Sema, J. -
(1.)These two appeals arise out of a common judgment and order passed by the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad dated 15th May, 2000 in Criminal Appeal No. 1659 of 1979 and Government Appeal No. 2819 of 1979. Criminal Appeal No. 1659 of 1979 had been preferred by Baljore (the appellant before us in Criminal Appeal No. 787/2002), who was convicted under Section 302, IPC and sentenced to life imprisonment by an order dated 1st May, 1979 passed by the VIth Additional Sessions Judge, Azam-garh, in Sessions Trial No. 533 of 1977. Government Appeal No. 2819 of 1979 had been preferred by the State of U.P. against the acquittal judgment by the Trial Court acquitting Mohar, Tikori and Tapsi (Mohar and Tikori are appellants before us in Criminal Appeal No. 658 of 2000) for the offences punishable under Section 302, 324 and 323 read with Section 34, IPC. By the impugned judgment the High Court, after examining the evidence on record, dismissed Criminal Appeal No. 1659 of 1979 preferred by Baljore and he was convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for life under Section 302 read with Section 34 instead of Section 302, IPC simpliciter, as recorded by the Trial Court. The High Court also allowed the Government Appeal No. 2819 of 1979 by reversing the acquittal of accused Mohar, Tikori and Tapsi, as recorded by the learned trial Judge and convicted each of them under Sections 302, 323 read with Section 34, IPC and sentenced them to undergo imprisonment for life and RI for a period of one year under Section 323 read with Section 34, IPC. The substantive part of sentences were directed to run concurrently. It appears that during the pendency of appeal accused-Tapsi expired and the appeal preferred by him stood abated. Now only the appellants Mohar and Tikori (in Criminal Appeal No. 658/2000) are before us.
(2.)Both the accused and the complainants are residents of village Ultahawa Dewara, P.S. Maharajganj, District Azamgarh. Ramraj - P.W.-1 and deceased-Ram Awadh were also residents of the said village. Towards the north of the houses of Ram Raj and Ram Awadh, there was an Agricultural field of accused-Baljore. There was also an agricultural field of deceased-Ram Awadh nearby. It is stated that in the year 1977 peas crop was existing in the field of Ram Awadh and wheat crop was existing in the field of Baljore.
(3.)The murder of deceased Ram Awadh and Hansraj is a sequel to the quarrel between Km. Kamli, daughter of deceased Ram Awadh and Tufania, son of accused Baljore on 29-1-1997 while they were picking akri and collecting grass adjoining their fields. It is stated that the quarrel between the two children was pacified by Balli (PW-3) and the children retired to their respective houses. When Ram Raj (PW-1) and his brother deceased-Ram Awadh were present in front of their houses and Jagarjit (Jagdish) PW-4 son of deceased-Ram Awadh was milching cow in front of his door, it is said that accused Tapsi armed with lathi, Baljore, Mohar and Tikori armed with spears appeared in front of the house of Ram Raj and on being exhorted by accused Tapsi (since expired) Baljore attacked deceased-Ram Awadh with spear, accused Tapsi attacked Jagarjit (Jagdish) with lathi. On arrival of deceased Hansraj accused Tikori and Mohar attacked Hansraj with spears. Thereafter, the said accused started causing injuries on the deceased Ram Awadh and deceased Hansraj with their respective weapons. Jagarjit (PW-4) and Ram Awadh (deceased) tried to save themselves by plying Hasuwa (sickle) and lathi respectively. It is stated that the deceased Ram Awadh sustained injuries inflicted by spear caused by Baljore and deceased Hansraj sustained injuries caused by Mohar. Jagarjit (PW-4) sustained lathi injuries. On an alarm being raised by Ramraj (PW-1) and injured persons, Vibhuti (PW-2), Balli (PW-3) and Ayodhya came to the spot and witnessed the occurrence. After the incident, both the injured Ram Awadh and Hansraj were taken to Police Station, Maharajganj, at a distance of about five miles from the place of occurrence, and Ram Raj (PW-1) lodged the First Information Report at about 8.50 p.m. Head Constable, Yadunandan Singh (PW6) prepared the First Information Report (Ex. Ka-1) and registered the case vide extract G.D. (Ext. Ka-2) under Sections 323, 324 and 307, IPC.