Decided on September 26,1950

STATE Respondents


- (1.) These are two appeals by Sucha Singh and Bharat Singh who have been convicted together under section 302 read with section 34, Indian Penal Code, by the Sessions Judge, Ambala, Sucha Singh being sentenced to death and Bharat Singh to transportation for life. The case of Sucha Singh is also before us for confirmation of the death sentence.
(2.) This case has arisen out of the alleged murder of one boy by two other boys the victim Kuldip Singh being aged 17 while Sucha Singh is aged 18 and Bharat Singh about 16. All of them were residents of Morinda where Kuldip Singh was living with his father Jodh Singh P.W. 12, who had come to Morinda after the partition from Kalar-Saidan in Rawalpindi district. Jodh Singh and Kuldip Singh were running separate shops though not in the same street. The way in which the events unfolded was as follows. On the evening of the 22nd of February, 1950, Jodh Singh closed his shop and went home to have his evening meal but Kuldip SIngh did not come home that evening as usual. Jodh Singh and his brother-in-law Bishan Singh P.W. 14 accordingly went to Kuldip Singh's shop to make enquiries. They found the shop closed and were told by Rup Chand P.W.6. who keeps a restaurant next to the shop of Kuldips Singh, that early in the evening at about 5 p.m. according to Rup Chand's statement at the trial, Kuldip Singh had gone away from his shop in the company of the two accused and had gone away along the road leading towards Kainaur. Later in the evening, Jodh Singh went to the houses of Sucha Singh and Bharat Singh but did not find either of them present, and he went again later still and was told by Sucha Singh that Kuldip Singh had gone away to Ambala, this being after the evening train from Rupar to Ambala had passed through Morinda. Jodh Singh also saw Bharat Singh some time later and Bharat Singh told him that his son had come back to Morinda. No trace of the boy could be found that dasy and on the following morning Jodh Singh and Bishan Singh consulted the former's cousin Nand Singh P.W. 13. All of them went to Kuldip Singh's shop which was opened with a key which was found to fit the lock. On checking the account-book it was found that although the cash balance should have been Rs. 58/4/16, only the old four annas and six pies were lying in the till. Jodh Singh therefore though that Kuldip Singh must have gone away with the fifty-eight rupees and so he went to Delhi on the 23rd of February, reaching there on the morning of the 24th. He made enquiries in various places there but could find no trace of his son, and he accordingly returned to Morinda on the morning of the 25th of February. In the meantime of 24th February the body of Kuldip Singh was discovered lying in the corner of an orchard by Natha Singh P.W.9, a Lambardar and a former Zaildar of morinda. Natha Singh went and reported the discovery of the body at the police at 1.30 p.m. A bunch of keys was found lying near the body round the neck of which there was cloth tied very tight. No money was found on the person of the deceased and a gold ring which he used to wear was also missing.
(3.) Sub-Inspector Gurdial Singh investigated the case. It is alleged that on the morning of the 25th of February Bharat Singh accused went to Natha Singh P.W. and told him that the and Sucha Singh had murdered Kuldip Singh and requested the witness to produce him before the Sub-Inspector which Natha Singh did. A five-rupee note was recovered from Bharat Singh at the time of this arrest and the same after-noon at about 3.20 p.m. Bharat Singh was produced at the Rest House at Morinda before Mr. V.P. Malhotra, 1st Class Magistrate, who was present there on tour, and his confessional statement ws recorded. It is alleged that on the 26th February Sucha Singh accused went to the shop of Isher Singh P.W.10 at Morinda, Isher Singh also being a Lambardar of another village and a member of the district Board. According to Isher Singh, Sucha Singh told him that he and Bharat Singh had murdered Kuldip Singh, and at his request Isher Singh produced him before the Sub-Inspector. Evidence has been led to the effect that after his production before the police Sucha Singh produced the ring of Kuldip Singh from the place of concealment in a wall at his house, and he also took the police and other witnesses to a place where two receipts Exts. P.15 and 16, apparently the property of Kuldip Singh, were found among some bushes.;

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