Decided on October 29,2002

T. Venkataramana Achari Respondents


- (1.)THE State is in appeal against the judgment of the High Court wherein the accused persons stand acquitted in regard to a charge under S. 302 Indian Penal Code, 1860 read with Ss. 149 and 148 Indian Penal Code, 1860 by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Madanapalle, in Sessions Case No. 143 of 1988 of the three charges punishable under Ss. 148, 324 and 302 Indian Penal Code, 1860 read with S. 149 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 which found them guilty. As regards the charge under S. 148 Indian Penal Code, 1860, the learned Sessions Judge thought it fit to sentence them with imprisonment for a term of two years. Accused 4, 7 and 8 were convicted under S. 147 Indian Penal Code, 1860 and each was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a term of one year. The second charge that was framed against all the accused persons was under S. 324 Indian Penal Code, 1860 for causing harm to PWs 1 and 2 and A-1 and A-5 were convicted under S. 324 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and each was sentenced to suffer rigorous imprisonment for a term of one year. A-4 was convicted under S. 323 Indian Penal Code, 1860 and sentenced to suffer rigorous imprisonment for a term of one year. The last charge was under S. 302 Indian Penal Code, 1860 against all the accused persons, that is to say A-1 to A-8, and the learned Sessions Judge found them guilty of such an offence and sentenced them to suffer imprisonment for life.
(2.)THE matter, however, was placed before the High Court in appeal by the accused persons wherein the High Court recorded that the evidence led in by the prosecution does not inspire confidence and the prosecution is bestowed with doubts and difficulties, the benefit of which must necessarily accrue to the accused and on that score, set aside the conviction and set the accused free immediately.
The facts disclose that on 8/6/1987 around 7.30 in the evening the deceased while on his way home was passing in front of the house of A-1 and at that point of time the eight accused persons are said to have inflicted some stab injuries. The scene of occurrence is stated to have been witnessed by PWs 1 and 2, who being present in their respective houses, heard the cries of the deceased that he was caught and was being killed. In cross-examination, PW 1 has been rather categorical as regards the sequence of events, namely, hearing of the cry and that the deceased was being held and being killed by the accused persons and thereafter arrived at the scene of occurrence. PW 1 further came out in cross-examination that PWs 2 and 3 were not available at the point of infliction of injury nor he himself, but it is only after the infliction of injury i.e. the stab injury on the chest that he arrived at the scene of occurrence and in his attempt to separate them resulted in sufferance of injury and thereafter he was chased away.

(3.)THIS aspect of the matter has not been dealt with in the manner the first appellate court ought to have examined or dealt with. The first appellate court has an obligation to scan the evidence and come to its own conclusion, not that a mere acceptance of the reasoning of the Sessions Judge but that an independent application of mind is required to be applied. Unfortunately, however, we do not find such an application by reason where for we feel it obliged to remit the matter back to the High Court for being dealt with having regard to the evidence on record afresh.

Click here to view full judgement.
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.