Decided on May 17,2007

STATE OF DELHI Respondents


Aruna Suresh, J. - (1.) By this common judgment we shall dispose of Criminal Appeal No.337/2002, "Mahadev Prasad Pant Vs. State of Delhi" and Criminal Appeal No.338/2002, "Sudershan Dutta Vs. State of Delhi" arising out of the judgment dated 22nd February, 2002 of the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Delhi whereby both the appellants were held guilty for committing murder of Shri K.M.S. Butalia and Smt. Geeta Butalia and were sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life and to pay a fine of Rs.3,000/- each and in default of fine to undergo Simple Imprisonment for three months each under section 302 of Indian Penal Code (hereinafter referred as IPC) and were also sentenced to undergo Rigorous Imprisonment for seven years each and to pay a fine of Rs.3,000/- each and in default of fine to undergo Simple Imprisonment for three months each under Section 392 of IPC read with section 397 IPC for robbing the deceased persons of their valuables including jewelery, utensils, electrical items. etc.
(2.) The factual matrix in this case is that on 1st February, 1995 at about 7.00 / 8.00 P.M. on receipt of information at Police Station Defence Colony that lock of House No.D-5, Defence Colony, Delhi was broken, SHO Malook Singh alongwith Inspector Sajjan Singh and other police officials reached the spot and found the lock of the house broken. Inside the house they found dead bodies of Mrs. and Mr. Butalia lying in two different bed rooms and the house was found ransacked. Complainant Hemalini Gupta, niece of deceased Geeta Butalia made the complaint.
(3.) In her complaint she disclosed that she had been trying to contact Butalias for two days but could not succeed as nobody answered the door bell when she visited the house on 31st January, 1995 and no one answered the phone calls on 1st February, 1995. On that day she had seen one of the cars of Butalias parked in the porch and the door locked. On 1st February, 1995 when she visited the house in the evening at about 6.30 P.M. she found both the cars missing and door-lock broken. First Information Report (hereinafter referred as 'FIR') No.61/1995 under Section 460 IPC Ex.PW24/A was registered. On 8th February, 1995 Butalias domestic servant (Appellant Mahadev Prasad Pant) was apprehended at Raipur Naka, District Bhilai, Madhya Pradesh under suspicious circumstances carrying a suitcase and handbag Ex.P-53 and Ex.P-54 by Inspector D.S. Rathore, SHO Bhilai Nagar. Police team from Delhi headed by Inspector Malook Singh went to Bhilai on 9th February, 1995 and arrested Appellant Mahadev Prasad Pant. Appellant Sudershan Dutta and co-accused Devender Singh (given benefit of doubt - acquitted) were arrested on 15th February, 1995. The stolen articles were recovered on the basis of two disclosure statements of appellant Mahadev Prasad Pant and disclosure statement of appellant Sudershan Dutta from 448, Subhashpuri, Kankar Kheda, Meerut owned by appellant Sudershan Dutta on 12th February, 1995. Number of other stolen articles including khukris etc. were recovered from House No.789, Sector 37, Faridabad and from there appellant Sudershan Dutta and co-accused Devender were apprehended by the police. Recoveries of stolen articles were also made from the first floor of house No.A- 1/155, Lajpat Nagar, Delhi owned by appellant Sudershan Dutta.;

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