Singh Vs. State of Punjab 
Insc 540 (4 October 2005)
S.B. Sinha & R.V. Raveendran S.B. SINHA, J :
The Appellant herein with one Dilbagh Singh and Baljit Singh were tried and
convicted for commission of offence of house breaking by night, to commit
murder of Kans Kaur; for attempts on the lives of Joginder Singh and Avtar
Singh and also for the illegal use of their fire arms. They were found guilty
and were sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life for the murder of Kans Kaur
and lesser sentences for the other offences. All the sentences were directed to
Baljit Singh was married to Sukhwinder Kaur, daughter of Joginder Singh
(PW-2) and Kans Kaur. Owing to alleged demand of dowry, Sukhwinder Kaur came
back to her parents from her matrimonial home which gave rise to strained
relationship between the parties . Baljit Singh tried to forcibly take away
Sukhwinder Kaur on a few occasions but her parents did not permit her to go
with him whereupon Panchayat intervened resulting in execution of a purported
agreement of informal divorce.
The said Baljit Singh, Dilbagh Singh as also the Appellant herein were
constables. All of them were deputed on patrol duty at a naka set up at
Fatuwal, GT Road. Their duty hours were between 8 P.M. on 20th February, 1995
to 8 A.M. on 21st February, 1995. Nachhatarpal Singh (PW 14) was working as a
helper in a vehicle bearing registration No. PB-08-4886. He along with the
driver, Paramjit Singh of the said vehicle was on his way back to Jalandhar
from Jandiala Guru after unloading paper. When the said vehicle reached
Fatuwal, allegedly the accused stopped the same and asked the driver to take
him and other accused persons to Kot Budha. Baljit Singh was armed with
self-loading rifle and the Appellant and Dilbagh Singh were armed with .303
rifles. It is not in dispute that the said rifles were issued to the accused
persons with ammunition. Kot Budha is situated at a distance of 45 Kms. from
Fatuwal. All the three accused at that time were in police uniform. On reaching
the informant's (Joginder Singh's) house, they scaled over the wall of the
court yard. Gurpreet Kaur (PW1) was sleeping with her mother Kans Kaur,
deceased. Joginder Singh was sleeping in another room.
While Sukhwinder Kaur, Inderjit Kaur and Sarabjit Singh were sleeping in a
third room. Baljit Singh and Dilbagh Singh knocked at the door of the room
where Gurpreet Kaur and Kans Kaur were sleeping and then at the door of the
Joginder Singh's room. On hearing the voice of Joginder Singh, they broke down
the door with the butts of their rifles and fired at him.
Thereafter, they broke down the door of the room where Gurpreet Kaur was
sleeping and dragged Kans Kaur out. Despite pleas from Sukhwinder Kaur and her
two sisters not to kill their mother, they fired shots at Kans Kaur.
Avtar Singh, a cousin of Gurpreet Kaur also reached the courtyard by scaling
over the wall. A shot was fired at him by the Appellant herein. The three
accused thereafter ran away. The death of Kans Kaur and injuries suffered by
Avtar Singh and Joginder Singh is not in dispute.
Before the learned Trial Judge, the prosecution examined Gurpreet Kaur, PW1,
Joginder Singh, PW2 and Avtar Singh, PW3. Dr. Gurpal Singh, PW4 performed
autopsy and submitted a report therefor Nachhatarpal Singh, PW 14, as noticed
hereinbefore, was a helper of the vehicle wherein the Appellant, Dilbagh Singh
and Baljeet Singh travelled from Fatuwal to Kot Budha.
The prosecution also examined Inspector Dharam Singh to prove the absence of
the three accused from duty from 11 P.M. on 20th February, 1995.
Issuance of fire arms and ammunitions to all them was proved by Head
Constable, Gurmail Singh (PW16). The injuries on the person of Avtar Singh and
Joginder Singh were proved by Dr. Rana Verma. Although a plea of breach of
procedures as regard holding of test identification parade was raised by
Dilbagh Singh, no such plea was taken by the Appellant herein.
The contention of the Appellant herein before the Trial Court was that he
having not been named in the First Information Report, the prosecution cannot
be said to have proved its case against him beyond all reasonable doubt. The
learned Trial Judge as also the High Court laid emphasis on the evidence of
issuance of fire arms to the three accused and their absence from duty at about
the time when the incident occurred. Nachhatarpal Singh was also found to be a
trust-worthy witness to prove that the three accused used the vehicle wherein
they travelled from Fatuwal to Kot Budha. Nine cartridges were recovered from
the place of occurrence and the report of the ballistic expert established that
the same had been fired from the rifles issued to the accused. Dilbagh Singh
was also identified in the test identification parade by both Gurpreet Kaur and
The learned Trial Judge found the Appellant and other two co-accused guilty
of commission of the said offences. The appeals preferred by all the accused
including the Appellant herein were dismissed by the High Court by reason of
the impugned judgment.
The short question which has been raised in this appeal on behalf of the
Appellant is that the prosecution has not proved any motive on the part of the
Appellant herein and no reason has been assigned as to why the Appellant being
a constable would accompany Baljit Singh for committing the murder of Kans Kaur
and cause injuries to Joginder Singh and Avtar Singh. It was further submitted
that the Appellant was not identified by anybody.
The death of Kans Kaur and the injuries sustained by Joginder Singh and
Avtar Singh is not disputed. During the post-mortem the following injuries were
found on the person of Kans Kaur by Dr. Gurpal Singh, PW4:
"1. Lacerated penetrating wound 3/4x 3 cm on the left and lateral part
of left mammary gland, 3 cm lateral of left nipple. Margins were inverted and
blackening was not present.
2. Lacerated penetrating wound 2 = x 1 cm on the medial side of left mammary
gland, margins were everted, the bullet was passing through left breast fat.
3. Lacerated penetrating wound > x > cm on the lower part of neck and
upper part of chest just 1 cm below trachial notch. Margins were inverted.
4. Lacerated wound 1 = x = cm on the back of right chest just below
posterial axillary fold in the middle of scapula. On dissection of chest injury
No. 3 bullet was passing through upper part of chest injuring right lung, right
pleural cavity and lung cavity was full of blood and the bullet was coming out
posterially as injury No. 4 described above." Avtar Singh was examined by
Dr. D.S. Nagpal and he was found to have suffered the following injuries:
"1. A lacerated wound 0.8 cm x 0.7 cm in size, with inverted margins on
lower part of right glutal region.
Oozing of blood present from the wound. Probing not done.
2. A lacerated wound 3.5 cm x 3 cm in size with everted edges over upper
antero medial aspect of right thigh.
Oozing of blood present from the wound. Probing not done. Reg. Expert advice
of surgical/ Ortho. Specialist for injuries 1 & 2.
3. A lacerated wound 0.5 cm x .03 cm in size with skin loss over lower half
of outer bone of right pinna (external ear). Oozing of blood present from the
4. A grooved lacerated wound with skin loss 4 cm x 0.9 cm in size over
right portion of occipital region of scalp.
Oozing of blood present from the wound which is skin deep." Joginder
Singh was examined by Dr. D.S. Nagpal and he was found to have suffered the
"1. A lacerated wound 0.8 cm x .08 cm in size with inverted margins
over lower part of left chest on anterior aspect. Oozing of blood present from
Probing not done.
2. Stomach & large parts of small & large intestines are protending
(sic protruding) out of abdomen through its left side along with oozing of
blood. The wound over left size of abdomen is not visible as its view has been
obstructed by viscera coming out & hence its size & type cannot be
described." It is not in dispute that the Appellant herein was arrested on
18th March, 1995. Baljit Singh was also arrested on the same date whereas Dilbagh
Singh surrendered before Judicial Magistrate on 19th March, 1995.
The Appellant made a confession leading to recovery of a service rifle
having .303 bore along with 10 live cartridges from the bank of river Beas.
A similar recovery was made from Baljit Singh and Dilbagh Singh. The arms
and ammunition recovered were sent to a ballistic expert and it was opined that
two of the cartridges had been fired from one of the .303 rifles and two from
the other and five from the 7.62 MM rifle (SLR). The pillow, shoe and blood
stained earth collected from the place of occurrence were also found to have
been stained with human blood.
Both the Trial Court as also the High Court accepted the evidence of
Gurpreet Kaur, PW1, Joginder Singh, PW2 and Avtar Singh, PW3. Both the courts,
furthermore, accepted the evidence of Nachhatarpal Singh, PW14 to the effect
that he had transported the three accused from Fatuwal to Kot Budha.
The Appellant's posting with Baljit Singh at the 'nake' set up at Fatuwal is
not disputed. Issuance of a .303 rifle with cartridges which had been issued to
him by the authorities is also not in dispute. The animosity by and between
Baljit Singh and family of his wife also stands fully established. It has also
been established that the Appellant together with two co-accused were found
missing from the place of his duty at 11 P.M. by their superior officers
wherefor a report had been entered in the daily register at 11.30 P.M. on 20th
In view of the aforementioned evidence, motive on the part of the Appellant
herein in commission of the crime takes a back seat which was, thus, not
necessary to be proved the motive. Evidence of the eye-witnesses including the
injured witnesses having been accepted by the two courts and as nothing was
pointed out by the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the Appellant as to
why the said findings should be disturbed by us, we accept the same.
It is true that in the First Information Report, the name of the Appellant
was not mentioned. The Appellant's complicity in the offence has been proved by
Inspector Dharam Singh, PW 15 who was the SHO of the Beas Police Station who
categorically stated that all the three accused were found missing. It was also
proved beyond reasonable doubt that they were issued official rifles which were
used in the incident.
In the First Information Report, it has categorically been stated that
Baljit Singh was accompanied by two other persons in police uniform and all of
them were armed with rifles. The evidence of Gurpreet Kaur find supports from
the evidence of Joginder Singh and Avtar Singh also. We have noticed
hereinbefore that both Joginder Singh and Avtar Singh had the occasion to not
only see Baljit Singh but also Dilbagh Singh who not only broke down the door
but also dragged Joginder Singh out from the room. It has not been disputed
before us that the doors were found broken by the investigating officer.
All the accused who are constables came to the residence of the first
informant armed with sophisticated weapons and each one of them played active
role. Baljit Singh and Dilbagh Singh not only broke upon the doors of the rooms
where Jagjeet Singh and Kans Kaur were sleeping, they were fired at
immediately. The common intention on the part of the Appellant with that of
Baljit Singh and Dilbagh Singh has, thus, been established.
So far as the contention of identification of the Appellant is concerned,
the High Court in its impugned judgment recorded:
"Sarup Singh had not claimed identification, therefore, it is not
understandable why he was included in the parade." Legality of the test
identification parade was questioned by Dilbagh Singh and not by the Appellant
herein. The recovery of the fire arms and the empty cartridges also go a long
way in proving the culpability of the Appellant herein.
For the reasons aforementioned, we do not find any merit in this appeal
which is dismissed accordingly. No costs.
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