PREM THAKUR Vs. STATE OF PUNJAB
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: PUNJAB & HARYANA)
STATE OF PUNJAB
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Chandrachud, C. J. -
(1.) The appellant, Prem Thakur, was convicted by the learned Sessions Judge, Rupnagar, under Sections 302 and 201 of the Indian Penal Code and was sentenced to death for the former offence. The conviction and sentence having been upheld by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, the appellant has filed this appeal by special leave.
(2.) The charge against the appellant is that he committed the murder of five co-labourers on the night between the 8th and 9th Nov., 1980 in the village of Rolu Majra. The case of the prosecution is that the appellant came to India from Nepal in search of work along with his companion workers and a few others. They worked with one Mohinder Singh for about 14 days for which they were paid a sum of Rs. 2,900/-. The appellant and his co-workers spent a sum of Rs. 800/- therefrom and the balance of Rs. 2,100/- was kept with Rama Nand who was one of the five co-workers of the appellant. The appellant and his companions thereafter went to the village of Rolu Majra where they worked in the field of Ujjagar Singh. On the evening of the day following Diwali, Ujjagar Singh saw the accused cooking meals for himself and his five companions. When Ujjagar Singh went to the field next morning at 8.00 a. m., he noticed that smoke was coming out of the pit of his tubewell. When he peeped into the well he saw five dead bodies smouldring. Ujjagar Singh lodged information of the offence with A. S. I. Jarnail Singh. The post-mortem examination on the five dead bodies revealed several ante-mortem injuries, most of which were in the nature of lacerated wounds.
(3.) Since Ujjagar Singh had seen the appellant in the company of five deceased persons and the appellant was not to be seen anywhere, the suspicion of the police naturally fell upon him. The case of the prosecution is that on Dec. 1, 1980, the appellant was arrested while he was working near the tubewell of Sohan Singh.;
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