Prafulla C. Pant, Servesh Kumar Gupta, JJ. -
(1.) THIS appeal, preferred under Section 378 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, is directed against judgment and order dated 26.05.2001, passed by 1st Fast Track Court/Additional Sessions Judge, Haldwani, in Sessions Trial No. 540 of 1995, whereby said court has acquitted the accused/respondents Chandra Pal, Dharamveer, Rajesh, Navarang and Ramesh from the charge of offences punishable under Section 302/149 and 148/120B of I.P.C. (The trial court has convicted only accused Inderpal Singh under Section 302 of I.P.C. and sentenced him to imprisonment for life). Heard learned counsel for the parties, and perused the lower court record.
(2.) PROSECUTION story in brief is that a First Information Report (Ex. A1) was given at Police Station Gadarpur on 07.04.1995, by PW1 Shamsher Bahadur, in which, it is stated that on said day at about 10.30 A.M. accused Chandra Pal Singh, Indrapal Singh both sons of Dharamveer, Rajesh and Navarang both sons of Natthu and one Ramesh S/o. Arjun Ram came in a Jeep in Village Sakoniya and started hurling abuses at Ram Vilas Verma (deceased), whereafter he was assaulted and fires were shot at him. It was further alleged in the First Information Report that accused Chandra Pal and Indra Pal were armed with gun and rifle respectively and accused Navarang and Ramesh were armed with the swords. It is also mentioned in the First Information Report that there was a land dispute going on between the accused Chandra Pal and the deceased. On the basis of report (Ex. A1) Crime No. 125 of 1995 was registered at Police Station Gadarpur, relating to offences punishable under Section 147, 148, 149 and 302 of I.P.C., against the accused/respondents Chandra Pal Singh, Indrapal Singh, Rajesh, Navarang and Ramesh. The investigation was taken up by PW4 Sub Inspector Anant Ram Singh, who took the Police team at the spot. On 07.04.1995, itself PW6 Sub Inspector Girish Kumar Kotiya took the dead body of the deceased in his possession and prepared the inquest report (Ex. A2). He also got prepared the other necessary papers and got sent the dead body of the deceased Ram Vilas Verma in sealed condition for post mortem examination. PW5 Dr. Yashpal Singh Rawat of L.D. Bhatt Hospital, Kashipur, conducted post mortem examination on the dead body of Ram Vilas Verma on 07.04.1995 at about 4.50 p.m. and prepared autopsy report (Ex. A6). He found two lacerated wounds (one exit and one entry wound) on the body of the deceased and opined that the deceased had died of shock and haemorrhage, as a result of ante mortem injuries. After interrogating the witnesses and inspecting the spot, the Investigating Officer submitted charge sheet (Ex. A5) against the accused Chandra Pal Singh, Indrapal Singh, Rajesh, Navarang, Ramesh and Draramveer Singh, for their trial in respect of offences under Section 147, 148, 149, 302 and 120B of I.P.C. It appears that the Munsiff/Judicial Magistrate, on receipt of the charge sheet, after giving necessary copies to the accused, as required under Section 207 of Cr.P.C., committed the case to the court of sessions for trial. On 29.08.1997, the trial court, after hearing the parties, framed charge of offences punishable under Section 120B, 148 and 302 read with Section 149 of I.P.C., against all the six accused namely Chandra Pal Singh, Indrapal Singh, Rajesh, Navarang, Ramesh and Dharamveer Singh, who pleaded not guilty and claimed to be tried. On this prosecution got examined PW1 Shamsher Bahadur (informant), PW2 Nanhi Devi (eyewitness), PW3 Mehar Chand (eyewitness), PW4 Sub Inspector Anant Ram Singh (who investigated the crime), PW5 Dr. Yashpal Singh Rawat (who conducted post mortem examination) and PW6 Sub Inspector Girish Kumar Kotiya (who prepared the inquest report).
(3.) ORAL and documentary evidence was put to the accused under Section 313 of Cr.P.C., in reply to which, they pleaded that due to the enmity of land dispute they have been falsely implicated in the case. However, no evidence in defence was adduced. The trial court after hearing the parties found that the prosecution has successfully proved the charge of offence punishable under Section 302 of I.P.C., only against the accused Indrapal Singh and convicted and sentenced him to imprisonment for life. The trial court however found that no charge as against the remaining accused namely Chandrapal Singh, Dharamveer Singh, Rajesh, Navarang and Ramesh could be proved by the prosecution, as such, they were acquitted from the charge of offences punishable under Section 302/149, 148 and 120B of I.P.C. It is against this order of acquittal, in favour of the remaining five accused, aggrieved by which, this appeal was preferred by the State.;