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RAM SINGH versus STATE OF U.P.

High Court of Judicature at Allahabad

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Ram Singh v. State Of U.P. - CRIMINAL APPEAL No. 1981 of 1981 [2006] RD-AH 18361 (30 October 2006)

 

This is an UNCERTIFIED copy for information/reference. For authentic copy please refer to certified copy only. In case of any mistake, please bring it to the notice of Joint Registrar(Copying).

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE OF ALLAHABAD

Reserved

Criminal Appeal No. 1981 of 1981

Ram Singh............................................................Accused

             Appellant

Versus

State of U.P...........................................................Respondent

Hon'ble M. Chaudhary, J.

This is a criminal appeal filed on behalf of the accused appellant from judgment and order dated 28th  of August, 1981 passed by III Additional  Sessions  Judge, Aligarh  in Sessions  Trial No.457 of 1978 State Vs Ram Singh convicting  the accused  appellant   under  sections 395 IPC and sentencing  him to  undergo five years' rigorous imprisonment  thereunder.  

Brief  facts  giving  rise to this appeal are that  during  the night  between 23rd  and 24th of  February, 1974 Ram Niwas and his  elder  brother   Rajendra  Prasad were sleeping in the rooms on the ground  floor and upper storey  respectively and glowing lantern was kept in the room of  both  of them. At  about  12:30 mid night  Ram Niwas  felt  presence of some bandits  on the roof  of  his house and then he came out of his room and saw that some persons were  on the roof of his house. Immediately he raised an alarm, and in the meanwhile the bandits  jumped  from the roof  and started firing as many of them   were armed with  guns, countrymade pistols, lathis, axes  etc. On hearing the  hue and cry  and sound of firing  some of the  co-villagers  namely  Chhotey Lal, Ranvir  Singh, Rajvir  Singh, Patram Singh, Babu  Khan, Misri Lal and Nem  Singh  taking guns, lathis, spears and   torches   reached there.    Rajendra  who was sleeping in his  room on the upper storey also fired  with his licenced gun  through   the  hole made in the door  thereof.  In the meanwhile  Chhotey Lal  set  fire  to the stacks of  karab kept to the west of the house of  Ram Niwas which created  sufficient light.  The  bandits  also  axed the door of the  room of  Rajendra  and fired  thereby causing  injury to   him.  After   ransacking the house  for  about an hour   the bandits  ran away with  looted  ornaments, clothes etc. Inmates  of the house and the witnesses   recognized   Ram Singh, the co-villager among  the bandits in the light of lantern, burning   karab and in the light of torches   flashed. The co-villagers  chased the bandits and  apprehended one of them  namely  Dhara while    running  away with the looted  property.   The remaining bandits  succeeded in making their  escape  good.  The following  morning  Ram Niwas   taking his  injured  brother  Rajendra  went to  police  station Atrauli situate at a distance of  eight miles   from village   Chakathal and handed  over   written report of the occurrence to the police there  at  8:10 a.m.  The police  registered   a crime  against   accused  Ram Singh,  Dhara  and  18 unknown bandits  under  section  395 read with  section 397 IPC.

Injured Rajendra was got medically examined at  PHC Atrauli at  1:50 p.m. the same noon.  His medical examination revealed  three scabbed lacerated wounds  besides  an abrasion and contusion on his left arm and multiple  contusions on the back of  scapular region.

After investigating the crime the police submitted charge sheet  against the  accused  accordingly.

After framing of charge  against the accused  the prosecution examined  Rajendra  Prasad  (PW 1), Ranvir ( PW 2) and  Misri Lal (PW 4) as   eye witnesses of the occurrence.  PW 3 SI K.P. Sharma   who investigated the crime    and   after   completing the investigation submitted charge sheet   against   the  accused proved the  police papers.

The accused    pleaded  not guilty stating that  he  did not participate in the alleged  dacoity  attributing his false implication in the case to animosity.

On an appraisal of evidence and  other material on the record the  trial court   held the accused  guilty under section 395 IPC and convicted and sentenced him as stated above.

Feeling aggrieved by the impugned  judgment the accused  appellant  preferred this appeal for redress.

Heard  Sri G.C. Saxena, learned counsel for the  appellant  and  Sri  Shashi Dhar   Sahai, learned  AGA for the  State respondent.

After hearing the parties' learned  counsel  and  going through the record the  Court is  reluctant to accept the finding  of conviction  recorded by the  trial court  against the accused appellant  for the following reasons:

PW 1 Rajendra stated in his  examination-in- chief   that the alleged night  he  was sleeping in his room on  the upper storey; that  at about midnight    time some  18-20  dacoits  ransacked  his house; that they also axed the door  of his room and fired at him  causing   pellet injuries to him at his left upper  arm and that  accused  Ram Singh  standing in the dock was among the  bandits  who ransacked his house  the alleged midnight.  He  admitted that  accused  Ram   Singh  belonged to  his village and his house was  at a distance of some  100-150  paces from his house and that he  alongwith his  parents and brothers resided in this village since his very childhood and was having children and owned   agricultural land.  He admitted that  none of the bandits  was putting on dhata in the said  dacoity.  It is difficult to believe that a person  residing in close neighbourhood  would  go  to commit  dacoity in the house in his neighbourhood without taking any precaution to conceal his identity. According to PW 1 Rajendra himself  accused  Ram Singh belonged to well-to-do     family residing in the  village since his  very childhood  and  had children.  PW 1  Rajendra    stated in his  examination-in-chief   only this much that   accused  Ram Singh was  also  among the  dacoits in the dacoity committed at his house.  He  nowhere stated   that he was possessed with any firearm or any other  weapon. He nowhere attributed any specific role  to him in the said dacoity. The  bandits   plundered  the goods in the  room of  Ram  Niwas, brother of  Rajendra  on the ground floor. Admittedly PW 1 Rajendra was confined  in his room till the door of his  room was  axed  by the  bandits.   Since   PW 1  Rajendra nowhere  stated as to at what point of time  he  saw  accused  Ram Singh among the  bandits  his  testimony implicating   accused  Ram Singh in the   said  dacoity is not  free  from doubt. Likewise,  PW 2 Ranvir Singh  stated that on hearing the hue and  cry  and sound of firing  he  and his brother  Rajvir   taking his  gun went  to the scene of  occurrence; that   Chhotey Lal   who also reached there set fire to the  stacks of karab kept to the west of the house of  Ran Niwas which created sufficient  light; that  Rajvir  also fired   with his gun as the dacoits  were firing  and that  he saw  accused  Ram  Singh among  the  bandits  when they came out    from the house of  Ram Niwas with the looted  articles  and were running    away. He further  stated  that he saw them in the light of  torch from a distance of some  20 paces  and  recognized  Ram Singh among  the bandits. Thus this witness  Ranvir  Singh     ( PW 2)  would have  had only  fleeting  glimpses  of the fleeing bandits while they were  running away  with  the looted  ornaments, clothes etc  and  did not  have ample opportunity to see them as   admittedly he  received  pellet injuries  at his head on account of firing by the bandits. PW 4 Mishri Lal stated in his examination-in-chief that the alleged night he was sleeping at his house; that at about 12:00 mid night  on hearing the sound of firing he got awoken and went towards the house of Rajendra and  saw the bandits running away with the looted property and that one of the bandits namely Dhara was apprehended on the spot with the looted property. He further stated that he had seen the bandits in the light of torches flashed and that of burning karab and that he felt that Ram Singh was also among the dacoits. However this witness Mishri Lal could not withstand his cross-examination as he stated in his  cross-examination that he could not see the face of  any of the bandits.

FIR of the occurrence is also delayed as the said dacoity took place  at mid night during the night  of 23rd and 24th of February,1974 whereas FIR of the occurrence was lodged at the   police  station on 24th of February at 8:10 a.m.    PW 1 Rajendra stated that it takes about one or one and  quarter to an hour to reach the police station from his village. It is stated  that village chaukidar Babu Ram was present in the village. Some of the co- villagers were also having licensed weapons . Under the circumstances, FIR of the said dacoity could very well be lodged by 5:00 or 6:00 a.m. in the morning. Ram Niwas, the first informant has not been examined by the prosecution in its  support. No explanation has been offered to explain the delay in lodging FIR of the occurrence.  The possibility can not be ruled out that accused appellant Ram Singh was named therein due to party factions or on suspicion. Admittedly fields of Rajendra(PW 1) and that of accused Ram Singh and his brothers were abutting  to each other. Possibility can not be ruled out that  some dispute might have taken place between the parties as their fields  were abutting to each other.

For the foregoing reasons, implicit reliance can not be placed on the testimony of the eye witnesses abovenamed and hence  benefit of doubt is extended to accused appellant Ram Singh. Since the Trial Judge failed to appreciate the evidence  in its true perspective, the impugned judgment and order cannot be sustained and is liable to be set aide.

The appeal is allowed and the impugned judgment and order convicting accused appellant Ram Singh under section 395 IPC  and sentencing him to five years' rigorous imprisonment thereunder is hereby set aside. Accused appellant Ram Singh is hereby acquitted. He is on bail. His bail bonds are hereby discharged.

Judgment be certified to the Court below immediately.

Dated: October  30, 2006

Crl Appeal No. 1981-81


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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