Ram and Anr Vs. State of Haryana  Insc 805 (6 August 2007)
Arijit Pasayat & D.K. Jain
APPEAL NO. 1020 OF 2007 (Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No.794 of 2007) Dr. ARIJIT
Challenge in this appeal is to the judgment of the Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissing
the appeal filed by the accused-appellants. Three accused persons faced trial
for alleged commission of offence punishable under Section 302 read with
Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (in short the 'IPC') for causing
homicidal death of Jagbir (hereinafter referred to as the 'deceased'). They
were convicted by Additional Sessions Judge (First), Bhiwani, Haryana and each
was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life and to pay a fine of Rs.2,000/-
with default stipulation.
Prosecution version sans unnecessary details is as follows:
accused and the deceased are residents of village Dhanana. Mst. Bhulan had a
son, namely, Jagbir, the deceased, and a daughter, namely, Krishna. Both were married. On account of
floods in the village, 15 days prior to the occurrence, Prem, wife of Jagbir
had gone to her parental house. Due to floods in the streets of the village, Mst.
Bhulan the complainant used to tether her cattle near Dharmashala Brahmchari
Ashram and Jagbir used to sleep near the cattle.
24.9.1995, at about 9/9.30 P.M., after taking meals, as usual Jagbir went to
the sitting room of accused Silak Ram son of Ram Bhagat where Narotam alias
Raja, Silak Ram and Bijender alias Binder i.e. all the three accused were
conversation Jagbir told one Narender who was present there that Bijender Singh
alias Binder was a cheap person and he could commit crime at any time. Narotam
had also quarreled with Jagbir 15-20 days prior to the occurrence over the
turmoil created by buffalo of the former. There was exchange of hot words
between them and Jagbir, which attracted Mst. Bhulan. She intervened and
brought her son back to the house and directed him to sleep aside the cattle.
in her statement further submitted that during night when she woke up to
urinate, she heard cries of her son and, therefore, she ran towards Brahmchari
Ashram where her son was sleeping. Chater Singh (her husband's brother) and his
son Ved Parkash also ran towards that side. They saw in the light of Brahmchari
Ashram that accused Narotam alias Raja armed with gandasi, Bijjender alias
Binder armed with 'phali' and Silak Ram armed with lathi were causing injuries
to Jagbir. In their presence, Narotam alias Raja gave gandasi blow on the right
temporal region of Jasbir, Bijender alias Binder gave phali blow on the right
side of his chest and Silak Ram also gave lathi blow to him. On seeing the
witnesses, the accused ran away from the spot. When they reached near Jagbir,
then they saw that he had breathed his last. Due to the flood water in the
village and in the surrounding areas of the village and also on account of
fear, they could not go to the Police Station immediately.
when they were going to lodge the report, ASI Nar Singh met Mst. Bhulan at the
crossing of village Mandhal where she got recorded her statement (Ex. P.A.)
which was completed at 9.40 A.M. on 25.9.1995, on the basis of which FIR was
recorded at the Police Station, Bhiwani Khera, on the same day at 11.00 A.M.
Special report was sent by SI Darshan Lal through Constable Devinder Kumar
No.579 to the Illaqa Magistrate which was received by him on the same day at
7.00 P.M. The distance between the place of occurance and the police station is
21 Kms. After sending ruqa, SI Darshan Lal proceeded for the village, got the
dead body photographed, prepared inquest report, lifted bloodstained earth, a
pair of chappel and some pieces of rori on which he had noticed blood. He also
took into possession string of cot stained with human blood. He also took into
possession bloodstains from thresher, trolley and took the same into possession
vide different memos. He also prepared rough site plan of the place of
occurrence and recorded statement of the witnesses. He also got conducted
autopsy on the dead body of Jagbir. On 30.5.1995, he arrested the accused from
the bus stand of village Dhanana. He got recovered the lathi, shirt-pajjama
from the room of a house in pursuance of the disclosure statement made by the
accused Silak Ram.
in pursuance of the disclosure statement made by accused Bijender alias Binder,
he got recovered phalli, the weapon of offence and the clothes from the
different places and took the same into possession.
also got recovered gandasi under a heap of dung from some inhabited place,
shirt and pajama from different places in pursuance to the disclosure statement
made by Narotam and took the same into possession through different parcels.
completion of the investigation, challan against the accused was presented in
the Court. On finding a prima facie case against the accused, they were charge
further the prosecution version 14 witnesses were examined. The three
witnesses, who were claimed to be eye- witnesses were PWs.10, 11 and 14. The
trial court placed reliance on the evidence of the prosecution witnesses and
directed conviction and imposed sentences as aforenoted.
the High Court, an appeal was preferred. Apart from challenging the conclusions
of guilt, it was contended that the accused Bijender alias Binder was a
Juvenile and was therefore entitled to the protection given under the Juvenile
Justice Care and Protection of Children Act, 2000 (in short the 'Juvenile
Act'). In this case the High Court while considering the various decisions of
this Court held that at the time of the commission of offence, accused Bijender
was 16 years of age, and at the time of High Court's judgment was 29 years of
held that if he is allowed to be mixed with juveniles the apprehension that he
was likely to spoil the juveniles more in comparison with his own reformation.
Therefore, he was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for ten years. The present
appeal has been filed by Silak Ram and Narotam alias Raja.
High Court has confirmed the conviction and sentence so far as these two
accused persons are concerned.
support of the appeal learned counsel for the appellants submitted that the
evidence of PWs 10, 11 and 14 cannot be accepted. In fact PW 10 had failed to
identify all the accused persons and had failed to identify one co-accused,
Raja. It was pointed out that there was unexplained delay in lodging the FIR
and in dispatch of the copy of the report to the Illaqua Magistrate.
Learned counsel for the respondent on the other hand supported the judgments of
the courts below.
is to be noted that the trial court has placed reliance on the evidence of eye
witnesses PWs. 10, 11 and 14. Even though there was some confusion in
identification by PW 10, the High Court rightly noticed during
examination-in-chief she has correctly identified the accused persons. But at
the time of cross-examination, she only identified one accused. The evidence of
PW 11 has been analysed by the trial court and the High Court and his version
has been found to be cogent and credible. Therefore, the trial court and the
High Court were justified in placing reliance on the evidence of eye witnesses
more, particularly, PW 11.
Coming to the stand that there was delay in lodging the FIR and in dispatch of
the report to the Illaqua Magistrate, this also has been elaborately dealt with
by the High Court. Delay in lodging FIR by itself would not be sufficient to
discard the prosecution version unless it is unexplained and such delay coupled
with the likelihood of concoction of evidence. There is no hard and fast rule
that delay in filing FIR in each and every case is fatal and on account of such
delay in prosecution version should be discarded. The factum of delay requires
the court to scrutinize the evidence adduced with greater degree of care and
caution. In this case the eye witnesses have given a vivid description of the
events. The evidence of PW 11 as noted above, is cogent and consistent and the
version given by this witness fits with medical evidence. It has come on record
in the evidence of the Investigating Officer (in short 'IO') that the distance
between Bawani Khera and Bhiwani is about 20 k.m. and from Dhanana to Bhiwani
is about 18 k.m. and from Dhanana to Mundhal is about 12 k.m. Investigating
Officer has categorically stated that there was flood in the areas. In the FIR
it was specifically stated that the occurrence took place around mid night of
24/25.8.1995. The statement was recorded at Mundhal Khurd Chowk on 25.9.1995 at
9.40 A.M. and the same was dispatched to the
police station of Bhiwani Khera. The formal FIR indicates that it was recorded
at 11 AM and had reached the magistrate at 7 p.m. It has been stated that the late delivery was due to flood
in the area and this has been specifically noted by the Judicial Magistrate who
has reported as follows:
from constable Devender Kumar at 7 p.m. on 25.9.1995. Stated that due to the flood, he reached late"
The trial court and the High Court rightly accepted the stand of the
prosecution that the delay was attributable to the flood and there was no
dispute raised at any stage that there was in fact no flood in the areas in
question. The delay was fully explained as held by the Trial Court and the High
Above being the position, there is no merit in this appeal which is dismissed.