C.R.A. 187 of 2017
In the matter of: Utpal Mondal. … Appellant
Ms. Chandreyee Alam,
Mr. Navonil De. …… for the Appellant.
Mr. Subir Banerjee,
Ms. Benazir Hasna. …. for the State
In a sessions trial, while the appellant, Utpal Mondal, was
rigorous imprisonment for life and rigorous imprisonment for three
years respectively and to pay fines with default clauses, three other
co-accused persons are the relations of the appellant were acquitted,
approached this Court for engaging a Lawyer for preferring an appeal
directly through the Welfare Officer, Dum Dum Central Correctional
Home on his behalf against the impugned order of conviction and
sentence and to prosecute the same at the costs of the State.
Accordingly, this Court engaged Lawyers from the High Court
Legal Services Committee to take appropriate steps in this regard.
Against such order of conviction and sentence, the learned
counsel for the appellant has filed a statutory appeal, which has
already been admitted. Now, with the liberty granted by the Court
admitting the appeal, the appellant has approached this Court for
suspension of sentence and his release on bail.
The learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant first
contends that the case against the appellant is based on the evidence
of his daughter, PW/7. She further submits that at the time of the
alleged incident, PW/7 was only aged about seven years. She then
draws our attention to her cross-examination and points out that in
the cross-examination, the witness admitted that she heard from her
grandparents how her mother was killed by her father. She also
draws our attention to the later part of the cross-examination of the
said witness and points out that according to her, she was playing at
the house of one of her friends and when she came back, she found
her mother lying dead in a pool of blood. She lastly contends that in
her chief, PW/7 however claimed that her father killing her mother
and fled away from the spot but the same stands contradicted by her
On the other hand, the learned Special Counsel Mr. Subir
Banerjee appearing with Ms. Benazir Hasna submits that the
daughter (PW/7) was not an eyewitness to the occurrence but
according to the PW/3, who was residing at the adjacent house, on
the previous night, there was a huge quarrel between the husband
and wife i.e., between the appellant and the victim and on the next
morning around 6 a.m. they were found together in the house. He
then submits according to the PW/4 quarrel between the husband
and the wife was a regular feature. He then vehemently contends the
victim/housewife was killed inside her matrimonial home and
husband is the best man to explain how she was killed but no
explanation is available. Lastly, it is contended that a plea of alibi
was taken by the appellant that at the relevant time he was in the
field but same was not proved.
Heard the learned Advocates appearing for the respective
parties. Perused the impugned judgment, the copies of the
depositions of the witnesses produced by the counsel of the appellant
and other materials on record.
Before taking any decision in the matter, we accorded an
opportunity to the learned counsel for the State, since objection was
raised vehemently from the side of the State, to file his written
objection in the light of the decisions of the Hon’ble Apex Court in
SCC 177, and in terms of the proviso to sub-section (1) of section
389 CrPC, but he declined to file the same in writing and intended to
resist this application orally on the strength of the available
materials on record.
Now, considering the findings on which the impugned order of
conviction is based and the ground on which the same is under
challenge, we are of the opinion that a prima facie case has been
made out showing possibilities of success in appeal.
Having regard to that, the prayer for suspension of sentence is
Accordingly, we direct pending hearing of the appeal, the order
of execution of sentence shall remain suspended and the appellant
shall be released on bail to the satisfaction of the learned Chief
Judicial Magistrate, Nadia on a bond of Rs.4,000/- of two sureties of
We make it clear the observation made hereinabove must not
be construed as our opinion as to the fate of the appeal and we were
constrained to do that for coming to a decision in the matter.
Office is directed to supply a photostat copy of the certified
copy of the order to the Member Secretary, High Court Legal Services
Committee for taking appropriate steps for release of the appellant
We find that already records have been received. Accordingly,
we direct the Department to prepare the requisite number of paper
books within three months from this date. We further direct that as
soon as the preparation of the paper books is complete and appeal is
made ready for hearing, the same shall be supplied to the counsels
already engaged to appear on behalf of the appellant and the State.
The learned counsel for the appellant shall have the liberty to
mention the appeal for early hearing before the appropriate bench.
Urgent photostat certified copy of this order, if applied for, be
given to the parties as expeditiously as possible on compliance of
(Ashim Kumar Roy, J.)
(Amitabha Chatterjee, J.)