BALBIR SINGH Vs. STATE OF PUNJAB
LAWS(SC)-1994-2-20
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: PUNJAB & HARYANA)
Decided on February 08,1994

BALBIR SINGH Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF PUNJAB Respondents


Cited Judgements :-

BABULAL VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(MPH)-1995-12-12] [FOLLOWED ON]
ALI VS. STATE OF KERALA [LAWS(KER)-1995-1-33] [REFERRED TO]
ASHOK BHAGWAN BENJARI VS. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA [LAWS(BOM)-1994-9-16] [REFERRED TO]
GANPAT RAM VS. STATE OF RAJASTHAN [LAWS(RAJ)-1994-7-7] [REFERRED TO]
BALKAR SINGH VS. STATE OF HARYANA [LAWS(P&H)-2001-8-90] [REFERRED TO]
MALKHJAN VS. STATE OF U P [LAWS(ALL)-2014-5-147] [REFERRED TO]
ANKUR @ BOBY VS. STATE OF U.P. [LAWS(ALL)-2014-5-13] [REFERRED TO]
CHAIN VS. STATE OF J&K [LAWS(J&K)-2001-11-48] [REFERRED TO]
HARISADHAN SINGHA VS. THE STATE OF WEST BENGAL [LAWS(CAL)-2015-3-56] [REFERRED TO]
HUSSAIN AND ORS. VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(CAL)-2015-3-63] [REFERRED TO]
GANGA SINGH AND ORS. VS. STATE OF U.P. [LAWS(ALL)-2014-4-351] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

K. Jayachandra Reddy, J. - (1.)This is an appeal under Section 2(a) of the Supreme Court (Enlargement of Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction) Act, 1970 and the sole accused is the appellant. He was tried for an offence punishable under Section 302 IPC for committing the murder of Gurdip Singh, the deceased in the case and he was acquitted by the trial court. The State preferred an appeal and a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court set aside the order of acquittal and convicted the appellant under Section 302 IPC and sentenced him to undergo imprisonment for life.
(2.)The accused, deceased and the material witnesses belong to Village Jaitu in Faridkot District. In connection with the murder of Bhola Singh, brother of the accused, the deceased was tried and was acquitted in the year 1975. Thereafter the accused and his another brother Darbara Singh caused injuries to the deceased in 1976 for which they were charge-sheeted and security proceedings also were initiated. On 26-9-77 the deceased along with his son Harbans Singh, P.W. 6, daughter Jaswinder Kaur, P.W.7 and Niranjan Singh, P.W. 8, brother-in-law of P.W. 6 had gone to the shop of Maghi Ram in Jaitu Village where one Inder Singh had gone to sell his produce. According to the prosecution the said Inder Singh had taken the land of the deceased for cultivation and had to pay money. The deceased along with P.Ws. 6, 7 and 8 had gone to the shop of Maghi Ram to realise the money at about 3 P.M. When they were present in the shop, the accused armed with pistol, Exhibit M.O. 7 came there and fired at the deceased causing his instantaneous death. P.W. 6 left P.Ws. 7 and 8 near the dead body and went to the Police Station, Jaitu and gave a report at about 3.45 P.M. i.e. almost immediately. The case was registered and the S. H. O., P.W. 10 reached the scene of occurrence, held the inquest and sent the dead body for post-mortem. Dr. Lakhwinder Kaur, P.W. 1. who conducted the post-mortem, found a number of gun-shot injuries and opined that the death was due to injuries to the lungs caused by the pellets. The accused was arrested and the pistol Exhibit M.O. 7 was recovered along with cartridges Exhibit M.O. 8. The prosecution mainly relied on the evidence of the three eye witnesses. The accused pleaded not guilty. The learned Sessions Judge acquitted the accused holding that the purpose for which P.Ws. 6 to 8 went to the shop of Maghi Ram has not been explained and that Maghi Ram was not examined as a witness and that the presence of P.W. 6 also becomes doubtful because it was not proved that Inder Singh was cultivating the land of Gurdip Singh inasmuch as the necessary records were not filed and the presence of P.W. 8, who belongs to a different village, is doubtful. The learned Sessions Judge also held that the time of occurrence is in doubt in view of the statement of the Doctor, P.W. 1 that the information furnished by the police was that the deceased was done to death at 2.30 p.m. It was further held that the occurrence took place in broad-day light in an inhabited locality and no neighbourer was examined. The learned Sessions Judge also disbelieved the recoveries. The High Court, on the other hand, having examined the evidence of P.Ws. 6 to 8 held that the reasons given by the Sessions Judge are highly unsound and the only view possible is that the accused alone caused the death of the deceased.
(3.)Learned counsel for the appellant submitted before us that page No. Ws. 6 to 8 are highly interested witnesses and the purpose for which they were present in the shop of Maghi Ram along with the deceased is not at all established satisfactorily and that Inder Singh has not supported the prosecution case and that failure to examine the inhabitants of the locality throws any amount of doubt on the prosecution case and consequently the trial Court has rightly rejected the evidence of P.Ws. 6 to 8.
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