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BHOOP SINGH v STATE - CRLA Case No. 338 of 2003  RD-RJ 4007 (17 August 2007)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN AT
BHOOP SINGH V. THE STATE OF RAJASTHAN.
D. B. CRIMINAL JAIL APPEAL NO. 338/2003
Under Section 383, Cr.P.C.,against the Judgment dated 06-02-2003, passed by Mr.R.K.Pareek, RHJS, the learned Additional Sessions Judge,
(Fast Track) Camp at Rajgarh, Churu in Sessions Case No.29/2002 (51/2002).
DATE OF JUDGMENT :::: 17-08-2007
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE BHAGWATI PRASAD
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE MUNISHWAR NATH BHANDARI
Mr. Pappu Sangwa, Amicus curiae.
Mr. J.P.S.Choudhary, Public Prosecutor.
BY THE COURT: (PER HON'BLE BHANDARI, J.):-
Aggrieved by the judgment dated 06.02.2003, passed by the Additional Sessions Judge (Fast Track), Camp at
Rajgarh, Churu, in Sessions Case No.29/2002 (51/2001), appellant has preferred this appeal.
Facts giving rise to the present appeal are that on 25.08.2001, at 11.30 a.m., Vijay Singh Nayak r/o. Hansiawas made an oral report at Police Station,Siddhmukh, stating that his younger brother - Bhop Singh was married almost 15 years back in the family of Gopal Nayak, and both the brothers were living separately in their houses. Bhoop Singh had taken a contract of cutting of the crop of Satveer Khichar. His brother
Bhoop Singh and his wife Smt. Shakuntala used to quarrel every day as BhoopSingh was having doubt about character of
Smt.Shakuntala. On 24.08.2001, both Bhoop Singh and
Shakuntala quarreled in the field and Bhoop Singh threatened
Shakuntala to kill her. On 25.08.2001, at about 7.00 a.m.,
Bhoop Singh and his wife Shakuntala left their residence to reach to the field of Satveer and at 9.00 a.m., his mother Mani went to the scene of occurrence with their food, immediately came back and stated that Bhoop Singh strangulated
Shakuntala and body of Shakuntala is lying in the field of
Satveer between crop. First Information Report (Ex.P-1) was lodged under Section 302, based on aforesaid report.
Investigation was, thereafter, conducted and the Police filed challan against the accused under Sections 498-A and 302 of
The challan was filed in the Court of Additional Chief
Judicial Magistrate, Rajgarh, from where it was committed to the
Court of additional Sessions Judge, Rajgarh. As per the order of
District & Sessions Judge, Churu, the matter was transferred to the trial Court. The trial Court framed charge against the accused under Section 302 of IPC which was read over to the accused who denied charge and claimed trial.
At the trial, 21 witnesses were produced and 33 documents were exhibited by the prosecution. Statement of the accused was recorded under section 313 of Cr.P.C.. No defence evidence was led, however, four documents were exhibited in defence. The trial Court convicted the accused under Section 302 of IPC and sentenced him for life imprisonment and penalty of Rs.500/-, in default to undergo three months' simple imprisonment.
Learned counsel appearing as amicus curiae, appointed by the Court, submitted that it was a case of suicide by deceased
Smt. Shakuntala and accused was falsely implicated at the instance of Vijay Singh, who was having relations with
Shakuntala. Thus, it was urged that accused has wrongly been convicted under section 302 of IPC. It was further urged that there exists no evidence to connect accused with the crime. The circumstantial evidence considered by the trial Court were not sufficient to convict accused under Section 302 of IPC, rather accused was entitled for benefit of doubt. It was thus, prayed that the accused should be acquitted from charge, by setting aside the judgment of the trial Court.
Per contra, learned Public Prosecutor supported the judgment of the trial Court and urged that it was not a case of suicide by deceased Shakauntala, rather chain of circumstances clearly proves and connects accused with the crime. Deceased
Shakuntala died due to strangulation while she was in the field of Satveer, working with accused Bhoop Singh. The accused was last seen with deceased Shakuntalal and as per the report submitted by the complainant Vijay Singh, the incident was reported by Mani, who is mother of accused. The statement of
Mani was then reported to the police where she was shown to be the eye witness of the incident, though turned hostile. The learned Public Prosecutor further argued that Vijay Singh has not lodged a false complaint and allegation about his illicit relations with Shakuntala are not correct and could not be proved by the defence. Thus, the conviction awarded by the learned trial Court deserves to be maintained.
We have considered the rival submissions of the learned counsels and carefully gone through the record of the case.
The prosecution case was initiated on submission of report by Vijay Singh Nayak on 25.08.2001, stating that as per the information given by his mother Mani, accused Bhoop Singh strangulated deceased Shakuntalal while working at the field of
Satveer. Mst.Mani is an eye witness of the incident and her statement was recorded as PW 5. Mst. Mani stated that she is mother of accused and accused and deceased were living with her. The said eye witness, however,turned hostile. However, she admitted that she had given statement to the Police and portions marked as C to D, E to F and I to G of her police statement were stated by her. She admitted that his son Bhoop Singh strangulated Shakuntala. Relevant portion of her statement is quoted hereunder:-
" .9 ...... ! .9 ! % .9 ...... ( ! % .9 + ( .9 .......... % ! .9 ........... ! ( .9 ! % ........( ! ( ! % %
PW 18 Dr.Jailal stated that he conducted post mortem of deceased Shakuntala on 25.08.2001 and prepared report (Ex.P- 28). Cause of death was shown due to asphyxia which was on account of strangulation. Strangulation of deceased was sufficient to cause death.
PW 1 Sarla stated that accused Bhoop Singh and deceased
Shakuntala used to quarrel with eachother as accused Bhoop
Singh was having doubt on the character of Shakuntala. She further stated that incident of 25.08.2001 was reported by her mohter-in-law Mst. Mani to her as well as to her husband Vijay
PW 2 Vijay Singh corroborated the statement of PW 1
Srala. It was stated by the said witness that the matter was reported to the police when his mother Mst.Mani Devi informed that accused Bhoop Singh strangulated deceased
Shakuntala while they were working in the field of Satveer.
PW 8 Satveer stated that he went to his field at about 7.00 a.m. and, at that time, BhoopSingh and shakuntala were working in his field, under the contract given to them. It was further stated by him that at that time, no-body else was there on the field and he returned back from the field, after some time. In the noon time, he heard that Bhoop Singh has killed his wife Shakuntala. He immediately went to his field and saw that dead body of Shakuntala is lying there. In the cross- examination, no contradiction was found in the statement of all these witnesses who were material to prove the case of the prosecution.
In the statement recorded under Section 313 of Cr.P.C., the accused stated that deceased Shakuntala was having illicit relations with Vijay Singh, therefore, deceased committed suicide out of her realization. It was stated that he is innocent and falsely implicated in the matter.
The learned trial Court discussed evidence available on record and came to the conclusion that material available on record proves prosecution case beyond doubt. The learned trial
Court considered vital aspect of the matter as to whether the statement of PW 5 Mst.Mani should be ignored completely as she turned hostile or the portion of her statement can be considered to the extent it is corroborated by the other prosecution witnesses. The learned Trial Court came to the conclusion that statement of eye witness Mst.Mani cannot be ignored completely on being turned hostile. Her statement can be read to the extent corroborated by other evidence available on record.
The learned trial Court further considered as to whether corroborating evidence is available on record or not and as to whether prosecution could prove its case. In that respect, the learned trial Court considered the statement of an independent witness Satveer P.W.8, who had stated that accused and deceased were last seen on his field, immediately before the incident. Mst.Mani Devi P.W. 5 had also admitted that part of statement reported the police, is correct and her statement has been corroborated by PW 1 Sarla and PW 2 Vijay Singh and even by medical evidence. Thus, statement of Mani can be read to the extent it is corroborated by other witnesses. In the statement under Section 313, accused came out with the defence that
Shakuntala committed suicide, but was found to be false as deceased was not found hanging in the field, so as to make out a case of suicide as she died by strangulation. As per the statement of Mst. Mani and corroborated by other witnesses, accused and deceased were not having good relations and they used to quarrel with each other. Strangulation of deceased was by the turban of the accused and the accused was seen last with the deceased, it was necessary for the accused to explain her cause of death. Though explanation was given by the accused, but the same was found to be false. Even the medical evidence proves and corroborates the prosecution case.
The argument of the learned counsel that it was a case of suicide by Shakuntala and false implication of the accused cannot be accepted as it is not found to be case of suicide of
Shakuntala and if it would have a case of suicide, the accused , last seen with the deceased, the matter ought to have been reported by him, being deceased's husband. However, material on record shows that the incident was reported firstly by
Mst.Mani to her son Vijay Singh who had seen the occurrence while visiting scene of occurrence at 9.00 a.m. and immediately thereafter, the matter was reported to the Police by said Vijay
Singh. Thus, story of suicide taken up by the defence is found to be false. More so when P.W.5 Mani in her Court statement admitted that she made a statement to the police and portions marked C to D, E to F and I to G of police statement were stated by her. Perusal of admitted portion of statement proves that she is eye witness and commission of offence was seen by her. She even admitted that accused strangulated deceased. There is no evidence to support the case of suicide as other than statement of accused, there is nothing on record to prove the same, thus first argument of the learned counsel for the appellant cannot be accepted.
It was further considered that though Mst. Mani turned hostile, but she had admitted material portion of her police statement coupled with the admission of strangulation of deceased Shakuntala by the accused who is none else but her son. Her statement was corroborated not only by independent witness Satveer PW 8, PW 1 Sarla and PW 2 Vijay Singh. Even the medical evidence also corroborates statement of PW 5 Mani who has seen the occurrence. Hence, if corroborated part of evidence of Mst. Mani is seen, then also, it is proved beyond doubt that she was eye witness to the occurrence and the incident was firstly reported by her to son Vijay Singh and daughter-in-law Sarla. On the scene of occurrence, deceased was lying without any sign of commission of suicide, rather it is found that deceased was strangulated by turban. Hence, taking note of portions of statement of Mst. Mani, duly corroborated by other witnesses and evidence available on record, proves prosecution case. It is necessary to record that learned counsel for the appellant has not even questioned finding of the trial
Court in regard to use of corroborated portion of evidence of hostile witness. Thus, in those circumstances, and even otherwise, there remains no reason to ignore statement of Mst.
Mani PW 5 to the extent it is corroborated by the other witnesses. The statement of PW 5 Mani as quoted in the
Judgment shows that his son (accused) strangulated deceased.
PW 8 seen accused and deceased alone just before occurrence and medical evidence proves it to be a case of strangulation.
In the light of the discussions made above, conclusion arrived at by the trial Court is not called for interference as we are not persuaded by any argument of the counsel for the appellant.
In the result, the appeal preferred by the appellant fails and is hereby dismissed. The order of the trial Court is affirmed, thereby the conviction and sentence of the accused under Section 302 of IPC are maintained. The accused to serve out the sentence as awarded by the learned trial Court.
(MUNISHWARNATH BHANDARI),J. (BHAGWATI PRASAD),J.
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