State of Punjab Vs.
Mohinder Singh & Ors.  INSC 444 (27 February 2009)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1365 OF 2002 State
of Punjab ..Appellant Versus Mohinder Singh & Ors. ..Respondents
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT,
of Punjab has questioned the correctness of the judgment rendered by a Division
Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court directing acquittal of the
respondents. Each of the respondents was found guilty of offences punishable
under Sections 302,450,324,148 read with Section 149 of the Indian Penal Code,
1860 (in short the `IPC'). Learned Additional Sessions Judge Gurdaspur has
found the accused guilty and sentenced them as aforestated.
version in a nutshell is as follows:
At about 6 PM on
October 31, 1995 Teja Singh (PW2) alongwith his son Joginder Singh and his
daughter-in-law Paramjit Kaur(PW3) was present in his haveli in Village china
Railwala. His brother Fauja Singh and his son Nirmal Singh (PW4) were living in
an adjoining house and were present therein. Soon thereafter accused Dalbir
Singh alias Kala, Mohinder Singh and Swinder Singh, all armed with knieves,
Baljit Singh alias Beeta armed with Dang, and Jasbir Singh alias Killa,
Rachhpal Singh alias Pappu and Ramjit Singh alias Rana all empty handed came to
the spot. Rachhpal Singh raised a lalkara that the complainant party be taught
a lesson for having got Dalbir Singh arrested by giving false information to
the police, Ranjit Singh then caught hold of Joginder Singh from his long hair
and Dalbir Singh gave two blows with the knife he was carrying. The other
accused also caused injuries to Joginder Singh with their respective weapons.
Nirmal Singh and Paramjit Kaur tried to intervene but they too sustained
injuries caused by the accused. Fauja Singh raised an alarm hearing which all
the accused ran away from the spot. Joginder Singh was removed to the Civil
Hospital Gurdaspur where he was declared dead whereas the two injured eye
witnesses, Nirmal Singh and Paramjit Kaur, were medico-legality examined. Teja
Singh (PW2) also left for the police station but came across a police party
headed by SI Sukhmohinder Singh (PW 9) and made his statement to the said
officer at 10.55 PM and on its basis the FIR was registered at police station,
Dhariwal at 11PM. The special report was delivered to the Illaqa Magistrate at
Gurdaspur at 7.22 AM, on November 1, 1995. The accused persons were arrested in
the course of the investigation and on its completion, were charged for
offences punishable under Sections 302, 450, 324, 148 read with Section 149
They pleaded not
guilty and were brought to trial.
In order to establish
the accusations prosecution examined eight witnesses. Teja Singh, Parmjit Kaur
and Nirmal Singh (PWs.2, 3 & 4) were stated to be eye witnesses and the
last two were injured eye witnesses. The trial court placed reliance on their
version and directed conviction as aforestated. Accused persons filed an appeal
before the High Court.
Primary stand before
the High Court was that there was delay in lodging the FIR and sending the
special report and injuries on the accused were not explained. It was also
submitted that there was no mention in the FIR about the injuries caused on
It was pointed out
that Kuljit Kaur had sustained injuries inflicted by Kala when she tried to
intervene was not mentioned in the FIR. The High Court accepted the stand and
counsel for the State submitted that the High Court's judgment is practically
non-reasoned. The trial court had analysed the evidence and noticed that there
was no delay in either lodging the FIR or in dispatching a special report.
Further the trial Court had categorically noted that the injuries on the accused
counsel for the respondent on the other hand submitted that the whole truth has
not been disclosed and therefore the High Court was justified in directing
acquittal. It is submitted that the scope for interference with an order of
acquittal is very limited and only where the judgment is perverse or contrary
to evidence on record, the appellate court in a given case may interfere.
is to be noted that the High Court's judgment is practically non- reasoned and
whatever reasons have been indicated are not only sketchy but also are based on
surmises and conjectures. There is also no discussion as to why the conclusions
of the trial court have been found to be unsustainable. It is to be noted that
the trial court found categorically that there was no delay in lodging or
despatching the FIR to Illqua Magistrate and the injuries on the accused
persons were superficial. It is accepted that no report was lodged with the
police about the accused person having sustained injuries. There is no counter
case and interestingly no report appears to have been sent by the doctor who it
was claimed by the accused persons to have treated the accused for the injuries
sustained. The trial court noted that the occurrence took place around 6 PM.
There were several injured persons who were taken to the hospital. The trial
court rightly noted that it was but natural for Teja Singh whose son Joginder
Singh had sustained injuries to take him to the hospital to save his life and
the life of Paramjit Kaur and Nirmal Singh, instead of going first to the
All these aspects
have not been dealt with by the High Court. There is also no discussion about
evidence of PWs 2 & 4 by the High Court.
the aforesaid background we deem it proper to remit the matter to High Court
for a fresh consideration and disposal of the appeal by a reasoned judgment.
Since the matter is pending since long, we request the High court to explore
the possibility of early disposal of the matter.
appeal is disposed of accordingly.
(Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT)
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