IN THE HON’BLE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1813 OF 2017
DULESHWAR & ANR.
THE STATE OF M.P. (NOW CHHATTISGARH)
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1815 OF 2017
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1814 of 2017
Dinesh Maheshwari, J.
Introductory with brief outline
1.These three appeals are directed against the common judgment and order dated 12.09.2014, as passed by the High Court of Chhattisgarh at Bilaspur in Criminal Appeal No. 3336/1999 whereby, the High Court has upheld the judgment and order dated 26.11.1999 by the Additional Sessions
Judge, Dhamtari, Chhattisgarh in
Signature Not Verified
Digitally signed by
Reason: sentencing the
punishable under Sections 147, 148, 302/149 and 325 of the Indian Penal Code (‘IPC’).
2.In a brief outline of the material aspects, it could be noticed that in the present case, the appellants, seven in number, being Accused Nos.1,2,5,7,8,12 and 131 were tried together with several other
inflicting several injuries. The convicted accused persons were awarded
1 Accused Nos. 2 and 12 are the appellants in Criminal Appeal No. 1813 of 2017; Accused Nos. 1, 8 and 13 are the appellants in Criminal Appeal No. 1814 of 2017; and Accused Nos. 5 and 7 are the appellants in Criminal Appeal No. 1815 of 2017. Hereinafter, the respective appellants and other co- accused persons are also referred to as
2 Hereinafter the Prosecution Witnesses are also referred to as
varying sentences, including that of life imprisonment for the offence under Section 302/149 IPC. Except Vivekanand
2.1.Essentially, the conviction of the appellants under Section 302/149 has been questioned in these appeals; and the principal ground of challenge is that there is no cogent evidence about their involvement in the crime in question. The reliability of evidence led by the prosecution has also been assailed in these appeals apart from other contentions concerning the surrounding factors. The relevant facts and background aspects could be noticed, keeping in view the points arising for determination in these appeals.
The relevant facts and background
3.The prosecution case has been that a dispute in relation to the fields and demarcation of ridge was going on between Biselal Sahu, brother of Mangalram
civil case related to this dispute was also pending. Due to the enmity because of this dispute, on 15.10.1998 at around
3.1.According to the prosecution, on the same day i.e., on 15.10.1998, another incident took place at around 5.30 p.m. in which Bharosaram, Chintaram, Khemraj, Bhanjan Singh, Khemuram, and other accused persons assaulted Govind Singh near Kalley Bridge and inflicted upon him varying injuries. When Santosh Kumar
was dragged to a faraway place towards the canal, where he succumbed to his injuries.4
3.2.The report relating to the incidents was made to the police by Khilawan
marpeet with lathi danda to his father Govind Singh and uncle Dhanwaram due to which, Govind Singh died and Dhanwaram sustained serious injuries. On this report, FIR No. 186/1998 came to be registered and investigation was undertaken.
3.3.During the investigation, police obtained the
4It appears that on the same day and around the same time, but before the incident resulting in the death of Govind Singh, yet another incident took place involving the deceased Govind Singh and Mangalram
stains. After completion of investigation, the charge sheet was filed in the Court of Special Judge, Schedule Tribe Prohibition of Atrocities, Raipur against 18 accused persons for causing rioting while being armed with deadly weapons, for causing murder of Govind Singh, and for attempting to cause murder of Dhanwaram. However, by the order dated 04.02.1999, the learned Special Judge held that the matter was not to be proceeded in the Special Court. Thereafter, the charge sheet was filed in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Dhamtari; and being sessions triable matter, the same was committed to the Sessions Court, Raipur and was ultimately tried in the Court of Additional Sessions Judge, Dhamtari in S.T. No. 114 of 1999.
4.In the trial, the prosecution examined 21 witnesses being
19 Dasrath Deycate Deputy Superintendent of Police, who recorded the statements of some of the witnesses;
5.Having regard to the contentions urged and questions involved, we may briefly take note of the relevant aspects of the evidence of material witnesses examined in this matter.
5.1.The injured witness
5 It may be noticed that
and dragged him towards canal while the other accused persons kept on
beating him. The relevant portion of the testimony of
“…. At that time about
All were carrying stick (danda). Someone carried hatchet as well. I did not see any other weapon. They came and started argument with Govind Singh. Someone among the accused person said that uncle was assaulted and quarrelled. They told us to move away. They told that Govind Singh had to be killed, on which all person who were standing with me moved a side.
Thereafter, all the accused person together started assaulting by stick. Due to assault Govind Singh died on the place of occurrence. At the beginning we had tried to intervene but later on we did not try to intervene. Bharosa Ram and Chinta caught both legs of Govind and dragged him, others were going beating him….”
“.…. I was near the culvert, it was 5:00pm, Santosh, Prahlad,
Rajesh and Nandlal were also with me. At that time accused person came towards Kodebode canal and stopped near the culvert. They asked me about Govind’s address. I replied, I do not know. At the same time they saw Govind near the culvert. They ran towards Govind, started assaulting him. All the accused person carried lathi
in their hand. They were assaulting Govind with lathi itself. Due to assault Govind fell down, at that time two persons caught his leg and dragged him towards canal, other were going beating him.”
“I do not know name of any of the accused person. In my police statement I did not tell the name of any of the accused person. Who assaulted on which part of the deceased, I can not tell. It is true that in my police statement I stated that
fishing in canal he heard the noise of quarrel whereupon he ascended the
boundary of the canal and saw
persons were dragging Govind Singh by legs across the canal while others
kept on beating him; one or two persons were carrying tangiya and rest were
holding lathi. The witness also stated that Santosh and Prahlad went to
intervene but were asked not to intervene. This witness further stated in cross-
examination that he did not know the names of accused persons and that he
did not intervene.
5.5.Prahlad Yadav, examined as
“… On 15.10.98 at 5.20 pm. I was near the Kulley Bridge. Santosh, Heeradhar, Bhuwan, Nandlal and Rajesh were with me. At the very moment accused persons came towards canal and road side. Govind Singh was also standing near the Kulley Bridge. Accused persons abused him. They were saying that Govind Singh has come after fighting. He has to be killed and they started assaulting. All the accused person carried lathi. They assaulted by danda. When I went
there and forbade them to fighting. They stopped fighting. Thereafter, Bharosa, Nand, Chinta, Bhanjan came to me and told “You move away, otherwise you will be killed” Then I moved away from there. Govind Singh fell down, Bharosa caught his one leg and Chinta caught another leg, they dragged Govind to Kodebode from canal and other were going by beating him. I followed them from some distance. The accused persons dragged Govind Singh for 2 Km. Thereafter, I returned home. Govind Singh had died…”
“…Except Mangal, I saw all the accused person at the time of incident. It is true that Kalley turning is 2½ Km. away from Kodebode. The barn of Tikaram is 1½ Km. away from Kalley turning. It is wrong to say that the matter of dragging by the leg by Bharosa and Chinta is being wrongly stated by me. The sticks hit the deceased at one time therefore I cannot tell which accused hit him on which part. I stated name of
“I stated name of Bharosa, Chinta, Bhanjan, Gareeb, Lakhan, Khemraj, Hemu, Keshav and Nand. I recognize the remaining accused person by face. I know such persons by name only.
I do not know if more persons named Chintaram, Keshav may be there. I know that Keshav is tailor but I did not state this to the police……..
At the time of recording of my police statement
……It is true that my field is adjacent to the field of Chintaram and Gareeb Ram. It is wrong to say that I want to purchase their fields therefore I am implicating them….”
“I know the accused persons present in the court. I also know deceased Govind Singh. … I was taking tea with Kheduram in a hotel near the Kalley Bridge. At that time Angad Sahu who belong to Kode bode came there and asked me if I had seen Govind. I told him I did not see him. At the very moment I saw that Govind came from somewhere and stood there. At that time I went near Govind and told that Angad was searching him. He did not give any reply. Seeing blood on his cloths I asked him how his clothes had got stained with blood. What happened? He did not give any reply.
At the very moment Santosh Satnami came and stood before Govind Singh, Prahlad also came there. When we stood there at that time accused persons who were resident of my village reached there. I asked Khemraj what happened, then Khemraj told that Govind has come beating Patwari, Duleshwar, the son of Patwari also stated the same. Santosh and Prahlad told them to stop don’t do anything here, saying that “we will not stop” the accused persons proceeded. Khemraj and Duleshwar gave
…I stated the matter of Govind being interrogated by Angad to the police, if police did not record I can not tell the reason. I saw blood stain on the clothes of the deceased, I stated this to the police. I did not see any injury on the body of Govind. I stated to police the matter of being told by Khemraj and Duleshwar about Govind Singh beating the Patwari and coming. I stated that Khemraj and Duleshwar assaulted Govind Singh by lathi to the police. If police did not record the statement as per my version I can not tell the reason. I did not see Mangalram, Narad, Laxman, and Kedar there. I did not see even Lakhan committing marpit. …..”
injuries on the persons of Govind Singh who said that Mangal Patwari had
assaulted him by sword. According to this witness, Govind Singh demanded
two hundred rupees which he did not give and thereafter, Govind Singh
proceeded towards bus stand. The witness further stated that later on, he saw
the assault on Govind Singh from a faraway place and, therefore, he was
unable to recognize the assailants; and later on, he got to know from his
locality that deceased Govind Singh was assaulted by Bharosa, Chinta, Garib
and their friends.
“1. Two contusions over chest like chain mark size of each (a) 5”x 1” (b) 4” x 1”.
2.Contusions over abdomen colour brownish blackish size of them (a) size of two contusions 5” x 1” (b) size of two contusions 3” x ½” transverse (c) two contusion size 3” x ½” transverse (d) one contusion size 8” x 1” vertical.
3.Contusions over medial aspect of right thing colour blackish brownish sizes (a) 7” x ½” (b) 5” x ½” (c) 2” x ½” (d) 2” x ½”
4.Contusions over lethal aspect, right thing, blackish brownish colour.
5.Contusions over front of knee size 4” x 2” blackish brownish colour.
6.Lacerated wound over base of 2nd and 3rd toe left side 1cm x ½ cm x ½ cm clotted blood ++
7.Contusion over front of knee left size 1cm x 1cm.
8.Lacerated wound over left wrist size 1” x ½” x ½” bone deep fracture lower third radius ulna left side.
9.Fractured proximal phalanx index and middle finger left and fracture 2nd and 4th metacarpal bone left side.
10.Contusion dorsal aspect forearm size 1” x 1” and abrasion back of left elbow size 4 cm x 4 cm.
11.Two lacerated wound over dorsal aspect right wrist sizes of each 1cm x 1cm x 1cm. Fracture lower third radius.
12.Fracture proximal phalanx middle and ring finger and fracture of 2nd and 3rd metacarpal right ulna.
13.Abrasion dorsal aspect elbow size 5cm x 4cm colour pinkish brownish.
14.Lacerated wound over right side face over cheek size 3 cm x 1 cm x 1 cm.
15.Lacerated wound over right side face over cheek size 3 cm x 1 cm.
16.Contusion left side face size 3 cm x 2 cm colour blackish brownish.
17.Lacerated wound mid portion of nose size 3 cm x ½ cm x ½ cm. Fracture of nasal bone.
18.Lacerated wound over scalp right parietal region size 3” x ½” x ½” liner fracture over right parietal bone.”
This witness opined that the cause of death was shock, which may be
due to sudden rupture of liver and fracture of ribs of right and left sides; and
that the death was homicidal in nature.
6.On the other hand, the accused persons denied their involvement in the crime in question in their statements under Section 313 Code of Criminal
Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) and examined 5 witnesses in defence, being
Latkhor who accompanied
relation to the plea of alibi of
The findings of the Trial Court – as affirmed by the High Court
7.Having taken the evidence and having heard the parties, the Trial Court framed as many as six points for determination in this case which read as under:-
“1) Whether Govind Singh Netam has been murdered?
2)Whether attempt has been made to commit murder of Dhanwaram Netam?
3)Whether the accused persons have committed the said act by forming an unlawful assembly and committing riot and abetted the commission of aforesaid act in furtherance of common intention?
4)Whether accused persons had intention to commit murder of Govind Singh and Dhanwaram?
5)Whether accused persons are guilty of rioting being armed with deadly weapons?
6)If yes, then punishment.”
7.1.In its judgment and order dated 26.11.1999, the Trial Court carried out
witnesses to the incidents in question being
also examined the evidence adduced by the accused persons and thereafter,
found the prosecution case proved beyond reasonable doubt against some of
the accused persons including the present appellants but not in relation to all
the accused persons. The conclusions of the Trial Court, as occurring in
paragraphs 44 to 48 of the judgment dated 26.11.1999 could be usefully
reproduced as under:
“44…. There is no proof of intention to cause death of Dhanwaram
because the injuries sustained by Dhanwaram were found on his palm, right side of head, left arm, jaw and back out of which fracture was found in jaw, hand and wrist. No serious injury was found on any vital part of the body. Therefore the aforementioned injuries were not sufficient in the ordinary course of circumstances to cause the death of Dhanwaram. In the evidence of Dhanwaram PW/1 there is no such statement that the accused persons wanted to kill him at the time of the incident….. According to the aforesaid, there is
evidence that after causing injury the accused persons left from the place. Therefore, in this circumstance only this conclusion can be drawn that the intention of the accused Bharosaram, Chintaram, Duleshwar and Vivekanand was merely to inflict injuries on Dhanwaram. It is proved that Dhanwaram is severely injured and the same is knowingly or intentionally committed by the accused persons that on attacking Dhanwaram, he will be injured. Therefore, they have committed this act voluntarily. Hence, accused Bharosaram, Chintaram, Duleshwar and Vivekanand voluntarily caused grievous hurt to Dhanwaram by doing maarpet…
45.The evidence with regard to rioting armed with deadly weapons is considerable. The incident of causing death of Govind Singh is considered as riot. The witness of incident Santosh PW/2 stated that one of the accused was having a tangiya. Bhawan Singh PW/3 stated that all accused were having laathi. Rajesh PW/4 stated that
accused persons being members of unlawful assembly committed riots by keeping laathi as dangerous weapons and caused death of Govind Singh.
46.After considering the aforesaid evidence and all the other circumstances, it is concluded that the accused no. 1 Bharosaram, no. 2 Duleshwar, no. 4 Chintaram, no. 5 Bhajan Singh, no. 6 Khemraj, no. 7 Keshavprasad, no. 8 Khemuram, no. 12 Nand Kumar, no. 13 Lakhan on 15/10/1998 at around 5 PM by forming unlawful assembly laced with laathis as dangerous weapons, committed riot and whose common object was to cause death of Govind Singh and in furtherance of their common objective, the death of Govind Singh has been caused near Kalle Bridge by each of the accused by inflicting severe inuries with laathis. Hence, the offence under Sec. 147, 148, 302 and 302 read with 149 of IPC is found to be proved against the aforesaid accused persons.
47.The charge under Sec. 307 of IPC is not proved, but the circumstances under the aforesaid charge which have been brought on record prove a lesser offence under Sec. 325 of IPC. Such conviction can be ordered under under Sec. 222 of CrPC. Hence, the accused Bharosa, Chintaram, Duleshwar and Vivekanand are held guilty for the offence under Sec. 325 of the IPC for causing grievous hurt to Dhanwaram.
48.In the case in hand, no charge has been proved against rest of the accused persons namely, Mukesh Nirmalkar, Vasudev, Chemanand, Mangalram, Gareeb ram, Lakshman Singh, Naradram and Kedarnath. Therefore, all the above accused persons are acquitted for all charge leveled against them under Sec. 147, 148,
302or 302 read with 149, 307 or 307 read with 149 of IPC. The accused persons amongst the aforesaid who are in custody be released forthwith if not required in any other case and their bail bonds stands cancel.”
7.2.As noticed, the convicted accused persons, except Vivekanand
were awarded varying sentences, including that of life imprisonment.
sentenced to one year and three months while noticing that he had already
undergone the sentence for a period of 405 days.
8.Against the aforesaid order of conviction, the appellants and other convicted accused preferred Criminal Appeal No. 3336 of 1999 before the
High Court, whereas the complainant preferred a Criminal Revision No. 517 of
2000 against the acquittal of the other accused persons. While passing the
common judgment and order dated 12.09.2014, the High Court, after dealing
with the contentions urged on behalf of the appellants herein and the co-
accused, affirmed the decision of the Trial Court and held that no defence had
been taken by the accused persons that they had gathered at the place of
occurrence for some purpose other than assaulting the deceased. Further, no
evidence was found against the acquitted accused persons. Hence, the
appeal as also the revision petition were dismissed. The High Court, inter
alia, observed and held as under: -
“23. True it is that every offence committed by a member of an unlawful assembly will not be necessarily ascribed to or vicariously fastened upon every other member of that assembly with the aid of Section 149 of IPC. The likelihood of causing of death by the nature of the actions of the assembly must be show to be within the knowledge of member who is to be made vicariously liable for the death. Such knowledge may reasonable be collected from the nature of the assembly, arms of behaviors at or before the scene of action. In the present case, there is evidence that accused No.3 Mukesh was saying that he would definitely burst two firecrackers and that there was
24.From the facts and the evidence adduced by the prosecution, it is apparent that all the accused/ appellants had reached the place of occurrence duly armed with weapons. If this is the manner in which the accused/ appellants had come to the spot, it can not be said that they had not formed an unlawful assembly within the meaning of the
said expression as appeared in Section 141 of IPC. While membership of an unlawful assembly itself is an offence under Section 143 of IPC, use of force by members of unlawful assembly gives rise to the offence of rioting which is punishable either under Section 147 or 148 of IPC. The availability of arms in the hands of the accused/ appellants and use of them has clearly been established by the prosecution not only by oral evidence but also by medical evidence, according to which as many as 18 injuries were found on the body of the deceased. Thus considering the evidence of the eyewitnesses, including injured eyewitness
25.As regards acquittal of respondents No. 2 to 10 (in Cr. Rev No.
517of 2000), the trial Court after considering all the factual and legal aspects of the case in its proper perspective has recorded a finding that there is absolutely no evidence against these accused/ respondents connecting them with the crime in question. The said finding is based on proper appreciation of the evidence on record. We find no illegality or perversity in the said findings to upset it.
26.In the result, Cr. A. No.3336/1999 and Cr. Rev. No. 517/2000 being without any substance are liable to be dismissed and they are dismissed as such….”
9.Assailing the judgment and order aforesaid, affirming their conviction and upholding the sentence as awarded, the appellants have preferred the present appeals.
10.Learned counsel for the appellants, while restricting his submissions only to the charge under Section 302/149 IPC, has strenuously argued that
submit that while dealing with this case concerning a large number of alleged offenders, conviction could be sustained only if two or more witnesses gave a consistent account of the incident. The learned counsel would argue that out of the
1)and another accused Chintaram
10.1. The learned counsel for the appellants has also argued in the alternative that even if on the evidence on record, the accusation against the
11.Per contra, learned counsel for the State has supported the conviction of appellants with the submission that the Trial Court and the High Court have dealt with each and every argument raised by the appellants and the impugned judgments do not suffer from any infirmity so as to call for interference. The learned counsel has argued that all the accused appellants have been identified by the
persons Khemraj and Duleshwar being involved in beating the deceased Govind; and his testimony fortifies the case against them. Further, with reference to several decisions of this Court including those in Lala Ram (D)
through Duli Chandi v. State of Haryana: (1999) 9 SCC 525 and Kallu v.
State of Madhya Pradesh: (2006) 10 SCC 313, the learned counsel has contended that the minor discrepancies in the testimony of
11.1.The learned counsel for the respondent State has also referred to the decision in Madan Singh v. State of Rajasthan: (1978) 4 SCC 435 to submit that recovery of bloods stained clothes and weapons from the accused persons having been established in the statement of
11.2.Lastly, learned counsel for the respondent State has referred to the decision in Lalji v. State of UP: (1989) 1 SCC 437 to submit that once it is found that the accused persons formed an unlawful assembly and committed the offence, every member of such unlawful assembly would remain liable and no proof of any particular role or act on the part of any particular accused is requisite. However, the learned counsel has submitted in his written
submissions that Nand Kumar
12.We have heard learned counsel for the parties at length and have scanned through the entire material on record.
The incidents in question and formation of unlawful assembly
13.As noticed, the prosecution case had been that two incidents took place in the afternoon and evening hours of 15.10.1998: one in which
14.Formation of an unlawful assembly with common object being the basic ingredient for invoking Section 149 IPC, the first point to be determined is as to whether formation of such an unlawful assembly is established. In a comprehension of the evidence on record, in our view, the fact that a large assembly was indeed formed, where the members were armed with weapons including lathis and tangiyas and they indulged in assault over Govind Singh, is evident on the face of record with the consistent testimonies of the eye- witnesses
Prahlad Yadav.6 Even the witness declared hostile i.e.,
also testified to the fact of assault by an assembly over Govind Singh; he even named at least two of the assailants. We shall come to the question of identity of each of the accused person a little later. Suffice it to observe at this juncture that the fact of formation of an unlawful assembly with weapons is amply established. It has rightly been argued on behalf of the respondents with reference to Lalji’s case (supra), that once formation of unlawful assembly at the time of committing of offence is established, the question of specific role of an individual member of the assembly is rendered secondary. In other words, the prosecution need not prove any specific overt act on the part of each and every member of that assembly. It is also established beyond doubt in the present case that the deceased Govind Singh was brutally beaten black and blue with extensive injuries all over his body, including contusions, lacerated wounds and multiple fractures of various bones and ribs. The
consideration to find if the prosecution case is proved beyond reasonable
doubt against him or not.
Multiple accused persons and several
15.Before embarking on the question aforesaid, we may refer to the facts that in the present case, as many as 12 persons were named in the FIR and as many as 18 persons were tried for the offences in question. In the trial, apart from other witnesses, the prosecution examined several persons as eye- witnesses, including
“9. However, this is an incident in which a large number of accused had participated. The Constitution Bench of this Court has, in the case of Masalti v. State of U.P.: AIR 1965 SC 202 held that under the Evidence Act, trustworthy evidence given by a single witness would be enough to convict the accused persons, whereas evidence given by
7 As noticed, 7 of these convicted accused are before us as appellants whereas the other two namely, Chintaram
it is supported by two or three or more witnesses who give a consistent account of the incident. It was held that in a sense, the test may be described as mechanical, but it cannot be treated as irrational or unreasonable. It was held that even though it is the quality of the evidence that matters and not the number of witnesses, still it is useful to adopt such a mechanical test.
15.1.Thus, it is the quality of evidence that matters and not the quantity; and
even the testimony of a single witness may be sufficient to establish the
identity of an accused as member of an unlawful assembly but, when the size
of assembly is quite large and many persons have witnessed the incident; and
when a witness deposes in general terms, it would be useful to adopt the test
of consistency of more than one witness so as to remove any doubt about
identity of an accused as a member of the assembly in question. However,
even if adopting such a test of consistency, what is to be looked for is the
‘consistent account of the incident’; and the requirement of consistency cannot
be overstretched as if to search for repetition of each and every name of the
accused in each and every testimony. In other words, the comprehension of
overall evidence on record is requisite; and mere counting of heads or mere
recitation of names or omission of any name in the testimony of any particular witness cannot be decisive of the matter. In such facts and circumstances, even the relevance of the corroborating facts and factors like that of recovery of weapons or any other article
15.2In the present case, it is noticed that the Trial Court painstakingly analysed the evidence on record but while recording its conclusion, largely proceeded to record conviction on the basis of the testimony of
The overall scenario concerning the incident in question
16.As per the testimony of
accused persons started assaulting Govind Singh; and that Bharosaram and Chintaram caught both legs of Govind Singh and dragged while others kept on beating him.
17.In the testimony of
Tikuram Yadav was also cited as an
Individual cases of the accused persons
18.Keeping in view the scenario concerning the incident in question and the account given out by the
19.As noticed, there is substantial consistency in the account of the incident as given out by the
large gathering that was searching for Govind Singh and after finding him near Kalley Bridge, the members of the assembly pounced on him is consistently stated by the
20.In the aforesaid status of the testimony of the
21.Having noticed the overall scenario relating to the incident in question and the position obtaining on record in relation to the testimonies of the witnesses, we may now examine the case of each of the appellants before us individually.
21.1.So far as the appellant Bharosaram
facts and circumstances, in our view, it is established beyond doubt that this accused Bharosaram
21.2.As regards the appellant Duleshwar
21.3.As regards the appellant Bhanjan Singh
accused was also named by
21.4.So far as the appellant Keshav Prasad
interfere with the findings that he had also been the member of the assembly that assaulted the deceased Govind Singh.
21.5.So far as the appellant Khemuram
21.6.As regards the appellant Nand Kumar
8 We have examined the original record too and it is clear that the name mentioned in the
one of the persons who threatened the witnesses and further stated his name in the
21.7.As regards the appellant Lakhan
accused (vide Ex. P/26) is also not shown carrying
22.In summation of what has been discussed in the foregoing paragraphs, in our view, the involvement of appellants Bharosaram
23.In the passing, we may also usefully reiterate, having regard to the nature of inquiry herein, particularly that relating to the formation of unlawful assembly within the meaning of Section 149 IPC, that 2 of the accused
persons who stand convicted for offences under Sections 147, 148, 302/149 IPC in this very case viz., Chintaram
P/17). Thus, on the given status of record, the said accused persons Chintaram
24.Before concluding, we may also deal with the submissions made in the alternative for converting the conviction to the one under Part I of Section 304 IPC. In our view, the submissions in this regard remain bereft of substance and could only be rejected. As noticed, it is evident that the deceased Govind Singh was brutally beaten black and blue by a large assembly of assailants and he sustained extensive injuries all over his body, including contusions, lacerated wounds and multiple fractures of various bones and ribs and he died due to shock with rupture of liver and fracture of ribs. The manner of execution of its object by the assembly with dragging of the deceased by legs and merciless thrashing, including multiple use of blunt weapons like lathi, leave nothing to doubt that the intention of assailants forming such assembly had only been to cause death and the acts were done with that intent alone. In the given set of facts and circumstances, there appears no reason to consider the present one to be a case of culpable homicide not amount to murder. In our view, conviction of the accused persons, against whom the case of the prosecution is established beyond reasonable doubt, for offences under Sections 147, 148 and 302/149 remains unexceptionable.
25.For what has been discussed hereinabove, we find that the accused- appellants Bharosaram
26.Accordingly, Criminal Appeal Nos. 1813 of 2017 and 1815 of 2017 are dismissed whereas Criminal Appeal No. 1814 of 2017 is allowed in part and the impugned judgments are set aside in relation to the
Dated: 21st January, 2020