Decided on October 20,1982

STATE Respondents


- (1.) THIS appeal is directed against the judgment of the learned Sessions Judge, Anantnag, dated 18-2-1980.
(2.) THE appellant, serving as a sepoy in the 7th Guards Unit of the Army, was posted on duty as a guardsman on the water-point at Khrew. He was posted there, on 26-8-1973. Rifle No. 7-62-MM-SLF/v1404 along with five cartridges of 7. 6-MM was issued to him. According to the prosecution version the appellant absented himself from duty and after stealing some cartridges from his officer, Shri R. C. Choudhry, went on a shooting spree near village Amlar. It is alleged that at about 3 P. M. on 28-8-1973 near village Amlar he stopped PW, Mehda Bhat and asked him as to what was contained in the bag that was being carried by the witness. On being told that the bag contained only some 'saag' (vegetable), the appellant searched the bag and thereafter desired to take a search of the pockets of the witness. The witness refused to allow the search of his pockets on which the appellant became annoyed and aimed the gun at him. The witness caught hold of the barrel of the gun and lowered it forcibly towards the ground. The appellant kicked him on the legs but the witness did not let go off the barrel of the rifle and the appellant fired some shots from it which only struck the ground. The witness freed himself after the appellant had exhausted the bullets which were in the barrel of the rifle and went to the shop of PW, Ramzan Khandey. M/s. Mohd. Khandey, Sona Khandey and Sadiq Sheikh PWs were present at the shop of Ramzan Khandey. The witness. Mehda Bhat, narrated the entire incident to them. After providing him with water, Ramzan Khanday and others sent for the village chowkidar, Sultan Ganai, PW and asked him to accompany the witness to the Police Station to lodge a report.
(3.) THE appellant is then alleged to have come to the shop of Ramzan Khanday, PW S3. He asked him for some cigarettes which Ramzan Khanday told him were not available. The appellant thereupon became annoyed and fired a shot towards Ramzan Khanday. The shot, however, did not hit Ramzan Khanday, PW 5, but it hit Mst. Azizi, PW who was present nearby, on her private parts and she fell down. The appellant then went towards the paddy fields in the village. Ismail Khanday, Ramzan Khanday Akbar Khanday and Ali Mir after having heard the sound of gun shots, came towards the road-side from their fields. Sona Ganai on seeing those persons warned them about the presence of the accused and about his having already shot at two persons. The appellant became irritated. He fired a shot towards Ismail Khanday which hit him on his head and he tell down. Ramzan Khanday, the uncle of Ismail Khanday thereupon remonstrated and cursed the appellant for having killed Ismail Khanday. The appellant thereupon aimed a shot at Ramzan Khanday also. The shot, also hit and injured Ali Mir and Akbar Khanday, PWs who were present nearby. Sona Ganai and Sadiq Sheikh thereupon went to Police Station, Awantipora and lodged a report of this occurrence. A report at the instance of Mehda Bhat, for an offence under Section 307. R. P. C. stood already registered. After investigation, two separate challans were filed by the Police before the Committing Court An application was made by the Public Prosecutor to consolidate both the challans on the ground that both pertained to quick sequence of events and that most of the witnesses were common and therefore it would avoid inconvenience to the parties and the witnesses. After hearing learned Counsel for the parties and since there was no objection raised by the defence, both the challans were consolidated by the court. After recording some evidence, the appellant was charge-sheeted for offences under Sections 307 and 302, R. P. C. by the Committing Court and the accused was sent to the Court of Session to face his trial. The learned Sessions Judge after recording the evidence and hearing learned Counsel for the parties convicted the appellant for the offence under Sections 307 and 302 and sentenced him to suffer rigorous imprisonment for seven years for the offence under Section 307, R. P. C. and to suffer rigorous imprisonment for life for the offence under Section 302, R. P. C. Both the sentences were, however, directed to run concurrently.;

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