STATE OF HARYANA Vs. SHER SINGH
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: PUNJAB & HARYANA)
STATE OF HARYANA
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P. Venkatarama Reddi, J. -
(1.)In this appeal filed by the State of Haryana with special leave, the verdict of the Punjab and Haryana High Court acquitting the respondents 1 to 9 of the charges under Section 302, I.P.C. and with S. 149 etc. and modifying the conviction and sentence of the 10th respondent - Dalel Singh, is being assailed. The Additional Sessions Judge, Kurushetra, convicted the 12 accused including the 10th respondent herein charged for the offences under Section 302, I.P.C. read with 149, Section 307 read with 149, Section 148 and Section 427, I.P.C. and they were sentenced to life imprisonment. They were charged for the murder of one Bhim Singh in the morning hours of 23rd July, 1983 in a fallow field near the village Serdha and for attempting to murder PWs 6, 11 and another who received injuries in the course of fight. Most of the accused-respondents excepting respondents 5 and 6 are related to each other. The members of the prosecution party too are inter-related and they are also related to some of the accused.
(2.)According to the prosecution, Phool Singh (PW5), who is the cousin of the deceased Bhim Singh, was in possession of the disputed land at the time of occurrence, having taken the land as tenant for cultivation from Rameshwar, the father of the accused Kishan Chand who filed the suit for pre-emption and got a decree in his favour. Rameshwar also executed an agreement of sale in favour of Phool Singh on 23-1-1981 and received part of the sale consideration. The accused armed with weapons viz., 'bhalas', 'jelis', 'gandasis' and 'lathis' came to the land to take forcible possession and the cattle brought by them were let loose in the fields resulting in damage of standing crop. Then, the deceased and four others namely, Phool Singh (PW5), -ile Singh (PW6), Diwan Singh (PW11) and Ghuman Singh (not examined) reached the spot. When Bhim Singh, the deceased questioned their high-handed acts, four of the accused encircled him and started inflicting injuries with their weapons. PW6 tried to rescue the deceased but he was also attacked by four of the accused who inflicted severe injuries and so also PW11 Dewan Singh and Ghuman Singh were inflicted injuries by four others accused when they tried to intervene. Bhim Singh succumbed to the injuries on the spot. The 'bhala' blow given by Dalel Singh (10th respondent) on the chest of Bhim Singh proved fatal. Phool Singh (PW5) lodged the complaint with the police. The injured were examined and treated at the Civil Dispensary, Pundri. The Medical Officer (PW1) at Pundri referred PW6 to Civil Hospital, Kaithal as he had received severe injuries. The other two received simple injuries. At the Civil Hospital, Kaithal, the Doctor who examined PW4 found a wound on the left side of the abdomen and lower part of thorax from which omentum was coming out. In view of the gravity of his condition he was referred to Civil Hospital, Rohtak and from there, he was taken to and admitted in PGI, Chandigarh. PW6 remained under treatment of Dr. J. D. Wig (PW3) who performed a surgery to save his life. PW6 ultimately recovered from the injuries. An autopsy done by PW2 on the dead body of Bhim Singh revealed various injuries. The first injury noticed by him was lacerated wound 2" x 1" scalp deep above right eye-brow on the forehead. The most serious injury, which according to the Doctor was the immediate cause of death, is injury No. 7.
According to PW4, the death occurred due to shock and haemorrhage caused by the injuries to the vital organs as a result of injury No. 7 which was caused by a sharp weapon. The description of injury No. 7 is as follows :
"a penetrating wound 2" x 11/2" in the second intercostals space on left side of chest running up side down and laterally and edges were clean cut. The underlying 3rd rib was fractured and the intercostals and pectoral muscles were torn. Blood coming out of the wound was collected in the muscles. Further dissection revealed that the wound was directed posteriorly upto the posterior abdominal wall injuring the structures viz. left lung, left-septum and right ventricle.
(3.)On the basis of the information furnished by the accused the weapons were discovered by the police officials in the presence of Panchas. The injured persons - PWs 6 and 11, the informant PW5 and one Gaje Singh (PW12) who allegedly came to the scene of offence under the commencement of the incident are the eye-witnesses.
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