K.G. Balakrishnan, J. -
(1.)18 persons were charge-sheeted before the Court of Sessions, East Godavari Division at Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh, for offences punishable under Section 302 read with Section 149, IPC and for other allied offences. One accused, by name, Rachapalli Bhanuraju was absconding and his case was separated and only 17 persons were tried by the Court. Out of them, Sundarapalli Apparao (A4), Sundarapalli Kama Raju (A5), Vajrapu Satyanarayana (A9), Ghetla Veeraraju (A13), Chetla Suribabu (A14) and A17 were acquitted of all charges.
(2.)Arellasattabbayi (A7) was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for one year under Section 324, IPC for causing injury to the wife of Thota Abbayi (D-2). Rachapalli Abbulu (A2), Chakkidala Nageswara Rao (A3), Nitta Subbarao (A6), Chakkidala Papamma (A8), Mokamati Jayara (A10), Mokamati Satyanarayana (A11), Sundarapalli Veeraraju (A15) and Sanku Daveedu Raju (A18), were found guilty of offences under Section 302 read with Section 149, IPC for having caused the death of Thota Nagaraju (Deceased 1) and Rachapalli Abbulu (A2), Chakkidala Nageswara Rao (A3), Mokamati Jayara (A10), Mokamati Satyanarayana (A11), Injamalla Yesudasa (A12), Arella Bhadra Rao (A16) and Sanku Daveedu Raju (A18) were found guilty of the offences under Section 302 read with Section 149, IPC for having caused the death of Thota Abbayi (Deceased 2). In all, 10 accused persons were found guilty of the offences punishable under Section 302 read with Section 149, IPC. They went up in appeal before the High Court and by the impugned judgment their appeals were dismissed. Aggrieved by the same, the present appeals are preferred. Briefly stated, the facts of the case are thus.
(3.)The appellants and the two deceased persons belonged to the same community, but they led two different factions. One group was under the leadership of deceased Thota Nagaraju (D-1) and the other group was led by absconding first accused Rachapalli Bhanaraju. All these persons were the residents of Patha Peddapuram village. There used to be frequent quarrels between these two groups of persons and some criminal cases were registered against them. In view of frequent quarrels between these two groups, a police picket was posted in the locality. However, due to the parliamentary elections in the area, the armed police picket was withdrawn from the village on 25-12-1984. Taking advantage of this situation, on 27-12-1984 at about 1 p.m., the accused persons came to the residence of Thota Nagaraju (D-1). At that time Thota Nagaraju (D-1) was sitting in the verandah of his house and was taking his midday meal. All the accused persons, armed with spears, knives and sticks started attacking him. Thota Nagaraju (D-1) tried to run away, but he was chased and surrounded by the accused. According to the prosecution, Rachapalli Bhanuraju (A1) and Rachapalli Abbulu (A2) caused various injuries on the body of Thota Nagaraju (D-1). PW2, the wife of Thota Nagaraju (D-1), tried to intervene in order to rescue her husband, but she was also beaten up by Rachapalli Abbulu (A2). After causing injuries to Thota Nagaraju (D-1), the accused went to the house of his brother Thota Abbayi (D-2). On seeing the group of persons. Thota Abbayi (D-2) ran away to a nearby public lavatory, but all the accused persons managed to drag him out of the lavatory and caused multiple injuries on his person. The accused persons also caused injuries to the wife of Thota Abbayi (D-2).