STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH Vs. T. VENKATARAMANA ACHARI
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH
T. Venkataramana Achari
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(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.
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