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BABU RAM v. STATE OF PUNJAB - CRA-D-265-1997 [2006] RD-P&H 126 (13 January 2006)

1.Criminal Appeal No.265 DB of 1997

Babu Ram and others Vs. State of Punjab

2. Criminal Revision No.306 of 1997 Sohan Lal Vs. Babu Ram and others

Present:Sh.R.S.Ghai, Senior Advocate assisted by Mr.Vinod Ghai, Advocate for the appellants in Criminal Appeal No.265 DB of 1997.

Mr.S.S.Randhawa, Senior Deputy Advocate General, Punjab.

None for the petitioner in Criminal Revision No.306 of 1997 Amar Dutt, J.

Babu Ram son of Mana Ram, Indraj son of Leelu Ram and his son Suraj Dev have filed Criminal Appeal No.265 DB of 1997 to challenge the conviction and sentence recorded against them by the Sessions Judge, Ferozepur on 26.2.1997. Sohan Lal complainant has moved Criminal Revision No.306 of 1997 for awarding compensation to the heirs of the deceased. Through this judgment, we propose to decide both the appeal and the revision.

Briefly stated, the facts of the prosecution case, as brought out in the testimony of its witnesses are that on 3.3.1993 at about 7.30 P.M., complainant Sohan Lal on hearing a noise coming from the street near the house of Ram Partap, had come out of his house with a torch in his hand.

Ram Partap had also come out in the street. Both of them saw that Babu Ram and Indraj had caught hold of Ant Ram deceased while Suraj Dev, who is a cobbler by profession, had given a blow with a small Rambi (an instrument of cutting leather) on the chest of Ant Ram. On receipt of this Criminal Appeal No.265 DB of 1997

blow, Ant Ram had fallen down on the ground and on alarm raised by PW2 Sohan Lal and PW3 Ram Partap other people had collected on the spot and thereafter all the accused had run away from the spot. Sohan Lal and Ram Partap had removed Ant Ram to Civil Hospital, Abohar where he was declared dead by the Doctor. The possible motive for the crime, as brought out in the statement of Sohan Lal, was groupism between the complainant party and the accused in the Panchayat elections.

On 3.3.1993, after receipt of the information from Civil Hospital, Abohar through ruqqa Ex.PD that a dead body had been brought, ASI Hardev Singh, PW5 went there and recorded the statement Ex. PH of Sohan Lal and after making his endorsement Ex.PH/1 thereon sent it through Constable Jagir Singh for registration of the formal FIR Ex. PH/1. ASI Hardev Singh, PW5 prepared the inquest report Ex. PB and entrusted the dead body to police officials for getting the post-mortem examination conducted thereon. He also recorded the statement of Ram Partap. On 4.3.1993, ASI Hardev Singh received the medico legal reports of Indraj and his wife Maya and he deputed a guard over Indraj and thereafter took both eye witnesses to the place of occurrence, in village Kiker Khera and inspected the spot. From the place of occurrence, he lifted the earth and blood stained earth and took the same into possession after making them Criminal Appeal No.265 DB of 1997

into sealed parcels through memo Ex. PJ. He prepared rough site plan and searched for Babu Ram and Suraj Dev, who were not traceable. He took into possession, on the same day, the clothes of the deceased, which were produced by HC Kulwant Singh and had returned to the Police Station and deposited the case property with Moharrir Head Constable Balwinder Singh.

On 8.3.1993 after Indraj had been discharged from the Hospital, he was arrested by ASI Hardev Singh PW5 and after that investigation of the case was taken over by SI Jagdev Singh. On 10.3.1993 SI Jagdev Singh accompanied by ASI Hardev Singh went to village Kikkar Khera,where Ram Partap, Ex-Sarpanch produced Suraj Dev and Babu Ram before them and both these accused were arrested. On 12.3.1993, SI Jagdev Singh interrogated Suraj Dev in the presence of ASI Hardev Singh and Het Ram and before them appellant Suraj Dev made a disclosure statement Ex.PK about his having kept concealed one blood stained Rambi under iron box meant for keeping clothes in a room of his house and offered to get the same recovered. His disclosure statement was recorded, whereafter he took the police party to the place of recovery and got recovered Rambi Ex. P1 which was taken into possession through memo Ex. PK/2 and rough site plan of the place of recovery Ex. PK/3 was also prepared. On return to the Criminal Appeal No.265 DB of 1997

Police Station, the Rambi was also deposited with MHC Balwinder Singh.

On completion of investigation, a challan against the appellants was put in the Court of Illaqa Magistrate, who committed the same to the Court of Sessions. After commitment, accused Suraj Dev was charged under Section 302 IPC while Indraj and Babu Ram were charged under Section 302 read with Section 34 IPC to which appellants pleaded not guilty, hence, prosecution was called upon to lead its evidence.

To bring home the charges, the prosecution examined Dr.Lal Chand Thakral as PW 1, Sohan Lal as PW2, Ram Partap as PW 3,Het Ram as PW 4 and ASI Hardev Singh as PW5. The prosecution also tendered into evidence affidavits of MHC Jaswinder Singh, Constable Harvinder Singh and Constable Bhola Singh Ex. PE, Ex.PF and Ex.PG respectively.

When the incriminating circumstances appearing in the evidence of the prosecution witnesses against the appellants were put to them for obtaining their explanation, they denied all the circumstances and pleaded false implications. While Babu Ram took the following plea:- "I am innocent. I have love affairs with Kanta daughter of Sohan Lal. I have produced letters Mark D.1 to D.8 which are in her own hand-writing and I have been falsely involved due to this reason," accused Indraj took the stand that:-

Criminal Appeal No.265 DB of 1997

"I was preparing shoes by cutting leather with the rambi. Ant Ram came there and started abusing me for not supporting Sohan Lal. We exchanged abuses and a quarrel started. In the meanwhile my wife also came there. Ant Ram had a kapa with him. He gave blows to me and my wife with Kapa from its sharp and blunt side. In order to defend me and my wife, I gave a rambi blow to him. Police helped the deceased party as brother of Ant Ram i.e. Main Pal is working in the Police Department. Babu Ram and my son Suraj Dev have been falsely implicated. Eye-witnesses Sohan Lal and Ram Partap are made up witnesses."

Suraj Dev on the other hand took the stand that he is innocent and that he has been falsely implicated being the son of Indraj.

In defence, the appellants had examined Dr.Prithvi Raj as DW1, who had medico legally examined Indraj and also medico legally examined his wife Maya, Dr. R.K.Arora as DW 2, who had radiologically examined Maya wife of Indraj and Maya as DW 3.

After hearing the learned counsel for the parties, the Trial Court came to the conclusion that offence under Section 302 IPC had been proved against Suraj Dev while Indraj and Babu Ram were convicted under Section 302 read with Section 34 IPC and sentenced to undergo life Criminal Appeal No.265 DB of 1997

imprisonment and to pay a fine of Rs.2000/- each or in default of payment of fine to further undergo rigorous imprisonment for six months each.

Hence, the present appeal.

We have heard Mr.R.S.Ghai,learned senior counsel for the appellants and Mr.S.S.Randhawa,ld. Senior Dy. Advocate General, Punjab.

The short point on which judgment of the Trial Court has been assailed before us is that there was enough evidence on the record to indicate that only one injury was caused by the accused in exercise of the right of self defence, when it became necessary to defend himself and his wife Maya from the blows which were given to them by Ant Ram and therefore, at best the appellants could have been convicted under Section 304 of the IPC and to that extent the view of the Trial Court merits interference.

We have carefully considered the submissions made by the learned counsel for the appellants in the light of the assistance given by the counsel for the State and with their help have also perused the record of the Trial Court.

It is not disputed before us that in the incident, which resulted in the death of Ant Ram, appellants Babu Ram and Indraj were in any case involved. We say this because according to the position taken by the Criminal Appeal No.265 DB of 1997

appellants only Suraj Dev has been falsely implicated. According to the defence, it was Ant Ram who had come to the shop of Indraj. At that time, he was armed with a Kapa and had given blows with the same to Indraj and also to Maya, when she had tried to rescue her husband. To prove this, the defence has examined Dr.Prithvi Raj as DW1, Dr.R.K.Arora as DW 2 and Maya as DW3. Dr.Prithvi Raj has proved the Medico Legal Report Ex.DA given by him which shows that he had found the following seven injuries on the person of Indraj, when he was examined by the witness at 10.45 P.M. on 3.3.1993:-

1. There was an incised wound 2 X 0.5 cm bone deep present on anteris lateral aspect of left fore-arm, just above the wrist joint. Fresh bleeding was present. X-ray was advised.

2. There was incised wound 2 X 0.5 cm bone deep present on back of right forearm 5 cm below elecronon process. Fresh bleeding was present. X-ray was advised.

3. There was an unscabbed abrasion 1 X 1 cm over bridge of nose. X-ray was advised.

4. There was abrasion 1.5 X1 cms on right side of face below right eye, adjacent to nose.

Criminal Appeal No.265 DB of 1997

5. There was an abrasion 3 X 1 cms on back of right forearm on its upper part, 3 cms below injury no.2.

6. There was an abrasion 1.5 X 1 cms on lateral side of right forearm on its lower part.

7. There was an abrasion 4 X 3 cms on front of left knee." The Doctor has also examined Maya, wife of Indraj at 11.15 P.M. on the same day and found the following injuries:-

1. There was a reddish contusion 2 X 1.5 cm with underlying swelling 5 X 3 cms on dorsum of right hand on medial side.

X-ray was advised.

2. There was a reddish contusion 6 X 1.5 cm on lateral side of right arm on its middle.

3. There was an abrasion 3 X 2 cms on medial side of the left forearm on its upper part."

The Trial Court after adverting to these injuries had rejected the version on the ground that injuries found on the persons of these two witnesses do not suggest that they were the result of blow given to them intentionally by the deceased with a Kapa. Even Doctor while admitting that duration of the injuries was within six hours stated that the possibility of their having been caused by blade could not be ruled out. While giving Criminal Appeal No.265 DB of 1997

this opinion Doctor had taken into consideration the fact that none of the blood vessels was cut and none of the injuries was such as may have been caused if a kapa had actually been used. The Doctor had also not been able to rule out the possibility of the injuries having been given within half an hour or one hour before the examination. Taking these circumstances into consideration, the Trial Court had, in our opinion, rightly come to the conclusion that:-

"these injuries seems to have fabricated on the person of Indraj and Maya Devi to create a story of self defence. The authorities referred to by the learned counsel for the accused are not applicable to the facts of the present case and are distinguishable on its own facts. In the instance case, the injuries have been fabricated to create a story of self defence. Therefore, there was no occasion for the prosecution to explain the injuries."

We have also scrutinised the testimony of three eye witnesses to find out whether any material has been brought out in cross examination which could enable us to reject the prosecution case. The court below has, in the judgment, after taking into consideration all the aspects, come to the conclusion that the case of the prosecution about the manner in which Ant Ram had been immobilized by Indraj and Babu Ram before solitary blow Criminal Appeal No.265 DB of 1997

with Rambi was given to him by Suraj Dev cannot be treated as incorrect.

The fatal injury that was found on the person of deceased is described as under:-

"1. A stab incised wound 2.5 cm X 1.5 cm present on the front of the chest on left side 4.5 cm below the nipple. Corresponding cut was present on the overlying shirt and vest.

On probing the direction of wound was downwards medially and upwards. On dissection clotted blood was present in underlying tissues, 5th

rib was cut. On furtrher dissection the pericardium was cut and left venatical venticle anteriorly was cut. There was about 700 cc of blood was present on the left side of the chest cavity.

Heart was empty. The injury was ante-mortem in nature." and according to Dr.Lal Chand Thakral the same was sufficient to cause death in due course of events. The Investigating Officer had also collected the blood stained and ordinary earth from the place of occurrence which when examined by the Chemical Examiner and Serologist was found to contain human blood and blood found on the blade of Rambi and Ex. PQ is the report of Serologist regarding the Rambi having been found to be stained with human blood while Ex.PO is the report of Chemical Examiner stating that blood was found on the Rambi. Rambi itself was got recovered Criminal Appeal No.265 DB of 1997

in pursuance to the disclosure statement made by Suraj Dev and taken into possession vide memo Ex.PK/2. Both these documents also have been proved by the attesting witnesses and the Investigating Officer. In these circumstances, we have before us a case in which though single blow has been administered, the same was given by Suraj Dev at the time when the deceased was prevented from moving and getting out of his range by Indraj and Babu Ram and therefore, the decision of the Trial Court to convict Suraj Dev under Section 302 IPC and Indraj and Babu Ram under Section 302/34 IPC cannot be faulted with.

For the reasons recorded above, this appeal fails and the same is hereby dismissed.

With regard to Criminal Revision No.306 of 1997, we are of the view that as no notice has been issued to the respondents, it would not be appropriate for us to deal with the same on merits especially when even no counsel has appeared in the same. Dismissed.

(Amar Dutt)


August 3,2005 (Kiran Anand Lall)

Pa Judge

Criminal Appeal No.265 DB of 1997

Criminal Appeal No.265 DB of 1997


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