Decided on April 21,1997

Gangi Devi Appellant
STATE OF H.P. Respondents


KAMLESH SHARMA,J. - (1.)In this petition, the petitioner Smt Gangi Devi, wife of late Damodar Dass, resident of village Rangar, Post Office Seoh, Tehsil Sarkaghat, District Mandi, has prayed that Central Bureau of Investigation may be directed to investigate the matter of alleged murder of her husband late Damodar Dass. The allegations made in the writ petition are that late Damodar Dass was working as Multipurpose Health Worker in the Primary Health Centre, at village Rangar, Tehsil Sarkaghat, District Mandi He was deputed for temporary duty at Primary Health Centre Seoh with effect from 22nd August, 1994 on which date he had gone to attend his duties at Primary Health Centre, Seoh but did not return to his village Rangar in the evening. As per the information received by the petitioner he was, seen in village Praun in the evening of 22nd August, 1994 and on the search made his clothes and shoes were found in Solang Nallah flowing between village Praun and village Rangar but his dead body was not found.
(2.)The complaint of the petitioner is that the local police has not conducted proper investigation and has wrongly closed the case on the ground that late Damodar Dass was swept away in Solang Nallah, Ft is also stressed by the petitioner that in the absence of any part history of any man or animal having been flown away in Solang Nallah the possibility of late Damodar Dass being swept away, as per the version of the police, is non -existent as in that case his clothes and shoes would not have been there in Solang Nallah The petitioner is of the confirmed view that her husband late Damodar Dass has been murdered by some anti -social elements and the local police is trying to shield them with some ulterior motives. The petitioner has also placed newspaper reports in respect of alleged murder of late Damodar Dass on record as Annexures P -1 to P -4 According to the petitioner, since the representation -by her as well as one of the brothers of late Damodar Dass, namely; Des Raj, made to the authorities brought no result and no headway was made in the investigation by the local police, she is compelled to approach this Court by fifing the present writ petition.
(3.)The respondents in their reply filed on the affidavit of Shri Pardeep Kumar, Superintendent of Police, C.I.D. (Crime Branch), Himachal Pradesh, have denied the allegations made in the writ petition It is stated that in the application of the petitioner which was handed over in Police Station, Sarkaghat on 25 -8 1994 at 11.30 a.m by the brother of late Damodar Dass, namely, Roop Lal, she bad herself expressed her suspicion that due to heavy rains during the night of 22nd August, 1994 her husband might have swept away in Solang Nallah. It is also alleged that after entering complaint in the daily dairy, investigation team headed by Sub Inspector Gian Chand and Assistant Sub -Inspector Ishwar Dass from Police Station, Sarkaghat had inspected the spot, made enquiry from 19 persons and searched for late Damodar Dass but his dead body could not be located. Thereafter, on 13 -9 -1994 another brother of Damodar Dass, namely; Kashmir Singh, who is serving as Subedar in the Army, got a criminal case registered under section 364. I.P.C. in Police Station, Sarkaghat, in pursuance to which Dy S.P. Chain Singh, S.D.P.O Sarkaghat, had again visited the spot alongwith Sub -Inspector Gian Chand. Assistant Sub Inspector Lekh Ram and S.H.O. Sarkaghat to investigate the case, during the course of which for persons, namely, Amar Singh, resident of village Rangar, Ajeet Singh, Duni Chand and Pandoo alias Braham Dass residents of village Praun, were arrested on 1 -11 -1994 but they were released on bail on 2 -11 -1994 by Judicial Magistrate 1st Class, Mandi, - in the absence of any evidence against them It is further stated in the reply affidavit that clothes of Damodar Dass were sent to Forensic Science Laboratory, Bharari Shimla, and its opinion is as under : - "(i) There is no blood on pant, underwear, shirt, shoes and smoking bidis". (ii) The tearing of clothes and scratch could be due to fall and the corresponding cut marks on clothes could be due to striking of the stones whenever the clothes came in between. (iii) From the sand, soil, small pebbles found on the clothes it appears that aforesaid exhibit had been swayed in the strong current of water The condition of clothes and its separation from the body shows that the same is due to whirls of the water in all probability and no other opinion is possible. - It is further alleged in the reply affidavit that on the representation of the petitioner that she is not satisfied with the investigation conducted by the local police, the case was transferred for investigation to State C.I.D by Director General of Police vide order No. A -6/Comp/Mandi/l 1/94 43890 -93, dated 23 -11 -1994 An investigation team of State C.I.D. consisting of Dy S.P. Crime Branch, Sub -Inspector Prem Singh and Constable Rajiv Mehta also visited the spot on 27 -11 -1994 and recorded the statements of 12/15 residents of the area but no incriminating clue and motive of murder came to light It is further stated in the reply affidavit that during the investigation it was found that late Damodar Dass was in the habit of dirking and on 22nd August, 1994 about 11/12 a m. he had taken liquor in village Seoh and was last seen alive at about 8 00 p m near the s hop of Pandoo alias Braham Dass of village Praun wherefrom he was seen going towards his house in village Rangar. It is not disputed that Solang Nallah is at a distance of half a Kilometre from village Praun and falls on the way to village Rangar and the clothes i.e. Pant, shirt, underwear and boot (P T shoes) of late Damodar Dass were recovered from nallah by the villagers during the search on 24 -8 -1994. It is also stated that during investigation it has come on record that there was continuous and heavy rain during the night of 22nd and 23rd August. 1994 and lot of whirlpools were found in the water of nallah As per the reply affidavit, the relatives of late Damodar Dass were also associated during the investigation and all the places suspected by them were searched but with no result It was also found that late Damodar Dass had no enmity with anyone in the village. On the complaint of the petitioner that Damodar Dass has altercation with one Amar Singh of village Ranga about two years ago he was arrested by the police but released on bail by the Court. From the evidence collected during he investigation, the respondents have come to the conclusion that on 22nd August, 1994 at about 8.30 p m -Damodar Dass had reached near Solang Nallah, on his way to his house, he fell down from the ╦ťDhank into the water of Solang Nallah as same brand of bidis were found scattered at the Dhank which he used to smoke, and was swept away into the river Beas It is also stated that as per the report of Investigating Officer, there are lot of whirls and gorges in the Solang Nallah which joins river Beas and there is possibility that clothes of late Damodar Dass were got separated while his body was flown through these whirls and gcrges,

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