Rajak Vs. State of West Bengal  Insc 694 (14 June 2007)
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT & B.P. SINGH
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT, J.
1. Appellant faced trial alongwith several others for alleged commission of
offences punishable under Section 302 read with Section 34, Section 201 read
with Section 34 and Section 120(B) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (in short the
2. The factual details need not detain us as undisputedly the co-accused
have been acquitted by this Court in Mousam Singha Roy and Others v. State of
W.B. [2003(12) SCC 377].
The effect of such acquittal vis-`-vis similarly situated co- accused has
been considered by this Court in several cases.
3. Learned counsel for the appellant placed reliance on various decisions of
this Court contending that the benefit of acquittal should be extended to the
4. Learned counsel for the State on the other hand submitted that the
appellant did not surrender initially and therefore decisions relied upon may
not have any relevance.
He relied on the decisions in Raja Ram & Ors. v. State of M.P.
(1994 (2) SCC 568); Kashmira Singh v. State of Punjab (1995 (Supp) 4 SCC
558); Dandu Lakshmi Reddy v. State of A.P.
(1999 (7) SCC 69); Jayantibhai Bhenkar v. State of Gujarat (2002 (8) SCC
165); Bijoy Singh & Anr. v. State of Bihar (2002 (9) SCC 147; Gurucharan
Kumar & Anr. v. State of Rajasthan (2003 (2) SCC 698); Akhil Ali Jehangir
Ali Sayyed v. State of Maharashtra (2003 (2) SCC 708); Suresh Chaudhary v.
State of Bihar (2003 (4) SCC 128); Pawan Kumar v. State of Haryana (2003 (11)
SCC 241); Hem Raj & Anr. v. State of Punjab (2003 (12) SCC 241); Vijrapu Sambayya
Naidu v. State of A.P. (2004 (10) SCC 152); Mohinder Singh & Anr. v. State
of Punjab and Ors. (2004 (12) SCC 311); Uma Shankar Gopalika v. State of Bihar
(2005 (10) SCC 336) and Munna Kumar v. State of Bihar (2005 (12) SCC 209). The
appellant subsequently surrendered and has suffered custody for more than two
5. The position in law as to what happens in case of acquittal of similarly
placed co-accused on the same set of facts and on similar accusations has been
considered by this Court in several cases.
6. A departure may be made in cases where the accused had not surrendered
after the conviction in addition to not filing an appeal against the
conviction. But as in the present case, after surrender, the benefit of
acquittal in the case of co- accused on similar accusations can be extended.
7. The appeal is allowed and conviction and sentence as recorded by the
trial court and upheld by the High Court is set aside.