GOKUL Vs. STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: MADHYA PRADESH)
STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH
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(1.)The appellants along with Mutiya and panna, sons of Arjuna were charged under sections 147 and 302 read with section 149 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and after the trial, acquitted by the sessions judge, Shivpuri, madhya Pradesh. In the appeal filed by the state against the appellants and one panna, the judgment of acquittal was set aside and all the seven accused were convicted for the offence under sections 147 and 302 read with section 149 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and sentenced to imprisonment for life. No appeal was filed against the acquittal of mutiya because after the judgment of the trial court, he had died.
(2.)The prosecution case is that on 23rd july, 1984 at about 8-9 p. m. , when Kallu-deceased had gone for fishing at the pond, he was caught hold of by the appellants, taken to their house beaten with lathis, in consequence of which he died and his dead body was recovered from the house of mutiya-accused on the next day. First information report of the occurrence was lodged in police station, Khamiya on 24th july, 1984 at 6 a. m. To prove its case, the prosecution produced a number of witnesses including Panna S/o Kharaga-PW-12 who claimed to be the eyewitness. From the statements of other witnesses the prosecution wanted to prove the existence of circumstances which were stated to be sufficient to connect the accused with the commission of the crime. The most important circumstance against the accused, as deposed by the witnesses, was that they were prevented from entering the house of mutiya where the deceased was stated to be locked from outside. The trial court did not rely upon the statement of PW-12 and declined to believe him as eyewitness of the occurrence. No reliance was placed upon the other witnesses as well.
(3.)The High Court in the appeal filed against the acquittal, reappreciated the evidence and finding that the approach adopted by the trial court was erroneous, decided to set aside its judgment and substituted its judgment by convicting the accused and sentencing them to life imprisonment, as noted earlier.
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