H.R. Panwar, J.
1. This criminal appeal under Section 374(2), Cr. P.C. is directed against the judgment and order dated 27-6-2003 passed by the Addl. Sessions Judge (Fast Track), Anoopgarh, District Sri Ganganagar (for short ‘the trial Court’ hereinafter) in sessions case No. 44/2003 whereby the trial Court convicted the appellant for the offences under Sections 326, 324, 447 and 427, I.P.C. and sentenced him as under :
Under Section 326, I.P.C. — 5 years’ RI and a fine of Rs. 5000/- in default of payment of fine to further undergo six months’ RI
Under Section 324, I.P.C. — 1 year RI
Under Section 447, I.P.C. — 1 months’ RI
Under Section 427, I.P.C. — 3 months’ R.I.
All the substantive sentences were directed to run concurrently. Aggrieved by the judgment and order of conviction and sentence, the appellant has filed the instant appeal.
2. Briefly stated the facts which are relevant and necessary for the decision of this appeal are that on 8-11-2002 at about 10.40 p.m., P.W. 11 Ram Singh, S.I. recorded Parcha Bayan’ (Ex. P/1) of injured Gurmail Singh (P.W. 1) alleging therein that there was a turn of water supply in his field from 11.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m. He was watering the crops along with his son Kheta Singh, P.W. 7. In the nearby field, amplifier (deck) was playing. At about 7.00–7.30 p.m. after taking meal, he was going to sleep. At that time, his son P.W. 7 Kheta Singh informed him that appellant-Iqbal Singh came in drunken condition and damaged the amplifier (deck).
Thereupon, he said that they will bear the loss caused to the amplifier and in the morning, they will get it repaired. At that time, appellant-Iqbal Singh, Darshan Singh and his father Basant Singh came to his field in the drunken condition. Iqbal Singh had Kassi, Basant Singh had a pipe attached with poker and Darshan Singh had ‘lathi.’ Basant Singh exhorted both of his sons Darshan Singh and Iqbal Singh to set him right, on which, Iqbal Singh in order to kill the complainant, inflicted repeated injuries by ‘Kassi’ on the skull of P.W. 1 Gurmail Singh. However, the complainant by projecting his hand with the help of his right hand saved himself, but thereafter Iqbal Singh inflicted a violent Kassi injury on his head. Thereupon, he fell down on the ground. There was profused bleeding from the head. Darshan Singh and Basant Singh gave kicks to him while he was lying on the ground. He raised cries. His father P.W. 4 Chuhad Singh and brother P.W. 3 Harnek Singh came running and rescued him. The accused inflicted injury on the left hand of Harnek Singh also. Thereupon, he was taken to hospital at Gharsana and got admitted. It was alleged that Iqbal Singh inflicted the injury in order to kill him. On this Parcha Bayan, the Police recorded the crime report (FIR No. 433) (Ex. P/29) for the offences under Sections 307, 326, 324, 323, 447, 427/34, I.P.C.
3. After investigation, the Police filed charge-sheet against appellant-Iqbal Singh and two others namely Darshan Singh and Basant Singh. They were put to trial. The appellant and co-accused denied the charges and sought trial. The prosecution produced as many as 12 witnesses and document Ex. P/1 to Ex. P/33A. Articles 1 to 10 were also exhibited. The appellant made statement under Section 313, Cr. P.C. and stated that there is some dispute between his father and Chuhad Singh in Punjab relating to the land and since he did not support Chuhad Singh in that dispute, a false case has been registered against him. He himself appeared as witness under Section 315, Cr. P.C. as D.W. 1 and produced documents, Ex. D/1 to Ex. D/3.
4. On appreciation of evidence, the trial Court came to the conclusion that prosecution has failed to establish any case beyond reasonable doubt against co-accused-Darshan Singh and Basant Singh and, therefore, they were extended the benefit of doubt and acquitted of the offences charged with. The trial Court also held that prosecution has failed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt against the appellant for the offence under Section 307, I.P.C. however, held that prosecution has proved the case beyond reasonable doubt against the appellant for the offences under Sections 326, 324, 447 and 427, I.P.C. and accordingly, he was convicted and sentenced as noticed above.
5. I have heard learned counsel for the appellant and learned Public Prosecutor for the State. I have carefully gone through the judgment and order impugned as also record of the case.
6. It is contended by learned counsel for the appellant that prosecution has failed to produce any independent witness and prosecution witnesses produced are relatives of injured Gurmail Singh P.W. 1 and, therefore, they are interested witnesses, and as such the conviction on the basis of testimony of those witnesses cannot be maintained. It was further contended that Motbirs of recovery of ‘kassi’ from the appellant have not supported the prosecution case.
7. Learned Public Prosecutor appearing for the State submits that from the statements of various prosecution witnesses, more particularly, P.W. 1 injured Gurmail Singh, P.W. 7 Kheta Singh, P.W. 4 Chuhad Singh and P.W. 3 Harnek Singh, it has been established that appellant caused injuries to the injured, P.W. 1, as noticed above. It was further submitted that injuries caused to P.W. 1 Gurmail Singh have been corroborated by medical evidence, as such the injuries suffered by injured P.W. 1 Gurmail Singh have been proved by medical evidence. He supported the judgment and order of the trial Court.
8. P.W. 1 Gurmail Singh is the injured, who suffered injuries at the hands of the appellant. He stated that he along with his son P.W. 7 Kheta Singh was watering the crops in their field, as on the relevant date, from 11.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m., it was their turn for watering the field. While he was to go for bed, his son informed him that the appellant came in drunken state and caused damage to his amplifier. He did not say anything about this to the appellant. However, after about 15 minutes, the appellant along with Basant Singh and Darshan Singh came back, Basant Singh exhorted and said that they should not be spared today, on which appellant-Iqbal Singh inflicted repeated injuries. However, by projecting hand, he could ward off two injuries, but on third count, the appellant inflicted injury by ‘kassi’ on his head, on which he fell down on the ground. After that, Basant Singh and Darshan Singh gave kicks while he was lying. His father Chuhad Singh P.W. 4 and brother Harnek Singh P.W. 3 came and rescued him. He further stated that Iqbal Singh also caused injury on his left hand. He was taken to hospital at Gharsana by his father Chuhad Singh and brother Harnek Singh. He stated that if Chuhad Singh and Harnek Singh would not have come on the spot, the appellant would have killed him. In cross-examination, he admitted that the land, on which occurrence took place, is registered in the name of his father Chuhad Singh but in the record, it is still recorded in the name of one Ram Kishan and in the record of water-turn also, the land is shown in the name of Ram Kishan. However, he stated that they have purchased the supply of water from Ram Kishan. He stated that Iqbal Singh inflicted three injuries. Chuhad Singh and Harnek Singh came while the appellant was inflicting injuries to him. Though Darshan Singh had lathi yet he did not inflict any lathi blow but only gave kicks. He admitted that there is some dispute between Basant Singh and his father with regard to the land situate in Punjab.
9. P.W. 3 Harnek Singh stated that when he was at home, his uncle Chuhad Singh came there. They heard cries from the field. Chuhad Singh reached the spot before him. They saw Gurmail Singh lying on the ground. Darshan Singh had lathi, Basant Singh had Pipe and Iqbal Singh had “kassi” and they were standing by the side of Gurmail Singh. He stated that he did not see Iqbal Singh inflicting injury to Gurmail Singh, however, Chuhad Singh reached earlier to him and when Chuhad Singh reached, at that time, Iqbal Singh was inflicting injuries to Gurmail Singh by kassi. The moment, Gurmail Singh sustained head injury by kassi, he fell down on the ground. Thereafter, he caught kassi. At that time, Guru Saheb Singh and Karamjeet Singh also came. He has proved the site map Ex. P/9, seizure of Chappal from the spot (Ex. P/10), broken amplifier (Ex. P/11) and specimen of seal (Ex. P/3). He stated that blood-stained clothes of injured Gurmail Singh were seized by the Police and sealed on the spot with a seal, the specimen of which is Ex. P/3. He admitted in cross-examination that Guru Saheb Singh and Karamjeet Singh came after the assault was made. He stated that he had seen appellant inflicting ‘Kassi’ blow from 4-5 ft. distance. There was no much dark. The land to which water supply was given is recorded in the name of Ram Kishan. He admitted that there is a dispute between Chuhad Singh and Basant Singh.
10. P.W. 4 Chuhad Singh stated that his grand-son Kheta Singh P.W. 7 was watering the field. His son P.W. 1 Gurmail Singh was guarding the crops. Gurmail Singh after taking meal took the bed and went to sleep. After about 10-15 minutes, he heard the cries. He called upon his nephew Harnek Singh and went to field wherefrom they heard the cries. He saw Darshan Singh, Iqbal Singh and Basant Singh assaulted his son P.W. 1 Gurmail Singh. Iqbal Singh had a kassi in his hand. Iqbal Singh inflicted two kassi blows to Gurmail Singh and on sustaining third blow on the head, Gurmail Singh fell down on the ground. After that Darshan Singh and Basant Singh gave kick blows to him. He made an attempt to save him, on which Basant Singh gave a pipe blow on his left hand. Thereafter, Guru Saheb Singh and Karamjeet Singh also came. Thereafter, the accused ran away and said that today he has been saved but in future they will not spare him. Injured Gurmail Singh was taken to hospital at Gharsana. Had they not reached the spot, the accused would have killed Gurmail Singh. He has proved certain documents, like site map (Ex. P/9), recovery of ‘Chappal’ (Ex. P/10), bloodstained clothes of injured (Ex. P/2) and seizure of damaged amplifier (Ex. P/11). He stated that these articles were seized and sealed on the spot, of which seal is Ex. P/3. He stated that water turn is in the name of Ram Kishan, as till date, the land was not mutated in their favour. He also stated that there was no much dark and man to man could be seen. He further stated that before he reached, Gurmail Singh was not lying on the ground but in his presence, injuries were caused to him and thereafter he fell down on the ground. He saw the injuries being inflicted to Gurmail Singh. He stated that Karamjeet Singh and Guru Saheb Singh were also coming just behind them. Kheta Singh was at a distance of half a bigha. The kassi was snatched from Iqbal Singh and was thrown there and on next day, police recovered the same from the spot. He denied having dispute with regard to the land, in which Basant Singh is not supporting them.
11. P.W. 6 Karamjeet Singh stated that he heard cries from the field of Chuhad Singh. He along with his father Harnek Singh went to the field wherefrom, they heard the cries. At the time of reaching there, they found Iqbal Singh inflicting kassi blows to Gurmail Singh. Two injuries were caused on hand and third on the skull of Gurmail Singh by kassi. They rescued the injured. He stated that on the date of occurrence, Gurmail Singh purchased the water-turn from Ramrakh. He stated that water slip is in the name of Ramkisan.
12. P.W. 7 Kheta Singh stated that he was watering the field and playing amplifier which was put under the Sisam Tree. They were listening songs through amplifier. At about 7.00 p.m., Iqbal Singh and Basant Singh came there. Iqbal Singh broke the amplifier. Thereafter, his father took the meal and went to sleep. He informed his father regarding breaking of the amplifier by Iqbal Singh, on which his father said that they will get it repaired. Thereafter, Iqbal Singh along with Basant Singh and Darshan Singh came to their field. His father scolded Iqbal Singh for breaking the amplifier, on which Iqbal Singh inflicted two kassi blows to his father which fell on his hand and on third count kassi blow was given on the head of his father Gurmail Singh. On hearing cries, Chuhad Singh and Harnek Singh came. While his father was lying, Darshan Singh and Basant Singh gave kick blows to him. Chuhad Singh and Harnek Singh rescued his father. In the process, Basant Singh inflicted injury to Chuhad Singh and thereafter, Karmjeet Singh and Guru Saheb Singh also reached the spot, thereupon the accused ran away. He stated that damage to amplifier resulted in loss of Rs. 500/-. His father was taken to Government Hospital, Gharsana by Harnek Singh and Chuhad Singh.
13. P.W. 5 Guru Saheb Singh and P.W. 8 Sarjeet Singh did not support the prosecution case and they were declared hostile.
14. P.W. 9 Karamchand and P.W. 10 Ram Swaroop are officials of Malkhana. They have proved Roznamcha (Ex. P/22 and Ex. P/23), FLS report (Ex. P/24), letter addressed to the Superintendent of Police regarding sending of sealed articles (Ex. P/25) etc. They proved that articles remained sealed and intact during the period when the same remained in their custody. P.W. 11 Ram Singh was the A.S.I. who recorded the Parcha Bayan of P.W. 1 Gurmail Singh at the hospital on the instructions of SHO, Police Station, Gharsana. Thereafter, on the basis of Parcha Bayan (Ex. P/1), he registered the crime report (FIR). He has proved the various seizures made on the spot as also the site map and site inspection memo. He has also proved the arrest memo of accused as also the information under Section 27 of the Evidence Act given by appellant-Iqbal Singh (Ex. P/29) for recovery of kassi as also the recovery of kassi by Ex. P/30. He has proved various documents (‘Funds’) prepared by him during investigation. He has proved FSL report (Ex. P/31). P.W. 12 Narendra Kumar, Patwari at the relevant time, stated that water supply is recorded in the name of Ram Kisan as Gair Khatedar in Jamabandi.
15. P.W. 2 Dr. Prem Bajaj examined P.W. 1 Gurmail Singh and found following injuries vide (Ex.P/4) :
1. Incised wound 5 x 1 cm. x bone deep scalp past (occipital area) sharp.
2. Incised wound 3 x 1 cm. skin deep Rt. Forearm Lower simple — Sharp
3. Incised wound 3 x 1 cm. skin deep Rt. arm just above elbow simple — sharp.
4. Bruise 2 x 1 cm. back (Rt. side) single blunt complained pain all over body — no any other external injury seen.
16. This witness has also examined injured P.W. 4 Chuhad Singh vide Ex. P/8. In his opinion, injuries No. 2, 3 and 4 sustained by Gurmail Singh were simple in nature. He advised X-ray for injury No. 1. Injury Nos. 1, 2 and 3 were caused by sharp edged weapon and injury No. 4 by blunt. He has proved X-ray plates (Ex. P/5 and Ex. P/6) Radiologist report (Ex. P/7). He further stated that injury No. 1 resulted in fracture and, therefore it was grievous in nature. Injury No. 1 was on occipital region of skull which is a vital part of the body. He has proved the injuries suffered by Chuhad Singh vide Ex.P/8.
17. In defence, appellant himself appeared as D.W. 1 and stated that land relating which case has been registered against him is recorded in the name of Ram Kishan. He has produced documents (Ex. D/2 and Ex. D/3) ‘Parchi Bara Bandi’ (water turn) for Chak No. 23 ASA said to be in the name of one Ram Kishan. In cross-examination, he stated that he does not know that record which he produced belongs to which of the Rakba. The turn of water is for three and half days. He stated that who was watering on the basis of Ex. D/2 and D/3, he could not say.
18. On close scrutiny of the statement of prosecution witnesses noticed above, it has been established that on the relevant date of occurrence, it was complainant P.W. 1 Gurmail Singh and his father P.W. 4 Chuhad Singh who were watering the field where the occurrence took place. There appears to be some dispute with regards to the playing of amplifier (deck) which was damaged by the appellant and thereafter, the appellant inflicted repeated ‘Kassi’ blows on P.W. 1 Gurmail Singh who suffered injuries vide Ex. P/4. The injuries suffered by P.W. 1 Gurmail Singh have been established by the statement of P.W. 2 Dr. Prem Bajaj. The injury No. 1 caused by sharp edged weapon (Kassi) was grievous in nature. Injuries No. 2 and 3 both were caused by sharp-edged weapon but simple in nature and injury No. 4 was simple in nature caused by blunt object. From the evidence of other eye-witnesses, P.W. 3 Harnek Singh, P.W. 4 Chuhad Singh and P.W. 7 Kheta Singh, it has been established that the appellant inflicted injures to P.W. 1 Gurmail Singh, as mentioned in Ex. P/4. The identity of appellant has not been disputed. A mere suggestion by the appellant to the prosecution witnesses that there exists dispute between P.W. 4 Chuhad Singh and Basant Singh cannot be a cause to implicate him falsely. His evidence in defence at any rate does hot support the plea taken in defence. He does not claim to be in possession of land where the occurrence took place and water was being given. In the circumstances, therefore, the conclusion arrived at by the trial Court holding the appellant guilty for the offences noticed above cannot be said to be erroneous or perverse.
19. I do not find any error in the judgment and order of the trial Court. The conviction of the appellant is based on sound and proper appreciation of evidence produced on record. The prosecution has proved the case against the appellant beyond all shadows of doubt. Even if water turn is recorded in the name of one Ram Kishan, the appellant does not claim anything through Ram Kishan. Whereas, prosecution story is consistent that water turn was purchased by the complainant from Ram Kishan as also the field where the occurrence took place was purchased by the complainant, in view of the aforesaid, the conviction of appellant for the offences noticed above is maintained.
20. So far as the quantum of sentence is concerned, the occurrence appears to have taken place on spur of the movement (moment) may be with regards to playing of amplifier (deck). The appellant is brother of P.W. 4 Chuhad Singh who is father of injured P.W. 1 Gurmail Singh. Parties are close relatives. While maintaining the conviction of appellant for the offences as noticed above and keeping in view all the facts and circumstances of the case, I consider it just and proper to reduce the period of substantive sentence from five years to two years for the offence under Section 326, I.P.C.
21. Consequently, the appeal is partly allowed. Conviction of the appellant for the offences under Sections 326, 324, 447, 427, I.P.C. is maintained. However, the substantive sentence for the offence under Section 326, I.P.C. is reduced from five years to two years’ R.I.