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Pargat Singh v. State of Punjab - CRA-D-835-DB-2004  RD-P&H 1416 (3 March 2006)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB & HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH
Criminal Appeal No. 835 DB of 2004
Date of decision: 15-2-2006
1. Pargat Singh son of Shangara Singh
2. Mehal Singh son of Shangara Singh both residents of Village Ghoga, District Amritsar.
State of Punjab
CORAM:- HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE K.S.GAREWAL
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE PRITAM PAL
Present: Shri T.S.Sangha, Advocate with
Ms. G.K.Mann, Advocate,
for the appellants.
Shri H.S.Grewal, D.A.G.Punjab assisted by Shri Navpinder Singh Sidhu, Advocate, for Shri Vikram Chaudhary, Advocate,
for the complainant.
Pargat Singh and Mehal Singh, sons of Shangara Singh of Ghoga, District Amritsar, were tried by learned Additional Sessions Judge, Amritsar for the murder of Baljit Singh. The learned Trial Judge vide judgment dated August 11, 2004 found Pargat Singh guilty of murder and Criminal Appeal No. 835 DB of 2004 2
convicted him under Section 302 I.P.C. sentenced him imprisonment for life and to pay fine of Rs.2000/-, in default of payment of fine to undergo rigorous imprisonment for two months. Mehal Singh was convicted under Section 302 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code and was also sentenced imprisonment for life. Pargat Singh and Mehal Singh filed Criminal Appeal No.835 DB of 2005 to challenge their conviction.
Criminal Revision No.2618 of 2004 has been filed by Swaran Singh for enhancement of sentence.
The present case is also an off-shoot of the murder of Resham Singh for which Rachpal Singh alias Bunty was tried and convicted by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Fast Track Court, Amritsar vide judgment passed on August 11, 2004 and in respect of which the convicted accused had filed Criminal Appeal No. 832 DB of 2004 which has been decided separately.
The prosecution case was that on June 30, 1999 at 2.30 P.M.
Resham Singh's murder had sparked off the murders of two brothers Hardev Singh and Baljit Singh sons of Swaran Singh. The occurrence relating to the murder of Baljit Singh had occurred in the following manner:-
After Resham Singh's murder three brothers, Hardev Singh, Dilbagh Singh and Baljit Singh were present in their house when Sawinder Singh of their village came there armed with a gandasi and started hurling abuses. This was objected by Dilbagh Singh. Sawinder Singh inflicted a gandasi blow on Dilbagh Singh's head. Dilbagh Singh in self defence inflicted a kirpan blow on Sawinder Singh. In the meanwhile Pargat Singh appellant (Pargat Singh II) who was a witness to Resham Singh's murder Criminal Appeal No. 835 DB of 2004 3
arrived there with his brother Mehal Singh. Pargat Singh II was armed with .12 bore gun while Mehal Singh was empty handed. Baljit Singh climbed to the roof of a nearby Gurdwara to save himself and started hurling brick- bats from the roof. Mehal Singh raised a lalkara to Pargat Singh II to shoot Baljit Singh. Thereafter Pargat Singh II shot at Baljit Singh. The shot hit Baljit Singh on the back of his left shoulder. After injuring Baljit Singh the two assailants escaped. Baljit Singh and Dilbagh Singh were brought to their house in injured condition.
Baljit Singh's father Swaran Singh (PW-3) and brother Hardev Singh evacuated the injured men Baljit Singh and Dilbagh Singh (PW-4) in a tractor-trolley for taking them to Amritsar. The tractor was being driven by Hardev Singh. When the tractor passed through Jasraur, Pargat Singh I Nishan Singh and Major Singh reached there. Pargat Singh I raised lalkara whereupon Nishan Singh shot at Hardev Singh who died. Swaran Singh managed to rescue his sons Baljit Singh and Dilbagh Singh and evacuated them to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, Amritsar. Baljit Singh was admitted in the hospital at 5.50 P.M. and died at 6.20 P.M.
When Swaran Singh was on his way to report the matter regarding the murders of his sons, he met Inspector Ajit Singh (PW-11) who recorded his statement. The Investigator then came to the place of the occurrence and lifted blood stained earth therefrom and also prepared rough site plan. Thereafter the investigation was handed over to S.I. Karanjit Singh.
Inquest on the dead body of Baljit Singh was conducted by SI Karanjit Singh at the S.G.T.B. Hospital whereafter the dead body was sent for post mortem examination.
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Post mortem on the dead body of Baljit Singh was conducted by Dr. Ashok Chanana (PW-1) on July 1, 1999 at 2-15 P.M. and following injuries were found:-
1. A lacerated perforated wound round in shape with abrasion collar and clotted blood 1X1cm was present on the left lateral aspect of upper limb (left side) in its centre.
2. A perforated lacerated wound 1.6X1.4cm irregular in shape with everted margins and clotted blood was present on the medial aspect of left upper limb.
3. A perforated lacerated wound 1X0.8cm oval in shape with abrasion collar and clotted blood was present on the left lateral aspect of the chest, 25cm below the maxillary point.
4. A perforated lacerated wound 3X2.5 cm irregular in shape with everted margins was present in the right infra-scapular region of the chest.
On dissection injury No.1 communicated with injury No.2 after perforating the intervening soft tissue structure. Clotted blood was present in the track. The track was of divergent type.
On dissection injury no.3 communicated with injury No.4 after injuring the intervening structure i.e. chest wall, pleurae, both lungs fracturing the thoracic vertebrae. Clotted blood was present in the track which was of divergent type. Each pleural cavity contained 250 CC of fluid and clotted blood.
In the opinion of the Medical Officer the cause of death was hemorrhage and shock as a result of injuries No.3 and 4 which were sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of nature. The probable time Criminal Appeal No. 835 DB of 2004 5
that elapsed between injuries and death was immediate to within a few hours and between death and post mortem was between 12 to 24 hours.
After completion of the investigation Pargat Singh II and Mehal Singh were sent up for trial. Charges were framed against the accused under Section 302 I.P.C.( against Parghat Singh II) and under Section 302/34 I.P.C.( against Mehal Singh ) to which they pleaded not guilty and claimed trial. Prosecution examined Dr. Ashok Chanan (PW-1), Rikhi Ram Draftsman (PW-2), Swaran Singh (PW-3), Dilbagh Singh (PW- 4), LC Inder Singh (PW-5), HC Darbara Singh(PW-6), HC Gurdev Singh (PW-7), C.Partap Singh (PW-8), C. Baljit Singh (PW-9), Inspector Sub Singh (PW-10), Inspector Ajit Singh (PW-11), Dr. Rajiv Pangutra (PW-12), HC Charanjit Singh (PW-13).
Accused were examined without oath under Section 313 Cr.P.C. While denying all the circumstances which appeared in the prosecution evidence against him, Pargat Singh II gave the following cross version:-
" The allegations are false. In fact on the day of the occurrence, Dilbagh Singh, Karnail Singh, Tilu, Baljit Singh assaulted my brother Swinder Singh. I on hearing raula all alone went out of house and to save my brother had fired in self defence of Swinder Singh."
When called upon to enter defence, accused examined Dr.
Gurmanjit Singh Rai (DW-1) to prove the injuries on the person of Sawinder Singh and closed the case. Dr. Gurmanjit Singh Rai examined Sawinder Singh on 3-7-1999 at 8-10 A.M. and found the following injuries on his person:-
Criminal Appeal No. 835 DB of 2004 6
1. Incised wound 8X1cm on right site of head obliquely placed, 9cm above upper end of pinna of ear, margins were found in opposition, by stitched now.
2. Incised wound 5X1cm on left side of forehead obliquely placed just above middle of eye brow now stitched wound.
3. A bluish bruise 8X3.5cm on back of left upper arm in its upper 1/3rd
4. Reddish brown abrasion with scab 8.5X0.3 cm vertically placed on back of right side of chest in mid scapular region.
5. 9X2cm obliquely placed reddish brown region with scab formation was present on right side back of chest in scapular region.
6. Bluish bruise 12X3cm on back of left forearm obliquely placed on its lower 1/3rd
Injury No.1 was declared grievous while other injuries were declared simple.
Learned Trial Judge came to the conclusion that Swaran Singh and his sons were present at their house when Sawinder Singh armed with a Gandasi came there and there was fight between Sawinder Singh and Dilbagh Singh. At that time only Sawinder Singh and his son Ramanjit Singh were present there. Pargat Singh and Mehal Singh reached there later.
Baljit Singh climbed to the roof of the gurdwara out of fear and started throwing brick-bats from there. It was at this point of time that Pargat Singh II fired a shot which hit Baljit Singh. The learned Trial Judge found that Pargat Singh II had not fired at Baljit Singh in self-defence of Sawinder Singh. The accused were aggressors. The atmosphere in the village was surcharged due to murder of Resham Singh. Therefore, Pargat Singh II a Criminal Appeal No. 835 DB of 2004 7
friend of Resham Singh and his brother Mehal Singh had come to the house of the complainant party for revenge. Baljit Singh had climbed the Gurdwara's roof from where he started throwing brick-bats. The occurrence was witnessed by Baljit Singh father Swaran Singh and brother Dilbagh Singh.
The main ground for challenging the conviction was that Pargat Singh II had exercised the right of self defence to defend his brother Sawinder Singh from being attacked by Baljit Singh and Dilbagh Singh and had shot at Baljit Singh in self defence.
Under Section 96 I.P.C. nothing is an offence which is done in the exercise of right of private defence. Law recognizes right of private defence of body and of property and gives every person the right to defend his own body and body of his any other person against any offence affecting the human body. Therefore, in the present case if Sawinder Singh was inflicted injuries in the presence of Pagat Singh II by Baljit Singh then Pargat Singh II may be able to successfully plead right of private defence of his brother Sawinder Singh. However, the right to private defence was not an absolute right. The right commences as soon as a reasonable apprehension of danger to the body arises and continues as long as apprehension of danger to the body continues. If Pargat Singh II is pleading self defence of Sawinder Singh then he would have this right only for the period specified in Section 102 I.P.C. and the right would continue as long as the apprehension of danger continues. In the present case there is nothing even to remotely suggest that Pargat Singh II possessed the right of self defence of Sawinder Singh because Sawinder Singh was not examined as a defence witness. Although Dr. Gurmanjit Rai (DW-1) did testify as regards Criminal Appeal No. 835 DB of 2004 8
injuries to Sawinder Singh.
Therefore, even though it has been established that Sawinder Singh received injuries, this cannot straightaway relate to the incident in which Baljit Singh was shot because none of the witnesses, in cross- examination, accepted the fact that Baljit Singh had inflicted kirpan blows on Sawinder Singh. Both the witnesses testified that Sawinder Singh was injured by Dilbagh Singh and not by Baljit Singh. Furthermore, Baljit Singh had run upto the roof of Gurdwara from where he had started pelting brick- bats. A gunman on the ground could have no apprehension of such injury that would entitle him to shoot at the person who was throwing bricks at him from the roof. If the gunman had been injured by a brick after he had fired a few shots then the person on the roof who threw the brick may be able to successfully claim that he had thrown the brick in self defence to protect himself from the gun fire since his apprehension was that he may get shot. The circumstances of the present case show that the person armed with a much stronger weapon cannot fear the person who is unarmed and is only throwing bricks at him. Therefore, the self defence theory does not help the appellants.
From the prosecution evidence we find that the eye witness account of Swaran Singh (PW-3) and Dilbagh Singh (PW-4) was fully corroborated by the medical evidence. There had been a series of incidents in the village on that day, leaving three men dead and two men injured. The atmosphere was charged with tension. Pargat Singh II had just witnessed his friend Resham Singh being done to death and may have seen Sawinder Singh being injured. Therefore, it was in rage that he reached the spot armed with a gun and shot at Baljit Singh who trying to save himself by throwing Criminal Appeal No. 835 DB of 2004 9
bricks from the roof of a nearby gurdwara. Parghat Singh had acted on the exhortation of his brother Mehal Singh who was empty handed, and who shared common intention to murder Baljit Singh.
For the above recorded reasons we find no merit in this appeal.
The conviction of the appellants as recorded by the learned Additional Sessions Judge is confirmed alongwith sentences of imprisonment for life passed on them.
The appeal is dismissed.
Criminal Revision No.2618 of 2004 filed by Swaran Singh for enhancement of sentence is devoid of merit and is also dismissed.
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