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Sahib Singh Etc vs State Of Hy on 15 July, 2019

CRA-D-357-DB-2004 1

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB HARYANA AT
CHANDIGARH

1. CRA-D-357-DB-2004

Sahib Singh and another
… Appellants

Versus

State of Haryana
… Respondent

2. CRR-1926-2004

Chet Ram
… Petitioner

Versus

State of Haryana and others
… Respondents

Reserved on : 10.07.2019
Date of decision : 15.07.2019

CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE RAJIV SHARMA
HON’BLE MR.JUSTICE HARINDER SINGH SIDHU

Present: Mr.R.S.Cheema, Senior Advocate with
Mr.Satish Kumar, Advocate
for the appellants in CRA-D-357-DB-2004
and for respondents no.3 4 in CRR-1926-2004.

Mr.P.S.Sullar, Advocate
for the petitioner in CRR-1926-2004.

Mrs. Shubhra Singh, Addl.A.G. Haryana.

RAJIV SHARMA, J.

Since common questions of law and facts are involved in the

aforesaid appeal and revision petition, therefore, these are taken up together

and disposed of by a common judgment.

2. The appeal (CRA-D-357-DB-2004) was instituted against the

judgment dated 15.03.2004 and order dated 17.03.2004 rendered by the

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Additional Sessions Judge, Ambala, in Sessions Case no.5 of

05.03.2003/27.07.1999 whereby the appellants along with co-accused

Lakhmir Singh were charged with and tried for offences under Sections

120-B, Section302 of the Indian Penal Code (in short ‘SectionIPC’) and under Section 27 of

the Arms Act.

3. Appellants Sahib Singh and Darshan Singh were convicted for

offence under Sections 302/Section120-B IPC. They were sentenced to undergo

rigorous imprisonment for life and to pay a fine of Rs.5000/- each and in

default of payment of fine to further undergo rigorous imprisonment for a

period of six months. Appellant Sahib Singh was also convicted and

sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of three years and

to pay a fine of Rs.2000/- and in default of payment of fine to further

undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of three months, for offence

punishable under Section 27(1) of the Arms Act. The sentences awarded to

appellant Sahib Singh were ordered to run concurrently. However, co-

accused Lakhmir Singh was acquitted of the charges levelled against him.

4. The case of the prosecution, in a nutshell, is that complainant

Chet Ram lodged a report vide Ex.PS to the effect that on 30.03.1999 at

about 08.30 P.M., accused Darshan Singh came to his house. He had two

sons namely Bhag Singh and Ram Karan (now deceased). Ram Karan was

friend of Gurmeet Singh son of Sahib Singh (accused) from their childhood.

They used to visit each other’s house. Sahib Singh did not like friendship of

Ram Karan and Gurmeet Singh for the reason that Ram Karan had been

offering drinks to Gurmeet Singh. On the day of occurrence, accused

Darshan Singh came to his house and stated that accused Sahib Singh had

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called Ram Karan at his house. Ram Karan was taking bath at that time. He

finished his bath. Ram Karan accompanied Darshan Singh to the house of

accused Sahib Singh. At about 10.30 P.M., the complainant heard sound of

gun shot from the side of dera of Sahib Singh. He went to the house of his

brother PW Ram Sarup and narrated him that his son Ram Karan was called

by Darshan Singh. He along with Ram Sarup proceeded towards house of

Sahib Singh. On the way, they noticed a motor cycle coming from the side

of dera of Sahib Singh. They both stopped. Motor cycle was stopped.

Accused Darshan Singh was driving the motor cycle. Accused Lakhmir

Singh and Sahib Singh were pillion riders. Sahib Singh was holding a gun.

He shouted that Chet Ram could lift dead body of his son from the dera.

They left on their motor cycle. The complainant and Ram Sarup proceeded

towards dera of Sahib Singh. They reached dera. They found dead bodies of

Ram Karan and Baljinder Kaur wife of Gurmeet Singh lying in the rear

court yard of dera of Sahib Singh. There was pool of blood near the dead

bodies. They came back to their house. They narrated the incident to the

family members. FIR Ex.PS was recorded. Police reached the spot. Police

took photographs. Inquest proceedings were completed. Dead bodies were

sent through HC Ram Jwari to the Civil Hospital, Ambala City. Post-mortem

was conducted. Accused were arrested. Investigation was completed.

Challan was put up in Court after completing all the codal formalities.

5. Prosecution examined a number of witnesses in support of its

case. The statements of appellants along with co-accused Lakhmir Singh

were also recorded under Section 313 Cr.P.C. They denied the case of the

prosecution. The appellants were convicted and sentenced as noticed

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hereinabove. Hence this appeal.

6. CRR-1926-2004 has been filed by complainant Chet Ram for

seeking compensation.

7. Learned counsel appearing for the appellants has vehemently

argued that the prosecution has failed to prove the case against the

appellants.

8. Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner has

argued that the appellants were rightly convicted and sentenced and his

client be paid compensation.

9. Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the State has supported

the prosecution case.

10. We have heard learned counsel for the parties and have gone

through the judgment and record very carefully.

11. PW-1 Constable Ram Saran had prepared site plan Ex.PA.

12. PW-3 HC Raj Pal deposed that on 31.03.1999 he was posted at

Police Station Naggal. He had accompanied SHO Mange Ram to the spot.

Mange Ram had handed over the dead body of Baljinder Kaur to him for

being taken to the Civil Hospital for post-mortem examination. Inquest

proceedings qua Baljinder Kaur were prepared. He had taken the dead body

to the Civil Hospital.

13. PW-7 Joginder Singh deposed that he was present at his hosue

at village Mehlan about a year back. In the morning at about 9.00 A.M. he

was informed about the death of Ram Karan. He was his cousin. He went to

the dera. He found dead bodies of Ram Karan and Baljinder Kaur lying

there. Police arrived there. He went to the Civil Hospital along with police

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officials to get post-mortem examination conducted on the dead body of

Ram Karan. He identified the dead body of Ram Karan.

14. PW-8 Ram Diya deposed that Baljinder Kaur was married to

Gurmeet Singh. They received information regarding murder of Baljinder

Kaur. About 20 persons including him went to the farm house of Sahib

Singh. They found that dead bodies of Baljinder Kaur and one boy were

lying there.

15. PW-9 ASI Sushil Kumar deposed that he was posted as the

Incharge Police Post Nanyoula on 31.03.1999. He received telephonic call

regarding murder at village Mehlan. He went to dera of Sahib Singh. SHO

Mange Ram was already there. SHO picked up blood with the help of

cotton. The cotton smeared with blood was put in plastic containers. Two

pairs of shoes were also taken into possession. Four empty cartridges of .

315 bore were also found in the court yard of house. “KF92 WWB” was

engraved on these cartridges. These were taken into possession.

16. PW-10 Dr.Awan Chaudhary along with Dr.R.C. Jindal

conducted post-mortem examination on the dead body of Ram Karan. He

noticed following injuries on the dead body of Ram Karan:-

“1. Two centimeters rounded wound on the left side of
the chest over 7 intercostal space. 8 cm lateral to midline
and 8 cm below the left nipple. Margins were irregular,
inverted, contused and there was no tattooing present.

2. 2 cm rounded wound on the left side of the chest
below and lateral to the injury no.2 over the eight
intercostal space 10 cm to the midline and 9 cm below
the left nipple. Margins are irregular, interverted,
contused and there was no tattooing.

3. There was irregular 3.5 cm x 3 cm size wound on

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the back of the left chest 1 cm away from the midline at
the level of D-9 vertebra. Margins were inverted and
were irregular. On probing injury no.1 it was found to be
communicating injury no.3. The probe was going
posteriorly middly and downwards. On dissection there
was infiltration of blood in the margins of the tract of the
wound. The tract was passing through the left lung and
heart and intervening structures.

4. There was 4 cm x 3.5 cm wound on the back of the
left chest. 5 cm lateral to the midline and 4 cm below the
injury no.3. Margins were inverted, irregular. On
probing the wound no.2 it was found to be
communicating with injury no.4. The probe was going
posteriorly, midly and downwards. There was infiltration
of the blood in the tract. The tract was passing through
the lungs, heart and intervening structures. Holes in the
clothes of the deceased were found to be corresponding
injury no.1, 2 and 3 on the body of the deceased. There
was a foreign body in the tract.

5. There was lacerated wound 2.5 cm x 1 cm size on
the middle of the forehead transversally placed. It was a
skin disease. On dissection there was infiltration of the
blood in the surrounding tissues.

6. There was lacerated wound 1 cm x .5 cm on the
left side of the lower limb, on dissection there was
infiltration of blood.

7. The left index finger on its distal phalanx was
partially missing. There was infiltration of blood in the
soft tissue. There was no tattooing. Margins were
irregular and contused.”

According to their opinion, the cause of death was haemorrhage and shock

due to the injury to the heart as a result of injury nos. 1, 2 4 which were

ante mortem in nature and sufficient to cause death in normal course of

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nature. The kind of weapon used was firearm. Probable time elapsed

between injuries and death was immediate and between death and post-

mortem was within 24 hours.

He along with Dr.R.C.Jindal also conducted post-mortem on

the body of Baljinder Kaur. He noticed following injuries on the body of

Baljinder Kaur:-

“1. There was 2 cm size rounded wound margins were
inverted, contused and tattooing were present. 13 cm
lateral to the right of the midline just below the clavicle.
The hole of the shirt in front correspond to this injury
and also bears burn marks. Tattooing was present in
interior margin of the wound measuring 2 cm.
Blackening was present in its inferior part.

2. 5 cm x 4 cm size irregular wound invertor margins
5 cm left the midline over the 9th and 10th rib and
intercostal space. On probing injury no.1 it was found to
be communicating with injury no.2. On dissection there
was infiltration of blood in the tract, which was going
obliquely down wards middly and posteriorly towards
left side passing through the lungs and heart and
intervening tissues. There was no foreign body.”

Both the injuries were caused by firearm. Injury no.1 was the wound of

entry and injury no.2 was the wound of exit. Injuries could be caused by a

shot of rifle Ex.P11. The cause of death was haemorrhage and shock due to

injury nos.1 and 2 which were ante mortem in nature and sufficient to cause

death.

17. PW-11 Baldev Singh deposed that accused Sahib Singh was

interrogated by the police in his presence. Sahib Singh disclosed the police

that he had kept concealed his rifle in the paddy straw store of his farm

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house. He could get the same recovered. His disclosure statement is Ex.PM.

18. PW-13 Rajbir deposed that his sister Baljinder Kaur was

married with Gurmeet Singh of village Mehlan. She was having two

children. She was married with Gurmeet Singh in the year 1987. She was

not subjected to cruelty by the accused. He was declared hostile and cross-

examined by the learned Public Prosecutor.

19. PW-14 HC Ram Jawari deposed that on the intervening night of

30/31.03.1999 at about 2.30 A.M., Chet Ram lodged the report on the basis

of which FIR was registered. They went to the spot. SHO completed all the

formalities on the spot including preparation of inquest report. The dead

body was sent for post-mortem examination. Sahib Singh got recovered a

rifle of .315 bore from the heap of paddy.

20. PW-15 Chet Ram deposed that about 4 years back, accused

Darshan Singh came to him at about 8.30 P.M. He identified him. He had

two sons, elder was Bagh Singh, younger to him was Ram Karan deceased.

His son Ram Karan and Gurmeet Singh were friends from their childhood.

They used to visit each other’s house. Sahib Singh accused did not like him

and he had grudge against Ram Karan deceased. Ram Karan deceased used

to take drinks with Gurmeet Singh. At about 8.30 P.M. accused Darshan

Singh came to his house. He told him that his uncle Sahib Singh had called

Ram Karan at his house. Ram Karan accompanied Darshan Singh. At about

10.30 P.M. he heard noise of firing from the side of dera of the accused. He

went to his brother Ram Sarup. He along with his brother went to enquire

about Ram Karan. When they were proceeding towards the dera of Sahib

Singh, they noticed a motorcycle coming from the side of dera of Sahib

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Singh. He and his brother stood. Motor cycle came near them. Darshan

Singh was driving the motor cycle. Accused Lakhmir Singh was sitting in

between Darshan Singh and Sahib Singh. Sahib Singh was armed with gun.

Sahib Singh shouted that his son had been killed and his body should be

lifted from the dera. Accused fled away from the spot. He and his brother

reached the dera of Sahib Singh. They found dead body of Ram Karan and

Baljinder Kaur lying in the court yard of Sahib Singh accused. They came

back to their house and informed the family members. Thereafter he met

SHO Mange Ram. FIR was registered. In his cross-examination, he

admitted that case was registered against his son under Section 376 IPC. His

son was acquitted. No other villager had reached at the dera before them.

He came back to his house at 11.00 P.M. Police accompanied him to the

dera. He did not see any of the accused in the village. He mentioned in his

statement Ex.PS before the police that Sahib Singh did not like taking liquor

by Gurmeet Singh in the company of his son Ram Karan. He was

confronted with the statement Ex.PS where it was not so recorded. The door

of dera was towards the kacha path which led to dera of Sahib Singh from

metalled road. There was a compound in front of the residential area. The

distance between the boundary wall and the living rooms of Gurmeet was

about 20 feet. There was a separate door which opened in that back court

yard and in that portion Gurmeet lived. He also admitted that door of the

room of Sahib Singh also opened in that back courtyard of Gurmeet Singh.

The dead bodies were lying at a distance of about three four feet from each

other and in the middle of the courtyard.

21. PW-17 Ram Sarup corroborated the statement of PW-15 Chet

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Ram. According to him, his brother Chet Ram had told him at 10/10.30 P.M.

that one Darshan had come to call Ram Karan at about 8/8.30 P.M. Ram

Karan accompanied him. His brother heard the sound of gun fire. He also

heard the same. Chet Ram told him that let them see what had happened.

They started going towards the dera of Sahib Singh. They saw motor cycle

coming from opposite side. They stopped. The motor cycle was driven by

Darshan Singh. Lakhmir Singh and Sahib Singh were pillion riders. They

proclaimed that they had murdered Ram Karan and asked them to lift his

body. They reached the dera of Sahib Singh. They saw dead bodies of Ram

Karan and wife of Gurmeet Singh. The dead bodies were lying on the

ground. In his cross-examination, he admitted that there was no enmity till

30.03.1999 between their family and family of Sahib Singh. He also

admitted that Ram Karan was involved in a rape case. It was a case of rape

of lady doctor. Gurmeet and Ram Karan were close friends since their

childhood. Both the dead bodies were lying at the distance of about six

seven feet from each other.

22. PW-18 Vajinder Singh deposed that as per record, Sahib Singh

purchased rifle from Haryana Gun House, Arms and Ammunition dealer,

Ambala Cantt on 22.02.1994. The arm licence of Sahib Singh was valid up

to 30.05.2000.

23. PW-21 Mange Ram is the Investigating Officer. He went to the

spot. He saw the dead bodies of Ram Karan and Baljinder Kaur lying

behind the house of Sahib Singh. Photographs were taken. Dead bodies

were sent for post-mortem examination. He took into possession blood

stained earth, shoes, chappal and empty cartridges vide memo Ex.PH.

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Accused Sahib Singh was interrogated on 01.04.1999. He made disclosure

statement. He disclosed during interrogation that he had kept concealed rifle

near dera of Darshan Singh under the paddy straw. The rifle was got

recovered on 02.04.1999. In his cross-examination, he deposed that the

boundary wall was about 4 to 5 feet in height. The dead bodies of both

deceased were lying closely to each other. Gurmeet used to live in the rear

portion where the dead bodies were lying. The deceased was involved in a

rape case. During investigation, it came to his notice that Baljinder Kaur

deceased was not of good character and was having relations with others

including Ram Karan deceased also. It also came to his notice during

investigation that due to this illicit relations between the deceased, Sahib

Singh was not happy with Ram Karan.

24. The FSL report is Ex.PY. The motive attributed to Sahib Singh

is that he did not like his son taking liquor with Ram Karan. According to

PW-15 Chet Ram, Darshan Singh came to his house and took Ram Karan

along with him. He heard sound of gun fire at 10.30 P.M. He went to the

house of his brother. They were going towards dera of Sahib Singh. A motor

cycle was coming from opposite direction. They stopped. Accused Sahib

Singh proclaimed that his son Ram Karan was killed and his dead body

should be collected. Thereafter FIR was registered. The cause of death was

haemorrhage and shock due to firearm as per statement of PW-10 Dr.Awan

Chaudhary. The rifle was got recovered at the instance of Sahib Singh on

the basis of his disclosure statement.

25. As per statement of PW-21 Mange Ram, Investigating Officer,

it has come during investigation that Baljinder Kaur was not carrying good

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CRA-D-357-DB-2004 12

reputation. She had illicit relations with others including Ram Karan. It had

also transpired that Sahib Singh did not like illicit relations between Ram

Karan and Baljinder Kaur. The dead bodies were found in the court yard.

These were lying proximity to each other.

26. What emerges from the facts enumerated hereinabove is that

Ram Karan had visited the house of Sahib Singh. He was found in the

company of Baljinder Kaur. Sahib Singh had seen them and killed Ram

Karan and Baljinder Kaur in a sudden and grave provocation. Sahib Singh

was the father-in-law of Baljinder Kaur. He could not tolerate by seeing his

daughter-in-law in the company of Ram Karan during night that too in his

house. The only role assigned to appellant Darshan Singh is that he had

come to the house of PW-15 Chet Ram and asked Ram Karan to accompany

him to the house of Sahib Singh. He was seen sitting on motor cycle by PW-

15 Chet Ram and PW-17 Ram Sarup. The case of Sahib Singh would fall in

Exception 1 of Section 300 IPC. However, the fact of the matter is that

appellant Sahib Singh had knowledge that firing would cause death of Ram

Karan and Baljinder Kaur. There is no evidence against appellant Darshan

Singh.

27. Now as far as Section 120-B IPC is concerned, the prosecution

has not led any evidence about criminal conspiracy hatched between the

appellants. Their Lordships of the Supreme Court in State (Delhi Admn.) vs

V. C.Shukla and another AIR 1980 SC 1382, have held that in order to

prove a criminal conspiracy which is punishable under Section 120- B IPC,

there must be direct or circumstantial evidence to show that there was an

agreement between two or more persons to commit an offence. Their

Lordships have held as under:-

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“8. Before we proceed further, we might indicate that it
is well settled that in order to prove a criminal
conspiracy which is punishable under Section 120-B of
the Indian Penal Code, there must be direct or
circumstantial evidence to show that there was an
agreement between two or more persons to commit an
offence. This clearly envisages that there must be a
meeting of minds resulting in an ultimate decision taken
by the conspirators regarding the commission of an
offence. It is true that in most cases it will be difficult to
get direct evidence of an agreement to conspire but a
conspiracy can be inferred even from circumstances
giving rise to a conclusive or irresistible inference of an
agreement between two or more persons to commit an
offence. After having gone through the entire evidence,
with the able assistance of Mr. Rajinder Singh, learned
counsel for A-1 and of learned counsel for the State, we
are unable to find any acceptable evidence connecting
either of the appellants with the existence of any
conspiracy. We are further of the opinion that even
taking the main parts of the prosecution case at their
face value, no connection has been proved with the
destruction of the film and the two appellants. The
prosecution has, of course, produced some witnesses to
show the existence of the alleged conspiracy or some
sort of connection of the appellants with the destruction,
of the film but that evidence, as we shall show, falls
short of the standard of proof required in a criminal
case. We realise that the prosecution was seriously
handicapped because the investigation started only after
the Janata Government came into power in March 1977,
that is to say, about a year and a half after the offences
in question were allegedly committed, by when naturally
much of the evidence would have been lost and even
some of the important witnesses examined by the

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prosecution had turned hostile and refused to support its
case. Despite these difficulties, the prosecution has to
discharge its onus of providing the case against the
accused beyond reasonable doubt. We, therefore,
propose to deal only with that part of the evidence led by
the prosecution which has been relied upon to prove
some sort of a connection of the appellants with the
alleged destruction of the film.”

28. Accordingly the appeal is partly allowed. The conviction of

appellant Sahib Singh is altered from Section 302 IPC to Section 304 Part II

IPC. The sentence imposed upon appellant Sahib Singh under Section 27(1)

of the Arms Act is upheld. Appellant Sahib Singh is acquitted of the charge

framed under Section 120-B IPC. He is on bail. He be produced in Court on

24.07.2019 to hear him on quantum of sentence under Section 304 Part II

IPC.

Appellant Darshan Singh is acquitted of the charges framed

against him. He is on bail. His bail bonds and surety bonds are discharged.

29. Learned counsel for the petitioner in the revision petition has

vehemently argued that compensation be awarded to the petitioner.

However, we see no reason for awarding compensation. Accordingly the

petition (CRR-1946-2004) filed by the petitioner (complainant) is

dismissed.

(RAJIV SHARMA)
JUDGE

(HARINDER SINGH SIDHU)
JUDGE
July 15, 2019.

Davinder Kumar

Whether speaking / reasoned Yes/No
Whether reportable Yes/No

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