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SATYA PAL versus STATE OF U.P.

High Court of Judicature at Allahabad

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Satya Pal v. State Of U.P. - JAIL APPEAL No. 5873 of 2003 [2007] RD-AH 9543 (18 May 2007)

 

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HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE OF ALLAHABAD

(Reserved)

Criminal Jail Appeal No. 5873 of 2003

Satya Pal Versus State of U.P.

_____

Hon'ble Mukteshwar Prasad, J.

Hon'ble S.C. Nigam, J.

(Delivered by Hon'ble Mukteshwar Prasad J.)

This criminal appeal by accused Satya Pal son of Baldeo Prasad @ Madari, a resident of village Suheli Police Station  Singhauli district Shahjahanpur was preferred from Jail against the judgment and order-dated 31.3.2003 passed by Sri Barsati Chand, the then Additional Sessions Judge (F.T.C.) Bareilly whereby he found the accused guilty under Section 302 I.P.C. and sentenced him to undergo imprisonment for life.  He was further sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 5,000/- and in default, was directed to suffer S.I. for a period of six months.

Briefly stated, the facts of the prosecution case, as revealed from the record, are as under: -

PW 1 Khayali Ram son of Puran Lal a resident of Mohalla Sahdana, district Bareilly is the informant. His elder brother Devi Das was done to death in the incident in question. Smt. Seema daughter of Devi Das was married to the appellant about five years prior to the murder of Devi Das. Smt. Seema remained in her Sasural about three years. The appellant used to harass and torture her and as such, she started living in her Mayaka along with her father Devi Das. The mother of Smt. Seema had already expired. The informant and his brother Devi Das lived together on the ground floor but they had their separate kitchens.

On 25.6.2001 the informant, Devi Das and Smt. Seema were all sleeping on the roof of their house. At about 11.00 P.M. Satya Pal, who resided as a tenant in the house of Banwari in Mohalla Surkha Bamkhana Police Station Prem Nagar, arrived there and insisted for Bidai of his wife (Smt. Seema). There was exchange of hot words between father-in-law and son-in-law and they had a scuffle also. Ultimately, the appellant stabbed his father-in-law in abdomen. The cry raised by Devi Das awaken Khayali Ram and Smt. Seema also. Both saw the incident as well as accused and raised alarm. A number of witnesses reached there and to save the life of Devi Das.

Khayali Ram got a report prepared by PW 5 Poshaki Lal and affixed his thumb impression. He accompanied by his injured brother Devi Das, Smt. Seema and her brother Sonu reached the Police Station. The injured was taken to the Police Station on a rickshaw. Khayali Ram handed over his report at the Police Station. Head Moharrir Har Pal Singh prepared Chik report and registered a case at Crime No. 96 under Sections 324/504 I.P.C. on 26.6.2001 at 00.15 A.M.  An entry was made in G.D. at serial no. 3. The investigation was entrusted to S.I. Bharat Kumar Gautam.

The injured was sent to District Combined Hospital, Bareilly for medical examination of the injuries through Home Guard Ram Chandra.

PW 3 Dr. P.C. Saxena, the then E.M.O. examined Devi Das on 26.6.2001 at 12.40 A.M. after medical examination found one stabbed wound 3 x 1.5 cm. x abdominal cavity deep front of mid abdomen 2.5 cm above umblicus at 12 O' Clock position. Margin sharp cut omentum protruding out.

The injury was kept under observation and was advised       x-ray. In the opinion of Dr. Saxena, the injury was caused by sharp pointed weapon and was fresh at the time of examination. The general condition of the injured was low and he was admitted in the hospital.

PW 6 S.I. B.K. Gautam inspected the scene of incident and prepared site plan. He collected blood strained clothes-Kurta, Paijama and Baniyan of Devi Das and prepared Fard in the presence of Munna Lal and Khayali Ram.

He interrogated Khayali Ram. The case was altered under Section 307 I.P.C. vide entry in the G.D. at serial no. 43 at 15.05 hours on 26.6.2001.

Devi Das expired in the hospital at 2.50 P.M. on 26.6.2001. After his death, the case was converted under Section 302 I.P.C. vide entry in G.D. at serial no. 44 at 3.20 P.M. and investigation was taken up by S.H.O. Surendra Pal Singh. The Investigating Officer accompanied by S.I. B.K. Gautam and police force reached the hospital and on his direction, S.I. B.K. Gautam prepared inquest report and other papers. The dead body of Devi Das was sealed and sample was prepared. The dead body was handed over to two Constables K.K. Pandey and Mohammad Shoaib for post mortem examination.

PW 4 Dr. G.C. Naugai the then Medical Officer, P.H.C. Majhgawa conducted autopsy on the dead body of Devi Das on 27.6.2001 at 2.00 P.M. The deceased was about 50 years old and had an average built body. Rigor mortis was present all over the body. He found the following ante mortem injury: -

(1) Incised wound (Stab wound) of size 3 cm. x 1 cm. peritoneum deep 3.5 cm. above the umbilicus to the Rt. Paramedial region of anterior abdominal wall. Omentum coming out of the wound.

He found blood clots about two liters in peritoneum cavity. There were gases and faecal matters in the large intestine. In the opinion of the doctor, the cause of death was shock and hemorrhage resulting from injury noted above.

PW 7 S.H.O. S.P. Singh Investigating Officer of the case arrested the accused on 26.6.2001 at 7.25 P.M. and recovered blood stained knife from his possession. A Fard recovery was prepared. The Investigating Officer completed the investigation and submitted charge sheet against the appellant.  

After committal of the case, accused Satya Pal was charged under Section 302/504 I.P.C. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and claimed to be tried.

During trial, the prosecution in order to establish its case, examined as many as seven witnesses. They are PW 1 Khayali Ram, brother of the deceased, who is informant and eyewitness also. PW 2 Smt. Seema is daughter of deceased and wife of appellant. She is also said to be an eyewitness. PW 3 Dr. P.C. Saxena had examined the injury of the deceased and proved the injury report Ext. Ka 3. PW 4 Dr. G.C. Naugai proved the post mortem report Ext. Ka 3-A. PW 5 Poshaki Lal is scribe of the written report. He proved the report Ext. Ka 1. PW 6 S.I. B.K.Gautam is the first Investigating Officer of the case. He proved the memo of arrest and recovery of knife Ext. Ka 4, seizure memo of clothes of the deceased Ext. Ka 2, inquest report Ext. Ka 5 and site plan Ext. Ka 6. PW 7 S.H.O. Surendra Pal Singh is the second Investigating Officer of the case. He proved the F.I.R. Ext. Ka 7, entries in G.D.  Ext. Ka 8 and 9, sample of seal Ext. Ka 10 and other relevant papers. He proved entries in the G.D. Ext. Ka 15 and charge sheet also.

Accused Satya Pal in his statement given under Section 313 Cr.P.C. totally denied his complicity in the murder of Devi Das and pleaded his false implication on account of enmity. He claimed himself to be innocent and led no evidence in defence.

After having heard learned counsel for the parties and scrutinizing the entire evidence on record, learned trial Judge found the accused guilty for committing murder of Devi Das and convicted and sentenced him. He was acquitted of the charge framed under Section 504 I.P.C.

We have heard Sri Raghu Raj Kishore, who was appointed Amicus curie vide order of this Court dated 8.3.2007 and learned A.G.A for the State at length. We have gone through the entire oral as well as documentary evidence on record very carefully.

Learned Amicus curie at the very outset urged that the prosecution miserably failed to prove its case. However, learned trial Judge found the appellant guilty for committing murder of his own father-in-law and appellant is languishing in Jail since 26.6.2001. According to him, the prosecution relied upon the testimony of PW 1 Khayali Ram and PW 2 Smt. Seema, who are real brother and daughter of the deceased respectively. They, however, gave a death blow to the entire prosecution case but the court below recorded finding of conviction for the reasons best known to it. He contended that both uncle and niece have given contradictory statements on all material points and they are wholly unreliable witnesses. He, therefore, submitted that the appellant is entitled to be acquitted. He pointed out inconsistency between ocular evidence and medical evidence also.

On the other hand, learned A.G.A has submitted that the court below committed no error in scanning the evidence on record and in the background that the deceased refused to send his daughter to appellant's house, who was admittedly her husband and as such, appellant had a motive to kill his father-in-law on the impugned night. The trial Judge rightly found the appellant guilty and judgment is not liable to be set aside.

We have given our anxious consideration to the entire submissions made on behalf of the parties and have arrived at irresistible conclusion that the court below committed error in appraisal of the evidence on record led by the prosecution and in fact, the prosecution miserably failed to prove the complicity of the appellant in the crime in question. As stated above, the prosecution examined two eyewitnesses only, who are brother and daughter of the deceased. Therefore, the prudence requires that evidence of such witnesses has to be scrutinized with great care and caution.

According to the written report Ext. Ka 1, the deceased, PW 1 Khayali Ram and Smt. Seema were all sleeping on the roof on the fateful night. At about 11.00 P.M. appellant is said to have arrived there and after some altercation and scuffle with Devi Das, he stabbed him in abdomen. Contrary to the averments made in the written report, both uncle and niece testified in the court that they were sleeping in their respective rooms on the ground floor and reached at the roof after arrival of witnesses of the locality. PW 1 Khayali Ram gave out that he was sleeping in his room along with his wife. Similarly, PW 2 Smt. Seema deposed that her mother had already expired and she was sleeping in her room and her uncle Khayali Ram was sleeping in his room. She further disclosed that her younger brother Sonu was sleeping with the deceased. It is noteworthy that Sonu was not examined by the prosecution.

The incident in question took place at about 11.00 in the night. Therefore, the question of light was very important and should have been shown in the site plan. The Investigating Officer has not shown any source of light, which was available to the witnesses. In the court, PW 1 Khayali Ram disclosed in his examination-in-chief that he saw the appellant stabbing in the abdomen of his brother in the light of electric bulb and appellant ran away. He totally contradicted himself in cross-examination and deposed that there were bulbs in the rooms of his house but there was no light of electric bulb available on the roof. Smt. Seema contradicted her uncle on this point.

PW 1 Khayali Ram and PW 2 Smt. Seema both disclosed in very clear words that at about 11.00 P.M. they heard hue and cry on the roof and reached there and found Chhotey Lal, Bhagwan Das, Bhoop Ram, Poonam and others. Khayali Ram saw bleeding from the abdomen of his brother and appellant had already run away leaving knife on the spot. On his query, Devi Das disclosed the name of appellant as his assailant.  He categorically admitted that he did not see the incident with his own eyes. Smt. Seema went several steps ahead of her uncle and disclosed that she did not find Chhotey Lal and others on the roof. She saw bleeding and raised alarm and thereafter, became unconscious. Both Khayali Ram and Smt. Seema gave a deathblow to the prosecution case by saying that they saw two knife injuries on the body of Devi Das.

It is also crystal clear from the testimony of PW 1 Khayali Ram and PW 2 Smt. Seema that assailant left the knife on the roof after committing the murder and testimony of Investigating Officer on this point that the blood stained knife was recovered from the possession of the appellant is falsified. It is noteworthy that the prosecution did not declaring Khayali Ram and Smt. Seema hostile.

As discussed above, it is crystal clear from the evidence on record that death of Devi Das was unnatural and homicidal. He was done to death and death was caused as a result of abdominal injury. The prosecution, no doubt, succeeded in establishing this part of its story. It, however, totally failed to establish that it was the appellant and none else, who is responsible for committing the murder of Devi Das on the impugned night. In our opinion, the evidence led by the prosecution is totally unreliable and does not inspire confidence. We are unable to understand rather stunned as to how the trial Judge held the appellant guilty for committing an offence punishable under Section 302 I.P.C. and the impugned judgment is not sustainable.

In the result, this appeal is allowed and the judgment and order under appeal are hereby set aside. The appellant is acquitted of charge framed under Section 302 I.P.C. He is in Jail. He shall be released forthwith if he is not wanted in connection of any other offence.

Dated:  18th May 2007

SU.


Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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