fact that

there existed previous enmity between the family  of  the deceased and the

appellant herein because of which, he has been implicated in the said case. In

this  regard,  learned counsel  has particularly  referred to  the fact  that  PW-5

Rajinder Singh is the brother of Jagraj, who was involved in the aforesaid rape

and murder case, that was keenly pursued by the appellant Manjit Singh. The

learned counsel has yet further argued that there has not been any evidence

as regards common object of the accused persons; no independent witness

has been examined; and then, no weapon of offence was recovered at the

instance  of  the  appellant.  Therefore,  according  to  the  learned  counsel,

conviction of the appellant is not justified. The learned counsel has referred to

the decisions in Sikandar Singh & Ors. v. State of Bihar: (2010) 7 SCC 477

and Subal Ghorai v. State of West Bengal: (2013) 4 SCC 607.



6.2. Learned counsel  for appellant  Sukhwinder Singh has submitted that

there are material contradictions in the medical evidence as also the ocular

version and in any case,  the essential  ingredients  of  Section 141 IPC,  for

formation  of  an  unlawful  assembly  are  not  established  and,  therefore,  the

conviction of the appellant under Section 302 with the aid of Section 149 IPC

is not justified. According to the learned counsel, the only accusation against

this appellant is that he had caused simple injury on the little finger of  the

deceased Dalip Singh and had used the handle of the kirpan to cause injury to

PW-5 Rajinder Pal  Singh and, on these accusations,  the case against  this

appellant cannot travel beyond the offences of Sections 324 and 323 IPC for

which, he has already undergone imprisonment for a period of over 4 years

and 10 months. The learned counsel has referred to the decision in  Govind

Singh v. State of Chattisgarh: (2019) 7 SCALE 20.

7. Per contra, learned counsel for the State has supported the conviction

of appellants with the submissions that the Trial Court and the High Court have

dealt  with  each  and  every  argument  raised  by  the  appellants  and  the

impugned  judgments  do  not  suffer  from  any  infirmity  so  as  to  call  for

interference.  The  learned  counsel  has  submitted  that  the  appellant  Manjit

Singh not only caused injuries on the person of Rajinder Pal Singh but, in fact,

instigated the accused party with exhortation prior to the assault and, in the

face of clear evidence on record, mere want of recovery of kirch used by the

appellant Manjit Singh would not exonerate him. The learned counsel has also

contended that when the accused persons, at least five of them, were armed



with deadly weapons and assaulted the injured persons simultaneously, all the

necessary  ingredients  of  formation  of  an  unlawful  assembly  with  common

object stand established. As regards the plea of alibi, the learned counsel has

submitted that this plea was never suggested to the prosecution witnesses nor

was  taken  in  the  statement  under  Section  313  CrPC;  and  the  made  up

witnesses produced in that regard have been duly considered and discarded

by the Trial Court and the High Court after thorough appreciation. The learned

counsel for the respondent has also relied upon a few decisions, including that

in Sahabuddin & Ors. v. State of Assam: (2012) 13 SCC 213.

8. Having heard learned counsel for the parties and having perused the

material placed on record, we are clearly of the view that both these appeals

remain bereft of substance and no case for interference at the instance of the

appellants is made out.

Acquittal of two of the accused persons

9. Before taking up other aspects of the matter for consideration, apposite

it would be to take note of one of the relevant factors that though in this case,

the accused Prem Kumar and Narain Datt were alleged to be empty handed

and were not assigned the role of causing any injury on any person but, the

Trial Court found it to be a case of common object and these two accused

persons were held guilty of the offence under Section 148 IPC as also of other

offences with the aid of Section 149 IPC. The High Court, though agreed with

the Trial Court after thorough examination of the material on record on all the



material aspects but, as regards these two accused persons, in the concluding

part of  its discussion, proceeded to extend them the benefit  of doubt while

observing as under:-

“38. As regards Prem Kumar and Narain Datt, who were empty handed, they have been given the role of having caught hold of the deceased. If It can be held that they were members of  the  unlawful  assembly,  even  if  no  overt-act  is  proved against them, they will be liable for the murder. However, we are  of  the  view that  in  absence  of  tangible  evidence,  they ought to be given benefit of doubt.”

9.1. Though the aforesaid accused persons Prem Kumar and Narain Datt

were  acquitted  with  benefit  of  doubt  and  their  acquittal  has  not  been

challenged but then, this fact, by itself, will not have any mitigating effect on

the prosecution case against  the other five accused persons,  including the

appellants. It remains trite that acquittal of co-accused per se is not sufficient

to result in acquittal of the other accused. Even if the material evidence against

all the accused persons is the same, acquittal of some of them does not lead

to a corollary that the other accused also need to be acquitted [vide  Yanob

Sheikh alias Gagu v. State of West Bengal: (2013) 6 SCC 428 and Dalbir

Singh v. State of Haryana: (2008) 11 SCC 425]. If after taking the evidence

as a whole, the case in relation to the acquitted accused could be segregated

from  that  against  the  other,  such  other  accused  could  nevertheless  be

convicted. Noticeable it is that even as regards the said accused Prem Kumar

and Narain Datt, the High Court has not recorded a clean acquittal but has

only extended them the benefit  of doubt, for no overt act of assault  having

been assigned to them and they being not armed with any weapon. Even if the



involvement of Prem Kumar and Narain Datt is considered doubtful in view of

the uncertain role assigned to them, it cannot be said that entire substratum of

the prosecution case is lost, or even whittled down.   

Prosecution Case

10. We may now take note of salient features of the relevant evidence on


10.1. The case of the prosecution on material accusations pivots around the

testimony  of  injured  eye-witnesses  PW-5  Rajinder  Pal  Singh  and  PW-6

Gurnam Singh.  PW-5 Rajinder Pal Singh has deposed in conformity with the

initial version of Beant Singh on the basis whereof, the FIR in question came

to be registered. This witness has testified to the role of each of the accused in

the  incident  in  question.  Nothing  material  has  come  out  in  the  cross-

examination to discredit this witness. Of course, a suggestion was made in the

cross-examination that  he had gone to sub-jail  Barnala on 30.09.2002 and

demanded Rs. 20,000/- from the accused persons to depose in their favour,

which  he  denied.  A few witnesses  were  examined in  defence evidence to

prove  that  this  witness  PW-5  did  visit  sub-jail  Barnala.  However,  it  is  too

remote to accept that because of such a visit, the witness might have offered

false depositions by taking unlawful consideration. In fact, this very witness is

otherwise sought to be discredited by the appellants as an interested witness,

for  being the brother  of  one of  the accused persons in the said  rape and

murder case, which was being pursued by the appellant Manjit  Singh. This



witness  had  also  been  one  of  the  injured  persons  in  the  incident,  having

received the blows from the appellant Manjit Singh. In the face of such a fact

situation, the suggestion by the defence, that this witness offered support to

them for unlawful consideration, could only be rejected as baseless.  The Trial

Court and the High Court have concurrently found his testimony reliable; and

we find no reason to take any different view of the matter.  

10.2. The narration of the incident by PW-6 Gurnam Singh has also been

consistent with the version occurring in the FIR as also that occurring in the

statement of PW-5 Rajinder Pal Singh. He had also been an injured person in

the same incident and there is nothing on record to disbelieve or discredit this


10.3. So far as the medico-legal aspect of the matter is concerned, PW-1 Dr.

Subhash Singla, who had examined the injured person immediately after the

incident, has proved the respective injury reports,  inter alia, making out that

there  were  multiple  injuries  on  the  person  of  the  deceased  Dalip  Singh

including three injuries from blunt weapon and one from sharp-edged weapon.

He also testified about Gurnam Singh having received one injury from a sharp-

edged weapon apart from other injuries; and about Rajinder Pal Singh having

sustained three injuries, two of them being from sharp-edged weapon.  PW-7

Dr. Jasbir Singh conducted post-mortem on the dead body of Dalip Singh and

found  haemotoma  below  the  scalp;  and  on  clearing  haemotoma,  found  a

fracture. This witness testified that as per his examination, the cause of death

was haemorrhage and shock as a result of the head injury.



10.4. The facts stand established that the deceased and the other members

of the complainant party received many and multiple injuries, including those

on the vital body parts from sharp-edged weapons (as also blunt objects). It is

also established that Dalip Singh died due to the grievous head injury. Though

he died after 9 days from the date of the incident but continuously remained

hospitalised and was never in a position to make any statement. The fact that

the injuries in question were inflicted by the accused party, with calculated and

determined assault on the complainant party, has also been duly established

on  record.  The  concurrent  findings  of  the  Trial  Court  and  the  High  Court

against the accused persons remain proper and do not appear suffering from

any infirmity.  

Defence Version and Evidence

11. It  would also be appropriate to take note of  the features emanating

from the defence evidence. In all  13 witnesses were examined in defence.

Before taking up the relevant  witnesses concerning the plea of  alibi  of  the

appellant Manjit Singh, we may briefly refer to the other defence witnesses.  

11.1. In defence, DW-1 Dr. Atul K. Singh and DW-12 Darshan Kumar were

examined in support of the assertion that the witness Rajender Singh visited

sub-jail  Barnala as per the entries occurring in  Mulakat  register; and DW-7

Gurcharan  Singh  was  examined  in  proof  of  the  signatures  of  the  witness

Rajender Pal Singh on the summons EX-D-11. As noticed, nothing turns upon

this part of defence evidence.



11.2.  There had been another defence witness DW-5 Lakhwinder Singh who

was, at  the relevant time, posted as Superintendent of  Police (D) Barnala.

According to this witness, a complaint was filed before him to the effect that

Manjit Singh, Prem Kumar and Narain Datt were not present on the spot  

during the incident in question.  This witness sent a report, Ex. DA, stating the

fact that in the investigation carried out by Surendra Pal Singh, SHO Police

Station Barnala, Manjit Singh, Prem Kumar and Narain Datt were found not

present at the time of occurrence. This testimony had not only been irrelevant

but had also been totally unwarranted. As noticed, initially, the investigating

agency attempted to exonerate the appellant Manjit  Singh as also the said

accused Prem Kumar and Narain Datt but the Trial Court, by its order dated

19.09.2001, did exercise the power under  Section 319 CrPC for proceeding

against these persons. The prosecution even endeavoured to withdraw the

case against the appellant Manjit Singh and the said Prem Kumar and Narain

Datt  but  the  prayer  was  declined  by  the  Trial  Court  by  its  order  dated

09.11.2002; and the attempts to challenge this order of the Trial Court also

failed right upto this Court. In such a position, where the opinion stated in the

investigation result qua these persons stood overruled by the judicial order, it

had been absolutely unwarranted that such an overruled opinion was sought

to be relied upon by way of the testimony of DW-5. Even if this opinion and

whatever stated in the report sent by this witness [Ex. DA] are taken on their

face value, nothing whatsoever turns upon them.  



11.3. The testimony of three other witnesses [DW- 10, DW-11 and DW-13]

examined by the defence in relation to the plea of alibi of the accused Prem

Kumar and Narain Datt is not relevant for the present purpose.  

Plea of alibi of the appellant Manjit Singh  

12. The main plank of  the contentions on behalf  of  the appellant Manjit

Singh is that he was not present at  the scene of  crime i.e.,  within Barnala

Court  Complex on 03.03.2001 at  11.15 a.m.;  and in  fact,  he was with  the

witness DW-9 at village Dhaner on the relevant date at 11.30 a.m. The Trial

Court,  after  thorough  appreciation  of  entire  record  has  rejected  this

suggestion.  The  High  Court  has  also  observed  that  there  was  no  reliable

evidence on record to accept this plea of alibi. Having examined the record,

we are satisfied that the Trial Court and the High Court have rightly rejected

such a baseless plea after proper appreciation of the evidence on record.

12.1  There are two fundamental, and rather fatal, shortcomings in the plea

of alibi of the appellant Manjit Singh: First, that such a plea was not even put in

suggestion to the relevant  prosecution witnesses including the injured eye-

witnesses PW-5 and PW-6. Secondly, and significantly, in his own statement

under  Section  313  CrPC,  the  appellant  Manjit  Singh,  even  while  making

elaborate assertions that he was falsely implicated for having stood against the

complainant party in relation to the said rape and murder case of the daughter



of Darshan Singh; and while also relying upon the earlier police report where

he  was  sought  to  be  exonerated  and  earlier  attempt  on  the  part  of  the

prosecution to withdraw the case against him, not even remotely stated that he

was not present at  the site and that,  at  the relevant point  of  time, he was

present  somewhere  else.  The relevant  part  of  the  statement  made by the

appellant Manjit Singh under Section 313 CrPC is reproduced as under: -

"Q.19. Anything else to say? Ans. I  am  innocent.   An  enquiry  in  this  regard  was conducted by the SHO/PS kotwali,  Barnala and other high officers  of  the police and they all  agreed that  the present case has falsely been got registered against me and I was placed in Column No.2.   The Addl.  P.P.  for  the State had moved an application U/s 321 Cr.P.C. for withdrawal of the case against me as the said case has been falsely registered against me but Sh. S. S. Gupta, the learned Addl. Sessions Judge,  Barnala,  dismissed the same and against  the said order the State has filed an appeal in the Hon’ble High Court which is still pending there and the proceedings have been stayed.

The  complainant  party  is  the  biggest  landlord  party,  of Mehal Kalan town, where a police station is also there.  They had murdered a girl namely KK* after raping her. Said KK* was the daughter of Darshan Singh, who was a handicapped Teacher and was a poor person.  I was the eye witness in the said case and was also cited as a defence witness by the complainant party but he did not depose according to them and had spoken the truth as such, the complainant party got annoyed against him. I and Prem kumar and Narain Dutt had been pursuing the case of said KK*, who was not having any heir and in that case some persons of the complainant party were sentenced to life imprisonment. The complainant party being  the  big  landlords  have  got  the  present  false  case registered against us.  There was not need to catch hold an old person aged about 80 years.  As per the Doctor he would have fallen on receipt of one injury only being of old age and weak physique.  There was no need of catching hold him by two persons.  We have no friendship or enmity with the other accused. I am innocent and have been falsely implicated in



the present case, by the complainant party on the strength of much money and land.  I am having separate residence than the other four accused and of separate occupation.”  

12.2. In defence evidence, DW-2 Sukhwinder Singh was examined to testify

that  DW-3  Jora  Singh  was  posted  as  driver  on  the  vehicle  in  which,  the

undertrials were brought to the Barnala Court  Complex. The witness DW-3

stated that on 03.03.2001, he was deputed as driver on the said vehicle; that

about 11 a.m., he heard commotion and reached the spot where 4/5 persons

were causing injuries to 4/5 persons; and that the accused Narain Datt, Prem

Kumar and Manjit Singh were known to him and they were not present on the

spot.   DW-6  Amarjit  Singh  stated  that  he  was  also  on  duty  in  the  Court

Complex Barnala; that there was a fight between the parties whereupon, he

separated the parties and collected the kripans; that the accused Manjit Singh,

Prem Kumar  and Narain  were  known to  him and these persons  were  not

present  on  the  spot  where  the  fight  took  place.  DW-4  Gurcharan  Singh

Dhaliwal,  Advocate,  claiming  himself  to  be  an  eye-witness  stated  that  3/4

persons caused injuries to 3/4 persons; and that he had not seen the accused

Prem Kumar, Narain Datt and Manjit Singh causing injuries to the victims. DW-

8 J.N. Sharma, Advocate stated that a letter of appreciation on the role of the

Constable Amarjeet Singh was sent to the SSP Barnala from the Bar but he

did not verify the correctness of the incident.

12.3. As regards plea of alibi of the appellant Manjit Singh, the direct witness

examined in the matter had been DW-9 Kulwant Singh, said to be a member



of the Panchayat.  This witness stated that on 03.03.2001, at 11.30 a.m., the

appellant Manjit Singh came to his house in village Dhaner along with a lady

member regarding the level of a street, and he had gone with them to the

spot.  According to the witness, the appellant Manjit Singh was not perplexed

at that time.  This witness expressed ignorance if on 03.03.2001, Manjit Singh

had appeared in a case pending in the Court of JMFC Barnala.  This witness

did  not  make  any  application  to  the  Panchayat  or  to  the  higher  authority

regarding  the  alleged  false  implication  of  the  appellant  Manjit  Singh.  The

conduct of this witness DW-9 and most of the other witnesses examined in

defence in relation to the plea of alibi, to say the very least, had been queer

and too unnatural to inspire any confidence.  

12.4 The witnesses DW-3 Jora Singh and DW-6 Amarjit Singh were admittedly

serving  in  police  establishment  as  Head  Constable  and  Constable

respectively. From their testimony, this much is apparent that an occurrence

indeed took place on the given date, at the given time, and at the specified

place i.e., the Court Complex Barnala. They allegedly intervened in the fight

between two factions. It  sounds rather strange that despite being the eye-

witnesses to the incident and being the police personnel themselves, neither

they took care to report the matter to the police station immediately nor the IO

could  take  their  statements  and  cite  them  as  prosecution  witnesses.  The

conduct  of  DW-4  Gurcharan  Singh  Dhaliwal,  Advocate  had  been  equally

unnatural.  If  he was the eye-witness to the incident in the Court  Complex,

there was no reason that being a law professional, he would not have reported



the matter  or  would  not  have been examined by the IO.  Curiously,  DW-4

attempted to suggest that 3/4 persons caused injuries to 3/4 persons while

DW-6  stated  that  4/5  persons  were  causing  injuries  to  4/5  persons.  This

discrepancy in the number of persons involved is not without significance. The

intention of DW-4 had clearly been to tone down the gravity of offence and to

avoid the figure of “5” so as to take the case away from Section 149 IPC. In

any case, mere suggestion in the negative by these persons that they did not

see the three accused persons Manjit Singh, Prem Kumar and Narain Datt on

the spot does not displace the cogent and trustworthy evidence adduced by

the prosecution. The Trial Court and High Court have rightly discarded these

witnesses as being wholly unreliable.  

12.5. In the given set of facts and circumstances, where the plea of alibi was

not put in suggestion to the relevant prosecution witnesses; and, in his own

statement under Section 313 CrPC, the appellant Manjit Singh, did not state

that he was not present at the site at the relevant point of time and he was

present  somewhere  else,  this  plea  could  only  be  rejected  as  a  crude

afterthought and nothing else. In the given circumstances, the witness DW-9,

Kulwant Singh could only be said to be a made-up witness, who was lately

introduced to  somehow make out  a  case of  the presence of  the appellant

Manjit Singh at a different place at the relevant point of time. Such a witness

could not have been accepted for want of the basis of such a plea by way of

cross-examination  of  the  prosecution witnesses as  also by  way of  specific

assertion  in  the  plea  of  the  appellant  Manjit  Singh in  his  statement  under



Section 313 CrPC. Apart that there is no supporting material in relation to the

assertion  so  made  by  this  witness,  it  is  also  noteworthy  that  when  the

appellant was keenly pursuing the said rape and murder case of the village girl

and the matter was fixed in the Court on 03.03.2001, there was every reason

for him  to be present in the Court Complex where the hearing was to take

place. Viewed from any angle, the plea of alibi, as put forward by the appellant

Manjit Singh, remains hollow and could only be rejected.

Other contentions

13. The other contention on behalf of the appellant Manjit Singh that his

connectivity with the crime is not established for want of recovery of weapon of

offence has only been noted to be rejected. As noticed, the IO in the first place

did  make  recoveries  on  the  disclosure  statements  of  other  four  accused

persons. As regards the appellant Manjit Singh, the IO chose to proceed in the

direction that he was innocent and was falsely implicated. That seems to be

the fundamental reason for the IO not making any attempt for recovery of the

weapon of offence used by the appellant Manjit Singh. However, this omission

has no adverse bearing on the prosecution case, where involvement of the

appellant Manjit Singh rather as the leader of the assembly, who started the

assault  with  exhortation  and  then  participated  in  the  assault,  stands

established beyond doubt.  

13.1. Further, there is hardly any force in the suggestion that the appellant

Manjit  Singh was falsely implicated for enmity.  In the circumstances of  this



case, if anything of so-called enmity is to be taken into consideration, the same

equally operates against the appellant and his companions, as admittedly, the

appellant was keenly pursuing the aforesaid case of rape and murder and the

complainant party was comprising of the persons related with the accused in

the said case. The factor of enmity would only lend support to the prosecution

case towards the object and motive of the assembly to attack, assault  and

cause hurt to the members of the complainant party.

13.2. Likewise,  the  submission  about  want  of  independent  witnesses  in

support of prosecution case is also baseless. There is no rule that in every

criminal  case,  the testimony of  an injured eye-witness needs corroboration

from the so-called independent witness(es).  When the statement of  injured

eye-witness  is  found trustworthy  and reliable,  the  conviction  on  that  basis

could  always  be  recorded,  of  course,  having  regard  to  all  the  facts  and

surrounding factors. In the present case, the reliable evidence of the injured

eye-witnesses cannot be discarded merely for the reason that no independent

witness was examined.  

Unlawful assembly and rioting with deadly weapons

14. It has been vehemently argued on behalf of both the appellants that the

essential ingredients of Section 141 IPC for the formation of unlawful assembly

with the common object  having not been established,  the conviction of  the

appellants with the aid of Section 149 IPC is not justified.   



14.1. The relevant part of Section 141 IPC could be usefully extracted as


“141. Unlawful assembly.- An assembly of five or more persons  to  designated  an  “unlawful  assembly”,  if  the common object of the persons composing that assembly is-

xxx xxx xxx

Third.-  To commit  any mischief  or criminal  trespass, or other offence; or

xxx xxx xxx

Explanation.- An assembly which was not unlawful when it  assembled,  may  subsequently  become  an  unlawful assembly.”

14.2. Section 149, rendering every member of unlawful assembly guilty of

offence committed in prosecution of common object reads as under:-

“149.  Every  member  of  unlawful  assembly  guilty  of offence committed in prosecution of common object.-  If an  offence  is  committed  by  any  member  of  an  unlawful assembly  in  prosecution  of  the  common  object  of  that assembly, or such as the members of that assembly knew to be likely to be committed in prosecution of that object, every person who, at the time of the committing of that offence, is a member of the same assembly, is guilty of that offence.”

14.3. We may also take note of the principles enunciated and explained by

this  Court  as  regards  the  ingredients  of  an  unlawful  assembly  and  the

vicarious/constructive liability of every member of such an assembly.  In the

case of Sikander Singh (supra), this Court observed as under:-

“15. The provision has essentially two ingredients viz. (i) the commission of an offence by any member of an unlawful assembly,  and  (ii)  such  offence  must  be  committed  in



prosecution of the common object of the assembly or must be such as the members of that assembly knew to be likely to be committed in prosecution of the common object. Once it  is  established  that  the  unlawful  assembly  had  common object,  it  is  not  necessary  that  all  persons  forming  the unlawful assembly must be shown to have committed some overt act. For the purpose of incurring the vicarious liability for  the  offence  committed  by  a  member  of  such  unlawful assembly under the provision, the liability of other members of the unlawful  assembly for the offence committed during the  continuance  of  the  occurrence,  rests  upon  the  fact whether  the  other  members  knew  beforehand  that  the offence  actually  committed  was  likely  to  be  committed  in prosecution of the common object.

*** *** ***

17.  A “common object” does not require a prior concert and a common meeting of minds before the attack. It is enough if each member of the unlawful assembly has the same object in view and their number is five or more and that they act as an assembly to achieve that object. The “common object” of an assembly is to be ascertained from the acts and language of the members composing it, and from a consideration of all the surrounding circumstances. It may be gathered from the course of conduct adopted by the members of the assembly. For  determination  of  the  common  object  of  the  unlawful assembly,  the  conduct  of  each  of  the  members  of  the unlawful  assembly,  before  and  at  the  time  of  attack  and thereafter, the motive for the crime, are some of the relevant considerations.  What  the  common  object  of  the  unlawful assembly is at a particular stage of the incident is essentially a  question  of  fact  to  be  determined,  keeping  in  view  the nature of the assembly, the arms carried by the members, and the behaviour of the members at or near the scene of the incident. It is not necessary under law that in all cases of unlawful  assembly,  with  an  unlawful  common  object,  the same must be translated into action or be successful.

18. In  Masalti  v.  State  of  U.P.:  AIR  1965  SC  202  a Constitution Bench of this Court had observed that: (AIR p. 211, para 17)

“17. …  Section 149 makes it  clear that if  an offence is committed  by  any  member  of  an  unlawful  assembly  in prosecution of the common object of that assembly, or such



as the members of  that  assembly knew to be likely  to be committed in prosecution of that object, every person who, at the time of the committing of that offence, is a member of the same  assembly,  is  guilty  of  that  offence;  and  that emphatically  brings  out  the  principle  that  the  punishment prescribed by Section 149 is in a sense vicarious and does not always proceed on the basis that the offence has been actually  committed  by  every  member  of  the  unlawful assembly.”

14.4. In the case of  Subal Ghoral (supra),  this  Court,  after a survey of

leading cases, summed up the principles as follows:-

“52. The above judgments outline the scope of Section 149 IPC. We need to sum up the principles so as to examine the  present  case  in  their  light.  Section  141  IPC  defines unlawful  assembly  to  be  an  assembly  of  five  or  more persons.  They  must  have  common  object  to  commit  an offence.  Section  142  IPC  postulates  that  whoever  being aware of facts which render any assembly an unlawful one intentionally  joins  the  same  would  be  a  member  thereof. Section 143 IPC provides for punishment for being a member of  unlawful  assembly.  Section  149  IPC  provides  for constructive liability of every person of an unlawful assembly if  an  offence  is  committed  by  any  member  thereof  in prosecution of the common object of that assembly or such of the members of that assembly who knew to be likely to be committed in prosecution of that object. The most important ingredient of unlawful assembly is common object. Common object of the persons composing that assembly is to do any act  or  acts  stated  in  clauses  “First”,  “Second”,  “Third”, “Fourth” and “Fifth” of that section. Common object can be formed  on  the  spur  of  the  moment.  Course  of  conduct adopted by the members of common assembly is a relevant factor.  At  what  point  of  time  common  object  of  unlawful assembly  was  formed  would  depend  upon  the  facts  and circumstances of each case. Once the case of the person falls within the ingredients of Section 149 IPC, the question that he did nothing with his own hands would be immaterial. If  an  offence  is  committed  by  a  member  of  the  unlawful assembly in prosecution of the common object, any member of  the unlawful  assembly  who was  present  at  the time of commission of offence and who shared the common object of that assembly would be liable for the commission of that



offence even if no overt act was committed by him. If a large crowd  of  persons  armed  with  weapons  assaults  intended victims, all may not take part in the actual assault. If weapons carried  by  some members  were  not  used,  that  would  not absolve them of liability for the offence with the aid of Section 149  IPC  if  they  shared  common  object  of  the  unlawful assembly. 53. But this concept of constructive liability must not be so  stretched  as  to  lead  to  false  implication  of  innocent bystanders.  Quite  often,  people  gather  at  the  scene  of offence out of curiosity. They do not share common object of the  unlawful  assembly.  If  a  general  allegation  is  made against large number of people, the court has to be cautious. It  must  guard  against  the  possibility  of  convicting  mere passive onlookers who did not share the common object of the unlawful assembly. Unless reasonable direct or indirect circumstances lend assurance to the prosecution case that they shared common object of the unlawful assembly, they cannot be convicted with the aid of Section 149 IPC. It must be proved in each case that the person concerned was not only a member of the unlawful assembly at some stage, but at all the crucial stages and shared the common object of the assembly at all stages. The court must have before it some materials  to  form  an  opinion  that  the  accused  shared common object.  What  the  common object  of  the  unlawful assembly  is  at  a  particular  stage  has  to  be  determined keeping in view the course of conduct of the members of the unlawful  assembly  before  and  at  the  time  of  attack,  their behaviour at or near the scene of offence, the motive for the crime,  the  arms  carried  by  them and  such  other  relevant considerations. The criminal court has to conduct this difficult and  meticulous  exercise  of  assessing  evidence  to  avoid roping  innocent  people  in  the  crime.  These principles  laid down by this Court do not dilute the concept of constructive liability. They embody a rule of caution.”

14.5. We need not expand on the other cited decisions because the basic

principles remain that  the important ingredients of an unlawful assembly are

the number of persons forming it i.e., five; and their common object. Common

object of the persons composing that assembly could be formed on the spur of



the moment and does not require prior deliberations. The course of conduct

adopted by the members of such assembly; their behaviour before, during,

and after the incident;  and the arms carried by them are a few basic and

relevant factors to determine the common object.  

14.6. The facts of the present case, as established by the prosecution, makes

it clear that on the relevant date i.e., 03.03.2001 and at the relevant time i.e.,

11.15  a.m.,  at  least  five  of  the  accused  persons,  including  the  present

appellants were present at the Barnala Court Complex.  The members of the

complainant party purportedly came to the very same Court Complex to attend

the hearing of the aforesaid rape and murder case of the village girl in which,

their kiths and relatives were the accused persons and the case was being

pursued by the appellant Manjit  Singh. It  is also established that when the

persons related with the complainant party were about to board their vehicle,

the accused persons attacked them with weapons.  Significantly, the attack on

the complainant party was triggered with exhortation by the appellant Manjit

Singh to avenge the rape and murder of the village girl in the expressions “Aj

Eh Bach Ke Naa Jaan KK* Da Badla Lai Kay Rahenge”6. This clearly brings

out the motive for the attack as also the object of the assembly. Moreover, the

blows hurled by the accused persons on the members of  the complainant

party had been of wide range, sufficient force and chosen aims. The appellant

Manjit Singh himself had given two blows to the witness PW-5 on either of his

hands.  Labh  Singh  gave  kirpan blow  on  the  head  of  Beant  Singh.  The

6 That would translate nearly as: “Let them not escape today; KK* shall be avenged.”



appellant Sukhwinder Singh aimed the first blow on Dalip Singh but hit the

right hand of the victim. The appellant Sukhvinder Singh caused yet another

injury to PW-6 Gurnam Singh by the handle of his  kirpan. These were apart

from the repeated blows by the accused Bakhtaur Singh on the head of the

deceased Dalip Singh with his  ghop and then three blows to PW-6 Gurnam

Singh. That apart, Bakhtaur Singh also gave the blow of his kirpan on the left

leg of Gurnam Singh.  It is beyond the pale of doubt that the accused persons

had acted in concert and the object had clearly been to ensure causalities

amongst the members of the complainant party. On the applicable principles,

we have no hesitation in concluding that the accused persons did constitute

an unlawful assembly; did indulge in rioting in the Court Complex with deadly

weapons;  and  did  cause  grievous  bodily  injuries  to  members  of  the

complainant party. The deceased Dalip Singh was attacked rather repeatedly

by the members of this unlawful assembly and he sustained grievous injury on

the head that proved fatal. The background aspects as also the conduct of the

accused persons at and during the incident leaves nothing to doubt that each

of the member of this assembly remains liable for the offence committed by

himself as also by every other member of the assembly.  

15. Before concluding, we may point out that in the case of  Govind Singh

(supra), as relied upon by the learned counsel for the appellant Sukhwinder

Singh, the incident occurred in the sudden quarrel  and in spur of  moment

where the appellant picked up chimney lamp and threw it on his daughter who

died  because  of  burn  injuries  sustained  in  the  incident.  In  the  given  fact



situation,  this  Court  converted the conviction from Section 302 IPC to that

under Section 304 Part-II IPC and reduced the sentence of imprisonment to

the period already undergone. We are unable to find any applicability of this

decision to the facts of the present case.  


16. Accordingly,  and  in  view  of  the  above,  these  appeals  fail  and  are,

therefore,  dismissed.  The  appellants  shall  surrender  before  the  Court

concerned within a period of four weeks from today and shall serve out the

remaining part of their respective sentence(s).

...............................................J.                                      (A.M. KHANWILKAR)

      ..............................................J.                 (DINESH MAHESHWARI)

New Delhi, Date: 3rd September, 2019.