2015 ALL SCR 620
SUPREME COURT

B.S. CHAUHAN AND A.K. SIKRI, JJ.

Ranbir Singh Vs. State of Haryana

Criminal Appeal No.285 of 2013

22nd May, 2014

Petitioner Counsel: Mr. MANOJ V. GEORGE, Mr. MOHD. IRSHAD HANIF, Mr. AAKARSH KAMRA, Mr. SIJU THOMAS
Respondent Counsel: Mr. MANJIT SINGH, AAG, Ms. VIVEKTA SINGH, Ms. NUPUR CHOUDHARY, Mr. KAMAL MOHAN GUPTA

Penal Code (1860), Ss.300, 34 - Murder - Appeal against conviction - Prosecution case that all of accused persons gave blows with 'Dav' on person of deceased who died on spot - Motive proved as deceased had assisted police earlier in a criminal case against accused - Delay in lodging FIR explained since police station was at a distance of 8 Kms from place of occurrence - Medical evidence fully corroborated by ocular evidence - It was natural for witnesses who were unarmed not to intervene - Concurrent findings of guilt of accused persons - Cannot be interfered with. (Paras 10, 11)

JUDGMENT

JUDGMENT :- This appeal has been preferred against the judgment and order dated 13.7.2011 passed by the High Court of Punjab & Haryana at Chandigarh in Criminal Appeal No.701-DB of 2002 by which it has affirmed the judgment and order dated 8.8.2002 and 14.8.2002 passed by the learned ADJ, Sonepat in Session Trial No.162 of 2001 by which and whereunder the appellant along with two others stood convicted for the offences punishable under Section 302 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code(hereinafter referred to as "IPC") and awarded the sentence for life imprisonment and to pay a fine of Rs.2000/- each with default clause.

2. The facts and circumstances giving rise to this case are:

A. That on 5.7.2000, an FIR was lodged in the Police Station Ganaur District, Sonepat with regad to murder of one Mahabir @ Tunda wherein the appellant was named along with two other persons namely Virender @ Kala and Ram Singh s/o Ran Diya.

B. That at 6.30 a.m. when Mahabir (deceased) reached near the field of Mathi r/o Pipli Khera and from the side of Bari, the said three accused came on a scooter and stopped near the cycle of the Mahabir (deceased) and all of them had given him blows with 'Dav'. He suffered injuries and died on the spot. The said FIR was lodged at 11.30 a.m. On the basis of the same, the investigation started. The statement of witnesses were recorded under Section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (hereinafter referred to as 'CrPC") and after completing the investigation, a charge-sheet was filed against all the three accused under Sections 302/34 IPC. In the trial, large number of witnesses were examined by the prosecution and on conclusion of the trial, all the three accused were convicted and sentenced as referred to hereinabove.

C. It may be pertinent to mention here that during the pendency of the appeal, the other two convicts died and only the appellant survives and thus, the appellant filed the present appeal.

3. We have heard Mr. Manoj V. George, learned counsel for the appellant and Mr. Manjit Singh, learned AAG for State of Haryana and perused the record.

4. The large number of questions have been raised on behalf of the appellant. However, the said questions remained the same which have been agitated before the Court's below and answered by the Courts. In fact, the main question agitated before us by Mr. George had been that in the instant case, the prosecution examined the related witnesses and not an independent witness had been examined. The Courts below have considered this issue and rejected on the ground that the defence put this specific question to the Inspector Jagdish Parsad PW 10 wherein, on being asked, he replied as under:-

"The Sarpanch and other respective persons of the village were asked to join the investigation but they express their inability."

5. In such a fact situation wherein there had been a rivalry between the two factions of the village, none of the independent person considered it proper to involve himself in the investigation.

6. The Courts below have recorded the finding that there were large number of injuries found on the person of the deceased and the main injury had been on the scalp which was the cause of death. The post-mortem report was proved by Dr. A.S. Ahlawat PW 4. He was cross-examined. However, he supported the case of the prosecution and the medical evidence gets fully corroborated by the ocular evidence.

7. One of the argument had advanced on behalf of the appellant that the conduct of all the witnesses, particularly PW 6 Prithi Singh and PW 7 Ram Singh had been very unnatural, as being the father and brother of the deceased they remained silent spectators at a short distance and did not make any attempt to save the deceased and further they did not make any attempt to take the deceased to the hospital.

8. In the manner in which the injuries had been caused to the deceased and PW 6 Prithi Singh and PW 7 Ram Singh had been at a same distance and the three accused persons were armed with 'Dav' each, it was natural for them not to make any attempt to save the deceased otherwise they could have also been killed. More so, nothing had come on record as what was the distance of the hospital from the place of occurrence and more so, there could be no purpose to take the person to the hospital when he had died spontaneously. There was a motive for the accused persons to commit the offence as the deceased had assisted the police earlier in a criminal case against the appellant's side. It has come in the evidence of Prithi Singh. The FSL report was also positive to certain extent as one of the 'Dav' recovered on the basis of the disclosure statement made by one of the accused contained the blood stains while the other two did not have, though the same had been recovered on the basis of the disclosure statement on the accused persons the same had been buried under the ground.

9. The appellant or other accused did not take any defence in their statement under Section 313 CrPC. The appellant had taken the following defence:-

Q.21 Have you to say anything else?

Ans. I am innocent. Mahabir deceased was a vagabond and smuggler and deals in Narcotics drugs and illicit liquor. He was murdered by somebody in the night whereas his family member were informed by the summer of the filed in which his dead body was lying. Then they went to the spot and concocted a false story against me and Virender and Ram Singh. We have been involved in this case falsely.

Q.22 Will you produce defence?

Ans. Yes

10. Though the appellant did not examine any witness in his defence. So far as the delay in recording the FIR is concerned, the issue has been examined by both the Courts and explained fully that the Police Station was at a distance of 8 kms from the place of occurrence. The statement of the complainant was recorded by the Investigating Officer at Ganaur Chowk at 11.30 a.m. on the G.T. Road and then it was sent to the Police Station for registration of the formal FIR. In view thereof, there could not be any delay. Prithi Singh PW 6 and Ram Singh PW 7 have deposed on all aspects of the incident. They had been present at the time of the occurrence. They have deposed that they could not reach to save the person as the accused had been there been to kill them. All the accused were armed with 'Dav' while the witnesses were unarmed and, therefore, it was natural that they had a genuine cause not to intervene.

11. The Courts below have examined the case with all possible angles and we do not see any cogent reason to interfere with the concurrent findings of fact. The appeal lacks merit and is accordingly dismissed.

Appeal dismissed.