Prahalad Patel Vs State
of Madhya Pradesh
J U D G M E N T
P. Sathasivam, J.
appeal is directed against the final judgment and order dated 14.03.2005 passed
by the High Court of Madhya Pradesh at Jabalpur in Criminal Appeal No. 774 of 1996
whereby the Division Bench of the High Court upheld the judgment dated 26.02.1996
passed by the learned Sessions Judge, Sagar, in Sessions Case No. 196 of 1995
convicting the appellant herein under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (in short
`the IPC') and sentenced him to undergo imprisonment for life and fine of Rs.1,000/-,
in default, to further undergo rigorous imprisonment for three months.
a. In Village Chandpur, the
accused Prahalad Patel, while cultivating his land had thrown bushes on the
path. Daulat-the deceased objected to it and told the accused not to throw the bushes
on the path, because of this, there was an altercation between the deceased and
the accused. Due to this incident, the accused developed a grudge against the deceased.
On 01.02.1995, at around 12 hours, when the deceased was breaking stones in the
mine and one Nanhebhai (PW-1) was collecting it nearby, at that time, accused
Prahalad Patel came there with an axe and inflicted several injuries to the deceased
by hitting him at his right leg, left hand, left shoulder and on back of his
head, due to which, he fell down on the earth and blood started oozing out. One
Gudda-brother of the accused was also present in the mine but, out of fear, Nanhebhai
(PW-1) and Gudda did not try to save the deceased.
(PW-1) rushed to the house of Daulat and narrated the whole incident to his
brother and mother. They went to the mine and brought Daulat. He was taken to Police
Station Rahli but by that time he became unconscious. The report of the
incident (Ex. P-1) was lodged by Nanhebhai (PW-1) in the Police Station. Thereafter,
Daulat was sent for medical examination to the hospital at Rahli. Dr. Gupta (PW-9)
examined him and issued a report (Ex.P-10) mentioning various injuries. On the
advise of the doctor, in an unconscious condition, he was taken to Medical College
Hospital at Jabalpur for further treatment. During treatment, he succumbed to
injuries. The dead body was sent for post-mortem and Dr. A.K.Jain (PW-16)
conducted the post-mortem and prepared a report (Ex. P-21). According to him,
the cause of death was due to cut and other injuries.
b. During investigation,
police prepared a spot map and seized the blood stained sand and simple sand
from the place of incident. The accused was taken into custody and the axe was
recovered at his instance. On completion of investigation, charge sheet was
filed against the accused under Section 302 IPC.
c. The accused denied having
committed any offence and stated that he had enmity with Nanhebhai (PW-1) because
there is a case pending against the brother of Nanhebhai for causing injuries to
his father and, therefore, he falsely implicated him.
d. The Sessions Judge,
on consideration of the materials, by judgment dated 26.02.1996, accepted the prosecution's
case and found the accused guilty for the offence punishable under Section 302
IPC and sentenced him to undergo imprisonment for life and a fine of
e. Being aggrieved by the
order of the Sessions Judge, the accused preferred an appeal before the High
Court of Madhya Pradesh at Jabalpur. The Division Bench of the High Court, by its
impugned judgment dated 14.03.2005, upheld the conclusion arrived at by the
Sessions Judge and confirmed the conviction and sentence of the accused.
f. Questioning the same,
the accused had filed the above appeal before this Court after obtaining
Mr. D.B. Goswami, learned counsel for the accused/appellant and Mr. Siddhartha
Dave, learned counsel for the respondent-State.
is no dispute that there was an altercation between the accused and the deceased
on a petty issue and the accused nurtured grudge against the deceased. On 01.02.1995,
when the deceased was working in the mine, the accused inflicted several
injuries to the deceased with an axe. Immediately after the occurrence, Nanhebhai
(PW-1), who was working in the same mine informed his family members about the incident
and they took the injured to the Police Station and (PW-1) made a statement about
the incident which has been marked as (Ex. P-1). When the deceased was taken to
Medical College Hospital at Jabalpur, Dr. A.K. Jain (PW-16) certified that he succumbed
to his injuries. The evidence of eye-witness (PW-1) and his report (Ex. P-1), the
statement of Dr. A.K. Jain (PW-16) and his report (Ex. P-21) clearly prove that
the death of Daulat was homicidal.
counsel appearing for the appellant contended that there was discrepancy in the
number of injuries as recorded by Dr. Gupta (PW-9) and by Dr. A.K. Jain
(PW-16). It is true that the doctor who conducted the autopsy found as many as
eight injuries which are as follows:-
wound present over back of right shoulder top 4" long.
wound back of neck at the level of C7 T1 1x=x=.
wound over the back of skull left side of occiput 1" long transversely.
wound present over the Cervico-temporal region left side vertical 3" long.
wound present over left eye brow region cutting the skin muscle and underlying
wound on the upper part left to forearm near elbow cutting the ulna and lower part
of humerus bone 4" x2" x bone deep.
wound present over the right knee and
small abrasion present over the face below the left eye and chin.
"It is equally
true that in (Ex. P-10), medical examination report prepared by Dr. Gupta (PW-9),
all the above-mentioned injuries have not been noted. However, as rightly
observed by the High Court, sometimes some injuries may not be visible after
passage of time. In fact, this suggestion was not put to the doctors concerned.
Whatever may be, as analyzed and concluded by the High Court, cause of death in
this case was cranio cerebral injuries which have been found by both the doctors
insofar as fatal injuries are concerned and, for this, there is no discrepancy between
the two reports. We also verified both the reports and we are satisfied that the
said discrepancy is not material to the prosecution case.
prosecution mainly relied on the evidence of (PW-1), eye-witness to the incident.
(PW-1) also narrated the earlier incident about throwing bushes on the path-way
to the agricultural field and the altercation between the accused and the deceased
and also of the fact that he accompanied the deceased to the mine, there is no reason
to disbelieve his version. Apart from this, it was (PW-1) who took the injured
to the hospital and made a complaint in the Police Station. In addition to the
same, the prosecution has also examined Kallu (PW-2)-brother of the deceased
and (PW-7)-another brother of the deceased. Both of them, in their evidence,
have affirmed that (PW-1) had come to their house and informed them that Prahalad
Patel-the accused assaulted Daulat with an axe. They further narrated that
Daulat was rushed to the Hospital and on the way, (PW-1) made a complaint to
the police. The evidence of (PW-1) and the corroborative statements of PWs 2 and
7 support the prosecution case. Though, PWs 2 and 7 are brothers of the
deceased, relationship is not a factor to affect credibility of a witness. In a
series of decisions, this court has accepted the above principle [vide Israr vs.
State of U.P. (2005) 9 SCC 616 and S. Sudershan Reddy vs. State of A.P. , (2006)
10 SCC 163 = AIR 2006 SC 2716]. Their evidence fully corroborates with the evidence
of (PW-1) about the manner of occurrence and he witnessed the same.
have already noted that Dr. A.K. Jain (PW-16) has observed that the death was due
to the injuries sustained. The weapon of offence, namely, axe was seized at the
instance of the accused. The report from the Forensic Science Laboratory (Ex. P-17)
shows that the blood found on the axe was human blood.
is settled law that when the trial Court and the appellate Court, on proper
appreciation of evidence by relying on acceptable materials, arrived at a conclusion,
in the absence of perversity in such a conclusion, interference by this Court exercising
jurisdiction under Article 136 of the Constitution is not warranted. Considering
the evidence of (PW-1) and additional testimony of PWs 2 and 7 coupled with doctors'
evidence and seizure of the weapon and the FSL report, we hold that the prosecution
has proved its case beyond doubt against the accused and the same was rightly considered
by the Sessions Judge and affirmed by the Division Bench of the High Court. We
do not find any legal ground for interference.
the appeal fails and the same is dismissed.
......J. (P. SATHASIVAM)