SONU @ SUNIL Vs. STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH
LAWS(SC)-2020-5-26
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on May 29,2020

Sonu @ Sunil Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH Respondents




JUDGEMENT

K.M.JOSEPH, J. - (1.)The appellant was tried with 4 others and was convicted under Sections 394, 460 and 302 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (hereinafter referred to as, 'the IPC' , for short) . He was also found guilty of offences under Sections 11 and 13 of the Madhya Pradesh Dakaiti Avam Vyapharan Adhiniyam, 1981 (hereinafter referred to as, ^Madhya Pradesh Adhiniyam'). The appellant was, in fact, sentenced to death for the offence under Section 302 read with Section 34 of the IPC along with two other accused apart from a fine of Rs. 5000/-. He was sentenced to10 years Rigorous Imprisonment in regard to the offence under Section 460 of the IPC. He was also handed down a sentence of 10 years for the offence under Section 394 read with Section 34 of the IPC. Still further, he was also sentenced to 7 years for the offence under Sections 11 and 13 of the Madhya Pradesh Adhiniyam. By the impugned judgment, the High Court answered the death reference by holding that in the circumstances, the death penalty was not warranted. In place of death penalty, the High Court sentenced the appellant and two other accused to life imprisonment and enhanced the fine to Rs. 25,000/-. The appeal filed by the appellant was dismissed otherwise. The prosecution case, in brief, appears to be as follows:
On 08.09.2008, in the night, Bharosilal (hereinafter referred to as, 'the deceased', for short) was at his village Bilaua. He was residing alone. One Abhay Sharma-PW9, who is the son of the deceased, was informed by one Neeraj Bhargav that his father has not opened the door on that day. On receiving such information, PW9, who also turned out to bethe complainant, finally went to his father's residence and it was found that his father was dead and the First Information Report (FIR) was lodged on 10.09.2008. On the basis of the investigation conducted, Kalli, Hariom, Veeru, Virendra and the appellant came to be charged with the offences as noticed. In fact, the appellant was charged under Section 397 of the IPC also.

(2.)PW1 to PW15 were examined as prosecution witnesses. Material objects were also produced. The following are the questions, which were framed by the Trial Court:
"(i) Whether accused Kalli @ Gopal Sharma, Sonu @ Sunil and Hariom on the date of incident after sunset and before sunrise after committing house tress pass in the residential house of deceased Bharosilal, committed the murder of Bharosilal?

(ii) Whether accused Kalli @ Gopal Sharma, Sonu @ Sunil and Hariom formed common intention to commit murder of Bharosilal?

(iii) Whether accused Kalli @ Gopal Sharma, Hariom and Sonu @ Sunil in fulfilment of their common intention committed murder of Bharosilal by strangulation and cutting by a chhuri (knife)?

(iv) Whether accused Kalli @ Gopal Sharma, Hariom and Sonu @ Sunil by using deadly weapon in committing robbery, committed the murder of Bharosilal and looted gold and silver jewellery and two mobile phones of Nokia made from the possession of Bharosilal?

(v) Whether accused Veeru and Virendera along with accused Kalli @ Gopal Sharma, Hariom and Sonu @ Sunil, at the house of accused Virendra Singh, Kushmah hatched conspiracy of committing robbery in the house of Bharosilal?

(vi) Whether the accused persons committed the offence defined and specified under Section 2 (b) of MPDVPK Act and committed the offence u/s 11/13 of the above said Act?"

(3.)The Trial Court found that it was a case entirely based on circumstantial evidence. It noticed that the deceased had suffered the following injuries:
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