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Alibi – Medical evidence – Non examination of senior counsel to prove alibi instead of office colleague is not a ground for discard the evidence – trial court discarded it where as High court accepted the same and acquitted the accused – when the alleged blunt object said to be used by Accused 4,8 high court acquitted as the Doctor deposed that death was caused due to sharp weapon not by blunt objects said to be used by A 4,8 – Apex court held that nothing is there to interfere – regarding conviction and confirmation of sentences of other accused the Apex court held that the trial court and the High Court recorded concurrent findings holding that the appellants accused Dilawar Singh (A-1), Yash Pal (A-3) and Shamsher Singh (A-7) have committed the offences punishable under Section 302 IPC read with Section 149 IPC and under Section 148 IPC. It has been repeatedly held by this Court that even though powers of this Court under Article 136 of the Constitution are very wide, in criminal appeals this Court does not interfere with the concurrent findings of fact, save in exceptional circumstances.= CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1362 OF 2010 DILAWAR SINGH & ORS. …Appellants Versus STATE OF HARYANA …Respondent = 2014 – Sept. Month – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41916

Alibi – Medical evidence – Non examination of senior counsel to prove alibi instead of office colleague is not a ground for discard the evidence – trial court discarded it where as High court accepted the same and acquitted the accused – when the alleged blunt object said to be used by Accused 4,8 high court acquitted as the Doctor deposed that death was caused due to sharp weapon not by blunt objects said to be used by A 4,8 – Apex court held that nothing is there to interfere – regarding conviction and confirmation of sentences of other accused the Apex court held that the trial court and the High Court recorded concurrent  findings holding that the appellants accused Dilawar Singh (A-1), Yash Pal (A-3)  and Shamsher Singh (A-7) have committed the offences  punishable  under  Section 302 IPC read with Section 149 IPC and under Section 148 IPC. It  has  been repeatedly held  by this Court  that  even  though   powers  of  this  Court under Article 136 of the Constitution  are  very wide, in  criminal  appeals this Court does not interfere with the concurrent  findings of   fact,  save in exceptional circumstances.=

Appellants Dilawar Singh (A-1),  Yash  Pal  (A-3)  and  Shamsher

Singh (A-7) in Criminal Appeal No.1362/2010 challenge the legality of  their

conviction for the offence  punishable  under  Section  302  IPC  read  with

Section 149 IPC and the sentence of  life  imprisonment  and  imposition  of

fine of  Rs.5,000/- each  and  also  challenge  their  conviction   for  the

offence punishable under Section 148 IPC and sentence  of  imprisonment  for

two years.

Being aggrieved by the acquittal of Balkar Singh  (A-4),  Ranbir

Singh (A-6) and Charan       Singh (A-8), State of Haryana and Chanda  Singh

– father of the deceased Narinder Singh have preferred Criminal Appeal  Nos.

826/2010 and 830/2010.

Accused Ranbir Singh took a plea of alibi by stating that he  is  practising

as an advocate at Kurukshetra  and was not present    at  the  spot  on  the

date of occurrence.  Gurdev Singh (A-2) also took  the  plea  of  alibi  and

stated that he was posted as a Naib Tehsildar and  in  connection  with  his

official work had gone to village Sardhaheri  on  the  date  of  occurrence.

 The

trial court 

acquitted Gurdev Singh  (A-2),  Ashok  Kumar  (A-5)  and  Dalbir

Singh(A-9).

Apex court held that

Regarding convictions

The trial court and the High Court recorded concurrent  findings

holding that the appellants accused Dilawar Singh (A-1), Yash Pal (A-3)  and

Shamsher Singh (A-7) have committed the offences  punishable  under  Section

302 IPC read with Section 149 IPC and under Section 148 IPC.

It  has  been

repeatedly held  by this Court  that  even  though   powers  of  this  Court

under Article 136 of the Constitution  are  very wide, in  criminal  appeals

this Court does not interfere with the concurrent  findings of   fact,  save

in exceptional circumstances.

Regarding acquittals of High court

A-6, Ranbir Singh  has put forth defence  plea  of  alibi.  A-6,

Ranbir Singh was a practising lawyer at Kurukshetra and he was working as  a

junior advocate in the office of  Senior  Advocate,  Mr.  S.C.  Sharma.  Mr.

Yudhvir Singh, advocate was examined as DW-6, who was also  practising  with

Mr. S.C.Sharma.

He stated that on the date  of  occurrence     A-6,  Ranbir

Singh was in the  office  of  Senior  Advocate  and  not  at  the  place  of

occurrence.

Trial Court has not accepted the plea of alibi  raised  by  him

only on the ground that the Senior Advocate with whom A-6, Ranbir Singh  was

practising was not examined.

The High Court  held  that  evidence  of  DW-6

cannot be doubted as there was no reason  to  disbelieve  him  and  plea  of

alibi taken by A-6, Ranbir Singh cannot be rejected on the ground  that  his

Senior Advocate Mr. S.C. Sharma was not examined and on  those  findings  as

recorded, High Court acquitted Ranbir Singh, the 6th  accused.

We  do  not

see any perversity in the appreciation of evidence  by  High  Court  and  we

find no substantial ground to interfere with  the  acquittal of A-6.

34.          Insofar  as  A-4,  Balkar  Singh  and  A-8,  Charan  Singh  are

concerned, the case of the prosecution is that

A-4   gave  gandasi  blow  to

Narinder Singh on his left arm and A-8,

Charan Singh gave a  blow  with  his

sword on the right leg of Narinder Singh.

PW-10, Dr. Surinder Singh  stated

that death of the deceased was caused by sharp edged weapon  and  could  not

have been caused by any blunt weapon.

The High Court was of  the  view  that

the overt act of A-4, Balkar Singh  and  A-8,  Charan  Singh,  do  not  find

corroboration with medical evidence and on those  findings  the  High  Court

set aside the conviction of A-4, Balkar Singh  and  A-8,  Charan  Singh  and

acquitted them.

We, therefore, do not find any merit in the appeal preferred  by

accused (A-1, Dilawar Singh), (A3, Yash Pal),  and  (A-7,  Shamsher  Singh).

The appeal fails and the same is dismissed.  The appeals  against  acquittal

preferred by the State and by Chanda Singh also are dismissed.

2014 – Sept. Month – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41916 

REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1362 OF 2010

DILAWAR SINGH & ORS. …Appellants

Versus

STATE OF HARYANA …Respondent
WITH

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 826 OF 2010

STATE OF HARYANA .. Appellant

Versus

BALKAR SINGH & ORS. ..Respondents
AND

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 830 OF 2010

CHANDA SINGH .. Appellant

Versus

RANBIR SINGH & ORS. ..Respondents

J U D G M E N T
R. BANUMATHI, J.

Appellants Dilawar Singh (A-1), Yash Pal (A-3) and Shamsher
Singh (A-7) in Criminal Appeal No.1362/2010 challenge the legality of their
conviction for the offence punishable under Section 302 IPC read with
Section 149 IPC and the sentence of life imprisonment and imposition of
fine of Rs.5,000/- each and also challenge their conviction for the
offence punishable under Section 148 IPC and sentence of imprisonment for
two years. Being aggrieved by the acquittal of Balkar Singh (A-4), Ranbir
Singh (A-6) and Charan Singh (A-8), State of Haryana and Chanda Singh
– father of the deceased Narinder Singh have preferred Criminal Appeal Nos.
826/2010 and 830/2010.
2. Briefly stated case of the prosecution is that deceased
Narinder Singh was running a shop for the sale of fertilizers at the Ladwa
Town and he was residing near Veterinary Hospital. On 22.8.1998 at about
8.45 p.m. Narinder Singh was driving his motor cycle and when he turned
towards Babain Road, in Ladwa little ahead of the veterinary hospital,
Dilawar Singh (A-1), Gurdev Singh (A-2) and Yash Pal (A-3) and other
accused persons namely Balkar Singh (A-4), Ashok Kumar (A-5) Ranbir Singh
(A-6), Shamsher Singh (A-7), Charan Singh (A-8) and Dalbir Singh(A-9)
intercepted him. Dilawar Singh (A-1), Yash Pal (A-3) and Shamsher Singh (A-
7) gave blow on the head of deceased Narinder Singh with their respective
cutter and Narinder Singh fell down along with his motor cycle and shouted
Bachao Bachao. At that time Chanda Singh-father of the deceased along with
his brother Hakam Singh came nearby in their car and saw the accused
being attacked. Chanda Singh and Hakam Singh cried for help and shouted
‘NA MARO NA MARO’. Gurdev Singh (A-2) and Charan Singh (A-8) caused sword
blows on the left leg and right leg of Narinder Singh. Ranbir Singh (A-6)
gave gandasi blow on the right hand of Narinder Singh whereas Balkar Singh
(A-4) gave gandasi blow to Narinder Singh on his left arm. Two other
assailants namely Ashok Kumar (A-5) and Dalbir Singh (A-9) attacked
Narinder Singh with hockey sticks and caused injuries to Narinder Singh.
In the meanwhile, Sham Singh (PW-7) also reached there and he too shouted
at the accused not to kill Narinder Singh. All the accused fled away from
the spot with their respective weapons in their motor cycles. Chanda
Singh (PW-6), Hakam Singh and Sham Singh (PW-7) chased the assailants in
their respective vehicles but they could not catch hold of them.
3. Further case of prosecution is that on 22.8.1998 at about 9.00
p.m. ASI Charan Dass (PW-11) who was on patrolling duty received message
about an injured person lying near Veterinary Hospital, Ladwa and PW-11 and
police party went to the scene of occurrence and shifted injured Narinder
Singh to Community Health Centre, Ladwa where Dr. Ashwini Kumar (DW-1),
Medical Officer of the Health Centre examined him and found him not fit to
make statement. In the meanwhile, Chanda Singh and Hakam Singh reached the
spot and found that injured Narinder Singh had already been shifted to the
hospital by the police. Chanda Singh (PW-6) went to the Ladwa Hospital
and Hakam Singh went to the village to inform the family members of
Narinder Singh about the incident. When Chanda Singh reached Community
Health Centre at Ladwa, injured Narinder Singh was, in the process of being
referred to the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital, Kurukshetra as his
condition was very serious. In the hospital at Kurukshetra, Dr.
S.C.Grover (PW-1) examined the injured–Narinder Singh and opined that
Narinder Singh was unfit to make any statement. Since the condition of
Narinder Singh was serious, he was immediately referred to PGI Chandigarh
and Chanda Singh shifted injured Narinder Singh to PGI Chandigarh. Dr.
Munish Kumar (PW-9) of PGI Chandigarh admitted Narinder Singh in the
hospital on 23.8.1998 at about 2.30 a.m. and intimation was sent to the
police post located near the hospital. On receipt of information from the
hospital, ASI Karam Chand (PW-4) went to the hospital and on his
application Dr. Kanya Rejangam (PW-8) opined that injured Narinder Singh
was unfit to make statement. Injured Narinder Singh succumbed to injuries
at about 5.30 a.m. on 23.8.1998 and death intimation was sent to the
Police Post, PGI Chandigarh. On the same day Chanda Singh came back to
Ladwa and went to the police station and lodged the complaint on the basis
of which FIR was registered at Ladwa Police Station, ASI Charan Dass (PW-
11) went to PGI Chandigarh and conducted the inquest on the dead body of
deceased Narinder Singh. In PGI, Dr. Surinder Singh (PW-10)
conducted autopsy on the body of Narinder Singh and noted 18 incised
injuries and other injuries all over the body of the deceased and issued
the Post Mortem Certificate. Dr. Surinder Singh (PW-10) opined that the
deceased died of cut injuries on the head and due to haemorrhage from
multiple incised wounds. The accused surrendered before the court on
various dates and on information of their surrender, Inspector Jagdish Ram
(PW-12) took the accused to police custody and based on their confession
the weapons and motor cycles were seized. After completion of
investigation, the accused were charge sheeted under Section 302 IPC read
with Section 149 IPC.
4. To bring home the guilt of the accused, prosecution has
examined PWs 1 to 16 and placed reliance on documents and material objects.
The accused were questioned under Section 313 Cr.P.C. about the
incriminating evidence and circumstances and they denied all of them.
Accused Ranbir Singh took a plea of alibi by stating that he is practising
as an advocate at Kurukshetra and was not present at the spot on the
date of occurrence. Gurdev Singh (A-2) also took the plea of alibi and
stated that he was posted as a Naib Tehsildar and in connection with his
official work had gone to village Sardhaheri on the date of occurrence.
The accused examined DWs 1to 6 as witness on their side.
5. Upon consideration of the evidence, the trial court
convicted and sentenced Dilawar Singh (A-1), Yash Pal (A-3), Balkar Singh
(A-4), Ranbir Singh (A-6), Shamsher Singh (A-7) and Charan Singh (A-8)
under Section 302 IPC read with Section 149 IPC and sentenced them to
undergo life imprisonment and to pay a fine of Rs.5,000/- each with default
clause and also convicted them for the offence punishable under Section
148 IPC and sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for two years. The
trial court acquitted Gurdev Singh (A-2), Ashok Kumar (A-5) and Dalbir
Singh(A-9).
6. Being aggrieved by the conviction and sentence, convicted
accused 1,3,4 and 6 to 8 preferred appeal before the High Court. The High
Court confirmed the conviction of Dilawar Singh (A-1), Yash Pal (A-3) and
Shamsher Singh (A-7) and acquitted Balkar Singh (A-4), Ranbir Singh (A-
6) and Charan Singh (A-8). Being aggrieved by the conviction, Dilawar
Singh (A-1), Yash Pal (A-3) and Shamsher Singh (A-7) have filed Criminal
Appeal No. 1362/2010. Being aggrieved by the acquittal of Balkar Singh (A-
4), Ranbir Singh (A-6) and Charan Singh (A-8), State has preferred Criminal
Appeal No.826/2010 and Chanda Singh (PW-6)–father of the
deceased Narinder Singh has filed Criminal Appeal No. 830/2010.
7. Mr. Giri, learned Senior Counsel appearing for the convicted
accused Dilawar Singh (A-1), Yash Pal (A-3) and Shamsher Singh (A-7)
submitted that serious doubts arise as to the presence of Chanda Singh (PW-
6) in the scene of occurrence and trial court as well as High Court ought
not to have based the conviction on the evidence of PW-6 and conviction of
the aforesaid accused is not sustainable.
8. Mr. Rao Ranjit, learned counsel, appearing for the State has
taken us through the evidence of Chanda Singh (PW-6) and Sham Singh (PW-7)
and other evidence and submitted that evidence of PW-6 is corroborated by
evidence of PW-7, recovery of weapons and Serology Report and courts have
recorded concurrent findings of fact that PW-6 is a reliable witness and
the same does not warrant interference. The learned counsel further
submitted that when the learned courts have believed the evidence of PWs
6 and 7 qua Dilawar Singh(A-1), Yash Pal(A-3) and Shamsher Singh(A-7),
the courts ought not to have disbelieved the case of prosecution qua Balkar
Singh (A-4), Ranbir Singh (A-6) and Charan Singh (A-8) for reversal of
acquittal.
9. We have heard the learned counsel appearing for the accused 4,
6 and 8 who were acquitted and also Mr. Shishpal Laler, learned
counsel appearing for the appellant- Chanda Singh.
10. The prosecution case revolves around the ocular version of
Chanda Singh (PW-6) father of deceased Narinder Singh who witnessed the
occurrence along with his brother Hakam Singh and Sham Singh (PW-7). PWs 6
and 7 have spoken about the attack on the deceased and overt act of accused
Dilawar Singh (A-1), Yash Pal (A-3) and Shamsher Singh (A-7) and others.
Hakam Singh was not examined. Evidence of Sham Singh (PW-7) corroborates
the version of Chanda Singh (PW-6). Learned courts below found the evidence
of PW-6 trustworthy and recorded respective findings for convicting Dilawar
Singh (A-1), Yash Pal (A-3) and Shamsher Singh (A-7) and acquitting other
accused.
11. Contending that Chanda Singh (PW-6) could not have witnessed
the occurrence and the learned courts erred in placing reliance upon
version of PW-6, evidence of PW-6 is interalia assailed on various
grounds :- (i) PW-6 had no reason to be present in Babain Road near
Veterinary Hospital, Ladwa; (ii) Conduct of PW-6 is not natural that on
witnessing the attack on his son, he had not naturally reacted in
trying to save his son but he is alleged to have chased the accused; (iii)
PW-6 had he been the witness, he would have given statement to the police
immediately after the occurrence and there would not have been an
inordinate delay in registration of FIR i.e. on 23.8.1998 at 11.00 A.M and
the delay in registration of FIR falsifies his evidence.
12. Insofar as the contention of the appellants that Chanda Singh
(PW-6) had no reason to be present in the place of occurrence, deceased
Narinder Singh was dealing in fertilizers at Ladwa and was residing in a
house near the veterinary hospital of the town. PW-6 has stated that their
home place Mehra is at a distance of 5 kms from Ladwa and is connected by
a pakka road which leads towards Babain from Ladwa. Village Mehra is
connected with this Ladwa – Babain road by a link road and
when this link road is connecting PW-6’s home village Mehra, there is
nothing unusual about Chanda Singh going through Babain Road and his
presence in the place of occurrence. It is unreasonable to contend that
Chanda Singh (PW-6) had no compelling reason to be present in the place
of occurrence.
13. Learned counsel for the appellant contended that the conduct of
Chanda Singh (PW-6) is unnatural and being father of the deceased and
on seeing his son belaboured, PW-6 had not swiftly acted to save his
son and neither PW-6 nor Hakam Singh or Sham Singh ( PW-7) took the
deceased to the hospital and Chanda Singh and other witnesses are alleged
to have left the injured at the place of incident and proceeded to chase
the assailants and such unnatural conduct of PW-6 only shows that he was
not present at the place of occurrence.
14. We find no merit in the submission that Chanda Singh (PW-6) is
to be disbelieved on the ground that he has not acted in a particular
manner to save his son. Every person who witnesses a murder reacts in his
own way. On seeing Narinder Singh being attacked, PW-6 and Hakam Singh
might have been shocked and stunned. Being two together, PW-6 and Hakam
Singh might have perhaps thought of catching the assailants and appear to
have chased them by following them in the car.
15. In Rana Partap and Ors. vs. State of Haryana (1983) 3 SCC 327,
while dealing with the behaviour of the witnesses, this Court opined thus:
“6….Every person who witnesses a murder reacts in his own way. Some are
stunned, become speechless and stand rooted to the spot. Some become
hysteric and start wailing. Some start shouting for help. Others run away
to keep themselves as far removed from the spot as possible. Yet others
rush to the rescue of the victim, even going to the extent of counter-
attacking the assailants. Every one reacts in his own special way. There
is no set rule of natural reaction. To discard the evidence of a witness
on the ground that he did not react in any particular manner is to
appreciate evidence in a wholly unrealistic and unimaginative way.”

16. In State of H.P. v. Mast Ram (2004) 8 SCC 660 it has been
stated that there is no set rule that one must react in a particular way,
for the natural reaction of man is unpredictable. Everyone reacts in his
own way and, hence, natural human behaviour is difficult to prove by
credible evidence. It has to be appreciated in the context of given facts
and circumstances of the case. Similar view has been reiterated in Lahu
Kamlakar Patil and Anr. v. State of Maharashtra (2013) 6 SCC 417.

17. Behaviour of the witnesses or their reactions would differ from
situation to situation and individual to individual. Expectation of
uniformity in the reaction of witnesses would be unrealistic and no hard
and fast rule can be laid down as to the uniformity of the human
reaction. The evidence of PW-6 is not to be disbelieved simply because he
did not react in a particular manner. PW-6 explained how he happened to be
there in the place of occurrence and had cogently spoken about the
occurrence and his evidence remained unscathed despite searching cross
examination.
18. In his evidence Chanda Singh (PW-6) stated that they have
chased the assailants for about 300 – 400 meters and then abandoned the
chase and returned to the place of occurrence after fifteen minutes. In
the meanwhile, injured Narinder Singh was shifted to Community Health
Centre, Ladwa by ASI Charan Dass (PW-11). Sham Singh (PW-7) stated that
after chasing the assailants they have returned to the place of occurrence
within 5-7 minutes. On behalf of the appellants, it was contended that
chasing the accused to a distance of 200–300 meters would have taken only
about 5-7 minutes and the fact that Narinder Singh was shifted to the
hospital by the time PW-6 returned to the place of occurrence only shows
that PW-6 was not present at the time of occurrence and that he has been
planted as an eye-witness subsequently. Version of PW-6 that they have
chased the assailants and came back after about 15-20 minutes, does not
affect his credibility nor the prosecution case. It is brought on record
that on the date of occurrence i.e. 22.8.1998 there was solar eclipse and
Solar Eclipse Fair was going on in Kurukshetra and large number of
people congregated and the place of occurrence and nearby place was
crowded with temporary bazaars and exhibitions and therefore PW-6 could
come back to the place of occurrence only after 15 minutes and in the
meanwhile injured Narinder Singh was shifted to Community Health
Centre, Ladwa by ASI Charan Dass (PW-11). The alleged time taken
in chasing the accused and the fact that in the meanwhile Narinder Singh
was shifted to the Community Health Centre, Ladwa, in our view, does not
militate against the credibility of PW-6.
19. Learned counsel for the appellants then contended that police
station in Ladwa is situated within a short distance from the place of
occurrence and yet no information was given to the police immediately. It
was submitted that Chanda Singh (PW-6) had not given statement to police
either at Ladwa or at Kurukshetra or atleast to PW-4, ASI Karam Chand of
Police Post at PGI Chandigarh who came to the hospital on receipt of
information of admission of injured Narinder Singh in PGI Chandigarh and
FIR was registered only on 23.8.1998 at 11.00 A.M. and the inordinate
delay in giving information to the police and registration of FIR raises
serious doubts about the credibility of prosecution case and
trustworthiness of PW-6.
20. We find no merit in the submission that delay in registration
of FIR is fatal to the prosecution case for the reason that delay is
satisfactorily explained by the prosecution. Let us briefly recapitulate
the sequence of events. After chasing the assailants for few minutes, PW-6
came to Community Health Centre, Ladwa at 9.00 – 9.15 P.M. Hakam Singh
went to village Mehra to inform the family members and for arranging
money. By the time PW-6 arrived in the Ladwa Hospital, the hospital
authorities were making arrangement to refer the injured to Kurukshetra
as his condition was very serious. By the time PW-6 went to Ladwa
Hospital, PW-11 left to village Mehra to inform the family members of
injured Narinder Singh. Evidently in Ladwa Hospital, PW-6 could not have
met ASI Charan Dass (PW 11). PW-6 shifted the injured to Kurukshetra
Hospital at 10.30-11.00 P.M. and then shifted Narinder Singh from
Kurukshetra Hospital to PGI Chandigarh. They left Kurukshetra between 11.30-
12.00 P.M. for PGI and reached PGI Chandigarh at 2.30 A.M. on
23.8.1998. ASI Charan Dass (PW 11) reached Kurukshetra Hospital at about
11.30 P.M. and moved an application to the doctor regarding fitness of the
injured to make a statement. Again in Kurukshetra there was hardly any
time for PW-6 to meet PW-11, ASI Charan Dass. There is nothing on
record showing that PW-6 met PW-11 either at Ladwa or at Kurukshetra.
When PW-6 was busy in arranging medical aid to save his son, delay in
lodging the FIR cannot be said to be fatal. The sequence of events
clearly show that PW-6 was taking all steps to save the life of his son
and making arrangements for money, ambulance etc.
21. Whether the delay is so long as to draw a cloud of suspicion
on the prosecution case will depend upon variety of factors which will vary
from case to case. As pointed out by the learned courts, from the very
beginning the condition of injured Narinder Singh was very serious and
he was struggling for existence and his father PW-6 and uncle Hakam Singh
were concerned about the welfare of the injured. While so, they could not
have thought of approaching the police first and informing them about
the incident and the assailants. Where delay in lodging complaint and
registration of FIR has been satisfactorily explained, the delay by itself
was no ground for disbelieving the prosecution evidence particularly when
it had been accepted both by the Sessions Court and the High Court.
22. Coming to the further contention of the appellants raising
doubts about the credibility of PW-6 in not making any statement at
least to ASI Karam Chand (PW-4) of Police Post PGI Chandigarh, on receipt
of the information regarding admission of injured Narinder Singh, ASI
Karam Chand (PW-4) went to the PGI Hospital to record the statement of
injured Narinder Singh. At that time, Chanda Singh (PW-6) was attending
his son. The contention of the appellants is that PW-6 had the occasion
to inform the police about the incident at least to ASI Karam Chand (PW-
4) but the same was not done which raise serious doubts about the presence
of Chanda Singh (PW-6) at the scene of occurrence. By perusal of the
evidence of PW-4, it is seen that on receipt of intimation (rukka) from
PGI Chandigarh, PW-4 rushed to the hospital for recording the statement
of injured Narinder Singh. Since Chanda Singh (PW-6) did not offer any
statement to ASI Karam Chand (PW-4), since Narinder Singh was then alive,
there was no occasion for recording the statement of Chanda Singh. It is
also brought in evidence that after the death of Narinder Singh ASI Karam
Chand (PW-4) did not go to PGI for the second time. In our view, there
is no merit in the submission that PW-6 is to be disbelieved on the ground
that he did not choose to give any statement at least to ASI Karam Chand
(PW-4).
23. Narinder Singh died at 5.30 A.M. on 23.8.1998 and thereafter
Chanda Singh (PW-6) went to Ladwa Police Station on 23.8.1998 at 11.00 A.M.
and lodged the complaint and FIR was registered as Ext PE No. 314/1998 at
Ladwa Police Station. Sequence of events clearly show that PW-6 was
attending his son and was taking steps to shift injured Narinder Singh
from Community Health Centre Ladwa to Lok Nayak Jai Parkash Hospital,
Kurukshetra and from Kurukshetra to PGI Chandigarh and PW-6 was busy in
arranging for money, medical aid and ambulance etc. The delay of about
15 hours and 15 minutes in lodging the FIR, in our view, cannot be
said to be fatal. Learned courts have recorded concurrent finding that
the delay in registration of FIR has been satisfactorily explained and
the delay is not fatal to the prosecution case.
24. While appreciating the evidence of a witness, the approach
must be whether the evidence of the witness read as a whole appears to
have a ring of truth. Once that impression is formed it is necessary for
the court to scrutinize the evidence, to find out whether it is against
the general tenor of the prosecution case. Learned courts below found
evidence of PW-6 reliable and accepted the same. The power of this Court
under Article 136 of the Constitution are very wide. But in criminal
appeals this Court does not interfere with the concurrent findings of fact
save in exceptional circumstances. When the learned courts below found the
evidence of PW-6 reliable and acceptable, we do not find any perversity in
the approach of the learned courts in accepting the evidence of PW-6
warranting interference in exercise of jurisdiction under Article 136 of
the Constitution of India.
25. Evidence of Chanda Singh (PW-6) is corroborated by the evidence
of Sham Singh (PW-7). Credibility of PW-7 is assailed on the ground that
he was also challaned along with Narinder Singh in criminal case in 1994
and that PW-7 has animosity against the accused persons. The mere fact
that PW-7 was also challaned along with Narinder Singh and that he was
inimical towards the accused would not result in mechanical rejection of
evidence of such a witness; but would only make the court cautious while
evaluating the testimony of the witness and we do not find any
infirmity in the appreciation of evidence of PW-7 by the courts and
relying upon the same as corroborative evidence.
26. PWs 6 and 7 have spoken in one voice against Dilawar Singh (A-
1), Yash Pal (A-3) and Shamsher Singh (A-7). Their evidence is also
corroborated by the medical evidence of Dr. Surinder Singh (PW-10) who
conducted the autopsy on the body of Narinder Singh. As per Post-Mortem
Certificate, 18 incised wounds were found on the body of the deceased which
strengthen the prosecution case as to the overt act of the accused 1, 3 and
7. Based on the confessional statement of the disclosure of Dilawar Singh
(A-1), Yash Pal (A-3) and Shamsher Singh (A-7) cutters were recovered
and detection of human blood in those cutters also lends credence to the
prosecution case.
27. Placing reliance on the evidence of DW-1, Dr.
Ashwini Kumar feeble attempt was made to contend that serious doubts arise
about the prosecution case. Of course, according to DW-1, Dr. Ashwini
Kumar who admitted injured Narinder Singh in Ladwa Hospital, he found
only five injuries on the person of the injured and he opined that the
same had been caused by blunt weapon. As per Post Mortem Certificate as
many as 18 incised wounds were found on the body of Narinder Singh. As
held by the learned courts DW-1 did not examine the injuries on the person
of the injured in right perspective and did not correctly record the
injuries on the person of Narinder Singh. Opinion of DW-1 that the
injuries were the result of blunt weapon is false and for that reason he
has been rightly challaned by the police for the offence punishable under
Section 218 IPC on the ground that he had prepared the wound certificate
falsely. Reasonings contained in paragraphs 44 and 45 in the judgment of
the Sessions Court sufficiently answer the arguments advanced on behalf of
the appellant and the evidence of DW-1 is of no assistance to the accused.

28. The trial court and the High Court recorded concurrent findings
holding that the appellants accused Dilawar Singh (A-1), Yash Pal (A-3) and
Shamsher Singh (A-7) have committed the offences punishable under Section
302 IPC read with Section 149 IPC and under Section 148 IPC. It has been
repeatedly held by this Court that even though powers of this Court
under Article 136 of the Constitution are very wide, in criminal appeals
this Court does not interfere with the concurrent findings of fact, save
in exceptional circumstances.
29. Considering the scope of power of this Court under Article 136
of the Constitution in criminal appeals, in the case
of Ganga Kumar Srivastava vs. State of Bihar (2005) 6 SCC 211, it is
observed:
“From the aforesaid series of decisions of this Court on the exercise of
power of the Supreme Court under Article 136 of the Constitution of India
following principles emerge:-

(i) The powers of this Court under Article 136 of the Constitution
are very wide but in criminal appeals this Court does not interference
with the concurrent findings of fact save in exceptional circumstances.
(ii) It is open to this Court to interfere with the findings of
fact given by the High Court, if the High Court has acted perversely
or otherwise improperly.
(iii) It is open to this Court to invoke the power under Article
136 only in very exceptional circumstances as and when a question of law
of general public importance arises or a decision shocks the conscience
of the Court.
(iv) When the evidence adduced by the prosecution fell short of the
test reliability and acceptability and as such it is highly unsafe to
act upon it.
(v) Where the appreciation of evidence and finding is vitiated by any
error of law or procedure or found contrary to the principles of natural
justice, errors of record and misreading of the evidence, or where the
conclusions of the High Court are manifestly perverse and
unsupportable from the evidence on record.”
30. In the case of Charanjit & Ors. vs. State of Punjab and Anr.
(2013) 11 SCC 163, it was observed as under:-
“26. Thus, the trial court and the High Court have recorded concurrent
findings of facts holding the appellants guilty of the offences under
Sections 323/34, 504/34, 376(2) (a) and 376 (2) (g) IPC and the appellant
Radha Krishan guilty of the offence under Section 342 IPC also. It has
been repeatedly held by this Court that even though the powers of this
Court under Article 136 of the Constitution are very wide, in criminal
appeals this Court does not interfere with the concurrent findings of
facts, save in exceptional circumstances where there has been grave
miscarriage of justice {Sambhu Das v. State of Assam (2010) 10 SCC
374}. As we have found that the concurrent findings of facts recorded by
the trial court and the High Court in this case are based on legal
evidence and there is no miscarriage of justice as such by the two courts
while arriving at the said findings, we are not inclined to disturb the
impugned judgment of the High Court in exercise of our discretion under
Article 136 of the Constitution.”

31. As we have found that the concurrent findings of fact
recorded by the trial court and the High Court qua Dilawar Singh (A-1),
Yash Pal (A-3) and Shamsher Singh (A-7) are based on evidence, in our
view, there is no miscarriage of justice by the learned courts while
arriving at the said findings and we are not inclined to disturb the
impugned judgment of the High Court in exercise of our discretion under
Article 136 of the Constitution. The appeal preferred by the Dilawar
Singh(A-1), Yash Pal (A-3) and Shamsher Singh (A-7) fails and is liable
to be dismissed.
32. Appeals against Acquittal qua Balkar Singh (A-4),
Ranbir Singh (A-6) and Charan Singh (A-8):- Being aggrieved by the
acquittal of Balkar Singh (A-4), Ranbir Singh (A-6) and Charan Singh (A-
8), State and Chanda Singh have preferred Criminal Appeal No. 826/2010 and
Criminal Appeal No. 830/2010.
33. A-6, Ranbir Singh has put forth defence plea of alibi. A-6,
Ranbir Singh was a practising lawyer at Kurukshetra and he was working as a
junior advocate in the office of Senior Advocate, Mr. S.C. Sharma. Mr.
Yudhvir Singh, advocate was examined as DW-6, who was also practising with
Mr. S.C.Sharma. He stated that on the date of occurrence A-6, Ranbir
Singh was in the office of Senior Advocate and not at the place of
occurrence. Trial Court has not accepted the plea of alibi raised by him
only on the ground that the Senior Advocate with whom A-6, Ranbir Singh was
practising was not examined. The High Court held that evidence of DW-6
cannot be doubted as there was no reason to disbelieve him and plea of
alibi taken by A-6, Ranbir Singh cannot be rejected on the ground that his
Senior Advocate Mr. S.C. Sharma was not examined and on those findings as
recorded, High Court acquitted Ranbir Singh, the 6th accused. We do not
see any perversity in the appreciation of evidence by High Court and we
find no substantial ground to interfere with the acquittal of A-6.
34. Insofar as A-4, Balkar Singh and A-8, Charan Singh are
concerned, the case of the prosecution is that A-4 gave gandasi blow to
Narinder Singh on his left arm and A-8, Charan Singh gave a blow with his
sword on the right leg of Narinder Singh. PW-10, Dr. Surinder Singh stated
that death of the deceased was caused by sharp edged weapon and could not
have been caused by any blunt weapon. The High Court was of the view that
the overt act of A-4, Balkar Singh and A-8, Charan Singh, do not find
corroboration with medical evidence and on those findings the High Court
set aside the conviction of A-4, Balkar Singh and A-8, Charan Singh and
acquitted them.
35. The court of appeal would not ordinarily interfere with the
order of acquittal unless the approach is vitiated by manifest illegality.
In an appeal against acquittal, this Court will not interfere with an order
of acquittal merely because on the evaluation of the evidence, a different
plausible view may arise and views taken by the courts below is not
correct. In other words, this Court must come to the conclusion that the
views taken by the learned courts below, while acquitting, cannot be the
views of a reasonable person on the material on record.
36. In Chandrappa and Ors. v. State of Karnataka (2007) 4 SCC 415,
the scope of power of appellate court dealing with an appeal against
acquittal has been considered and this Court held as under:
“42…..(4) An appellate court, however, must bear in mind that in case of
acquittal, there is double presumption in favour of the accused. Firstly,
the presumption of innocence is available to him under the fundamental
principle of criminal jurisprudence that every person shall be presumed to
be innocent unless he is proved guilty by a competent court of law.
Secondly, the accused having secured his acquittal, the presumption of his
innocence is further reinforced, reaffirmed and strengthened by the trial
court.
(5) If two reasonable conclusions are possible on the basis of the
evidence on record, the appellate court should not disturb the finding of
acquittal recorded by the trial court.”
Unless there are substantial and compelling reasons, the order of acquittal
is not required to be reversed in appeal. It has been so stated in State
of Rajasthan vs. Shera Ram (2012) 1 SCC 602.
37. On evaluation of the evidence found by the High Court while
recording an order of acquittal, in our view, does not suffer from any
infirmity or illegality or manifest error. We see no reason to interfere
with the order of acquittal of Accused 4, 6 and 8.
38. We, therefore, do not find any merit in the appeal preferred by
accused (A-1, Dilawar Singh), (A3, Yash Pal), and (A-7, Shamsher Singh).
The appeal fails and the same is dismissed. The appeals against acquittal
preferred by the State and by Chanda Singh also are dismissed.

………………………………J.
(T.S. Thakur)

……………………………….J.
(R. Banumathi)

New Delhi;
September 16, 2014

———————–
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