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BALJINDER SINGH & ORS versus THE STATE OF PUNJAB

High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh

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Baljinder Singh & Ors v. THE STATE OF PUNJAB - CRA-D-876-2002 [2006] RD-P&H 3568 (3 July 2006)

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH.

DATE OF DECISION:- 5.7.2006

Baljinder Singh and others ...APPELLANTS VERSUS

THE STATE OF PUNJAB ...RESPONDENT

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

PRESENT:-Mr.A.P.S.Deol and T.S.Sangha, Advocates for the appellants.

Mr.S.S.Randhawa, Senior Deputy Advocate General, Punjab assisted by Mr.Ashish Grover, Advocate..

MEHTAB S.GILL, J.

This is an appeal against the judgment dated 8.11.2002 of the Additional Sessions Judge, Mansa whereby he convicted appellants Baljinder Singh, Harvinder Singh, Harjinder Singh, Hakam Singh, Baldev Singh, Gurcharan Singh, Satgur Singh and Kewal Singh under Section 302 read with Sections 148/149 IPC and sentenced them to undergo various terms of imprisonment.

The prosecution case is unfolded by the statement Ex.PL of Kuldip Singh, given to ASI Surjit Singh at Civil Hospital, Mansa. Kuldip Singh stated, that he is a resident of village Samaon. He does agricultural work and is Matric pass. He has a younger brother named Bhinder Singh, who is studying in 8th

class. About one year back, Kuldip Singh's marriage was solemnized by Baldev Singh son of Inder Singh with his wife's real sister (Sali) Daljit Kaur daughter of Hakam Singh. Kuldip Singh and his wife used to visit the house of his mediator Baldev Singh. This was objected to by Kuldip Singh's father. Due to this reason, a quarrel broke out in the house of Kuldip Singh. On 18.12.1999 Gurmit Kaur, mother of Kuldip Singh and Bhinder Singh younger brother of Kuldip Singh had gone to Kuldip Singh's maternal grand-parents house at village Namol. In the house at Samaon, Kuldip Singh, his wife Daljit Kaur, his father Amarjit Singh and his grand-mother Gurdial Kaur were present. After taking meals, Kuldip Singh and his wife went to the Baithak. Kuldip Singh's father and his grand-mother were lying in the verandah of their house. At about 9.30 P.M.

Harjinder Singh (Daljit Kaur's brother), Harvinder Singh and Baljinder Singh sons of Hakam Singh, residents of Khumber got opened their gate by giving a call. Baldev Singh his mediator was also with them. They came in the house and asked for food. Kuldip Singh along with his wife went to the verandah to arrange food. As there was power failure, an earthen lamp was on. Kuldip Singh's brother-in-law paid respect to the father of Kuldip Singh and his grand-mother by saying "Sat Sri Akal". Kuldip Singh went inside to fetch a cot and in the meanwhile Baljinder Singh took out Kasoli and hit Amarjit Singh on the head, while he was lying on the cot. The blow hit him above his right eye in the head, from its sharp side. Thereafter, Kuldip Singh's brother-in-law Harjinder Singh and his mediator Baldev Singh caught hold of Kuldip Singh. Harvinder Singh took out a Kasoli and hit Amarjit Singh on the forehead from its sharp side. Baldev Singh gave a gandasa blow to Amarjit Singh, which hit him on the rear side, on the dorsum of his left hand. Kuldip Singh's father-in-law Hakam Singh, Gurcharan Singh, Satgur Singh and Kewal Singh, who were standing in the street, exhorted the assailants to hit Amarjit Singh. On hearing the noise, Kuldip Singh's uncle Joginder Singh and his neighbour Ran Singh came to the spot. Amarjit Singh was taken in a tractor-trolly to Civil Hospital, Bhikhi and thereafter he was referred to Civil Hospital, Mansa. It was a moonlit night. The cause of grudge, is that the assailants, who were relatives of Kuldip Singh, were suspecting that Kuldip Singh's father Amarjit Singh used to harass Kuldip Singh and his wife Daljit Kaur.

On the basis of this statement Ex.PL, FIR Ex.PL/2 was recorded on 20.12.1999 at about 10.40 A.M. Special report reached the Illaqa Magistrate on 21.12.1999 at 10.05 A.M.

Initially a case under Sections 323, 324, 148 and 149 IPC was registered. Amarjit Singh the father of the complainant died on 30.12.1999 at Daya Nand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana (hereinafter referred to as "D.M.C.Ludhiana") and Section 302 IPC was added.

Prosecution to prove its case brought into the witness box Dr.Vipan Goyal as PW1, Dr.Satpal Bansal as PW2, Dr.Pushpinder Kumar as PW3, Kuldip Singh as PW4, Gurdial Kaur as PW5, Dr.Charanjit Singh as PW6, Dr.Bikramjit Singh as PW7, Dr.R.K.Kaushal as PW8, Dr.Gurdarshan Singh as PW9, CII Baljit Singh as PW10, HC Shivji Ram as PW11, ASI Surjit Singh as PW12, SI Sulakhan Singh as PW13, ASI Surjit Singh as PW14, Dr.Mandeep Singh Bhangu as PW15 and Kesar Singh Inspector as PW16.

Shri T.S.Sangha and Shri A.P.S.Deol, learned counsels for the appellants have argued that there is an unexplained delay of 36 hours in lodging of the FIR Ex.PL/2. Occurrence had taken place on 18.12.1999 at 9.30 P.M. Statement of Kuldip Singh was recorded on 20.12.1999 at 10.40 A.M. at Civil Hospital, Mansa. Deceased Amarjit Singh was no other person than the father of Kuldip Singh PW4. In the natural cause of event, Kuldip Singh PW4 would have first taken his father to the hospital and thereafter would have gone to Police Station Bhikhi, which was only 1-1/2 KM away from the place of occurrence. Civil Hospital, Mansa and Police Station Bhikhi are hardly at a distance of 500 yards. Kuldip Singh PW4 in his testimony has stated that he went to visit his father on 19.12.1999 and 20.12.1999. He did not take his father to the hospital, but it was Joginder Singh his uncle, who took him to the hospital and had admitted him there.

The conduct of Kuldip Singh PW4 is unnatural. In fact, he was not present on the day of occurrence. The prosecution has suppressed the genesis of the occurrence. Gurdial Kaur PW5, the other eye witness, is an old lady of 70 years. She has stated in her testimony before the Court that she is hard of hearing. It is strange though she being hard of hearing, heard the lalkara being given by appellants Hakam Singh, Gurcharan Singh, Satgur Singh and Kewal Singh from a distance as they were standing in the street.

The medical evidence does not corroborate the ocular account.

Dr.Vipan Goyal PW1, Dr.Satpal Bansal PW2 and Dr.Pushpinder Kumar PW3 have stated that there were two simple injuries on the forehead of Amarjit Singh. No fracture could be detected though the x-ray had been taken. These three doctors in fact were negligent to the extent of not noticing the third injury on the left temporal parietal region. If this injury had been detected, the life of Amarjit Singh could have been saved. He was referred to D.M.C.,Ludhiana and it is after three days that the injury on the left temporal parietal region of the deceased could be detected, but by that time it was too late. Kuldip Singh PW4 has tried to improve upon his version as to what he stated in the FIR by stating before the Court that one blow of Kasoli was given on the left head of his father Amarjit Singh.

The motive for the commission of the offence is vague.

Nothing has come out as to what was the reason that Amarjit Singh was objecting to. That Kuldip Singh PW4 and his wife Daljit Kaur do not visit the house of Baldev Singh, who was brother-in-law (both Daljit Kaur and wife of Baldev Singh were real sisters) of Kuldip Singh PW4 and was also the mediator of the marriage of Kuldip Singh PW4 with Daljit Kaur. Kuldip Singh PW4 in his testimony before the Court has denied the motive. It is strange that the appellants, who belonged to different village, had come 70 Kms in the night to inflict injuries to Amarjit Singh. This they could have easily done in the day time also, as they were no strangers to the house and were related to Amarjit Singh deceased. Prosecution is in fact suppressing the genesis of the occurrence.

Learned counsel for the State has argued that the delay of 36 hours in the lodging of the FIR had been adequately explained by Kuldip Singh PW4. Kuldip Singh PW4 has stated in his testimony before the Court that he did not go to the police station from the hospital, as the doctor had told him that he had sent a ruqqa to the police station and there was no necessity of lodging the report by him. Further, we cannot overlook this fact, that the dispute was between close relatives and a case under Sections 323, 324, 148 and 149 IPC had been registered against the appellants, though not in evidence but one can safely presume that some sort of talks must have been going on so that a compromise could be effected between Amarjit Singh and the appellants as all of them were closely related. There was no need for Kuldip Singh PW4 and Gurdial Kaur PW5, the two eye witnesses, to falsely implicate the appellants and let the actual culprits go scot free. Both these witnesses are natural witnesses. The occurrence had taken place at 9.30 P.M. in the house and it was natural for Kuldip Singh PW4 and Gurdial Kaur PW5 to be in their house. Occurrence had taken place at 9.30 P.M. As there was no electricity, an earthen lamp was on. A third injury was given by Harvinder Singh or Baljinder Singh, which Kuldip Singh PW4 and Gurdial Kaur PW5 did not notice in the semi darkness.

This in fact was the fatal injury given on the left temporal parietal region of Amarjit Singh. Dr.Pushpinder Kumar PW3 who examined Amarjit Singh on 18.12.1999 at 11.30 P.M. did not notice the injury on the left temporal parietal region. It was on 21.12.1999 when the CT scan of Amarjit Singh was done by Dr.Vipan Goyal PW1 that the injury on the left temporal parietal region was noticed. It was noticed that there was a comminuted fracture of left parietal and temporal bones. The motive for the commission of the offence is proved by both Kuldip Singh PW4 and Gurdial Kaur PW5.

Appellants armed with deadly weapons came to the house of deceased Amarjit Singh in the darkness of the night to inflict injuries on him, so that his life is extinguished.

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

Learned counsel for the appellants have laid a lot of stress on the delay of 36 hours in the lodging of the FIR. Occurrence had taken place on 18.12.1999 at 9.30 P.M. and the statement of Kuldip Singh PW4 was recorded on 20.12.1999 at 9.40 A.M. by ASI Surjit Singh PW12 at Civil Hospital, Mansa. Kuldip Singh PW4 was a rustic village. The doctor told him, that as the ruqqa had been sent, there was no need for him to go to the police station. Kuldip Singh PW4 in his testimony before the Court has stated that he along with his grand-mother Gurdial Kaur PW5, his father Amarjit Singh and his wife Daljit Kaur were in the house when the appellants came. Appellants Baljinder Singh and Harvinder Singh took out Kasolis Ex.P10 and Ex.P11 and gave injuries on the forehead of Amarjit Singh, who was lying on a cot. As there was no electricity, an earthen lamp was on. It was also a moonlit night. Appellants Hakam Singh, Gurcharan Singh, Satgur Singh and Kewal Singh stood outside in the street and exhorted appellants Baljinder Singh, Harvinder Singh, Harjinder Singh and Baldev Singh to give injuries to Amarjit Singh. While giving injuries, they were saying that they were harassing Daljit Kaur and Kuldip Singh PW4 and that is the reason that they would not let Amarjit Singh live. A fatal injury was inflicted on the left temporal parietal region of Amarjit Singh was not noticed by Kuldip Singh PW4 because of the semi darkness. In his testimony before the Court, Kuldip Singh PW4 has categorically stated that Harvinder Singh his brother-in-law (wife's brother) took out a Kasoli from underneath his blanket, which he had wrapped around himself and hit the left side of the forehead of his father Amarjit Singh. Before that appellant Baljinder Singh had given a Kasoli blow on the left eye of his father.

Baldev Singh gave a gandasa blow on the left hand of Amarjit Singh.

Statement of Kuldip Singh PW4 has been corroborated by Gurdial Kaur PW5. Gurdial Kaur PW5 in her testimony before the Court has stated that she is hard of hearing. Argument of the learned counsel for the appellants that appellants Hakam Singh, Gurcharan Singh, Satgur Singh and Kewal Singh were standing outside in the street and were exhorting the other appellants to give injuries to Amarjit Singh could not have been so, as firstly they were standing in the street outside the house, it was a dark night and they could not have been seen by both Kuldip Singh PW4 and Gurdial Kaur PW5, Further, Gurdial Kaur PW5 in her testimony before the Court has stated that she is very hard of hearing. It is strange that though being hard of hearing she has also stated that Hakam Singh, Gurcharan Singh, Satgur Singh and Kewal Singh were exhorting the other appellants. Further, there was no need for appellants Hakam Singh, Gurcharan Singh, Satgur Singh and Kewal Singh to stand outside in the street, as they also accompanied the other appellants and could have easily come into the house as they also were closely related to Kuldip Singh PW4. We are of the considered opinion that the delay in the lodging of the FIR has been utilised to falsely implicate appellants Hakam Singh, Gurcharan Singh, Satgur Singh and Kewal Singh. During the course of investigation, the Investigating Officer found these appellants innocent and placed them in column No.2. Rattan Lal Monga, S.P. DW2 in his testimony before the Court has stated that he was sent by the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mansa to inquire into the case. He along with S.H.O. Police Station Bhikhi summoned both the parties after reaching the village. He inquired from 70/75 persons from both the sides and he recorded the statements of a number of persons whose names he has mentioned in his statement. He found appellants Hakam Singh, Gurcharan Singh, Satgur Singh and Kewal Singh innocent.

Appellants Hakam Singh, Gurcharan Singh, Satgur Singh and Kewal Singh have been falsely implicated. They are given the benefit of doubt and are acquitted of the charges framed against them.

Kuldip Singh PW4 and Gurdial Kaur PW5 are closely related to appellant Harvinder Singh, who is the real brother of Daljit Kaur wife of Kuldip Singh PW4. Appellant Baldev Singh is the brother-in-law of Kuldip Singh PW4. Daljit Kaur and the wife of Baldev Singh are real sisters.

Similarly, Baljinder Singh and Harjinder Singh are also closely related to Kuldip Singh PW4. After going through the statements of Kuldip Singh PW4 and Gurdial Kaur PW5, we do not see any reason, as to why they would falsely implicate them. We cannot overlook this fact thyat the complainant party and appellants are closely related. They would not let the actual culprits go scot free. Both Kuldip Singh PW4 and Gurdial Kaur PW5 are natural witnesses. Occurrence had taken place in the night in the house of Kuldip Singh PW4. Appellants had a grudge that deceased Amarjit Singh used to stop his son Kuldip Singh PW4 and Daljit Kaur to go to the house of Baldev Singh. This was resented to by the appellants and thus they came to take revenge. The medical evidence qua the injuries on the person of deceased Amarjit Singh corroborates the ocular account, as Kuldip Singh PW4 has made it amply clear, that Harjinder Singh his brother-in-law took out a Kasoli from underneath his blanket which he had wrapped around himself and gave a blow which hit on the left side of the forehead of his father Amarjit Singh. This in fact was the fatal injury.

Injury inflicted on the left temporal parietal region was not detected by Dr.Pushpinder Kumar PW3, who prepared the MLR of Amarjit Singh on 18.12.1999 at 11.30 P.M. CT Scan of the injuries was done by Dr.Vipan Goyal PW1 on 21.12.1999 when Amarjit Singh was referred to D.M.C.Hospital, Ludhiana. Both Dr.Satpal Bansal PW2 and Dr.Pushpinder Kumar PW3, who performed the x-ray showed negligence in not detecting the injury on the left temporal parietal region of the deceased. This injury in fact was the fatal injury and if detected in time, probably the life of Amarjit Singh could have been saved. It was only when Dr.Vipan Goyal PW1, who performed the CT Scan on 21.12.1999 that he found a comminuted fracture of the left parietal and temporal bones. He further opined that there were soft tissue swelling seen in the left temporal parietal region. Dr.Satpal Bansal PW2, who performed the x-ray, instead of immediately going into the nature of the injuries on the head, sent the x-ray report to Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot. This delay proved costly for the life of Amarjit Singh, though the doctors of D.M.C., Ludhiana tried to save his life by performing an operation, but by that time, the injury on the left temporal parietal region had become of such a serious nature that Amarjit Singh's life could not be saved.

Appellants Baljinder Singh, Harvinder Singh, Harjinder Singh and Baldev Singh, who caused injuries to Amarjit Singh, had the knowledge that this could lead to his death, when they were inflicting blows on the head region, but they did not have the intention to extinguish his life. All they wanted to do so as to teach him a lesson for stopping Kuldip Singh PW4 and Daljit Kaur from going to the house of appellant Baldev Singh.

Ends of justice would be met by convicting appellants Baljinder Singh, Harvinder Singh, Harjinder Singh and Baldev Singh under Section 304 Part II, IPC and sentencing them to undergo rigorous imprisonment for seven years. Fine shall remain intact.

With the above modification in conviction and sentence, appeal of Baljinder Singh son of Hardam Singh, Harvinder Singh and Hajinder Singh sons of Hakam Singh and Baldev Singh son of Inder Singh is dismissed. Appellants are directed to surrender before the C.J.M. Mansa to undergo the remaining part of the sentence if not already undergone.

Appeal of appellants Hakam Singh, Gurcharan Singh, Satgur Singh and Kewal Singh is allowed and they are acquitted of the charges framed against them.

( MEHTAB S.GILL )

JUDGE

( BALDEV SINGH )

JUDGE

July 5,2006

AS

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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