Singh Vs. The State of Rajasthan & Ors  INSC 221 (16 April 1998)
Nanavati, S.P. Kurdukar Nanavati, J.
these appeals are filed against the judgment and order passed by the Rajasthan
High Court in DB (Crl) Appeal No.12/89. Criminal Appeal No.623/91 is filed by
the brother of the deceased and Criminal Appeal No.624/91 is filed by the
- Ranveer, Bhadar Ram, Chet Ram, Het Ram, Mohan Singh and Om Prakash were
convicted by the trial court for the murder of Duni Ram. The conviction was
based mainly upon the evidence of the eye-witness - PW 1- Mohar Singh, brother
of the deceased. The other evidence relied upon by the prosecution was of
corroborative nature. The trial court also relied upon the dying declaration
stated to have been made by the deceased before his wife - PW 7 - Gomti.
High Court on reappreciation of evidence found that the evidence of PW 1 was
not reliable as regards the identity of the accused. The High Court has pointed
out that PW 1 immediately on his return to the village, after the incident and
sister-in-law that Duni Ram was beaten by `Bhanbhus'. It may be stated that `Bhanbhu'
is a sub-caste of Jats. As PW 1 had not given names of the assailants but
described them as `Bhanbhus', the High Court held that in all probabilities PW
1 had not identified the assailants of Duni Ram. Another reason given by the
High Court for doubting the version of PW 1 is that the incident had taken
place at about 8.30
p.m. It was a dark night.
The reasons given by the High Court appear to be correct. PW 1 has also
admitted that he could see the assailants only when they were at a distance of
about 10 paces. Admittedly, the assault took place about 30 to 40 paces away
from where he was standing and therefore he stated that he could not state
whether any of the blows given to Duni Ram had caused an injury. That would
indicate that it was quite dark at that time and the witness was not able to recognise
the assailants and therefore after reaching the village, he merely described
the assailants at `Bhanbbus'. The High court has also pointed out that no
reliance could be placed on the FIR which contains the names of the assailants
because PW 1 in his cross-examination has admitted that the FIR was taken down
after the Inspector visited the site and they were then taken to the police
regards the dying declaration stated to have been made by the deceased to his
wife, it appears that the deceased could not have made such a dying declaration
in view of the number of injuries received by him. The evidence of Gomti - PW 7
is that when she reached the place of incident, her husband - Duni Ram was in a
position to speak and when she enquired, he gave the names of the assailants.
she admitted that immediately after saying so, her husband had became
unconscious. No other witness has spoken about this dying declaration. The High
Court was therefore right in not placing reliance upon the dying declaration.
there was no other evidence, the High Court was right in acquitting the
accused. The order of acquittal passed by the High Court does not call for any
appeals are, therefore, dismissed.