JAYANTIBHAI BHENKARBHAI Vs. STATE OF GUJARAT
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: GUJARAT)
STATE OF GUJARAT
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(1.)In an incident which took place in village Singpur of Taluk Songadh, Gujarat on 6-7-1989 at about 8.30 p.m. one Lallubhai Naranbhai died on account of injuries inflicted on him. Nine accused persons were charged with having committed offences punishable under Ss. 302/149 and 147/148/452, I.P.C. Four accused persons, namely, accused Nos. 2, 4, 5 and 8 were directed to be acquitted by the trial Court as the charges against them were not proved and they were entitled to the benefit of doubt. Accused Nos. 1, 3, 6, 7 and 9 were held guilty of having committed the offence punishable under Ss. 302/149, I.P.C. These five accused persons were sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life and a fine of Rs. 250/_ each and in default to further undergo rigorous imprisonment for one month each. They were further sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for one year and each for having committed offences under Ss. 147/148 and 452, I.P.C. and also to pay a fine of Rs. 125/- and in default of payment to undergo further imprisonment of one month each. The sentences were directed to run concurrently. All the five convicted accused persons preferred appeal before the High Court which has been dismissed. Accused Nos. 1, 3, 6 and 7, namely, Singha Magan, Dina Afiniya, Digniya Rama and Rupa Singha have accepted the judgment of the High Court and have not pursued challenge to their conviction up to this Court. It is only the accused No. 9 Jayantibhai Bhenkarbhai who has filed this appeal by special leave.
(2.)The prosecution case briefly stated is that the accused No. 1 Singha Magan came to visit the house of one Lalji Rajia at about 6.00 p.m. on 6-7-1989. Lalji Rajia was not at his house. Singha Magan demanded liquor from Ashwin, a minor son of Lalji Rajia, which was objected to by Ushniben, the wife of Lalji Rajia. There was some verbal altercation. Singha Magan (A-1) was speaking in foul language and was argumentative insisting on fulfilling his demand for liquor. At this point of time, Lalubhai and his brother Kantibhai, who were next door neighbourers of Lalji Rajia came out and intervened and chastised the accused-Singha Magan by telling him that in the absence of Lalji Rajia, the accused should not have harassed the lady who was alone in the house. The accused was asked by Lalubhai to leave that locality and go away. This annoyed the accused and he left threatening that he would see him later.
(3.)At about 8.00 p.m. on the same day, accused No. 1 Singha Magan returned to the house of the deceased accompanied by accused Nos. 2 to 9. The accused persons were severally armed. Accused No. 1 Singha Magan was armed with a knife, accused No. 7 Rupa Singha had a pestle with him. Accused No. 6 Digniya Rama and accused No. 9 Jayantibhai Bhenkarbhai were armed with sticks. The incident was witnessed by Kantibhai and Thakorebhai, brothers of the deceased. The accused persons fled away after assaulting the victim. Thakhorebhai went to Channabhai Dhirubhai and narrated to him the incident. He advised for a report being lodged with the police. Thakorebhai accompanied by Channabhai Dhirubhai went to Ukai Police Station situated at a distance of about 10-12 kms. and lodged F.I.R. of the incident at 6.00 a.m. on 7-7-1989. A cognizable offence was registered and investigation commenced.
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