PRITAM NATH Vs. STATE OF PUNJAB
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
STATE OF PUNJAB
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Shivaraj V. Patil, J. -
(1.)In this appeal, by Special Leave, the appellants have assailed the judgment of the High Court reversing the order of acquittal made in their favour by the trial Court and convicting them under Section 304-II of the Indian Penal Code and sentencing them to undergo rigorous imprisonment for ten years and to pay a fine of Rs. 5,000/- each.
(2.)The prosecution case, briefly stated, is that P.W. 2 Ram Charan and Vidya Rani, the deceased, had been married about 18 years prior to the incident. At about 6/7 P.M. on 4th August, 1989, Ram Charan took his wife to the dera of the appellants situated in village Sahera for getting her treated from the evil spirits, which had seized her. Kewal Nath, a co-accused, and Pritam Nath, appellant No. 1, claimed to be Sadhus in the said dera and the appellants Nos. 2 and 3, viz., Pritam Singh and Raghbir Singh, were their chelas, who were all present there. P. W.2 Ram Charan told them that his wife had been seized by evil spirits and requested them to help and treat her, whereupon these appellants and Kewal Nath, the co-accused, tied Vidya Rani to a tree and started giving blows with iron rods, trishul and chimtas on various parts of her body. Witnessing the same for some time P. W. 2 got alarmed and tried to intervene telling them that the treatment might kill her. The accused, however, assured him that Vidya Rani would not die. However, she became unconscious during the night. The next day at about 1.00 P.M., P. W. 2 came to know that his wife had been died. Then he raised a roula, which attracted Bhagwan Singh, Balbir Singh, Bhola Ram and Surinder Singh. Then he left for the police station, Mulepur with Bhola Ram and Surinder Singh and reached there at about 2.00 P.M. In the police station his statement Ex.PD was recorded and further investigation was taken up. After completion of the investigation challan was filed. They were tried by the Sessions Court for the offences under Section 302 read with Section 34, IPC.
(3.)After trial the learned Sessions Judge, for the reasons recorded in the judgment, held that the prosecution failed in its efforts to prove the case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt and consequently acquitted them. The State filed appeal in the High Court challenging the order of acquittal passed by the trial Court. The High Court found fault with the order of acquittal and held accused guilty of the offence under Section 304, Part II read with Section 34, IPC. Hence they were convicted and sentenced as already stated above.
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