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Judgments of Supreme Court of India and High Courts

Sajjan Kumar vs State Of Haryana on 31 May, 2019

Crl.AppealNo.S-2008-SBof20041

INTHEHIGHCOURTOFPUNJABHARYANAATCHANDIGARH

Crl.AppealNo.S-2008-SBof2004
DateofDecision:May31,2019

SajjanKumar
……Appellant

versus

StateofHaryana
…..Respondent

CORAM:HON’BLEMR.JUSTICESUDHIRMITTAL
***

Present:Mr.SanjivKumarAggarwal,Advocate
fortheappellant

Mr.ArunBeniwal,DAGHaryana

SudhirMittal,J.

OnaccountoftheunnaturaldeathofSureshKumarsonofSatbir

Singh-complainantwhichtookplaceonthenightintervening7/8.10.2003,a

complaintEx.PJwasgiventothepoliceresultinginregistrationofFIRNo.116

dated08.10.2003atPoliceStationUklanaunderSections306,Section377ofIndianPenal

Code(45of1860)(forshort’SectionIPC’).Onconclusionofthetrial,theappellantwas

convictedunderboththeprovisionsSectionoftheCodeandsentencedtoundergoRIfor

10yearsandtopayfineofRs.5000/-,indefaultofpaymentofwhichtofurther

undergosimpleimprisonmentfortwomonthsfortheoffenceunderSection377

IPCandRIfor10yearsandtofineofRs.5,000/-,indefaultofpaymentofwhich

tofurtherundergoSIfor2mothsfortheoffenceunderSection306IPC.The

sentenceshavebeendirectedtorunconcurrently.

2.ThecaseoftheprosecutionasisevidentfromthecomplaintEx.PJis

thatthecomplainantSatbirSinghisanagriculturist.HehadasonnamedSuresh

Kumarwhowasabout20yearsold.Afterdinnerat07.10.2003,hewenttobed

andinthemorningon8.10.2003hischachiDarshnaDevidiscoveredhisdead

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bodywhenshewenttoservehimtea.Thetimewasaround6.15a.m.Boththe

complainantSatbirSinghandhisyoungerbrotherKrishan(husbandofDarshna

Devi)wenttocheckandfoundSureshKumarlyingdead.Theyassumedthathe

sufferedheartattackandcrematedthebodyataround9.30a.m.Theirtelephone

rangataround10.00a.m.butitwasdisconnectedbythecallerwhenthereceiver

waspickedup.Aletterwasfoundlyingnexttothesamewhichwasinthe

handwritingofdeceasedSureshKumarinwhichhehadimplicatedSajjandoctor-

appellantforsodomizinghimandphotographingtheact.Thenotestatesthat

deceasedSureshKumarusuallycomplainedofheadacheandthatSajjandoctor

wasongoodvisitingtermswiththefamily.Onaparticulardaynobodywasat

homeandhecalledSajjanformedication.Sajjangavehimsedativepillsand

sodomizedhim.Thiswentonforaboutfouryears.Presently,hehadaskedthe

deceasedtostaywithhimfortwodaysandhehaddecidedtogoandstaywithhim

onthepretextoftakingatest.Theplan,however,didnotworkashisuncle

decidedtoaccompanyhim.ThiswasinformedtoSajjanwhoaskedthedeceased

tocometoUklanainsteadofHisar.WhenhereachedUklanahestruckadealfor

Rs.30,000/-withfivepersonsandhandedoverthedeceasedtothem.Allofthem

torehisclothesandtriedtooutragehismodestybuthemanagedtoescape.A

scooteristgavehimaliftandhecamehome.Hewascommittingsuicideashe

couldnotdisclosethetruthtohisfamilyandthatSajjanshouldbepunished.This

letterhasbeentreatedassuicidenoteanddyingdeclarationandtheappellanthas

beenconvictedaccordingly.

3.Duringtrial,thecomplainantappearedasPW-7andturnedhostile.

HefailedtoidentifythenoteEx.PMallegedlywrittenbyhisdeceasedson.He

alsofailedtoidentifythehandwritingthereon.WhenthecomplaintEx.PJwasput

tohim,hestatedthatthepolicehadtakenhissignatureonablankpaper.Chachi

DarshnaDeviappearedasPW-8andalsoresiled.Theyoungerbrotherofthe

complainantnamelyKrishanKumarappearedasPW-9anddeposedonthelinesof

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PW-7andPW-8.ThehandwritingonthesuicidenoteEx.PMwasgotcompared

withtheanswersheetwhichwaswrittenbythedeceasedin10+2examinationheld

intheyear2003,whichisEx.PBonrecord.Thereportinthisregardreceived

fromForensicScienceLaboratory,MadhubanisEx.PZonrecord,accordingto

whichthehandwritingonthesuicidenoteisthatofdeceasedSureshKumar.

4.LearnedtrialCourthasconvictedtheappellantbyholdingthatthe

suicidenotestandsprovedasthedefencehasnotbeenabletoleadanyevidenceto

displacetheopinionofthehandwritingexpert.Accordingly,thecontentsthereof

havebeentreatedtobeadyingdeclarationandithasbeenheldthatthedeceased

committedsuicideonaccountofthefactthathewasbeingsodomizedbythe

appellant.Thelawregardingcircumstantialevidencehasbeenrelieduponto

returnafindingofconviction.

5.LearnedcounselfortheappellantsubmitsthatthesuicidenoteEx.PM

hasnotbeenprovedinaccordancewithlaw.Theopinionofhandwritingexpert

cannotbetreatedtobeconclusiveevidenceandkeepinginviewthefactthatthe

father,uncleandauntofthedeceasedhaverefusedtoidentifythehandwritingon

thesuicidenoteEx.PM,ithastobeheldthatthesamewasnotprovedin

accordancewithlaw.Thatbeingso,thecontentsthereofcannotbereadinto

evidenceand,hence,itcouldnotbeheldthatthedeceasedhadbeen-

(a)sodomizedbytheaccusedandblackmailedand

(b)thedeceasedhadcommittedsuicide.

Theconductofthefamilymembersofthedeceasedhasbeencontrarytothe

usualconductthatisexpectedofcloserelativeswhentheydiscoverthedeadbody

ofafamilymember.Insteadofgettingthebodymedicallyexamined,thesame

wascrematedwithinabout3½hoursofitsdiscovery.Thisconductissuspicious

andthetrialCourthasfailedtotakethesameintoconsideration.Theemergence

ofthesuicidenoteimmediatelythereafterstrengthensthesuspicionagainstthe

caseoftheprosecution.Hadthesuicidebeenwrittenbythedeceased,thesame

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wouldhavebeennormallyfoundinhisbedroombutinthiscasenotehasbeen

allegedlyfoundnearthetelephonewhichinavillagehouseholdislikelytobekept

atacentralplace.Theprosecutioncaseisnotfoolproofandtheappellantis

entitledtobeacquitted.

6.LearnedStatecounselsupportstheimpugnedjudgmentandsubmits

thatthetrialCourthasnotcommittedanyillegalitybyconvictingtheappellant.

ThesuicidenoteEx.PMstandsfullyprovedandthatbeingso,ithadtobeheld

thattheappellantperformedsexualintercoursewiththedeceasedagainsttheorder

ofnatureand,thus,abettedhissuicide.

7.Thepresentcaseisoneofcircumstantialevidence.Thereisnodirect

evidenceoftheappellanthavingbeensodomizedbythedeceasedorhaving

blackmailedhimonthebasisthereof.Similarly,thereisnodirectevidenceof

suicide.AsnoticedearliertherelativesofdeceasedSureshKumar,crematedhis

deadbodywithin3-3½houseofitsdiscoveryanddidnotgetitmedically

examined.Thus,canitbeheldthattheprosecutionhasbeenabletoproveitscase

beyondreasonabledoubtonthebasisofcircumstantialevidence?

8.Forbasingaconvictiononcircumstantialevidence,itisnowsettled

thatthecircumstancesshouldbesuchthattheyonlyleadtoaconclusionofguilt

andnothingelse.Theyshouldbeconsistentinnatureandnotexplainable.This

meansthatthecircumstancesshouldnotgiverisetoanyotherpossibilityexcept

thatofguiltofaccusedandthechainofcircumstancesshouldbesocompletethat

theinnocenceoftheaccusedisruledoutcompletely.ThetrialCourthasalso

reliedupontheaforementionedexpositionoflawbyplacingrelianceuponSectionSharad

BirdhichandSardavs.StateofMaharashtra,AIR1984SC1622.However,it

hasfailedtoapplytheaforementionedprinciplesoflawcorrectly.

9.Thevariousundisputedcircumstancesofthiscaseare-

(a)deadbodywasdiscoveredatabout6.15a.m.on08.10.2003;

(b)itwascrematedonthesamedayataround9.30a.m.without

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medicalexamination;

(c)suicidenoteEx.PMwasdiscoveredataround10.00a.m.onthe

samedaynearthetelephone;

(d)thesuicidenotewasgotforensicallyexaminedandthereportof

theFSLEx.PZopinesthatthesameisinthehandwritingofthe

deceased;

(e)TherelativesofdeceasedSureshKumarfailedtorecognizethe

handwritingonthesuicidenoteEx.PMashishandwriting;

(f)theappellantwasabout30yearsofageintheyear2004whenhis

statementunderSection313Cr.P.C.wasrecorded;

(g)Noevidencehadbeenledbytheprosecutiontoestablishthatthe

appellantusedtoindulgeinpractiseofmedicine;and

(h)thedeceasedwaspronetosufferingfromheadache.

10.Takingthesecircumstancestogether,afindingofguiltcannotbe

returned.TostartwiththeconductoftherelativesofdeceasedSureshKumaris

extremelyunnatural.Ayoungboyof20yearsallegedlypassedawayinsleepand

hisrelativesassumedthathediedduetoaheartattackcannotbedigested.

Immediatelythereafter,asuicidenotesurfacedandthattoonearthetelephone

whichinavillagehouseholdwouldnormallybeatacentralplaceaccessibletoall

familymembers.Ifthedeceasedhadcommittedsuicide,itisnotlikelyforhimto

havemovedoutofhisbedroomtoplacethesuicidenotenearthetelephone.Itis

nowwellsettledthattheopinionofhandwritingexpertisnotconclusiveinnature.

Itisonlyinthenatureofopinionevidenceandwherethecloserelativesfailedto

recognizethehandwriting,itcannotbesaidthatadocumentcontainingthe

handwritingstoodproved.Further,iftheprosecutionwantedtorelyonthesuicide

note,itshouldhaveattemptedtoestablishthattheappellantwasinvolvedin

practisingmedicineorwasgenerallyrelieduponbythevillagersfortreating

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minorailments.Further,theprosecutionshouldhavealsoledevidencetoshow

thatthedeceasedwaspronetosufferingfromheadache.Thus,ifallthe

circumstancesaretakentogether,itcannotbesaidthattheprosecutionhasbeen

abletoproveitscasebeyondreasonabledoubt.Theprosecutionhasnotbeenable

toprovethatthiswasacaseofsuicideandthattheappellanthadbeensodomizing

thedeceasedforaboutfouryearspriortohisdeathandblackmailinghimonthe

basisthereof.

11.Theappealis,accordingly,allowed;theimpugnedjudgmentof

convictionandorderofsentencepassedbyAdditionalSessionsJudge,Hisar,is

setasideandtheappellantisacquittedofthechargeframedagainsthim.

12.CopyofthisjudgmentbesenttotheCourt/SuccessorCourtofthe

trialCourtconcernedforcompliance.

May31,2019[SUDHIRMITTAL]
reenaJUDGE

Whetherspeaking/reasoned:Yes/No
WhetherReportable:Yes/No

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