25 March 1970
Supreme Court


Case number: Appeal (crl.) 97 of 1968






DATE OF JUDGMENT: 25/03/1970


CITATION:  1971 AIR 1656            1971 SCR  (1) 133  1970 SCC  (2) 101

ACT: Code   of   Criminal  Procedure  (Act   5   of   1898)--High Court--Recording of reasons in appeals. First  Information Report--Written on plain paper, and  then copied into register--Propriety.

HEADNOTE: The first information report in a murder case was written on a piece of paper, and was copied into the register for first information  reports.   The  Sessions  Judge  convicted  the appellant on the evidence, even though the first information report was not recorded in the prescribed form.  His  appeal to the High Court was summarily dismissed although the  High Court  recorded  a brief note of the  arguments  which  were raised  before  it  and  the  replies  to  those   arguments repelling them.  Dismissing the appeal, this Court HELD  : The High Court need not have recorded reasons if  it was satisfied that the case was one for dismissal but if  it thought  that  it  had to go into the evidence  and  had  to discuss  it,  the proper course would have been to  set  the case  down  for a proper bearing and to  give  a  considered judgment  in  the case.  The first  information  report  was properly  written.   Several first information  reports  are recorded on plain pieces of paper and then transcribed  into the first information report register.  In fact if a written report  is  brought, it is verbatim copied  into  the  first information report register.  In this case there was no time to  bring a false case against the appellant and to let  the real assailant escape. [134 C; 135 E-F] On the evidence, the appellant was rightly convicted.

JUDGMENT: CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Criminal Appeal.  No.97  of 1968. Appeal  by special leave from the judgment and  order  dated April  24, 1967 of the Bombay High Court in Criminal  Appeal No. 317 of 1967. R.  M.  Hazarnavis, K. L. Hathi and P. C.  Kapoor,  for  the appellant.



M. S. K. Sastri and S. P. Nayar, for the respondent, The Judgment of the Court was delivered by Hidayatullah  C.J.-This is an appeal by Narayan  Nathu  Naik who was tried by the Sessions Judge, Thana for the murder of one Rattan on the night following 18th March, 1966 at  about midnight.   He was convicted by the Sessions Judge under  S. 302. 134 of  the  Indian  Penal code and  sentenced  to  imprisonment for  .life.   His  appeal to the High  Court  was  summarily dismissed .although the High Court recorded a brief note  of the arguments which were raised before it and the replies to those  arguments  repelling them.  It is contended  in  this case that the appellant was entitled to at least one  appeal and  that  his  first  appeal  should  have  been   properly considered  in the High Court and the judgment of  the  High Court,, which according to the .learned counsel, reads  like a dialogue between the court and counsel, is no judgment  at all.  It appears that special leave was probably granted  in this  case,  because of the unsatisfactory manner  in  which reasons  were  recorded.   The High  Court  need  .not  have recorded reasons if it was satisfied that the case was  ,one for dismissal but if it thought that it had to go into the . evidence and to discus it, the proper course would have been to set the case down for a proper hearing and to give a con- sidered judgment in the case.  We have considered this  case on  the  evidence brought against the appellant and  we  are satisfied  that the appeal must fail.  We give  our  reasons briefly. There is some evidence that the appellant Narayan Nathu Naik and  the  deceased Rattan had some  quarrel  over  property. This, it is contended, was somewhat old and not very serious and  that nothing untoward had happened, for  the  appellant to  .have suddenly embarked upon the murder of  rattan.   We need not consider the question of motive in this case if  we are ,satisfied that the evidence that Narayan Nathu Naik was the  assailant  of  Rattan,  is  acceptable.   The   Medical evidence  showed that Rattan died of a single  injury  which was a stab wound through the heart.  The left ventricle  was cut and the heart was drained of all blood.  The pericardium had  also a tear but on its upper reach and the evidence  of the  doctor  who  performed  the  autopsy  shows  that   the pericardium was full of blood.  The clothes of the  deceased were  also profusely stained but no blood was  found  inside the  house where the deceased was first sleeping,  but  some blood was found at the Ota where the dead body was found but the source of the blood could not be identified.  From  this the learned counsel raised the contention that the scene  of offence was probably not what the prosecution case described and  his contention is wound up with the rest of  the  story given  by the eye witnesses particularly the wife who  named the  appellant as one of the assailants.  Therefore we  must turn to that story. On the day in question, the deceased Rattan had gone to make some  purchases.   At  night he had not  returned  when  the family took their meals and lay down to sleep.  In the house at  that  time  were  Rattan’s  mother,  Rattan’s  wife  and Rattan’s 135 ’brother.  There were three students who had .,come to  this house   and   were  staying  to  appear  at   the   S.S.L.C. examination.  The family distributed themselves as  follows. Inside  the house Rattan’s wife lay down on the ground on  a bed with her infant child.  The bed for Rattan was made on a swing  nearby.   A lantern was burning and the door  of  the



house  was  open.  Rattan returned at about 10 P.M.  in  the night.  As food had been taken by the rest of the family,  a portion  was set apart for Rattan.  According to  his  wife, Vimalabai, he took his meals without waking her up and after he  had  washed his hands, he threw some water on  her  face which woke her up.  He then lay down on the swing to  sleep. Vimalabai  says  that  she  also  lay  down  to  sleep   and presumably  she must have slept, because she says  that  she was  woken up in the middle of the night by shouts from  her husband.  Vimalabai’s evidence is that when she woke up, she found  that  her husband was in the grip  of  the  appellant Narayan  Nathu  Naik  at the door near  the  ota.   Rattan’s brother Kamlakar who had also been awakened by the shouts of the  deceased  also  arrived there, but  the  appellant  had stabbed Rattan.  Kamlakar caught hold of the appellant  from behind around his waist, but when Rattan fell on the  ground the  appellant broke loose and ran away.  On their  shouting and  wailing,  Jairam the uncle of Rattan (P.W.1.)  and  two other  brothers  of  Rattan came on the  scene.   They  were living at a distance of about 1-1/2 furlongs from the  house of  Rattan.   Rattan is said to have spoken  to  his  mother before  he  died  that it was Narayan  Nathu  Naik  who  had attacked  him.   The evidence is that it was  Narayan  Nathu Naik  and  this is brone out by the statements  of  Kamlakar (P.W.3),  Manibai  (P.W.4)  and Vimlabai  (P.W.5).  The  two students  who were also witnesses in the case made a  state- ment  before  the police involving Narayan Nathu  Naik,  but they  later changed in the court and were  declared  hostile and  cross-examined.   We  shall refer  hereafter  to  their testimony  in so far as they have admitted facts in  support of the prosecution case. The  story  therefore  is  of an attack  in  the  middle  of the  .night upon Rattan by the appellant at the door of  his hut.   The incident is said to have been witnessed by  three persons  whom we have mentioned and who are close  relations of the deceased.  The argument is that the evidence of these witnesses  should not be accepted because of their  interest in  Rattan  and also because of  certain  contradictions  in their testimony. Apart  from  the fact that the High Court and the  Court  of Session  have accepted their testimony and this  Court  does not  go into evidence for the third time, we have  read  the evidence 136 of these witnesses and we have thoroughly checked it and  we are  satisfied that what has been stated by these  witnesses is the true version of what happened on that fateful  night. The story is a simple one, of an attack in the middle of the night  by an ,assailant who was not only grappled  with  but was  seen  and identified in the light.  The  witnesses  who have resiled have also stated that die occurrence took place at  the  door of the cottage.  They have  also  stated  that there  was  sufficient light for them to see  although  they changed  that they did not see the assailant nor heard  what the  victim stated to his mother about the appellant  having assaulted him.  This version comes from the witnesses who no doubt are interested, but they are not interested enough  to let  the  real  assailant escape and  charge  someone  else. Report of this case was made almost immediately and in  fact the  police arrived within a couple of hours and the  state- ments  were  recorded the very next morning.  There  was  no time  available  to concoct a false case with  such  details against the appellant. It was argued that the first information report was not pro- perly recorded in the prescribed form but was writen down on



a  piece  of paper and it was copied into the  register  for first  information reports.  At first it was suggested  that the  first  information report in the printed form  was  not produced  in the case, but we find that it was  so  produced and that the Sub-Inspector stated that he had copied it from a  plain  paper.  In our experience, we  have  seen  several first information reports recorded on plain pieces of  paper and  then  transcribed  into the  first  information  report register.   In  fact if a written report is brought,  it  is verbatim copied into the first information report  register. There  is  no doubt that this was the first version  of  the incident  given  out by P.W. 1 Jairam when he  went  to  the police station house to report about the occurrence.   There was no time to bring a false case against the appellant  and to  let  the real assailant escape.  On the  whole,  we  are satisfied  that  the  evidence  of  the  eye  witnesses   is believable. The  witnesses  who resiled were the two students  who  were present  at  the house for the purpose of  appearing  at  an examination.  They have answered a number of questions which clearly  corroborate  the evidence of the  other  witnesses. For example, P.W. 7-Chintaman Gangaram Kulkarni stated  that the  light of some lamp was coming outside the door  of  the house  and that when Kamlakar caught hold of  the  assailant Rattan fell down on the ground near the door of the Ota.  He also  stated  that Rattan’s mother went  inside  the  house, brought water, tried to give water to Rattan, but he did not drink.  He also stated 137 that  after hearing the cries,, Rattan’s uncles, his  sister and her husband came there.  He admitted that Kamlakar  told his uncle what had happened, he did not hear it.  He admited that  it was true also that thereafter one of the uncles  of the  deceased Rattan. went to the police station to  make  a report.   The  other  witness (P.W. 10)  also  stated  quite clearly  that at about 3 or 4 A.M. the police came  to  the, house  and  that his statement and those of  two  companions were recorded by the police at 7 A.M. the next morning.   He also  admited that they all woke up when they heard the  cry in the middle of the night and that Rattan’s, wife had  also awakened  and  she had stood in the door of the  house.   He admitted  that  the light was burning in the house  and  the door  of the house was open and that the light of the  lamp. had spread over the ota of the house through the open door.. He also admitted that Rattan’s mother brought water from the house and poured in into the mouth of Rattan but he did  not drink and all the inmates were crying aloud with the  result that  Rattan’s  uncle  Jairam, his  two  brothers,  Rattan’s sister  and  her husband came there  immediately  after  the crime.  Jairam made enquiries with Kamalakar and Naibai  how it  had happened and that Kamlakar told something to  Jairam but he said that he did not hear it.  All this  corroborates the  evidence of the, three eye witnesses except as  to  the identity  of the appellant.  We accept the evidence  of  the eye-witnesses. The  medical  evidence was used to challenge  the  scene  of offence on the ground that there were no blood marks  found, but,  in our opinion, the man might bleed  internally  after receiving,  stab  wound in the heart.   The  witnesses  have stated  that Rattan was stabbed on the spot where  the  body was  found  after the occurrence took place.  Blood  was  in fact found at the spot but the source of the blood could not be  ascertained  There is no, reason to think  that  it  was blood  of some animal.  On the whole we are  satisfied  that this case was proved satisfactorily.- The appeal. therefore,



fails and is dismissed. Y.P.                           Appeal dismissed’. 11sup.CI-10 138