Singh Vs. State of Punjab  INSC 584 (19 April 1996)
B.L. (J) Hansaria B.L. (J) Ray, G.N. (J) Hansaria,J.
1996 SCALE (3)612
appellant has been convicted under section 25 of the Arms Act read with section
5 of Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, (for short 'TADA').
It has pained us to know that despite he having a full-proof defence, it has
come to be rejected by the Designated Court
on the ground that it was "an after thought". The appellants defence
was that the .315 bore rifle, which was said to have been recovered from his
possession on 25.5.1990, was to bolster up a false case against him under
section 307 IPC, and the weapon was in fact one which was licenced in the name
of Avtar Singh, a partner of the appellant in a liquor business, and was taken possesson
of on 23.5.1990, to prove which Avtar Singh was examined as DW.1. The Designated Court, however, regarded the defence as
"an after thought" because prosecution witnesses had not been asked
about the same by giving any suggestion to them in cross-examination.
afraid the Court made an apparent error in saying so inasmuch as PW.1, SI Gurinder
Singh, who deposed about the recovery of the arm from the appellant, had been
specifically asked that the rifle was licenced in the name of Avtar Singh; and
PW.2, SI Karnail Singh was suggested that the rifle in question belonged to Avtar
Singh and had taken possession from him. It is a defferent matter that these
suggestions were denied. What is more, PW.2 admitted that in the DDR (Daily
Diary Report) there was no mention about details of the case property recovered
from the appellant.
Nothing further was required, according to us, to be asked to the prosecution
witnesses and the learned Additional Judge committed gross error in rejecting
the aforesaid plea on the ground that it was "an after thought".
therefore, allow the appeal, set aside the conviction and order for the release
of the appellant forthwith from jail if not needed in connection with other