SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
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(1.)These two appeals one by the original complainant and other by the State of Haryana are directed against the judgment of acquittal recorded by the High court on 23/05/1985. The brief facts of the case are as under :
The deceased Narain Dass and the accused Ram Ditta own parcels of land in Garden Society Fields, about 4 kms. from Hansi Town. The accused Ram Ditta wanted a passage through the land of the deceased. Five or six days prior to the occurrence Public Witness 6 Om Prakash was requested to act as an arbitrator in the dispute along with one Maher Chand.
(2.)On the night intervening August 15/16, 1983, Narain Dass left for his field at about 11. 00 p. m. to take his turn of water at about 1.30 a. m. His turn was to commence at 1.30 a. m. and last up to 3.30 a. m. Theprosecution case is that as the deceased Narain Dass did not return to his residence by about 4.15 a. m. to 4.30 a. m. , his son Public Witness 4 Davinder Kumar and his father Public Witness 5 Sahdu Ram went in search of him. When they neared the field they saw the accused Ram Ditta armed with a lathi and his son accused Makhan Lal armed with a jaily assaulting the deceased. These two witnesses tried to save the deceased but were threatened by the two assailants. After the deceased fell down the accused persons lifted him and carried him to their field. Public Witness 4 and Public Witness 5 thereafter went to Sadar Hansi Police Station where the latter lodged a complaint at about 11.30 a. m.
(3.)The case rested mainly on the evidence of Public Witness 4 and PW 5. It was contended that the High court committed an error in refusing to rely on the direct testimony of these two witnesses. The High court did not rely on their evidence principally for two reasons viz. (i) it was a curious coincidence that both the eye-witnesses reached the place of occurrence exactly at the time of the assault and (ii) the statement of Public Witness 4 that the accused Makhan Lal had given four or five thrust blows with the jaily was not consistent with the medical evidence. We will examine if the High courts approach is correct.
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