High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Mohinder Singh v. State of Haryana - CRA-323-db-2001  RD-P&H 2721 (28 April 2006)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB & HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH
Criminal Appeal No. 323 DB of 2001
Date of decision: 1-5-2006
Mohinder Singh ....................Appellant Versus
State of Haryana ....................Respondents
CORAM:- HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE K.S.GAREWAL
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE R.S.MADAN
Present: Shri S.S.Walia, Advocate,
for the appellant.
Shri S.S.Goripuria, D.A.G. Haryana.
Shri Vivek Singhal, Advocate,
for the complainant.
Mohinder Singh has filed this appeal to challenge his conviction by learned Sessions Judge, Hisar for the murder of Atma Ram, Criminal Appeal No. 323 DB of 2001 2
Advocate, who was shot dead in the District Court premises at Hisar on January 16, 1999. Mohinder Singh alongwith his father Het Ram and brothers Rajinder and Subhash were tried but only Mohinder Singh was convicted and sentenced for life vide judgment dated May 4, 2001. Five other men Jia Lal, Mohan Lal, Gopal, Jagdish and Mohinder(son of Jagdish) had also been sent up for trial but they were discharged by the learned Sessions Judge on June 10, 1999.
Het Ram and Atma Ram were distant cousins and their lands adjoin each other. There was a path to the fields of Atma Ram which Het Ram and his sons had blocked by digging a ditch. This had led to a quarrel between the two groups and the matter was reported to the police. Atma Ram and his brother Dalip Singh (PW-10), their father Om Parkash, uncle Neki Ram and Chhabil Dass moved an application before the police but they were taken into custody under Section 107/151 Cr.P.C. Later Het Ram, Mohinder and Rajinder were also taken into custody under the said provision.
According to Dalip Singh (PW-10), on the morning of January 10, 1999 he had heard rumours in the village that Atma Ram was going to be murdered. Dalip Singh hastened to the District Courts, Hisar alongwith Ram Kumar (PW-10) to meet Atma Ram who was a practising lawyer at Hisar. At 1-30 P.M. Dalip Singh (PW-10), Ram Kumar (PW-11) and Atma Ram deceased were sipping tea in front of chambers 115 and 116 where many other lawyers were also present. Mohinder Singh appellant reached there, took out a country made pistol from his pocket and fired a shot at Atma Ram who fell down. Mohinder Singh was overpowered by Dalip Criminal Appeal No. 323 DB of 2001 3
Singh and two others lawyers and his weapon was snatched from him. Atma Ram was immediately evacuated to the General Hospital, Hisar but he died on reaching the hospital.
Sub-Inspector Sampat Ram (PW-13) had come to the District Courts to appear witness in the court and was present in front of the Sessions Court, Hisar. When he heard sound of gun fire coming from the side of Block 1 Lawyers Chambers, and rushed to the spot alongwith HC Mohinder Singh and two other constables who were on duty in the Judicial Complex. On reaching Chamber 115, he immediately arrested Mohinder Singh who had been caught hold by Dalip Singh (PW-10) and Ram Kumar (PW-11). Two Naib Courts had also reached the spot. Mohinder Singh was arrested and Dalip Singh (PW-10) also handed over the pistol and 3 live cartridges to the Investigating Officer.
Dalip Singh's statement was recorded, it was completed the same at 3.00 P.M. and sent to the Police Station Civil Lines, Hisar. On the basis of Dalip Singh's statement the case was registered at 3.20 P.M.
The Investigating Officer proceeded to General Hospital, Hisar on learning that Atma Ram had succumbed to the gun shot injury. Inquest report was prepared and the dead body was sent for post mortem examination. Post mortem was conducted by a Medical Board consisting of Dr. Gopal Bhardwaj (PW-1), Dr. Suman Menon and Dr. Ajay Kumar Gupta and the following injuries were found on the person of the deceased:- " 1. A lacerated wound with inverted margins of the size .
5cm x .75 cm with collar of abrasion in inter-scapular region right of the mid-line. 10 inches from left Criminal Appeal No. 323 DB of 2001 4
acromian and 9 inches from right acromian. 56 and half inches from left heel, 55 and half inches from right heel (wound of entry).
2. A lacerated wound of size 1.5cm x 1cm with everted margins, 2 inches away from the mid-line, 11 inches from right acromian and 15 inches from left acromian, 52 and half inches from left heel, 52 inches from right heel as per diagram shown (wound of exit). On dissection starting from the wound of entry there was effusion of blood in sub-cutaneous tissues and soft tissues. The track was entering the right chest cavity through laceration of muscles and underlying transverse process of vertebra lacerating posterior pleura. Chest cavity was full of blood and lung was badly lacerated. The laceration was extending to hilar region. On further dissection, track opened on anterior chest wall through fifth inter-coastal space lacerating muscle, pleura, sub-cutaneous tissues and skin anteriorly. Direction of the track was downwards, forwards and laterally. Corresponding holes were present in clothing except front of coat.
In the opinion of the Board cause of death was shock and hemorrhage due to fire arm injuries which were sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of nature. The pistol recovered from Mohinder Singh, the cartridges recovered from the spot and clothes of the deceased were sent for examination by Forensic Science Laboratory, Madhuban. The report Criminal Appeal No. 323 DB of 2001 5
confirmed that Mohinder Singh pistol was in working order and had fired the cartridge recovered from the spot and also caused holes in the clothes worn by the deceased at the time of the occurrence --coat, sweater, shirt and vest. The itmes of clothing were found to be stained with human blood.
After completion of the investigation, the prosecution sent up Mohinder Singh and 8 other accused for trial. Learned Sessions Judge framed charges against Mohinder Singh, Het Ram, Rajinder and Subhash but discharged Jia Lal and four others on January 10, 1999. The accused who were charged pleaded not guilty and claimed to be tried.
At the trial prosecution examined Dr. Gopal Bhardwaj (PW-1) who was member of the Medical Board which conducted post mortem examination, Dr. M.R. Sapra (PW-2) who first examined Atma Ram deceased, C. Raju (PW-3) Draftsman who prepared site plan, HC Jaswant Singh (PW-4) who was Naib Mohar Head Constable at the Police Station and before whom case property was deposited, MHC Jaswant Singh (PW-5) who was responsible for keeping the case property intact, C. Ram Narain (PW-6) who took the case property to the F.S.L., HC Mohinder Singh (PW- 7) who took the dead body for post mortem examination, S.I. Om Parkash (PW-8) who recorded the formal F.I.R. , C. Pawan Kumar (PW-9) who produced the record regarding the security proceedings between the parties, Dalip Singh (PW-10), Ram Kumar (PW-11), Ramesh Kumar (PW-12) before whom Het Ram, Rajinder and Subhash had confessed the crime, SI Sampat Ram (PW-13) who recorded the statement of Dalip Singh and arrested Mohinder Singh accused from whom pistol and three live cartridges were recovered.
Criminal Appeal No. 323 DB of 2001 6
Accused were examined without oath under Section 313 Cr.P.C. and they denied various itmes of the prosecution evidence which were put to them. They pleaded innocence and false implication.
The learned Sessions Judge came to the conclusion that prosecution has successfully proved that Atma Ram had been shot dead by Mohinder Singh on January 16, 1999 in the Judicial Courts Complex but Het Ram, Rajinder and Subhash did not share common intention with Mohinder Singh. Consequently, Mohinder Singh was convicted while Het Ram, Rajinder and Subhash were acquitted.
According to the learned counsel for the appellant Dalip Singh (PW-10) was a set up witness and so also was Ram Kumar (PW-11). If these witnesses had been present when Atma Ram was shot at then they would have accompanied the dying man to the hospital but they did not do so.
After the occurrence Dalip Singh and Ram Kumar stayed back. It was surprising that the real brother of the deceased had not thought it necessary to take his brother to the hospital. Atma Ram had actually been taken to hospital by some advocates including Dharminder Singh. According to Dr.
M.R. Sapra (PW-2) injured Atma Ram had been brought to hospital by some advocates. He was given some first aid before being referred to Civil Hospital, Hisar.
In the present case it is really not that significant that the eye witnesses instead of taking the injured to the hospital stayed back to wait for the police to arrive. The reason for saying this is that Mohider Singh had been arrested at the spot and his pistol had also been recovered. After the occurrence while Atma Ram was being vacuated to the hospital the assailant Criminal Appeal No. 323 DB of 2001 7
was disarmed and captured. Therefore, it was important for Dalip Singh to stay at the spot to ensure that Mohinder Singh does not escape and his pistol is not lost. As a matter of fact the pistol was in Dalip Singh's possession and was handed over by him to the police. It is for this additional reason that Dalip Singh had to stay back at the spot as one could hardly expect Dalip Singh to be moving around with the murder weapon.
The learned counsel for the appellant has also argued that Dalip Singh's reason for coming to Hisar was to be with Atma Ram and to warn him about the likely attack on him is unbelievable. Dalip Singh had stated that he had heard some whispering in the village that Atma Ram was going to be killed. Dalip Singh never stated this in his examination-in-chief but there was a statement to this fact in his first statement to the police which formed the basis of the F.I.R. In cross-examination when Dalip Singh was needlessly asked about this fact he replied that it was correct that he had gone to Hisar after hearing some whispering in the village. The whispering was among the children. Even this unlikely statement and so called contradiction can be of no help to the accused since he was arrested at the spot by some by-standers and his pistol was recovered. This is the most damaging evidence against Mohinder Singh. No weakness in the prosecution case can overcome the arrest of the accused at the spot.
Learned Sessions Judge had quite correctly concluded that though Het Ram, Rajinder and Subhash were present in the District Courts though at some distance from the place of the occurrence, all three of them had actually escaped leaving Mohinder Singh behind. It was Mohinder Singh alone who had come up to Atma Ram and shot him. Whatever slight Criminal Appeal No. 323 DB of 2001 8
weakness there may have been in the prosecution case the benefit of that had been given to Het Ram, Rajinder and Subhash but it could not be extended to Mohinder Singh.
We have carefully considered the arguments of the learned counsel for the appellant and gone through the record of the case. Our conclusion is that on January 16, 1999 at 10.30 P.M. when Atma Ram Advocate was present in the District Courts Complex opposite Chambers 115-116 he was shot by Mohinder Singh with a pistol. Mohinder Singh was overpowered and captured on the spot and pistol was also recovered.
Medical evidence showed that the deceased had one injury measuring .5cm x .75 in the inter-scapular region and wound of exit measuring 1.5cm x 1.5cm. The track of the bullet entered the right chest cavity through laceration of muscles and underlying transverse process of vertebrae lacerating posterior pleaura. Chest cavity was full of blood and lung was badly lacerated. Injury had been described in details in the post mortem report. The Investigating Officer had collected a .315 bore cartridge case from the spot. This cartridge alongwith the recovered country made pistol, chambered for .315 bore, was sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory at Madhuban. The Ballistic Expert reported that fire arm was in working condition and the cartridge case found at the spot had been fired from this very pistol.
Mohinder Singh's father Het Ram and Atma Ram were distant cousins and their lands adjoin each other. The path to Atma Ram's fields had been blocked by Het Ram. This had given rise to security proceedings.
Dispute between neighbouring farmers was not resolved amicably.
Criminal Appeal No. 323 DB of 2001 9
Therefore, one of them had to die at the hands of the other. The evidence against Mohinder Singh was overwhelming. He had a strong motive. He was arrested at the spot and his pistol was recovered.
We have examined all aspects of the case and find that this appeal is devoid of any merit and is hereby dismissed.
May 1, 2006
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