Arijit Pasayat, J. -
(1.)This is the second journey of the accused-appellants to this Court questioning their conviction on being found guilty of offences punishable under Section 302 read with Section 149 and Section 148 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (in short the 'IPC').
(2.)On the first occasion apart from the conviction for the aforesaid offences, the appellants were also convicted under Section 307 read with Section 149, IPC. However, in the second instance, the said conviction has been altered to one under Section 324 read with Section 149, IPC.
(3.)Filtering out unnecessary details, the prosecution version as unfolded during trial is as follows :
On 31-12-1988, there was an altercation between Jairam Das and Sadananda (hereinafter referred to as the deceased) on one hand and Jagabandhu Samal (D.W. 1) on the other near Motto Hat in connection with occupation/construction of a shed in a market area. When Jagabandhu suddenly got up his head struck against a bamboo protruding into the thatch and he sustained some injury. Subsequently, when Jairam Das (PW-1), Gagan Das (PW-5) and the deceased proceed towards their village near Balabhadrapur Sasan, they found that the accused persons armed with lathi, tentas etc. were coming. Being afraid, the deceased and his companions ran towards to the village. Gagan Das (P.W. 5) went inside the house of Sikhar Bal whereas the other three concealed themselves inside the house of Nilakantha Rath (P.W. 8). The house was surrounded by the accused persons who dealt blows on the door and walls of the house and some of them entered inside the house. Accused Panchanan (appellant 10 in the present appeal) and Subash Samal (appellant 7 in the present appeal) dragged the three persons and assaulted them. At that timeone of the accused persons shouted that police personnel were coming and subsequently all the accused persons fledaway. PW-5 who saw the incident through anopening in the door leaf of the house of Sikhar Bal lodged the report before the Police which was treated as the First Information Report. Apart from PW-1 who was injured in the incident and PW-5, the informant, the occurrence was seen by some other persons including PWs. 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8. The last two witnesses are the owners of the house wherein the deceased and his companions had taken refuge and also spoke about the occurrence but except a few they were not able to name the other accused persons. Investigation was undertaken and on completion thereof, charge sheet was placed.