Singh Vs. State of Punjab  INSC 360 (3 August 1995)
M.K. (J) Mukherjee M.K. (J) Nanavati G.T. (J) M.K.Mukherjee.J.
1995 SCC Supl. (3) 447 1995 SCALE (4)629
Singh, the appellant herin, was placed on trial before the learned Additional
Judge, Special Court, Ludhiana, to answer charges under Sections 302 of the Indian Penal
Code and 27 of the Arms Act, 1959 on the allegation that on March 27, 1984 he committed the murder of his real
brother Darshan Singh with a pistol. On conclusion of the trial the learned
Judge convicted him of both the charges and sentenced him to imprisonment for
life and a fine of Rs.1,000/-, in default, to rigorous imprisonment for two
years more for the former and to rigorous imprisonment for two years more for
the former and to rigorous imprisonment for one year and a fine of Rs.100/-, in
default, to rigorous imprisonment for three months more for the latter, with a
direction that the substantive sentences shall run concurrently. The above
order of conviction and sentence is under challange in this appeal preferred by
the appellant under Section 14 of the Terrorist Affected Areas (Special Courts)
of details, the prosecution case is that the deceased Darshan Singh and the
appellant used to live in adjacent houses in village Jangpur within the police
station of Dakha in the District of Ludhiana. About 2.1/2 years prior to his
death a prosecution was launched against him and his son Jagmel Singh for
causing injuries to the appellant. Since then the relations between the two
brothers became strained. On March 27, 1984,
the appellant was found moving around the house of Darshan Singh since noon. At or about 6.30 P.M. while drawing water from the nearby
hand- pump he started hurling abuses towards Darshan Singh in his absence and
gave out that he would kill him. After hurling abuses the appellant went
towards the village gate.
that the appellant might translate his threat into action, Inderhit Singh
(P.W.1), another son of Darshan Singh, followed him accopained by his mother Smt.
Niranjan Kaur (P.W.2).. At that time Darshan Singh was sitting on a chounta
(raised platform) by the side of the village pond which is near the village
gate. Reaching there the appellant took out a pistol from the fold of his chaddar
which was wrapped around his body and fired a shot aiming Darshan Singh. He
immediately fell down on the spot. Then the appellant dragged him to the nearby
pond and threw him in its water. Thereafter he ran away. After the appellant
had fled away, Inderjit Singh and his mother went to rescue Darshan Singh from
the pond but found him dead. Leaving his mother near the dead body, Inderjit
Singh rushed to Chowkidar Bachan Singh (P.W.3) and narrated the incident.
Singh then approached Mukhtiar Singh of his village and accompained by him went
to the police station and lodged a First Information Report. S.I. Jagir Singh
(P.W.8), who recorded the First Information Report, took up the investigation
of this case and went to the place of occurrence. He arranged to have the
photographs of the dead body taken while inside the pond and after it was
brought out. He held inquest on the dead body and then sent it for post-mortem
examination. Besides, preparing a site plan he seized an empty cartridge, the
turban of the deveased which was embedded with two cardboards and some pellets,
some blood stained earth, one parna and a pair of shoes. In course of the
investigation he arrested the appellatn on March 31, 1984 and pursuant to the
statement made by him recovered the pistol (Ex. P.17) and two cartridges (Ex.
P.18 and 19). He sealed those articles and sent the same to the Ballistic
Expert for his opinion. On completion of investigation he submitted
charge-sheet against the appellant and in due course the case was committed for
appellant pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against him and contended
that he was falsely implicated. His specific defence was that his another
brother Nirmal Singh had a dispute with Darshan Singh over a house jointly
owned by them. Over that issue Darshan Singh and his sons Jagmel Singh and Dayal
Singh had assaulted him and other members of his family for which he instituted
a police case against them. He also contended that as he was the sole
bread-earner of the family and earning a total monthly remuneration of
Rs.1600/- to 1700/- as an employee of the Punjab Roadways, he was made a target
by the family members of the deceased.
support of its case the prosecution examined nine witnesses but no witness was
examined by the appellant. He, however, tendered his pay certificate to show
his monthly income.
perusal of the impugned judgment we find that in recording the order of
conviction and sentence the trial Judge held that the prosecution succeeded in
proving that the appellant had a motive for the crime, that the ocular version
of the incident as given out by Inderjit Singh (P.W.1) and Niranjan Kaur
(P.W.2) was reliable, that the medical evidence fully supported the prosection
case and that the First Information Report was lodged with utmost dispatch and
contained the quintessence of the prosecution case. The trial Judge, however,
found that the recovery of an empty cartridge from the spot and of the pistol
and cartridges pursuant to teh statement of the appellant had not been proved
in a satisfactory manner.
ascertain whether the findings of the trial court on which the conviction is
based, are sustainable or not we have gone through the record. On a careful
perusal of the evidence of the two eye-witneses, namely, P.W.1 and P.W.2 we
find that they have fully supported the prosectuion case as narrated earlier.
Both of them were subjected to detailed and searching cross examination but the
defence could not succeed in eliciting any favourable answer or discrediting
them. On the contrary, the evidence of P.W.1 gets ample corroboration from that
of Bachan Singh (P.W.5) to whom P.W.1 rushed after the death of his father and
narrated the incident. The other corroboration of P.W.1's evidence is furnished
by the fact that the FIR containing the details of the prosection case was
lodged within two hours of the incident and reached the Special MAgistrate on
that very night at 2 A.M.
next find that the evidence of the two eye-witnesses fits in with the medical
evidence. Dr. Subhash Bhatta (P.W.3) who held post-mortem examination upon the
dead body of Darshan Singh found a central irregular wound of 1/2"x
1/2" with inverted margin on the left temporal region 1/2" away from
the left eye. According to P.W.3 there was no buring and no balckening around
the wound but some tattooing were present around the margin. The doctor opined
that the injury was caused by a fire-arm and it was sufficient to cause death
in the ordinary course of nature. Relying upon an answer elicited in
cross-examination of P.W.3 that the injury indicated that the gun was fired
from a distance of 3 to 6 ft., the learned counsel for the appellant submitted
that the opinion so expressed completely discredited the two eye-witnesses as
they stated that the appellant fired from a distance of two Karmas (one Karma
is equal to 5 ft.). There is no substance in this contention as it was not
expected of P.Ws. 1 and 2 to speak about the distance with mathematical
evidence of the eye-witnesses also gets some support from that of Investigating
Officer (P.W.8) when he testified that he found and seized some blood stained
earth from the place of incident and the report of the chemical analysis shows
that it contained human blood.
the forgoing discussion it mist be held that the prosecution has been able to
conclusively prove that the appellant committed the murder of his brother Darshan
therefore, need not fo into the question as to whether the prosecution has
succeeded in proving the motive for the crime.
appeal therefore stands dismissed. The appellant, who is on bail, will now
surrender to his bail bond to serve out the sentence.