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Kathula Somulu Alias Mallana and Another v/s State of Andhra Pradesh

    Criminal Appeal No. 293 of 1988

    Decided On, 08 January 1991

    At, Supreme Court of India



Judgment Text

1. This appeal is directed against the judgment of the Designated Court under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, (for short 'TADA'). The appellants convicted under Section 3(3) of the Act are sentenced to three years' imprisonment and also to pay a fine of Rs. 100 each in default to un

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ergo simple imprisonment for one month. Appellant 1 is also convicted under Section 25(1)(a) of the Indian Arms Act and sentenced to one year's imprisonment. Appellant 2 is convicted under Section 5 of Explosive Substances Act. All the sentences are to run concurrently. Section 3(3) of the 'TADA' lays down that whoever conspires or attempts to commit, or advocates, abets, advises or incites or knowingly facilities the commission of a terrorist act or any act preparatory to a terrorist act shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to term of life and shall be liable to fine. The submission of the learned counsel for the appellant is that even if the prosecution case is accepted in toto the provisions of Section 3(3) were not attracted. It is necessary to state the necessary facts2. The appellants are the members of CPI (ML) Group. On June 22, 1986 on reliable information the SI of Police, Chintur with other police personnel proceeded to Goundlakota Village and conducted raids in the forests. While they were returning to Chintur, they found some extremists proceeding towards hillock near Gonegutta of Kalthur village. They were chased and the two appellants were apprehended, with one countrymade pipe-gun (tapancha) and two countrymade bombs and pellets. A case was registered under the provisions of the Arms Act and Explosive Substances Act and also under Sections 3 and 4 of 'TADA'. Panchanamas were prepared for the recovery of the weapons as well as explosive substances. The prosecution examined PWs 1 to 4. PW 1 is the SI of Police and is a prosecution witness and PW2 is the panch witness. The learned Designated Judge accepted the evidence and found the appellants guilty3. Section 2(f) defines the 'terrorists act' and has the meaning assigned to it in sub-section (1) of Section 3 of 'TADA'. The provisions of Section 3(3) deal with the conspiracy or attempt or abetment or inciting or facilitation of the commission of a terrorist act. The fact that these appellants were found in the group of other persons in the forest area and were seen running away after seeing the police and coupled with the recoveries of the explosive substances including the countrymade firearms would lead to the inference that the appellants along with others were engaged in conspiracy or in attempt to commit or abet the 'terrorist act'. The learned counsel for the appellant could not show any infirmity in the evidence of PWs 1, 2 and 4 in respect of the chase and apprehension of the accused and the recovery of weapons as well as explosive substances. The minimum sentence has been awarded and no interference is called for. The appeal is dismissed.

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