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Kartar Singh vs State (Gnct Of Delhi) on 31 October, 2018

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IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
Decided on:- 31st October, 2018

+ CRL. APPEAL NO. 26/2018 and Crl.M.(B) 32/2018,
Crl.M.A.281/2018

KARTAR SINGH ….. Appellant
Through: Ms. Aishwarya Rao, Advocate/
DHCLSC

versus

STATE (GNCT OF DELHI) ….. Respondent
Through: Mr. K.S. Ahuja, APP for the
State with Mr. Ramesh Kumar,
PS Sultan PUri.
CORAM:
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE R.K.GAUBA

ORDER (ORAL)

1. Geeta, aged about 40 years, wife of the appellant suffered
homicidal death sometime around 10:30 p.m. on 06.08.2016 at the
first floor of the property described as E-7/445-446, Sultan Puri, it
being the property where the deceased was living in a rented
accommodation with her family that included the appellant (husband),
her daughter Laxmi (PW-10) and a son Vikas (PW-2).

2. The first information report (FIR) No.465/2016 (Ex.PW-11/C)
was registered in the Police Station Sultan Puri at 0215 hours on
07.08.2016 pursuant to the rukka (Ex.PW-19/A) of Sub-Inspector
Rajender Singh (PW-19) it, in turn, being based on statement (Ex.PW-
8/A) of Sunita (PW-8), an immediate neighbor. As per the FIR, the

Crl. Appeal No.26/2018 Page 1 of 7
appellant had stabbed Geeta to death in the presence, inter alia, of the
first informant (PW-8) and her son Vikas (PW-2) after a quarrel. The
investigation having been completed, report (charge sheet) under
Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr.P.C.) was
submitted seeking trial of the appellant for offence punishable under
Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC), his daughter Laxmi
(PW-10) also having been cited as an eye witness.

3. The appellant was brought to trial on the charge under Section
302 IPC which was framed on 24.11.2016, the gravamen being that he
had committed the murder of Geeta on the said date and time at the
aforementioned place. The prosecution led evidence, inter alia, by
examining the aforementioned three witnesses, described as eye
witnesses, also resting its case on recovery of knife (Ex.P1) which had
been used in the crime, at the instance of the appellant. The appellant
had pleaded innocence, his defence being that his daughter (PW-10)
had lodged an FIR for offence under Section 376 IPC against certain
persons who used to threaten her and the family and it is those persons
who had given the fatal injuries to Geeta either on their own or
through their hired associates. The appellant also accused one
Praveen, resident of Meerut, to be habitual of giving threats to him and
his wife, though pleading ignorance as to reasons for such threats. He
did not lead any evidence in defence.

4. The trial court, by judgment dated 15.04.2017, held that the
prosecution had proved its case that it was the appellant, who had
inflicted the fatal knife injury in the abdomen of Geeta. It, however,

Crl. Appeal No.26/2018 Page 2 of 7
took the view that the injuries had been inflicted in the heat of the
moment and under strong impulse and consequently attracting
exceptions (1) and (4) of Section 300 IPC. As per the judgment of the
trial court, the appellant was held guilty for the offence of culpable
homicide not amounting to murder, it being punishable under Section
304 IPC rather than for the offence of murder under Section 302 IPC.
By the order on sentence dated 26.04.2017, the trial Judge took note of
the advanced age (more than 70 years) of the appellant and his frail
physical health and consequently took the view that ends of justice
would stand satisfied if he were to undergo rigorous imprisonment for
a period of four years with fine of Rs.5,000/- only, in default further
simple imprisonment for a period of two months. The trial court also
directed that compensation in the sum of Rs.5 lacs to be paid to the
four children of the deceased, the compliance to be made in this regard
by District Legal Services Authority from out of victim compensation
fund.

5. The present appeal was filed assailing the judgment and order
on sentence passed by the trial court. The prime submission of the
appellant being that the trial court has ignored the fact that Laxmi
(PW-10), daughter of the deceased who would have been a natural
witness has not supported the case for prosecution, it being the
argument that PW-2 and PW-8 are witnesses who have been falsely
planted by the police, their evidence being not credible. It is also the
argument of the appellant that the evidence about the recovery of knife
(Ex.P1) as the weapon of offence or about its use cannot be believed,

Crl. Appeal No.26/2018 Page 3 of 7
particularly in view of the court observations recorded during the
testimony of investigating officer (PW-19) showing the handle to be
virtually coming off the hinge, it being not possible to keep the blade
straight without it being held along with handle. It is also pointed out
that the knife (Ex.P1) did not bear any blood-stains.

6. The above submissions have been carefully examined, but this
court finds no substance in the pleas raised.

7. It may be that PW-10, daughter of the deceased was present at
the scene of occurrence and may have accompanied her to the hospital
immediately after the incident wherein Geeta indisputably suffered
injury in her abdomen, such stabbing having brought her intestine out.
From this, it does appear that PW-10 would have been present at the
scene or around the relevant point of time. It does appear further that
PW-10 had disowned her statement (Ex.PW-10/A) as recorded by the
police under Section 161 Cr.P.C. wherein she would attribute the
assault on the person of her mother by her father. But then, it must be
noted that PW-10 does not say that it was some person other than her
father who had stabbed her mother. She has taken the plea that she
was having stomach ache and not feeling well had gone downstairs to
arrange for soft drink and while she was downstairs she heard some
commotion, in the course of which her mother fell down. She
confirmed that her father was present at the scene at that point of time.
She does not refer to presence of any intruder or other assailant having
been noticed by her either entering or going out of the place.

Crl. Appeal No.26/2018 Page 4 of 7

8. PW-2 and PW-8, being the immediate neighbours, are
consistent in their evidence confirming that they had heard commotion
and had come out noticing that the appellant was quarreling with
Geeta. They would confirm that such quarrels were quite frequent.
They have testified that the appellant had got infuriated and had
uttered words to the effect that he wanted to finish Geeta and in that
process stabbed her with the knife, causing the injuries that proved
fatal.

9. A lot of argument was raised as to it being not probable for
PW-8 to be present at the scene at the time of occurrence. It appears
PW-8 would work in some footwear factory. She conceded that she
would ordinarily return home by 9:30 or 10:00 p.m. It is the argument
of the appellant that unless attendance register maintained at the place
of her employer were to be proved, it could not be said with certainty
that PW-8 had returned home by the time the incident took place so as
to be a witness thereof. The argument is far-fetched. The incident
occurred at 10:30 p.m. Even going by the version of PW-8, she would
normally be at home by 10:00 pm. There is no reason why her
presence would require her employer’s records respecting her
attendance at work place to be insisted upon.

10. It was then the argument of the appellant that PW-8 has spoken
about the noise created by utensils falling and this attracting her
attention, thereby fact of her attendance as a witness to the occurrence
being brought out. It is pointed out that in her statement (Ex.PW-8/A)
there was no reference to any utensils falling. This, in the opinion of

Crl. Appeal No.26/2018 Page 5 of 7
this court, is not such a contradiction as can go to the root of the
matter. The witnesses – PW-2 and PW-8 – are consistent in their
testimony that the husband (the appellant) and the wife (the deceased)
were quarreling with each other. A commotion had ensued which had
attracted their attention, bringing them out. It is in their presence that
Geeta snatched the phone from the hands of the appellant, this making
him angry and pursuant to such anger, he proceeded to pick up a knife
and stabbed Geeta in her abdomen.

11. There is no reason why the evidence of PW-2 or PW-8 should
be disbelieved. They were immediate neighbours and natural witness
to the scene of occurrence. There is nothing to show that they had any
personal agenda to serve by falsely implicating the appellant.

12. There may be some doubts as to whether the knife recovered
(Ex.P1) could have been used in the crime. The autopsy opinion
(Ex.PW-1/B) is only about the possibility of such weapon having been
used. But then, no evidence showing any bloodstains on the knife has
been brought out. Given the virtually dislocated handled, the
argument that this knife may not have been used in the crime may be
accepted. It is, however, trite that non recovery of the weapon of
offence by itself is no reason why the eye witness testimony of PW-2
and PW-8 should be discarded or the prosecution case disbelieved.

13. Having gone through the evidence in entirety, this court finds
the finding returned by the trial court to be borne out from the
evidence on record. The impugned judgment does not suffer from any
error or infirmity. It calls for no interference.

Crl. Appeal No.26/2018 Page 6 of 7

14. The State has not come up with any appeal challenging the
order on sentence. Given the facts and circumstances, in the
considered opinion of this court, the trial court has already been very
lenient in meting out the punishment. There is no scope for any
further reduction in the sentence.

15. For the above reasons, the appeal and the applications filed
therewith are dismissed.

16. A copy of this judgment shall be made available to the appellant
through the Superintendent of the jail.

R.K.GAUBA, J.

OCTOBER 31, 2018
vk

Crl. Appeal No.26/2018 Page 7 of 7

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