BYAS, J. -
(1.)THIS is a Jail appeal by accused Veera @ Balveer Singh against the Judgment dated February 2,1978 of the Additional Sessions Judge, Sri Ganganagar convicting the appellant under Sec. 302 I. P. C. and sentencing him to imprisonment for life.
(2.)BRIEFLY narrated the prosecution case is that at about 10 P. M. on February 20, 1977, P. W. 1 Mithu Singh, P. W. 3 Natha Singh, P. W. 4 Daleep Singh and the accused-appellant Veera @ Balveer Singh were playing cards at the house of deceased victim Baba Singh in village Sujawalpur, District Sri Ganganagar. During the game of cards, quarrel arose between the accused and the deceased victim. The accused suspected that the deceased victim had illegally retained acard with him. There was a scuffle between two and the persons who were present there, separated the accused and the deceased victim and thereafter, the accused and the other person went to their houses. It is alleged that after half an hour, the accused Veera alongwith Gurdeo Singh (Co-accused Acquitted) came outside the house of the deceased victim. They challenged him to come out and started abusing him. It is alleged that the victim and his mother Gurnamkaur (PW. 2) came out and asked the accused and his companion not to abuse them Thereupon, Gurdeosingh caught hold of the deceased victim Babasingh and the accused struck a blow on his chest with the Barchha, which he had brought with him. The injury was fatal and the victim succoumbed them and there. A report (Ex. P. 1) of the occurrence was lodged at police Station Himddmalkot at about 12. 10 A. M. on February 21, 1977, by Mithu Singh (P. W. 1 ). The police registered a case and proceeded with investigation. The Investigating Officer prepared the Inquest Report of the victim's dead body and also inspected the site. The post-mortem examination of the victim's dead body was conducted on February 21, 1977 at 2. 30 P. M. by P. W. 6 Dr. Kailash Nath Markandey, the then Medical Officer Incharge, Primary Health Centre, Shivpur. On examination, he found the followig injury on the victim's dead body: "1. Stab wound 1. 2" x. 6" thorasic cavity 2" lateral to sternum on left side of chest at 2nd inter costal space it was caused by sharp and penetrating weapon. " The injury was stated to be anti-mortem caused by some sharp edged weapon. The Doctor was of the opinion that the victim had died due to heamorrhage on account of the injury to the left lung. He also stated that the injury was sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause the death. The accused was arrested and in consequence of the information furnished by him whilst under police custody. Barchha was recovered. The clothes of the deceased victim were also seized and sealed. All these articles were sent for chemical examination and they were found stained with human blood as per the reports of the Forensic Science Laboratory and the Serologist.
On the completion of the investigation, the police submitted a challan against the accused-appellant Veera and Gurdeo Singh in the Court of Additional Munsif & Judicial Magistrate, Sri Ganganagar, who in his turn committed the case for trial. The case came up for trial before the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Sri Ganganagar. The learned Additional Sessions Judge framed a charge under s. 302 I. P. C. against the accused-appellant Veera and under s. 302/34 I. P. C. against the acquitted accused Gurdeo Singh. They pleaded not guilty to the charges and faced the trial.
During trial, the prosecution examined 9 witnesses and filed some documents. In defence, the accused adduced no evidence. On the conclusion of trial, the learned Sessions Judge found no incriminating material against the accused Gurdeo Singh. , He was, consequently, acquitted. The charge was held duly proved against the accused-appellant Veera. He was, therefore, convicted and sentenced under s. 302 I. P. C. as mentioned above.
We have heard the learned Amicus Curiae and the learned Public Prosecutor for the State. We have also gone through the case file carefully.
In asailing the conviction of the accused-appellant Veera, the first contention raised by the learned Amicus Curiae is that there was no acceptable evidence to show that the victim was done to death by the accused Veera. it was argued that the four eye witnesses could not reach the place of occurrence and were, therefore, not in a position to see the incidence. It was also argued that there were material contradictions inter-se between them, and as such, the learned Sessions Judge crept into an error in putting reliance on the testimony of these four witnesses and in convicting the accused. In reply, the learned Public Prosecutor supported the judgment of the court below and submitted that the names of all the four eye witnesses were mentioned in the Firest Information Report. The occurrence took place outside the house of the victim. Naturally, the presence of his mother Mst. Gurnamkaur (P. W. 2) is not open to any doubt. It was further argued that the house of the remaining three eye witnesses are also situated nearabout the place of occurrence and they were also in a position to reach the spot on hearing the noise and see the occurrence.
(3.)WE have given our thoughtful consideration to the respective contentions of the learned counsel for the parties.
Admittedly, there are four eye witnesses of the occurrence, viz P. W. 1 Mithusingh; P. W. 2 Smt. Gurnamkaur, P. W. 3 Natha Singh and P. W. 4 Dalipsingh. P. W. I. Mithusingh deposed that at about 10. p. m. on the day of occurrence, he was playing cards at the house of the deceased victim alongwith P. W 3 Natha Singh and P. W. 4 Dalipsingh and the accused. The deceased victim was also playing the cards there. A quarrel arose between the deceased victim and the accused. The accused suspected something foul on the part of the deceased victim that he had illegally retained a card. On search being taken, a card was found in the possession of the victim. Thereafter, scuffle took place between the accused and the deceased victim. It was further stated by him that he and the other persons who were present there separated the accused and the victim. Thereafter, the accused went to his house and the other persons also went to their houses. This witness has stated that after half an hour, he came out on hearing the noise and found that the accused appellant Veera and Gurdeo Singh were standing outside the house of the victim and they were challenging and asking him to come out. The victim and his mother Gurnam Kaur came out and asked the accused and his companion Gurdeo Singh not to abuse them. Thereupon, Gurdeo Singh caught hold of the victim and the accused Veera struck a blow of Barchha on the victim's chest. The victim fell down and there was profused bleeding from his wound. The victim passed away instantaeously then and there. The same version of the incident was given by Gurnam Kaur (P. W. 2), who is mother of the victim. She also stated that the accused-appellant and Gurdeo Singh came out side her house and challenged her son Baba Singh to come out. They also showered abused her son. Hearing this, she and her son Veera came out and asked the accused not to abuse them. Thereupon, Gurdeo Singh caught hold of the victim and the accused struck a blow of Barchha on the victim's chest. The injury proved fatal and the victim passed away then and there. The same account of the version was given by P. W. 3 Natha Singh. The site-plan (Ex. 4) shows that his house is situated nearby the place of occurrence. He deposed that on hearing the noise, he came out and saw the accused-appellant Veera and Gurdeo Singh standing outside the house of the victim and his mother came out. Gurdeo Singh caught hold of the victim and the accused-appellant struck a blow of Barchha on his chest The victim fell down and passed away then and there. P. W. 4 Dalipsingh has also given the same account of the incident. He also reached the spot on hearing the noise. He deposed that Gurdeo Singh had caught hold to the victim and the accused-appellant Veera struck a blow of Barchha on his chest. The victim fell down and passed away instantaneously then and there. All these four eye witnesses were cross-examined at length but nothing could be elicited from them, which may make their testimony unworthy to believe all of them. The houses of the three eye witnesses are situated nearby the place of occurrence. As such, their reaching the place of occurrence on hearing the cries is quite natural and is not open to any doubt. So also, the presence of P. W. 2 Gurnam Kaur is not open to any doubt. The incident took place outside her house. The victim was her son. Naturally, she must have come out with him when he went out on being challenged by the accused appellant and his companion. The learned Amicus Curiae could not convince us as to why the presence of these witnesses on the place of occurrence should not be accepted as true. These four eye witnesses cannot be termed as chance witnesses. The learned Sessions Judge put reliance on the testimony of these four occular witnesses of the occurrence and after carefully going through their statements, we are unable to take a different view. It, therefore, stands well established that the accused-appellant Veera struck a blow of Barchha on the chest of the victim. There is a strong piece of corroborative evidence against the accused. The Barchha with which the offence was alleged to have been committed was recovered in consequence of the information furnished by him. On Chemical examination, human blood was found on it. This furnishes a very important piece of evidence against the accused.
As regards the nature of offence, we can only say that the Barchha is a formidable weapon which can be used for deadly effect. The blow was struck on the chest which is delicate and vital part of the human body. According to the medical evidence, the injury on the chest of the victim was found sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause the death. The case is, therefore, fully covered by s. 302 I P. C. The conviction of the accused appellant Veera @ Balveer Singh under s. 302 I. P. C. is perfectly justified.