Decided on August 13,1955

STATE Respondents

Referred Judgements :-



- (1.)The six appellants along with 27 others were tried by the Sessions Judge, Cuddapah on various counts in connection with a rioting that took place in a village called Parlapad, Cuddapah district on the 26th of January, 1954. The Sessions Judge found all the appellants guilty under section 148, Indian Penal Code, and sentenced them to rigorous imprisonment for one year. In addition,he also found them guilty under section 326, Indian Penal Code, and sentenced them to rigorous imrpisonment for three years with a direction that the sentences should run concurrently.
(2.)The prosecution case in brief is this. On the critical day, P.W. 1 was passing "by the house of 1st accused by about 5 P.M. The 1st accused suddenly caught his neck and shouted out when all the other accused gathered there. P.W. 1 freed himself and tried to escape but he was chased and all the appellants instigated by the 1st accused speared him on various parts of his body. P.Ws. 2 and 3, his brothers, who intervened also received the same treatment. The next morning a report was sent by the village munsif to the police with regard to this incident. The prosecution case is supported by the evidence of P.Ws 1 to 3. P.W. 1 stated that there was a land dispute between him and 1st accused and this led to two factions in the village, all the accused siding 1st accused, and some oi the villagers taking the side of P.W. 1. On the 26th January, 1954, when he was passing on the road near the house of the 1st accused, 1st accused caught his neck, abused him in vulgar language and then shouted out when all the other accused gathered there, some of them armed with spears, hatchets and others with sticks and guns. Meanwhile, he got himself released from the hold of the 1st accused and began to run towards his house, but all the accused chased him and before he could enter the house he was beaten with a hatchet by the 3rd accused on the left side of the forehead, accused 2 speared him on the left side of the back, while accused 11 speared him near the right arm pit on the outer part, and accused 12 struck him with a stick on the right knee. At that time P.Ws. 2 and 3, his brother, appealed on the scene and tried to prevent the assailants from beating P.W. 1 further. They were also attacked. 22nd accused wounded P.W. 2 with a spear on the left flank, while gth accused stabbed P.W. 3 on the right upper arm with a spear and accused 4 beat him with a stick on the dorsurn of the right hand. Some of the other accused also caused some injuries to either one or other of P.Ws. 1 to 3. Thereupon, the witness and P.Ws. 2 and 3 ran into their house and bolted the door from inside. Thereafter, their father returned home and seeing the state of affairs fetched the village munsif at about midnight to whom a report was given. P.Ws. 2 and 3 support in general P.W. 1 with regard to the attack on all the three. There are some variations, but that is only, with regard to the details such as the part played by each of the accused, and it is not necessary to set out their evidence especially having regard to the contentions urged in this appeal. The plea of the accused in the lower Court was one of denial.
(3.)The lower Court believed P.Ws. 1, 2 and 3 and convicted only such of the accused to whom overt acts were attributed and against whom at least two witnesses spoke. As regards A-1, in his view, his presence at the place of offence was doubtful having regard to the admissions made by the witnesses that his right hand could not be freely used by reason of his having received a gun shot wound 10 years before. So he was acquitted. According to the learned Judge, the prosecution party attacked the accused's party earlier and wounded accused 1, 4, 5 and 7 and killed one Konda Reddi. Infuriated by this, all the appellants along with some of their partisans formed themselves into an unlawful assembly with the common object of beating these three witnesses and in pursuance of that object belaboured P.Ws. 1 to 3.

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