High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Rakesh Kumar alias Beeri v. State of Punjab - CRA-D-991-DB-2004  RD-P&H 11238 (27 November 2006)
DATE OF DECISION : November 21, 2006
Rakesh Kumar alias Beeri APPELLANT
State of Punjab RESPONDENT
CORAM : HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE MEHTAB S.GILL
HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE BALDEV SINGH
Present:- Mr.D.S.Pheruman, Advocate for Mr.Sachin Kumar alias Manu and Rajinder Kumar alias Tinda for the appellants.
Mr.J.S.Mor, Advocate for Gulab Singh alias Gulaba and Sunny alias Deepak appellants.
Mr.Hemant Saini, Advocate for Raj Kumar alias Raja appellant.
Mr.V.S.Rana, Advocate for Rakesh Kumar appellant (in Cr.A.991-DB of 2004).
Mr.S.S.Randhawa, Senior D.A.G. Punjab.
MEHTAB S.GILL, J.
We will be deciding Criminal Appeal No.991-DB of 2004 filed by Rakesh Kumar alias Beeri and Criminal Appeal No.1012-DB of 2004 filed by Raj Kumar alias Raju, Rajinder Kumar alias Tinda, Gulab Singh alias Gulaba, Raj Kumar alias Raja and Sunny alias Deepak by this common judgment, as both these appeals arise out of the judgment/order dated 17.11.2004 of the Additional Sessions Judge, Amritsar vide which the appellants were convicted under Sections 302/324/323/149/148 I.P.C. and were directed to undergo various terms of sentences.
The prosecution case is unfolded by the statement Ex.PA of Ramesh Kumar given to SI Harjinder Singh, S.H.O. Police Station Islamabad, Amritsar at Civil Hospital, Amritsar. Ramesh Kumar stated that he is a resident of Gali No.8, Ram Nagar Colony, Amritsar. He had purchased a house built on a plot measuring 123 sq.yds. situated in Gali No.8, Ram Nagar Colony, Islamabad in May, 2001.
He had purchased it from one Sushil Kumar. He was staying in this house.
Ramesh Kumar owned another house situated at Kot Khalsa, wherein his mother and other family members resided. Gursharan Singh who was running an insecticide shop near the Hussain Pura Chowk, started to claim that he had also purchased the aforesaid house in Ram Nagar Colony. On 29.5.2003, Ramesh Kumar ate his evening meal along with Satpal, Balwinder Singh, Shangara Singh, Sawinder Singh, Gurcharan Singh, all residents of Mehlawala, Narinder Kumar resident Islamabad and Tarvej Singh resident of Kotli Sakkewali. After taking their meals, they went to sleep at about 11.45 p.m. Gurcharan Singh armed with a Kirpan, Raj Kumar armed with Kirpan, Rajinder Kumar armed with kirpan, Beeri along with Manu, Bori, Sunny, Gulaba and others jumped over the wall from the back side of the house, all armed with Kirpans. All of them hurled abuses and attacked the complainant party and also hurled Soda water bottles. Injuries were caused to Gurcharan Singh, Sat Pal, Balwinder Singh, Sawinder Singh, Narinder Kumar, Tarvej Singh and Gurcharan Singh. Gurcharan Singh sustained grievous injuries. In the meanwhile, the police reached there and all the assailants ran away. On the basis of this statement F.I.R. Ex.PA/3 was registered on 30.5.2003 at 3.45 a.m. at Police Station Islamabad. The special report reached the J.M.I.C., Amritsar on the same day at 9.10 a.m.
The prosecution to prove its case, brought into the witness-box Ramesh Kumar PW-1, Satpal PW-2, Swinder Singh PW-3, Narinder Kumar PW-4, Constable Surjit Singh PW-5, Balwinder Singh PW-6, Dr.Shilekh Mittal PW-7, Dr.Kirpal Singh PW-8, Manjit Singh PW-9, ASI Ajit Singh PW-10, Rishi Ram PW-11, ASI Jaspal Singh PW-12, HC Mantej Singh PW-13, Constable Balbir Singh PW-14, Dr.Indu Bala PW-15, Swinder Kumar PW-16, Harpreet Singh, SI Harjinder Singh PW-18, LC Sarvan Singh PW-19, Constable Harwant Singh PW-20, Tarvej Singh PW-21 and Balwinder Singh PW-22.
Learned counsel for the appellants has argued that the learned trial Court has faulted in convicting the appellants on the sole statement of Ramesh Kumar PW-1 which is Ex.PA. This statement was given by Ramesh Kumar PW-1 before some of the accused were summoned. After summoning of the accused charge was framed again. Ramesh Kumar PW-1 along with injured witnesses Satpal PW-2, Swinder Singh PW-3, Narinder Kumar PW-4, Balwinder Singh PW- 6 and Tarvej Singh PW-21 did not support the prosecution case. Though they were declared hostile and cross-examined by the Public Prosecutor, but they stood by their statement that the appellants did not cause them injuries and the appellants have been falsely implicated.
Learned counsel for the State has argued that the statement Ex.PA of Ramesh Kumar PW-1 could be the basis for conviction of the appellants. At that time Ramesh Kumar PW-1 was telling the truth and he stood by the prosecution case. Injuries were caused to the deceased. There was a motive to commit the offence, as the house in Ram Nagar was in dispute between Ramesh Kumar PW-1 and one Gursharan Singh of the appellants party.
We have heard the learned counsel for the parties and perused the record with their assistance.
The learned trial Court has convicted the appellants solely on the basis of statement Ex.PA of Ramesh Kumar PW-1. After framing of the charge on 23.8.2004, supplementary challan was filed against Sunny alias Deepak. Prior to that, Ramesh Kumar PW-1 when he was examined in the Court on 12.1.2004, had supported the case of the prosecution. After the summoning of Sunny alias Deepak, when Ramesh Kumar PW-1 came into the witness-box again he was confronted with his statement Ex.PA given on 21.1.2004, but he resiled from the statement and stated that he had to give it as the police pressurized him. Two statements were there before the learned trial Court, both given on oath by Ramesh Kumar PW-1. The first was the one given on 12.1.2004 Ex.PA, and the second was the statement given on 4.9.2004, wherein he stated that he has seen the accused persons in Court, but they did not cause injuries to him. He has stated that the identification done in statement Ex.PA by him of the appellants was at the instance of the police. Before recording of his statement Ex.PA by the trial Court, the police had kept him in custody and made him sit in the police station for two days. When he came to give his statement, he was kept in the Sessions Court Compound, so that he could not talk to anyone and when the turn of the accused came, he was produced in Court by the police. This witness has given two contradictory statements on oath. The benefit of contradictions in both the statements cannot be given to the prosecution, but would naturally go to the accused. The other injured eye-witness to this occurrence i.e. Satpal PW-2, Swinder Singh PW-3, Narinder Kumar PW-4, Balwinder Singh PW-6 and Tarvej Singh PW-21 have resiled from their statements. There is no other witness on record apart from the official witnesses to corroborate the prosecution version.
With the above discussion and observations, a doubt is created in our mind as to the prosecution case, benefit of which is given to the accused.
Both the appeals are allowed. The appellants are acquitted of the charge. Their convictions and sentences are set aside. Appellants, if in custody, are directed to be set free forthwith.
( MEHTAB S.GILL )
( BALDEV SINGH )
November 21, 2006 JUDGE
WHETHER TO BE REFERRED TO REPORTER? YES/NO
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