BARIN GHOSH,J -
(1.) In the instant case, a double murder took place at Khalyun Danda. According to the Post Mortem Report, death in both the cases is due to ante mortem injuries inflicted by sharp edged weapons. Investigation was taken up on hand on the basis of First Information Report lodged by Gabbar Singh (PW 1). The allegations, contained in the First Information Report, were those as were made to PW 1 by Vinod Singh (PW 2). It was alleged in the First Information Report that three of the appellants, namely, Ram Singh alias Dabbu, Soban Singh and Ran Veer Singh knocked at the closed door of the shop of PW 2 in the night to enquire about PW 1. PW 2 recognized the voice of those three appellants and also saw them through the gap of the door of his shop. It was stated that on the next day in the morning, PW 2 had a number of customers to be attended to. It was stated that PW 2 attended to those customers, then went to the house of PW 1 and found that the door of the house is open and the dead bodies of the victims, namely, of two sons of PW 1 were lying.
(2.) In course of investigation, all the appellants were arrested. They were charged of murdering the victims in course of committing dacoity. It was alleged that the object of murdering the victims was to accomplish dacoity at the house of PW 1, when a sum of Rs. 1 lac was looted along with many other items. When appellant Kuldeep was arrested, allegedly Rs. 15,000/- were seized from him along with a watch and a shirt. PW 1 allegedly recognized the watch and the shirt as belonging to one of the victims. The seizure memo did not indicate that the currency notes, thus seized, were marked or contained any signature. At the time, when appellant Mohit was arrested, a sum of Rs. 17,307/- was recovered from him along with, again, a wrist-watch and a shirt. PW 1 held out that the shirt and the wrist-watch belonged to the other victim. The seizure list in this case also did not indicate that the currency notes contained any signature or mark. At the time of arresting appellant Ram Pal, a knife was recovered. The knife was sent for examination by FSL, Agra. The report of FSL, Agra did not reveal the group of human blood said to have been found on the said knife. In course of investigation, appellants supposed to have disclosed the place, where the appellants had allegedly burnt their clothes. After completion of the investigation, thus made, a charge sheet was filed and, on the basis thereof, charges were framed. In the charge, it was alleged that each of the appellants is guilty of commission of offences punishable under Sections 396 and 412 of the Indian Penal Code.
(3.) In order to prove the charge, prosecution relied upon the evidence of PW 1 and PW 2. PW 1 accepted that he had no personal knowledge of the matter, except recognising the things mentioned above. PW 2 stated what had been recorded by PW 1 in the First Information Report. In addition to that, PW 2 held out that he came to learn that the appellants came to commit the dacoity in a Tata Sumo vehicle bearing registration number as was given by him in course of his deposition. How he came to know that the assailants came by that vehicle and when he came to know about the same were, however, not stated by him. The evidence, thus tendered by PW 1 and PW 2, was, therefore, deficient to put home the charge of dacoity. Recovery of watches and shirts and alleged identification thereof by PW 1 that the same belonged to his deceased sons could not, under any circumstances, put home the charge of dacoity, inasmuch as, PW 1 did not make any effort to establish before the court below that, in fact, the deceased sons of PW 1 were owners of those watches and the shirts. In order to fill up the deficiency, prosecution, therefore, called Harjinder Singh (PW 5). PW 5 was allegedly the driver of the said vehicle. The appellants or some of them, allegedly hired the said vehicle and they travelled in the said vehicle to the place of occurrence. While the appellants were passengers of the said vehicle, PW 5 held out that he called his brother-in-law Mukesh (PW 6) as his companion. PW 5 held out that the vehicle reached the place of occurrence, the appellants got down from the vehicle, they committed the murder of the sons of PW 1, whereafter PW 5 and PW 6, after having had watched the same, came back to their respective places of residence. PW 6 also stated so in course of his evidence. However, the Investigating Officer, namely, Mahendra Singh Negi (PW 11), surprisingly, did not reveal before the court below as to when and how he came to know about PW 5 and PW 6 and, in particular, their knowledge about the incident in question. In other words, PW 5 and PW 6 fell suddenly on the blessings of the God on the lap of PW 11. Surprisingly, the vehicle was not seized; no effort was made to trace the owner of the vehicle; no log-book was seized and PW 5 stated that he never maintained any log-book. Apart from the oral evidence of PW 5 and PW 6, there is nothing to show that, in fact, PW 5 was or is a driver capable of driving a vehicle and he was hired to drive a vehicle. There is nothing to show that, in fact, appellants or any one of them hired any vehicle, which PW 5 was authorized to drive. PW 5 held out to the court below, in course of his deposition, that he knew the appellants, but in what connection? The logical conclusion would be that involvement of PW 5 and PW 6 in the matter was nothing, but manufacture of evidence by the investigation for the purpose of instilling false accusations on the appellants and, at the same time, covering up of the irresponsibility in making no effort to unearth the truth in the double murder, with which we are concerned.;