State of U.P. Vs.
Raja @ Jalil  INSC 1455 (28 August 2008)
The Order of the
Court was delivered by Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT,J. Heard.
Challenge by the
State of Uttar Pradesh in these appeals is to the judgment of a Division Bench
of the Allahabad High Court directing acquittal of the respondent Raja @ Jalil
(hereinafter referred to as the `accused'). Learned Sessions Judge, Barabanki had
found the accused guilty of offences punishable under Sections 302, 376/511
Indian Penal Code, 1860 (in short `IPC') and imposed death sentence and three
The accused filed
appeal from jail and a represented appeal through counsel. A reference was made
to the High Court under Section 366 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (in
short `CrPC') for confirmation of death sentence. The High Court disposed of
all the three matters by the impugned judgment. The allegation against the
accused was that he had taken a girl of about 11 years of age namely Kumari
Reema, tried to commit rape on her and killed her. According to the prosecution
on 17.10.1994 at about 8 a.m. the accused requested the mother of the deceased
to allow the deceased to accompany him for harvesting paddy crop in the fields
of Naumi Lal and Ganga Ram. Since the deceased did not return late in the
evening, Sushila Devi, the mother of the deceased, went to the house of Naumi
Lal and Ganga Ram who told her that paddy crop in the field was not even ripe
for harvesting. Thereafter Sushila Devi continued to search for her missing
daughter and went to the market, where in front of the house of one Yaseen
Chikwa, she met Jung Bahadur, Jagat Narain, Vishwanath, Ram Shankar and others.
In the meantime, Ganga Ram accompanied by the accused arrived there. Vishwanath
and Ram Shankar told Sushila Devi that they had seen the deceased going along
with the accused around 8 or 9 A.M. On hearing this, the accused started
running but waschased and apprehended. It was about 10 P.M. at that time. On
being interrogated, the accused stated that he had taken the deceased for
harvesting paddy crop in the field of Ganga Ram. After some paddy crop was cut,
he overpowered her and took her to the field of Ram Khelawan Yadav and tried to
commit rape. When the deceased resisted, he wanted to close her mouth, the
deceased bit on his hand whereupon the accused struck Khurpa on her neck and
killed her. The accused led all these persons to the sugarcane field of Ram Khelawan
Yadav and the dead body was pointed out. He further led to his house and handed
over the blood stained Khurpa.
FIR was lodged at the
police station. A case was registered. Post mortem was conducted and 14
injuries were found.
The appellant was also
medically examined after he was apprehended by Dr. J.P. Bhargava PW5 who found
seven injuries on the body of the accused. Injury No. 3 was kept under
observation and the accused was referred to the District Hospital Barabanki for
the opinion of surgeon.
Nos. 4 and 6 were also kept under observation.
After completion of
the investigation, a charge sheet was filed. Since the accused pleaded
innocence, trial was held. Seven witnesses were examined to further the
prosecution version. Sushila Devi (PW1) stated about the request made by the
accused to allow the deceased to accompany him. Learned Sessions Judge was of
the view that the case rested on circumstantial evidence brought on record.
Accordingly, the accused was found guilty.
As noted, at the
outset, the accused filed two appeals and reference was made by the trial court
to the High Court for confirmation of death sentence.
The High Court found
that the prosecution version lacks credibility. The serious injuries sustained
by the accused were not explained. The evidence of PW1 was also found to lack
The High Court found
that the evidence relating to extra judicial confession on which the
prosecution version rested was not reliable.
There was serious
injury on the eyes of the accused. There were also other injuries sustained by
him. The High Court analysed the evidence and taking note of the nature of
injuries, came to hold that it was possible to infer that the accused was given
a thorough beating which resulted injuries on his body.
to be insufficient to fasten guilt on the accused, the High Court directed
Learned counsel for
the appellant submitted that the circumstances highlighted by the trial court
were sufficient to conclude that the accused was guilty of the offences as
Learned counsel for
the respondent on the other hand supported the judgment of the High Court.
It is fairly
well-settled that when a case rests on circumstantial evidence, a complete
chain of circumstances which rule out every other possibility except guilt of
the accused has to be established.
That being so, the
High Court's view was that the circumstances were not sufficient to fasten the
guilt on the accused. The High Court has rightly noted that alleged extra
judicial confession was extracted from the accused by assaulting him severely.
The injuries clearly indicate that the accused was beaten very badly after he
was allegedly apprehended. Therefore, the findings of the High Court that the
so-called extra judicial confession was not voluntarily or natural cannot be
faulted. Additionally the evidence of mother of the deceased was full of
contradictions and inconsistencies.
Looking at from any
angle, we find no merit in these appeals which are dismissed.
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