Ram Vs. State of Haryana  INSC 455 (27 October 1993)
S. (J) MOHAN, S. (J) SAWANT, P.B. CITATION: 1994 SCC (1) 491 JT 1993 (6) 276
1993 SCALE (4)258
Judgment of the Court was delivered by S.MOHAN, J.- The appellant along with
one Dr Ramesh Kumar was sentenced to 3 1/2 years' rigorous imprisonment with
fine of Rs 1,000 each under Sections 376/511 of the Indian Penal Code and in
default of payment of fine the defaulter was to undergo rigorous imprisonment
for a period of three months. The conviction and sentence imposed by the
learned Sessions judge of Namaul was unsuccessfully appealed against before the
High Court in Criminal Appeal No. 464/SB of 1988.
present appeal is directed against the said conviction and sentence by Nathu
Ram, accused 2 (appellant herein).
prosecution case is as follows.
2.On January 11, 1986 Mansa Ram (PW 8) made an
application to the chief Minister of Haryana to the effect that his son
Saturday is serving in he Army and his wife Nirmala (daughter-in-law) is living
in the village with him.
was suffering from malaria. Therefore, he took her on October 20, 985 for treatment to a private medical
practitioner, namely, Dr Ramesh kumar (accused 1) who had his clinic at Satnali
in the market. He and Nirmala reached the clinic at about 1 p.m. and contacted the doctor who assured them of curing her. He
gave Nirmala two tablets with a glass of From the Judgment and Order dated
November 1, 1989 of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Criminal Appeal No.
464-SB of 1988 492 water and asked her to lie down on the cot behind a curtain.
called Nathu Ram, Secretary of the Market Committee, accused 2 (the appellant
herein) whom he called his guru. Dr Ramesh then asked Mansa Ram (PW 8) to bring
hot water from outside. When he returned with hot water and entered the clinic
he found that they had attempted to rape Nirmala. On seeing him, the appellant,
Nathu Ram ran away.
was caught and given a beating by him. Some other people intervened and got Dr Ramesh
freed. He thereafter went to Ganga Ram, Havaldar of Police Station, Satnali who
said that he would himself arrest him but he did not take any action. He
requested the Chief Minister to get the investigation of the case done.
above complaint was marked through the Deputy Commissioner, Namaul to the
Senior Superintendent of Police, Narnaul for enquiry. On enquiry, he filed the
report that the allegations in the complaint were false. Not being satisfied
with the report of the police, the Deputy Commissioner of Namaul marked the
complaint on September
11, 1986 for a fresh
enquiry to the SDM, Mahendragarh. He conducted the enquiry at Satnali. He made
his report on February
4, 1987 recommending
for registration of the case against the doctor and the appellant. This was
marked to the SPO, Namaul for registration of the case. Accordingly FIR No. 31
dated May 18, 1987 in P.S. Satnali was registered
under Sections 354 and 376 read with Section 511 of the Indian Penal Code.
After investigation the appellant and Dr Ramesh were sent for trial.
Before the learned Sessions Judge Mansa Ram appeared as the main prosecution
witness (PW 8). He deposed that Nirmala (PW 4) is the wife of his son who is
employed in the Army. She was suffering from malaria fever on October 20, 1985. He took her to the clinic of Dr Ramesh
at about 1 o'clock in the day. Dr Ramesh told that he
will cure her and gave two tablets to Nirmala (PW 4) with a glass of water
which she took. Dr Ramesh called his guru Nathu Ram, accused 2 (appellant
herein), who is the Secretary of the Market Committee. Nirmala was asked to lie
down on a cot behind a curtain in the clinic. Dr Ramesh then asked Mansa Ram
(PW 8) to get hot water from outside.
he entered the clinic with hot water he saw Dr Ramesh totally naked and Nathu
Ram, the appellant, in his nikar and jersey. They were standing there and Nirmala
was on a cot.
was unconscious and her salwar had been folded to the extent of half. Mansa Ram
(PW 8) raised an alarm. The appellant ran away. Banwari (PW 6) and Mool Chand
(PW 5) came inside the clinic. Mansa Ram (PW 8) gave slaps to Dr Ramesh.
Several other people assembled there. He put the salwar of Nirmala (PW 4) in
order and covered her and took her back. The same day, he handed over a
complaint to Ganga Ram, HC of Police Station, Satnali. He did not take any
action. Therefore, he made a complaint to the Deputy Commissioner and the Chief
Minister. Though he was cross- examined at length his evidence could not be
shaken, in any manner. His evidence was corroborated by Nirmala (PW 4) in
material parts. Mool Chand (PW 5) also stated that he and Banwari (PW 6) saw Nathu
Ram, accused 2 (the appellant 493 herein) present at the relevant time in the
clinic in a kachha and a banian. Dr Ramesh, accused 1, was wearing only an
underwear. Nirmala (PW 4) was lying unconscious on a cot. Her salwar was lying
open. Nathu Ram ran away from the back door of the clinic. Ganga Ram, the Head
Constable (CW 2), was examined. He denied that any complaint was given to him
by Mansa Ram (PW 8). Narsingh Das (CW 1) was the person who wrote the complaint
for Mansa Ram (PW 8).
accepting the evidence of prosecution witnesses the learned Sessions Judge came
to the conclusion that the delay in filing the first information report was
satisfactorily explained because Mansa Ram `PW 8) gave the complaint in 1986 as
well as in 1987 and he was relentlessly pursuing the same.
regards the so-called discrepancies in the evidence he was of the view that the
statements of Mansa Ram and Nirmala, PWs 8 and 4 respectively, sound natural,
more so, when they were illiterates. The version by the defence that the doctor
refused to perform the abortion or that the Secretary (the appellant herein)
was in the knowledge of some secrets of Mansa Ram (PW 8) and, therefore, he was
being pressurised are absolutely preposterous. If an abortion had been refused
the complainant could have gone to some other clinic. Why should he involve the
doctor in a false case? Mansa Ram (PW 8) had no prior enmity against Dr Ramesh.
Nathu Ram (accused 2) could have disclosed the alleged secrets against Mansa
Ram (PW 8) during the trial.
the pleas taken by the accused persons are totally imaginary. On this basis,
both the accused were sentenced to 3 1/2 years rigorous imprisonment with a
fine of Rs 1,000.
Criminal Appeal No. 464/SB of 1988 the High Court came to the same conclusion
that the delay in filing the first information report had been satisfactorily
was concluded that an illiterate villager had taken his daughter-in-law toa
private medical practitioner who abused his position and tried to molestthe
lady. Nathu Ram, the appellant exploited the situation as there was nobody to
help Nirmala (PW 4) who had been made unconscious by Dr Ramesh Kumar (accused
1). He also tried to misbehave with her. The testimony of prosecution witnesses
was found to be convincing. Therefore, the conviction and the sentence were
this appeal before us, it is argued by the learned counsel for the appellant
somewhat vehemently, that the evidence of Narsingh Das (CW 1) is categoric that
no complaint whatever was given to him. It is only at the instigation of some
others a false complaint had come to be preferred whereas he had nothing to do
with the alleged offence. Besides, that day was a Sunday. There was no
possibility of the appellant going to the doctor's clinic.
Ram (PW 8) is the main witness in this case.
(PW 4) became unconscious the moment she was administered two pills by the
doctor, she could not know much. On an analysis of the evidence of 494 Mansa
Ram (PW 8) it is found there are vital discrepancies which will clearly belie
the case of prosecution. Merely because the appellant was standing in kachha
and banian, that cannot straight away lead to an inference of abetment of rape
nor attempted rape, when no overt act is alleged.
have given our careful consideration to the above arguments. We may straight
away say that we are not in a position to accept any of them. This is a case in
which an illiterate villager with his daughter-in-law came for medical
treatment but the appellant as well as the doctor had other designs to exploit
the situation. When Mansa Ram (PW 8) returned with hot water what he saw had
positive that doctor was standing naked while the appellant was scantily
dressed in his kachha and banian.
of Nirmala (PW 4) had been half folded. How the appellant came in was when Dr Ramesh
(accused 1) assured Mansa Ram and Nirmala, PWs 8 and 4 respectively, that he
will cure Nirmala with the help of his guru who is none else than the
appellant. Merely because it happened to be a Sunday, it does not mean there
was no possibility of the appellant not being there.
may be minor discrepancies in the evidence of Mansa Ram (PW 8), as rightly held
by the learned Sessions Judge but they are natural. A tutored witness will
depose in a parrot-like fashion. In any event, these discrepancies are not so
material as to reject his testimony. Above all, the two rustic villagers Nirmala
and Mansa Ram, PWs 4 and 8 respectively, could not have ever thought of
foisting a false case, more so, when there was admittedly no enmity between the
appellant and Dr Ramesh on one hand and these prosecution witnesses on the
other. We fully concur with the findings of both the courts that the plea of defence
has to be rejected.
doubt, Ganga Ram (CW 2) would say that no complaint was preferred to him by Mansa
Ram (PW 8) but positive case of Mansa Ram (PW 8) is he promised to take action
but he did not do anything. Therefore, he had to go up to the Chief Minister
and the higher authorities. It is this relentless pursuit which made the police
register the case. The sentence cannot also be called excessive, under these
circumstances of the case, when in complicity with Dr Ramesh (accused 1), the
appellant abetted the offence of rape. It is not that he was a mere bystander
or onlooker. In the circumstances narrated above, the scanty dress clearly will
make him fall under the said two sections with which he is charged. "It is
the apparel that proclaims." For all these reasons, we find no ground had
been made out warranting interference. Accordingly, the appeal will stand
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by N.P. SINGH, J.- Special leave
granted in SLP (Crl.) No. 293 of 1993.
This appeal is on behalf of the State of Haryana for setting aside the judgment of the High Court, acquitting the
accused-respondent Manoj Kumar, who had been convicted under Section 302 of the
Penal Code and sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for life, by the
Sessions Judge, Rohtak.
case of the prosecution is that on June 22, 1988, at about 7.00 p.m. Rohan (PW
14) and Chelan (deceased), the two sons of the informant, Col. Ajit Singh
Saharan (PW 13), started for Rohtak, from the residence of the informant at New
Delhi, on a motorcycle bearing No. HYU-5550, to meet their mother Shakuntala
Saharan who was residing then at Ashiyana Green Road, Rohtak. They stopped at Bahadurgarh on the way at about 7.45 p.m. at a shop for refreshment. A Maruti car bearing No.
HYU-9808 was parked and the two sons of the informant parked their motorcycle
in front of the said car. In the meantime, the accused Manoj Kumar came and sat
in his car aforesaid. But due to cycles and motorcycle aforesaid parked there,
he could not take out his Maruti car and he started blowing the horn of his car
continuously. He also started abusing loudly as to why those cycles and
motorcycle had been parked there. As soon as Chetan heard abuses, he came to
remove the motorcycle and asked the accused not to hurl abuses. There was
exchange of hot words. Rohan also reached near the car, after parking the
motorcycle, but exchange of hot words continued. The accused threatened both of
them saying, "Come out of Bahadurgarh. I will see you." 497 Rohan
retorted, "What you will see us outside? See us here." The accused
repeated, "Come outside. I will kill both of you." Thereafter the
accused went away, but Rohan and Chetan remained there in front of the said
shop out of fear. On enquiry, Rohan and Chetan learnt that the name of accused
was Manoj Kumar and he was the son of Surat Singh, who was a property dealer in
Bahadurgarh. Rohan also noted down the number of the said car. After some time,
they started on their motorcycle for Rohtak. On the way they saw the accused
going from Bahadurgarh side to Rohtak. The car of the accused was going at a
slow speed. Rohan who was driving the motorcycle overtook the car. As soon as
the accused saw that Rohan and Chetan had gone ahead of him overtaking his car,
he raised the speed of his car and started following the motorcycle. Rohan also
increased the speed of his motorcycle out of fear. But they had to slow down
the speed of their motorcycle when they reached near village Sankhol, because
of the rush on the road. It is alleged that in the meantime accused Manoj Kumar
overtook their motorcycle and again slowed down the speed of his car and gave
them a signal to proceed ahead. It is further the case of the prosecution that
as soon as Rohan tried to overtake the said car, accused swerved his car
towards the right side, whereupon Rohan applied the brakes. Rohan stopped the motorcycle,
thereupon accused Manoj Kumar who had gone ahead of them brought back the car
in reverse gear towards Rohan and Chetan at a fast speed. Accused tried to
bring Chetan under his car, but Chetan retreated. However, his left foot came
under the wheel of the said car. Seeing this, some persons came near them. Chetan
told them that the accused had run over his foot with his car and he was having
great pain. After some time the accused again came back to the spot with his
car. Persons who were present there, shouted that the said car was coming
again. On this, Chetan climbed on the road divider and threw a stone on the
said car. As Chetan had climbed on the road divider, the car went towards Bahadurgarh
at a fast speed. Both the brothers again started towards Rohtak on their
they traveled for some time, again the accused came with his car from behind at
a fast speed and accused swerved his car towards left in order to hit the
motorcycle. Rohan took the motorcycle on the 'kachha' portion of the road on
the left side and stopped it. When the car of the accused proceeded towards Rohtak,
they again started from there on their motorcycle. When they had covered some
distance, it is alleged that Rohan again saw the car of the accused coming from
the opposite direction i.e. from Rohtak side.
fear they stopped the motorcycle on the side of the road, in front of a tractor
trolley to save themselves. In the meanwhile, Chetan came down from the
motorcycle and wanted to go behind the tractor-trolley to take shelter.
accused hit Chetan who was on the road by the right side of his car with force.
Thereafter the car proceeded in great speed grazing with the tractortrolley.
Because of the impact, Chetari was thrown from the road inside the trolley.
the serious condition of Chetan, Rohan stopped a Matador, driven by one Vinod
Kumar of Rohtak and asked him to take Chetan to the hospital because his
brother's condition was serious. Chetan was put in the Matador and Rohan
followed the Matador on his motorcycle. Chetan reached hospital at 9.30 p.m.
and after half an hour he was declared dead. Col. Ajit 498 Singh Saharan the
father of the victim was informed, who proceeded from Delhi to Rohtak. The
first information report was lodged at about 11. 1 5 a.m. on June 23, 1988, by
the father of the victim. It is said that Rohan, because of the shock,
virtually remained unconscious throughout the night and at 9.00 a.m. he started
narrating the details of the occurrence, to his father, the informant. In the
first information report all the aforesaid facts relating to the occurrence
were mentioned by the informant, on the basis of the information given to him
by Rohan. On the date of occurrence the two brothers, Rohan and Chetan, were
aged about 19 and 17 years respectively.
report was given to the Head Constable Chand Singh (PW 12), who sent the said
report to the Police Station, City Bahadurgarh, on the basis of which a case
copy of the first information report reached the Additional Chief Judicial
Magistrate on June 23, 1988 at 4.00 p.m. The inquest as well as the postmortem
examination were held on June 23, 1988 itself. The motorcycle bearing No.
HYU-5550 was produced before the Investigating Officer (PW 16) on June 23, 1988
itself. The Investigating Officer (PW 16) reached the place of occurrence. He
picked up glass pieces from the spot as also blood-stained earth including the
plastic strip "Maruti800", which was lying on the road.
June 25, 1988, the Investigating Officer went to Bahadurgarh along with the
informant and others. He received a secret information at about 4.15 p.m. that
the accused Manoj Kumar was present in his house with the car and could be
apprehended there. Whereupon all went to his house in Daya Nand Colony, Bahadurgarh,
and at the pointing out by Rohan (PW 14), the Investigating Officer (PW 16)
arrested the accused and took into possession the Maruti car No. HYU-9808. The
car was badly damaged on the right side.
inside the car, broken pieces of glass and stains of blood were recovered which
were seized and put into sealed parcels. The clothes of' the accused were also
seized. The Investigating Officer got the Maruti car photographed and sent the
accused for medical examination as he was having injuries on his person. The
Investigating Officer also got the car and the motorcycle mechanically examined
by a motor mechanic. On comparison and the examination, the expert gave the
opinion that the broken pieces of glass found on the road, were of Maruti Car
No. HYU-9808. It was also found that the plastic strip with
"Maruti-800" found on the road was of the same car, because the said
strip in the car was missing at the time of seizure.
investigation, report under Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure was
filed. The accused was put on trial. He was convicted for an offence under
Section 302 of the Penal Code by the Sessions Judge, Rohtak, and sentenced to
undergo rigorous imprisonment for life.
as already stated above, the High Court set aside the conviction and sentence
of the accused-respondent and acquitted him of the charges levelled against
behalf of the State, it was pointed out that there was no reason for the High
Court to reject the evidence of Rohan (PW 14), the brother of the deceased
whose presence at the time of the occurrence and his going from Delhi to Rohtak
along with the deceased, was never questioned by the 499 accused during the
trial. It was urged that the circumstantial evidence collected during investigation,
fully supported the case of the prosecution.
sole eyewitness of the occurrence is Rohan (PW 14) who has stated before the
Investigating Officer, as well as before the Sessions Court, the details of the
occurrence, starting from Bahadurgarh and ending at the Hospital at Rohtak. The
other witnesses and circumstances only corroborate the statement of Rohan (PW
14). According to us, the High Court should have first examined as to whether
in the facts and circumstances of the case, the evidence of Rohan (PW 14)
should be accepted. It appears that the High Court mainly considered the
questions as to whether there was any reasonable explanation for not informing
the police during night, and as to whether Rohan (PW 14) was with Chetan
(deceased) on the motorcycle when Chetan left Delhi for Rohtak. The special
feature of the case is, that accused in his statement under Section 313 of the
Code of Criminal Procedure admitted that his Maruti car was standing at the
shop of one juice seller at Bahadurgarh. When he returned to the car, he found
a motorcycle parked in front of his car. Then he blew the horn twice or thrice.
a boy came there who abused him saying as to why he was in a hurry. Thereafter
there was exchange of hot words between them. He also admitted that at village Sankhol
somebody threw a stone at his car. No suggestion was given to Rohan (PW 14)
that he did not accompany Chetan (deceased) on motorcycle from Delhi. The motive, as well as the genesis
of the occurrence have been virtually admitted by the defence.
(PW 14) has stated in detail about the altercation at Bahadurgarh and about the
first attack on the way in which the car of the accused is alleged to have hit
the left leg of Chetan and caused injuries, and as to how ultimately the
accused knocked down Chetan on road by his car with great force. He also stated
that after hitting Chetan by the right side bonnet of the car, accused
proceeded ahead grazing with the tractor and trolley. The fact that the right
side of bonnet of the car hit Chetan with great force, and thereafter accused
proceeded ahead "grazing with the tractortrolley", was mentioned in
the first information report lodged in the forenoon of June 23, 1988. The car
of the accused was seized on June 25, 1988.
right side of the car was found to have been badly damaged. This was mainly due
to the car grazing with the trolley. If Rohan (PW 14) was not with Chetan
(deceased), how this fact that the car grazed the trolley after hitting Chetan,
could have been mentioned in the first information report lodged on June 23,
1988, before the car was seized.
bare reading of the evidence of Rohan (PW 14), it shall appear that he has
deposed in a very straightforward manner, giving every detail of the incident
and as to how the accused-respondent made repeated attempts to crush them on
the road, because of the altercation at Bahadurgarh.
has been elicited in the cross-examination. No part of the evidence of Rohan
(PW 14) has been demolished. The High Court has simply quoted the evidence of Rohan
(PW 14), but has given no reason why it should be rejected. The High Court has
observed only "that the evidence of the eyewitness in the court was a
belated 500 attempt to improve their testimony and bring the same in line with
the Doctor's evidence with a view to support an Incorrect case".
the person of deceased, 11 injuries were found during postmortem. Most of the
injuries were on the left side of his body which is consistent only with the
case of the prosecution that while Chetan was standing on the road, the accused
knocked him down by the right side of the car, causing injury on the left side
of Chetan. He was thrown on the trolley. The trolley was carrying agricultural
implements which caused some of the incised wounds which were found on the
person of Chetan during postmortem examination. During the cross-examination of
Rohan (PW 14), the suggestions which had been given, on behalf of the accused,
do not dispute the case of prosecution that both brothers left Delhi on the
motorcycle. The High Court committed a grave error in rejecting the evidence of
Rohan (PW 14). The High Court doubted the presence of Rohan (PW 14) with the
victim, merely on the ground that Rohan did not reach the hospital along with
the victim. Since the very beginning, the case of the prosecution is that Rohan
(PW 14) got a Matador stopped on the way and asked the driver of the Matador to
take his brother to hospital. Rohan followed the said Matador, on motorcycle.
The distance between the place of occurrence and the hospital is about 35 kms.
In normal course the Matador must have reached before Rohan reached the
hospital on motorcycle. Similarly, the adverse inference drawn by the High
Court, as to why Rohan (PW 14) did not inform the police regarding the
occurrence throughout the night, according to us, is without justification. A
young boy of 19 years, who escaped death even after several attempts on the
road and ultimately found his brother becoming victim of the said attack, must
have been completely broken. It was too much to expect from him that before his
father arrived, he would have taken legal steps for prosecuting the respondent.
prosecution has unfolded and disclosed the prosecution case in a most natural
manner and there is no scope for imaginary doubt about correctness of the
(PW 14) is the sole eyewitness of the fatal knock down, by the accused. But,
that cannot be held to be an infirmity of the prosecution case. A conviction
can be based and the verdict of the court can rest even on the testimony of a
sole witness, if the court is fully satisfied that such witness is a truthful
witness and his presence at the time of occurrence has been proved beyond
reasonable doubt. The evidence of Rohan (PW 14) is fully corroborated, by the
damaged Maruti car found in the premises of the accused with the missing
plastic strip "Maruti-800", which was found on the spot and collected
by the Investigating Officer. The comparison of the broken glasses found on the
road with the broken glasses found in the Maruti car of the accused; the damage
found only towards the right side of the Maruti car; most of the injuries on
the person of deceased being on the left side, according to us, go a long way
to prove that Rohan (PW 14) has disclosed the correct version of the
occurrence. No adverse inference can be drawn in the facts and circumstances of
the present case, because Rohan PW 14 or an one did not lodge the first
information 501 during the night itself. PW 13, father of the victim, who is a
military officer, has stated on oath, that he got the information from Rohtak
at about 2.00 or 2.15 in the night and he immediately proceeded for Rohtak and
reached there at about 4.00 or 4.15 in the morning. He found Rohan (PW 14) in
his house at Rohtak, but he was "besudh" (not in his senses) and was
lying on a "Charpai". At about 9.00 a.m., in the morning he tried to
know the full details from his son Rohan and then he lodged the first
information report on the basis of the facts narrated by his son Rohan. We find
hardly any reason to doubt the evidence of the informant (PW 13). It is true
that time factor has an important role in context with lodging of a first
information report. But, if the prosecution explains the delay satisfactorily,
the Court is not expected to reject the whole prosecution case merely on that
ground. The present case is one such case where taking all facts and
circumstances into consideration, the prosecution case cannot be rejected on
the ground that the first information report was not lodged during the night.
agony of the mother of the deceased and other members of the family at Rohtak
in absence of the father of the victim, who was then at Delhi, can be well
appreciated. We are of the view that the prosecution has proved its case beyond
all reasonable doubt and there is no scope for giving any benefit of doubt to
the accused respondent.
behalf of the accused-respondent, it was urged that even if the prosecution
case is accepted at its face value, still the accused-respondent cannot be
convicted for an offence under Section 302 of the Penal Code; at the most he
can be convicted for an offence under Section 304 of the Penal Code. It is not
possible to accept this contention.
accused after leaving Bahadurgarh, made repeated attempts to knock down the two
brothers by his car and ultimately he succeeded in doing so, when Chetan was
standing on the road. The impact was so serious that Chetan was thrown from
road to the trolley. It is fully established that accused intentionally caused
such bodily injuries, as the accused knew to be likely to cause the death of Chetan.
As such he committed the offence of murder within the meaning of Section 300,
liable to be punished for an offence under Section 302 of the Penal Code.
the appeal is allowed. The judgment of the High Court is set aside. The
accused-respondent Manoj Kumar is convicted under Section302 of the Indian
Penal Code and is sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for life. He should
surrender within one week from today, failing which all steps be taken by the
concerned authorities to take him into custody, to serve out the sentence.
view of the order passed in the above appeal, filed on behalf of the State of Haryana, there is no necessity to pass the
same order in the special leave petition filed on behalf of the informant. The
petition filed by the informant is held to have become infructuous and
accordingly the same is hereby dismissed.