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Appeal (crl.) 1387 of 1999
State of Haryana & Ors.
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 12/05/2006
S.B. Sinha & P.P. Naolekar
J U D G M E N T
Criminal Appeal No.1388/1999
State of Haryana Appellant
Babu Lal & Ors. Respondents
S.B. SINHA, J :
The appellant before us in Criminal Appeal No.1387/99 is the first
informant of First Information Report (FIR) No.386 lodged on 17.9.1992 at
Narnaul Police Station in Tehsil Narnaul in relation to an occurrence which
took place at about 6/6.30 A.M. on that day wherein the respondent Nos.2 to
6 in Criminal Appeal No.1387/99, respondents in Criminal Appeal No.
1388/99, along with one Ram Dayal, were arrayed as accused for alleged
commission of an offence punishable under Sections 148, 302/149, 307/149,
325/149 and 506/149 of the Indian Penal Code ('I.P.C.', for short). In the
said FIR, it was alleged by the appellant herein, Umrao, that at the said hour,
i.e., 6/6.30 A.M. he went to the tubewell owned by his brother Rewti, along
with his son-Rajinder and his brother. They found that the accused persons
were removing the electric motor therefrom. On their asking the accused
persons not to do so, Yad Ram hurled a blow by the reverse side of "kassi",
which he was carrying in his hand, on the head of Rajinder (since deceased).
Rajinder is son of the appellant. He further hurled a blow with the said
"kassi"on the head of the deceased, who fell down. The accused-respondent
No.2-Babu Lal and respondent No.3-Ram Swarup also hurled several blows
with "jelly" and "lathi" respectively, on the waist and back side of shoulders
of the deceased. Respondent No.5-Golu Ram caused one injury on the head
while respondent No.6-Ramji Lal caused one injury on the left elbow and
another on left rib of the appellant-Umrao by giving several lathi blows.
Yad Ram again inflicted a "kassi" blow from its reverse side on the right rib
of Rewti. Ram Dayal caused injuries on the waist and one injury each on
both the hands of Rewti.
It is not disputed that some of the respondents also suffered injuries.
Rajinder (since deceased) was admitted in the Civil Hospital, Narnaul on
17.9.1992. He was discharged from the said hospital on 25.9.1992 at about
8 A.M. He was again admitted in the hospital on the same day. At about
9.25 P.M. on 28.9.1992 he was operated upon by Dr. Sanjeev Dua (P.W.8).
Rajinder expired on 30.9.1992.
After the deceased was admitted to the hospital, an information was
sent to the Narnaul Police Station, whereupon the P.W.12-Anishi Lal, Head
Constable visited the hospital and recorded the statement of the appellant at
about 2.30 P.M. The FIR was lodged on the same day at 2.40 P.M. on the
basis of the said statements.
The defence of the respondents as regards the death of the said
Rajinder was that after his discharge from the hospital on 25.9.1992, he fell
down from the staircase of his house at about 7.15 in the evening as a result
whereof he sustained head injuries leading to his death.
The accused persons, respondents Nos.2 to 6 herein, together with
said Ram Dayal were put on trial for alleged commission of the said
offences. The Additional Sessions Judge, Narnaul, by reason of his
judgment dated 30.11.1995 convicted them for commission of offences
under Sections 148, 302/149, 307/149 and 325/149 of I.P.C., but, acquitted
them of the charges under Section 506/149 I.P.C. The learned Trial Judge
passed the judgment acquitting Ram Dayal having regard to his age.
For causing the death of Rajinder, under Section 302/149 I.P.C. the
respondent Nos.2 to 6 herein were sentenced to undergo imprisonment for
life and to pay a fine of Rs.2000/- each. They were furthermore sentenced to
undergo rigorous imprisonment for four years under Section 307/149 I.P.C.
for attempt to murder Rewti and sentenced to undergo rigorous
imprisonment for two years for causing grievous hurt to the appellant herein.
They were moreover convicted under Section 148 I.P.C. and sentenced to
undergo rigorous imprisonment for six months. In default of payment of
fine, the accused were to undergo further rigorous imprisonment for one
year. All the sentences were, however, directed to run concurrently. The
learned trial judge, while recording the judgment of conviction and sentence,
relied upon the evidence of the appellant herein (examined as P.W.9.) and
one Har Dhian (P.W.10) who were eye-witnesses to the occurrence. The
learned Trial Judge also noticed that the deceased had suffered the following
"1. A lacerated wound 8.3 x 1 cms. On the right parietal
temporal region. Bone deep. Edges were irregular and
2. A lacerated wound 3 x 1 cms on the left parietal region.
It bled on cleaning.
3. A lacerated wound 3 x 1 cms on the left shoulder. It was
muscle deep and there was an abrasion in continuation of
3 cms size.
4. A reddish contusion 5 x 1.5 cms on the left shoulder on
its lateral aspect. Swelling was present.
5. A reddish contusion 8 x 1.5 cms on the left scapular
region, 4 cms from injury No.4.
6. Multiple abrasions five in number from 1.2 x .5 cms to 1
x 1 cm. on the left side of scapular region. Oozed blood
7. A reddish contusion 10 x 1.5 cms on the left scapular
region, 5 cms from injury No.5.
8. A reddish contusion 15 x 1.5 cms on the left scapular
9. A reddish contusion 20 x 1.5 cms on the left side of the
chest, 4 cms from injury No.8.
10. A reddish contusion 14 x 1.5 cms on the right scapular
11. 13 x 1.5 cms reddish contusion on the right side of loin
swelling was present."
The Trial Judge further noticed that the appellant and the said Rewti
had suffered the following injuries on their person:
"Injuries sustained by the appellant-Umrao :
1. A lacerated wound 3 x 1 cms on the left front parietal
region. It was bone deep. Edges were irregular and
2. A lacerated wound 1.5 x 1 cms on the left scapular
region. It was having an abrasion of 7 x .3 cms in the
continuation of injury downwards.
3. A reddish contusion 5 x 3 cms on the left hand. Swelling
was present on metacarpal region.
4. Complained of pain on the left side of the chest with
redness on the lower half on chest.
5. A reddish contusion 2 x 2 cms on the left elbow."
"Injuries sustained by Rewti :
1. A reddish contusion 14 x 1 cms on the left side of chest.
It was also present on scapular region. Swelling was
2. A reddish contusion 6 cms x 1.5 cms on the right side of
3. A reddish contusion 6 x 1 cms on the left side of lion
regions. Swelling was present.
4. A reddish contusion 8 x 2 cms on the right side of lion.
Swelling was present.
5. A reddish contusion 6 x 2 cms on the lateral aspect right
side of chest. Swelling was present X-ray was advised
6. Abrasion 10 x .5 cms on the medical side of left forearm.
7. An abrasion 1 x 5 cms on the posterior of right middle
On an appeal being preferred from the said judgment of conviction
and sentence by the respondents herein, the High Court set aside the
conviction of respondents under Sections 148/149, 307/149 and 302/149
I.P.C. The High Court, however, convicted Ramji Lal for causing grievous
and other injuries to the appellant and sentenced him to undergo one year's
rigorous imprisonment for commission of an offence punishable under
Section 325 I.P.C. and two years' rigorous imprisonment for an offence
punishable under Section 326 I.P.C. The High Court furthermore convicted
Golu Ram for causing injuries to the appellant and sentenced him to undergo
one year rigorous imprisonment for the offence punishable under Section
325 I.P.C. and two years' rigorous imprisonment for the offence punishable
under Section 326 I.P.C., Babu Lal and Ram Swarup were sentenced to
undergo rigorous imprisonment for two years for commission of the offence
punishable under Section 326 I.P.C.
The High Court set aside the conviction and sentence of Yad Ram
under Section 148, 325/149, 307/149 and 302/149 and sentenced him to
undergo rigorous imprisonment for five years under Section 304 Part-II
I.P.C. for causing injury on the head of Rajinder and directed him to pay a
fine of Rs.5000/-, in default whereof, to further undergo rigorous
imprisonment for one year and also sentenced him to undergo two years
rigorous imprisonment under Section 326 I.P.C. for causing grievous injury
to Rewti. It was directed that out of the amount of fine of Rs.5,000/-, which
was to be deposited by accused-Yad Ram, a sum of Rs.1,000/- to be paid to
Rewti by way of compensation and the balance of Rs.4,000/- to be paid to
the appellant herein.
The High Court, in its judgment, opined that the claim of the appellant
that he and Ramji Lal had dug well was not borne out from his statement
before the police. His statement that he had installed the electric motor in
the well was also found to be not correct.
As regards the defence of the respondents was that the said well was
dug by them in their own land and it was Ram Dayal who installed the said
motor and obtained an electric connection. Before the trial court, defence
witnesses were also examined to show that the electric connection was
obtained by Ram Dayal in respect of the motor in question. The defence,
however, contended that it was in fact the complainant and other witnesses
who were removing the electric motor from the well and when they forbade
them from doing so, they were attacked. It was concluded that on the date
when the accused Babu Lal, Ram Swarup and Yad Ram came to know that
the appellant herein and the others were removing the motor, they came to
the place of occurrence and asked them not to do so. But, not only they did
not pay any heed thereto, but also attacked and caused injuries to Babu Lal,
Ram swarup and Yad Ram, who, in exercise of their right of self-defence,
caused some injuries to the prosecution party.
The High Court recorded:
".From the evidence available on record, we are
of the view that the occurrence must have been the
result of a sudden quarrel between these two
parties, and that it was not a pre-meditated
incident, because, even in the F.I.R. itself it has
been stated that when the complainant-party
forbade the accused Babu Lal took jaily, accused
Yad Ram took a kassi and the other accused took a
lathi each and attacked them (complainant party)."
The High Court opined that it was the complainant-party who came to
the land of Ramji Lal where the well was situated, which was a joint well
belonging to both the parties. The High Court was also of the view that the
appellant along with his Rewti and his son had gone to the fields for no
special purpose and thus there was no question of respondents' forming an
unlawful assembly with the object of killing Rajinder and inflicting injuries
to the complainant-Umrao and Rewti. It was held:
".This is obviously so because the accused-
Ramji Lal could not have expected these persons
to come to the place of occurrence at that time. It
is clear from the evidence that accused Ram
Dayal had secured an electric connection for the
motor on 3.9.1992 i.e. a few days prior to the date
of occurrence whereas, even in November 1991
the service connection in the name of Rewti was
disconnected. Therefore, it is seen that disputes
had arisen between the parties with regard to the
motor which had been installed by Ram Dayal.
Obviously, the accused-party would not remove
the motor belonging to Ram Dayal or even Rewti.
The complainant party must have been aggrieved
since Ram Dayal had installed a motor and
obtained a separate service connection also, while
they were not able to use the motor and because of
this, there should have arisen a dispute leading to a
sudden quarrel between both the parties without
any pre-arranged plan, in which both the sides had
It was further found that the injuries on the person of the respondents-
Babu Lal, Ram swarup and Yad Ram had not been explained. It, therefore,
came to the conclusion that there must have been a free-fight between the
parties in which persons from both the sides were injured.
It was concluded:
"These circumstances go to show that the
contention of the prosecution that the accused had
formed themselves into an unlawful assembly with
the common object of killing Rajinder and causing
injuries to Umrao and Rewti cannot be accepted."
On the aforementioned premise the High Court took into
consideration individual roles played by the respondents herein. It also
considered the question as to whether death of Rajinder took place as a result
of injuries suffered by reason of injuries inflicted by the respondents or
whether the defence version was true.
The High Court, upon analysing the materials on record came to the
conclusion that when Rajinder was admitted in the hospital on 17.9.1992, no
fracture was found on his head. His condition was found to be normal
throughout his treatment. No abnormality was detected in his condition, but,
when he was re-admitted in the evening of 25.9.1992, he was stated to have
shown history of vomiting after taking food. He was also found to be
vomiting at the time of his admission in the hospital. He was found to be in
a delirious condition. After he was brought to the hospital on that day, an X-
ray was taken and a fracture of the size of 3 cm x 0.4 cm on his head was
detected. The C.T. Scan examination also revealed that there was a large
intra cerebral haemotoma.
The High Court noticed:
"The evidence of Dr. Sanjeev Dua (PW-8)
shows that as per C.T. Scan report a very large
intra cerebral haemotoma was found and there was
also large collection of blood in the brain. He
specifically stated that it is unusual for the patient
to remain conscious after sustaining injury like
this. Therefore, if there was such an injury on the
head of Rajinder on 17-9.1992 itself leading to the
above said consequences, it is improbable that he
could have been conscious throughout the period
from 17-9-1992 to 25-9-1992 when he was
discharged finding no abnormality in him."
As regards the explanation offered by the prosecution that such head
injuries might not have been found in the X-ray taken and furthermore the
death might have taken place due to delayed complication, the High Court
"In view of our findings above that the
injury, which ultimately proved fatal, was caused
to Rajinder after the discharge from the Civil
Hospital, Narnaul but before his re-admission on
the same night, that this injury could not have been
caused on the date of the occurrence namely,
17-9-1992, that the accused had not constituted an
unlawful assembly with the common object of
killing Rajinder or attacking the other injured, that
a sudden quarrel had ensued between the parties in
which Yad Ram had inflicted two blows on the
head of Rajinder, and also in view of the fact that
Yad Ram had only used the reverse side of the
kassi, we are of the view that none of the accused
could be convicted of an offence under section 148
or under section 302 read with section 149 of the
Indian Penal Code."
Mr. R.K. Kapoor, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant
took us through the judgment of the learned Trial Court to contend that the
defence story that the deceased-Rajinder had another fall from the staircase
at about 7/7.15 on 25.9.1992 has been disbelieved therein on assigning
cogent and sufficient reason therefor. In this behalf our attention has also
been drawn to the following findings of the learned trial Judge:
"I do not find any merit in the contention of the
learned counsel for the accused. It is true that
Rajinder was admitted to the Civil Hospital,
Narnaul, on 17-9-1992 and was discharged on 25-
9-1992 at 8 A.M. Dr. Vijay Singh PW-1, has
stated in cross-examination that Rajinder was re-
admitted on the same date and was referred to the
Medical College & Hospital, Rohtak, on his
advice. He has further explained that he has the
experience of delayed head-injury complications
taking place within a period of two years. Dr.
M.P. Lomoria PW-2, who had radiologically
examined Rajender, has stated that he is not an
expert radiologist and that the X-ray machine
installed at Narnaul in the hospital is small one and
sometimes bone injuries are not detectable. As per
copy of the MLR Ex.PN of Rajender, as many as
11 injuries were found on his person, out of which
two were lacerated wounds on the parieto temporal
regions. One injury was bone deep. Rajender was
operated upon by Dr. Sanjeev Dua PW-8 on 28-9-
1992 and he was testified that had found blood
collection inside the brain. He has also stated that
Rajender had died on 30-9-1992 because of the
hemorrhage in the brain. In cross-examination he
stated that as per C.T. report there was very large
intra-cerebral haematoma with rupture of blood in
the ventricle and there was a fracture in his skull.
He also stated that the possibility of having
received the head injury by Rajender after his
discharge on 25-9-1992 and before his re-
admission on the same date could not be ruled out.
From the evidence of the aforesaid Medical
Officers it is clear that the fracture of skull of
Rajender was not detected by Dr. M.P. Lomoria
PW-2, when he had radiologically examined him.
It was for this reason that Rajender was discharged
from the hospital on 25-9-1992, but on the same
day he developed complications because of the
head injury. There was no external injury on the
head at the time of re-admission in the hospital as
stated in re-examination by Dr. Vijay Singh
It was urged that the High Court committed a serious error in holding
that no offence under Section 307/149 I.P.C. was made out for causing
injuries to Rewti, in view of the clear findings of the learned Trial Judge
relying on or on the basis of the deposition of Dr. A.K. Chhakkar (P.W.7).
According to the learned counsel seven injuries were found on the person of
Rewti and thus, there was a possibility that the said injuries could prove to
be dangerous to life. It was also urged by Mr. Kapoor that the High Court
also committed an error in arriving at the finding that there was a free-fight
between the parties, in view of the fact that it was not necessary on the part
of the prosecution to explain the injuries on the person of the respondents
In the instant case, we are only concerned with the question as to
whether the respondents had any intention to cause the death of the deceased
Rajinder and attempt to murder Rewti.
The fact that the parties were armed, is not in dispute. The plea of the
respondents was that the injuries were inflicted on the deceased Rajinder as
also upon the appellant and Rewti in exercise of their right of self-defence.
It may not be necessary for the prosecution to explain the injuries on the
person of the accused in all circumstances, but, it is trite that when such a
plea is raised and the court opines that the version of the accused persons
may be correct, the explanation of injuries on the person of the accused
cannot be put to a back seat or cannot simply be ignored. We have perused
the evidence of Dr. Sanjeev Dua, who examined himself as P.W.8. Dr. Dua,
in his evidence, stated that the possibility of Rajinder having received head
injury after the discharge at 8 a.m. on 25.9.1992 and before his re-admission
on the same day at 9 P.M. in the Civil Hospital, cannot be ruled out. On re-
examination by the prosecution Dr. Dua categorically stated that as there
was a head injury, he did not go into the detail. The evidence of Dr. Dua,
whereupon the learned Trial Judge, inter alia, relied upon is suggestive of
the fact that the possibility of the said deceased Rajinder suffering a head
injury after he was discharged from the hospital could not be ruled out. It is
not in dispute that X-ray of the head of the deceased was taken when he was
admitted in the hospital on 17.9.1992 but no such injury was detected. The
subsequent explanation offered by the prosecution that a small fracture
might not have been noticed in the X-ray machine, is a matter of surmise and
conjecture. We have noticed hereinbefore that Dr. Sanjeev Dua-P.W.8, who
had operated upon the deceased, categorically stated that the fracture was
significant. Even according to the doctor such a fracture might have been
suffered by the deceased after he was discharged from the hospital.
Evidently, the High Court was right in its finding that the appellant
could not be found to be guilty for causing the death of the deceased
Similarly, the findings of the High Court to the effect that the
respondents had not formed any common intention, therefore, cannot be said
to be suffering from any legal infirmity. The fact that both parties caused
injuries to the members of the other side is not in dispute. The fact that the
well was situated on the land of the respondent, is also not in dispute. It has
been found as of fact that the electric motor installed in the well belonged to
one of the respondents.
The prosecution laid a false claim thereover. It is in this situation, the
respondents cannot be said to have committed any offence if they had been
removing the motor, which was installed by them, from the well, which is
said to be jointly owned by the parties. If, on the other hand, defence
version is to be accepted, the appellant and the other witnesses having no
right over the said motor, could not have removed the same from the well.
In any view of the matter, the dispute was in regard to removing of the
motor from the well. The High Court, thus, cannot be said to have
committed any error in arriving at the finding that the respondents had no
common object either to cause death of the deceased Rajinder or to attempt
to cause murder of Rewti. It is now well settled that if two views are
possible, the appellate court should not interfere with the judgment of
acquittal passed by the court below.
We are satisfied upon examination of the materials on record and in
particular, evidence of P.W.8, that the view taken by the High Court is a
possible view. We, therefore, find it difficult to interfere with the impugned
judgment of the High Court. Accordingly, the appeals are dismissed.