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State of Rajasthan v/s Badri Ram & Others

    Criminal Appeal No. 154 of 1988

    Decided On, 11 September 2015

    At, High Court of Rajasthan

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE GOPAL KRISHAN VYAS & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE VIJAY BISHNOI

    For the Petitioner: J.P.S Choudhary, Public Prosecutor. For the Respondents: M.K. Garg, Advocate.



Judgment Text

Vijay Bishnoi, J.

1. This appeal has been preferred by the State against the judgment dated 19.09.1987 passed by Additional Sessions Judge, Bikaner (for short 'the trial court' hereinafter) in Sessions Case No. 16/1986, whereby the learned trial court has acquitted the accused-respondents for the offences punishable under sections 302/149 and 148 IPC.

2. Learned counsel for the accused-respondents has informed this Court that accused-respondents Badri Ram, Sohan Lal and Ram Chander have died during the pendency of this appeal. Learned Public Prosecutor has submitted a communication dated 10.09.2015 written by Station House Officer, Police Station, Nokha, wherein it is mentioned that accused-respondents Badri Ram, Sohan Lal and Ram Chander have died.

3. Hence, the appeal filed against Badri Ram, Sohan Lal and Ram Chander is abated. Letter dated 10.09.2015 be placed on record.

4. Brief facts, necessa

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y for disposal of this appeal, are that on a written report received from PW.5 Ram Kumar son of Nathu Ram, the police has registered FIR No. 98/1985 (Ex.P/9) at Police Station, Nokha on 06.05.1985 at about 11:30 A.M. for the offences punishable under sections 302, 147, 148 and 149 IPC against six persons. In the FIR, PW.5 Ram Kumar has alleged that on 06.05.1985 at about 7:30 A.M. when he along his father Nathu Ram was going to meet Patwari of village Himmatsar, then suddenly the accused-persons armed with Barchhi and Lathis came there. Accused Ram Chander and Sohan Lal armed with Barchhi and Banwari Lal, Hanumana Ram and Sopa Ram armed with Lathis and Badri Ram son of Harbhaj Ram having a 12 bore gun, all residents of Mukam came there and started beating his father with Barchhi and Lathis. Badri Ram shouted that kill the enemy and threatened that if anybody would come near, he would see him and PW.5 Ram Kumar became afraid and ran away from there. It is further stated that on account of the injuries, his father fell down. Upon hearing the shrieking of complainant-Ram Kumar, Mamraj s/o Ramrakh, resident of Himmatsar came there and Badri Ram threatened to shoot him. It is further stated in the FIR that after assaulting his father, all the accused-persons went to the house of Sohan Lal and thereafter they found that his father received several injuries and the blood was oozing from those injuries and his father has died on account of the said injuries. The complainant has further stated that he went to his house, informed about the incident to his mother and went to Nokha Mandi to his brother and submitted the report to the police.5. The police conducted investigation and filed charge-sheet against the accused-respondents and the trial court has framed charges against them for the offences punishable under sections 302, 149, 148 IPC.6. During the trial, the prosecution got examined as many as 10 witnesses and also exhibited certain documents and articles in support of its case. Statements of accused-respondents were recorded under section 313 CrPC. After hearing learned counsel for the parties, the trial court has acquitted the accused respondents for the offences punishable under section 302 read with section 149 and section 148 IPC by impugned judgment dated 19.09.1987 by extending the benefit of doubt.7. Assailing the impugned judgment, learned Public Prosecutor has argued that the trial court has grossly erred in discarding the testimonies of two eye-witnesses viz. PW.2 Mamraj s/o Ramrakh and PW.5 Ramkumar s/o Nathu Ram. It is argued that from the statements of both the eye-witnesses, it is clear that the accused-respondent viz. Hanuman Ram, Sopa Ram and Banwari Lal along with other co-accused persons had assaulted the deceased Nathu Ram and due to which he succumbed to the injuries. It is further argued that the learned trial court has disbelieved the testimonies of those two witnesses solely on the ground that they are near relatives of the deceased. It is also argued that sufficient evidence is available on record to prove that the accused-respondents Hanumana Ram, Banwari Lal and Sopa Ram were involved in commission of crime but the learned trial court without appreciating the said evidence has erred in acquitting the accused-respondents.8. Per contra, Mr. M.K. Garg, learned counsel for the accused-respondents Hanumana Ram, Banwari Lal and Sopa Ram has argued that the learned trial court has not committed any illegality in acquitting the accused-respondents because the testimonies of two eyewitnesses viz. PW.2 Mamraj and PW.5 Ram Kumar were not trustworthy. It is also argued that from post mortem report and the statement of PW.1 Dr Nathmal Duggad, it is clear that the injuries on the body of the deceased were not from the weapons, which the said eye-witnesses have claimed in hands of accused-respondent. It is also argued that the police had recovered Lathis from accused Hanumana Ram, Banwari Lal and Sopa Ram, however, the said Lathis were not found to be blood stained and, therefore, this fact itself is sufficient to prove that the above named accused-persons were not involved in the commission of crime. Learned counsel appearing for the respondents has also argued that from the material available on record, it is proved that the deceased Nathu Ram was having enmity with many persons including the accused-respondents and therefore, it might be possible that he was assaulted by some unknown assailants on 06.05.1985, however, the accused-respondents have falsely been implicated by the sons and other relatives of the deceased Nathu Ram on account of their enmity, though nobody had seen the accused-respondents assaulting the deceased on 06.05.1985. It is, therefore, argued that the learned trial court has rightly observed that there is all possibilities that the accused-respondents have falsely been implicated on account of their enmity with the deceased.9. We have heard learned counsel for the rival parties and perused the impugned judgment and carefully scrutinised the record.10. The unnatural death of deceased Nathu Ram is proved from the post mortem report as well as the statement of PW.1 Dr Nathmal Duggad. However, it is noticed that PW.1 in his statement has clearly stated that out of 28 injuries on the body of the deceased, injury Nos. 2, 4, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 20, 21, 24, 25 and 27 were caused by pointed weapon, whereas, other injuries were caused by blunt weapon, however as per the testimonies of PW.2 Mam Raj and PW.5 Ram Kumar, out of six accused-persons, two were armed with Barchhies and others were armed with Lathis. The trial court has observed that Barchhi is a sharp edged weapon and pointed stab wound cannot be caused by Barchhi. The trial court has also noticed that as per the statement of PW.1 Dr Nathmal Duggad, all the injuries on the body of the deceased were not on vital parts of the deceased. The trial court has also disbelieved the statements of the eyewitnesses PW.2 Mam Raj and PW.5 Ram Kumar while observing that though they have stated that Nathu Ram died immediately after assaulting, whereas PW.1 Dr Nathmal Duggad has stated that Nathu Ram died after about three hours of receiving the injuries. The trial court has also observed that from perusal of memo prepared by the police, some bandages were done on the wounds of the deceased and this fact itself shows that the deceased Nathu Ram did not die immediately after assault. The trial court has also found the presence of two eyewitnesses viz. PW.2 Mamraj and PW.5 Ramkumar on place of incident doubtful and the trial court has also observed that they are also interested witnesses being close relatives of the deceased.11. After perusing the statements of PW.2 and PW.5, we are of the opinion that the said statements are not trustworthy. Statements of PW.2 Mamraj are so unnatural that he has even refused to disclose his relationship with the deceased. It is also noticed that though as per his statement, he remained with the dead body till the police arrived at the scene of crime and even accompanied by the dead body to the hospital for post mortem and thereafter up to the house of the deceased but his statements under section 161 CrPC were recorded after three days of the incident. It is very unnatural that when a witness remained present at the scene of crime and thereafter for the whole day, his statements had not been recorded by the police for three days. The conduct of PW.5 of running away from the place of crime is also very unnatural. A son cannot run away when his father is being assaulted.12. It is also noticed that from the recovery memos Ex.P/15A, Ex.P/16A, Ex.P/18A and Ex.P/20, lathis have been recovered from Hanumana Ram, Banwari Lal and Sopa Ram, however, those Lathis were not blood stained.13. Looking to the overall facts and circumstances of the case, we are also of the opinion that the testimonies of the eyewitnesses viz. PW.2 Mamraj and PW.5 Ram Kumar are not trustworthy and, therefore, the trial court has not erred in not placing reliance upon the same. Apart from the allegations levelled by those eye-witnesses, the accused-respondents Hanumana Ram, Banwari Lal and Sopa Ram are connected with the commission of crime on the basis of recovery of Lathis from them but as stated earlier those Lathis were not blood stained and, therefore, also it cannot be concluded that the above named accused-respondents are involved in the commission of crime.Hence, we do not find any merit in this appeal and the same is hereby dismissed.Appeal dismissed.
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