RAJAGOPAL Vs. SADAYA GOUNDER
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
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(1.) There is no substance in this appeal which has been preferred at the instance of the private complainant who happens to be the brother of the deceased against the acquittal recorded in favour of original accused 1 Sadaya Gounder.
(2.) The alleged incident during the course of which Annamalai, the deceased, received injuries as a result of which he died, is said to have taken place on 25/03/1973, and prosecution case is that the accused persons numbering five participated in the incident and actual assault on the deceased. The trial court accepted the prosecution evidence and convicted all the accused and sentenced accused 1 (respondent 1 before us) to death and others to life imprisonment. In the appeal which was preferred to the High court and the confirmation case, the High court came to the conclusion that the prosecution failed to establish its case beyond any reasonable doubt and, therefore, acquitted all the accused persons. At the instance of the com- plainant as stated above, special leave was granted to the complainant only in respect of accused 1 Sadaya Gounder (respondent 1 before us).
(3.) After going through the two judgments and particularly the judgment of the High court, we do not-think that any fault could be found with the High court judgment in recording acquittal of accused-respondent 1 The prosecution particularly relied upon PWs 1 to 8 for the purposes of establishing the complicity of respondent 1 in crime. Out of PWs 4 to 8, for reasons which have been indicated by the High court, some were held to be chance witnesses while the evidence of others was not found to be credible. As regards the evidence of PWs 1, 2 and 3 they were obviouslyinterested witnesses being close relations of the deceased. Evidence of Public Witness 1 Rajagopal which has been particularly pressed into service for acceptance before us by counsel for the appellant has been found not to be reliable by the High court for more than one reason. In the first instance the High court has pointed out that there was considerable delay in lodging the FIR Ex. P-1 and that delay has not been satisfactorily explained. The obvious suggestion is that Ex. P-1 was written as a result of deliberation. That apart, Public Witness 1 did depose at the trial that it was accused 2 and 3 who had held the deceased and thereafter accused 1 gave a blow with weapon MO 3 on the neck of the deceased. He did not mention these details either in Ex. P-1 or in the statement recorded under S. 164, Criminal Procedure Code. It is true that the broad part attributed to respondent 1 finds a place in both the statements but that he assaulted the deceased after accused 2 and 3 had control of him is not to be found in either. The parts attributed to each of the three accused become a part of a single transaction and therefore, the High court may not impress by the evidence of Public Witness 5 because of the material omission in his earlier statement. The High court has, therefore, on an appreciation of the entire material thought fit not to accept the evidence of these interested witnesses PWs 1, 2 and 3 and particularly Public Witness 1, brother of the deceased. We do not think that sufficient ground has been made out for us to interfere with the decision of the High court. The appeal is, therefore, dismissed.;
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