STATE OF MAHARASHTRA Vs. SANKOSH
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
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S.S.SHINDE, J. -
(1.) This Appeal is preferred by the State challenging the Judgment and order dated 27th July, 2000, passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Latur in Sessions Case No.151 of 1997, thereby acquitting original accused No. 2/Respondent - Sankosh s/o Tukaram Bhalerao from the offence punishable under Section 324 of the Indian Penal Code (in short "I.P. Code").
(2.) The prosecution case, in nutshell, is as under :
(A) It is alleged by the prosecution that on 15th April, 1997 at about 7.00 p.m. the original accused Nos.1 to 12 have formed an unlawful assembly in front of Samaj Mandir i.e. community hall at village Malkapur, TqUdgir. The common object of such assembly was to assault PW4 Shrihari and to cause his death. The accused were armed with deadly weapons, viz. knives, and thereby the accused have committed an offence of rioting with dangerous weapon punishable under Section 147 and 148 of the I.P. Code.
(B) It is further alleged by the prosecution that accused Nos.1 and 2 being members of such an unlawful assembly, and in prosecution of their common object to assault and cause death of the informant Shrihari (PW4), accused Nos.1 and 2 have given knife blows at the back and head of the informant Shrihari (PW4), and thereby attempted to commit his murder, and as such accused Nos.1 to 12 are vicariously liable for punishment under Section 307 read with Section 149 of the I.P. Code, and in alternate individually for the offence of murderous attack punishable under Section 307 of the I.P. Code.
(C) It is the case of the prosecution that the proclamation was issued under Section 37(1)(3) of the Bombay Police Act by the District Magistrate, Latur prohibiting formation of any assembly. Accused however have formed an unlawful assembly with deadly weapons, in contravention of the proclamation, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 135 of the Bombay Police Act.
(D) It is the case of the prosecution that all the accused i.e. accused Nos.1 to 12 are resident of village Malkapur, Tqudgir. The victim PW4 Shrihari is also resident of the same village Malkapur. He is employee of one poultry farm of one Shivaji.
(E) It is the case of the prosecution that one Sopan Souda Bhalerao has gifted his plot admeasuring 20 X 25 foot for the construction of community hall at village Malkapur. Panchayat Samiti, Udgir has constructed community hall upon said disputed plot, allegedly gifted by Sopan Bhalerao, in the year 1987. The accused are claiming that the said plot is owned by them. Often quarrel used to take place on account of ownership of the plot in between accused one side, the owner Sopan Bhalerao and the prosecution witness PW4 Shrihari, PW3 Shrawan Bhalerao etc. on another side. The suits and appeals are pending in the Court for adjudication of title of the plot. The villagers used to celebrate birth anniversary of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar in the said community hall constructed by Panchayat Samiti upon the disputed plot.
(F) On 14th April, 1997 birth anniversary of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar was celebrated in the community hall. Injured PW4 Shrihari attended the anniversary function in the community hall. PW5 Sakhubai is sister of PW4 Shrihari. It is alleged that on 15th April, 1997, accused Nos.1 and 2 abused PW5 Sakhubai, as her brother informant PW4 Shrihari attended the anniversary function at the disputed community hall premises. PW5 Sakhubai informed the said incident of abusing her to PW4 Shrihari on his return from duty, in the evening. PW4 Shrihari asked accused Nos.1 and 2, as to why they had abused his sister PW5 Sakhubai. Some altercation took place between them. Accused Nos.1 and 2 called accused Nos.3 to 12 who were sitting nearby the community hall. In response to such call, it is alleged that accused Nos.3 to 12 assembled, armed with deadly weapons in front of the community hall. Accused Nos.3 to 12 started pelting stones and abused PW4 Shrihari and instigated accused Nos.1 and 2 to assault him. Accused No.1 taken out a knife and gave knife blow to backside ribs of Shrihari causing him bleeding injury. Accused No.2 gave knife blow to the head of PW4 Shrihari causing him bone deep injury. On hearing noise of commotion, the neighbouring eye witnesses, i.e. PW2 Sunanda Kamble, PW3 Shrawan Bhalerao, PW6 Ram Bhalerao, PW5 Sakhubai and PW8 Manohar arrived to the spot and they have witnessed the incident. PW5 Sakhubai tried to snatch knife from the hand of accused No.1 and thereby sustained bleeding injuries to her palm. PW4 Shrihari was taken to the police station. Police referred him to the hospital and thereafter he lodged complaint to the police station, Udgir and the offence bearing Crime No.53 of 1997 was registered.
(G) Investigating Officer Mr. Mundhe, police head constable carried out the investigation, drew panchnama of scene of offence, the blood stained clothes of injured PW4 Shrihari were seized. Accused were arrested. At the instance of accused, the weapons were seized under panchnama. The case was committed to the Court of Sessions at Latur. The trial Court framed the charge against accused Nos.1 to 12. The accused persons pleaded not guilty and claimed to be tried.
(3.) After recording the evidence and conducting full fledged trial, the trial Court convicted accused No.1 for the offence punishable under Section 324 of the I.P. Code and sentenced him to suffer rigorous imprisonment for three months and to pay fine. The trial Court acquitted rest of the accused i.e. accused Nos.2 to 12 from the offences with which they were charged. Hence this Appeal by the State against acquittal of original accused No.2 from the offence punishable under Section 324 of the I.P. Code.;
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