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Mehnga Singh Kishan Chand Vs. the Crown - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtPunjab and Haryana
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1950CriLJ174
AppellantMehnga Singh Kishan Chand
RespondentThe Crown
Excerpt:
.....no writ appeal will lie against a judgment/order/decree passed by a single judge in exercising powers of superintendence under article 227 of the constitution. - 2, would be insufficient to maintain the conviction if it was not supported by good evidence in material particulars. parsinni would have murdered him as well......of death.2. the facts so far as material are that on 1st june 1948 at about noon time mehnga singh convict is stated to have murdered dipo, aged eight years, and injured parsinni, now, parsinni, p.w. 2, is the wedded wife of mehnga singb and dipo was the daughter of parsinni from her former husband hazara singh.3. the motive for the crime according to the statement of parsinni, p.w. 2, was that on 31st may 1948, she had prepared chasku (a sort of sweetmeat to purify blood) at a cost of bs. 2/s/-for her children as they were suffering from boils and she gave some of it to mebnga singh convict to eat but the litter refused and resented its preparation and became angry with her. the statement of pareinni, p.w. 2, seems to suggest that the accused considered her a liability as he was.....
Judgment:

Harnam Singh J.

1. Mehnga Singh, aged forty years, has been convicted Under Section 302, Penal Code, for the murder of Dipo and Under Section 307, Penal Code, for the attempted murder of Parsinni. He has been sentenced to death tinder Section 302, Penal Code, and to four years' rigorous imprisonment Under Section 307, Penal Code, with the direction that the convict shall undergo the sentence of imprisonment only if the sentence of death is not confirmed by the High Court. Mehnga 8ingh appeals and the proceedings are before up under chap. 27, Criminal P.C., for the confirmation of the sentence of death.

2. The facts so far as material are that on 1st June 1948 at about noon time Mehnga Singh convict is stated to have murdered Dipo, aged eight years, and injured Parsinni, Now, Parsinni, P.W. 2, is the wedded wife of Mehnga Singb and Dipo was the daughter of Parsinni from her former husband Hazara Singh.

3. The motive for the crime according to the statement of Parsinni, P.W. 2, was that on 31st May 1948, she had prepared chasku (a sort of sweetmeat to purify blood) at a cost of bs. 2/s/-for her children as they were suffering from boils and she gave some of it to Mebnga Singh convict to eat but the litter refused and resented its preparation and became angry with her. The statement of Pareinni, P.W. 2, seems to suggest that the accused considered her a liability as he was maintaining her and two of her children from Hazara Singh, former husband of Parsinni, and thought that she was extravagant and spent lavishly over her children. In her statement recorded on 8th June 1948, in the Amritsar hospital, she gave a different account of the motive for the incident. She is proved to have stated that shortly after the marriage her relations with Mehnga Singh be. came strained so much so that Mehnga Singh started keeping the keys of the house with him and pressed by household necessities he pawned some of her ornaments which led to a quarrel' with Parsinni. She accordingly left the house of Mehnga Singh convict and went to Faqir Chand, P.W. 19. Eventually a settlement was brought between them and she returned to him but the ornaments remained pawned as before. She is further proved to have stated that on her insistence Mehnga Singh convict got prepared a pair of gold earrings and a gold ring for her but he stole them, after a few days and that again led to quarrels between them. Indeed, at one stage she stated that she did not know the cause of the attack or the murder at all.

4. From the preceding paragraph it would appear that the evidence about the motive for the crime is discrepant and it cannot be said with certainty as to what was the motive that led to the commission of the crime.

5. Before proceeding further it may be stated at this stage that Parsinni, P.W. 3, had three children from her previous husband, namely, Bachan Singh aged 12 years, Darshan aged lj years and Dipo deceased, aged eight years. Of them Darshan and Dipo used to live with her in the house of the accused while Bachan Singh lived separately and used to visit her occasionally. Parkasho, a sister of Parlini, P.W. 2, is married to Paqir Chand P.W. 19, in The village Bhabpur Jajan and Bakhshish Singh, P.W. 23 is a brother of Faqir Chand.

6. Now, the only eye-witness in the ease is Parsing P.W. 2. Dial Chand, P.W. 3, Hargopal P.W. 6, Faqir Chand, P.W. 19, Gian Chand, P.w. 20, Uttam Chand, P.W. 21, and Lajo, P.W. 18, have been examined at the trial to prove extra, judicial confession made by Mehnga Singh accused. Bakhahish Singh, P.W. 23, was tendered for cross-examination but the defence counsel did not cross-examine him at all,

7. Counsel points out that Parsimony, P.W. 2, has made contradictory statements as to the motive for crime and has been contradicted in other particulars of the prosecution case by her previous statements, D. A., D. B. and p. B. That is an but all the discrepancies which have been pointed out are explainable on the hypothesis that Parsinni, P.W. 2, was anxious to suppress her own immorality, otherwise she has made a consistent statement from the very beginning that Mehta Singh convict caused the death of Dipo and attempted to murder her.

8. Indeed, the evidence given at the trial by Parsinni, P.W. 2, would be insufficient to maintain the conviction if it was not supported by good evidence in material particulars. There is, however, abundant evidence on the record which corroborates the evidence given at the trial by Parsinni. (After discussing the prosecution evidence the judgment proceeds as follows:)

9. Counsel next contends that the conduct of Mehnga Singh convict in taking Darshan, aged l years, to Faqir Chand, P.W. 19, after the incident shows that he hid no motive to kill Dipo. As stated by Dial Chand, P.W. 3, Mehnga Bingh convict was annoyed with the conduct of Parsinni P.W. 2 and he thought that Dipo, aged eight years, would also trouble her husband when she was married, The motive was obviously to kill Dipo and Parsinni but there was no motive to kill Darshan aged 1% years.

10. Mehnga Singh accused stated at the trial in his statement made on 29th November 1948 :

As my wife Mt. Parsinni murdered my stepdaughter and her real daughter Mt. Dipo aged 7 years, I was enraged and in an anger I assaulted her with a kiryan.

In his examination on the conclusion of the prosecution evidence on 1st December 1948, he stated:

Mt. Paralnni murdered Mt. Dipo and be in rage 1 gave her four or five blows with a kirpan, I was in ray kothn when Mt. Parsinni and her paramour BakhehiBh Singh were in the dalan, They both did not know that I was inside.......After assaulting Mt. Par Binni, I went to the shop of Faqir Chand with the naked Tuirpan and my child Darshan and gave over the child to Bakhshish Singh P.W. 23 who was there and who had run away from my bouse to the shop. I did not say anything to Faqir Chand If I had not picked up Darahan and carried him to Paqir Chand's shop, Mt. Parsinni would have murdered him as well. Dial Ghand and Har Gopal P. Ws oame to my house when I WftB standing in front thereof near the tharra of the Dharatnsal Suthrianwali; I handed over my kirpan to them of my own accord and they tied my hands with my turban, I did not then confess before them that I had murdered or assaulted anybody. 1 did not utter a word to Dial Chand about this matter.

11. Now, the defence put up at the trial by Mehcga Singh conviot proceeds upon the assumption that Parsinni, P.W. 3, was carrying on a liaison with Bakhshish Singh, P.W. 23. As stated above, Bakhshish Singh, was tendered for cross, examination at the trial but no question was put to him by defence counsel. In this cod. nection reference may also be made to the state, ment of Faqir Chand, P.W. 19. He was cross, examined at length by defence counsel but in that lengthy cross-examination not a single question was put to him on the point that Par-sinni had any illicit connection with Bakhshish Singh, P.W. 23. Again, Mehnga Singh convict was questioned by Dial Chand, P.W. 3, in the presence of Hur Gopal, P.w. 6. He made a statement before Lajo, P.W. 13, and Paqir Chandf P.W. 19, but at no stage did he mention the fact that Dipo had been killed by Pertaining, P.W. 2, and that ha thereupon gave injuries to Parganas.

12. For all these reasons I find that there is no truth in the statement of Mehnga Singh convict that Pareinni, P.W. 2, caused the death of Dipo.

13. Counsel then urges that under the circumstances of the case the sentence of death imposed upon Mehnga Singh convict was excessive and that the imposition of the alternative penalty prescribed by law for an offence under s 302, Penal Code, would meet the ends of justice. Now, the trial Court 'has found inter alia :

The fact appears to be that it was the acouaed who made a murderous assault on his wife and then killed her daughter in rage. It is pertinent to enquire what prompted him to do so, It is not possible to give a precise answer on the material as it exists on the record. Mt. Parsinni would naturally try to conceal her own sins; but her statement bolore the police shows that her relations with her husband were anything but cordial.

Counsel argues that on the rinding reaohed by the trial Court that Mehnga Singh convict killed his daughter in rage the imposition of the maximum penalty was not justified. The argument raised is that when an accused commits a murder in a moment of extreme excitement the lesser sentence of transportation for life is the appropriate sentence. Anger is a passion to which good and bad men are both subject and the sheer brutality of the assault on Dipo deceased, in the absence of any provocation, is a circumstance which shows that the mind of the accused at the time he committed the crime was far from normal.

14. Finding as I do, that Mehnga Singh conviot commitlied the murder of Dipo in a moment of extreme excitement and in a fit of rage, I, while maintaining his conviction Under Section 302, Penal code, hold that the lesser sentence of transportation for life is the appropriate sentence in this case.

15. Again, Mehnga Singh has been convicted Under Section 307, Penal Code, for the attempted murder of Parsiuni, p.w. 2. As stated above, Mehnga Singh admitted at the trial that be inflicted injuries on the person of Parsinni, The conviction and sentence of Mehnga Singh Under Section 307, Penal Code, for the attempted murder of Parsinni, P.W. 2, are, therefore, maintained with the order that the sentence of rigorous imprisonment for four years Under Section 307, Penal code, would run concurrently with the sentence of transportation for life Under Section 302 of the Code.

16. The appeal is allowed to the extent indicated above and on the findings set out above the sentence of death imposed upon Mehnga Singh is not confirmed.

Falshaw, J.

17. I agree.


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