B. N. Agrawal, J. -
(1.)In these two appeals by special leave, the appellants have assailed their convictions and sentences awarded by the trial Court and upheld by the Patna High Court.
(2.)The short facts are that on 28th February, 1991 at about 8.00 p.m., when the informant Liro Kumari (PW-6) along with her father Doman Mahto, mother Shibo Devi, sister Shakho Devi and children of her family was sitting near fire at the outer door of her house, all of a sudden, all the appellants along with accused Shrilal Sharma, Haro Sharma, Ram Bilash Mahto, Ram Udgar Sharma and 3-4 others armed with farsas and lathis came to the house and seeing them she and her family members out of fear ran to the courtyard of the house. The appellants and their companions following them entered the courtyard. Accused Shrilal Sharma and Haro Sharma, both of whom were armed with farsas and co-accused Ram Bilash Mahto, who was armed with lathi, caught hold of Doman Mahto, father of the informant, and took him to outer door of the house. Appellants Harilal Mahto and Jharilal Mahto, who were armed with lathis, caught hold of Shibo Devi, mother of the informant and appellants Tulbul Mahto and Shankar Mahto, who were also armed with lathis, caught hold of Shakho Devi, sister of the informant inasmuch as they were taken to outer door of the house. The informant raised alarm and when she came out from her courtyard, she saw that accused Shrilal Sharma and Haro Sharma were assaulting her father and mother with farsas and appellants Shankar Mahto, Tulbul Mahto and Sitaram Mahto were assaulting them with lathis. Appellants Jharilal Mahto, Shankar Mahto and co-accused Ram Bilash Mahto were assaulting Shakho Devi, sister of the informant. Doman Mahto, father of the informant, died on the spot and when the informant raised alarm, accused Shrilal Sharma gave a farsa blow to her in order to kill her but it caused injury on her left palm. Thereafter the appellants and their companions lifted the dead body of father of the informant and her injured mother and sister and took them away. The informant along with her nephew Arjun Mahto (PW-4) came to the village where they raised alarm on which the villagers assembled, who, after arranging rickshaw, sent them to Gangor Police outpost where the fard beyan of informant was recorded by A.S.I. Dilip Kumar Singh (PW-1) on the basis of which formal first information report was drawn up at the concerned police station against twelve accused persons including the appellants.
(3.)Police after registering the case took up investigation during the course of which dead body of Shibo Devi, mother of the informant, was recovered from a river near Sohagi Ghat besides bloodstained kurta which Doman Mahto, father of the informant, was wearing. It transpired during investigation that sister of the informant, who was assaulted, succumbed to the injuries, but her dead body and that of her father-Doman Mahto could not be recovered. Upon completion of investigation, the police submitted charge-sheet against all the accused persons, on receipt whereof, learned Magistrate took cognizance and committed all the twelve accused persons, including the appellants, to the Court of Session to face trial.