(1) This is an appeal by the Delhi Administration against the judgment of Shri Mahesh Chandra, Additional Sessions Judge, acquitting the respondent Ramesh alias Alley son of Ram Lal, Satish Kumar, Ram Bharose alias Bhogal and Ramesh Chand alias Babban son of Makhan Singh, residents of Kucha Gokul Shah of the offence under section 302 read with section 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
(2) The deceased Ramesh son of Jai Ram along with his brothers Khem Chand (P.W. 2), Peru alias Meeru Mal and Suresh alias Kude resided at 3047 Kucha Raja Sohan Lal, Bazar Sita Ram. The prosecution witnesses Lala Ram (P.W. 1) and Kailash (P.W. 4) also resided in the said premises. Kailash (P.W. 4) also resided with the deceased Ramesh. The deceased family and the prosecution witnesses Public Witness s 1and 4 are all of Dhanak caste. Peru and Kude had a betal shop at the corner of the Gali.
(3) The accused party resided in Katra Gokul Shah, opposite to Chorasi Ghanta Mandir. Kucha Raja Sohan Lal and Kucha Gokul Shah are close to Bazar Sita Ram According to Public Witness . I the distance between the two kuchas is only 50 to 60 paces.
(4) On 24th February 1975 there was a dispute between Peru and Kude and Ramesh son of Ram Lal, Suresh, Babban and Sher Singh in which the nephew of Bhogal was alleged to have been stabbed with a knife by Peru. A report was lodged, but according to Peru and Kude the report was false.
(5) The case for the prosecution as unfolded by Public Witness . 2 Khem Chand is that on 2nd March 1975 at about 7.45 p.m. he was in the house and was taking meals. His younger brother Ramesh was also inside the house. He heard some noise and he came out. His brother Ramesh and already come out of the house. He saw Bhogal, Alley and Satish. Bhogal gave a lalkara and asked Ramesh to come out of the house and he would take revenge from him for stabbing his nephew. Alley was armed with Kirpan and Satish with a lathi. They caught Ramesh and pulled him out. Public Witness . 2 further stated that he caught his brother and asked Bhogal and his companies not to beat Ramesh. Bhogal replied that he only wanted to talk to Ramesh. Public Witness s Kailash Chand and Lala Ram also came there. According to Public Witness . 2 Bhogal and his companions took Ramesh to the gate of Kucha Sohan Lal Bhogal exhorted to his companions to finish Ramesh and Alley stabbed Ramesh with the kirpan in his stomach and Satish gave two lathi blows on the head of Ramesh. Lala Ram shouting 'BACHAO BACHAO' ran back. Public Witness . 2 further deposed that Ramesh sat down holding his stomach and in the meantime Babban came armed with a kirpan and stabbed Ramesh on his back and in the stomach and Satish gave lathi blows on the forehead and nose of Ramesh. According to P.W. 2 Lala Ram along with some persons returned and all the accused ran towards chorasi Ghanta. Lala Ram removed Ramesh in a rickshaw to the hospital. Public Witness . 2 further deposed that on seeing the above occurrence he became giddy and he was taken to his house by some persons and that he went to the hospital at 10.30 or Ii p.m. to enquire about Ramesh. Public Witness . 2 deposed that he returned to the spot along with the police and that his statement was recorded at the spot.
(6) We may mention here that the first report was recorded on the statement of Public Witness . I Lala Ram. Since the statement made by Public Witness . I to the police is at variance with the evidence given by the eye witnesses in court we shall discuss its importance a little later.
(7) The case was investigated by Public Witness . 19 Mehar Singh. Public Witness . 19 testified that on receipt of a copy of the report No. 23-A recorded at the police station he proceeded to the spot along with Rameshwar Dayal constable, that on reaching the spot he learnt that Ramesh had been removed to the hospital, that leaving a constable behind he went to the hospital and obtained the medico legal certificate of Ramesh, that the doctor certified that the injured was not in a fit condition to make a statement, that thereafter he recorded the statement Ex. Public Witness 1/A of Lala Ram and sent the same with his endorsement Ex. Public Witness . 19/A to the police station for formal registration of the case. Public Witness . 19 further deposed that he saw blood on the shirt of Lala Ram and he took the shirt of Lala Ram into possession. Thereafter, according to Public Witness . 19, he went to the spot and recorded the statement of the prosecution witnesses, prepared the plan Ex. Public Witness . 19/B and picked up blood from the spot of crime.
(8) Ramesh succumbed to the injuries at 11.30 p.m. According to Public Witness . 19 he came to know about the death of Ramesh at about 2 a.m. and he went to the hospital and held an inquest. Public Witness . 19 stated that he completed the inquest by about 2 p.m. and sent the dead body along with his inquest report for post-mortem.
(9) We shall, at this stage, deal with the first report. Public Witness . I was first to make a statement before the police. Ex. Public Witness . I/A is the statement of P.W. I before the police on the basis of which the first report Ex. Public Witness . 10/B was recorded. Public Witness . I before the police had stated that on 2nd March 1975 at about 8 p.m. he was taking his meal in the house, that Alley son of Ram Lal came and enquired from Sim as to on which side was the house of Ramesh Chand and Peru, that he told them the direction to the house of Ramesh Chand, that he was Alley along with Bhogal and Satish going towards the house of Ramesh Chand, that after reaching the house of Ramesh Chand, Bhogal challenged Ramesh Chand to come out and that he shall take revenge from him for having stabbed his nephew with a knife, that on hearing the said challenge of Bhogal a number of persons from the Mohalla collected and they tried to pacify Bhogal and his companions, that Bhogal and his companions caught hold of Ramesh Chand and dragged him outside, that he accompanied by Kailash, Khem Chand and several other persons followed Bhogal and his companions and tried to separate Ramesh Chand, that Or reaching near the gate of the Gali Bhogal asked his companions as to what they were seeing and on that Alley who was having a kirpan in his hand stabbed Ramesh in the abdomen and Satish gave a lathi blow, that all of them raised an alarm and Bhogal and his companions escaped, that he brought a rickshaw and removed Ramesh to Irwin hospital and got him admitted in the hospital.
(10) Public Witness . I in court made a substantial improvement on his statement made before the police. Public Witness . I gave evidence that after Alley had given the kirpan blow to Ramesh he felt puzzled and thought of getting more help and that he went back from the place of occurrence and returned after some time along with some more residents of the locality and that when he returned he found Ramesh with stab wounds and his assailants had already run away.
(11) Public Witness . I in his statement before the police as well as in court does not name Ramesh alias Babban as the assailant of Ramesh. He has in court attempted to explain the above omission in the first statement on the ground that after Alley bad given the blow with the kirpan he had gone back to the locality to get more help and by the time he returned the assailants had run away. Public Witness . I before the police had not stated the above fact.
(12) Public Witness s.2and4have in court stated that after Alley had given the blow with the kirpan to Ramesh they had heard the sound of Lala Ram running back and that at the same time about Ramesh alias Babban had come with a kirpan and given blows to Ramesh on his back, in the abdomen and on the hands and Satish had given lathi blows on the forehead and nose of Ramesh.
(13) We have material on the record showing that the above part of the prosecution case has been introduced by the investigating officer after he had received the post-mortem report. We have earlier stated that Ramesh had died at 11.30 p.m. Public Witness . 19 deposed that he came to know of the death of Ramesh at about 2 a.m. and he completed the inquest and sent the inquest report to the police surgeon with a request for post-mortem. From the above statement of Public Witness . 19 it is clear that he had conducted the inquest sometime after 2 a.m. we have gone through the inquest report and we find that in the inquest report there is no mention of Public Witness . I having gone back for obtaining more help. There is also no mention regarding the participation of Ramesh alias Babban. According to Public Witness . 19. he had recorded the statements of P.Ws 2 and 4 on going to the spot from the hospital. Public Witness s 2 and 4 in their statements to the police have stated that after Alley had given the kirpan blow Lala Ram had gone back and it was at that time that Babban had come with a kirpan and given blows to Ramesh. Now if Public Witness . 19 had recorded the statements of Public Witness . 2 and 4 'before holding the inquest the fact that Lala Ram had gone back for obtaining more help and in the meantime Babban had come and given blows with a kirpan to Ramesh would have found mention in the inquest report.
(14) The above omission in the inquest report clearly shows that there has been padding and fabrication in the investigation. Public Witness . I in the first report had stated that when Bhogal had thrown challenge to Ramesh and asked him to come out a number of persons had collected and they had intervened and tried to pacify Bhogal and his -companions. He had further stated that when Bhogal and his companions were dragging Ramesh outside he and several other persons including Kailash and Khem Chand had followed and tried to rescue Ramesh Chand. He had further stated that after Alley had given the kirpan blow and Satish lathi blow he and others raised alarm and tried to catch Bhogal and his companions but they escaped.
(15) The above statement made by Public Witness . I before the police gives a lie to the statement made by Public Witness . I in court that he had gone back to the locality for obtaining more help and that when he returned with more people the assailants had run away. According to the statement of Public Witness . I before the police a number of persons had collected when Bhogal had thrown the challenge, in that case there was no question of Public Witness . I going back for obtaining more help.
(16) It seems to us that after obtaining the post-mortem report the investigating officer found that there was number of injuries on the person of the deceased which had remained unexplained by Public Witness . 1. We may notice here that on post-mortem by Dr. Vishnu Kumar Public Witness . 3 two small lacerated wounds, one abrasion and six incised wounds were found on the body of the deceased. The doctor had further found fissured fracture in both temporal and right parental region.
(17) Public Witness . 1 in the statement before the police had attributed only one kirpan blow by Alley and one blow with a lathi by Satish to the deceased. The post-mortem report revealed a number of incised wounds and blunt weapon injuries on the body of the deceased. We find that in the statements of Public Witness s 2 and 4 an attempt has been made to explain all the said injuries.
(18) Public Witness . 2 stated that after his brother was injured by the accused he had felt giddy and gone to the house and he had gone to the hospital at about 10.30 or 11 p.m. We are not satisfied with the truthfulness of the above statement. It seems to us that Public Witness . 2 was not an eye witness and he was made an eye witness later on by the investigating officer. Public Witness . 4 also appears to be as highly interested witness. P.W. 4 admitted that he was living in the house of the deceased.
(19) On the above discussion of the evidence we find that the investigating officer (P.W. 19) had attempted to rope in Ramesh alias Babban and also introduced false evidence. We are not even certain if Public Witness . I had witnessed the occurrence.
(20) In the above view of the evidence we find no ground to interfere with the order of acquittal. The appeal is dismissed.