And Another Vs. State of Bihar (Now Jharkhand)  Insc 836 (22 November 2006)
B. Sinha & Markandey Katju Markandey Katju, J.
appeal has been filed against the judgment and order dated 5.5.2003 of the High
Court of Jharkhand in Criminal Appeal No. 38 of 1991(P).
learned counsel for the parties and perused the record.
prosecution case in brief is that Jharia Kisku, father of the first informant,
had gone to Simlong Hatia on Monday and when he did not return by night, then
on the next day at about at 8 A.M., Prame Hansda (appellant No.1) informed the
first informant that his father Jharia Kisku was caught while he was committing
theft of one Bati in his house in the night of Monday and thereafter he was
tied with a rope. Thereafter the first informant and others went to Baraghaghari
and they found Jharai Kisku tied at the house of the Pradhan. On their arrival
a Panchayat was called for. It was stated that after committing theft of one Bati,
Jharia Kisku was trying to flee away and thereafter he was caught and he was
assaulted and tied with a rope.
of Rs.100/- was also imposed as fine by the Panchayat. On enquiry from Jharia Kisku,
it was found that he was brutally assaulted by the appellants by Lathi and Danda
by levelling false allegation of theft against him and he was tied with a rope.
The first information report was lodged accordingly. The police investigated
into the case and submitted a charge sheet in the case against the appellants.
The appellants appeared before the Additional Sessions Judge where charge was
framed under Sections 342 and 304 of the Indian Penal Code to which they
pleaded not guilty.
considering the evidence and hearing learned counsel, the trial court vide its
order dated 8.11.1990 found the accused Parme Hansda and Churka Hansda guilty
and convicted them under Sections 304 and 342 IPC.
the aforesaid judgment, an appeal was filed in the High Court which was
dismissed on 5.5.2003 by the impugned judgment. Hence, the present appeal.
post mortem report discloses the following injuries on the deceased :
One lacerated wound on right forearm ulna side measuring 2" x = " x
One lacerated wound on left lower leg 5" below knee joint measuring
1" x 1" x Bone deep.
One abrasion on left side of forehead measuring 1" x 1".
Parietal bone of right side of head fractured and depressed.
Ligature mark on both areas.
the facts of the case it appears that the deceased had tried to commit theft in
the house of the appellants during the course of which he was apprehended by
the appellants. The appellants contacted the headman of the village and a Panchayat
was called which imposed a fine of Rs. 100/-.
happened thereafter is mentioned in the FIR in which it is stated as under:
we asked my father, who stated that on the previous night Parme Hansda and Churka
Hansda had assaulted him with lathi and danda and had shout thief-thief. On
hearing this, a number of persons came there and thinking that I was the thief
attacked me with lathi and danda and injured me.
they entrusted me to the Pradhan Jetha Hembram who kept me for the night and
till 1:00 O'clock on the next day at his house tied
with a rope with a view to realize the fine. On Tuesday at 1:00 O'clock, we were bringing him after paying
the fine, when he died in Dadhi village. This is my statement, which has been
recorded and signed." From a perusal of the portion of the FIR extracted
above, it seems that the deceased was attacked by other villagers with lathi
and danda. Thus the possibility that the deceased was beaten up by other
villagers and not by the appellants cannot be ruled out. Hence, in our opinion
the appellants are entitled to the benefit of doubt.
have carefully perused the evidence also in this case. There are no eye
witnesses to the incident. No doubt, some of the witnesses have deposed before
the trial court that it was the appellants who beat the deceased, in view of
the version given in the FIR (mentioned above) the evidence on this point
cannot be said to be totally reliable.
appellants have already undergone imprisonment for 5 years.
the reasons given above, the appeal is allowed. The conviction and sentence of
the appellants are set aside. The appellants are directed to be released
forthwith if not wanted in connection with any other case.