SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: DELHI)
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(1.)The State represented by C.B.I., New Delhi has directed this appeal against the Order dated 20.5.1987 of the High Court of Delhi passed in Criminal Revision No. 105 of 1987 dismissing the petition of the petitioner in limine, The relevant facts which have given rise to this appeal can be stated thus:
The respondent, S. J. Choudhary is taking his trial before the Additional Sessions Judge, New Delhi for the offences under Section 302, Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 and 4 of the Explosive Substances Act in Sessions Case No. 36 of 1983. According to the prosecution that on 2.10.1982 at about 5.45 p.m., the deceased in this case, namely, Krishan Sikand received a parcel addressed to him. The deceased being unaware of the camouflaged contents opened' the parcel which on opening exploded resulting in the instantaneous death of the deceased. Relating to this incident, a case was registered at Hazart Nizamuddin Police Station as FIR No. 305 dated 2.10.1982. The investigation was taken up by the police of the said police station. Thereafter, the investigation was transferred to Crime Branch, Delhi on the very next day i.e. on 3.10.1982 and finally in March 1983 to the Central Bureau of Investigation where it was registered as case RC 3/83-CIII/DSPE/ ciui(p) / new Delhi. The respondent/ accused was arrested by the C.B.I. on 1-8-83. Under the orders of Court, the custody of the respondent was handed over to the CBI for sometime. After completing the investigation, the CBI laid the chargesheet on 28.10.1983.
(2.)Presently, the case is pending trial before the Additional Sessions Judge, Delhi. While the petitioner in the SLP, filed in August, 1987 would state that as many as 63 prosecution witnesses have been examined and PW-64 is in the witness box, the respondent in his affidavit dated 21.2.1990 has stated that so far 67 witnesses have been examined.
(3.)Be that as it may according to the prosecution the cover of the device parcel containing camouflaged live hand grenade was found pasted with a typewritten name and address of the deceased, Krishan Sikand on a white 'slip and the explosion of the hand grenade resulted in the shattering of the materials into pieces inclusive of the said slip. The police collected from the scene of incident the typewritten 'pieces of the paper in which the grenade had been wrapped amongst the debris and remnants which were sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory for examination and expert opinion. In the laboratory, the parcel sent by the Investigating Agency for examination was opened by PW-61, Dr. G. R. Prasad, Head of the Ballistic Division on 12.10.1982. He while examining the contents of the parcel succeeded in partially reconstructing the typewritten name and address of the deceased from the shattered pieces of the slip. It is the version of the prosecution that on 5-8-83, while the respondent was in the custody of the CBI pursuant to the order of the Court, he made a voluntary confession which led to the discovery of the fact that the address on the aforesaid parcel was got typed by him from a commercial college namely, Janta Commercial College at 1-43, Lajpat Nagar-11, New Delhi. The Investigating Agency took the specimen of typing prints from the 13 English typewriters found in the said college. The reconstructed typed address and the specimen type-prints were examined by Sh. S. K. Gupta, Head of Document Division in the Central Forensic Science Laboratory. Mr. S. K. Gupta gave his opinion that on balance of similarities and dissimilarities, it is reasonable to conclude that the types scripts found on the slip pasted on the wrapper of the parcel collected from the scene have been typed from one of the machines of the Janta Commercial College as both the impressions are identical. Now, the prosecution wants to examine Mr. S. K. Gupta as an expert to prove the above fact. This request of the prosecution to examine Mr. S. K. Gupta was stoutly resisted by the learned counsel for the accused on the ground that the evidence of such typewriting expert is inadmissible under Section 45 of the Indian Evidence Act as it does not fall within its ambit. It seems from the impugned order that several decisions were cited at the Bar by both the parties but the trial Court on the strength of certain observations made by this Court in Hanumant V/s. State of Madhya Pradesh,1952 SCR 109 1 dismissed the prayer of the prosecution holding thus:
"It shows that Hon ble Judges of the Supreme Court meant that such evidence cannot be brought on record and be evaluated by the Court. It is well settled that if their Lordships of the Supreme Court clearly intended to declare the law on a particular point then even though the observations may be 'obiter dictum', they are nevertheless binding upon the High Court and subordinate Courts.
Under these circumstances, I uphold the objections raised by the counsel of the accused and order that Sh. S. K. Gupta, who is sought to be examined as an expert on typewritten documents cannot be examined to give evidence on this point."
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