of U.P. Vs. Raja
Ram and Ors  Insc 709 (20 June 2007)
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT & D.K. JAIN
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT, J.
1. The State of U.P. is in appeal against the judgment of the Division Bench
of the Allahabad High Court directing acquittal of the present respondent while
upholding the conviction of three others, namely, Raja Ram, Ram Nath, and Ram
Prasad, with the altercation that they were convicted under Section 302 read
with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (in short 'IPC'), instead of Section
302 read with Section 149 IPC.
Conviction for offences punishable under Sections 147 and 148 IPC was set
aside. The High Court set aside the conviction of Devender, Chhotey Lal and
Subhash who are respondents 4 and 6 in this appeal.
2. Respondents faced trial for alleged commission of offence punishable
under Section 302 read with Sections 149, 148 and 147 of the Indian Penal Code,
1860 (in short 'IPC'). The learned Additional Sessions Judge, Ballia found the
accused persons guilty and sentenced each to undergo imprisonment for life and
one year respectively in respect of three offences.
3. Prosecution version in a nutshell is as follows:
On 10.4.1984 Yadunath Chauhan (hereinafter referred to as the 'deceased')
was going from his village Bankat to village Jigirsar for some work. When he
was near the Government Tube-well and the field of Balchand, all the appellants
surrounded him. Time was about 6.30 a.m. Appellants Raja Ram and Ram Nath were
having 'Spears' while all other had lathis. On exhortation of accused Ram
Prasad, appellants Raja Ram and Ram Nath started assaulting Yadunath with spear
and rest with lathi. On the alarm raised by the victim, his son Babban Chauhan
(PW-1), Ram Lal, Roop Narain (PW- 2), Kamal Nath and others were attracted to the
scene of occurrence. Seeing the pressure being mounted with the arrival of
witnesses accused persons ran away with their respective weapons.
Babba Chauhan (PW-1) son of the deceased, himself wrote down the First
Information Report (Ex. Ka 1) and carried the same along with victim Yadunath
to P.S. Khejuri where F.I.R. was recorded and the investigation was undertaken.
After completion of investigation charge sheet was placed.
Accused person pleaded false implication. They examined one witness DW-1 and
exhibited certain documents to show that the complainant was inimical to them.
4. On analysis of the evidence on record learned trial court held that the
incident occurred at the time and place indicated by prosecution and the same
is witnessed by PWs 1, 2 and 3 and their evidence was trustworthy. The First
Information Report was lodged with promptness and the stand of defence that
deceased was done to death in the early hours of the day while it was still
dark was not acceptable. With these findings learned trial court Judge
concluded that the prosecution had succeeded in establishing its case beyond
5. Accused persons preferred appeal before the High Court.
Analysing the evidence on record the High Court found that the accusations
so far as they relate to respondents 1 and 3 stand substantially established.
Their participation in the occurrence was proved beyond doubt. Ram Prasad, Raja
Ram both assaulted the deceased with spear. In the post-mortem examination two
incised penetrating wounds were found, beside five other incised injuries. As
regards Ram Prasad, it was noted that all the witnesses stated that he
assaulted the deceased on his head with a lathi.
6. Coming to the case of the respondents 3 to 6 it was found that the
prosecution was not free from doubt. They were alleged to be armed with lathi.
In the first information report there was a clear statement that these accused
persons assaulted the deceased with lathis, Babban Chauhan (PW-1) had also
stated about this. But PWs. 2 and 3 made a departure and stated that only
accused Ram Prasad struck a lathi blow on the head of the deceased but others
simply waved their lathis to scare the witnesses. The High Court found this was
to be a development to bring their version in line with the medical evidence.
It was noted that since one injury with a blunt weapon was noted, this
departure from earlier stand was introduced. Therefore, the conviction and
sentence in so far it related to respondents 3 to 6 was set aside. They were
acquitted of the offence charged. However, the conviction of Raja Ram, Ram Nath
and Ram Prasad was altered to Section 302 read with Section 34 IPC.
7. In support of the appeal learned counsel for the appellant-State
submitted that prosecution version having been accepted, the High Court should
have also convicted respondents 3 to 6.
8. We find that the High Court has noted that prosecution case against
Devendra, Chotey Lal and Subhash, is not free from doubt. They were alleged to
be armed with lathi. In the first information report there was a clear
statement that these appellants also assaulted the deceased with lathi. Babban
Chauhan (PW-1) in his examination in chief also stated that all the assailants
having lathi were continuously hitting the deceased with lathis. PWs 2 and 3,
however, in their deposition made an improvement and developed the case that
only Ram Prasad, appellant struck a lathi blow on the head of the deceased, but
the acquitted three simply waved their lathis to thwart away the witnesses. It
appears that since deceased had only one blunt object injury which is
specifically attributed to Ram Prasad alone, the prosecutor did not hesitate to
develop the case through the evidence of PWs 2 and 3 that these appellants did
not strike any blow of lathi on the deceased but they simply threatened the
witnesses by brandishing lathis. No such case was put forward in the first
information report or at the investigation stage. High Court, therefore,
extended benefit of doubt to Devendra, Chotey Lal and Subhash and acquitted
them of the offences charged for.
9. The reasoning of the High Court does not suffer from any infirmity. As
rightly observed by the High Court PWs 2 and 3 tried to introduce different
versions from what has been stated during investigation. Their version was
altered to be in line with medical evidence. Therefore, the High Court has
rightly held that the evidence is not cogent so far as they are concerned.
10. We find no reason to differ with the conclusion of the High Court. The
appeal fails and is dismissed.