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STATE OF PUNJAB versus SARMUKH SINGH & ORS

High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh

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State of Punjab v. Sarmukh Singh & Ors - CRA-D-112-DBA-1997 [2006] RD-P&H 11237 (27 November 2006)

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB & HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH.

State of Punjab APPELLANT

VERSUS

Sarmukh Singh and others RESPONDENT

CORAM : HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE MEHTAB S.GILL
HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE BALDEV SINGH

Present:- Mr.S.S.Randhawa, Senior D.A.G. Punjab for the appellant.

Mr.A.P.S.Randhawa, Advocate for the respondents.

MEHTAB S.GILL, J.

This is an appeal filed by the State against the order dated 12.4.1996 of the Sessions Judge, Amritsar whereby he acquitted Sarmukh Singh son of Inder Singh, Kashmir Singh, Sukhbir Singh and Lakhbir Singh alias Nehru all sons of Sarmukh Singh.

The case of the prosecution is unfolded by the statement of Jasbir Singh. Jasbir Singh stated that on 11.11.1992 at about 9 p.m., he was driving his tractor in the fields. His father Gurbachan Singh and elder brother Manjit Singh were doing agricultural work. Accused Sarmukh Singh armed with a Kasia, Kashmir Singh alias Shira armed with a Gandali, Sukhbir Singh alias Gandhi armed with a Kasia and Lakhbir Singh alias Nehru armed with a Dang came from the side of the Behak. After raising a lalkara, Kashmir Singh gave two blows with his Gandali on the back of Gurbachan Singh, as a result of which he fell down and then Sarmukh Singh gave a Kasia blow which hit Gurbachan Singh near the testicles. Lakhbir Singh alias Nehru gave three Dang blows which hit Gurbachan Singh on the left side of his abdomen and Kashmir Singh gave a Gandali blow which hit on the left leg of Gurbachan Singh. Lakhbir Singh also gave two Dang blows on the leg. Sukhbir Singh alias Gandhi then gave a Kasia blow which hit Gurbachan Singh on his thigh and he gave two more blows from the reverse side of his Kasia on the right leg and left thigh. Sarmukh Singh again gave Kasia blow on the left thigh. Kulwinder Kaur mother of the complainant also came there.

Jasbir Singh has further stated that complainant party had given a passage to the accused party for going to their behak and in lieu thereof, the accused party had to give some land to them which they failed to do so. As the accused party did not give them the piece of land as envisaged in the compromise, complainant party ploughed the passage. It was because of this that the accused came armed with their respective weapons and gave injuries to their father Gurbachan Singh. The complainant party did not go anywhere in the night on account of law and order situation and in the morning when the condition of their father became bad, they removed him to the hospital at Taran Taran. On the basis of this statement Ex.PW1/A, formal F.I.R. was registered on 12.11.1992 at 7.45 a.m. and the special report reached the J.M.I.C., Taran Taran on the same day at 1 p.m. Statement Ex.PW1/A was given by Jasbir Singh to SI Surinder Pal Singh at the police station.

The prosecution to prove its case brought into the witness-box Jasbir Singh PW-1, Narinder Singh PW-2, Satnam Singh PW-3, HC Ajit Singh PW-4, Constable Jaspal Singh PW-5, Constable Balwinder Singh PW-6, Rishi Ram PW-7, Guljinder Singh PW-8, Dr.Paramjit Singh PW-9, Manjit Singh PW-10 and SI Surinder Pal Singh PW-11.

Learned counsel for the State has argued that findings of the learned trial Court are perverse. The learned trial Court has stated that there is an unexplained delay in lodging of the F.I.R. Further it is stated that the medical evidence does not corroborate the ocular account. The right of private defence as stated by accused Sarmukh Singh has been wrongly believed by the learned trial Court.

The learned trial Court has not taken into consideration the statements of Jasbir Singh PW-1 and Manjit Singh PW-10, both eye-witnesses to the occurrence. It is admitted by both the parties that occurrence took place at 9 p.m. It was natural for both the sons of Sarmukh Singh to be present in their house, which was only 2 kms. away from the disputed path. There is no delay in lodging of the F.I.R. Occurrence had taken place at 9 p.m. in the year 1992 in District Taran Taran. Terrorism prevailed and no one dared to come out in the night, less they be harassed either by the terrorists or the police. The first priority of the complainant party was to save the life of their father Gurbachan Singh. It is thereafter they could think of going to the police. The statement of Sarmukh Singh regarding right of private defence does not get corroboration or support from either the prosecution witnesses or the witnesses of the defence.

A few months prior to the occurrence, the complainant party had left the path for use through their land to the accused. In lieu of this path, accused was to give complainant party the same measurement of land. This part of the compromise the accused did not fulfill. Complainant party did not have any other alternative apart from ploughing the path.

Learned counsel for the respondents/accused has argued that it has come in the statement of Jasbir Singh PW-1 who is an eye-witness to the occurrence, that both the parties were working in their fields till 4 p.m.

Occurrence had taken place at 9 p.m. If the accused party had any bad intentions, they would have attacked the complainant party in between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. It was only when the complainant party started ploughing the path which was going to their house that a dispute arose. The occurrence has not taken place in the way as it has been propounded by the prosecution. Gurbachan Singh in fact, fell down and he got entangled in the ploughs and suffered injuries. Injuries No.6,7 and 8 as per the statement of Dr.Paramjit Singh PW-9 could not be caused with the weapons which the accused were allegedly carrying. Dr.Paramjit Singh PW-9 has stated in his testimony that the fatal injuries i.e. injuries No.6,7 and 8 could be caused by the Gandali or by getting entangled with the ploughs. The stay granted to the accused vide Ex.PW8/A was granted on 22.5.1992, while the occurrence took place on 11.11.1992. Complainant party did not have any right to demolish the path as the dispute was under consideration of a Civil Court.

We have heard the learned counsel for the parties and perused the record and the impugned judgment with their assistance.

Accused Sarmukh Singh filed a written statement in this Court stating that Gurbachan Singh deceased, along with Joginder Singh and another person were ploughing the passage going to their Behak. Joginder Singh was driving his tractor. Deceased Gurbachan Singh was sitting in it. They were armed with Dangs. Accused Sarmukh Singh brought Dang from his Behak and when they were ploughing the passage, deceased Gurbachan Singh jumped from the back side of the tractor and got entangled in the ploughs fitted in the tractor, and received the injuries. A settlement had been reached between both the parties regarding the disputed passage, which is mark X and a civil suit was pending, regarding this path.

If we go through the statement of Paramjit Singh Ahlmad DW-1 who has stated, that he has brought the file titled Rachpal Kaur v. Kulwinder Kaur.

A compromise deed lying on the file is Ex.DB. Guljinder Singh PW-8 Additional Ahlmad had also brought the file of Rachpal Kaur v. Kulwinder Kaur which was decided on 20.7.1993. It has been exhibited as Ex.PW8/A. The civil suit was instituted on 22.5.1992. Occurrence had taken place on 11.11.1992 i.e. after the stay of dispossession was granted to the accused. Gurbachan Singh deceased and the complainant party did not not have the right to plough the passage.

Dr.Paramjit Singh PW-9 has stated in his testimony that injuries 1 to 6 were simple in nature. Injuries 7,8 and 9 could not be caused in the ordinary course, if a Dang or a blunt weapon had been used. Further, he stated that injuries 7,8 and 9 could be possible, if a person is dragged by the ploughs fitted behind a moving tractor after he gets entangled. He has further stated that injuries 7 and 8 are are not possible if a Dang is used without having some edge of iron or some blade turned like a hook, but in that case a lot of force would be needed to cause such a blow. The cause of death in this case is the cumulative effect of injuries 7 to 9.

The learned trial Court has rightly held that accused did not exceed the right of their private defence. Dang blows given by accused Sarmukh Singh hit Gurbachan Singh who got entangled in the ploughs of the tractor and he received injuries, by which he unfortunately died.

We do not find any infirmity in the judgment of the learned trial Court.

Appeal is dismissed.

( MEHTAB S.GILL )

JUDGE

( BALDEV SINGH )

November 16, 2006 JUDGE

GD

WHETHER TO BE REFERRED TO REPORTER? YES/NO


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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