Sat Pal Vs. The State of Punjab  INSC 476 (8 September 1995)
M.K. (J) Mukherjee M.K. (J) Nanavati G.T. (J) M.K. Mukherjee, J.
1996 AIR 201 JT 1995 (6) 379 1995 SCALE (5)235
Pal, the appellant herein, and one Des Raj were placed on trial before the
learned Judge, Special
Court, Ferozepur for
committing the murder of Iqbal Chand in furtherance of their common intention.
The trial ended with an order of conviction under Section 302 I.P.C. and
sentence of imprisonment for life recorded against Sat Pal and acquittal in favour
of Des Raj. Hence this appeal at the instance of Sat Pal.
to the prosecution case, Iqbal was a medical practitioner in his village Chak Burwala
and, normally, used to come back home by 10 P.M. As, on September 20, 1984 he did not return home by then his mother Bishan
Devi went in his search and found Sat Pal and Des Raj assaulting him with Kulhari
and kirch respectively in the premises where he used to practice. She
immediately raised alarms and attracted thereby her another son Gurdip, who
lived nearby reached there. When both of them started shouting the appellants
ran away with their respective weapons. Iqbal, however, died in the meantime.
Ram, father of the deceased, had gone to village Dilia Ram which was about 20 kms,
from their village, Jaila Singh, uncle of Wasawa Ram, was asked by Bishan Devi
to fetch him. After Wasawa Ram arrived in the following morning Bishan Devi,
accompanied by him, went to the police station and lodged an information about
the incident at 8.30
A.M. On that
information a case was registered and investigation was taken by the S.I. Baljinder
Singh. He proceeded to the spot, held inquest upon the dead body of labal and
after seizing the wearing appareis, sent it for post-mortem examination. He
also seized the cot on which his dead body was found and some blood stained
earth and made separate parcels in respect of them. He also prepared a rough
course of the investigation the appellant was arrested on September 24. 1984
and the shirt he was wearing was seized by the Investigating Officer as he
found some blood stains on it. He then interrogated the appellant and pursuant
to the statement made by him recovered a blood stained kulhari. The other
accused was also apprehended and a blood stained kirch was recovered pursuant
to his statement. After examining the witnesses and completing other
formalities of investigation the Investigating Officer submitted charge-sheet
and in due course the case was committed to the Special Court for trial.
motive that was ascribed by the prosecution for the murderous assault on Iqbal
was that the appellant suspected liaison between his sister and the deceased.
appellant pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against him and contended
that he had been falsely implicated.
prove its case the prosecution examined five witnesses of whom Bishan Devi
(P.W.3) and Gurdip (P.W.4), figured as eye-witnesses. Besides, the prosecution
tendered the evidence of some police officials, which was of a formal
character, through affidavits and also exhibited the reports of the chemical
examiner and the serologist.
P.W.3 and 4, who narrated the prosecution case as detailed earlier, were
subjected to searching cross- examination on behalf of the appellant, nothing
could be elicited wherefrom it could be said that their version was improbable
or unreliable. The F.I.R. that was lodged by P.W.3 on the following morning
also corroborates her evidence.
learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant, however, strenuously
argued that the unusual delay of about 10 hours in lodging the F.I.R. and
absence of any satisfactory explanation for such delay makes the entire
prosecution case suspect. According to the learned counsel the murder was a
blind one and only to falsely implicate the accused persons a story was
concocted by the members of P.W.3's family and F.I.R. lodged on the following
learned counsel submitted that if the uncle of the deceased could cover a
distance of 20 kms, to inform the deceased's father he could have certainly
gone to the police station, which was at a distance of 6 kms, only, that very
night, to lodge the F.I.R. if really the incident took place in the manner alleged
by the prosecution. We do not find any substance in this contention. Considered
in the light of natural and probable human conduct it was only expected of
P.Ws.3 and 4 to first report the incident to Wasawa Ram, father of the deceased
and await his arrival before taking any other action. No exception can,
therefore, be taken to such reaction of P.Ws.3 and 4 nor can it be said there
was an unexplained delay in lodging the F.I.R. raising thereby a doubt about
the bonafides of the prosecution case. On the contrary, it appears to us, that
having regard to the fact that the incident took place in the night at about 10 P.M. the lodging of the F.I.R. in the following morning
immediately after arrival of the father of the deceased was a prompt one.
other contention which was raised on behalf of the appellant was that though
independent witnesses were available none was examined and therefore an adverse
presumption under Section 114 (g) of the Evidence Act should have been drawn by
the trial Court against the prosecution.
buttress the above submission the learned counsel drew our attention to the
cross-examination of Bishan Devi wherein she had stated that there were a
number of houses in an around the place where the incident took place. The
above answer by itself does not support the above contention for there is no
evidence on record to show that anyone of the nearby houses had witnessed the
incident. While on this point we cannot lose sight of the time when the
incident took place and the fact that a reign of terror was prevailing in the
State of Punjab at the material time.
next circumstance that corroborates the eye- witnesses is the evidence of Dr. Mittal
(P.W.1) who held post-mortem examination and found the following injuries on
the person of the deceased:
Incised would 12 cms. x 3 cms. on the front lateral right side on the elbow
with muscles underneath partially cut, verticle and oblique in direction.
Incised wound horizontal in direction 17 cms. x 12 cms. cutting through the
neck except flap of the skin on the right side at the level of cervical
vertebra (5th and 6th).
the structures including the spinal cord were cut. There were multiple cuts
producing step ladder pattern at four sides.
Incised wound 12 cms. x 1 cm. muscle deep horizontal in direction 2 cms, below
Incised wound 5 cms. x 1 cm. with bone underneath fractured on the chin middle
Incised wound 12 cms. x 3 cms. horizontal in direction with bone underneath cut
at places on the left side of the face at the level of the middle of the pinna.
The lateral end was seen cutting the pinna.
Punctured wound 0.75 cm. x 0.5 cm. on the front of the chest 6 cms. below
middle of left clavical with margins inverted and clean cut parallel to each
other. The angles were sharp on one side but slightly lacerated on the other.
wound was going backward and injuring the pleura and long tissues.
Punctured wound of similar description and size 7 cms. below the nipple
injuring the left lung and the pleura.
Punctured wound of similar size and description 5 cms. lateral to injury No.7
piercing the wall of the chest injuring lung and diaphragm.
Punctured wound of similar size and description 5 cms. below injury No.8
piercing the abdomenial wall peritoneum and injuring the soleen.
Punctured would of similar description 0.5 cm. x 0.25 cm. on the right chest 2 cms.
from midline at the level of the nipple bone deep.
Punctured wound of similar description and size as injury No.9 on the front of
the abdomen midline 5 cms. below the sternum injuring the peritoneum and left
lobe of the lever.
Punctured wound of similar size and description on the posterior side of left
fore-arm 4 cms. below elbow, bone deep.
Punctured wound of similar size and description on the front side of left
fore-arm 4 cms. below elbow, bone deep."
to him the incised wounds could have been caused by the kulhari (Ex.M/O/1). which
was shown to him. The statement made by the appellant (Ex.P/10) pursuant to which
the above kulhari was recovered from under a heap of turi in his field also
lends assurance to the evidence of P.Ws. 3 and 4. The report of the Serologist
and Chemical Examiner that besides the kulhari the seized earth, shirt & pyjama
of the deceased and the charpai contained human blood also to some extent
support the prosecution case.
that we have found that the prosecution has conclusively proved that the
appellant had assaulted the deceased with kulhari on his person, the next
question is what offence the appellant committed thereby. This question arises
in the context of the fact that it was the prosecution case that both the
appellant and Des Raj committed the murder in furtherance of their common
intention; and since the latter's acquittal is not based on mistaken identity,
the appellant will be liable for his acts only. It, however, appears from the
opinion of the doctor that injury No.2 was caused by a kulhari and it was
sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause instantaneous death. When
the nature and location of the injury No.2 is read in the context of the above
opinion of the doctor the conclusion is inevitable that the appellant is liable
for the offence under Section 302 IPC simpliciter.
the foregoing discussion we uphold the judgment of the trial Court and dismiss
the appeal. The appellant, who is on bail, will now surrender to his bail bond
to serve out the sentence.