State of Orissa Vs.
Pramod Kr. Kodamsingh & Ors.  INSC 766 (15 April 2009)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1271 OF 2004 STATE
OF ORISSA .. APPELLANT vs. Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT, J.
in this appeal is to the judgment of a Division Bench of Orissa High Court
allowing the appeal filed by the thirteen respondents who faced trial for
alleged commission of offence under Section 302 read with Sections 149, 148 and
326 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (in short the `IPC') and Section 9 of the
Indian Explosive Act, (for short `the Act').
Nos. 1 and 2 were found guilty of offence punishable under Section 302 IPC. All
the thirteen accused persons were sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life
for the offence relatable to Section 302. Separate sentence was imposed for
offences punishable under Sections 148, 326 IPC and Section 9 of the Act.
reference to the factual aspects is unnecessary. Primarily the prosecution
version rested on dying declaration purported to have been made by the deceased
and the evidence of the injured witnesses, that is, PWs. 6,7,8,9,10 and 12.
The High Court found
that the evidence relating to dying declaration (Ex.4) is not acceptable as it
cannot be said to be true and voluntary. So far as the evidence of the eye
witnesses is concerned, the High Court discarded the same on the ground that
they were similar in nature and it was to be discarded as there was party
Accordingly, the High
Court directed acquittal.
in this appeal is to the judgment of the High Court directing acquittal. During
the pendency of the appeal respondent No.9 Kalpataru Paikray has died and
therefore the appeal has abated so far as he is concerned.
counsel appearing for the appellant-State submitted that without indicating any
deficiency in the evidence of the injured eye witnesses by merely observing
that their evidences appeared to be parrot like, the High Court was not
justified in discarding their evidences.
is no appearance on behalf of the respondents when the matter is called.
trial Court by an elaborate judgment had considered the evidence about the eye
witnesses and held the accused persons guilty. The said Court noted that
remnants of the exploded bombs seized on the spot were sent for chemical
examination and the report indicated that the bombs contained postium chlorate
and sulphite. It also analysed the evidence of the injured eye witnesses,
keeping in view the fact that some of them were related to the deceased. The
evidence was held to be cogent and credible. After referring to the various
aspects of the case, trial court held the accused persons guilty.
High court, as noted above, came to the conclusion that the evidence of so
called injured eye witnesses does not inspire confidence because they were
similar and there was party faction.
was not open to the High Court to discard the evidence by observing in very
generized terms that the evidence lacks credibility and cogency. The trial
Court had analyzed the evidence of the injured eye witnesses in great detail
and had come to the conclusion about its acceptability. Without indicating any
basis as to how the conclusion of the trial Court, was in any manner,
erroneous, the High Court should not have interfered with those conclusions.
That being so, we set aside the impugned judgment. The judgment of the Trial
Court stands restored. The respondents to surrender to custody forthwith to serve
the remainder of sentence.
appeal is allowed accordingly.
(Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT)
(ASOK KUMAR GANGULY)
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