Prakash Vs. State of U.P  Insc 503 (29 November 2002)
Babu, P. Venkatarama Reddi & Arun Kumar. Rajendra Babu, J. :
allegation that Satya Prakash, elder brother of the appellant, was murdered by Hari
Shankar and Jagdish Narain prosecution was launched.
later on Jagdish Narain was discharged while a charge was framed against Hari Shankar.
Father of Jagdish Narain did the 'pairvi' in that case. In those circumstances,
the appellant before us is stated to have entertained ill-will against Jagdish Narain.
On 23rd May, 1978, after attending a feast at the
house of Lakshmi Narain in Nagala Saledi, when Jagdish Narain, Mukesh and
Krishna Murari were returning to their homes, the appellant was standing near
the Pakhar tree in front of the Bethak of Raja Beta and he fired at Jagdish Narain
as a result of which Jagdish Narain fell down. Mahabir Prasad was sitting at
his door and Maya Prakash, Ram Nath and the deceased were also with him. On
seeing the assault they rushed towards the appellant and exclaimed "Arvind
Prakash what have you done"!, when the appellant ran towards the west into
the 'behar' and took to his heels and later on they found Jagdish Narain dead.
aforesaid allegation of murdering Jagdish Narain charge was framed against the
appellant under Section 302 IPC.
Sessions Court, nine witnesses were examined on behalf of the prosecution and
several documents were also tendered in evidence. However, no defence witnesses
were examined. The Trial Court considered Mahabir Prasad, PW.1, Mukesh, PW.2
and Satya Prakash, PW.4 to be eye witnesses.
Trial Court held that the death of Jagdish Narain was due to gun injuries
sustained by him on 25.5.1978 in front of the Bethak of Raja Beta in Nagla Tor
and the factum of his murder, was not in dispute before him. The Trial Court
found that there was no motive and observed that evidence is not of strong
character and as such the question of motive has to be considered especially
when murder is seldom, if ever, committed with a motiveless malignity. If such
a motive is set up by the prosecution and is either not proved or proved to be
false it is also the circumstance against the prosecution. He noticed that the
murder of Satya Prakash took place on 9.2.1977 and Jagdish Narain had been
discharged on 11.8.1977 while murder of Jagdish Narain took place on 23.5.1978.
if really the appellant was upset by reason of his discharge such a long wait
would not have been there. The Trial Court further analysed the evidence
tendered by three witnesses. The Trial Court found that the theory of attending
the feast itself may not be of much significance in the absence of any formal
invitation to these persons to attend the feast and he also found that there
were discrepancies in regard to the medical evidence and the oral evidence
adduced before the court. On that basis, the Trial Court acquitted the
matter was carried in appeal by State to the High Court and the Division Bench
of the High Court, after examining the matter fully and thoroughly, took a
contrary view and proceeded to convict the appellant and sentenced him to
undergo imprisonment for life. It is against this order that this appeal has
put at the forefront of the argument by the learned counsel for the appellant,
that when the view taken by the Trial Court is probable on the basis of the
material on record, merely because another view is possible, the High Court
should not have differed from the Trial Court and proceeded to convict the
appellant. In substance the contention is that when two views are possible, the
view of the Trial Court acquitting the appellant should not have been upset.
have carefully gone through the judgments of the Trial Court and the High Court
as well as evidence of the three crucial witnesses. The Trial Court disbelieved
the theory of attending the feast by the deceased and others on the basis that
the statement given by the witnesses that a written invitation was not received
and one of the witnesses stated that Nai told the persons about the invitation.
The High Court examined this aspect of the matter and took note of the fact
that in that part of the State, a common invitation is extended to the entire
village on which names of large number of invitees are mentioned. Such
invitations are also treated as written invitation. Therefore, the basis on
which the Trial Court tried to disbelieve the evidence tendered by the
witnesses is not correct. Secondly, the High Court examined as to why the
appellant would have murdered Jagdish Narain and not Hari Shankar as the latter
was the principal accused and noticed that Hari Shankar at the time of murder
was still facing trial while Jagdish Narain had been set at liberty without
even facing the trial. When the eye witnesses of the occurrence consistently
supported the prosecution case the question of motive would have lost its
importance. The High Court, after critically examining the evidence of the
three witnesses, concluded that each and every reason given by the Trial Court
is fallacious and found that when the deceased had reached few paces beyond the
Pakhar tree, the appellant, who was behind the victim, fired a shot causing
injuries on his back and thereafter considered the analysis of the Trial Court
to be hair splitting and based on unsound reasoning in disbelieving the
statements of witnesses about the manner of the occurrence.
carefully looked into various aspects of the matter, we are satisfied that the
view taken by the High Court is in order and calls for no interference.
appeal, therefore, stands dismissed.