HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN AT
S.B. Criminal Revision No. 1066 / 2017
1. Sawai Singh S/o Balu Singh
2. Snehlata W/o Sawai Singh, Both by Caste Rajput, Resident of
Anupshahar Tehsil Bhadra District Hanumangarh.
1. The State of Rajasthan
2. Ram Singh S/o Shakt Singh, By Caste Rajput, Resident of
Shpoda P.S. Rawatsar District Hanumangarh.
For Petitioner(s) : Mr.R.S.Chouhan.
For Respondent(s) : Mr.O.P.Rathi, P.P.
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SANDEEP MEHTA
Judgment / Order
Issue notice. Learned Public Prosecutor accepts notice on
behalf of State.
With the consent of learned counsel for the parties, the
matter is being finally heard and decided today itself.
The petitioners are facing trial in the court of the ASJ,
Bhadra for the offences under Sections 498A and 304B I.P.C. in
the alternate 302/34 I.P.C. During trial, statements of material
prosecution witnesses viz. P.W.2 Ram Singh (complainant), P.W.4
Shakuntala, P.W.5 Hanuman Singh, P.W.6 Krishna Lal, P.W.8 Kesari
Singh, P.W.9 Ram Singh and P.W.12 Bhupendra Kumar were
recorded. Though significant cross-examination was made from
these witnesses but it appears that learned counsel representing
(2 of 3)
the accused inadvertently missed the opportunity of confronting
the witnesses with their previous investigational statements even
though significant and material omissions and improvements exist
in both the versions.
Shri Chouhan learned counsel representing the petitioner
pointed out from the documents placed on record that the
witnesses have made significant improvements from their earlier
statements recorded under Section 161 Cr.P.C. but somehow, the
learned counsel representing the accused petitioners missed out in
getting the earlier statements exhibited and the
omissions/improvements marked during cross-examination owing
to ignorance/inadvertence. He thus urges that the accused cannot
be made to suffer in the case carrying capital punishment for the
inadvertent omission on the part of defence counsel and craves
acceptance of the revision.
Learned Public Prosecutor opposes the submissions advanced
by the petitioners’ counsel. However, he too is not in a position to
dispute the fact that if the sworn statements of the prosecution
witnesses are seen vis-a-vis their earlier statements recorded
during investigation under Section 161 Cr.P.C., apparently,
significant improvements and omissions are writ large in the two
versions. The accused are facing trial for an offence involving
capital punishment. If appropriate cross-examination is not
allowed to be conducted from the witnesses, then they can face
serious consequences. Law is well settled that a party should not
suffer owing to the mistake committed by the advocate. Thus, in
order to secure the ends of justice, the accused deserve one more
(3 of 3)
opportunity to confront the witnesses concerned with their earlier
statements recorded during investigation under Section 161
Cr.P.C. and also further cross-examining the Investigating Officer
for proving such statements.
Resultantly, the revision deserves to be and is hereby
allowed. The impugned order dated 18.7.2017 is set aside. Upon
the petitioners depositing a cost of Rs.7000/- in the trial court, the
witnesses named above shall be recalled and the accused persons
shall be permitted to conduct further cross-examination from the
witnesses in reference to their earlier statements recorded under
Section 161 Cr.P.C.