Vs. State of Haryana  INSC 486 (1 May 1997)
MUKHERJEE, K. VENKATASWAMI
O R D
E R Consequent upon dismissal of his appeal by the High Court Krishan, the
appellant herein, stands convicted under Section 302 I.P.C. and sentenced to
death for committing the murder of Ranbir, his brother-in-law, in October 23,
1994 inside District jail, Sonepat, where the former was under going a sentence
of imprisonment life and the latter was an under trial prisoner.
to the prosecution case on the fateful day at or about 10.45 A.M. When the deceased was getting himself shaved by Ram Phal
(P.W.3) who is a barber by profession and at the material time was serving a
sentence, in Barrack No. 3 of the Jail, the appellant came there with kassi
(spade) in his hand and inflicted two successive blows on the head of Ranbir,
with whom he had a property dispute as a result or of which he fell down and
started bleeding profusely.
raised an alarm which attracted the attention of Head constable som Nath, who
was on duty nearby. Ram Phal and Som Nath chased the appellant who had fled
away in the meantime with the kassi, and nabbed him with great difficulty, They
then went to Shri Ashok Kumar (P.W.4) Assistant Superintendent of the Jail and
narrated the incident and also handed over the kassi to him. Shri Kumar then
arranged a vehicle to shift Ranbir to the General Hospital, Sonepat. There Ranbir was examined
by Dr. R.R. Mittal (P.W.1) and he found the following:- "1. incised wound
in front of the left pinna extending upto mid line of vault of skull which was
12x1 cms.x bone deep. Fresh bleeding was present and brain matter was coming
out of the injury and
Incised wound on the skull from its middle to parieto-temporal region measuring
10x1 cms. x hone deep with fresh bleeding. Brain matter was coming out` of the
injury. X-ray was advised in respect of skull and surgical opinion was
to the doctor, both the aforesaid injuries could be caused by a sharp-edged
weapon like Kassi. The doctor sent a ruga (Ext. PB) to in-charge, police post General Hospital, Sonepat, at 12 noon.
receipt of a telephone message from the city Police Station, S.I. Ami Singh
(P.W.8), who was then posted as in- charge Police post, Gohama Road, Sonepat, first went to General Hospital, Sonepat. Where he came to learn that Ranbir Singh had
since been referred to Medical College & Hospital, Rohtak. Thereafter, he
came to District Jail, Sonepat, where Chander Singh (P.W.7) made a statement (Ext.PB)
regarding the incident. He forwarded the said statement for registration of a
case and took up investigation. Thereafter, S.I. Ami Singh recorded the
statements of Ram Phal, Som Nath and Ashok Kumar under Section 161 Cr. P.C. He
took possession of the kassi(Ext.P1) from Ashok Kumar and seized some blood
stained earth from the place of incident. He also prepared a rough site plan
right intervening 26/27th of October, 1994 the Investigating officer received a
message from Medical College & Hospital, Rohtak that Ranbir Singh had since
receipt of this message, S.I. Ami Singh reached there along with H.C Dhera
Singh and Constable Suresh Kumar and conducted inquest proceedings (Ext.PX). He
then sent the dead body for post-mortem examination. Post-Mortem examination
was conducted by Dr. A.P. Sharam (P.W.10) in Civil Hospital, Rohtak and he noted two stitched
wounds on his person corresponding to the medico-legal report.
to the doctor, the injuries were ante-mortem and sufficient to cause death in
the ordinary course of nature.
appellant who was already lodged in District Jail, Sonepat as a convict on some
other murder case was put under arrest by S.I. Ami Singh. On 23.10.1994, S.I.
Ami singh had deposited the Kassi Ext. P.1 duly sealed in a packet and another
packet containing blood stained earth with the moharrir Malkhana Randhir Singh
and on 16.11.1994 the said Head Constable Randhir Singh handed over the same
duly intact to the said Constable Vinod Kumar for being delivered at the Forensic
Science Laboratory (F.S.L.) and the said constable delivered the same there
duly intact on the same day. Subsequently, report from the F.S.L., Madhuban
vide Ext. pp was received to the effect that there was human blood on the Kassi
(Ext. P.1) and the blood stained earth lifted from the spot. On completion of
investigation the police submitted charge-sheet against the appellant and in
due course the case was committed to the court of sections.
appellant pleaded not guilty to the charge levelled against him and stated that
he had been falsely implicated.
took the stand that on the date of the incident he was on duty at the Sabzi Panja
in Jail and came to the Barrack on hearing the alarm of whistles issued by the Lambardar
on duty and then came to know that Ranbir was lying injured. He further stated
that on seeing him injured, he started dressing him and while he was still
dressing him. he himself became unconscious and thereafter regained
consciousness in the hospital.
sustain the charge levelled against the appellant the prosecution principally
relied upon the ocular version of Ram Phal (P.W.3) and Chander Singh (P.W.7),
the warden of the jail. Both the learned Courts below found that the above two
witnesses were natural, probable and independent witnesses and there was no
reason to disbelieve them. As their evidence stood amply corroborated by the
medical evidence and the First Information Report, which was promptly lodged,
the Courts below recorded their respective findings against the appellant.
have for ourselves perused the entire evidence on record and see no reason to
interfere with the concurrent findings recorded by the learned courts below as
they have been arrived at on a detailed and proper appraisal of the evidence
and are based on cogent and convincing reasons. The conviction of the appellant
under section 302 I.P.C. must therefore be upheld.
now to the sentence we find that the principal reason which weighed with the
courts below to hold that the extreme penalty of death was called for, was that
earlier the appellant had committed a murder for which he was serving the
sentence of life imprisonment at the material time and that he committed
another murder while he was released on parole. Undoubtedly felonious
propensity of an offender is a fact which requires consideration while dealing
with the question of imposition of the sentence of death but that cannot be
made the sole basis for such sentence as all other factors relating to the
commission of the crime including motive manner and magnitude have also to be
taken into consideration. Taking an overall view of the attending facts and
circumstances of the instant case we do not feel that this is one of the rarest
of the rare cases where the appellant should be sentenced to death, we,
therefore, commute the sentence of death imposed upon the appellant for his
conviction under Section 302 I.P.C. to imprisonment for life, but maintain the
sentence of fine of Rs. 5,000/- and the sentence to be undergone in default of
payment thereof. The appeal is thus disposed of.