(1.) The above-titled appeals, challenging the same judgment of conviction, are being disposed of by this common verdict.
(2.) Both appeals assail the judgment and order dated 13/18.08.2008 rendered by learned Additional Sessions Judge/ First FTC, Haridwar in S.T. No.230 of 2005, State Vs. Sonu & three others, whereby the said Court has found the accused/appellants Sonu and Raju guilty for the offences punishable u/s 302/34, 201/34, 380, 411, 471 and 404 IPC, and sentenced them appropriately. However, they were acquitted from the charge of offences punishable under Sections 467, 468, 420 and 120-B IPC. At the same time, coaccused Kamal and Pawan were set free from all the charges levelled against them.
(3.) Facts of the case are that PW1 Prakash Chandra Tiwari lodged an FIR (Ex.A-1) on 04.10.2004 with the averments that his elder brother Ram Prakash Tiwari (deceased) used to reside alone in his house situated at Haridwar. Since complainant's brother had undergone an open-heart surgery, he was ailing at the relevant time due to which he was unable to move alone far without any vehicle.
Thus, for sundry services, including driving of his car, he had employed the accused Raj Kumar @ Raju, who, sometime before the occurrence, was removed, and in his place, accused Sonu @ Manish Kumar was engaged. On 4.10.2004 at about 01:30 PM of the day, complainant was informed by Shyam Singh and Balram (PW12) to the effect that while returning from IDPL Barrage towards Haridwar, they found that car of his elder brother was parked in the outskirts of town near Vindhyawasini Bridge. They also saw the accused/appellants Sonu and Raj Kumar while throwing a plastic bag inside the Chilla canal, which they brought out from the car. On this information, complainant rushed to his brother's house at about 2 PM which was found locked. The neighbours Raj Kumar Chaddha and Pawan Tyagi disclosed that at about 11:30 AM, they had seen both drivers Sonu and Raj Kumar while loading a white packed bag (Polythene coated) in the boot of car; thereafter they drove the car from there. Complainant made a massive hunt but could not find any trace of his brother. Then he returned to his brother's house where he broke open the lock and found signs of friction besides the stains of phenyl. It was also reported that Rs.2.22 lakh, which the deceased withdrew through accused Sonu @ Manish from Syndicate Bank, Haridwar, were also found missing. The informant expressed the apprehension in the report that on account of having an ill eye upon this much of money, accused persons Sonu and Raj Kumar, committed murder of his brother. The police then came into motion and arrested both the accused Raj Kumar and Sonu on 5.10.2004 at about 10:45 A.M. and from their possession, a sum of Rs.1.50 lakh (Rs.75,000/- from each one of them) besides a gold wring, belonging to deceased, was recovered, recovery memo whereof is Ex.A-5. The accused persons, on the same day, also got recovered the towel, underwear, under-vest, belt of hold-all, one pair of slippers and one plastic cane of phenyl, wherefor recovery memo Ex.A-2 was prepared. Dead body was recovered on 6.10.2004 at the bank of canal, along with which a plastic bag, holdall and nylon cord were also found, for which a memo of recovery Ex.A-12 was prepared. Blank cheques pertaining to Syndicate Bank were also got recovered by the accused, recovery memos whereof are Ex.A-22 (in respect of accused Sonu @ Manish) and Ex.A-23 (in respect of accused Raju @ Raj Kumar) respectively having the forged signatures of deceased.
On 7.10.2004, co-accused Pawan Kumar (acquitted by trial court) was arrested and from his possession, chequebook State Bank of Patiala was recovered. On the same day, the signatures of deceased were traced at three places. The questioned documents were also sent for the expert opinion at Scientific Laboratory, Agra, report whereof is on the record. After completing the investigation, a chargesheet was submitted against four accused which is Ex.A-24.;