State of Punjab Vs.
Ginder Singh  INSC 207 (3 February 2009)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 502 OF 2002 STATE
OF PUNJAB .. APPELLANT vs. Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT,J.
The State of Punjab
is in appeal against the judgment of the Punjab and Haryana High Court
directing acquittal of the respondent who was convicted for alleged commission
of offence punishable under Sec. 302 and Sec. 201 of the Indian Penal Code,
1860 (in short `IPC').
The other accused
Manjit Kaur was convicted for offences relatable to Sec.302 read with Sec.34
IPC and 201 IPC.
Judge, Bathinda, directed acquittal of Balbir Singh and Angrez Singh. The State
questioned their acquittal in Criminal Appeal No. 203-DBA of 1996 which was
dismissed by the High Court. The two convicted accused persons also filed Crl.
Appeal No.308-DB of 1995 before the High Court.
-2- While issuing
notice on 25/1/2002 this Court had dismissed the petition qua Manjit Kaur,
Balbir Singh and Angrez Singh and restricted the notice so far as the present
respondent Ginder Singh is concerned.
The background facts
as projected by the prosecution is as follows:
Report with regard to murder of Bant Singh (hereinafter referred to as
`deceased') was lodged by his brother Maghar Singh on 21.5.1994 at 5.10 a.m.,
which was recorded by S.I. Piara Singh P.W.-5. Maghar Singh in his statement
made before S.I. Piara Singh stated that he was resident of village Mansa
They were seven
brothers eldest being Bant Singh who was residing at village Bhagi Bander for
the last 3 years. First marriage was solemnized with Jangir Kaur and second
marriage (kareva) was performed with accused Manjit Kaur. His first wife Jangir
Kaur gave birth to two sons and one daughter. Out of them, eldest was Amarjit
Kaur, whereas younger to her was Balbir Singh and youngest to all was Jaswinder
Singh. Amarjit Kaur was married with Nidhan Singh at -3- Bathinda and Jaswinder
Singh was also doing labour work at Bathinda. Manjit Kaur gave birth to Virpal
Kaur and accused Ginder Singh. Virpal Kaur was married with Angrez Singh. His
brother Bant Singh did not have cordial relations with his younger son Ginder
Singh. For this reason Ginder Singh was residing at Bathinda. On the day of
Baisakhi his brother Bant Singh had given beatings to his wife Manjit Kaur and
on account thereof, there was a dispute in the house. A day before lodging the
FIR he alongwith Makhan Singh Ex-Sarpanch had come to village Bhagi Bander at
about 4 P.M. in order to settle the dispute where the son-in-law of Bant Singh,
namely Angrez Singh and Ginder Singh and Balbir Singh his nephews, his
borther's wives Manjit Kaur and Jangir Kaur were present in the house. Dut to
old age, the eye sight of Jangir Kaur had become weak. His brother Bant Singh
came to the house at about 8 p.m. and inquired about his welfare. At that time
an electric light in the courtyard was on. They started talking about the
settlement of the dispute. It was about 9.30 p.m.
During the course of
settlement Ginder Singh and Bant Singh exchanged hot words and his brother Bant
Singh stood up and -4- started going to his room. Ginder Singh picked up a
Gandhali lying nearby and gave two blows with the same on the head of Bant
Singh which hit his head. Thereafter Angrez Singh took Bant Singh in his grip
and Balbir Singh picked up a soti lying there and gave soti blow on shin on
right leg of Bant Singh. Ginder Singh gave one more blow with Gandhali to Bant
Singh which hit him on the left ear and back side of the ear. Balbir Singh gave
a soti blow which hit the right side of his head as a result of which his
brother Bant Singh fell down. Makhan Singh and he himself raised an alarm,
"Na Maro, Na Maro" (don't kill, don't kill). When his brother Bant
Singh was lying fallen, Angrez Singh continued twisting his left arm while
Ginder Singh continued twisting his left knee. While Bant Singh was lying on
the ground, Manjit Kaur and Balbir Singh continued giving blows thrustwise with
their respective sotis on the left leg and back side of left knee and Manjit
Kaur kept on saying loudly that he should be taught a lesson for giving
beatings to her. As a result thereof his brother sustained injuries on his left
leg. They stepped forward to rescue him but the accused tried to attack them
also. His brother Bant Singh succumbed to his injuries at the spot.
Out -5- of fear they
ran away outside and informed Jangir Singh Sarpanch about this occurrence.
After taking along Jangir Singh Sarpanch with them, they had come to lodge the
report. The cause of grudge was that about a month back on the day of Baisakhi,
his brother Bant Singh had given beatings to his wife Manjit Kaur and whole
family was fed up with him. On account of this grudge, all the accused had
connived with one another and committed the murder of Bant Singh by inflicting
injuries to him.
The first information
report was lodged on 21/5/94 at 5.10 a.m. while the alleged offence took place
on 20/5/1994 at about 9.30 p.m. The special report reached the concerned
Magistrate at Bathinda on 21.5.1994 at 7.30 a.m. Two witnesses were pressed
into service as eye witnesses. They were P.W. 3 and 4. The trial Court held that
the presence of these two witnesses at the time of occurrence was not
conclusion as noted above two persons were convicted.
In appeal the stand
of the accused persons was that the FIR was delayed; the eye witnesses were
disbelieved and, therefore, the question of holding the accused persons guilty
does not arise. The High Court accepted the stand and directed acquittal.
-6- In support of the
appeal learned counsel for the appellant - State submitted that it is a
peculiar case where the deceased was allegedly killed by his wife and a son,
and out of two eye witnesses who were there; one was his brother and the other
was his friend. That being so, there was obviously an attempt to protect the
accused persons. Learned counsel for the respondent on the other hand supported
the judgment of the High Court.
Even though it is
accepted that there were two eye witnesses; one was the brother of the deceased
and the other was friend and there was an attempt to protect the accused there
is no credible evidence to show involvement of the accused persons in the
concerned crime. That being so, their conviction would not be proper. High
Court has precisely held so. That being the position, we are not inclined to
interfere in this appeal.
appeal is dismissed.
.J. (Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT)
...................J. (V.S. SIRPURKAR)
(ASOK KUMAR GANGULY)
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