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Darshan Singh v. State of Punjab - CRM-A-60-DB-2001  RD-P&H 751 (22 January 2007)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH.
CRL.APPEAL NO. 60-DB of 2001
DATE OF DECISION : 19-1-2007
Darshan Singh ... Appellant
State of Punjab ... ... Respondent
CORAM:- HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE MEHTAB S.GILL
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE ARVIND KUMAR
Present: Mr. Aseem Rai, Advocate,
for the appellant
Mr. J.S.Duhan, DAG Haryana
This appeal is directed against judgment and order dated 5.10.2000 and 9.10.2000 passed by the Sessions Judge, Bathinda, whereby in case FIR No. 81 dated 6.12.1998 u/s 302 IPC, Police Station Maur, District Bathinda, the accused-appellant has been convicted under Section 302 IPC, for having committed the murder of Jarnail Singh and sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for life and also to pay a fine of Rs.1000/- each and in default of payment of fine, to further undergo imprisonment for a period of six months.
In brief, the facts are that on 6.12.1998, Sikander Singh son of Jarnail Singh (Majbi) and Balbir Singh son of Mukhtiar Singh (Majbi) both residents of Kharak Singh Wala, came to Police Station Maur and lodged report, Exhibit PA, stating that they are running the business of purchasing trees from the villagers and after cutting the said trees, they used to sell it.
It was stated that three days prior to 6.12.1998, he , his father Jarnail Singh @ Jaila, Chet Singh son of Mukhtiar Singh and Darshan Singh son of Puran Cr.A.No.60-DB of 2001 2
Singh (Ramdasia) resident of Kharak Singh Wala, purchased a TAHLI tree (Dalbergia tree) for a sum of Rs.4500/- from Major Singh son of Dial Singh, resident of Kutiwal Kalan. Out of them, they except Darshan Singh paid the share of their money to Major Singh, due to which Darshan Singh was kept out of the partnership. Then all the three partners felled the TAHLI tree and he along with his father Jarnail Singh and Chet Sigh went to cut the tree in the field of Major Singh. Jarnail Singh and Chet Sigh were cutting the tree with the help of a Saw while he(Sikander Singh) was preparing tea at a distance of about 10 Karams. On that day, at about 12 noon said Darshan Singh armed with a Kulhari came there and stated that he would teach a lesson for ousting him from the partnership towards purchase of Tahli tree.
He then gave a Kulhari blow on the right side of the neck of Jarnail Singh i.e. father of Sikander Singh resulting into his death at the spot. On an alarm being raised, Darshan Singh ran away along with his Kulhari towards Kutiwal Khurd. Sikander Singh then made Chet Sigh sit near the body of his father and went to village Kharak Singh Wala to call for responsible persons. He then along with Balbir Singh reached the Police Station Maur and made statement on which a case was registered by Inspector Gurjant Singh. Inspector Gurjant Singh then along with the police party and the complainant reached at the spot. After inspection, the police lifted the blood stained earth and simple earth and after converting the same into two separate parcels took it into possession vide recovery memo. Ex.PB It also took into possession a Saw vide recovery memo. Ex.PC clothes, one white turban as Ex.P-1, shoes of Jarnail Singh as Exhibit P2/A and P2/B, , one Payjama as Ex.P3, and five pieces of Tahli tree vide recovery memo Ex.PD and exhibited as P5 to P9. Post-mortem examination was conducted and site plan, Ex.PE, prepared. On 8.12.1998 accused Darshan Singh was arrested and on the basis of his statement, the Kulhari(axe), Ex.P10, was recovered and taken into possession.
Upon investigation of the case, accused Darshan Singh was challaned. After being produced in Court, he was charge-sheeted under Section 302 IPC to which he pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.
The prosecution in order to prove the charge against the accused, examined complainant Sikander Singh, son of deceased Jarnail Singh, who while appearing as PW-1 gave deposition similar to the one Cr.A.No.60-DB of 2001 3
narrated by him in his statement before the police. Chet Singh appeared as PW-2 and supported the statement of PW-1 Sikander Singh. Major Singh appeared as PW-3 and deposed in regard to Jaila Singh, Chet Singh and Darshan Singh having purchased a Tahli tree from him. PW-4 Dr.Mukesh Gupta stated in regard to having conducted the post-mortem examination on the dead body of Jarnail Singh. Constables Jugraj Singh and Surjit Singh appeared as PW-5 and PW-6 respectively and deposed in regard to the investigation conducted in the case. Inspector Gurjant Singh appeared as PW-7 and deposed in regard to the investigation conducted by him being Investigating Officer of the case.
After closure of prosecution evidence, accused Darshan Singh was examined under Section 313 Cr.P.C. and put incriminating evidence appearing against him to which he pleaded innocence and claimed false implication.
The learned Sessions Judge, vide his judgment and order held the accused-appellant Darshan Singh guilty and convicted and sentenced him in the manner indicated above. Hence, the present appeal by accused Darshan Singh.
We have heard the learned counsel for the parties.
The case mainly rests upon the testimony of PW-1 Sikander Singh and PW-2 Chet Singh. Counsel for the accused-appellant contends that PW-1 Sikander Singh is the son of the deceased whereas PW-2 Chet Singh is from their brotherhood and on account of their relationship, they are highly interested witnesses and thus, no reliance can be placed on their testimonies. The contention is meritless. It is not the absolute law that evidence of a relation witness is not entitled to any weight but this very circumstance would add to the value of his evidence because he would be interested in ensuring that the real culprit responsible for the crime is punished and not the innocent person. The requirement is that their testimonies require close scrutiny. It has come in evidence that just three- four days prior to the occurrence, PW-1 Sikander Singh along with PW-2 Chet Singh and accused Darshan Singh had purchased TAHLI tree from PW-3 Major Singh for Rs.4500/-. The amount of share fallen to Sikander Singh and Chet Singh was paid but Darshan Singh had not given the amount of his share and on the date of occurrence, when Sikander Singh along with Cr.A.No.60-DB of 2001 4
his father and Chet Singh had gone there and had uprooted the tree, it enraged Darshan Singh for depriving him of his share from the TAHLI tree and led to the presence occurrence. Therefore, the presence of PW-1 Sikander Singh and PW-2 Chet Singh was quite natural as obviously on account of having purchased the said tree, they were required to be present there for cutting purpose for which it was purchased. Minor contradictions in their statements so referred upon, go to the root of the case. Their statements corroborate on material particulars. They were subjected to cross-examination. They stood firm to their stand.
Counsel for the accused-appellant has argued that PW-4 Dr.Mukesh Gupta who conducted post-mortem examination found injury on the right side of the neck of the deceased, has observed that this injury could not be caused from the front whereas PW-2 Chet Singh has admitted in cross-examination that the injury was inflicted by Darshan Singh while facing Jarnail Singh and as such, medical evidence does not support the ocular account. The contention is meritless. It is difficult for a witness to depict the correct position. Jarnail Singh might be facing the accused prior to the inflicting of the injury but it cannot be over-looked that Jarnail Singh did not move in any direction in order to save himself which is otherwise a natural impulse in a person and in that situation, possibility cannot be ruled out that Kulhari hit the right side of the neck. Further, it also depends upon the direction of the wielding of Kulhari by the accused. When the occurrence had taken place in the manner as stated in the instant case, it is very difficult for a witness to narrate the location with exactitude.
Therefore, the defence cannot derive any benefit from the same.
A stress has also been laid that PW-4 Dr.Mukesh Gupta has opined that the weapon with which the injury was caused must be having a blade of more than six inches but Kulhari in question was having blade of 2-1/2 inches. The contention is again meritless. There is no such suggestion put to Dr.Muksh Gupta with regard to the size of the blade of the Kulhari, Exhibit P-10. A bare perusal of the recovery memo. Ex. PQ/2, of Kulhari, shows that the size of its blade is 7-1/2 inches and not 2-1/2 inches. The prosecution also had shown Kulhari, Ex.P10, so recovered from the accused-appellant, to PW-4 Dr.Mukesh Gupta who has categorically Cr.A.No.60-DB of 2001 5
opined that injury on the person of Jarnail Singh is possible with this Kulhari.
Counsel for the accused-appellant has next argued that had the witnesses been present at the spot, they would have definitely intervened and while not doing so, their presence at the spot is again doubtful. This contention is also meritless. The tenor of evidence of both the witnesses suggests that accused Darshan Singh came there with Kulhari and suddenly attacked Jarnail Singh. There was hardly any time for the witnesses to intervene. Even otherwise, accused-appellant Darshan Singh was armed with a Kulhari and in that situation, it was not expected from the witnesses to intervene as the elements of self-preservation is supreme in human being.
In Hari Singh M.Vasva v. State of Gujarat, 2002 Supreme Court Cases (Criminal 654), it has been held that merely because the eye witnesses failed to intervene to save the deceased, cannot be made a ground to reject their testimony.
Counsel for the accused-appellant has referred to the Inquest report, Exhibit PH, to argue that as per report, the dead-body of Jarnail Singh was lying in the water-course and not in the fields of Major Singh as deposed by eye-witnesses and as such, prosecution case is not truthful.
The report has been misconstrued by the counsel for the accused-appellant.
A bare perusal of report, Ex. PH, shows that in the first column relating to the name of place where the death occurred or where the dead-body was found, is shown to be the fields of Major Singh son of Dayal Singh resident of Kutiwal Kalan. PW-3 Major Singh has also stated in cross-examination that there are number of tube-wells near the place of occurrence and in this situation, existence of water-course at the place of occurrence cannot be ruled out. Even a close look at the inquest report, Exhibit PH, reveals that on the other side, there is root of the tree and this clinches the issue that the place of occurrence is none else but in the fields of Major Singh where Tahli tree had been cut. The FIR in this case is prompt and so is the special report to the Illaqa Magistrate. The medical evidence supports the ocular account, as observed earlier, so far as the nature of the injury and the weapon used is concerned.
Counsel for the appellant-accused has next argued that only one blow had been given in this case which shows that there was no Cr.A.No.60-DB of 2001 6
intention on the part of the accused to commit the murder and thus, he cannot be held liable for an offence under Section 302 IPC. The contention is meritless. The injury is on the vital part, i.e. neck of the deceased. The kind of force used is apparent from the post-mortem report proved by PW-4 Dr.Mukesh Gupta wherein the injury is shown to have been inflicted on the right side of the neck and so much so, the head was tilted towards left side. In this back drop, it cannot be said that there was no intention to commit the murder.
No other point has been argued.
In view of the discussion above, we do not find any merit in this appeal which is hereby dismissed.
( ARVIND KUMAR )
( MEHTAB S. GILL )
January 19, 2007 JUDGE
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