Singh and Another Vs. State of Punjab  Insc 647 (18 May 2007)
S.B.Sinha & Markandey Katju
MARKANDEY KATJU, J.
1. This appeal has been filed against the impugned judgment and order dated
1.12.2005 of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Criminal Appeal No. 9-DB/2002
by which the appeal of the appellants against the judgment of the Additional
Sessions Judge Gurdaspur dated 6.12.2001 have been dismissed and the conviction
and sentence of the appellants under Sections 302/148/149/450 IPC have been
2. Heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the record.
3. There were five accused in this case before the trial court, but this
appeal has been filed only on behalf of two accused viz., accused No. 3 Surjit
Singh, son of Gian Singh and accused No. 5 Daljit Singh, son of Assa Singh. It
may be mentioned that there is another co-accused named Surjit Singh @ Bagga,
son of Kartar Singh, but we are not concerned with him in this case. It may
also be mentioned that all the five co-accused are policemen.
4. The prosecution case was that the deceased Harbans Kaur was living in
village Beri along with her sons Mohan Singh and Rattan Singh. It is alleged
that on 21.2.1997 at about 6 P.M. Harbans Kaur went out to ease herself when
the accused said some indecent words to her and she returned to her home. At
that time Mohan Singh, son of the deceased Harbans Kaur was outside in the
field and when he came home he found his younger brother already in the house.
Mohan Singh saw the accused coming to his house and he followed them. He heard
some screaming in the house and saw from the window that his mother was lying
without her salwar and accused Lakhwinder Singh was in the process of wearing
his trouser. All the accused were present in the said room at that time. On
seeing this Mohan Singh shouted but the accused Daljit Singh is said to have
pointed a pistol towards him and threatened that if he shouts he will be
Surjit Singh @ Bagga, son of Kartar Singh allegedly said that in case Harbans
Kaur remains alive she would implicate all the accused and hence she should be
killed. It is alleged that thereupon Harinderjit Singh gave a brickbat blow on
the head of Harbans Kaur, as a result of which she died. It is alleged that
after throwing the body of Harbans Kaur in the courtyard the accused ran away.
5. It may be mentioned that in the FIR dated 21.2.1997 the version given by
Rattan Singh, younger brother of Mohan Singh is different from the depositions
of the witnesses before the trial court. In the FIR it is only stated that when
Rattan Singh returned home at about 6 P.M. he saw the dead body of his mother
Harbans Kaur lying in the courtyard. None of the accused were named in the FIR
and the version given therein indicates that nobody saw the assailants.
However, as rightly noted by the trial court as well as by the High Court, the
accused were all police men, while the family of the deceased are poor
labourers. The FIR was signed by Rattan Singh who was only 12 years' old at
that time. We agree with the High Court that Sub Inspector Swaran Singh appears
to have deliberately concocted a false FIR not naming the accused since he
belongs to the same department viz. police department and hence he wanted to
help the accused. It was only on 14.4.1994 when Mohan Singh (PW1) went to hear
the argument of the bail application moved by one of the accused that he came
to know that names of the accused have not been mentioned in the FIR. On the
same day he sent registered letters to the Chief Minister and Director General
of Police, Punjab stating that the police are not investigating the case
Receiving no response he filed a criminal complaint on 17.4.1997 before the
Magistrate. The Police Case and the Criminal Case were clubbed together and
heard by the trial court.
6. We are inclined to believe the version of the witnesses before the trial
court and we agree with the High Court in rejecting the version given in the
FIR for the reasons given by the High Court.
7. It seems that the accused were not successful in raping Harbans Kaur as
her sons Mohan Singh and Rattan Singh shouted for help. As regards the
allegation of causing death of Harbans Kaur, the prosecution case, as is
evident from the depositions of the witnesses, is that Surjit Singh @ Bagga,
son of Kartar Singh (not Surjit Singh son of Gian Singh who is appellant No.
1 before us) exhorted that Harbans Kaur should be killed, and thereupon
Harinderjit Singh, another co-accused gave the fatal blow on the head of
Harbans Kaur. Thus there is no evidence that the appellants before us had any
role in the killing of Harbans Kaur. There was no evidence of common intention
either. Hence, the conviction of the appellants under Section 302 IPC cannot be
sustained and they are set aside.
8. However, we uphold the conviction of the appellants under the other
provisions mentioned in the trial court judgment as there is no doubt that the
appellants along with other co-accused committed criminal trespass into the
house of Harbans Kaur and also formed an unlawful assembly, though such attempt
was frustrated by the presence of Mohan Singh and Rattan Singh.
9. The appellant along with other associates entered the house of the
deceased. They surely had an ill-motive, although the nature thereof has not
been proved. What could, however, be the nature thereof was not known.
Forcible entry in her house, however, stands established. The ingredients of
Section 450 IPC in a case of this nature, thus, stand fully satisfied. We are,
therefore, of the opinion that the learned Trial Judge as also the High Court
have rightly found the appellants guilty of commission of the offence under the
10. We are informed that the appellants have already served out about 4 or 5
years' imprisonment and hence we substitute the sentence awarded by the trial
court and the High Court by the sentence of imprisonment for the period already
undergone. The appellants should be released forthwith unless required in
connection with some other case.
11. With these observations the appeal stands allowed in part.