Rajender Singh &
ANR. Vs. State of Haryana  INSC 33 (9 January 2009)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1662-1663 OF 2005
Rajender Singh & Anr. .....
State of Haryana ..... Respondent WITH CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 355 OF 2006 Suraj
State of Haryana .....
Respondent WITH CRIMINAL
APPEAL NO. 615 OF 2008 Ram Niwas .....
State of Haryana .....
1. Seven accused,
namely, Suraj Bhan (A-1), Balraj (A-2), Ram Niwas (A-3), Rajender Singh (A-4),
Dharambir (A-5), Sube Singh (A-6) and Sajjan Singh (A-7) were tried by Learned
Additional 2 Sessions Judge, Rohtak, in Sessions Case No. 119 of 2002 for
committing the murder of Dinesh aged about 20 years.
2. By judgment and
order dated 06.02.2003, the Learned Trial Judge convicted (A-1), (A-2), (A-3),
(A-4), (A-5) and (A-7) under Section 302 read with Section 34 of the Indian
Penal Code and Section 342 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code (for
short `IPC') and sentenced each to undergo imprisonment for life and a fine of
Rs. 10,000/- each and in default of payment of fine, to undergo rigorous
imprisonment for three years and under Section 342/34 IPC, they were sentenced
to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of six months with a fine of Rs.
1,000/- each and in default of payment of fine, to undergo rigorous
imprisonment for one month. All the sentences were, however, ordered to run
concurrently. Out of fine if realized, 90 per cent thereof was ordered to be
paid to the legal representatives of the deceased Dinesh. The Learned Trial
Judge acquitted (A-6).
3. The accused filed
three sets of appeals before the High Court of Punjab & Haryana at
Chandigarh. (A-1), (A-4) and (A-5) filed Criminal Appeal No. 194-DB of 2003
whereas Criminal Appeal 3 No. 207-DB of 2003 was filed by (A-2) and Criminal
Appeal No. 224-DB of 2003 was filed by (A-3) and (A-7). The High Court by a
common judgment and order dated August 16, 2005 modified the judgment of the
Trial Court. It upheld the conviction and sentence of (A-1), (A-2), (A-3) and
(A-4). It, however, acquitted (A-5) and (A-7).
4. (A-1), (A-2),
(A-3) and (A-4) have now approached this Court in these appeals. These appeals
were heard together and shall stand disposed of by this common judgment.
5. The incident
leading to the prosecution of the appellants occurred on 29.05.2002. Dinesh,
son of Dharambir (PW-1) complainant, had gone to Delhi for ascertaining the
date of his interview for recruitment to the Police Force of Delhi Government,
but till late night he did not return to his village Sundana, Tehsil Kalanaur,
District Rohtak. On the following day, i.e. 30.05.2002, at about 4.00 a.m.
Randhir Singh (PW-10) elder brother of PW-11 told PW-1 that Dinesh was
wrongfully confined in the house of appellant-Suraj Bhan (A-1). It was Jagbir
(PW-9), a jeep driver, who disclosed this fact to PW-10.
On coming to know the
fact of confinement of his son by A-1, 4 PW-1 alongwith his father Sube Singh
(PW-11) and uncle Raghbir Singh rushed to the house of A-1, where they found
the outer door of the house bolted from inside. They all heard the shrieks of
Dinesh "maar diya, maar diya". Thereupon, they peeped through the
window and saw that all the appellants including A-6 (since acquitted) had made
Dinesh to lie down on the floor of the room, his hands and legs were tied with
In the electric bulb
light and within their sight, A-1 inserted a "danda" (wooden stick)
in the anus of Dinesh, who cried loudly in pain. On seeing the occurrence,
PW-1, PW-11 and Raghbir Singh raised an alarm and forcibly broke open the door
of the room. On seeing them, the appellants fled away and took "danda"
and piece of rope with them. They attended Dinesh, but he succumbed to his
injuries at the spot.
6. Motive behind the
alleged occurrence was that about a year prior to the incident in question,
i.e. 28.04.2001, A-1 got a case registered against Dinesh under Section 376 IPC
for committing sexual intercourse with his daughter. In the said case, Dinesh
was acquitted by the trial court on 18.03.2002.
7. PW-1 requested his
father Sube Singh (PW-11) and uncle Raghbir Singh to safe guard the dead body
of Dinesh at the place of occurrence and himself rushed to the Police Station
for lodging a report. On the way, Om Parkash, ASI (PW-14) met PW-1 at the curve
of Beri Road, where, he made statement (Ex.PA) at 9.00 a.m. narrating the
entire incident. PW-14 then made his endorsement (Ex.PA-2) on the said report
and sent the same to the Police Station through Constable Krishan Kumar, on the
basis of which formal FIR (Ex. PJ) was recorded by MHC Mohinder Singh (PW-6) at
11.00 a.m. on the same day. The Special Report thereof was sent to the Illaqa
Judicial Magistrate through Constable Udham Singh (PW-4), which was received at
his residence at 2.35 p.m. at Rohtak. Thereafter, PW-14 alongwith PW-1 rushed
to the place of occurrence and got the dead body photographed from Gobind Ram,
Photographer (PW-7). PW-14 prepared the inquest report (Ex. PM) and then sent
the dead body for post mortem examination. From the spot, PW-14 lifted blood
stained earth, pair of sport shoes (Exs. P11 and P12) and jute rope (Ex.P13).
They were taken into possession vide recovery memos (Ex. PB to Ex. PD) and
sealed in 6 separate parcels. At the spot, rough site plan (Ex.PR) of the
place of occurrence was also prepared by the Investigating Officer. On the same
day, investigation of the case was taken over by Sub-Inspector Rohtas Singh
(PW-12). He recorded the statements of PW-1, Randhir, Zile Singh, Jagbir
(PW-9), a jeep driver, and other witnesses. Thereafter, PW-12 searched for the
accused in the village but they were found missing. The Deputy Superintendent
of Police had also visited the place of occurrence and verified the
investigation of the case. Naresh Kumar, Constable (PW-3), took the dead body
of deceased Dinesh to the Hospital for post mortem examination.
8. On 01.06.2002,
A-1, A-2, A-3 and A-4 were produced before PW-12 by Zile Singh. After their
arrest by the Investigating Officer, A-1 during interrogation made disclosure
statement (Ex.PQ) to the effect that he had kept concealed "danda"
and "rope" under an iron box in his house and in pursuance thereof,
he got recovered "danda" (Ex. P-18) (broken into two pieces) and
"rope" (Ex. P-19), which were taken into possession vide recovery
memo (Ex.PQ/4). The entire recovered 7 articles were sealed and deposited with
MHC of Police Station, Kalanaur.
9. On 12.06.2003,
Ajit Singh ASI (PW-13) made an application (Ex.PN) to Dr. Paramjeet (PW-8) for
obtaining his opinion whether recovered "danda" could cause fatal
injury to the deceased or not, and Doctor opined in the affirmative. After
taking his opinion Ex.PO, pieces of "danda" were resealed. After
completion of the investigation and receipt of the post mortem report and other
material on record, charge sheet came to be filed against the accused. At the
initial stage, A-1, A-2, A-3 and A-4 were challaned for commission of offences
punishable under Sections 342/302/34 IPC. Later on, vide order dated
30.09.2002, A-5, A-6 and A-7 were also summoned under Section 319 Cr.P.C. All
the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges and claimed to be tried.
10. The prosecution,
in order to substantiate its case, examined as many as 14 witnesses, namely,
Dharmabir (PW-1), who lodged the complaint (Ex.PA); Sumit Kumar, Draftsman
(PW-2), prepared the scaled site plan (Ex.PE) of the place of occurrence;
Naresh Kumar, Constable (PW-3) placed his 8 affidavit (Ex.-PF) on record
regarding taking the dead body for post mortem examination; Udam Singh,
Constable (PW-4) filed his affidavit (Ex.-PG) regarding taking the Special
Report to the Illaqa Judicial Magistrate; Jagbir Singh Constable (PW-5), took
the case property to Forensic Science Laboratory, Madhuban;
Mohinder Singh, Head
Constable (PW-6), recorded the formal FIR (Ex.-PJ); Gobind Ram, Photographer
(PW-7), proved on record photographs (Exs. P-1 to P-5) and negatives thereof
(Exs.P-6 to P-10); Dr. Paramjit (PW-8), conducted the post mortem and proved on
record the post mortem report (Ex.PK);
Jagbir Singh (PW-9) a
Jeep Driver; Randhir Singh (PW-10), who after being informed by PW-9 regarding
the fact of confinement of Dinesh at the house of Suraj Bhan (A-1) had
disclosed the said fact to PW-1; Sube Singh (PW-11), an eye witness of the
occurrence; Rohtas Singh SI (PW-12), the Investigating Officer of this case;
Ajit Singh ASI (PW-13) and Om Parkash ASI (PW-14), who had also completed the
formal investigation of the case.
11. The accused in
their statements recorded under Section 313 Cr.P.C denied the incriminating
evidence appearing against them. They pleaded that they have been implicated in
a false 9 case and they claimed to be innocent. They examined three defence witnesses,
namely, Suraj Mal (DW-1), who deposed regarding disconnection of the electric
connection at the house of A-1; Rajinder Singh, DSP (DW-2), on whose
verification three persons, namely, Sajjan, Dharambir and Sube Singh were found
innocent in this case and Jagbir (DW-3) who was married to Poonam, daughter of
Suraj Bhan (A-1) on 26.05.2002. DW-3 stated that on the evening of 25.09.2002
Dinesh had misbehaved with his wife at his Village Kohla.
12. The trial court,
on appraisal of the entire evidence on record, held A-1, A-2, A-3, A-4, A-5 and
A-7 guilty of the charges and convicted them under Section 302/342 read with
Section 34 of Indian Penal Code. However, learned trial judge acquitted A-6.
13. Being aggrieved,
the accused filed three sets of separate appeals before the High Court. The
High Court dismissed the appeals of A-1, A-2, A-3 and A-4. It, however, allowed
the appeals of A-5 and A-7 and accordingly acquitted them.
14. Feeling aggrieved
thereby and dissatisfied with the judgment of the High Court, the above-said
appeals have been filed in this Court.
15. Ms. Garima
Prashad, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellants, contended that
the evidence produced in this case is not sufficient and convincing to warrant
the conviction of the appellants. She contended that the evidence of PW-1 and
PW-11 could not be accepted as they are both interested witnesses related to
the deceased. She next contended that PW-1, PW-9 and PW-10 in their deposition
have given a concocted version which casts severe doubts about truthfulness of
the prosecution case. The learned counsel also contended that the evidence
appearing on record against the appellants is verbatim version which was taken
into consideration by the trial court with regard to the acquittal of A-5, A-6
and A-7 and, therefore, the case of the appellants cannot be decided on any
other scale and should have been treated at par for giving benefits of doubt to
the appellants as it was considered for the acquittal of A-5, A-6 and A-7. The
learned counsel then contended that as per the post mortem report (Ex. PK), as
many 11 as 12 injuries were found on the dead body of Dinesh which would
support the defence version of DW-3 that the deceased was given beatings by the
village people of his village Kohla, when Dinesh misbehaved with his wife at
their residence on 29.05.2002. It was also argued that there is no reliable
evidence brought on record to prove that the appellants also shared common
intention to murder Dinesh and in the absence of such evidence, the appellants
could not be convicted for offence punishable under Section 302 read with
Section 34 IPC.
16. Mr. Sandeep
Chaturvedi, Advocate, appearing on behalf of the appellant in Criminal Appeal
No. 615/2008, has adopted and supported the arguments made by Ms. Garima
Prashad, Advocate. As against that, Mr. Rajiv Gaur Naseem, Advocate appearing
on behalf of the State, has canvassed for the correctness of the view taken by
the trial judge which was confirmed by the High Court.
17. In order to appreciate
the aforesaid rival contentions of the learned counsel for the parties, we have
independently scrutinized the oral and documentary evidence appearing on
18. PW-1, father of
the deceased Dinesh, at the relevant time was serving in the Police Department.
On 29.05.2002 he was on leave for a period of one month. He stated that his son
Dinesh had applied for recruitment in the Police of Delhi Government. On
29.05.2002 Dinesh had gone to Delhi to confirm about the date of interview to
be held for the post.
He did not return to
his house till late in the night. On 30.05.2002 at about 4.00 a.m., Randhir
Singh, elder brother of his father Sube Singh (PW-11), came to his house and
disclosed that Dinesh was wrongfully confined by A-1 in his house. This
information was given to Randhir Singh by Jagbir (PW-9), a jeep driver. On
receipt of this information, he alongwith his father (PW-11) and uncle Randhir
Singh went to the house of A-1. The outer door of the house of A-1 was found
bolted from inside. They peeped through the window and noticed that Dinesh was
made to lie facing his face towards the floor of the room. At that time, an
electric bulb was burning inside the room. A-1 inserted "danda" in
the anus of Dinesh in their presence and his hands and both legs were tied by a
piece of rope. Dinesh was crying in pain.
13 They raised cry
and in the process they broke open the door and entered the room. All the
accused ran away carrying "danda" and "rope" with them. As
per his version, in spite of their best efforts, Dinesh could not be survived.
He also stated that about one year prior to the present incident, A-1 got a
false case registered against Dinesh under Section 376 IPC in which his son was
acquitted by the Court and as a result thereof, A-1 was nursing a grudge
against his son. He testified the contents of the repot (Ex.PA) lodged to the
Police, on the basis of which FIR (Ex. PJ) came to be registered by PW-6 at the
Police Station. This witness has corroborated the version of PW-12, the Investigating
Officer, in regard to taking into possession blood stained earth, a pair of
sports shoes belonging to deceased Dinesh and preparation of the parcels
containing the seized articles affixed with seals. He showed his knowledge of
ignorance about the marriage of the daughter of A-1 with Jagbir (DW-3) son of
Om Prakash, resident of village Kohlapur, District Sonipat. A suggestion that
on 29.05.2002 Dinesh had gone to village Kohlapur and there he misbehaved with
Poonam, as a result thereof he was 14 given beatings by the village people,
has been emphatically denied by him. He has identified two pieces of
(Exs.P-18 and P-19),
which were used by A-1 in the commission of the crime. He categorically stated
that there was sufficient electric bulb light inside the room when they saw
accused persons giving beatings to Dinesh. A suggestion of the defence that on
receiving telephonic information from Jagbir (DW-3) son-in-law of A-1, he
alongwith his father PW- 11 and A-1 went to village Kohla in a hired jeep and
brought his injured son in the said jeep and then they threshed Dinesh at bus
stand of village Sundana and as a result whereof Dinesh died on 30.05.2002 at
about 8.00 p.m., has been denied by him.
19.PW-11, the second
eyewitness of the incident, has corroborated the entire testimony of PW-1. He
was cross- examined at length but nothing could be elicited from his statement
which casts any doubt about the truthfulness of his testimony. Jagbir PW-9, the
jeep driver, deposed that on 29.05.2002 at about 8.30 a.m. Ballu (A-2)
alongwith four other persons, who were identified in the Court, came to his 15
house and asked him to take them to village Kohla. They hired his jeep and he
took them to village Kohla. They left him with his jeep on the village street.
On hearing alarm, he rushed to the place where he found son of PW-1 present.
All the five accused persons then asked him to take the son of PW-1 to village
Sundana, but initially he refused to oblige them as he apprehended danger to
the life of the son of PW- 1, but later on from the village Kohla he took the
son of PW-1 alongwith A-1 and six more persons in the jeep and left them except
Sube Singh (A-6) at bus stand of village Sudana. He disclosed this incident to
Randhir Singh Subedar uncle of PW-1 on the same night. This witness in the
cross- examination has stated that village Kohla is at a distance of 15-16 KMs
from Gohana and Gohana is at a distance of about 25-30 KMs from Rohtak, whereas
village Kohla is at a distance of about 60 KMs from village Sundana. He stated
that A-1 and son (Deceased) of PW-1 had met him at the house of the daughter of
A-1 in village Kohla. He admitted that A-1 told him that prior to this incident
Dinesh had teased his daughter and on the day of incident Dinesh had 16 gone to
the house of DW-3, son-in-law of A-1. A suggestion of the defence that Dinesh
was assaulted by the people of village Kohla and as a result thereof, he could
not walk properly has been denied by him. He also denied the suggestion that he
had brought injured Dinesh in his jeep and left him at Sundana Bus Stand. A
further suggestion that PW-1 and PW-11 grandfather of Dinesh, had accompanied
him in the jeep while going to village Sundana, has been denied by him.
(PW-10) deposed that on 30.05.2002 at about 2.30 a.m. while he was sleeping in
his house, Jagbir (PW-9) came there and disclosed that A-1 had confined Dinesh
in his house. He immediately rushed to the house of PW-1, woke him up and
thereafter passed on the said information to PW-1. He stated that on the next
morning, he came to know about the murder of Dinesh in the house of A-1.
21. In the teeth of
the evidence of eyewitnesses PWs 1 and 11, corroborated by the testimony of
PW-9 and PW-10 discussed above, it is established beyond any shadow of doubt
that in fact the occurrence had taken place at the given time in the 17 house
of A-1 where the dead body of Dinesh was found lying by the Police which was
sent to the Doctor for post mortem examination. PW-1 immediately lodged
complaint (Ex. PJ) of the incident to Om Prakash, ASI (PW-14) who met him on
the way leading to the Police Station. The names of all the accused were
specifically mentioned in the said complaint. The accused persons were not
found present in the village when the Investigating Officer visited the place
of occurrence. A-1, A-2, A-3 and A-4 were produced before Rohtas Singh S.I.
(PW-12) by Zile Singh, who is the resident of the same village. Recovery of two
pieces of "danda" (Exs.P- 18 and P-19) and "rope" (Ex.
PQ/3) taken into possession by PW-12 pursuant to the disclosure statement
(Ex.PQ) made by A-1 during the course of interrogation, has been proved which
were used by the appellants in the commission of the offence. The ocular
version of PW-1 and PW-11, the eyewitnesses, has been further corroborated by
Dr. Paramjit, who found as many as 12 injuries on the dead body of Dinesh. Dr.
Paramjit in his post mortem report (Ex.PK) had noticed the following injuries:
18 i. There was
bruise contusion about 6 x 2 cm present in left supra scapular area with
ii. There was
contusion 2 x 1 cm on right shoulder with blurred margins. On dissection, extra
vestation of blood into true skin and subcutaneous tissues with infiltration
iii. There was bruise
2 x 2 cm on right elbow with discoloration of skin with blurred margins;
iv. Multiple bruises
5 x 5 cm present on both hands on dorsal aspect.
Margin blurred with
discoloration of skin present. On dissection, extra vestation of blood into
skin and subcutaneous with infilteration.
v. There was bruise 2
x 1 cm on left lower arm with margins blurred;
vi. Another bruise 1
x 1 cm on the left wrist joint below the above mentioned wound;
vii. A bruise 5 x 1
cm on the left side on interior abdominal wall with margin blurred and
discoloration of skin;
viii. Bruise 3 x 2 cm
on the left thigh with blurred margins;
ix. An lacerated
wound 2 x 1 cm on the left leg with margins blurred and extra vestation blood
into skin discoloration;
19 x. A lacerated
would 5 cm below the above mentioned wound;
xi. Bruise swelling
on ankle joint (right) 2 x 2 cm with discoloration of skin;
20 xii. There was
lacerations present around the anal opening at 3rd, 7th and 10th o clock
position of size 2 cm, 1 cm, 3 cm respectively. Blood was coming out from anus.
Anal opening was distorted and dilated. On dissection, blood was present in
anal canal and rectum with rupture (through and through) of posterior lateral
aspect of rectal wall with perforation of intestinal coils in the right side
alongwith through and through laceration of right kidney with lacerations of
right lob of liver, extending through and through of liver. Large amount of
blood was present in peritoneal cavity. On dissection of skull, large scalpel
haemotoma present with multiple laceration on brain with subdural haemotoma.
Walls, ribs and cartilages externally healthy. On dissection, blood was present
in plural cavity with haemothorax with laceration of right lung present in
lower lobe just above the diapharam right dome of dipharam ruptured in
posterior half. Left lung healthy. In heart both chambers were empty.
Abdominal wall as
described above. Peritorium haemoperitome present.
Mouth pharnix and
esophagus healthy, stomach and its contents was healthy. Small intestines and
large intestines and liver already described.
Spleen was healthy.
Bladder was empty. Organ of generation was healthy.
22. In the opinion of
Dr. Paramjit, the cause of death of Dinesh was shock and haemorrhage due to
multiple injuries to the vital organs which were ante-mortem in nature and
sufficient to cause death in ordinary course of nature.
23. On reappraisal
and scrutiny of the evidence discussed hereinabove, we find no particular
reason as to why the two eyewitnesses PW-1 and PW-11 should falsely depose
against the appellants. It is difficult to believe that the relatives of
deceased Dinesh would spare his real assailants and falsely involve other
persons responsible for committing the offence.
It is well settled
that if the witness is related to the deceased, his evidence has to be accepted
if found to be reliable and believable because he would inter alia be
interested in ensuring that real culprits are punished. The trial court as well
as the High Court have rightly held that there was a motive for the accused to
commit murder of Dinesh because as per the prosecution evidence, A-1 was nursing
a grudge against the deceased because he allegedly sexually assaulted his
daughter, for which offence Dinesh was acquitted by the trial court on
18.03.2002 whereas the prosecutrix was later on married to DW-3 on 26.05.2002.
Dinesh was murdered on the intervening night of 29/30.05.2002 in the house of
A-1 in village Sundana. The evidence of PWs 1 and 11 has been found to be
satisfactory, reliable, consistent and creditable by the trial court as well as
by the High Court. Both the witnesses have been cross-examined at length by the
defence, but nothing tangible has been extracted from their evidence to create
any shadow of doubt that they are not truthful witnesses. They have given
reliable and consistent version of the crime and their evidence inspires confidence.
On our examination of
the judgment given by the trial court and confirmed by the High Court, we find
that both the Courts have properly and rightly appreciated and re- appreciated
the entire evidence on record and there is no infirmity or perversity in the
findings recorded by the Courts below to interfere with the well-reasoned
24. The ratio of the
judgment in Prem Singh v. State of Punjab [AIR 1977 SC 673] relied upon by the
learned counsel is of no help to the appellants in the facts and circumstances
of 23 the present case. In that case, the evidence of two eyewitnesses who
were brother of the deceased with regard to participation of four other accused
was found unreliable and in the peculiar facts and circumstances of that case, the
conviction of those accused was held illegal by the Supreme Court. In the
present case, no reliable and clinching evidence was found by the trial court
and by the High Court against A- 5, A-6 and A-7 who also participated in the
commission of the offence, therefore, they were rightly acquitted by the
Courts. Therefore, the contention that the appellants shall be held entitled to
the benefit of doubt in the same manner as A-5, A-6 and A-7 have been acquitted
cannot be accepted.
The occurrence as
spoken by the eyewitnesses is fully established, therefore, all the appellants
will be constructively liable under Section 302 read with Section 34 IPC for
the commission of the crime, though the fatal injury was inflicted by A-1, only
as the other appellants participated in giving beatings to the deceased which
caused injuries on other part of his body.
24 25.No other point
has been raised by the appellants. We thus, find no merit and substance in any
of the submission made on behalf of the appellants.
26.In the result, for
the afore-stated reasons, there is no merit in these appeals and these are,
(Lokeshwar Singh Panta)
(B. Sudershan Reddy)
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