THE HONOURABLE SRI JUSTICE N.R.L.NAGESWARA RAO
CRIMINAL APPEAL No.68 OF 2012
The appeal is filed against the acquittal of the accused in Calendar Case No.184 of 2003 on the file of the Judicial Magistrate of I Class, Special Mobile Court, Krishna, Machilipatnam.
2. The accused was charged for the offences punishable under Section 7(1)(d) of the PCR Act and Section 506 of the Indian Penal Code.
3. The case of the prosecution is that on 23.03.2003 at about 4.30 P.M., the accused, who was in a drunken state, trespassed into the Panchayat Office and abused PW.2 by caste and threatened him. Thereafter, on the complaint given by PW.2, the police have registered a case, investigated into the matter and filed the charge sheet. The learned Magistrate after considering the evidence of PW.1 to 6 did not accept the prosecution case and acquitted the accused.
4. The learned Public Prosecutor contends that there is sufficient corroboration for the evidence of PW.2 with regard to abuse by Caste and also the threats given by the accused and consequently, the appreciation of the evidence by the learned Magistrate is not proper. The victim in this case is PW.2 and he is said to be the Sarpanch of the village. According to him, on 23.03.2003 at about 5.00 P.M., the accused came to the Panchayat office and abused him in vulgar language by his caste and threatened to kill him. Therefore, his evidence is that he went to the Panchayat Office at 5.00 P.M., and evidence of PW.1 shows that the incident has taken place at 5.30 P.M. The evidence of PW.1 is that all the villagers have gathered to get the land surveyed and settle the dispute with regard to the water taps and there was an altercation between PW.2 and the accused. The evidence of PW.1 is silent about any threats against PW.2. In this case, evidently, as can be seen from the material on record the accused was said to have contested as a Ward Member against PW.3 and there was enmity between them. As rightly found by the learned Magistrate the incident was happened on 23.03.2003 at about 5.30 P.M., and the report was not immediately lodged, PW.2 went to an Advocate, took his advice and the complaint was lodged only on the next day at 11.00 P.M., i.e., nearly 30 hours after the incident. The Police Station is said to be not far off and it is just 15 KMs from the village. When the other witnesses were present, there is no reason as to why PW.2 should go and consult an Advocate and the complaint should be prepared when PW.2 himself is a Sarpanch. Therefore, it is quite clear that the complaint apart from being lodged after long delay in consultation with an Advocate, the purpose of it can be really seen. From the material evidence on record, it appears that there might have been questioning of the Sarpanch by the villagers and in that some verbal exchanges might have taken place and the incident seems to have been magnified. The learned Magistrate has given sufficient reasons to extend the benefit of doubt to the accused and there are no compelling reasons to come to a different conclusion.
Therefore, the appeal is dismissed at the stage of admission.
JUSTICE N.R.L. NAGESWARA RAO