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STATE OF PUNJAB. versus BAKHSHISH SINGH

High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh

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State of Punjab. v. Bakhshish Singh - CRM-463-MA-2006 [2007] RD-P&H 232 (11 January 2007)

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH.

Criminal Misc. No.463-MA of 2006

Date of decision: 15.01.2007

State of Punjab.

-----Appellant.

Vs.

Bakhshish Singh

-----Respondent.

CORAM:- HON'BLE MR JUSTICE ADARSH KUMAR GOEL
HON'BLE MR JUSTICE H.S. BHALLA

Present: Mr. K.S. Boparai, Addl. A.G., Punjab.

for the appellant.

-----

Adarsh Kumar Goel, J.

This application has been filed by the State of Punjab, questioning the acquittal of the respondent of the charges under Sections 323/324/326/34 IPC.

FIR was recorded on the statement of Noratta Singh son of Kishan Singh, made before ASI Ram Kishan on 02.07.1998 at 11.55 P.M. at Civil Hospital, Kurali, that at 8 P.M. when he along with one Bhajan Singh son of Basant Singh were present in Village Kalewal, Daljit Singh, Binder Singh and Bakhshish Singh assaulted them with their sticks. They were taken to the hospital by Randhir Singh and Satwinder Singh. After investigation, all the three accused were challenged. Daljit Singh and Binder Singh were declared proclaimed offenders. The trial proceeded only against Bakhshish Singh. The prosecution apart from Noratta Singh, PW-4, examined injured Bhajan Singh, PW-5, medical evidence and the Investigating Officer.

The accused denied the allegations and stated that a criminal case was pending against injured Bhajan Singh and his son and that he was not present in the village on the date of occurrence. The accused also produced Criminal Misc. No.463-MA of 2006

Exh.D-1, copy of judgment, by which appeal of Bhajan Singh was dismissed against conviction, wherein Bakhshish Singh had appeared as DW-2. The trial Court convicted Bakhshish Singh, respondent under Sections 323/325/34 IPC and sentenced him to undergo RI for 2 years and to pay a fine of Rs.500/-. On appeal, the respondent has been acquitted. The appellate Court based the conviction on the following observations:- i) Noratta Singh did not support the prosecution story and resiled from the version given in the FIR.

ii) Version given by Bhajan Singh in Court suffered from material discrepancies with his earlier statement and was also contradicted by the version given by Noratta Singh. There are different versions about the weapon used.

iii) There was previous enmity between the parties and Bhajan Singh and his sons were convicted, wherein the respondent appeared as witness and thus, the version of Bhajan Singh was not reliable.

We have heard learned counsel for the State and perused the record.

The findings recorded by the trial Court cannot be held to be unreasonable or perverse. Noratta Singh resiled from his earlier version and version given by Bhajan Singh suffered from material discrepancies creating a doubt about his reliability. Even if two views are possible, order of acquittal is not liable to be interfered. The parameters for interfering with the order of acquittal are well-known. Reference may be made to a recent judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Jaswant Singh v. State of Haryana, AIR 2000 SC 1833, wherein it was observed:-

"21. The principle to be followed by appellate courts considering an appeal against an order of acquittal is to interfere only when there are compelling and substantial reasons for doing so. If the order is Pag

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Criminal Misc. No.463-MA of 2006

clearly unreasonable it is a compelling reason for interference (see Shivaji Sahabrao Bobade v. State of Maharashtra, (1973) 2 SCC 793: AIR 1973 SC 2622: (1973 Cri LJ 1783)). The principle was elucidated in Ramesh Babulal Doshi v. State of Gujarat, (1996) 9 SCC 225: 1996 AIR SCW 2438: AIR 1996 SC 2035 (1996 Cri LJ 2867):

"While sitting in judgment over an acquittal the appellate court is first required to seek an answer to the question whether the findings of the trial court are palpably wrong, manifestly erroneous or demonstrably unsustainable. If the appellate court answers the above question in the negative the order of acquittal is not to be disturbed. Conversely, if the appellate court holds, for reasons to be recorded, that the order of acquittal cannot at all be sustained in view of any of the above infirmities it can then and then only reappraise the evidence to arrive at its own conclusions." In view of above, we do not find any ground to grant leave to appeal.

The application is dismissed.

( ADARSH KUMAR GOEL )

JUDGE

January 15, 2007 ( H.S. BHALLA )

ashwani JUDGE

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