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Judgments of Supreme Court of India and High Courts

Pramod Prajapati vs State Of U.P. on 22 May, 2019

HIGHCOURTOFJUDICATUREATALLAHABAD

AFR

Reservedon:08.05.2019

Deliveredon:22.05.2019

CourtNo.-34

Case:-CRIMINALAPPEALNo.-1254of2015

Appellant:-PramodPrajapati

Respondent:-StateOfU.P.

CounselforAppellant:-MukeshKumarPandey,DevendraPratapSingh

CounselforRespondent:-Govt.Advocate,Mohd.ShoebKhan,RatanSingh

Hon’bleSudhirAgarwal,J.

Hon’bleRajBeerSingh,J.

(DeliveredbyHon’bleRajBeerSingh,J.)

1. Thepresentcriminalappealhasbeenpreferredbyaccused-appellantPramodPrajapatiagainstjudgmentandorderdated09.03.2015passedbyShriManojKumarSinghGautam,AdditionalDistrictSessionsJudge,CourtNo.2/SpecialJudge,ScheduleCasteandSectionScheduleTribe(PreventionofAtrocities)Act,1989(hereinafterreferredtoasSC/SectionSTAct,1989),KushinagaratPadraunainSessionTrialNo.29of2010wherebyaccused-appellanthasbeenconvictedunderSection302IPCandsentencedtoundergolifeimprisonmentandfineofRs.1,00,000/-andindefaultthereto,heisfurthersentencedtosixmonthsadditionalrigorousimprisonment,whileaccused-appellantwasacquittedofthechargeunderSections377,Section506IPC.

2. Thefactsandcircumstancesgivingrisetothepresentappealarethaton27.10.2008ataround6:00PM,SonuSharma,aged16years,grandsonofcomplainantKanhaiyaSharmahadgonetobuyeggsbutdidnotreturnbackandgonemissing.On28.10.2008atabout8:00AM,someshepherds(charwaha)informedcomplainant,KanhaiyaSharma,thatbloodstaineddeadbodyofhisgrandsonSonuSharmaislyingatthesugar-canefieldofSharadaYadavinwesternsideofthevillage.ThecomplainantreportedthemattertopolicebysubmittingwrittentehrirEx.Ka-1andonthebasisofthattehrir,casewasregisteredon28.10.2008at11:00AMagainstunknownpersonsunderSection302IPC.

3. PolicereachedthespotandinquestproceedingswereconductedbyPW-5S.I.MewaLalvideinquestreportEx.Ka-4.Deadbodyofdeceasedwassealedandsentforpost-mortem.Samplesofbloodstainedandsimplesoilandonepairofslipperaswellasonestring(rassi)wereseizedfromthespotvideseizurememoEx.Ka-5.

4. Thepost-mortemonthedeadbodyofdeceasedchildSonuSharmawasconductedbyPW-8,Dr.JavedHayaton29.10.2008andfollowinginjurieswerefoundonhisperson:

(i)I/W5cmx2cmxmuscledeeponthert.angleofmouth.

(ii)I/W4cmx1.5cmxbonedeeponthert.sideforeheadjustabovethert.eyebrow.

(iii)I/W4cmx0.5cmxattheleftsideoffacexmuscledeep3cmlateraltotheleftangleofmouth.

(iv)I/W4cmx1cmxscalpdeeplocatedat8cmaboveofthert.earonthert.sideofhead.

(v)I/W5cmx2cmxmuscledeepatthert.face,justbelowthert.anglemouth.

(vi)I/W9.5cmx1cmonthejustchinxmuscledeep.

(vii)I/W4cmx0.5cmxmuscledeeponbackofneck,justbelowtheoccipital.

(viii)I/W4cmx1cmxmuscledeepleftsideofneckx16cmbelowoftheleftear.

(ix)I/W5cmx1cmxatthert.sideofhipjustbelowthert.iliaccrest.

(x)I/W3cmx1cmxbonedeepxonthert.sidebackofhand,5cmbelowthewrist.

(xi)I/W2cmx0.5cmxmuscledeepxonthebackofrt.wrist.

(xii)I/W2.5cmx0.5cmmuscledeepatthebackofrt.hand.

(xiii)I/W1.5cmx0.5cmmuscledeeponthebackofrt.hand.

(xiv)I/W3cmx1cmmuscledeeponthebackoflefthand.

(xv)I/W4.5cmx2cmxbonedeepatthebackofrt.elbow.

(xvi)I/W9cmx1.5cmxattheneckjustbelowchinmuscledeeptocavitydeep.

(xvii)MultipleI/Wontheleftforearmwithareaof16x8cm(total4)sizeare2to4cmto0.5cmxmuscledeep.

5. AccordingtoautopsySurgeon,causeofdeathofdeceasedwasduetoshockandhaemorrhageasaresultofante-morteminjuries.

6. Afterhisarrest,accused-appellantPramodPrajapatiwasalsomedicallyexaminedbyPW-6,Dr.AftabHusain,videMLCreportEx.Ka-7andfollowinginjurieswerefoundonhisperson:

(i)Stitchedwound6.5cminlength(no.ofstitches5)overleftsideneck2cmbelowtheangleofleftmandible.KUOAdv.x-ray.

(ii)Abrasion1cmx0.5cmoverpalmeraspectofrt.thumb4cmabovethetipofrt.thumbhardscabfalloff.

7. Aftercompletionoftheinvestigation,accused-appellantwascharge-sheetedfortheoffencesunderSections302,Section377,Section506IPCvidecharge-sheet,Ex.Ka-16.

8. TrialCourtframedfollowingchargesunderSections302,Section377,Section506IPCagainstaccused-appellant:

“eSav’kksddqekj]lU;k;k/kh’kdq’khuxjvkivfHk;qDrizeksniztkifrdksfuEuvkjksiksalsvkjksfirdjrkgwWA

1- ;gfdfnukad27-10-2008ls28-10-2008dslqcg8ctsdse/;cgnxzkelkM+h[kqnZFkkukdl;ktuindq’khuxjesavkiusoknhdUgS;k’kekZdsukrhlksuw’kekZdslkFkizd`frdhO;oLFkkdsfo:)LosPN;kbfUnz;Hkksxfd;kAblizdkjvkiusHkknala-dh/kkjk377dsrgrn.Muh;vijk/kfd;ktksblU;k;ky;dsizlaKkuesagSA

2- ;gfdmijksDrfnukadLFkkuole;ijvkiuslksuw’kekZdksHknnhHknnhxkyhxqIrknsdjviekfur,oaizdksfirfd;kftlls’kkafrHkaxdhvk’kadkmRiUudhx;hFkhAblizdkjvkiusHkknala-dh/kkjk506dsrgrn.Muh;vijk/kfd;ktksblU;k;ky;dsizlaKkuesagSA

3- ;gfdmijksDrfnukadLFkkuole;ijvkiuslksuwdhgR;kdjfn;kAblizdkjvkiusHkknala-dh/kkjk302dsrgrn.Muh;vijk/kfd;ktksblU;k;ky;dsizlaKkuesagSA

,rn}kjkvkidksvknsf’krfd;ktkrkgSfdmDrvkjksiksdsrgrvkidkijh{k.kblU;k;ky;}kjkfd;ktk;A**

“I,AshokKumar,SessionsJudge,KushinagarchargeyouPramodPrajapatiasunder:-

1. Thatfrom27.10.2008to28.10.2008ataround8:00AMinthemorning,atVillageSadiKhurdunderP.S.Kasya,DistrictKushinagar,youcommittedcarnalintercourseonSonu,grandsonofcomplainantKanaihyaSharmaagainsttheorderofnatureandtherebycommittedanoffencepunishableunderSection377IPCwithinthecognizanceofthisCourt.

2.Thatontheaforesaiddate,timeandplaceyouintimidatedallegedSonuSharmabyhurlingshabbyabusesandterrorisinghimwhichmightleadtobreachofpeaceandtherebyyoucommittedanoffencepunishableunderSection506IPCwithinthecognizanceoftheCourt.

3. Thatontheaforesaiddate,timeandplaceyoucommittedmurderofSonuandtherebycommittedanoffencepunishableunderSection302IPCwithinthecognizanceofthisCourt.

ItisherebydirectedthatyoushallbetriedbythisCourtfortheaforesaidoffences.”

(EnglishTranslationbyCourt)

9. Soastoholdaccused-appellantguilty,prosecutionhasexaminedninewitnesses.Afterprosecutionevidence,statementofaccused-appellantwasrecordedunderSection313ofCr.P.C,whereinhehasdeniedprosecutionversionandclaimedfalseimplication.However,noevidencewasledindefence.

10. Afterhearingandanalysingtheevidenceonrecord,accused-appellantwasconvictedunderSection302IPCandsentencedasmentionedinparagraphNo.1ofthejudgmentwhereashewasacquittedofthechargeunderSections377,Section506IPC.

11. Beingaggrievedbyimpugnedjudgmentandorder,accused-appellantPramodPrajapatihaspreferredpresentappeal.

12. WehaveheardSriDevendraPratapSingh,learnedAmicusCuriaeforappellantandSriRatanSingh,learnedAdditionalGovernmentAdvocateforState-respondent.

13. LearnedAmicusCuriaeforaccused-appellanthascontendedthatthereisnoevidenceagainstaccused-appellantandnoincriminatingcircumstancehasbeenprovedagainsthim,thus,itcannotbesaidthatchainofcircumstancesiscompleteandthereisnoevidenceoflastseenagainstaccused-appellant;norecoveryhasbeeneffectedfromhispossession;itisacaseofnoevidencebutTrialCourthasnotappreciatedevidenceinitscorrectprospectiveandcommittederrorbyconvictingaccused-appellant.

14. RefutingthecontentionsoflearnedAmicusCuriaeforaccused-appellant,ithasbeensubmittedbylearnedA.G.A.forStatethattheimpugnedjudgmentandorderisbasedonevidenceonrecord.Thereissufficientandreliableevidenceonrecordagainstaccused-appellant.TrialCourthasappreciatedevidenceincorrectperspective.Thereisnoeyewitnessoftheincidentbutincriminatingcircumstanceshavebeenprovedagainsthim.IthasbeensubmittedthatevidenceofprosecutionwitnessespointsoutthatanoffenceunderSection302IPCismadeoutagainstaccused-appellant.Ithasalsobeensubmittedthatconvictionofaccused-appellantisbasedonevidenceandthereisnoforceintheappeal.

15. Wehaveconsideredrivalcontentionsoflearnedcounselforthepartiesandperusedtherecord.

16. Inthepresentcaseitisclearfromthepost-mortemreportofdeceasedthatdeathofthedeceasedwashomicidalinnature.However,thereisnoeyewitnessoftheallegedincidentandthecaseisbasedoncircumstantialevidence.

17. Itiswellsettledthatthoughconvictioncanbebasedoncircumstantialevidencealonebutforthatprosecutionmustestablishchainofcircumstances,whichconsistentlypointstotheaccusedandaccusedaloneandisinconsistentwiththeirinnocence.Itisfurtheressentialfortheprosecutiontocogentlyandfirmlyestablishthecircumstancesfromwhichinferenceofguiltofaccusedistobedrawn.Thesecircumstancesthenhavetobetakenintoconsiderationcumulatively.Theymustbecompletetoconcludethatwithinallhumanprobability,accusedandnoneelsehavecommittedoffence.

18. InSharadBirdhichandSardaVs.StateofMaharashtra,AIR1984SC1622,Courtheldasunder:-

“152.Acloseanalysisofthisdecisionwouldshowthatthefollowingconditionsmustbefulfilledbeforeacaseagainstanaccusedcanbesaidtobefullyestablished:

(1) thecircumstancesfromwhichtheconclusionofguiltistobedrawnshouldbefullyestablished.

ItmaybenotedherethatthisCourtindicatedthatthecircumstancesconcerned’mustorshould’andnot’maybe’established.Thereisnotonlyagrammaticalbutalegaldistinctionbetween’maybeproved’and’mustbeorshouldbeprovedaswasheldbythiscourtinShivajiSahebaroBobadeVStateofMaharashtra1973CriLJ1783wherethefollowingobservationsweremade:

Certainly,itisprimaryprinciplethattheaccusedmustbeandnotmerelymaybeguiltybeforeaCourtcanconvict,andthementaldistancebetween’maybe’and’mustbe’islonganddividesvagueconjecturesfromsureconclusions.

(2) thefactssoestablishedshouldbeconsistentonlywiththehypothesisoftheguiltoftheaccuses,thatistosay,theyshouldnotbeexplainableonanyotherhypothesisexceptthattheaccusedisguilty.

(3) thecircumstancesshouldbeofaconclusivenatureandtendency.

(4) theyshouldexcludeeverypossiblehypothesisexcepttheonetobeproved,and

(5) theremustbeachainofevidencesocompleteasnottoleaveanyreasonablegroundfortheconclusionconsistentwiththeinnocenceoftheaccusedandmustshowthatinallhumanprobabilitytheactmusthavebeendonebytheaccused.

153.Thesefivegoldenprinciples,ifwemaysayso,constitutethepanchsheeloftheproofofacasebasedoncircumstantialevidence”.

19. SectionInJosephvs.StateofKerala,(2000)5SCC197,Courthasexplainedcircumstanceswhereunderconvictioncanbebasedpurelyoncircumstantialevidence.Itobserved:-

16.”itisoftensaidthatthoughwitnessesmaylie,circumstanceswillnot,butatthesametimeitmustcautiouslybescrutinizedtoseethattheincriminatingcircumstancesaresuchastoleadonlytoahypothesisofguiltandreasonablyexcludeeverypossibilityofinnocenceoftheaccused.Therecanalsobenohardandfastruleastotheappreciationofevidenceinacaseandbeingalwaysanexercisepertainingtoarrivingatafindingoffactthesamehastobeinthemannernecessitatedorwarrantedbythepeculiarfactsandcircumstancesofeachcase.Thewholeeffortandendeavorinthecaseshouldbetofindoutwhetherthecrimewascommittedbytheaccusedandthecircumstancesprovedformthemselvesintoacompletechainunerringlypointingtotheguiltoftheaccused.”

(EmphasisAdded)

20. SimilarviewhasbeenexpressedinSectionPadalaVeeraReddyv.StateofAndhraPradesh,AIR1990SC79.SectionInC.ChengaReddyandothersv.StateofAndhraPradesh,AIR1996SC3390,Courthassaid:-

“Inacasebasedoncircumstantialevidence,thesettledlawisthatthecircumstancesfromwhichtheconclusionofguiltisdrawnshouldbefullyprovedandsuchcircumstancesmustbeconclusiveinnature.Moreover,allthecircumstancesshouldbecompleteandthereshouldbenogapleftinthechainofevidence.Further,theprovedcircumstancesmustbeconsistentonlywiththehypothesisoftheguiltoftheaccusedandtotallyinconsistentwithhisinnocence.”

(EmphasisAdded)

21. SectionInStateofU.P.vs.AshokKumarSrivastava,(1992)2SCC86,itwaspointedoutthatgreatcaremustbetakeninevaluatingcircumstantialevidenceandifevidencereliedonisreasonablycapableoftwoinferences,theoneinfavourofaccusedmustbeaccepted.Itwasalsopointedoutthatcircumstancesrelieduponmustbefoundtohavebeenfullyestablishedandcumulativeeffectofallthefactssoestablishedmustbeconsistentonlywiththehypothesisoftheguilt.

22. InStateofHimachalPradeshVs.RajKumar,reportedin(2018)2SCC69,Courtwasconsideringacasebasedoncircumstantialevidence.TheirLordshipswhiletakingnoteofthewellsettledlegalposition,inParagraph9and10,observedasunder:-

“9.Prosecutioncaseisbasedoncircumstantialevidence.Itiswellsettledthatinacasebasedoncircumstantialevidence,thecircumstancesfromwhichaninferenceofguiltissoughttobedrawnmustbecogentlyandfirmlyestablishedandthatthosecircumstancesmustbeconclusiveinnatureunerringlypointingtowardstheguiltoftheaccused.Moreoverallthecircumstancestakencumulativelyshouldformacompletechainandthereshouldbenogapleftinthechainofevidence.Furthertheprovedcircumstancesmustbeconsistentonlywiththehypothesisoftheguiltoftheaccusedandtotallyinconsistentwithhisinnocence.

10.Inacase,basedoncircumstantialevidence,theinferenceofguiltcanbedrawnonlywhenalltheincriminatingfactsandcircumstancesarefoundtobeincompatiblewiththeinnocenceoftheaccused.SectionInTrimukhMarotiKirkanv.StateofMaharashtra(2006)10SCC681,itwasheldasunder:-

“12…………Thenormalprincipleinacasebasedoncircumstantialevidenceisthatthecircumstancesfromwhichaninferenceofguiltissoughttobedrawnmustbecogentlyandfirmlyestablished;thatthosecircumstancesshouldbeofadefinitetendencyunerringlypointingtowardstheguiltoftheaccused;thatthecircumstancestakencumulativelyshouldformachainsocompletethatthereisnoescapefromtheconclusionthatwithinallhumanprobabilitythecrimewascommittedbytheaccusedandtheyshouldbeincapableofexplanationonanyhypothesisotherthanthatoftheguiltoftheaccusedandinconsistentwiththeirinnocence.”

23. ThesameprinciplewasreiteratedinSectionStateofRajasthanv.KashiRam(2006)12SCC254,SectionGaneshLalv.StateofRajasthan(2002)1SCC731,SectionStateofMaharashtrav.Suresh(2000)1SCC471andSectionStateofTamilNaduv.Rajendran(1999)8SCC679.

24. InVijayShankarVs.StateofHaryana,reportedin(2015)12SCC644,althoughthecasewasbasedonlastseentheory,CourtdiscussedtheprinciplesinrespectofevidentiaryvalueandheldinParagraph8asunder:-

“8.Thereisnoeye-witnesstotheoccurrenceandtheentirecaseisbaseduponcircumstantialevidence.Thenormalprincipleisthatinacasebasedoncircumstantialevidencethecircumstancesfromwhichaninferenceofguiltissoughttobedrawnmustbecogentlyandfirmlyestablished;thatthesecircumstancesshouldbeofadefinitetendencyunerringlypointingtowardstheguiltoftheaccused;thatthecircumstancestakencumulativelyshouldformachainsocompletethatthereisnoescapefromtheconclusionthatwithinallhumanprobabilitythecrimewascommittedbytheaccusedandtheyshouldbeincapableofexplanationofanyhypothesisotherthanthatoftheguiltoftheaccusedandinconsistentwiththeirinnocence.

(EmphasisAdded)

25. InVarkeyJosephVs.StateofKerala,reportedinAIR1993SC1892,Courtheldthatsuspicioncannottakeplaceofproof.InParagraph12ofthejudgment,Courtconcludedasunder:-

“12.Suspicionisnotthesubstituteforproof.Thereisalongdistancebetween’maybetrue’and’mustbetrue’andtheprosecutionhastotravelallthewaytoproveitsPatnaHighCourtCR.APP(DB)No.202of1996dt.13-03-201816/25casebeyondallreasonabledoubt.Wehavealreadyseenthattheprosecutionnotonlyhasnotproveditscasebutpalpablyproducedfalseevidenceandtheprosecutionhasmiserablyfailedtoproveitscaseagainsttheappellantletalonebeyondallreasonabledoubtthattheappellantandhealonecommittedtheoffence.WehadalreadyallowedtheappealandacquittedhimbyourorderdatedApril12,1993andsettheappellantatlibertywhichwehavelittledoubtthatitwascarriedoutbydate.TheappealisallowedandtheappellantstandsacquittedoftheoffenceunderSectionS.302,SectionIPC”

26. InRaja@RajinderVs.StateofHaryana,reportedin(2015)11SCC43,CourtnoteddowninParagraph10aspectswithwhichcourtshouldbesatisfiedinacasebasedoncircumstantialevidence.Para10,11and12ofthejudgmentreadasunder:-

“10.Asthefactualmatrixwouldshow,thecaseoftheprosecutionentirelyhingesoncircumstantialevidence.Whenacaserestsoncircumstantialevidence,theCourthastobesatisfiedthat:

“(1)thecircumstancesfromwhichaninferenceofguiltissoughttobedrawn,mustbecogentlyandfirmlyestablished;

(2)thosecircumstancesshouldbeofadefinitetendencyunerringlypointingtowardsguiltoftheaccused;

(3)thecircumstances,takencumulatively,shouldformachainsocompletethatthereisnoescapefromtheconclusionthatwithinallhumanprobabilitythecrimewascommittedbytheaccusedandnoneelse;and(4)thecircumstantialevidenceinordertosustainconvictionmustbecompleteandincapableofexplanationofanyotherhypothesisthanthatoftheguiltoftheaccusedandsuchevidenceshouldnotonlybePatnaHighCourtCR.APP(DB)No.202of1996dt.13-03-201817/25consistentwiththeguiltoftheaccusedbutshouldbeinconsistentwithhisinnocence.”

27. SectionInBalwinderSinghv.StateofPunjab,1995Supp(4)SCC259,ithasbeenlaiddownthat:-

“4……thecircumstancesfromwhichtheconclusionofguiltistobedrawnshouldbefullyprovedandthosecircumstancesmustbeconclusiveinnaturetoconnecttheaccusedwiththecrime.Allthelinksinthechainofeventsmustbeestablishedbeyondareasonabledoubtandtheestablishedcircumstancesshouldbeconsistentonlywiththehypothesisoftheguiltoftheaccusedandtotallyinconsistentwithhisinnocence.Inacasebasedoncircumstantialevidence,thecourthastobeonitsguardtoavoidthedangerofallowingsuspiciontotaketheplaceoflegalproofandhastobewatchfultoavoidthedangerofbeingswayedbyemotionalconsiderations,howsoeverstrongtheymaybe,totaketheplaceofproof.”

28. Fromtheaforesaidexpositionoflaw,itisclearasondaythatCourtisrequiredtoevaluatecircumstantialevidencetoseethatthechainofeventshavebeenestablishedclearlyandcompletelytoruleoutanyreasonablelikelihoodofinnocenceoftheaccused.Needlesstosaywhetherthechainiscompleteornotwoulddependonthefactsofeachcaseemanatingfromtheevidenceandnouniversalyardstickshouldeverbeattempted[SectionSeeUjjagarSinghv.StateofPunjab,(2007)13SCC90:(2009)1SCC(Cri)272].

29. Inthepresentcase,PW-1KanhaiyaSharmahasstatedthathisgrandsonSonuSharmawastakenawayfromthehomebyoneBholu,sonofBrijbhanPrajapati,bysayingthattheywouldeateggsandPW-1hasgiventenrupeestohisgrandsonforeggsbutthereafterdeceaseddidnotreturn.Hehasfurtherdeposedthathehasheardthatmotherofaccused-appellantPramodPrajapati,namelyLalmatiwasafflictedwithsomeghostsincelastsixmonthsandtheallegedghostwasdemandingsacrificeofachildandforthatpurposeLalmatiwassearchingsomeboyforsacrificinghim.PW-1hasalsostatedthatfatherofaccused-appellantPramodPrajapati,namelyNageena,hismotherLalmati,PramodPrajapati(accused-appellant),RizwanandBholuhavetakenawayhisgrandsonandonthesecondday,deadbodyofdeceasedchildwasfound,whichwaslyingtiedwithastringfromthenecktoarosewoodtree(seesamtree)anddeceasedwashavingseveralstabwounds.Onepairofslipperofdeceasedwaslyingthere.Hehasfurtherstatedthataknifewasrecoveredattheinstanceofaccused-appellantandBholu.

30. PW-2JaiPrakashSharma,whoisfatherofdeceased,statedthathissonwastakenawayataround6:00PMbyBholuforeatingeggsbutthereafterhedidnotreturn.WhentheyinquiredfromBholu,herefusedtotellanything.Onthenextdate,deadbodyofdeceasedwasfound.PW-2hasalsostatedthatsincelastsixmonths,Lalmatiwasafflictedbysomeghostandtherewassometalkaboutthesacrifice.ThedeceasedwastakenawaybyBholuandthereafter,NageenaPrajapati,Lalmati,PramodandRizwanhavesacrificedhim.Onepairofslipperwaslyingneardeadbody.Policehavetakenactiononlyagainstaccused-appellantPramodPrajapatiandRizwanwhilePW-2hastoldInvestigatingOfficerthatalltheabove-statedpersonswereinvolvedintheallegedincidentandinthisregardcomplaintswerealsomadetohigherofficers.On01.11.2008,onebloodstainedtowelandoneknifewerealsorecoveredfromthesugar-canefieldofoneSharadaYadav,whichweretakenintopossessionbypoliceviderecoverymemoEx.Ka-2.

31. PW-3UgrasenYadavisawitnessofinquestproceedings,whilePW-4SinghasanYadavhasstatedthatafterrecoveryofdeadbodyofdeceased,onthenextday,amugwasfoundnearplaceofrecoveryandoneSmt.PremSheelahadtoldthatitwashermuganditwastakenawaybyRizwan.

32. PW-5S.I.MewaLalhasinvestigatedthecase.Duringthecourseoftheinvestigation,hepreparedsite-planEx.Ka-6andhasalsoprovedseizurememosofbloodstainedsoilandsimplesoil,slipperandstringasEx.Ka-5andinquestreportEx.Ka-6.HehasalsorecordedstatementsofthewitnessesincludingthatofBholu.On01.11.2008,accused-appellantandRizwanwerearrestedandtheweapon,whichwasusedintheallegedoffence,i.e.knifeaswellasoneshirt,onetowelwererecoveredattheinstanceoftheaccused-appellant,viderecoverymemoEx.Ka-2.One’dav'(woodcuttinginstrument)wasrecoveredattheinstanceofRizwanviderecoverymemo,Ex.Ka-3.Aftercompletionofinvestigation,thecharge-sheetwasfiledagainsttheaccused-appellantandco-accusedRizwan.

33. PW-7S.I.VijayShankerGaurisaformalwitnessandrecordedFIR.PW-8Dr.JavedHayathasconductedpostmortemonthedeadbodyofdeceasedvidepost-mortemreportEx.Ka-15.

34. ItappearsfromrecordthatPW-7S.I.VijayShankerGaurwasagainsummonedasPW-9andhehasstatedthatco-accusedRizwanwasminor,thus,charge-sheetwasfiledagainsthiminJuvenileJusticeBoardwhilecharge-sheetEx.Ka-16wasfiledagainstaccused-appellantbyS.O.HariShankerPrasad.

35. Keepinginviewtheabovementionedsettledprinciplesregardingcircumstantialevidence,inthepresentcasesofarasthecircumstanceoflastseenofdeceasedwiththeaccused-appellantisconcerned,itmaybestatedthatinFIR,nosuchversionwasmentionedthatdeceasedwastakenawaybyaccused-appellantPramodPrajapati.Infact,noonewasnamedinFIR.Itmerelystatedthaton27.10.2008atabout6:00PM,deceasedhasgoneforeatingeggsbutthereafter,hedidnotreturnback.Inhisstatement,PW-1initiallystatedthatdeceasedwastakenawaybyBholubutlateron,statedthatthedeceasedwastakenawaybyaccused-appellantaswellasbyhisfatherNageena,hismotherLalmatiandRizwanandBholu.Inhiscross-examination,hehasagainstatedthatdeceasedwastakenawaybyBholu.Hewasaskedspecificquestion,whetherdeceasedwastakenawaybytheaccused-appellantandallegedLalmatiandRizwanbuthestatedthathedoesnotknowexceptthefactthatdeceasedwastakenawaybyBholu.HehasagainreiteratedthisfactthatdeceasedwastakenawayonlybyBholu.

36. HereitwouldbepertinenttomentionthatallegedBholuhasnotbeenmadeanaccused,rather,itappearsfromthestatementofInvestigatingOfficerthathewasexaminedasawitness.ItisclearfromthestatementofPW-1thathisstatementisnotclearandcogent.HehasrepeatedforseveraltimesthatdeceasedwastakenawaybyBholu.Further,noonewasnamedinFIR.ConsideringthestatementofPW-1initsentirety,itisclearthatstatementofPW-1againstaccused-appellantisnotclearandcogent.Itdoesnotleadtotheconclusionthatdeceasedwastakenawaybyaccused-appellant.

37. Similarly,PW-2hasstatedthatdeceasedwastakenawaybyBholu,thoughhehasstatedthatafterhissonwastakenawaybyBholu,hewasmurderedbyNageena,Lalmati,accused-appellantPramodPrajapatiandRizwanbywayofsacrifice.Thereisnoeyewitnessoftheallegedincident.AsstatedthatallegedBholuhasnotbeenmadeanaccusednorhehasbeenexaminedasawitnessduringtrial.Inhiscross-examination,PW-2hasreiteratedthathissonwastakenawaybyBholu.Thus,itisclearthatstatementofPW-2isalsonotcogentandcategoricalagainstaccused-appellant.ThestatementsofPW1andPW2donotleadtoanysuchconclusionthatdeceasedwastakenawayfromhishomebyaccused-appellantPramodPrajapati.Inviewofthesefacts,itisquiteapparentthatthecircumstanceoflastseenofthedeceasedinthecompanyofaccused-appellanthasnotbeenestablishedatall.

38. Thenextcircumstancerelieduponbytheprosecutionisrecoveryofaknife,oneshirtandonetowelattheinstanceofaccused-appellant.ThoughPW-1hasstatedthataknifewasrecoveredfromaccused-appellantbuthehasnotclarifiedastowhenandfromwheretheallegedrecoverywasmade.Similarly,PW-2hasstatedthattheknife,oneshirtandonetowelwererecoveredfromthepossessionofaccused-appellantfromthesugar-canefieldofoneSharadaYadavbuthehasalsonotclarified,whentheallegedrecoveryweremade.PW-5S.I.MewaLalhasalsomadeastatementaboutallegedrecoverybutthereisnoforensicreportthattheallegedknifewasusedincommissionofallegedoffence.Similarly,shirtandtowelcouldalsonotbeconnectedwiththeallegedoffence.ThroughPW-1andPW-2haveallegedthatmotherofaccused-appellantLalmatiwasafflictedwithsomeghostandtogetridofthesame,theyweretalkingaboutsacrificeofachildbutitisahearsayevidenceandprosecutionhasnotestablishedtheallegedmotive.Itisalsonotclear,that,asperprosecutionversionifdeceasedwasmurderedbywayofsacrificebyNageena,Lalmati,accused-appellantandRizwan,thanwhyallthesepersonswerenotcharge-sheetedbypolice.

39. AnotheraspectofthematteristhatPW-5MewaLalhasstatedthaton31.10.2008,hehasexaminedallegedBholuasawitness.HehasstatedthatdeceasedSonuSharma,accused-appellantPramodPrajapatiandRizwanusedtocommitunnaturalactwithhimandusedtothreatenthatifhedisclosestoanyone,theywouldkillhim.On27.10.2008,Rizwanandaccused-appellantaskedhimtobringthedeceasedattheplacewheretheyusedtoindulgeinunnaturalactandwhenhe(Bholu)tookthedeceasedatChheraChauraha,accused-appellantandRizwanmetthemandwhendeceasedtriedtodounnaturalactwithhim,accused-appellantandRizwantiedastringintheneckofdeceasedanddeceasedwasmurderedbybothofthemby’dav’andknife.Duringincident,deceasedsnatchedknifefromtheaccused-appellantandattackedontheaccused-appellantwithknifebutagaintheaccused-appellantsnatchedknifefromhimandcommittedmurderofthedeceased.

40. ItisapparentthatduringinvestigationallegedBholuhasdepictedanentirelydifferentstoryregardingmurderofdeceasedandinterestingly,duringinvestigation,allegedBholuwasexaminedaswitnesswhileontheotherhand,versionofPW-1andPW-2isthatthedeceasedwastakenawaybyBholuandthereafter,Nageena,Lalmati,accused-appellantandRizwanhavecommittedmurderofdeceasedtogetridoftheghostbywhichLalmatiwassufferingsincelastsixmonths.

41. Nodoubt,deceasedwasbrutallydonetodeathashehassustainedasmanyas17stabinjuriesbutthereisnoeyewitnessoftheallegedincident.Theonlycircumstanceagainstaccused-appellantestablishedbyprosecutionistheallegedrecoveryofoneshirt,onetowelandoneknifeattheinstanceoftheaccused-appellant.Asstatedearlier,thereisnoForensicExpertReporttoconnectallegedknifewiththecommissionofallegedoffence.Similarly,recoveryofshirtandtowelisalsonotconnectedwiththeallegedcrime.Merelyonthebasisofallegedrecovery,itcannotbesaidthatthechainofcircumstancesiscomplete.Aftertakingintoconsiderationtotalityofthefactsandcircumstancesofthecaseandevidenceledonrecordbyprosecution,wefindthattherearematerialinconsistenciesandinfirmitiesintheprosecutionevidenceandimportantlinksaremissingsoastoformcompletechainofcircumstances.Theallegedincriminatingcircumstancethatdeceasedwastakenawayfromhishousebyaccused-appellanthasnotbeenestablished.Neitherincriminatingcircumstanceshavebeenprovednorthechainofcircumstancesiscomplete.Theevidenceledbyprosecutiondoesnotleadtotheinferenceofguiltofaccused-appellant.Thecircumstantialevidencereliedbyprosecutiondoesnotsatisfythetestlaiddowninvariousauthoritiesasdiscussedaboveforrecordingthefindingofguilt.

42. Inviewofabovediscussion,TrialCourt,inouropinion,committederrorbyrecordingfindingsofguiltandthus,itwillnotbesafetoupholdconvictionofaccused-appellantPramodPrajapatiincommissionofmurderofthedeceased.Theaccused-appellantdeservesbenefitofdoubt.

43. Theappealsucceedsandisallowed.ImpugnedjudgmentandorderpassedbyCourtbelowinSessionTrialNo.29of2010,wherebyaccused-appellanthasbeenconvictedunderSection302IPC,isherebysetaside.Accused-appellantPramodPrajapatiisacquittedofthechargeunderSection302IPC.Heisstatedinjail,thus,hebereleasedforthwithifnotwantedinanyothercase.

44. TrialCourtrecordalongwiththecopyofthisjudgmentberemittedtotheCourtconcernedforthwithfornecessarycompliance.ACopyofthisjudgmentbealsosenttoaccused-appellantthroughJailSuperintendentconcernedforintimationforthwith.CompliancereportbealsosubmittedtothisCourt.

45. Beforeparting,wefinditappropriatetoplaceonrecordourcommendationtolearnedcounselwhohasarguedthisappealasAmicusCuriaewithabilityandactuallyassistedtheCourteffectively.Weprovidethatheshallbepaidcounsel’sfeeasRs.11,000/-.StateGovernmentisdirectedtoensurepaymentofaforesaidfeethroughAdditionalLegalRemembrancerpostedintheofficeofAdvocateGeneralatAllahabad,toSriDevendraPratapSingh,AmicusCuriae,withoutanydelayand,inanycase,within15daysfromthedateofreceiptofcopyofthisjudgment.

OrderDate:22.05.2019

Anand

(RajBeerSingh)(SudhirAgrawal)

 

 

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