Singh & Anr Vs. State of Punjab 
INSC 561 (13 October
K.S.(J) Paripoornan, K.S.(J) Anand, A.S. (J) Paripoornan, J.
1996 AIR 372 1995 SCC (6) 593 JT 1995 (7) 286 1995 SCALE (5)703
No. 1 Baldev Singh son of Roor Singh and Accused No. 3 Roor Singh son of Khushal
Singh in Case No. 49/84 - Trial No. 39/84 of the Court of Shri M.L. Merchea,
Judge, Special Court, Ferozepur have filed this appeal under Section 14 of the
Terrorists Affected Areas (Special Courts) Act of 1984 (hereinafter referred to
as `Act') against their conviction and sentence dated 3.1.1985. There were four
accused in this case. Accused No. 2 Sham Singh son of Roor Singh were acquitted
by the same judgment. The State has not filed any appeal against the acquittal
of accused Nos. 2 and 4.
deceased No. 1, Balbir Singh and deceased No. 2 Amrik Singh and accused Nos. 1
to 4 are near relations. The following chart will help to understand the
relationship of the parties inter se : Khushal Singh | Amrik Singh Roor Singh
(Deceased No. 2) (Accused No. 3) |
----------------------------------------------------------- | | | | Balbir
Singh Sham Singh Baldev Singh Shamsheer Singh (Deceased-1) (Accused-2)
(Accused-1) Accused-4) The Court below, by its judgment dated 3.1.1985,
convicted Accused Nos. 1 and 3 Section 302 read with Section 34 of the Indian
Penal Code for committing the murder of Balbir Singh.
Singh, accused No. 1 was convicted under Section 32 of the Indian Penal Code
for committing the murder of Amrik Singh, deceased No. 2 and under Section 25
of the Arms Act for being in possession of the Barchha without licence. It is
against the said conviction and sentence the accused have filed this appeal
under the Act.
prosecution alleged that accused Nos. 1 to 4 committed the murder of Amrik
Singh and Balbir Singh, deceased Nos. 1 and 2. The prosecution case is as
follows:- Balbir Singh was in Aalli village cultivating the land of the
Government. About 3 years prior to the incident he shifted to village Saddushahwala
and took 2-1/2 kilas belonging to his father Roor Singh for cultivation. Father
Roor Singh wanted the land in village Aalli from Balbir Singh in lieu of the
lands taken over by Balbir Singh.
Singh did not consent to this. On 4.5.1984 at about 8 P.M. Balbir Singh, his
son Avtar Singh (PW 6), Daya singh and Dalip Kaur, widow of Balbir Singh (PW
5), were working in the field collecting bundles of the wheat stacks. When they
reached near the field of Roor Singh, Roor Singh armed with Kirpan. Baldev
Singh and Shamsheer Singh armed with Barchhas and Sham Singh with a pistol came
there. Roor Singh raised lalkara stating that Balbir Singh should not be
spared. Sham Singh fired from the pistol aiming at Balbir singh. But Balbir
Singh was not hit. Balbir Singh laid himself on the ground to save himself from
of wheat-stacks fell on him. Baldev Singh gave barchha blow on the thigh of Balbir
Singh. Shamsheer Singh gave barchha thrust in the chest of Balbir Singh. Roor
Singh gave kirpan blow in the chest of Balbir Singh. All the accused gave
further injuries to Balbir Singh. Amrik Singh, deceased, who was in the nearby
field, having heard the alarm, reached the spot and tried to intervene. Baldev
Singh gave barchha thrust in the thigh of Amrik Singh. Thereafter the accused
ran away with their respective weapons. Balbir Singh died at the spot. Dalip Kaur
(PW 5), widow accompanied by one Sher Singh went to Police Station Mallanwala
and gave the F.I.R. (Ex.p-7) at 10.20 P.M. A case was registered under Section 302 read with Section 34 of Indian
Penal Code and Section 25 of the Arms Act, against the accused. On the other
hand, Amrik Singh reached the Rural Dispensary, Mallanwala at 9 A.M. the next day. PW 2, Dr. Raja Singh, doctor, Rural
Dispensary, Mallanwala, examined him at 9.45 A.M. In the meanwhile, PW-1, Rattan Singh, Station House Officer, Police
Station, Mallanwala proceeded to the spot, found the dead-body of Balbir Singh
with multiple injuries lying in the field of Roor Singh, the accused with Daya
Singh and Avtar Singh (PW-6) guarding the dead-body. Ex. P- 24 inquest report
was prepared. Dead body was despatched for post-mortem examination through
ex.p-24/A. Rough site-plan P-6/A was prepared. The shoes of Balbir Singh P/O-8
were collected from the spot under seizure memo Ex. P-25. Blood stained earth
was collected under seizure memo Ex P-26.
stacks of wheats were secured under seizure memo Ex.P- 75. Thereafter, in the
evening PW-10. Rattan Singh, reached the hospital and made inquiries about Amrik
Singh. PW-2, Dr. Raja Singh, opined that Amrik Singh was fit to make a
statement. Thereafter, PW-1, rattan Singh, recorded the statement of Amrik
Singh Ex. P-28. Amrik Singh produced his blood-stained shirt and kachha which
were taken possession of under Ex.P-29.
PW-1 Dr. Jaspal Singh performed the post-mortem on the dead-body of Balbir
Singh on 5.5.1984. The post-mortem revealed the following 7 injuries :
Incised wound 5 cms. x 2 cms. on the front of the left chest in upper part 3 cms.
above the nipple with blood clots. On dissection the underlying nib was found
cut and left thoracic cavity full of clotted blood. Lower part of the heart
stood punctured through and though. The lower part of the lung also lay
Incised wound 9 cms. x 3 cms. front and upper part of the right thigh, oblique
in direction with blood clots.
dissection the underlying major blood vessels were found completely cut and
wound 9 cms. x 3 cms. at the outer and upper part of the right thigh with blood
clots. On dissection sub-cutaneous tissues were found congested.
Incised wound 5 cms. x 2 cms. at the middle of the right thigh with blood clots
and sub-cutaneous tissues congested and soft tissues cut.
Incised wound 1-1/2 cms. x 1/2 cm. at the middle of the right buttock sub- contaneous
Incised wound 1-1/2 cms. x 2 cm. at the outer and upper part of the left thigh
near iliac crest with blood clots.
Incised wound 7 cms. x 2 cms. at the back of the abdomen in lower part in
middle at lumbo sacral region with blood clots with underlying vertebra
partially cut and sub-cutaneous tissues congested."
Doctor opined that death was due to shock and haemorrhage as a result of
multiple injuries which were sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to
also opined that injury No.1 alone was sufficient in the ordinary course of
nature to cause death. Amrik Singh expired on 12.5.1984. An Assistant
Sub-Inspector of Police.
Station Mallanwalla, Gurmel Singh (PW-11), on receipt of the said information,
went to the hospital and prepared Inquest Report Ex. P-5. The dead body was despatched
for post-mortem through request Ex. P-5/A.
Accused Sham Singh, Roor Singh, Shamsheer Singh and Baldev Singh were arrested
on 12th and 14th May,
1984. PW-7, Head
Constable recovered the loaded pistol and cartridges from Sham Singh under
seizure memo Ex. p-8 and Ex. P-9. From Shamsheer Singh a barchha was recovered
under seizure memo P-14 and his statement was recorded Ex. P-13. As per Ex.
M/O/7 barchha was recovered from Baldev Singh under seizure memo Ex. P-19.
Thereafter, the following charges were framed against the 4 accused persons.
Singh U/s. 302 I.P.C.
Sham Singh, Roor Singh U/s. 302 r/w and Shamsheer Singh section 34 I.P.C.
Singh, Sham 302 r/w singh Shamsheer Section Singh and 34 I.P.C. Roor Singh.
singh 25 Arms Act.
Singh 25 Arms Act.
Singh accused was charged under Section 25 Arms Act by the Sub- Divisional
Magistrate, Zira.)" The cases against the accused under the Arms Act were
clubbed along with the main case. All the accused pleaded not guilty to the
prosecution examined PW-1 to PW-5 and PW-7 to PW- 11. Affidavits of police
officials were also taken into account. PW-1 is Dr. Jaspal Singh, who performed
the post post-mortem on the dead body of Balbir Singh. PW-2, Dr. Raja Singh,
examined Amrik Singh (deceased) and gave Ex. P2 medicolegal report. The learned
judge, Special Court, after referring to the nature of the injuries, as
disclosed in the post post-mortem certificate, held that the case of the
prosecution that Sham Singh the accused fired at Balbir Singh stands belied
since there was no fire arm injury on the body of the deceased. He was also
acquitted of the charges framed under the Arms Act. The learned Judge also
acquitted Shamsheer Singh, holding that the statement of PW- 5 that Shamsheer
Singh gave a barchha thrust in the chest of Balbir Singh, finds no mention in
the F.I.R. and the participation of Shamsheer Singh in the crime is open to
serious doubt. Giving the benefit of doubt, shamsheer Singh was acquitted. The
prosecution has not filed any appeal against the acquittal of Sham Singh.
Accused No. 2 and Shamsheer Singh, accused No. 4.
learned Judge of the Special Court heavily relied upon P-7, F.I.R. and
testimony of Dalip Kaur, PW-5 and statement of Amrik Singh Ex. P-28, and the
medical evidence afforded by PW-1 and PW-2 and relevant certificates issued by
them to hold that the cases against Baldev Singh, accused No. 1 and Roor Singh,
accused No. 3 have been proved. On the basis of this finding, Baldev Singh and Roor
Singh were convicted under Section 302 read with Section 34 of the Penal Code
for committing the murder of Balbir Singh. Baldev Singh, accused No. 1 was also
convicted under Section 302 I.P.C. for committing the murder of Amrik Singh and
under Section 25 of the Arms Act for being in possession of barchha without licence.
heard counsel. The arguments of appellants' Counsel can be summarised thus:-
There is no reliable record to show that deceased Balbir Singh was cultivating
the land in the village Saddushahwala belonging to his father. The deceased was
not living there. the F.I.R. Ex. P-7 stated that Sham Singh fired from his
pistol at Balbir Singh which struck his chest and later all the accused
attacked the deceased which resulted in his death. The final act which caused
the death is not attributed to any person. Amrik Singh has not seen the
incident and the narration in the statement of Amrik Singh, Ex. P-28, is only a
surmise. Dalip Kaur, PW-5 while in the box gave a different version regarding
the pistol shot of Sham Singh. It was stated that the shot did not hit at Balbir
singh though he fell down. The deposition of PW-5 on this vital aspect is
entirely a different story. So, the evidence of PW-5 is not trustworthy. Daya
Singh who was said to be present during the incident was not examined. What is
more -- the medical evidence disclosed that the pistol shot is not the cause of
death. Since there is no independent evidence to show that the
appellants/accused Nos. 1 and 3 caused the fatal injuries, their conviction and
sentence under Section 302 read with Section 34 I.P.C. cannot be sustained. It
is the prosecution case that accused No. 2 fired from the pistol at Balbir
Singh, and Shamsheer Singh, accused No. 4, alone gave a thrust in the chest.
But, the medical evidence disclosed that injury No. 1 did not result from any
pistol shot. If at all, injury No. 1 incised wound in the left chest was
attributable only to Shamsheer Singh who was acquitted. It is clear from Ex.
P-7, F.I.R. and the evidence of PW-5 that Baldev Singh. The facts stated above
do not warrant the sentence and conviction of the appellants, accused Nos. 1
and 3 under Section 302 read with Section 34 I.P.C., nor can the conviction
stand scrutiny under the Arms Act. On the other hand, counsel for the prosecution
submitted that there was a treacherous attack on the deceased Balbir Singh by
accused Nos. 1 to 4 and though it was Sham Singh who used the pistol, the other
accused caused severe injuries in important parts of the body which resulted in
the instantaneous death of Balbir Singh and so the conviction and sentence
awarded to accused Nos. 1 and 3 by the learned Judge, Special Court, are
Appellants' counsel attacked Ex. P-7, the F.I.R., statement given by Dalip Kaur,
PW-5, an eyewitness as untrue. It was argued that PW-5 was categoric in the FIR
that Sham Singh fired from his pistol at Balbir Singh which struck his chest on
the left side and he fell down.
the other accused attacked the deceased with Barchha and inflicted injuries
which resulted in the death of Balbir Singh instantaneously. At the trial,
PW-5, however, deposed that Sham Singh fired from the pistol at Balbir Singh,
but Balbir Singh fell down and bundles of wheat fell on his head and the other
accused inflicted various injuries on other parts of the body of Balbir Singh
like thigh, chest, back, etc. There is discrepancy on a very vital aspect of
the case -- as to whether Balbir Singh was hit and he fell down when Sham Singh
fired from his pistol.
medical evidence disclosed, no fire-arm injury on the injury on the body of the
deceased. No M.T. wad or Pallat were recovered from the spot. The above aspects
will show that PW-5 cannot be believed, that Ex. P-7, FIR is not a true or
proper version of the incident and the details given therein are unfounded. On
this basis it is only appropriate to hold that PW-5 is not speaking the truth
and if her evidence is excluded, the prosecution case stands on very fragile
are of the view that there is no discrepancy between Ex.P-7, FIR and the
deposition of PW-5 in Court. We should remember that Ex.P-7, FIR was given
within two hours of the incident and PW-5, a lady, would have been in an
agitated mind then. In Ex.P-7, PW-5 only stated that Sham Singh fired from his
pistol at her husband which struck his chest. That could only be what she
inferred. She did not state that her husband died as a result of the above
pistol shot. It is because of the various injuries inflicted by the other
accused, Balbir Singh, died. And as PW-5, she stated that Balbir Singh was not
hit when the accused Sham Singh fired from the pistol at Balbir Singh, but Balbir
Singh fell down.
of hay fell on his head and the other accused inflicted various injuries on
other parts of the body.
there is no contradiction or variation in the deposition of PW-5 from what she
stated in FIR, Ex.P-7. We are of the view that the plea of the appellants'
counsel fails to reckon the proper value to be attached to the FIR, the
customary or essential details to be mentioned therein and the use that can be
made of it. There are innumerable decisions of this Court dealing with the
above aspects of the FIR. Mention may be made of a few important decisions of
this Court on the subject -- Ram Kumar vs. State of M.P. (AIR 1975 SC 126), Bishan
Das vs. State of Punjab (AIR 1975 SC 573), Podda Narayana vs. State of A.P.
(AIR 1975 SC 1252), Gurnam Kaur vs. Bakshish Singh (AIR 1981 SC 631), State of Haryana
vs. Sher Singh (AIR 1981 SC 1021), State of U.P. vs. Ballabh Das & ors. (AIR
1985 SC 1384), Joginder Singh vs. State of Punjab (AIR 1988 SC 628) and Baldev Singh vs. State of Punjab (1990 (4) SCC 692). State briefly,
the FIR is not a substantive piece of evidence, it is only relevant in judging
the veracity of prosecution case and the value to be attached to it depends on
the facts of each case. Only the essential or broad picture need be stated in
the FIR and all minute details need not be mentioned therein. It is not a
verbatim summary of the prosecution case. It need not contain details of the
occurrence as if it were an "encyclopaedia" of the occurrence. It may
not be even necessary to catalogue the overact acts therein. Non mentioning of
some facts or vague reference to some others are not fatal. We should also bear
in mind that the FIR was given by PW-5, who is an illiterate lady soon after
the occurrence, when she should have been very emotional and in a disturbed
state of mind. We find that the evidence of PW-5 is substantially in accord
with Ex. P-7, FIR and the court below was justified in placing reliance on Ex.
P7 and the evidence of PW-5. We repel the plea of the appellants' counsel to
The statement of Amrik Singh Ex. P-28 translated into English is contained at
pages 12 and 13 of the paper book.
categorically stated therein that he heard the pistol shot when he was feeding
the crop nearby and he immediately rushed to the field of his brother Roor
Singh and found that Balbir Singh was being inflicted with injuries by his
brothers and Roor Singh. He has also described the various blows administered
to Balbir Singh was murdered at the spot by the culprits. He stated that Sham
Singh had earlier fired a shot with his pistol. When he tried to rescue, Balbir
Singh, his nephew, Baldev Singh gave him (Amrik Singh) a blow with his barchha
from its sharp side towards him, which struck at his right thigh and he fell
down. He was brought from village Saddushahwala by Anoop Singh in an injured
condition and was admitted in the hospital at Mallanwalla.
the Investigator recorded the statement after satisfying from the Doctor about
the fitness of Amrik Singh to make the statement. The Court below has placed
reliance on Ex.P-7, FIR, the statement of PW-5 and the above statement of Amrik
Singh, Ex.P-28 and found thus:
statement of Dalip Kaur PW-5 is that Baldev Singh gave barchha blow at the
thigh of Balbir Singh; that Roor Singh gave Kirpan blow at the back of Balbir
Singh and that the accused gave further injuries. The parties are closely
relation as is clear from the pedigree table (propounded by me in para 1 of the
judgment). Normally no daughter-in-law would accuse her father- in-law or
husband's brother. It is in the statement of Dalip Kaur PW-5 that Baldev Singh
gave barchha thrust in the thigh of Balbir Singh. Her statement is corroborated
by the medical evidence also. The motive alleged is that previously Balbir singh
was putting up in village Alli, police station Sultanpur, district Kapurthala,
and had for the last three years shifted to village Saddushahwala; there he was
cultivating the land of Roor Singh and Roor Singh father of Balbir Singh
(deceased) wanted that Balbir Singh should part with the land in his occupation
in village Alli. Roor Singh accused admits having given the injuries but his
plea is one of self defence for which there is not an iota of evidence.
is no injury on the person of Roor Singh. It was urged that the copies of the Khasra
Girdawari did not support the possession of Balbir Singh. It is a matter of
common knowledge that if a relation cultivates the land of a proprietor the
same is shown as self cultivated by the revenue officials at the time of girdawari
there is no presumption of correctness to the entries of the Khasra girdawari
within the meaning of section 44 of the Punjab Land Revenue Act. The Fact that
the occurrence is shown to have taken place in the field or Roor Singh is of no
consequence because the statement of Dalip Kaur PW-5 is that the occurrence had
taken place near the vacant field of Roor singh. The Statement of Amrik Singh
Ex. P-28 ............." (PP.1 1-12 of Paperbook) Again, in paragraphs 30
and 31 (page 15 of the Paperbook), the Court found thus:
statement of Dalip Kaur PW-5, witness of the occurrence, and the statement of Amrik
Singh Ex.P-28 bring the offence home to Roor Singh and Baldev Singh accused. it
cannot be lost sight of that the accused did not prove much less allege any
past hostility with Dalip Kaur PW-5. As given earlier the parties are closely
related. The statement of Dalip Kaur PW-5 deserves credence. Baldev Singh and Roor
Singh accused gave injuries to Balbir Singh resulting in his death and thereby
committed an offence punishable under section 32 r/w section 34 of the Penal
Code. Amrik Singh was an intervenor and as such section 34 of the Penal Code
would not be attracted against Roor Singh. It was Baldev Singh alone who caused
injuries to Amrik Singh resulting in his death. Baldev Singh accused was also
found in possession of a barchha which would make him liable under section 25
Arms Act. I convict Baldev Singh and Roor Singh accused under section 302 r/w section
34 of the Penal Code for committing the murder of Balbir Singh. Baldev Singh
accused is also convicted under section 302 of the penal code for committing
the murder of amrik singh under section 25 arms act for being in possession of barchha
an anxious consideration of the materials available in the case in particular
ex. p7 (fir), Ex. P28 (statement by amrik singh), evidence of pw-5 (widow of
deceased balbir singh) and the medical evidence, we are satisfied that the
court below was justified in holding that Baldev Singh (accused No.1) and Roor
Singh (accused No. 3) caused injuries to Balbir Singh (deceased No. 1), which
resulted in his death. We are also satisfied that the court below was justified
in holding that Baldev Singh (accused No. 1) alone caused injuries to Amrik
Singh (deceased No. 2) resulting in his death.
Now, about the conviction and sentence, the court below held:-
That Baldev Singh (accused No.1) and Roor Singh (accused No. 3) are guilty
under section 302 read with section 34 IPC in causing the death of Baldev Singh
and sentenced them to imprisonment for life;
That Baldev Singh (accused No. 1) is guilty under section 302 IPC in causing
the death of Amrik Singh and sentenced him to imprisonment for life; and
That Baldev Singh was guilty of possession of barchha without licence under
section 25 of Arms Act.
evaluating the legality and propriety of the conviction sentence so passed by
the court below, the following facts highlighted before us by appellants'
counsel deserve consideration. The accused as also the victims (deceased) are
members of the same family (near relations) (father and sons). The feud in the
family centered round the entitlement to property. According to the
prosecution, the deceased Balbir Singh moved to Saddushahwala village three
years prior to the incident and was cultivating two and half kilas of property,
admittedly belonging to the father (family) and it is in evidence that father Roor
Singh (accused No. 3) wanted properties in Alli village in lieu of the property
taken over by deceased in Saddushahwala village, which was not heeded to. While
deceased Balbir Singh was carrying on cultivation in Saddushahwala property,
the father Roor Singh (Accused No. 3) and his other sons appeared in the scene
and shouted about the unauthorised cultivation carried on by Balbir Singh. The
accused, no doubt had arms (Kirpan, barchhas) and in the final analysis, the
finding is that accused Nos. 1 and 3, only inflicted wounds in the thigh and
back. The plea of the accused, though not accepted, was a right of self-defence.
No doubt, the wounds inflicted by the accused caused the death of Balbir Singh.
In the context and nature of the several injuries inflicted, it could, at best,
be (assumed) stated that the bodily injuries inflicted were likely to cause the
death of Balbir Singh and the acts committed by the accused amounts to culpable
homicide as defined in section 299 IPC.
not proved nor does any material exists to state that the accused had in
intention to cause the death of Balbir Singh or had the knowledge that in
inflicting the injuries, that death was likely to be caused. So, it was argued
that the facts proved will not bring the case within section 300 IPC punishable
under section 302 IPC and, if at all, the accused can be convicted and
sentenced only under section 299 read with section 304 (first part) of IPC
only. It was further submitted that the father Roor Singh was more than 80
years of age, that he is possessed of valuable properties, and the dispute
itself having stemmed from the right to property, this is a fit and proper case
where the court should consider, mitigative circumstances and substitute the
sentence of imprisonment awarded by the award of reasonable and appropriate
compensation under section 357 Cr.P.C. to the heirs of the victim, who are none
other than their near relations. Out attention was invited to the decision of
this Court in State of Andhra Pradesh vs. Rayavarapu Punnayya (1977 (1) SCR
601), at pp.608-609 to contend, that, if at all, the conviction and sentence
can be, only under section 299 read with section 304 I Part IPC and stress was
laid on the following passage :
a count is confronted with the question whether the offence is 'murder' or
'culpable homicide not amounting to murder', on the facts of a case, it will be
convenient for it to approach the problem in three stages.
question to be considered at the first stage would be whether the accused has
done an act by doing which he has caused the death of another. Proof of such
casual connection between the act of the accused and the death, leads to the
second stage for considering whether that act of the accused amounts to
"culpable homicide" as defined in s. 299. If the answer to this
question is Prima facie found in the affirmative, the stage for considering the
operation of s. 300, Penal Code is reached. This is the stage at which the
Court should determine whether the facts proved by the prosecution bring the
case within the ambit of any of the four Clauses of the definition of murder
contained in s. 300. If the answer to this question is in the negative the
offence would be `culpable homicide not amounting to murder', punishable under
the first or the second part of s.304, depending, respectively, on whether the
second or the third Clause of s. 299 is applicable. If this question is found
in the positive, but the case comes, within any of the Exceptions enumerated in
s.300, the offence would still be `culpable homicide not amounting to murder.'
punishable under the First Part of s.304, Penal Code."
Similarly for the mitigation of the sentence of imprisonment and for applying
section 357 of Cr.P.C. the following passage occuring in B.B. Mitra's Code of
Criminal Procedure - 18th Edition (1995) at pages 1240-1241 was relied on:--
"S. 357 (a) Scope - ....The power of courts to award compensation to
victims under sec. 357, is not ancillary to other sentences but is an addition
thereto. It is a measure of responding appropriately to crime as well as of
reconciling the victim with the offender. it is, to some extent, a constructive
approach to crimes, a step forward in our criminal justice system.
all courts are recommended to exercise this power liberally so as to meet the
ends of justice in a better way. Any such measure which would give the victim
succor is far better than a sentence by deterrence. Sub-sec. (3) of sec. 357
provides for ordering of payment by way of compensation to the victim by the
accused. It is and important provision and it must also be noted that power to
award compensation is not ancillary to other sentences but it is in addition thereto
........ In awarding compensation the court has to decide whether the case is
fit one in which compensation has to be awarded. If it is found that
compensation should be paid then the capacity of the accused to pay compensation
has to be determined.
the duty of the court to take into account the nature of crime, the injury
suffered, the justness of the claim for compensation and other relevant
circumstances in fixing the amount of compensation." Reference was also made
to the decisions of this Court in Hari Singh v. Sukhbir Singh [1988 (4) SCC
551], Dr. Jacob George v. State [1994 (3) SCC 430], and Balraj v. State of U.P.
[1994 (4) SCC 29].
are of the view that the submissions made as stated hereinabove, are entitled
to acceptance. The medical evidence negatives any wound as having been
sustained by deceased Balbir Singh, by pistol. The arms possessed by the
accused are not inherently dangerous to infer that the intention of the accused
was to cause death or that the accused had knowledge that inflicting the
injuries as was done, death was likely to be caused. There is no evidence or
finding as to who caused the fatal injuries which resulted in the death of Balbir
Singh. The appellants-accused inflicted injuries only on the thigh and at the
back. The incident happened nearly 11 years ago (4.5.1984). The injuries
inflicted on the thigh of Amrik Singh by Baldev Singh have not been proved to
be serious or fatal and Amrik Singh died nearly 8 days after the incident on
account of cumulative effect of the injuries. The passage of time should have
its impact in taking an over all view of the matter. The appellants have served
the sentence of imprisonment for more than two years, till they were allowed
bail by this Court by order dated 17.11.1987. Balbir Singh is an unfortunate
victim. The property dispute between the father and son has led to the
unfortunate incident. PW-5, widow and children of Balbir Singh, are the persons
to suffer and they should not be forgotten and by merely maintaining the
sentence of imprisonment on the accused, the victim or his heirs are not
benefited. Considering the nature of the crime, the fact that the accused and
the victim are near relations, that it is a property issue which ended in the
calamity, the fact that the accused are admittedly in a position to pay, we are
of the view that this is a fit case, in which section 357 (3) Cr. P.C. can be
invoked and a just and reasonable compensation given to the family of Balbir
Singh - (PW-5 and children). In the circumstances, while upholding the
conviction of the appellants for the offence under section 299 read with
section 304, Part-I, IPC, we give the further following directions in the
interests of justice:-
That the appellants are found guilty and sentenced under Section 299 read with
section 304, Part-I of the Indian Penal Code to a term of imprisonment, which
will be limited to the period they have already undergone for causing the death
of Balbir Singh and Amrik Singh.
addition to the above, we order that the two appellants/accused Nos. 1 and 3
shall pay by way of compensation a sum of Rs.35,000/- each to PW-5 and her
children who have suffered the irreparable loss due to the death of Balbir
Singh for which the appellants/accused persons have been sentenced to the term
of imprisonment already undergone by them.
amount of compensation ordered by us shall be paid to PW-5 and her children
within a period of 3 months from today. If it is not so paid, the amount shall
be recovered by the persons entitled to the amount from the appellants as if
the direction contained herein is a decree passed against them by this Court.
If not recovered, the accused shall suffer the balance of the term of
imprisonment as imposed by the trial court, which shall stand revived.
conviction and sentence under Arms Act is set aside.
appeal is disposed of as above.