STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH Vs. RANJIT SINGH
HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
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(1.) This appeal is brought from the judgment of the Assistant Sessions Judge, Mahasu acquitting Ranjit Singh and six others for the offences under sections 330, 331, 348 and 109 of the I. P. Code. The prosecution case was that Ranjit Singh accused who happened to be S. H. O., Rampur and the other six, including Narsingh Dutt and Nika Ram, Constables, who were also Police Officials, all of them went for investigation concerning a case under sections 380/457 of the I. P. Code relating to theft committed at the shop of one Gurnima in village Gharat Nala. On 20 -6 -1969 some times in the evening these accused -persons apprehended one Anu Lal and the deceased Jatti and started interrogating them at the shop of one Agya Ram in that village. This interrogation went on throughout the night between the 20th and 21st of June, 1969 and during the course of that interrogation it was alleged that both Anu Lal and Jatti were caused hurt for the purpose of extorting confession or information from them leading to the detection of the crime and also recovery of some property. It was stated that during the course of that night, one Kavi Bhargava, A. S. P., had also arrived and both Anu Lai and Jatti were produced before him and the A. S. P. also interrogated them. Thereafter these two persons were brought to the shop of Gurnika and were made to enter through a hole in that shop as it was demonstrated as to whether these persons could enter through that hole and could at all commit the theft. Thereafter both Anu Lai and Jatti were brought back to the shop of Agya Ram and after some time some beating was administered to them. It was stated that thereafter they made confession. On the text morning on 21st June, 1969, Jatti was brought to Bathara here he resided. These accused accompanied Jatti, and while be was effecting recovery of Rs. 100 from his house he was again given some beating. Thereafter it was stated that Jatti felt exhaustion and sat on the ground and ultimately died. Due to the death of Jatti, objections were raised by his family members as well as by other persons, and some threats were extended to the police party. The information regarding death was sent to the Deputy Commissioner, Mahasu at the instance of Kalu Ram brother of the deceased. This information was sent on the same day, i e. on 21 -6 -1969, and the Deputy Commissioner appointed the S D M , Kampur to make enquiries at the spot. Accordingly Shri Jit Ram, the S. D. ML, made enquiries and submitted a report that Jatti was given a beating by the accused and the purpose was to extort the confession from him. As the offences under sections 330, 331 as well as 348 were formulated, a formal F. I. R. was contemplated. It was even thought that the offence made out could be under section 304, I. P. Code. Since Jatti fell down dead on 21 -6 -1969, his dead body was sent for post mortem examination which was performed by Dr. J. K, Jain and he found one lacerated wound, three contusions and a swelling on the right foot. Upon an internal examination, the doctor found rupture of the spleen which was apparently due to his striking by some blunt object.
(2.) With these allegations in short, the trial was held before the learned Assistant Sessions Judge for the aforesaid offences under sections 3 0, 3jJ, 348 and 109 of the I. P. Code.
(3.) The prosecution in all produced 32 witnesses and the defence 6. The Court also examined two witnesses. The important witnesses were : Anu Lai (PW. 2), Beli Ram (PW. 3), Prem Dass (PW. 5), Madho (PW. II), Khimi Ram (PW. 9), Sadi Ram (PW. 21) and Kalu Ram (?W. 22) who came to state for the voluntary hurt caused to Jatti on 20 -6 -1969 during the course of night at the shop of Agya Ram. In that connection, the defence produced Krishan Gopal (DW. 1), Kartar Chand (DW. 2), Kavi Bhargava, A. S. P. (PW. 3), Saxmi Singh, Sub -Area Organizer (DW. 4) and Kailash Chand (DW. 5). The S. D. M. Jit Ram (PW. 29) gave his statement because he enquired about the death of Jatti. The other two witnesses were Kalu Ram (PW. 1) and Smt. Jipi (PW. 23), brother and widow of the deceased. They came to state for the incident of death which took place on 21 -6 -1 69. Findu (PW. 24) was also important as he spoke against the beating said to be given on 21 -6 -1969. The two Court -witnesses were Main Ram (CW. 1) and Jai Ram (CW. 2).;
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