SATPAL Vs. STATE OF UTTARAKHAND
HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND (AT: NAINITAL)
Satpal and Another
STATE OF UTTARAKHAND
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(1.) In the present appeal, appellants are assailing the judgment and order dated 09.01.2008 passed by Additional Sessions Judge/1st FTC, Haridwar in Sessions Trial No. 220 of 1998 whereby appellants were convicted and sentenced to undergo life imprisonment and to pay fine of Rs. 10,000/- each, failing which to serve additional imprisonment of 6 months for the offences punishable under Section 302/34 IPC. Brief facts of the present case inter alia are that PW 3 Rodhu Singh has lodged a report to police on 18.06.1997 that in the fateful night, he along with his son Narendra and Urmila (wife of Narendra) were sleeping on the different cots in front of their house; at about 02.00 a.m. after hearing a gunshot, he awoke and noticed that appellants along with Meghraj, who was armed with country made pistol, running from the spot. He rushed immediately to his son Narendra and found gunshot injury on his chest wherefrom blood was oozing out. On his report, a chik FIR was registered as case crime No. 107 of 1997 under Section 302/34 IPC against appellants as well as Meghraj. PW 8 Dr. Arvind Dey conducted the postmortem examination on the dead body of Narendra and opined that Narendra died due to gun shot injuries on his chest. Having investigated the matter, a charge-sheet was submitted against the appellants as well as Meghraj for the offence punishable under Section 302, 120B IPC. After committal of the case, learned trial court framed charges against the accused persons for the offence punishable under Section 302 read with Section 34 IPC. During trial, Meghraj expired, therefore, trial against him stood abated. During trial, informant Rodhu Singh (PW 3), PW 4 Urmila (widow of Narendra), PW 5 Vishambhari, (mother of Narendra) were examined. PWs 3, 4 and 5 stated on oath that all of them, after hearing the gunshot, rushed towards the cot of Narendra and saw that appellants along with Meghraj were running from site of occurrence and Meghraj was armed with country made pistol. None of the eyewitnesses has deposed that present appellants were also having any firearm with them. No specific role is attributed to either of the appellants and gunshot was said to be fired by Meghraj.
(2.) Since the main accused, who was said to be armed with country made pistol has expired and none of the witnesses has noticed that Meghraj had actually fired at Narendra and no specific role is attributed to either of the appellants, therefore, appellants cannot be said to have played any role in the murder of Narendra beyond reasonable doubt, therefore, conviction with the help of Section 34 IPC seems to be totally unjustified. In the circumstances of the case, as discussed hereinabove, we are unable to agree with reasoning of the learned trial court thereby convicting and sentencing the appellants under Section 302/34 IPC. Therefore, the present appeal is allowed. Impugned judgment and order dated 09.01.2008 passed by learned Additional Sessions Judge, Haridwar in Sessions Trial No. 220 of 1998 is hereby set aside. Appellants are on bail. They need not to surrender in the court below, if not wanted in any other case. Their personal bonds are cancelled and sureties are discharged. Let the lower court record be transmitted back to court below forthwith.;
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