B. N. Agrawal, J. -
(1.)The appellants along with accused Rajendra Yadav and Madan Dusadh were convicted by the trial court under S. 302/149 of the Penal Code and sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life. They were further convicted under S. 307/149 and 436 of the Penal Code and sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of ten years and seven years respectively. The sentences were, however, directed to run concurrently. The other five accused were acquitted by the trial court. On appeals being preferred, convictions and sentences of the appellants have been upheld by the High Court whereas accused Rajendra Yadav and Madan Dusadh have been acquitted.
(2.)The prosecution case, in short, is that the informant-Shambhu Prasad Komal (PW.14), who was worker of Revolutionary Group of Forward Bloc, along with his companions was undertaking a padyatra from 22nd April, 1983 to 27th April, 1983 which was led by their leader Balmukund Rahi. In the evening of 25th April, 1983 they held a meeting at Guraru and after the same was over PW-14 along with 150 workers went to Village Karma for night halt where they stayed in the house of one Ramratan Yadav (PW.12) and after taking dinner when some of them were sitting inside the Baithaka and others outside, at about 9-9-15 P.M., they heard slogans coming from towards South of the village. In the meantime, nearly 150-200 members of Naxalite group came, surrounded the house of PW-12, amongst whom accused Dara singh @ Kamdeo Yadav and appellant Bindeshwar Yadav were carrying guns and pointing towards the prosecution party saying "be careful and raise your hands" whereupon out of fear some of the members of the prosecution party went inside the house and closed the door from within. Thereafter, they heard sounds of bullet firing and bomb explosion and the house in which they were hiding themselves was set on fire. When the members of the prosecution party found that they were exposed to the risk of being roasted alive as a result of fire, they came out of the house and at that point of time the accused persons surrounded them and took them to the south-eastern direction where they were forced to sit. Out of the members of the prosecution party, Balmukund Rahi, Chandradeo Yadav and Ganesh Yadav (PW1) were taken to eastern direction by the appellants Bindeshwar Yadav and Bhuneshwar Bind besides accused Dara Singh, Madan Dusadh, Dhudheshwar Dusadh and Gupta Yadav. Out of them appellants Bindeshwar Yadav and Bhuneshwar Bind apart from accused Dara Singh and Dhudheshwar Dusadh were said to have cut throats of Balmukund Rahi and Chandradeo Yadav with pasuli whereas PW-1 was inflicted injuries on the head by pharsa but he managed to escape. Appellants Dana, Rambilas, Doman and Ramchandra along with eight other named accused persons and several other unknown were alleged to have surrounded other members of the prosecution party and assaulted Bal Govind (PW8), Chandrika (PW4) and Ramratan Yadav (PW12) who received injuries. Thereafter the accused persons took to their heels. Motive for the occurrence disclosed was that members of the prosecution party had undertaken padyatra against terror spread by the naxalites. Stating the aforesaid facts, fardbayan of the informant (PW-14) was recorded by the Sub Inspector of Police on the same day at 11 P.M. in the village on the basis of which formal first information report was drawn up against 14 named accused persons, including the appellants, excepting Deo Nandan, and the police, after registering the case, took up investigation, during the course of which appellant Deo Nandan was also made accused in the case and on completion thereof, submitted charge-sheet, on receipt whereof the learned Magistrate took cognizance and committed 14 accused persons, including the appellants, to the Court of Session to face trial.
(3.)Defence of the accused persons, including the appellants, was that they were innocent and had no complicity with the crime, but were falsely implicated.