Decided on May 28,2003

MURALI Appellant


- (1.) First of these two appeals is by accused 1 to 4 and the other is by accused 5 to 8 in S.C. No.193/98 on the file of the First Additional Sessions Judge, Thrissur in which, apart from them, two other persons were also involved. Those two persons (accused 9 and 10) had been acquitted. The appellants were charge sheeted for offences punishable under S.143, 147, 148, 120B and 302 read with S.149 of the Indian Penal Code for having committed murder of one Vidyasagaran. Accused 1 to 8 were found guilty of the offences punishable under S.143, 147, 148 and 302 read with S.149 of the Indian Penal Code. They have been sentenced to undergo rigorous improvement for life and to pay a compensation of Rs.20,000/- each and in default to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of five years each. Though separate punishments have been awarded for the offences punishable under S.143, 147 and 148 I.P.C., the sentences were directed to run concurrently. It is against this conviction and sentences, the appellants have filed these appeals.
(2.) The prosecution case was as follows: There was an attempt against the life of the 9th accused on an earlier occasion. It was supposed to be at the instance of the deceased - Vidyasagaran, who belonged to a rival political faction. To wreak revenge on him, all the accused assembled in the house of the 9th accused, hatched up a conspiracy to do away with the deceased. For that the 9th accused hired a taxi with the help of the 10th accused, which was being driven by the 6th accused. All the accused persons were transported in that taxi car to the place of occurrence which is stated to be close to an engine shed in Mathilakam Village. At about 8.30 P.M. on the date of occurrence (12.7.1996), all the accused assembled at the alleged scene of occurrence. Then there was load shedding. The deceased had been in intimacy with PW.7, residing in the nearby locality. He used to visit her. On that day, just after the load shedding was over at 9 P.M., he crossed over to his residence in the very same locality through a short cut which passes near the engine shed. At that time, all the accused persons are alleged to have assaulted the deceased with dangerous weapons like sword, knife, daggers and hitting block and the deceased fell down with multiple injuries. He was taken to the hospital, but he succumbed to the injuries. The prosecution case was that about 15 minutes before the alleged incident at about 9 to 9.10 P.M., PW.4 had been passing through that bylane and he saw four among the accused persons standing on one side of the bylane and the remaining standing on the other side with dangerous weapons. When PW.4 lighted his torch, he was threatened and thereupon he flew to his residence. It was thereafter that the deceased came from the house of PW.7. PWs.2 and 4 came to the scene hearing the hue and cry of the deceased. PW.2 had seen the accused persons assaulting the deceased. PW.4 also had seen them running away with weapons. It was in the above circumstances, they have been charge sheeted for the offences punishable under S.143, 147, 148, 120B and 302 read with S.149 of the Indian Penal Code.
(3.) The prosecution examined PWs.1 to 23 and marked Exts.P1 to P51 documents and identified material objects M.Os.1 to 37. Exts.D1 to D4 documents were marked on the defence side. No witness was examined on the defence side.;

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