Singh & Anr Vs. State of Punjab 
INSC 516 (6 November
Singh and Harbans Singh, the appellants herein, along with their another
brother Makhan Singh and father Bhura Singh were tried by an Additional
Sessions Judge of Bhatinda for committing murder and other cognate offences in
furtherance of their common Intention. The trial ended in convication of Harbans
Singh under Section 302 I.P.C., Jagtar Singh under Sections 307 and 326 I.P.C.,
Makhan Singh under Section 324 I.P.C. and Bhura Singh under Section 323 I.P.C.
(tow counts). Assailing their convations they preferred and appeal before the
High Court; and the respondent - State, in its turn filed an appeal against the
acquittal of Bhura Singh, Jagtar Singh and Makhan Singh of the charge of
murder. One of the injured, namely, Nidharak Singh also filed a revision
petition against the above acquittal. By a common judgment the High Court
disposed of the appeals and the revision petition by upholding the convictions
of the appellants as recorded by the trial Court, further convicting the
appellant Jagtar Singh under Section 302/34 I.P.C. and Harbans Singh under
Section 307/34 and 326/34 I.P.C. and acquitting the other tow accused persons. Hence
prosecution case briefly stated is as follows:
the morning of September 3, 1991 Naib Singh (the deceased) and his son Nachhattar
Singh (P.W.3) had gone to Jaitu Mandi for selling cattle. In that night, at or
about 9.00 P.M., Nidharak Singh (P.W.2) and his
uncle Ajaib Singh (brother of Naib Singh) went to the house of Naib Singh, to
enquire whether they had returned from the Mandi. Reaching there they found
them standing outside their house. A little later, the four accused persons
came there armed with deadly Weapons and started assaulting them. Jagtar Singh
first gave a blow on the head of Nachhattar Singh with a khapra as a result of
which he fell down. Bhura Singh then gave him a kassauli blow and Harbans Singh
a Gandasa blow on the left side of the head of Naib Singh, who also fell down.
Singh and Ajaib Singh tried to separate them Jagtar Singh gave one Khapra blow
to Naib Singh near his left ankle and Bhura Singh gave a kassauli blow to Naib
Singh on his left thigh. Then Makhan Singh gave a blow with a sale on his left
ankle and another blow on his left thigh.
Singh raised alarms the four accused persons ran away from the spot. The motive
ascribed for the assault was a dispute between the parties over a khal (water
course) for which proceedings under Section 107 Cr.P.C. Were initiated against
both of them.
Singh and Gurdev Singh (another brother of Naib Singh) took the three injured
to Primary Health Centre, Goniana in a tractor-trolley where Dr. P.C. Singal
(P.W.7) examined them and then sent a Rupa to Nahianwala Police Station. On
receipt thereof A.S.I. Tarsem Chand (P.W.5) came to the Health Centre and
recorded the statement of Nidharak singh (P.W.2) On that statement a case was
registered and investigation taken up. In the meantime Naib Singh had been forwarede
to P.G.I. Hospital at Chandigarh for better treatment where he
succumbed to his injurles on 10.10.1991.
completion of investigation the Police submitted a charge-sheet against the
four accused persons and in due course the case was committed to the Court of
accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against them and
contended that they had been falsely implicated.
support of their respective cases the prosecution examined ten witnesses of
whom P.Ws.2 and 3 figured as eye witnesses and the defence two.
the context of the un-impeachable and un-impeached evidence adduced by the
doctors to prove that Naib Singh met with a himicidal death and P.Ws.2 and 3
sustained grievous injuries caused by instruments for cutting, the crucial
question that fell for determination before the learned Courts below was
whether the accused persons were responsible for the above offences. On
discussion of the evidence adduced by the parties and relying upon the evidence
of the two injured the trial Court held that Harbans Singh alone was
responsible for the murder of Naib Singh and the other accused persons did not
share the common intention to commit the murder, even though they also
participated in the assault upon him. Similar finding was recorded by the trial
Court in convicting the other three accused persons including the appellant Jagtar
Singh in the manner earlier stated for the assault on Nachhatar Singh and Nidharak
Singh. The High Court agreed with the trial Court that P.Ws 2 and 3 were
reliable witnesses but in disagreement with it, held that the two appellants
shared a common intention in committing the murder of Naib Singh, attempting to
commit the murder of P.W.3 and causing grievous hurt to Naib Singh. The High
Court, however, acquitted the other two accused persons giving them the benefit
heard the learned counsel for the partles and on going through the record we do
not find any reason to disbelieve the evidence of the two injured eye witnesses
more so when their evidence stands fully corroborated by the medical evidence.
Indeed, Mr. Gujral, appearing for the appellants, did not, in his usual
fairness, ask us to reappraise their evidence in view of the concurrent
findings of the Courts below in this regard. He, however, strongly urged that
from the evidence on record a conclusive inference that Naib Singh was murdered
could not be drawn for the evidence of the doctor clearly indicated that his
death was caused by septicemia and not by the injuries sustained by him. He
next contended that even if it was assumed for argument's sake that Harbans
Singh was guilty of the offence of murder, Still the appellant Jagtar Singh
could not be convicted with the aid of Section 34 I.P.C. as the evidence of the
two eye-witnesses did not firmly establish that he shared a common intention
with Harbans Singh to commit the murder.
given our anxious consideration to the first contention of Mr. Gujral we do not
find any substance in ti.
true that Naib Singh died 17 days after the incident due to septecemia, but Dr.
M.P.Singh (P.W.1), who held the post-mortem examination, categorically stated
that the septicemia was due to the head injury sustained by Naib Singh and that
the injury was sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death. From
the impugned judgment we find that the above contention was raised on behalf of
the appelants and in rejecting the same the High Court observed :- "It is
well settled that culpable himicidal is not murder when the case is brought
within the five exceptions to section 300 Indian Penal Code. But even though
none of the said five exceptions is pleaded or prima facie established on the
evidence on record, the prosecution must still be required under the law to
bring the case lunder any of the four clauses, firstly to foruthly, of Section
300, Indian Penal Code, to sustain the charge of murder. Injury No. 1 was the
this injury is judged objectively from the nature of it and other evidence
including the medical opinion of Dr. M.P.Singh (P.W.1), we are of the
considered view that injury was intended to be caused with the intention of
causing such a bodly injury by Harbans Singh appellant on the person of Naib
Singh which was sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause
................" On perusal of the evidence of P.W.1 in the light of
explanation 2 to Section 299 I.P.C . We are in complete agreement with the
above quoted observations of the High Court.
regards the other contention of Mr. Gujral we, however find much substance.
Undoubtedly, the appellants had gove together to the house of the deceased
armed with deadly weapons and attacked him, but according to the evidence of
the two eye-witnesses, Jagtar Singh assaulted Naib Singh on his left ankle with
the weapon he was carrying. From this circumstance and the other attending
facts and circumstances appearing on record it can only be said that Jagtar
Singh intended to cause grievous hurt to Naib Singh and not to cause his death.
So far as the further convictions recorded against the two appellants by the
High Court are concerned we are of the opinion that the same cannot be
sustained as the appeal preferred by the State and the revision petition filed
by P.W.2 were limited to the acquittal fo the three accused persons of the
charge under Section 302/34 I.P.C. only.
the conclusion as above we uphold the conviction and sentence of the appellant Harbans
Singh under Section 302 I.P.C. and those of appellant Jagtar Singh under
Sections 307 and 326 I.P.C. and set aside their other convictions. The appeal
is thus, disposed of Jagtar Singh, who in on bail, will now surrender to his
bail bonds to serve out the sentences imposed upon him by the trial Court.