1. This is an appeal under Section 417, Code of Criminal Procedure by the State of Punjab against Deva Singh and ten other respondents from the judgment of Shri M.L. Mirchia, Judicial Magistrate 1st Class (D) Patiala dated February 26, 1966, Out of the 11 respondents, Asa Singh, Bhajan Singh and Balwinder Singh were proceeded against under Section 323 read with Section 34 Indian Penal Code, Balwinder Singh under Section 323, Amar Singh under Section 325 and Bhajan Singh under Section 506. All the respondents were also charged for offences under Sections 148 and 452, Section 323 read with Section 149 and Section 325 read with Section 149, Indian Penal Code.
2. Deva Singh respondent No. 1 aged 60 years is the Father of Asa Singh respondent No. 2 aged 28 years, Amar Singh respondent No. 3 aged 24 years, Suba Singh respondent No. 4 aged 22 years, Darshan Singh respondent No. 5 aged 36 years and Kashmir Singh respondent No. 6 aged 20 years. The other four accused are sons of Bhan Singh, brother of Deva Singh. They are Bhajan Singh respondent No. 7 aged 30 years, Balwinder Singh respondent No. 8 aged 28 years, Attar Singh respondent No. 9 aged 26 years and Tasveer Singh respondent No. 10 aged 22 years. Gurcharan Singh respondent No. 11 aged 26 years is the son-in-law of Bhan Singh father of respondents Nos. 7 to 10. The respondents belong to village Alipur Ararian in the district of Patiala.
3. The party of the accused-respondents suspected that Sukhwant Singh P.W. 7 son of Kartar Singh P.W. 5 had furnished information to the police against the accused for their carrying on illicit distillation of liquor. This seems to have itched the party of the accused for trouble against Kartar Singh.
4. Kartar Singh P.W. 5 father-in-law of Palvinder Singh P.W. 1, both residents of village Alipur, Ararian, tethered his buffalo in his courtyard adjoining that of the accused. There is no partition wall in between the two courtyards. The party of the accused would not permit Kartar Singh to tether his buffalo at that place. On August 8, 1965, Kartar Singh P.W. 5 tethered his buffalo in the courtyard at 8.30 P.M. Asa Singh and Bhajan Singh accused were there. They began quarrelling with Kartar Singh. The altercation and wrangle between Asa Singh and Bhajan Singh on the one hand and Kartar Singh on the other, attracted Palwinder Singh, who was sitting in the house of Darshan Singh Sarpanch situate closeby. Asa Singh untied the knot of the rope of the buffalo. Kartar Singh tethered the buffalo again. On this Bhajan Singh pointing out to Kartar Singh said that he should be dealt with. Balwinder Singh accused, who had arrived there, gave a sota blow to Palwinder Singh P.W. 1 on his left arm. Meanwhile, the other eight accused persons also came there. Deva Singh, Asa Singh, Bhajan Singh, Kashmir Singh, Attar Singh and Gurcharan Singh accused were armed with lathis whereas Tasveer Singh is said to have a dang in his hand. Others were empty handed.
Mohan Singh, P.W. 2, a siri of Palwinder Singh, who visited the house of the latter for having meals, also arrived at the scene of occurrence and saw what transpired. Smt. Lakhwinder Kaur P.W. 4 wife of Palwinder Singh is another eye-witness who witnessed the occurrence. Palwinder Singh and Kartar Singh P. Ws. went on the roof. Shamsher Singh P.W. 6 on hearing hue and cry arrived there and also went on the roof with them. Three of the accused also went up on the roof. According to the case of the prosecution, it is further stated that the accused started throwing brickbats on the party of the complainant. Asa Singh hurled a brick' bat on the temple of Palwinder Singh. Injuries were also caused by the accused to Smt. Swaran Kaur P.W. 3 wife of Kartar Singh P.W. 5 and Mohan Singh P.W. 2.
5. Kartar Singh, Shamsher Singh and Palwinder Singh P. Ws. reached Patiala Saddar Police Station at midnight on August 8, 1965. The first information report was lodged by Palwinder Singh at 12.20 A.M. on August 9, 1965. The distance between Alipur Ararian, the village of occurrence and Patiala is four miles. The police arrived for investigation of the case on the spot in the morning on August 9, 1965. On August 9, 1965 between 8.45 A.M. and 10.00 A.M.D. Bhagwan Dass P.W. 8 examined Swaran Kaur, Palwinder Singh and Mohan Singh P. Ws. as the persons injured. Seven injuries were found on the person of Swaran Kaur. Injury No. 4 caused to Swaran Kaur was1 a broken canine. This was found by the doctor to be grievous. In his opinion, injuries of Swaran Kaur P.W. could be caused by brickbats. An abrasion and a contusion were found on the person of Palwinder Singh while the person of Mohan Singh bore two injuries, one a contused wound and the other an abrasion. Injuries on the persons of Palwinder Singh and Mohan Singh were found to be simple. As stated by the doctor, these injuries could be caused with blunt weapons. The doctor gave the opinion that injury No. 1 on the person of Palwinder Singh P.W., which is an abrasion on the outer side of the right side of forehead 1' on the outskirt of the eye could not be the result of brickbats hurled at him from a distance and that it could be self-inflicted. Thus there were 11 injuries on the three injured persons belonging to the party of the complainant.
6. The accused were taken in custody on August 11, 1965. At the time, they were arrested, certain injuries were seen by Harsajjan Singh ASI P.W. 10 on the bodies of seven accused-persons. They were examined by Dr. Bhagwan Dass, P.W. 8 between 8.00 A.M. and 11.00 A. M. on August 12, 1965. The names of the accused with the respective number of injuries found on them are given below:
Asa Singh .. 6Amar Singh .. 2Suba Singh .. 2Attar Singh .. 6Balwinder Singh .. 1Bhajan Singh .. 5fGurcharan Singh .. 8
The total number of injuries on the bodies of the above seven accused-persons is 30. All the injuries on the persons of the accused were found to be simple. The doctor gave the opinion that these could be caused with blunt weapon. Some of the injuries on the persons of these accused were opined by the doctor to have been caused within 24 hours and others within 96 hours.
7. After investigation, the respondents were proceeded against, charged and tried for various offences as mentioned above. In their statements under Section 342, Code of Criminal Procedure all the accused except Asa Singh accused denied that they had entered into the house of Kartar Singh P.W., caused any injuries to any of the injured persons and stated that the witnesses were false and they were innocent. Asa Singh accused, however, having denied all that stated at the end that Kartar Singh used to tether his buffalo in his courtyard, that he untethered the buffalo in the morning, that in the evening, Amar Singh, Bhajan Singh and Attar Singh accused visited him and that Kartar Singh came there and said that he would teach him a lesson for having untied the knot of the rope of buffalo and then abused him. He further said that Sukh-want Singh, Palwinder Singh P. Ws. and Beant Singh also came there armed with lathis and started belabouring his party and that they in self-defence threw Drickbats. He adds that Gurbachan Singh intervened.
8. The judgment of the trial Court acquitting the respondents is rather perfunctory. Major part of the judgment has been devoted to the reproduction of charges, narration of the prosecution occurrence, verbatim copy of the injuries on the bodies of injured persons covering six pages out of 12 pages of the judgment and paraphrasing the evidence of the eye-witnesses. The trial Court has not applied its mind to the questions which arise for criticism of the prosecution story. The Court has not discussed the material particulars of the prosecution case and the line of defence adopted by the accused persons. Detailed reasons justifying the acquittal of the accused have not been given in the judgment. Only one para covering a page deals with the discussion of the case. The judgment does not comply with the mandatory provisions of Section 367 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. That Section enjoins upon Court to mention the points arising for determination in the case, the decision on each such point and the reasons for decision thereof. In the absence of points for determination being mentioned and the reasons in support of the findings arrived at on those points, it becomes very difficult for Court of Appeal to ascertain as to how exactly the findings have been arrived at. The precision of the reasoning and the correctness of the findings could better be judged, if the points for determination and the reasons in support of the findings given on those points are specifically discussed by the trial Court. The conclusion of acquittal arrived at by the trial Court is, however, correct.
9 to 18. After going through the evidence on the record and hearing the arguments of the Counsel on both sides, we are of the opinion that the present appeal filed from judgment of acquittal cannot succeed.
Shamsher Bahadur, J.
19. I agree that the appeal has no force and should be dismissed.