Papodu @ Thimmaiah Vs. Public Prosecutor  INSC 328 (27 August 1993)
K. Jayachandra (J) Reddy, K. Jayachandra (J) Ray, G.N. (J)
1994 AIR 1070 1994 SCC Supl. (1) 89 JT 1993 (5) 254 1993 SCALE (3)586
Judgment of the Court was delivered by K. JAYACHANDRA REDDY, J.- There are nine
appellants. They along with three others were tried for offenses punishable
under Sections 148, 302/149, +From the Judgment and Order dated September 28,
1979 of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in Criminal Appeal Nos. 393 and 1310 of
1978 90 324, 326, 324/149 and 326/149 IPC. The trial court acquitted A- II and
A- 12 and convicted the appellants under Sections 148, 324 and 324/149 IPC and
sentenced each of them to undergo RI for 18 months under Section 148 and 21
months on each of the other two counts. They were, however, acquitted of the
murder charge. A- IO died during the trial. The State preferred Criminal Appeal
No. 393 of 1978 against all the 11 accused questioning their acquittal of the
murder charge. The nine convicted accused preferred Criminal Appeal No. 1310 of
1978. The High Court disposed of both the appeals by a common judgment and
dismissed Criminal Appeal No. 1310 of 1978 filed by the accused but allowed
Criminal Appeal No. 393 of 1978 filed by the State against A-1 to A-9 and
convicted all the nine accused under Sections 302/149 and 326/149 and sentenced
each of them to undergo imprisonment for life and RI for three years
respectively. The sentences were directed to run concurrently. Hence the
these are regular appeals filed under Section 379 CrPC read with Section 2 of
the Supreme Court (Enlargement of Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction) Act,. we
have gone through the judgments of both the courts below and also the
depositions of the material witnesses.
prosecution case is as follows:
were long-standing factions between the family of Gunnala Ramachandra Reddy,
deceased No. 1 (D-1) and that of one Narasimhulu, an Advocate. Both the families
are natives of Nallagatla Village of Allagadda Taluk of Kurnool District. Issac,
deceased No. 2 (D-2), PWs 1, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9 and others are the followers of
D-1. A-1, A-2 and A-5 are the brothers of Narasimhulu. A-3 and A-4 are his
nephews. The other accused were also his followers. The factions were in
existence since 20 years and there were several riotings and murders between
the two factions resulting in criminal cases. In February 1976, a case
involving seven deaths was pending trial against the party men of the Advocate Narasimhulu.
PWs 1, 5, 7, 9 and some others of D- 1's party were witnesses for the
prosecution in that case. Due to the bitterness of feelings between the parties
and the tense atmosphere, bandobust constables were posted in the village to
maintain law and order. D-1, PWs 1 and 8 had to attend the court of the
Judicial First Class Magistrate, Allagadda on February 23, 1976. They left their houses in the morning for the bus- stop to
go to Allagadda along with some of their partymen including PWs 4, 5, 7 and 9. PWs
3 and 6 also came to the bus-stop. They missed two or three buses. Later they
got into a bus along with D-1 and D-2. They alighted at the bus-stop Allagadda
and were proceeding to the town along the road. PW 2 who was near the brokers'
office, also joined them and they were all proceeding talking to each other. It
was then about 11.30
a.m. or so. When they
reached the house of Advocate Narasimhulu, A-1 armed with a hunting sickle and
A-4 armed with a spear suddenly came out of the house and A-4 stabbed D-1 on
the left side of the ribs with the spear. A-1 cut D-1 on his right wrist with
the hunting sickle. A-2, A-3 and A-5 to A-12 also joined A-1 and A-4.
A-6 and A-8 were armed with hunting sickles. A-5 was armed with a battle-axe.
A-3, A-7 and A-9 to A-12 were armed with spears. PWs 4, 5, 7 and 8 intervened
and pushed D-1 towards the pial of Lakshmi Narasimhulu. A-1 to A-5 went up to
the pial and attacked D-1 with the weapons in their hands. When D-2 tried to
intervene, A-6 91 to A-10 attacked him with the weapons in their hands. The
other PWs tried to intervene. In the process PW 1 received an incised injury on
his wrist. PW 2 was also stabbed with spear by A-3. PW 3 was cut on the right
side of his forehead with a battle-axe by A-5. PW 4 was cut with hunting
sickles by A-1 and A-6 on several parts of his body.
was cut with a battle-axe by A-5 and was stabbed with spear by A-7. PW 6 was
also stabbed but he did not know exactly who stabbed him. PW 7 was hacked by A-5
on his right shoulder and head and poked with a spear on his right chest by
A-10. PW 8 was cut with a hunting sickle on the head by A-2 and was stabbed on
his head with a spear by A-3.
was inflicted a stab wound on his right upper arm, by one of the assailants.
Then the accused left the scene. PW I immediately ran to the police station and
informed the Inspector of Police, PW 18 about the occurrence, who made an entry
in the general diary and proceeded to the scene of occurrence with a Head Constable
and some constables. On reaching the scene of occurrence, he found the dead
body of D-1 lying with multiple injuries and D-2 was lying in a precarious
condition by the side of D-1. He sent D-2 immediately to the Government Hospital, Allagadda. PWs 4, 5, 7 and 8 were also lying with
injuries. They were also sent for treatment later. PW I gave a report about the
occurrence and the case was registered. D-2 died in the hospital. Post-mortem
was conducted on the two dead bodies and there were number of incised wounds
all over the bodies.
there were incised wounds on PWs 1 to 9. The accused were arrested and after
completion of the investigation, the chargesheet was laid. The plea of the
accused was one of complete denial and they stated that they were falsely
1 to 11 figured as direct witnesses. Out of them PWs 1 to 9 were injured during
the occurrence in which D-1 and D-2 sustained fatal injuries. On a
consideration of the evidence of these witnesses, the learned trial Judge accepted
the case of the prosecution almost in total. He, however, acquitted A11 and
A-12 completely since no oven acts were attributed to them and also on the
ground that the name of A- II was not mentioned in the FIR. In conclusion he
made the following order:
a careful consideration of all the circumstances stated above I accept the
evidence of PWs 1 to 11 and hold that though it is not sufficient to establish
the guilt of accused 11 and 12, it conclusively proves the participation of
accused 1 to 9 in the commission of offence." Having given such a
categorical finding, the learned trial Judge, however, convicted A-1 to A-9
only for minor offenses simply holding that there is no positive and conclusive
evidence to bear out as to who inflicted the injuries on the two deceased and
the common object of the unlawful assembly was to assault the deceased and his
men and that subsequently it cannot be said that A1 to A-9 shared the common
object to cause the death of Ramachandra Reddy, D-1 and Issac, D-2. In this
view of the matter he acquitted A- 1 to A-9 of the murder charge.
High Court virtually confirmed the findings of the trial court in all respects
but reached the conclusion that the trial Judge grossly erred in holding that
the common object of the unlawful assembly was not to commit murder.
High Court examined the evidence of the injured witnesses again and agreed with
the findings of the trial Judge that A-1 to A-9 participated in the 92
occurrence. It can therefore be seen that there is a concurrent finding that
A-1 to A-9 participated in the occurrence in which the two deceased persons
received fatal injuries and PWs 1 to 9 received several simple and grievous
counsel for the appellants submitted that the view taken by the trial Judge is
not altogether erroneous and that being so the High Court erred in convicting
A-1 to A-9 under Sections 302/149.
both the courts below have believed the evidence of PWs 1 to 9, we have,
however, examined their evidence.
presence of PWs 1 to 9 at the scene of occurrence cannot be doubted. The names
of these nine appellants are mentioned in the FIR given almost immediately. The
occurrence itself,has taken place in the town at a place which is close-by to
the police station also. The medical evidence also establishes that cutting
weapons were used in inflicting the injuries on the two deceased persons as
well as on the injured witnesses. The trial Judge failed to notice that all the
nine accused along with some others emerged in a body and all of them
participated in the occurrence. We are unable to see as to how the trial Judge
could come to the conclusion that the common object of the unlawful assembly
was not to commit murder. There are number of injuries on both the deceased persons
on vital organs. The attack on PWs as well as on the two deceased persons was
at the same time and at the same place. All the appellants were armed with
deadly weapons and inflicted injuries with them. Assuming the witnesses have
not narrated the details on the attack on the two deceased persons, that by
itself is not a ground to hold that the common object of the unlawful assembly
was not to commit murder. On D-1 there were as many as 16 incised wounds all
over the body and on D-2 there were as many as 10 incised wounds. As a matter
of fact PWs 1, 4, 7, 8 and 9 have given some details of attack on D-1 and D-2.
In any event it is impossible to hold under the circumstances that the common
object of the unlawful assembly was not to commit murder.
the evidence of PWs 1 to 9, the injured witnesses is believed by the courts
below, the only conclusion that can be reached is that all the assailants were
members of an unlawful assembly and their common object was to commit the
murder of D-1 and D-2 and to cause injuries to PWs 1 to 9.
view, the High Court has rightly interfered and has convicted the appellants
for the offence of murder and for causing grievous hurt to PWs 1 to 9.
are absolutely no merits in these appeals.
both the appeals are dismissed.