Decided on August 11,2017

Sohail Abdul Rashid Shaikh Appellant


SADHANA S.JADHAV,J. - (1.) The Appellants herein are convicted for the offence punishable under Section 302 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code and sentenced to suffer imprisonment for life and to pay fine of Rs. 1000/-each in default R.I. for one month. They are also convicted for offence punishable under section 201 read with 34 of the Indian Penal Code and sentenced to suffer R.I. for 2 years and fine of Rs. 500/- I.d. R.I. for 15 days. The Accused No. 1 i.e. Appellant in Criminal Appeal No. 859 of 2006 is further convicted for offence punishable under section 392 of the Indian Penal Code and sentenced to suffer R.I. for four years and to pay fine of Rs.1000/- in default to suffer further R.I. for one month, by the Additional Sessions Judge, Greater Bombay vide Judgment and Order dated 27/8/2003 and 28/8/2003.
(2.) Such of the facts necessary for the decision of this Appeal are as follows : (i) One Madan Phatak, resident of Dadar used to visit Hotel "Three Flight Up" at Colaba regularly and used to spend time playing pool game at the said hotel. On 14/4/2000 Madan had left the house and had been to hotel "Three Flights Up" for having dinner with his friends. He did not return home. His relatives and friends made enquiries at all possible places and finally approached Colaba Police Station and lodged a missing report with the police. The said missing report was registered bearing No. 13/2000. The description of the clothes worn by Madan Phatak while leaving the house was mentioned in the missing report. (ii) On 16/4/2000 the investigating agency visited the Hotel "Three Flights Up" and the surrounding area. In the course of enquiry, it was revealed that Madan Phatak had left the hotel with his friends Sohail and 3 associates in green Maruti Zen car. The police recorded statements of staff and the Assistant Manager of the said hotel and also two taxi drivers. (iii) On 18/4/2000, the police had received a secret information about the whereabouts of Sohail. The police visited the residence of Sohail and called him in the police station for the purpose of enquiry. In the course of enquiry after hearing his evasive answers, the police suspected his complicity and he was arrested. (iv) The police had then called upon two panchas. In the presence of the panchas, Sohail had disclosed that he would show place where he had thrown dead body of Madan Phatak with the help of his associates. The memorandum was recorded and then Sohail had led the police Station to Tiger Hill point at Lonavala. (v) Police had called one Dinesh Rane, who happens to be the good friend of Madan Phatak. Sohail had led the police to a valley from where he had thrown the dead body of Madan Phatak. The police had searched the area and had noticed a dead body lying under the valley, which was 20 to 25 ft. from the hill point. (vi) Dinesh Rane had identified the dead body of Madan Phatak. The police had verified and found that the clothes on the person of the dead body, matched with the description of the clothes in the missing complaint. (vii) Sohail had also disclosed the names of his associates as Shakir Latif, Ali Mohmed i.e. Accused No. 3 and Accuse No. 4 Ismail. The Police had then registered Crime No. 113 of 2000 against the accused under section 365, 302, 328, 392, 201 read with section 34, 120B of the Indian Penal Code. (viii) The investigation was set in motion. Accused Shakir was arrested on 18/4/2000 from Agripada. (ix) It was revealed that Accused Nos. 3 and 4 were found to be juvenile in conflict with law and therefore, on 20th April, 2002 case of the Accused No.3 was transferred to Juvenile Justice Board and on 21/7/2002 case of Accused No. 4 was transferred to Juvenile Justice Board. (x) After completion of investigation, on 15/7/2000 the charge-sheet was filed against the four Accused. The case was committed to the Court of Sessions and registered as Sessions Case No. 710 of 2000. (xi) The prosecution examined as many as 20 witnesses to bring home the guilt of the Accused.
(3.) This is a case which rests on circumstantial evidence and therefore, it would be necessary to discuss the substantive evidence of every witness in order to ascertain as to whether the chain of circumstances is so complete as to eliminate doubt of the complicity of one or all Accused.;

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