Prasad & Ors Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh
 INSC 395 (14
M.K. (J) Mukherjee M.K. (J) G.B. Pattanaik (J) M.K. Mukherjee,J.
JT 1996 (3) 398 1996 SCALE (2)724
persons including the 10 appellants were arraigned before the Sessions Judge, Jabbalpore
for rioting, two murders and other allied offences. The trial ended in an
acquittal of all of them; and aggrieved thereby the respondent-State of Madhya
Pradesh filed an application seeking leave to appeal under Section 378 Cr.P.C.
The High Court however granted leave only against the 10 appellants (the
respondents therein). After hearing the parties the High Court allowed the
appeal, set aside the acquittal of the 10 appellants and convicted and sentenced
each of them for offences punishable under Sections 148, 325/149, 302/149 (one
count) I.P.C.. Aggrieved thereby the appellants have filed the present appeal
under Section 379 Cr. P.C.
stated the prosecution case is on July 2, 1981 at or about 10 A.M. when Gajadhar
(P.W.3) alongwith his sons Bhagwat and Lakhanlal and wife Kusumbai were
cultivating their land, which is at a short distance from their village, the
accused persons came there variously armed. While the appellants Niranjan
Prasad and Narayan Prasad (since dead) had rifles with them the other
appellants were carrying weapons like lathis spears and pharsas. Seeing the
accused persons coming in a riotous mood Gajadher and his family members tried
to flee towards their village but could not succeed as on the way the
miscreants caught them up on the road near the house of Khoobchand (P.W.4) and
some of them started beating Gajadhar with the weapons in their hands.
his son Lakhanlal came to his rescue the appellant Sitaram assaulted him on his
head with a ballam (spear) while some of the other appellants assaulted him
with iron rods. Khoobchand then came to their rescue only to be assaulted by
some of them. It is the further prosecution case that when they found Santkumar,
another son of Gajadhar coming towards the road the appellants Narayan Singh
and Niranjan Singh fired at him. Then the miscreants fled away.
information about the incident was given by one Rametibai at the Sihora police
station immediately thereafter which was entered in the station diary. After
making that entry ASI Dayaram Dube (P.W.27) went to the place of occurrence and
first recorded the statement of Khoobchand which was treated as F.I.R. He then
sent the four injured to the Hospital where Santkumar and Lakhanlal succumbed
to the injuries in that very night. On completion of investigation P.W 27
prove its case the prosecution relied principally upon the ocular version of
the incident as given out by Gajadhar (P.W.3). Khoobchand (P.W.4), Raj Kumari Bai
(P.W.5), wife of the deceased Santkumar, and Kusumbai (P.W.6), wife of Gajadhar
and a dying declaration made by Santkumar.
perusal of the judgment of the trial Court we find that the principal grounds
which weighed with it for recording the order of acquittal were that the
medical evidence that was adduced by the prosecution to prove the injuries on
the person of the deceased Lakhanlal P.Ws.3 and 4 completely belied the ocular
version of the witnesses and that their version regarding the murder of Santkumar
was not at all reliable. Besides, the trial Court found that the evidence
regarding the dying declaration allegedly made by Santkumar was unsatisfactory.
appeal the High Court concurred with the findings of the trial Court regarding
the murder of Santkumar as also the dying declaration. The High Court, however,
found that the findings of the trial Court that the medical evidence did not
fit in with the evidence of the eye-witnesses was not a proper one. According
to the High Court the evidence of the eye witnesses clearly established that
the 10 appellants herein committed rioting armed with deadly weapons and in
prosecution of the common object of the unlawful assembly they committed the
murder of Lakhanlal and also caused grievous hurt to P.Ws. 3 and 4.
ascertain whether the above finding of the High Court as against the above 16
appellants is correct or not we have carefully considered the medical evidence
as also the evidence of the eye-witnesses in the context of the prosecution case
- as delineated through the eye witnesses - that the deceased as also the
injured were assaulted with sharp cutting weapons. Surprisingly, however, the
evidence of the doctor who held postmortem examination shows that the deceased Lakhanlal
had no injury which could be caused by a sharp cutting weapon; and, indeed, he
had sustained only one injury which could be caused, according to the doctor,
by a blunt weapon only. Similar is the state of medical evidence so far as the
injured are concerned. If on the basis of the objective findings of the doctor
the trial Court found it unsafe to rely upon the ocular version of the incident
as given by the above four witnesses it cannot be said that the finding of the
trial Court in this regard was against the weight of evidence or perverse so as
to justify the High Court to set aside the same.
therefore, allow this appeal set aside the impugned judgment and acquit the
appellants of all the charges levelled against them. Since the appellants are
on bail they are discharged from their respective bail bonds.