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Pritam Kaur Wife Of Sadhu Singh vs State Of Punjab on 3 October, 2018

CRA-S-1747-SB-2004 1

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
AT CHANDIGARH

CRA-S-1747-SB-2004
Date of decision:-3.10.2018

Pritam Kaur

….Appellant

Versus

State of Punjab

….Respondent

CORAM : HON’ BLE MR. JUSTICE H.S. MADAAN

Present : Mr.B.S. Thind, Advocate
for the appellant.

Mr.Dhruv Dayal, Sr.DAG, Punjab.

****

H.S. MADAAN, J.

Accused Pritam Kaur and her son Major Singh faced trial

by learned Additional Sessions Judge ( Ad hoc) – cum – Presiding

Officer, Fast Track Court, Rupnagar on the allegations that on

11.7.2002, the prosecutrix daughter of complainant Didar Singh,

resident of Chamkaur Sahib was kidnapped by them, giving her

allurement of marriage with Major Singh and while leaving home, the

prosecutrix had taken away some ornaments, documents and cash

amount of Rs.20,000/- from her house.

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On the basis of statement of complainant Didar Singh,

formal FIR was recorded. Involvement of Pritam Kaur and her son

Major Singh having connived with Bahadur Singh in kidnapping the

prosecutrix was found to be there.

After completion of investigation and other formalities,

challan against the accused was prepared and filed in the Court of

learned Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Rupnagar.

On presentation of challan in the Court of learned

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Rupnagar, he supplied copies of

documents relied upon in the challan to the accused free of costs as

provided under Section 207 Cr.P.C. Then finding that the offence under

Section 363 and 366 IPC are exclusively triable by Court of Sessions,

learned Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Rupnagar committed the

case to the Court of learned Sessions Judge, Rupnagar vide order dated

28.8.2003, from where it was entrusted to the Court of learned

Additional Sessions Judge, Rupnagar.

On receipt of case in the Court, learned Additional Sessions

Judge, Rupnagar observing that prima facie charge for offences under

Sections 363, 366, 120-B IPC was disclosed against the accused, they

were charge-sheeted accordingly. The accused pleaded not guilty and

claimed trial.

During the course of its evidence, the prosecution examined

as many as 7 witnesses i.e. PW1 Didar Singh – complainant, PW2

Sarwan Singh, PW3 ASI Sadhu Singh, PW4 Surmukh Singh, PW5

Amarjit Kaur(mother of prosecutrix), PW6 Amarjit Kaur(school

teacher) and PW7 ASI Prem Chand.

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With that the prosecution evidence got concluded.

Statements of the accused was recorded under Section 313

Cr.P.C., in which all the incriminating circumstances appearing against

such accused were put to them, but he denied the allegations contending

that they are innocent and have been falsely implicated in the case.

In defence evidence accused examined the prosecutrix as

DW1.

After hearing arguments, learned trial Court acquitted

accused Major Singh of the charge framed against him, whereas

convicted accused Pritam Kaur vide judgment dated 12.8.2004 for the

offences under Section 363 read with Section 120-B IPC and vide order

of the said date, sentenced her to undergo rigorous imprisonment for

one year and to pay a fine of Rs.500/- and in default thereof, to further

undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of two months, which left

her aggrieved and she has filed the present appeal.

I have heard learned counsel for the appellant – accused –

convict, learned Senior Deputy Advocate General for the State of Punjab

besides going through the record.

The cardinal principles of criminal jurisprudence are that

the prosecution must prove its charge against the accused beyond a

shadow of reasonable doubt. Such onus to prove guilt of the accused to

the hilt is stationary on the prosecution and it never shifts. The accused

is not expected to prove his defence with some exactness and rigor, with

which the prosecution is required to prove guilt of the accused. The

accused is required to render only a reasonable and plausible

explanation, which may cast a doubt in the mind about the truthfulness

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of the prosecution story. Furthermore, as per our jurisprudence,

hundreds of guilty persons may go scot-free but even one innocent

should not be punished.

If examined on touchstone of those principles, it comes out

that the prosecution had miserably failed to prove its charge against the

accused conclusively and affirmatively. However, the trial Court by

misappraisal of evidence and wrong interpretation of law came to the

conclusion that the prosecution had successfully proved its charge

against the accused beyond a shadow of doubt.

It has to be taken note of that complainant Didar Singh,

who had set the criminal machinery in motion had not supported the

prosecution story and was declared a hostile witness. In his

examination-in-chief itself, he stated that Bahadur Singh son of Sadhu

Singh, resident of his colony used to come to his grocery shop and

purchase articles but he had never misbehaved with his daughter, the

prosecutrix, rather he stated that her said daughter had gone with

Bahadur Singh. He was declared a hostile witness at the instance of

learned Additional Public Prosecutor, who was allowed to put questions

to him in the form of his cross-examination but to no effect. PW2

Sarwan Singh, father-in-law of complainant though stated that Bahadur

Singh son of Sadhu Singh had taken away the prosecutrix in conspiracy

of accused persons (Pritam Kaur and Major Singh) and Pritam Kaur

misguided them that the prosecutrix was there towards Khanna side

when as a matter of fact it was not so and he further stated that both the

accused were talking on telephone with Bahadur Singh. However, these

facts do not go to show that Pritam Kaur and Major Singh had a prior

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meeting of mind with Bahadur Singh and in pursuance of that Bahadur

Singh had kidnapped the prosecutrix. Merely because Pritam Kaur

stated that the couple had gone towards a particular side when it was not

so does not go to show her involvement in the incident. She might have

stated so out of ignorance or wrong information. Furthermore, talking

with his son Bahadur Singh on telephone does not establish any offence

on the part of accused Pritam Kaur. For the similar reasons, the

testimony of PW5 Amarjeet Kaur, the mother of the prosecutrix does

not support the prosecution much in proving its charge. It has to be

taken note of that the main accused in this case, namely, Bahadur Singh

has since been acquitted by the Court. Copy of judgment dated

31.1.2005 passed by Additional Sessions Judge ( Ad hoc)-cum-

Presiding Officer, Fast Track Court, Ropar in that regard Annexure P3

has been placed on record. There is nothing on the file to show that this

judgment has been challenged by the prosecution by way of filing of

appeal or its operation has been stayed by any superior Court. The basic

law is that if the main accused is acquitted, then conviction of other

accused on the allegations of having entered into conspiracy with such

accused cannot be sustained. Therefore, on account of enough cogent,

convincing, reliable evidence being missing to show the involvement of

the appellant/accused in the incident and main accused having been

acquitted by the Court, the conviction and sentence of the present

appellant cannot survive.

Thus, I find that the judgment of conviction and order of

sentence passed by the Court below are not sustainable. The same are

set aside by way of acceptance of this appeal. The appellant is acquitted

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of the charge for which she has been held guilty and convicted vide the

impugned judgment.

Necessary intimation be sent to the quarter concerned.

(H.S.MADAAN)
3.10.2018 JUDGE
Brij

Whether speaking/reasoned : Yes/No
Whether Reportable : Yes/No

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