Decided on September 28,1955

STATE Respondents


- (1.) THIS is an appeal by four accused namely Gondasingh, Ditasingh, Ajmersingh I S/o Bhagsingh and Ajmersingh II s/o Hazurasingh against the judgment of the Additional Sessions Judge, Ganganagar, dated the 20th of October, 1954, The first two appellants, namely Gondasingh and Ditasingh have been sentenced under Section 326 while the two Ajmersinghs have been convicted under Section 326 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code. Gondasingh has been sentenced to seven years' rigorous imprisonment and the rest to six years' rigorous imprisonment.
(2.) THE prosecution story against the appellants was that there was previous enmity between the appellants and the deceased Hakimsingh. All the appellants and the deceased are residents of village Chandra. Sometime before the present occurrence, there was a quarrel between the party of the deceased Hakimsingh and the party of Ditasingh appellant and in that quarrel, one Karnailsingh of Ditsingh's party was murdered. The deceased Hakimsingh was challenged in that case and sentenced to six months' rigorous imprisonment. Hardly about a month and a half had passed since his release from the Jail in that case when the present incident took place on the 14th October 1953. The prosecution story goes that although Hakimsingh was convicted and sentenced in the previous case, the appellants' party was not satisfied with that small sentence and, therefore, they made a plan to do away with him. It was alleged that all the appellants went armed with Selas and lathies to the field of one Bachitrasingh and there they laid themselves in ambush behind the Ak plaints. Early in the morning, when Hakimsingh was going to his field to sow the gram, then in the Rohi of the village Chandra, the appellants suddenly emerged from their place of concealment. Gondasingh and Ajmersingh I were the first to attack him. It is said that Gondasingh had a Sela while Ajmersingh I had a lathi in his hand. Soon after the commencement of this assault Ajmersingh II and Ditasingh also came out of the bushes and joined in the attack. Ajmersingh II had also a lathi, while Ditasingh had a sela with him. The story proceeds that when Hakimsingh fell down on the ground, Gondasingh sat on his chest, Ajmersingh II caught hold of his legs, while Ditasingh and Ajmersingh I gave further lathi and Sela blows on his person. Gondasingh then asked his companions whether Hakimsingh's legs were broken and when he was satisfied by their reply that they were broken and he was incapable of moving from that place, the appellants left him and went away. According to the prosecution story, one Kemasingh, who was a Siri of the deceased in cultivation, had also gone with him, but he was walking behind the deceased at some distance. It is said that he saw all this occurrence and even asked the appellants not to beat the deceased, taut he was asked to keep quiet and was threatened with the same fate if he behaved otherwise. It was further stated that another person Kartarsingh also happened to pass that way. He also requested the appellants not to beat the deceased, but he got a reply similar to the one which was given to Kemasingh, Thereafter Kemasingh and Kartarsingh both went to the village and informed the deceased Hakimsingh's brother Vichitrasingh of all this occurrence. So Vichitrasingh, his mother, another Hakimsingh, Indersingh and the two witnesses Kemasingh and Kartarsingh came to the site of occurrence and found Hakimsingh lying injured. They took him from there to Hanumangarh dispensary where they reached at about 8. 45 a. m. Injuries of the deceased were examined by Dr. A. S. Gulati. He thought that the condition of Hakimsingh was serious and so he informed the Magistrate and requested him to record his dying declaration. Thereupon Shri Puranchand Magistrate, First Class, Hanumangarh went to the Hospital and recorded the statement of the deceased, Hakimsingh died the same day in the afternoon and his autopsy was performed the same day. Then information about this occurrence was sent to the Police Station Sangaria after the dying declaration of the deceased was recorded by the Magistrate. The Police registered the case on the same date and after investigation, challaned all the four accused for an offence under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code. After preliminary enquiry, they were committed by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate. Hanumangarh for the same offence i. e. , under S 302. I. P. C. , but after the trial, the learned Additional Sessions Judge thought that the appellants had committed the offence under Section 326, I. P. C. , and so he convicted and sentenced them as mentioned above.
(3.) THE appellants' version in the trial court was that they were absolutely ignorant about this occurrence and they were falsely named by the deceased and his witnesses on account of previous enmity, They did not produce any evidence in defence. In the present Court also it has been urged by the appellant's learned Counsel that all the four appellants are quite innocent and the prosecution evidence being discrepant, unreliable and insufficient, it is not proper to maintain their conviction on its basis.;

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