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Manjeet Kaur Vs. State - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Revision Appeal No. 81 of 1984
Judge
Reported in27(1985)DLT31
ActsIndian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 - Sections 302/304
AppellantManjeet Kaur
RespondentState
Advocates: O.N. Vohra,; S.T. Singh and; R.D. Mehra, Advs
Cases Referred and Union of India v. Profulla Kumar and
Excerpt:
- - it is now well settled that while framing charge, the court has not to come to any tentative view that the material gathered would or was likely to result in conviction. all that has to be seen is that there is strong suspicion pointing to the involvement of the accused in the crime. at this stage even a very strong suspicion founded upon materials before the court, which leads him to form a presumptive opinion as to the existence of the factual ingredients constituting the offence alleged, may justify the framing of charges against the accused in respect of the commission of that offence......and her husband h.s. suri were directed to be charged under section 302/34 jpc for the murder of arun kumar gupta on the night between 26th and 27th august, 1982. the charge was framed on 12-3-1984.(2) the background of the prosecution case is that arun kumar gupta was having a factory at shahdara, and manufacturing copper and super enamel wires. he had got some machines installed there, which were not working properly and as such he engaged the services of h.s. suri for their rectification and putting them in order. an amount of rs. 50,000.00 was said to have been paid to him for this purpose. h.s. suri had a similar factory of his own in partnership with others. h.s. suri was, however, able to set right two of the machines, while the third did not still operate properly. in the.....
Judgment:

D.R. Khanna, J.

(1) This criminal revision by Smt Manjit Kaur is directed against an order dated 5-3-1984 of Sh. P.L. Singla, Additional Sessions Judge whereby she and her husband H.S. Suri were directed to be charged under Section 302/34 Jpc for the murder of Arun Kumar Gupta on the night between 26th and 27th August, 1982. The charge was framed on 12-3-1984.

(2) The background of the prosecution case is that Arun Kumar Gupta was having a factory at Shahdara, and manufacturing copper and super enamel wires. He had got some machines installed there, which were not working properly and as such he engaged the services of H.S. Suri for their rectification and putting them in order. An amount of Rs. 50,000.00 was said to have been paid to him for this purpose. H.S. Suri had a similar factory of his own in partnership with others. H.S. Suri was, however, able to set right two of the machines, while the third did not still operate properly. In the meanwhile Arun Kumar Gupta decided to dispose of the factory along with the machinery.

(3) On the morning of 26-8-1982, Arun Kumar Gupta left his house in Lajpat Nagar in his fiat car No. Brq 6465. Generally he used to have a driver, but on that date in the absence of the driver he himself drove the car to the factory. He, however, did not return back home till about 10.30 P.M., and, thereforee, his wife Mrs. Lily Gupta worried. She, thereforee, in another car driven by the driver, went to the factory of her husband, but did not find him there. It was then about 11.30 P.M. When she was returning from there, she crossed a car driven by H.S. Suri, and that car happened to be the same which belonged to her husband, and in which he had gone to the factory in the morning. She then went behind the car and contacted H.S. Suri. The latter told her that Arun Kumar Gupta's car had developed a defect and as such he had taken H.S. Suri's car about half an hour earlier, and must have by then reached his house. Lily Gupta went back home, but still did not find her husband there. She, thereforee, felt perturbed and went to the house of H.S. Suri in Vivek Vihar. There she found the Ambassador car of H.S. Suri standing there. It was in this car in which Arun Kumar Gupta was said to have gone leaving behind his fiat car with H.S. Suri when it had developed defect. Lily Gupta pressed the bell of the house of H.S. Suri. From there Manjit Kaur, wife of H.S. Suri looked out from a window, and when enquired about H.S. Suri, and that she had met him on the way in the car as aforesaid, Manjit Kaur replied curtly that she seemed to be mistaking that she had seen H.S. Suri in the car of Arun Kumar Gupta, Finding no clue about her husband from there, Lily Gupta went around in search of him, and then at about 3 or 3.15 A.M. found his fiat car lying abandoned near Loni Road. Its doors were lying open and the files scattered therein. She then contacted the police, and from there a police officer went with her to the house of H.S. Suri. However, there they found the house looked, and the Ambassador car of H.S. Suri which was earlier standing there, missing. The police officer then tried to look into the house with a ladder which he managed to obtain, and jumped in. It was then found that in the bed room of H.S. Suri's house, the dead body of Arun Kumar Gupta was lying in blood. He had been shot dead. Both H.S. Suri and his wife Manjeet Kaur were missing. It was then 4.45 A.M.

(4) Further investigation proceeded, and ultimately H.S. Suri surrendered in court on 1-9-1982. He was taken into custody and his interrogation and statement resulted in the recovery of his pistol from his factory on the same day. The examination of this pistol by the Forensic Laboratory revealed that the shot which had killed Arun Kumar Gupta had been fired from the same.

(5) The police investigation had also revealed that H.S. Suri had stayed at Haryana Tourist Complex in Samalka under an assumed name of K.G. Sehgal from 27-8-1984 onward for three-four days.

(6) The police was also in look out for H.S. Suri's wife Manjit Kaur, but she was not traceable. In the meanwhile the police submitted challan in the court under section 302/34 Indian Penal Code against both H.S. Suri and Manjit Kaur, and it was mentioned that Manjit Kaur was absconding. A charge under Section 302/34 Indian Penal Code was framed by the Session court on 3-5-1983, and the case was adjourned for recording of evidence from 13th to 16th July, 1983. The evidence, however, was not recorded on these dates as the counsel for the accused obtained adjournment from the court. This according to the complainant's counsel was without notice to him although the complainant was in those proceedings being represented by a counsel. The case was then fixed for evidence from 6th September to 9th September, 1983. However, three days before the start of evidence, Manjit Kaur surrendered on 3-9-1983 with the result that the evidence again could not be recorded. A supplementary challan was filed, and arguments on the propriety of framing of charge against Manjit Kaur were heard. It was then that the impugned order dated 5-3-1984 was made, and the charge framed on 12-3-1984 against both the accused under Section 302/34 Indian Penal Code .

(7) In this revision, Mr. 0.N. Vohra appearing on behalf of the petitioner, has vigorously contended that there is no material collected by the investigation which can justify the framing of charge against the petitioner, and that simply because she happens to be the wife of H.S. Suri, should not lead to any inference that she had any complicity in the crime. Her being absconding for long, it has been urged, could not be taken as an adverse circumstance.

(8) I have heard the parties and given my due consideration to all the 'circumstances. At this stage of the framing of charge, the allegations made and the evidence collected by the prosecution have only to be parse taken into account. The possible defense that the accused may later put up is not open to purview. It is now well settled that while framing charge, the court has not to come to any tentative view that the material gathered would or was likely to result in conviction. All that has to be seen is that there is strong suspicion pointing to the involvement of the accused in the crime. Thus in the case of Superintendent & Remembrance of Legal Affairs, West Bengal v. Anil Kumar and others 1980 SC 52, it was observed that the standard test, proof and judgment which is to be applied finally before finding the accused guilty or otherwise is not exactly to be applied at the stage of Sections 227 or 228 Cr.P.C. At this stage even a very strong suspicion founded upon materials before the court, which leads him to form a presumptive opinion as to the existence of the factual ingredients constituting the offence alleged, may justify the framing of charges against the accused in respect of the commission of that offence. Similar has been the view taken in a number of other decision reported as State of Karnataka v. L. Maniswamy and others 1977 Cr. L.J. 1125 and Sati Kanla Cuha and another v .State of West Bengal. 1977Cr.L.J. 1664, State of Bihar v. Ramesh Singh 1977 SC 2018, and Union of India v. Profulla Kumar and another 1979 Cr.L.J. 154.

(9) With this background of the allegations made against the petitioner, and the position of law, I have perused the order of the learned trial court, and I find that there are no circumstances which should call for interference in the framing of the charge against the petitioner. The circumstances collected against this petitioner are that she and her husband H.S. Suri have been residing in the same house, and were there when the dead body of Arun Kumar Gupta was lying there. This is prima facie brought out from the post-mortem report which opined that the death had taken place at around 12 mid-night. It was thereafter that Lily Gupta had gone to the house of the accused, and enquired about her husband. Another circumstance on which the prosecution relies is that she tended to mislead Mrs. Lily Gupta by saying that she appeared to be mistaking that she had found H.S. Suri driving Arun Kumar Gupta's car that night. Then there has been a long disappearance of the petitioner. The learned trial court has taken these circumstances as prima facie involvement of the petitioner in the crime, and I do not think that the overall assessment is such which should call for interference in this criminal revision. The abrupt locking the house and leaving that very night when the dead body was lying in the bed room of accused, and when they were being enquired about the whereabouts of the deceased by his wife, the concealment of the crime by representing that she or her husband had not met or seen the deceased, are circumstances which cannot be lightly ignored. I have, thereforee, little hesitation in rejecting the same.

(10) I find that the trial court in this case has been delayed for too long. Let the trial proceed as expeditiously as possible.

(11) Before concluding I may mention that nothing in this order would be considered as an expression of opinion on the merits which the parties may later establish in the trial. Only a prima facie view of the allegations made per se has been taken.


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