Singh and Others Vs. State of Punjab  Insc 143 (6 February 2008)
P. Naolekar & Markandey Katju
APPEAL NO. 621 OF 2006 MARKANDEY KATJU, J.
This appeal has been filed against the impugned judgment of the Punjab & Haryana
High Court dated 4.5.2005 in Criminal Appeal No. 636- DB of 2002.
Heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the record.
appellants are one Balwant Singh and his three sons Balwinder Singh, Harbans
Singh and Malkiat Singh. They were convicted under section 302 and other
provisions of the Indian Penal Code by the Additional Sessions Judge, Bathinda
on 30.7.2002. Against that judgment they filed an appeal in the High Court
which was dismissed and hence this appeal.
prosecution case is that on 17.7.1998 at about 10/10-30 A.M., Bharpur Kaur(PW1)
wife of Jarnail Singh r/o village Khokhar, Police station Kalawali had along
with her sons Vakil Singh, Gurjant Singh and Nachhattar Singh gone to village
Gill Patti, Bathinda to meet her sister's daughter Amarjit Kaur (PW-3), who was
at that time residing in street No. 6, Janta Nagar, Bathinda. From there along
with Amarjit Kaur and her son Kuldeep Singh alias Gurtej Singh they had gone to
the house of Amarjit Kaur in village Gill Patti. When they alighted from the
jeep in front of the house of Amarjit Kaur, they found the appellants Balwant
Singh and his sons Harbans Singh, Malkiat Singh and Balwinder Singh armed with kirpans
and gandasas sitting in the Deodi of the house of Natha Singh son of Wazir
Singh. Amarjit Kaur along with Gurjant Singh and Nachhattar Singh left the
house to bring milk and vegetable while Bharpur Kaur PW1, deceased Kuldeep
Singh and Vakil Singh remained in thehouse. In the mean time, Balwant Singh and
his son Harbans Singh armed with swords and Malkiat Singh and Balwinder Singh
armed with gandasas and Natha Singh empty handed trespassed into Amrit Kaur's
house. Natha Singh allegedly raised a lalkara "Inna Noo Jaggar Singh Noo Katai
Karan Atte Ghar To Kabza Karan Da Maja Chakhaounde Haan, Ajj Ahe Bach Ke Na Jaan".
Thereupon, Kuldeep Singh and Vakil Singh sons of Bharpur Kaur tried to go out
of the house in order to save themselves but Harbans Singh gave a blow with the
kirpan on the left side of the forehead and on the head of Kuldeep Singh, as a
result of which he fell down on the ground. Thereafter, Balwant Singh gave a kirpan
blow which resulted in infliction of injury on his right ear.
Singh gave a gandasa blow from its reverse side on the right cheek and ear of Kuldeep
Singh. When Bharpur Kaur PW1 intervened to save Kuldeep Singh, Balwinder Singh
and Malkiat Singh gave gandasa blow from reverse side, which resulted in
injuries on her left wrist joint, left knee joint and nose. Vakil Singh raised
a shout "Na Maro Na Maro" whereupon Malkiat Singh and Balwinder Singh
gave gandasa blows on the person of Kuldeep Singh on his right and left thigh
and below the knee joint when he was lying on the ground. In the meantime, Amarjit
Kaur, mother of the deceased Kuldeep Singh, Gurjant Singh and Nachhattar Singh
returned to the scene of occurrence and they also raised an alarm on hearing
which the assailants fled away from the spot taking their respective weapons
with them. Kuldeep Singh succumbed to the injuries.
Kaur PW1 proceeded for the Police Station and on the way met SI Chand Singh SHO
of Police Station Sadar, Bathinda, who was present at Aeroplane Chowk, Bathinda
where he had set up a Naka for special checking of vehicles and got reduced her
statement into writing. On the basis of the statement, which was completed at 12.30 PM on 17.7.1998, a formal FIR Ex PA/2 was recorded in
Police Station Thermal Bathinda at 12.45PM on the same day. He himself proceeded to the spot where he prepared
inquest report and during the investigation took into possession blood stained
earth vide recovery memo Ex PR, recorded the statements of the witnesses and
forwarded the dead body to Civil Hospital, Bathinda through Constable Joginder
Singh along with request for Post Mortem Examination Ex PE. On 18.7.1998 he
took into possession clothes of the deceased, which were handed over to him by
Constable Joginder Singh.
21.7.1998 he arrested Balwant Singh and Malkiat Singh, who made disclosure
statements pursuant whereof the Kirpan Ex P12 and gandasa Ex P13 were taken
into possession through recovery memo Ex PU/2 and Ex PU/3. Harbans Singh and Balwinder
Singh were apprehended on 22.7.1998 and they too made disclosure statements Ex
PU/4 and Ex PU/5 respectively pursuant whereof Kirpan Ex P/14 and gandasa Ex
P/15 respectively were taken into possession vide recovery memo Ex P/6 and Ex
PU/7 respectively. Balwant Singh and Malkiat Singh, appellants made separate
disclosure statements Ex PU/16 and Ex PU/17 pursuant whereof their shirts Ex
P/16 and Ex P/17 which were blood stained were taken into possession through
recovery memos Ex PU/18 and Ex PU/19 respectively.
same were forwarded to the Chemical Examiner for examination and on receipt of
the report of Chemical Examiner, the challan was put in Court against the
appellants before the Illaqa Magistrate, who upon finding that the offences
disclosed were exclusively triable by the Courts of Sessions, committed the
same to the Court of Sessions for trial.
incident in question occurred on 17.7.1998 at 10.30 AM and the FIR was filed at 12.45 PM. Hence there was no delay in filing the FIR.
Learned counsel for the appellants submitted that PW1 Bharpur Kaur who lodged
the FIR turned hostile as is evident from her statement in court on 28.2.2000.
PW2 Gurjant Singh also turned hostile. Hence we are left only with the
testimony of PW3 Amarjit Kaur and PW8 Sukhjit Kaur. We have, therefore, to see
whether conviction on their testimonies would be safe.
have carefully gone through the testimony of these two witnesses and we see no
reason to disbelieve the same, especially since they broadly corroborate each
other. Amarjit Kaur stated in her evidence that Bharpur Kaur and her son came
to her house in Janta Nagar, Bathinda in a rented jeep and there she and her
son Kuldeep Singh (deceased) accompanied them in the jeep and they went to
village Gill Patti, where also Amarjit Kaur has a house. The jeep was parked
near the house of Amarjit Kaur where they saw all the accused persons sitting
in the Deodi of Natgha Singh. Balwant Singh and Harbans Singh accused were
armed with kirpan and Balwinder Singh and Malkiat Singh were armed with gandasa.
Amarjit Kaur, Gurjant Singh and Nachattar Singh went out to purchase vegetables
while Kuldeep Singh, Bharpur Kaur and her son Vakil Singh remained present in
the house of Amarjit Kaur. When Amarjit Kaur and two others returned to the
house at 10 or 10.30 AM they saw her son Kuldeep Singh
lying on the ground. In their view Balwinder Singh gave gandasa blow on the leg
of deceased Kuldeep Singh and Malkiat Singh gave a gandasa blow from its blunt
side in his abdomen. All the accused gave thrust blows as well as kick blows to
her son Kuldeep Singh. The motive behind the occurrence was said to be the
desire to usurp the property of Amarjit Kaur by killing her son.
Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that from the evidence of Amarjit Kaur
it appears that she only saw Balwinder Singh giving a gandasa blow on the leg
of Kuldeep Singh and Malkiat Singh giving a gandasa blow from the blunt side in
his abdomen. From this evidence learned counsel for the appellant has tried to
infer that Amarjit Kaur did not see the main incident in which the fatal
injuries were caused. These fatal injuries are mentioned in the evidence of the
doctor who conducted the post mortem.
doctor mentioned the following injuries :
Lacerated wound present on frontal region of head 10 x 5 cm underlying bone was
fractured. Brain matter exposed. On dissection multiple fracture were present
pieces of the bone were present in the brain matter. Haemotoma was present on
frontal region of head.
Fracture of mandible evident.
Incised wound 4 xm x 3 cm on right ear and back of head. Loss of part of right
ear. On dissection underlying bone fractured. Haemotoma was present.
Incise wound 4 cm x 2 cm on frontal region of lower leg on right side.
Underlying bone fractured. Clotted blood present. Multiple abrasions on right
Multiple abrasion on right arm.
Bruise 8 cm x 4 cm lower abdomen below umbilicus.
Bruise 4 cm x 3cm on left writ joint.
Thus it appears that there were three injuries on the head of Kuldeep Singh. It
may be that Amarjit Kaur was not present when these injuries were caused to Kuldeep
Singh, but in our opinion there is strong circumstantial evidence that they
were caused by the accused. In our opinion this circumstantial evidence is
sufficient to uphold the conviction because it contains all the links in the
chain which connect the accused with the incident. These links are :
The accused persons were present with deadly weapons near the house of Amarjit Kaur.
When persons come armed with deadly weapons to someone's house, it is a strong
circumstance to indicate that they had came with deadly intentions.
When Amarjit Kaur and others returned to the house at 10 or 10.30 AM, they saw Balwinder
Singh giving gandasa blow to her son on the right leg and Malkiat Singh giving gandasa
blow from the blunt side of gandasa in his abdomen. These blows were evidently
given after the fatal injuries on the head of Kuldeep Singh.
All the accused thereafter gave thrust blows as well as kick blows to Kuldeep
Singh who was lying on the ground. Hitting and kicking an injured man who is
already lying on the ground shows the deadly intent of the accused.
There was no one else other than the accused who is said to have been on the
spot at the time of the incident.
The evidence of Amarjit Kaur has been corroborated by the evidence of the
doctor and PW8 and we see no reason to disbelieve their evidence also. PW8 Sukhjit
Kaur has stated in her evidence that she saw the accused armed with kirpans and
gandasas going towards the house of her father Jaggar Singh (deceased husband
of Amarjit). From this an inference can be drawn that the accused armed with
weapons were going with deadly intentions towards the house. Sukhjit Kaur PW8
also stated that when they came back after 30 to 45 minutes they were armed
with the same weapons with blood stains and the clothes also had blood stains
which they later changed and ran away. This evidence of Sukhjit Kaur
corroborates the evidence of Amarjit Kaur, though it is true that neither saw
the main incident in which the fatal injuries were caused. However, as already
stated above, there is strong circumstantial evidence to connect the accused
with the crime.
Learned counsel for the appellant then submitted that it is not clear which of
the accused caused which particular injury. In our opinion that will not matter
because section 34 IPC is clearly attracted to the facts of the case.
persons go together armed with deadly weapons and fatal injuries are caused to
the deceased, all of them are equally liable in view of section 34 IPC.
view of the above, there is no merit in this appeal. The appeal is accordingly