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Death – Strangulation – Case Reg. under sec.174 Cr.P.C. as Suicide & Reported – after one year Fir was Reg. under sec.302/34 – Trial convicted the accused – High court confirmed the same though find that prosecution acted biased – Apex court held that material omissions like non-explanation of delay of one year in registering FIR, non-marking of Marg report reg. under sec.174 Cr.P.C. – Balram Singh, Assistant Sub- Inspector of Mau Police Station, who registered the Marg under Section 174 CrPC was not examined in the trial – non-explanation of Eye witnesses from lodging FIR against the accused immediately – examination of additional new witnesses after one year of the FIR – a slipshod investigation – though high court found the latches but simply discarded without assigning valid reasons High court fell in error and as such Apex court set aside convict orders of lower courts as prosecution failed to prove it’s case beyond all reasonable doubts and acquitted the accused by allowing appeal =Sobaran Singh & Ors. .. Appellant(s) versus State of M.P. .. Respondent(s) =2014 – July. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41753

Death – Strangulation – Case Reg. under sec.174 Cr.P.C. as Suicide & Reported – after one year Fir was Reg. under sec.302/34 – Trial convicted the accused – High court confirmed the same though find that prosecution acted biased – Apex court held that material omissions like non-explanation of delay of one year in registering FIR, non-marking of Marg report reg. under sec.174 Cr.P.C. – Balram Singh,  Assistant  Sub- Inspector of Mau Police Station, who registered the Marg under  Section  174 CrPC was not examined in the trial – non-explanation of Eye witnesses from lodging FIR against the accused immediately – examination of additional new witnesses after one year of the FIR – a slipshod investigation – though high court found the latches but simply discarded without assigning valid reasons  High court fell in error and as such Apex court set aside convict orders of lower courts as prosecution failed to prove it’s case beyond all reasonable doubts and acquitted the accused by allowing appeal =

On 6.9.1994  at  8.00  a.m.  PW5  Satyendra

Singh and PW16 Brijendra Singh had gone to attend  call  of  nature  in  the

drain (Nalah) and they heard the sound of weeping and alarm raised  by  PW10

Om Prakash and they went there and saw Narendra  lying  on  the  ground  and

accused no.3 Sardar Khan put his knee on his chest after  holding his  hands

tight and accused no.1 Sobaran Singh and accused no.2 Suraj Singh  tied  his

neck with a muffler (Safee) and accused no.1 Sobaran Singh was armed with  a

12-bore gun and due to fear, they did  not  go  near  Narendra  and  in  the

meanwhile, PW6 Uday Singh and PW11 Vishwanath  Sharma  also  rushed  to  the

spot and on seeing them, accused nos.1 to 3 ran away.  They  found  Narendra

alive with injuries on the neck, chest and right knee and they  carried  him

to the tube-well and thereafter, put him on the  tractor-trolley  and  drove

him to the hospital at Mau where he was declared dead by the  Doctor.   PW14

Dr. O.P. Tengar conducted the post-mortem at 12.30  p.m.  on  6.9.1994  over

the body of Narendra and found the following :

Abrasion admeasuring 3.0 cm x 1.0 cm on calf muscle of right leg;

Abrasion multiple in number size varies from 2.5” to  3.0”  in  length  and

linear in width over right side of neck 2” below the  ear  lobule  and  2.2”

above the clavicle;

Abrasion 2 in number size  2.2”,  2.0”  x  linear  just  over  the  cricoids

cartilage;

Contusion 1.5” x 1.0” on the middle sternum.

On dissection of the body, he found  contusion  on  sternum  and  ecchymosed

underneath the contusion (rupture of small capillaries and ventricles)  with

tracheal rings and cricoids cartilage fractured.  Pharynx  and  larynx  were

congested.  He expressed opinion that death was caused due to  strangulation

(Asphyxia), 4-6 hours  prior  to  autopsy  and  issued  Exh.P16  post-mortem

report.

Thereafter,

PW6 Uday Singh went to Mau Police Station and lodged  a

report, which was registered in the shape of Marg, under  Section  174  CrPC

by  Assistant  Sub-Inspector   of   Police   Balram   Singh.    During   the

investigation of Marg,  statements  of  the  witnesses  were  recorded.

On

7.8.1995, PW9 Assistant Sub-Inspector Ram Naresh Singh Kushwah registered  a

case in Crime No.76/1995 against accused nos.1 to 3 for the alleged  offence

under Section 302 read  with  Section  34  IPC  and  prepared  Exh.P13  FIR.

=

PW5  Satyendra

Singh and PW16 Brijendra Singh – Though both the above witnesses claimed to  have

seen the occurrence, during which the accused  attacked  Narendra  resulting

in his death, they have not lodged a complaint in  the  police  station  and

had not taken  immediate  steps  for  the  arrest  of  the  accused.   Their

testimonies do not inspire confidence and conduct belies their version.=

The investigation in this case is slip-shod.  Balram Singh,  Assistant  Sub-

Inspector of Mau Police Station, who registered the Marg under  Section  174

CrPC was not examined in the trial.   No  explanation  was  offered  by  the

prosecution for his non-examination.  PW12 Bharat  Singh  Sikarwar,  who  is

the station in-charge, has admitted that during Marg enquiry  he  could  not

ascertain the names of culprits nor could register the crime.  In  fact,  at

the instance of the higher police authority, the FIR came to  be  registered

against the accused on 10.8.1995, after a period of 11 months from the  date

of occurrence and the statements were recorded  on  10.8.1995  and  only  in

those statements, for the first time, PWs 5, 6, 10, 11 and  16  have  stated

that they saw the accused persons attacking Narendra during the  occurrence.

The Marg Intimation Report, which was recorded, was neither  exhibited  nor

proved by prosecution in  the  trial.   The  Investigation  Officer  Santosh

Singh Gaur, who conducted part of  investigation  did  not  testify  in  the

trial.  The High Court has elaborately dealt  with  the  said  omissions  in

paragraph nos.19 and 25 of  the  judgment  and  proceeded  to  observe  that

investigation agency cannot be  permitted  to  conduct  investigation  in  a

tainted  and  biased  manner  and  concludes  that  the  investigation   was

defective and tainted and the defective investigation by itself cannot be  a

ground for acquittal.=

Our independent analysis of the evidence on  the  record  coupled  with  the

infirmities which we have noticed above has created  an  impression  on  our

minds, that the prosecution has not been able to bring  home  guilt  to  the

appellants beyond a reasonable doubt.  The High Court  even  after  noticing

the infirmities, in our opinion, fell in error in confirming the  conviction

of the appellants.  The reasons given by the High Court do  not  commend  to

us to sustain the conviction and sentence. They are neither  sufficient  nor

adequate or cogent much less compelling to uphold the impugned judgment.

As a result of our above discussion, we  hold  that  the  case  against  the

appellants has not been proved  beyond  a  reasonable  doubt  and  they  are

entitled to benefit of doubt.  Their  appeal  consequently  succeed  and  is

allowed and the conviction and sentence imposed on them are  set  aside  and

they shall be set at liberty forthwith, if not required in any other case.

 

2014 – July. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41753

T.S. THAKUR, V. GOPALA GOWDA, C. NAGAPPAN

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