Decided on October 29,2002



R.C.Lahoti, Brijesh Kumar - (1.)THE two accused-respondents were tried on charges under Sections 302, 307 and 352 of the Indian Penal Code. THE trial court convicted Braj Nandan Sah, the accused-respondent No. 1, under Sections 302 and 307 of the I.P.C. and sentenced him to undergo imprisonment for life and rigorous imprisonment for seven years respectively. THE accused-respondent No. 2 was held guilty of an offence punishable under Section 352 of the I.P.C. and passing of the sentence were postponed by releasing him on probation. Both the accused-respondents preferred an appeal, which has been allowed by the High Court. Both the accused respondents have been directed to be acquitted. This is an appeal filed by the State by special leave.
(2.)THE incident is of the date 11th December, 1983. It appears that the complainant and the accused have adjoining fields. THE dispute arose on an attempt by the persons on the side of the prosecution to fill up the ridge between the two fields, each one claiming the ridge to be a part of his field. THE incident resulted in injuries being sustained by both the sides in the same incident and led to lodging of two F.I.Rs. by the two sides at or about 10.45 to 11.00 a.m. containing conflicting versions of the incident. Two different cases were registered and investigated. Two separate challans were filed. Two cases were tried separately. Both resulted in conviction at the hands of the trial court. So far as the cross case is concerned, the same is not before us at the moment and we would not like to comment on the merits of that other case.
So far as the case before us is concerned, we have gone through the judgments recorded by the trial court and the High Court as also through the statements of the various prosecution witnesses and the relevant documents including F.I.R. with the able assistance of the learned counsel for the parties. A perusal of the judgment of the High Court shows that the High Court has taken into consideration the statements of the several witnesses, appreciated the same extensively and summed up 13 circumstances for disbelieving the prosecution case. One of the most material circumstance noticed by the High Court is that there is a complete omission in the F.I.R. as to that part of the incident which relates to the death of Ramsagar Gupta on account of injuries sustained in the incident. The factum of death and the prosecution version relating thereto was not disclosed to the Investigating Officer by any of the prosecution witnesses including the widow, the son and the other relations of the deceased for a period of at least four days from the date of the incident whereafter the witnesses claiming themselves to be eye-witnesses started emerging one by one and narrating the story which implicated the accused-respondents for the death of the deceased and the reasons for delay in disclosure. On the contrary, the F.I.R. lodged by one of the accused persons specifically states the factum of the death of the deceased Ramsagar Gupta and the version of the defence regarding the incident leading to the cross-case. The learned counsel for the State has very fairly not disputed the correctness of the facts recorded in the impugned judgment of the High Court though the learned counsel has vehemently disputed the correctness of the inferences drawn by the High Court from the fact found proved.

We have carefully considered the submissions made by the learned counsel for the other parties. The inferences which have been drawn by the High Court are reasonable inferences, which can be drawn from the facts found proved. In an appeal against acquittal, this Court would not interfere with the well-reasoned and well-considered judgment of the High Court merely because this Court may be inclined to form a different opinion on the inferences to be drawn from the facts proved. We are satisfied that there is no perversity in the findings arrived at by the High Court. No error of law and no error of principle has been pointed out.

(3.)FOR the foregoing reasons, we do not find the present one to be a fit case wherein we may be inclined to interfere with the order of acquittal and convert the acquittal into conviction of the accused-respondents. The appeal is, therefore, dismissed. The acquittal of the accused-respondents as recorded by the High Court is maintained. The bail bonds of the accused-respondents shall stand cancelled.

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