Decided on November 27,2012



- (1.) A complaint was moved by Sultan Singh s/o Kotwal Singh to Patti Patwari, Chowki Chaura, District Pauri Garhwal, on 06.07.1995 at 04:00 p.m. According to the informant, on the selfsame day (i.e. 06.07.1995) at 09:00 a.m., he saw that his grand daughter Laxmi, daughter of Daulat Singh, was crying bitterly. On hearing such sobbing, informant Sultan Singh went to Laxmi and enquired from her as to why she was weeping. Laxmi said that her mother died in the field. Sultan Singh, for the purpose of verifying the fact, went to the field and saw the dead body of Deewani Devi, wife of Daulat Singh, there. The incident took place at an unknown time on 05.07.1995. Revenue Police initiated the investigation. After the investigation, a charge sheet for the offence punishable under Section 302 IPC was submitted against the appellants Gulab Singh, Darshan Singh and Virendra Singh (since deceased). Charge Sheet for the offences punishable under Sections 302 /109 IPC was submitted against the coaccused Sampati Devi. When the trial commenced and the prosecution opened it's case, learned Sessions Judge, Pauri Garhwal, framed charges against the accused persons for the offences punishable under Sections 302/34 IPC and Section 109 IPC, to which they pleaded not guilty and claimed trial. Five prosecution witnesses, viz., PW1 Sultan Singh, PW2 Laxmi Devi, PW3 Dr. Javed Ahmad, PW4 Dinesh Chandra and PW5 Kanungo Binti Lal were examined on behalf of the prosecution. Statements of the accused persons under Section 313 Cr.P.C. were taken. They denied the allegations and said that the charge sheet against them was wrongly filed. Two witnesses, namely, DW1 Bharat Singh and DW2 Dev Singh Rawat were examined in defence. After considering the evidence on record, learned court below acquitted Sampati Devi, of the charges framed against her, but convicted Gulab Singh, Darshan Singh and Virendra Singh of the charges under Sections 302/34 IPC and Section 109 IPC and were sentenced appropriately. Aggrieved against the said order of conviction, accused-appellants preferred present Criminal Appeal. Since appellant Virendra Singh died, therefore, Criminal Appeal preferred on his behalf stood abated on 08.12.2010.
(2.) PW1 Sultan Singh said in his examination-in-chief, that on 06.07.1995, on hearing the cries of the daughter of victim at 09:00 a.m., when he went to Laxmi to enquire from her the reason of her crying, she said that her mother was dead. PW1 went to the field and saw that the victim was dead. There were some injuries on her body. PW1 called the villagers and submitted a report to Patti Patwari around 04:00 p.m. PW1 proved his complaint (Ext.Ka-1). Patti Patwari came on the place of occurrence. In his cross-examination, PW1 said that he did not know whether victim Deewani Devi was at her residence on 05.07.1995 or not? He came to know of the marriage of PW2 Laxmi only after the incident. PW2 Laxmi told PW1 that she did not stay in the house of the victim during the intervening night of 5/6.07.1995. The house in which PW2 Laxmi was staying during the intervening night of 5/6.07.1995, was situated at a distance of 100 paces from the house of the victim. PW1 thus did not see the incident. He was only the informant, who moved the complaint on the basis of his conversation with the daughter of the deceased.
(3.) When PW2 Laxmi Devi entered into the witness box, she said that Deewani Devi was her mother and appellant Darshan Singh was the father of her bhabhi (sister-in-law) Sampati Devi. Appellant Gulab Singh was the nephew of appellant Darshan Singh. Appellant Virendra was a relative of appellant Darshan Singh. She (PW2) was unmarried when the incident took place. She used to reside with her mother in the village, in which the incident took place. On 05.07.1995, her mother came to the second house, which was situated upstairs, at 09:00 p.m. Thereafter victim left for her first house, which was situated down below. She heard shrieks of her mother. When she came out of the house, where she (PW2) was staying in the night, she saw that the appellants Darshan Singh, Gulab Singh and Virendra Singh were inflicting blows with sticks, khukree (a small sharp edged curved weapon), feet and fists. PW2 was frightened and she concealed herself. She did not go to save her mother. Appellants killed the victim and threw her dead body in the field. She saw the incident in the moonlit night. The next day in the morning, when she again came back, she saw that her mother was killed and she (mother) had sustained injuries. When she started crying, PW1 Sultan Singh enquired from her as to why she was weeping? PW2 disclosed the reason of her weeping. PW1 Sultan Singh called the villagers. PW2 was not in a fit state of mind and therefore, she could not disclose the entire facts to them. Her mother and Sampati Devi were not favourably disposed to each other. She suspected that Sampati Devi had a hand in the killing of the victim. The appellants killed the victim at the instance of Sampati Devi (who was exonerated of the charges framed against her by learned court below). PW2 was residing with her bua (aunt) for the last one month. Darshan Singh was the father of Sampati Devi and Virendra Singh was her close relative. Sampati Devi used to quarrel with the mother of PW2 quite often. The victim used to say PW2 that the appellants might kill her. The appellants also took away a cash of Rs. 10,000/- and four khukrees (curved knives) from the house of the victim. Patwari was called in the morning. PW2 disclosed the entire incident to Patti Patwari after four days. In the cross-examination, PW2 said that when the incident took place, she was pregnant and was in Delhi. Jai Singh Rawat was her husband and she was living with him in Delhi. PW2 instituted a case of rape against a retired army personnel. Rape was committed with her 5-6 months prior to this incident. Her pregnancy was aborted. Her marriage with Jai Singh Rawat took place after a month of the death of her mother. Her father came to the house after 15 days of the killing of her mother. The panches of the inquest report were the villagers. Her mother died in shrawan month. When she showed the dead body of her mother to Patwari, some 15-20 people were there. She admitted that she did not disclose the names of the assailants to Patti Patwari or PW1. Her brother was serving in the army when the incident took place. She did not know the place of the posting of her brother. She denied that the names of the appellants were projected on the suggestions of the villagers. Her bhabhi (sister-in-law) resided with her brother. ;

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