TORAN SINGH Vs. STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
STATE OF M. P.
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Shivaraj V. Patil, J. -
(1.)The appellant was convicted for offence under S. 302, I.P.C. and sentenced to imprisonment for life by the Sessions Court. The High Court dismissed the appeal confirming the conviction and sentence passed by the Sessions Court. Hence, this appeal by Special Leave.
(2.)The prosecution case as unfolded during trial is that the appellant had called deceased Hardas and his son Puran Singh to his village Haider for properly setting roof tiles. Hardas stayed in the house of the appellant. His son Puran Singh, P.W. 1, had gone to the house of Gyarasa, barber (P.W. 3) of village Haider. At about 11 O'clock on 24-6-1992 in the night, P.W. 1 came to the house of the appellant to sleep. He saw that the appellant was assaulting the deceased-Hardas by axe. When asked as to why he was cutting his father, the appellant told him that the deceased-Hardas had eloped with his wife and he was annoyed for the same. When P.W. 1 tried to save Hardas, the appellant rushed towards him; so he ran away to his village Miyan Khedi to save himself. He awakened his brothers Bhagwat and Seeta Ram and informed about the occurrence. P.W. 1 and his brothers went towards village Haider. On the way, P.W. 2 Kamla, Chowkidar of the said village met and told them that the appellant had murdered Hardas and asked them to go back and lodge report in the police station. Thereafter, P.W. 1 went to the house of Sarpanch of his village Miyan Khedi and lodged F.I.R. in the police station. After investigation, the police filed challan for the offence under S. 302, I.P.C. against the appellant. After trial, the learned Sessions Judge, finding the appellant guilty for the offence under S. 302, convicted and sentenced him for imprisonment for life. As already noticed above, the appellant unsuccessfully challenged the said order of the learned Sessions Judge before the High Court.
(3.)The learned counsel for the appellant contended that the High Court failed in its duty and committed manifest error in not appraising and reappreciating the evidence as it ought to be as the first Court of appeal; as is evident from the impugned judgment, there is narration of prosecution case and reference to the evidence of few prosecution witnesses without there being any consideration and appreciation of evidence; the High Court wrongly placing the burden on the defence and accepted the deposition of P.W. 1 Puran Singh as inspiring confidence. The learned counsel added that the appellant had only one hand as the other hand had been mutilated and it was not possible to assault the deceased that too in the presence of his son in the manner described. Except the interested testimony of P.W. 1 Puran Singh, the son of the deceased who was the only so-called eye-witness, there is no other evidence to support the version given by P.W. 1; even conduct of P.W. 1 was unnatural and improbable inasmuch as he runs away leaving the father when he was being assaulted and he does not try to secure help of others in the village either; he goes to his village Miyan Khedi; further according to the learned counsel, there is a material contradiction as to the time the P.W. 1 returning from the house of Gyarasa, P.W. 3 and Ghuman Singh (P.W. 9) who is alleged to have given information about the murder to Kamla (P.W. 2), did not support the case of the prosecution; P.W. 3 and P.W. 9 both were treated as hostile by the prosecution; unfortunately, the trial Court also narrated the prosecution case and referred to the portions of prosectution witnesses but failed to objectively evaluate and scrutinize the evidence.
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