PURSHOTTAM CHOPRA Vs. STATE (GOVT. OF NCT DELHI)
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
State (Govt. Of Nct Delhi)
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DINESH MAHESHWARI,J. -
(1.)By way of these appeals, the appellants have called in question the judgment and order dated 23.05.2011 in Criminal Appeal No. 121 of 1999 and
Criminal Appeal No. 139 of 1999 whereby, the High Court of Delhi has
affirmed the judgment and order dated 30.01.1999 in Sessions Case No. 2 of
1998 by the Additional Sessions Judge, Delhi; and has upheld the conviction of the appellants for the offence punishable under Section 302 read with
Section 34 of Indian Penal Code ('IPC').
(2.)In a brief outline of the material aspects, it could be noticed that in the present case, the appellants are accused of causing death of one Sher Singh
by putting him on fire. There had been no eye-witness to the incident but the
prosecution has relied upon two statements said to have been made by the
deceased after the incident: one when he was admitted to the hospital with
100% burns and another when he was under treatment, respectively to a doctor and to a police officer. The Trial Court as also the High Court have
accepted these statements as being his dying declarations wherein the
appellants were named as the assailants. Therefore, the appellants stand
convicted essentially on the basis of the dying declarations of the victim. The
reliability of such dying declarations has been assailed in these appeals apart
from other contentions concerning the surrounding factors. The relevant facts
and background aspects of the matter could be noticed, keeping in view of the
points arising for determination in these appeals.
The relevant facts and background
(3.)Put in brief, the prosecution case had been that on 18.12.1997, at about 3.00-3.15 p.m., hearing the screams of a person and noticing smoke coming from plot no. 17 situated near Goverdhan Park, Uttam Nagar, Delhi, a lot of
people gathered at the spot and saw that a man was ablaze with his entire
body covered with fire; and the people so gathered made efforts to put out the
flames by throwing water over the said person. The information as regards this
incident was received in the Police Control Room ('PCR') through a phone call
from some unknown person at 3.28 p.m. by Ct. Anju (PW-7), who made an
entry bearing No. 467 in Form I (Ex. PW-7/A) and passed on the information to
the nearest Police Station. The concerned officers from PCR reached the spot
and shifted the injured person to Safdarjung Hospital for treatment, where Dr.
Sushma (PW-8) prepared the MLC (Ex. PW-8/A). While preparing the MLC,
the injured person identified himself as Sher Singh and gave his address; and
narrated the incident that had led to his current condition while accusing one
Purshottam and another Suresh (telwala), both residents of A-block, Uttam
Nagar, Delhi as his assailants [These persons Purshottam and Suresh are the appellants herein].
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