Crl. Appeals No. 113 & 124-DB of 2001 [ 1 ] IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB & HARYANA, CHANDIGARH Crl. Appeal No. 113-DB of 2001 Date of Decision: Nov.28,2009 Inder and another.................................................... Appellants Versus The State of Haryana............................................ Respondent And Crl. Appeal No.124-DB of 2001 Rajinder @ Raj Singh ........................................... Appellant Versus State of Haryana .................................................... Respondent Coram: Hon'ble Mr.Justice Ashutosh Mohunta Hon'ble Mr. Justice Jitendra Chauhan Present: Mr. Vinod Ghai, Advocate with Mr. B.S.Saroha, Advocate and Mr. Sunny Saggar, Advocate for the appellants. Mr. S.S.Goripuria, DAG, Haryana assisted by Mr. Ajay Pal Singh, Gill, Advocate for Mr. Bijender Dhankar, Advocate ... ASHUTOSH MOHUNTA, J.
Appellants Inder son of Raghubir and Mukesh Kumar son of
Ram Kishan have filed Criminal Appeal No. 113-DB of 2001 and appellant
Rajinder @ Raj Singh has filed Criminal Appeal No. 124-DB of 2001
challenging the judgments of conviction dated 6.2.2001and the order of
sentence dated 9.2.2001 passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Sonepat,
Crl. Appeals No. 113 & 124-DB of 2001 [ 2 ]
vide which they have been convicted under Section 302 read with Section
34 IPC and have been sentenced to undergo life imprisonment and to pay a
fine of Rs.10,000/- each and in default of payment of fine, to further
undergo rigorous imprisonment for one year.
The instant case was registered on the statement made by the
complainant Ranjit Singh son of Siri Chand to the police. In his statement
(Ex.PB/2), he stated that he was employed as a Gangman with Gang No.12
of Railway Department and he has been working as a Gateman at Gate
No.39-C existing between Railway Station Bhodwal Majari and Ganaur. It
was further stated by him that on 23.7.1999 he had reported for his duty at
about 8:00A.M. which was upto 8:00 P.M. His brother Siri Ram came to
meet him. Siri Ram was in custody for the last one year in a case pertaining
to the murder of Zile Singh son of Chandgi Ram resident of their village and
had been released on bail. Siri Ram had first visited his brother at his house
along with his friend from Sonepat but there he came to know that his
brother Ranjit Singh was on duty at the Railway Gate and so Siri Ram came
to the Railway Gate No.39-C on the railway line along with his friend
Pawan Kumar on a scooter. On reaching the Gate at 5 P.M. on 23.7.1999,
Siri Ram told the complainant Ranjit Singh that police was investigating the
case regarding abduction of his daughter Sushma by Raj Singh son of Zile
Singh, Mukesh son of Ram Kishan, and Karambir son of Lakhmi Chand on
an application moved by him. In the meantime, Raj Singh and Krishan sons
of Zile Singh, Mukesh son of Ram Kishan and Inder son of Raghbir resident
of village Jhanjhara were seen coming from the railway track from the
village side. The complainant asked his brother Siri Ram and his companion
to run away from there. As soon as they started their scooter in order to run
Crl. Appeals No. 113 & 124-DB of 2001 [ 3 ]
away, all the aforementioned four persons reached there. Raj Singh son of
Zile Singh was armed with an axe whereas all the other persons were
unarmed. In the meantime, Mukesh and Inder caught hold of Siri Ram and
pushed Pawan Kumar, who was on the driving seat of the scooter.
Resultantly, the scooter fell down and at once Raj Singh inflicted 2-3 axe
blows on the neck of Siri Ram as a result of which Siri Ram died at the spot.
All the accused persons fled away and while going, they threatened the
complainant that in case, he would depose against them then he would also
be killed. The statement was made by the complainant Ranjit (PW-17),
brother of the deceased at 8:05 P.M. which was recorded by ASI Mehtab
Singh (PW-13). On the basis of the aforementioned statement, formal FIR
(Ex.PB/2) was recorded at Police Station GRP Sonepat.
ASI Mehtab Singh prepared the rough site plan of the place of
occurrence. The scooter was taken into custody by him vide Memo Ex.PL
which was duly attested by the witnesses. Thereafter, information was sent
to Daya Nand SI/SHO G.R.P. Sonepat who also reached the place of
occurrence. Inquest Report (Ex.PJ) was prepared. The blood stained earth
and grass was taken into possession vide memo and after preparing their
parcel it were sealed with seal DNS. Photographs of the dead body were
also taken. The dead body was sent for post-mortem examination along with
the request Ex.PN/1.
Doctor Adarsh Sharma, Medical Officer, Civil Hospital,
Sonepat (PW-16) conducted the post-mortem on the dead body of the
deceased on 24.7.1999 and found the following injuries on the person of the
“1. Incised wound on left side of face and head 18 x 2 cms in
Crl. Appeals No. 113 & 124-DB of 2001 [ 4 ]
size. beginning from left cheek going superiorly and
longitudely in front of the left ear upto left parietal area of
scalp. Clotted blood was present. Wound was bone deep
underlying bones of scalp and left maxillary and left mandible
2. Incised wound on right side of fact at right remus of
mandible 10 x 3 cms in size transversely placed starting from
midline in chin going laterally towards right cheek and going
upto in front of right ear. Wound was bone deep and clotted
blood was present. Underlying mandible bone fractured.
3. Incised wound 8 x 4 cms in size on right side of neck
horyzontly placed. Semi-clotted blood was there. Wound was in
continuation of injury No.2. Underlying neck muscles carotid
artery and nerves and other blood vessels were cut, even cutting
the trachea oesophagus and spinal cord and cervical spine.
4. Lacerated wound 4 x 2 cms in size muscle deep with clotted
blood was present on apex of right shoulder.
5. Incised wound 3 x 1 cms skin deep on right upper arm on
lateral side in upper 1/3rd Clotted blood was present. Wound
6. Incised wound on left side of neck in left trapezius area. 6 x
4 cms size 4 cms in depth. Clotted blood was present.
Underlying muscles were cut. There was no bony injury.”
In the opinion of the Doctor, the cause of death was shock and
haemorrhage as a result of aforementioned injuries. All the injuries were
ante mortem in nature and were sufficient to cause death in normal course of
Crl. Appeals No. 113 & 124-DB of 2001 [ 5 ]
life. Doctor Adarsh Sharma further opined that injury Nos. 1 to 3, 5 and 6
were caused by a sharp edged heavy weapon and injury No.4 by a blunt
On 26.7.1999, investigation of the case was handed over to
Inspector Mohan Lal as per orders of the Superintendent of Police, Ambala.
All the accused were produced before PW-21 Mohan Lal by Sarpanch of
village Garhi Jhinjhara. During interrogation, accused Raj Singh @
Rajinder made a disclosure statement Ex.PP that he had concealed an axe
under the heap of the wheat husk in his room, of which none else was
having the knowledge and he could get the same recovered. Thereafter, he
led the police party to the place of occurrence and got the axe Ex.P5
recovered. Sketch of the axe Ex. PS was prepared. Parcel of the axe was
also prepared and sealed with seal MS and was taken into possession vide
memo Ex.PP/1 duly attested by the witnesses. Rough site plan of the place
of recovery of axe Ex.PT was also prepared.
On completion of the entire investigation, report under Section
173 Cr.P.C. was filed in the Court.
Finding a prima facie case, all the accused were charge-sheeted
for the offence punishable under Section 302 read with Section 34 IPC to
which the accused pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.
In order to prove its case, the prosecution examined as many as
21 witnesses. The complainant Ranjit, who was also an eye-witness to the
occurrence, appeared as PW-17 and deposed in detail about the manner in
which the occurrence had taken place. Another eye-witness Pawan Kumar,
who was allegedly the companion of the deceased Siri Ram, appeared as
PW12. However, this witness was declared hostile. Dr. Adarsh Sharma,
Crl. Appeals No. 113 & 124-DB of 2001 [ 6 ]
Medical Officer, Civil Hospital, Sonepat, who conducted the post-mortem
on the dead body of Siri Ram, appeared as PW-16 and ASI Mehtab Singh,
who recorded the First Information Report, appeared as PW-13. Various
other formal witnesses were also examined and thereafter the prosecution
case was closed.
The statement of the accused were recorded under Section 313
Cr. P.C. wherein all the incriminating circumstances were put to them and
they denied the prosecution allegations and stated that they have been
falsely implicated in the present case.
The trial Court after taking into consideration the entire
evidence, held that the prosecution was successful in proving the guilt of all
the accused and accordingly convicted them under Section 302/34 IPC and
sentenced them to undergo rigorous imprisonment for life.
Mr. Vinod Ghai, counsel for the appellants, has vehemently
argued that there was an inordinate delay in lodging the FIR. Learned
counsel submits that the occurrence had taken place on 23.7.1999 at about
5:00 P.M. whereas PW-13 ASI Mehtab Singh sent the Ruqa Ex.PB/1 at
8:05 P.M. which was received in the Police Station at 10:40 P.M. The
special report reached the Illaqa Magistrate at 7:00 A.M. on 24.7.1999. It is
contended that the names of the accused were introduced subsequently.
This argument raised by the counsel for the appellants is
without any merit as the occurrence had taken place at 5:00 P.M. and the
information was sent to PW-13 ASI Mehtab Singh immediately after some
time. PW-16 ASI Mehtab Singh sent the Ruqa Ex.PB/1 at 8:05 P.M. on the
basis of which formal FIR Ex.PB/2 was recorded at 10:40 P.M. It is
pertinent to mention here that the distance between the place of occurrence
Crl. Appeals No. 113 & 124-DB of 2001 [ 7 ]
and Police Station GRPS Sonepat was 20 Kms. and hence it cannot be said
that there was any delay in lodging the FIR. The names of all the accused
have been duly mentioned in the FIR.
Apart from the above, PW13 ASI Mehtab Singh had reached
the spot after receiving the information. At that time, he was at Police
Station Ganaur. It would have obviously taken some time to reach from
Ganaur to the place of occurrence and, hence, it is held that there was no
delay in lodging the FIR.
Learned counsel has further submitted that the presence of the
complainant Ranjit (PW-17) is doubtful at the place of occurrence and that
the accused Rajinder has been falsely implicated in the present case.
Learned counsel submits that PW-17 Ranjit was not present at the spot and
he was called from his house and thereafter his statement was recorded in
order to falsely implicate the accused. This argument is also without merit
as the dead body of Siri Ram was found near Gate No.39-C where Ranjit
was on duty. His duty hours were from 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. His presence
at the spot was natural. The complainant has given a detailed account of the
manner in which the accused Rajinder @ Raj Singh had inflicted axe blows
on the neck of the deceased. This witness has categorically stated that Raj
Singh gave 2-3 axe blows on the person of Siri Ram on the neck and the
temple. As a result of receiving the axe blows, Siri Ram died at the spot.
The testimony of Ranjit (PW-17) has not been shaken in any manner by the
defence. His deposition is consistent with the statement made by him before
PW-13 ASI Mehtab Singh on the basis of which FIR was recorded. The
statement of this witness is also corroborated by the evidence of Dr. Adarsh
Sharma (PW-16). Thus, in our considered opinion, we hold that the
Crl. Appeals No. 113 & 124-DB of 2001 [ 8 ]
deceased Siri Ram was murdered by the accused Rajinder @ Raj Singh.
Mr. Ghai has further argued that as far as accused Inder and
Mukesh Kumar are concerned, they had no motive to commit the crime. He
further submits that both these accused had come unarmed and did not have
any weapon. It is submitted that the accused Inder and Mukesh Kumar
caused no injury to the deceased and do not have any relationship with the
accused. Learned counsel further submits that the independent witness
Pawan Kumar, who was riding the scooter, also did not support the
prosecution. Learned counsel has further submitted that it was not possible
for the accused Rajinder to inflict injuries with an axe if Inder and Mukesh
had caught hold of the deceased. It is contended that in case Inder and
Mukesh were catching hold of the deceased then they would have come in
the way of Rajinder, who is alleged to have caused the injuries with an axe.
It is, thus, submitted that both Inder and Mukesh are liable to be given the
benefit of doubt.
This argument has been vehemently denied by the counsel for
the State who has submitted that both the accused Inder as well as Mukesh
Kumar had come together with Rajinder @ Raj Singh. Both these accused
are alleged to have stopped the scooter being driven by Pawan Kumar on
which the deceased was sitting on the pillion and had also caught hold of
the deceased and, hence they had the common intention to commit the
murder of Siri Ram.
We have examined this aspect very carefully. A perusal of the
aforementioned facts shows that the accused Inder and Mukesh Kumar were
not related to the accused Rajinder in any manner. Ranjit Singh (PW-17) in
his cross-examination has admitted that Inder and Mukesh Kumar do not
Crl. Appeals No. 113 & 124-DB of 2001 [ 9 ]
belong to the family of the accused Rajinder son of Zile Singh. They also
did not have any motive to commit the murder of Siri Ram and in fact the
entire motive was on the part of Rajinder as it was his father Zile Singh who
was allegedly killed by the deceased Siri Ram. Apart from the above, the
accused Inder and Mukesh Kumar came unarmed at the place of occurrence
and did not cause any injury to the deceased. All the injuries on the person
of the deceased were caused with an axe by the accused Rajinder. If the
accused Inder and Mukesh Kumar had shared the common intention to
commit the murder of Siri Ram, then they would have definitely come
armed with a weapon. However, as noticed earlier, both the accused had
come empty handed.
Apart from the above, we are also of the considered opinion
that it was not possible for the accused Rajinder to inflict numerous blows
with an axe on the neck and temple of the deceased Siri Ram in case he was
caught hold by the accused Inder and Mukesh. Thus, in our considered view
the accused Inder and Mukesh Kumar are entitled to be given the benefit of
As a result of the foregoing discussion, Criminal Appeal No.
113-DB of 2001 filed by the accused Inder and Mukesh Kumar is accepted
and both these accused are given the benefit of doubt and are acquitted of
the charges under Section 302/34 IPC. In case, they are in jail, they be set at
liberty forthwith in this case.
As far as Criminal Appeal No. 124-DB of 2001 filed by
Rajinder @ Raj Singh is concerned, we find no merit in this appeal and the
same is dismissed.
Resultantly, in case Rajinder @ Raj Singh is on bail then his
Crl. Appeals No. 113 & 124-DB of 2001 [ 10 ]
bail bonds are cancelled and he be taken into custody forthwith to serve out
the remaining portion of his sentence. The judgment of the trial Court is
modified to the extent indicated above.
( ASHUTOSH MOHUNTA ) JUDGE 28.11.2009 ( JITENDRA CHAUHAN ) Rupi JUDGE