State of Punjab Vs.
Avtar Singh  INSC 1799 (21 October 2008)
The Judgment of the
Court was delivered by DR. ARIJIT PASAYAT, J.
is this appeal is to the judgment of a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana
High Court of Punjab and Haryana directing acquittal of the respondent. Two
appeals were filed before the High Court i.e. Criminal Appeal No. 169-DB of
1995 and Criminal Appeal No. 328-DB of 1995. Both the appeals were directed
against the judgment of learned Sessions Judge, Bhatinda holding that each of
the accused persons were guilty of offence punishable under Section 302 read
with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (in short 'IPC'). The two
appellants in the two connected appeals faced trial along with one Bant Singh
who was acquitted by the trial Court. Detailed reference to the factual
position is not necessary in view of the conclusions of the High Court in the
it was submitted that there was considerable delay in lodging the first
information report and secondly there was considerable unexplained delay in
sending the report to the Elaka Magistrate. It was concluded by the High Court
that these factors apart from the fact that the evidence of the so called
eye-witness was not credible and cogent and also the medical evidence was
clearly at variance with the ocular version rendered prosecution version
counsel for the appellant-State submitted that the factors which have weighed
with the High Court to direct acquittal cannot be maintained. Learned counsel
for the respondent accused on the other hand supported the judgment.
it cannot be laid as a rule of universal application that whenever there is
delay in lodging the FIR and/or there is delay in dispatching the report to the
Elaka Magistrate and/or the medical evidence is at some variance with the
ocular evidence. The prosecution has to fail in the instant case the combined
effect of the three factors leave no manner of doubt that prosecution has
failed to establish the accusations. The view taken by the High Court is a
possible view and we do not consider this to be a fit case where any
interference is called for.
appeal is accordingly dismissed.