ELANGBAM DHARMA SINGH Vs. STATE OF MANIPUR
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
Elangbam Dharma Singh
STATE OF MANIPUR
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LAKSHMI NARAIN, J. -
(1.) THE five convicts mentioned above have filed this appeal from Jail against their conviction and sentences in case No. 20 of 1951 passed by the District Magistrate, Manipur, on 15.9.51.
(2.) BRIEFLY the facts of the case as alleged by the prosecution are as follows: Shri Kamini Bidhu Singh, D.S.P. who was posted at Awangjiri camp received information that L. Ram Singh and A. Mera Singh who had been Involved in the murder case of Kangamong Basti, 'vide' case No. 54 of 1951 under Section 302 I.P.C. were taking shelter at Chiri Haokhul, proceeded there with a platoon of Manipur Rifles in the early hours of 5.4.51. He. reached there at about 6 A.M., after climbing some hill portions towards the place where the above persons were thought to be. When they had surrounded the place from three sides, the wanted persons on the sight of the Police approaching, spread fire from the hut on the hill. The fire was returned and so the exchange of fire continued for about 10/11 minutes. Out of the shelter house some 8 persons came out and tried to get away, the five accused appellants out of them were arrested and the remaining three escaped. Ram Singh, accused, was found in possession of a Japanese Rifle Ex. P -1 loaded with 3 rounds Ex. P -2. One British Rifle Ex. P -3 loaded with 5 rounds Ex, P -4 was in the possession of accused Khomei Singh. A bag containing 13 tin cartridges Ex. P -5 was also recovered lying by the side of Khomei Singh. From inside, the hut in which the accused were taking shelter were recovered clothings Ex. P -6, some utensils Ex. P -7 and one half of a pair of binoculars Ex. P -8, 2 Daos Ex. P -9, and some other miscellaneous articles. It was known from Nodia Singh on the spot that one of three persons who escaped was M. Nilamani Singh of Kangamong Basti. The party along with the arrested accused and property recovered came back to the camp at about 1 P.M., and then to Imphal and made the usual report on which the case was registered. It is also stated that the hut where the accused were taking shelter was not a dwelling house but a temporary harvest hut. On 7.4.51, Dharma Singh accused gave his confessional statement, Ex. PB, which was recorded by P.W. 2, Shri Setu Singh. M.I.C.
All of them were charged for offences committed by them under Sections 148 and 307/149 I.P.C. Apart from this, accused Khomei Singh and Lukram Ram Singh were also separately charged for an offence punishable under Section 19(F) of the Arms Act, They denied the charge and pleaded not guilty. None of them has produced any defence. Relying on the prosecution evidence the learned District Magistrate has convicted and sentenced Khomei Singh and L. Ram Singh accused for 7 years R.I. under Section 307, I.P.C., and 3 years R.I. under Section 148, I.P.C. each, the two sentences to run concurrently; both of the above accused are also convicted under Section 19(F) of the Arms Act and sentenced to 3 years R.I. to run after the expiry of the above sentences. Thus both of the above accused are to undergo 10 years R.I. in all. Khomei Singh accused was convicted and sentenced to 5 years R.I. under Section 307 I.P.C. and 3 years under Section 148 I.P.C. The two sentences to run concurrently. Dharma Singh and Nodia Sineh raised are sentenced to 3 years R.I. under Section 307 I.P.C. and three years under Section 148 I.P.C. the two sentences to run concurrently.
(3.) ON scrutiny of the prosecution evidence, it is found that the rive accused appellants were* in the hut on the hill along with three others, two of them Ram Singh and Khomei Singh armed with loaded rifles. The fire was opened by them on the Police party on their approach, which was returned. This continued for about 10/15 minutes. They then tried to get away from their presence. A little later 5 of them who are the accused in this case were captured from the jungle on pursuit, the other three escaped. Out of these five Ram Singh and Khomei Singh had loaded rifles with them. This is proved by the testimony of Shri Kamini Bidhu Singh, D.S.P. who is P.W. 1, Shri Yaima Singh A.S.I., P.W. 7, Shri Lal Bahadur, L/NK. Manipur Rifle, P.W. 6. There is absolutely nothing to disbelieve their evidence which is straight forward. I quite agree with the learned District Magistrate that the slight discrepancies between the statements of some of the prosecution witnesses regarding as to who was arrested first or after is quite immaterial. It is as a matter of fact natural under the circumstances that such discrepancies may occur.;
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