HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
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(1.) RANJIT Singh, aged 26, and Smt. Kalawati, aged 30, were committed to Sessions to take their trial for the murder of the latter's husband Kunwar Bikram Singh. The committal of Ranjit Singh was under Section 302 and that of Kalawati for the abetment of the offence under the said section read with Section 114, Penal Code.
(2.) THE learned Sessions Judge of Mahasu tried them for the said offences, and while he found Ranjit Singh guilty under Section 302, Penal Code and sentenced him to death, he acquitted Kalawati of the offence charged but found her guilty under Section 201, Penal Code, and sentenced her to rigorous imprisonment for five years.
Ranjit Singh and Kalawati have appealed against their convictions, the State Government has appealed against the acquittal of Kalawati of the charge under Section 302, read with Section 114, Penal Code, and the Sessions Judge has submitted the proceedings for confirmation of the sentence of death passed on Ranjit Singh.
3a. The deceased was a zamindar with his headquarters at Manimajra in Ambala district and summer resort at Bishanpura, a place close to Kuthar within police station Solan. He was a cousin of the Rana of Kuthar and was married in 1938 to Kalawati, a daughter by a khwas of the late Raja of Nalagarh. They had four children of whom three are alive. Ranjit Singh, a resident of Basdora in the district of Hoshiarpur, is also related to the deceased as a distant cousin.
(3.) THE prosecution case is that Bikram Singh was a man of bad temper given to wine and women. He ill treated Kalawati and the relations between them had for a number of years been strained. Ranjit Singh began to visit them about two or three years before the incident, and there grew up an illicit intimacy between him and Kalawati. The matters came to a head about ten days before the occurrence at Bishanpura when on a mere trifle Bikram Singh publicly slapped Kalawati. Ranjit Singh happened then to be at Bishanpura. Unable to bear the ill treatment any longer, Kalawati and Ranjit Singh entered into a conspiracy to murder Bikram Singh. They would thus not only be rid of Kalawati's tormentor but left free to follow unhampered the primrose path of their liaison. The plot hatched was that Ranjit Singh would leave Bishanpura but return one night a few days later and kill Bikram Singh, and after the act had been done, and Ranjit Singh escaped Kalawati would raise an alarm that dacoits had stolen her ornaments and murdered her husband. Kalawati handed over her ornaments to Banjit Singh, but they were to be returned to her afterwards. Banjit Singh left Bishanpura on 8 7 1951; but returned a week later in pursuance of the conspiracy and killed Bikram Singh with a sword at about three on the night between 13th and 16th July 1951.;
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