Singh Vs. State of Punjab  Insc 497 (27 November 2002)
Hegde & B.P.Singh. Santosh Hegde,J.
appellant was charged along with his mother Balwant Kaur who was A-2 before the
Sessions Court for an offence punishable under Section 302 read with Section 34
IPC while his father Jeet Singh A-1 and Thana Singh A-4 (who is the uncle of
the appellant) were charged for an offence under Section 302 IPC simpliciter
for having caused the murder on 7.11.1995 of Sukho and Gurtar Kaur, wives of
prosecution case briefly is that the deceased Gurtar Kaur was married to Baldev
Singh, brother of the appellant, while the other deceased Sukho was married to
were daughters of Pritam Singh PW-2. It is stated that after the death of Baldev
Singh, his wife Gurtar Kaur also lived with the appellant as his wife. None of
them had any children.
prosecution further states that Jeet Singh A-1 and Balwant Kaur A-2 along with
the appellant were constantly harassing the deceased for not bringing
sufficient dowry. The further case of the prosecution is that on the day before
the incident in question, PW-2 Pritam Singh along with his son Phulel Singh had
visited the house of A-1 to bring about a settlement in regard to the dispute
of non-payment of dowry. It is also stated that both PW-2 and his son Phulel
Singh stayed overnight in the house of Jeet Singh and in the following morning
on 7.11.1995 at about 9 or 10 a.m. A-1 and A-2 picked up a fight with the
deceased ladies in regard to the complaint made by them to their father as to
non-payment of dowry. During the course of the quarrel, it is stated that A-1
picked up a Kassi and Thana Singh A-4 picked up a Kulhari and assaulted the
deceased. At that time, the appellant caught hold of Gurtar Kaur by her hand
while A-1 Balwant Kaur caught hold of Sukho's hand so as to facilitate the
other two appellants namely A-1 and A-4 to assault the deceased. The injury
caused to the deceased was so grievous that both of them died on the spot. The
further case of the prosecution is that the accused persons including the
appellant ran away from the place of the incident while PW-2 Pritam Singh went
to the Police Station along with one Jagdip Singh DW-4 and lodged a complaint
at about 11 a.m. at the Rode P.S. which is about 8 kms.
from the place of the incident.
the investigation the abovementioned 4 accused persons were charge-sheeted as
Sessions Judge, Faridkot, who tried Sessions Case No.12/96 came to the
conclusion that the prosecution has proved the charges against the accused
persons and sentenced A-1 and A-4 to undergo imprisonment for life for offences
committed by them under Section 302 and directed a payment of fine of Rs.1,000/-
each, and in default of payment of fine to undergo further RI for 3 months
each. He further sentenced A-2 Balwant Kaur and the appellant under Section 302
read with Section 34 IPC and directed them to undergo imprisonment for life and
to pay a fine of Rs.500/- each in default to undergo further RI for one and a
half months each, for their respective roles in the murder of the deceased.
appeals filed by A-1, A-4 and the appellant came to be dismissed by the High
Court while giving the benefit of doubt to A-2 Balwant Kaur, it allowed her appeal
and set aside her conviction.
this appeal only appellant (A-3) is before us.
two points urged in this appeal by Mr. K B Sinha, learned senior counsel
appearing for the appellant, are :
that the prosecution case is true that the appellant held the hand of one of
the deceased when she was attacked, the appellant cannot be attributed with the
common intention of the attacker since the attack in question arose without
premeditation and in a sudden fight.
the appellant is a polio patient with 60% disability on his legs, therefore, it
was not possible for him to have physically held the deceased persons while she
was attacked and the further case of the prosecution that after the attack the
appellant ran away from the place of the incident also cannot be believed
because as per the material on record, the appellant was hardly able to walk
case as to the attack on the deceased rests mainly on the evidence of PW-2
since only other eye-witness Phulel Singh who has not been examined by the
prosecution because of the fact that he had become mentally deranged after the
murder of his two sisters hence was not available to be examined in this case.
PW-2 in his evidence has clearly stated that there was ill-treatment of his
daughters by the family of A- 1 Jeet Singh in regard to not bringing sufficient
dowry. PW-2 in his evidence stated that on the date of the incident at about 9
or 10 a.m. when they were sitting in the courtyard of the first accused, all
the accused persons were present and when he questioned the accused persons why
his daughters were being ill-treated, the accused persons got enraged and
started abusing his daughters and within a few minutes A-4 picked up a Kulhari,
A-1 picked up a Kassi and A-2 Balwant Kaur caught hold of deceased Sukho by her
arms and the appellant caught hold of deceased Gurtar Kaur also by her arms.
While they were so holding the victims, A-1 and A-4 gave blows with the said
weapons on the respective deceased persons. It is PW-2's case that after the
attack, they ran away from the place of the incident before the Sarpanch of the
village could come there.
from the evidence of this witness, whose presence cannot be disputed at the
place of the incident, it is clear that the appellant held the hand of Gurtar Kaur
when she was assaulted.
counsel for the appellant however submitted that there is no material to show
that the appellant had shared the common intention of the assailants because
there was no way the appellant could have known that A-1 andA-4 would attack
the deceased with an intention to kill them. He submitted that the assailants
had not come armed but picked up the weapons which are normally found in the
house of an agriculturist and using the same they assaulted the victims,
therefore, assuming that the prosecution case that the appellant held the hand
of the victim is true even then it cannot be said that the appellant shared the
common intention of the assailants. We are unable to accept the explanation of
the learned counsel. It is to be seen from the prosecution evidence that when
the assailants picked up the weapons and came to assault the victims the
appellant held the hand of one of the victims so as to help the assailants
assault the victims. There is no material on record to show that he either
released the hand of the deceased or tried to dissuade the assailants from
attacking. In such a situation in our opinion it is reasonable to conclude that
the appellant also shared the intention of the assailants which is now held to
be one to commit the murder of the deceased, and this being a concurrent
finding of the courts below which finding we do not consider to be in any
manner unreasonable, we are in agreement with the same.
counsel for the appellant then contended that right from the young age, the
appellant was afflicted by polio on his lower limbs consequent to which he was
hardly able to stand or walk. He pointed out that the disability was nearly 60%
on his legs, in such a case that it would be very difficult to accept the
prosecution case that this appellant could hold the hands and of a grown up
lady like Gurtar Kaur right through the assault. He also pointed out that the
prosecution case that the appellant thereafter ran away from the place of the
incident cannot also be accepted in view of the medical evidence that the
appellant could hardly walk with difficulty. We have perused the medical
certificate produced on behalf of the appellant so also the defence evidence
led in this regard, and having done so we are not inclined to accept the
argument of the learned counsel addressed in regard to this point also. It is
seen from the records the disability was confined only to the legs of the
appellant and was only in regard to his walking. This does not preclude the
appellant from standing up and holding the hand of the victim when the assault
took place. Therefore, the contention that the appellant was physically not in
a position to hold the hand of the victim cannot also be accepted. The next limb
of this argument that the evidence of PW-2 that the appellant also ran away
from the place of the incident would shows that PW-2 was not talking the truth.
We notice that what was meant by PW-2 is that after the attack and before the Sarpanch
came, all the accused persons went away from the place of the incident. Since
even according to the medical evidence the appellant is capable of mobility
though with difficulty, this part of the prosecution evidence cannot be
construed as false solely on the ground that the word used by PW-2 was that the
appellant also ran away. As stated above by this, what he actually meant was
that the appellant along with other assailants left the place of the incident
before the Sarpanch could come to the place of the incident. Therefore, we are
not inclined to reject the evidence of PW-2 on this score.
the reasons stated above, this appeal fails and the same is hereby dismissed.