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In Re: Mandalapu Paddayya and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal;Constitution
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Misc. Petn. No. 1702 of 1950
Judge
Reported inAIR1951Mad329; (1950)2MLJ569
ActsConstitution of India - Article 134(1)
AppellantIn Re: Mandalapu Paddayya and ors.
Advocates:K.S. Jayarama Aiyar and ;K. Kanniah, Advs.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredSupreme Court. In Kapil Deo Singh v. King
Excerpt:
.....in rioting - concerned 10 accused persons proved to be constructively liable for three acts of grievous hurt perpetuated in course of rioting and in pursuance of common intention of unlawful assembly - evidence not sufficient to convict remaining 7 accused persons - concerned 7 accused persons acquitted on basis of benefit of doubt - acquittal of 7 accused persons cannot make convictions of 10 accused persons illegal or invalid - case not fit to be certified for appeal to supreme court. - - 34 purports to be a complaint made to the village munsif by accused 9, one of the petitioners herein, and was not proved satisfactorily to be true, and that its contents were not also put clearly to these petitioners in the lower court, in order to enable them to explain or deny their..........the rioting, while setting aside the convictions of some of them for murder, and actual grievous hurt, rioting armed with deadly weapons, and rioting, is a fit one for appeal to the supreme court. as no conditions under article 134(1)(c) have been framed by this high court, or provisions made by the supreme court regarding this matter under article 146, clause 1, referred to in article 134(1)(c), and as no ruling of the supreme court interpreting article 134(1)(c) has been reported so far, we have to decide this petition on merits, on the facts.2. we have heard mr. jayarama aiyar for the petitioners. his main argument is that though this is a case where we have agreed with the finding of the lower court regarding the partaking of these petitioners in the offence of rioting with the.....
Judgment:

Panchapakesa Ayyar, J.

1. This is a petition filed by accused 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13 and 15 in S.C. No. 60 of 1919 on the file of the Sessions Court, Guntur, for a certificate under Article 134(1)(c), Constitution of India, that our decision in R. T. No. 47 of 1950 and Cr. App. Nos. 139, 140, 141 and 183 of 1950 confirming their convictions under Section 147, Penal Code, and Sections 325 and 149, Penal Code for rioting and three counts of constructive grievous hurt caused, to three persons during the rioting, while setting aside the convictions of some of them for murder, and actual grievous hurt, rioting armed with deadly weapons, and rioting, is a fit one for appeal to the Supreme Court. As no conditions under Article 134(1)(c) have been framed by this High Court, or provisions made by the Supreme Court regarding this matter under Article 146, Clause 1, referred to in Article 134(1)(c), and as no ruling of the Supreme Court interpreting Article 134(1)(c) has been reported so far, we have to decide this petition on merits, on the facts.

2. We have heard Mr. Jayarama Aiyar for the petitioners. His main argument is that though this is a case where we have agreed with the finding of the lower Court regarding the partaking of these petitioners in the offence of rioting with the common unlawful object of causing grievous hurt and have only set aside the convictions for murder and the actual causing of grievous hurt, owing to our giving the convicted accused the benefit of the doubt, still the identification of these ten persons as having been among the rioters at that occurrence has not been satisfactorily made out, though it is a vital matter affecting the convictions. It was urged that in our judgment confirming the convictions of these ten petitioners under Section 147, Penal Code and under Section 325 and 149 on three counts we had relied mainly on EX. P-34 a report sent by accused 4 (acquitted by us) in his capacity as a village munsif, that Ex. P.34 purports to be a complaint made to the village munsif by accused 9, one of the petitioners herein, and was not proved satisfactorily to be true, and that its contents were not also put clearly to these petitioners in the lower Court, in order to enable them to explain or deny their presence at the rioting therein, the report itself purporting to he a complaint in the counter case and naming these ten petitioners as merely witnesses to the rioting and not as participants in it.

3. All this argument is based on a misconception about our judgment. We did not rely on Ex. P-34 for convicting any of the petitioners of the offences of rioting and constructive grievous hurt, which we confirmed. We relied on the evidence of the prosecution witnesses alone for that. After believing that evidence, and holding it to be sufficient regarding the offences we confirmed, we held that it was not quite sufficient to bring home the murder charge to accused 6, 9,15 and 16, who had been convicted under Section 302, Penal Code, and sentenced to death, or the charges under Sections 302 and 149, Penal Code to accused 1, 3, 4 and 10 who had been convicted thereunder and sentenced to transportation for life, or the charges of individual acts of grievous hurt to accused 1, 3, 4, 7, 11, 14, 16 and 18 regarding whom the prosecution evidence was not enough to sustain the convictions, and the benefit of the doubt had to be given to them under the law, as urged by Mr. Jayarama Aiyar himself in the course of his arguments before us in those cases. We referred to Ex. p-34, as Mr. Jayarama Iyer had argued before us, after his general argument about benefit of doubt regarding the individual acts, that, at the most, only accused 1, 2, (5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13 and 15 (these ten petitioners), admitted to have been present at the occurrence in EX. p. 34, should be held to have taken part in the rioting that night and convicted under Section 147, Penal Code, the other seven accused not being proved to be guilty of any offence, and that even these ten accused were not proved to be guilty of any other offence We also referred to EX. p-34 as affording some little confirmation of our conclusion, based on the prosecution evidence, of the guilt of the persons whose convictions we confirmed, read with the injuries on accused 1 and 9 showing that these were not mere spectators of the rioting, as pretended in Ex. P. 34, but actual participants in it. We have stated all this in the course of our judgment. We have also stated;

'It is our opinion, after going through the entire evidence carefully, and after hearing the learned counsel on both sides, that the individual acts of beating of the deceased, and of P. Ws. 3, 7, and 10 are not proved to have been by any particular accused.'

It is for that reason we gave those accused the benefit of the doubt regarding the convictions for murder and the individual acts of grievous hurt etc. We have added:

'Undoubtedly, the deceased was given by the above ten accused several blows with sticks and succumbed as a result of all these blows. Undoubtedly also, P. W. 10, suffered very grievous injury, by one eye being put out and the other eye too being put out of action practically. P. W. 7 also sustained a grievous hurt. But, even though these crimes are atrocious, we cannot, on the evidence, hold that any particular accused was responsible for the individual acts.' This conclusion we came to, because of the difficulty of the prosecution witnesses in identifying each accused who dealt with a particular blow on each of those victims, in the state of darkness which prevailed then. The state of darkness need not have prevented their identifying these ten petitioners, whom they knew well before, as having been among the rioters. We had not the slightest doubt that all these ten accused were satisfactorily proved by the prosecution evidence to have taken part in the rioting and to be constructively liable for the three acts of grievous hurt which were perpetrated in the course of the rioting and in pursuance of the common intention of the unlawful assembly, We have discussed the prosecution evidence against each of the 17 accused in detail before arriving at our decision. The fact that we found the evidence to be not quite sufficient to convict seven of the accused, whom we acquitted by giving them the benefit of the doubt, cannot, under our law, make the convictions of these ten petitioners, regarding whom the evidence was quite sufficient, illegal or invalid, as urged by Mr. Jayarama Aiyar. We cannot, therefore, certify this case to be a fife one for appeal to the Supreme Court.

4. There are no reported cases of the Supreme Court under Article 184(1)(c). But there are plenty of cases under Section 109(c), Civil P. C. where the clause 'is certified to be a fife one for appeal to His Majesty in Council' has been authoritatively interpreted by the Privy Council and the Federal Court. The same interpretation will, in our opinion, apply to Article 184(1)(c), Constitution of India, till it is authoritatively held otherwise. The Privy Council has held in Banarsi Prasad v. Kashikrishna Narain, 5 C. W. N. 193: 23 ALL. 227 that the clause is clearly intended to meet special cases of great public or private importance; in Radhakrishna v. Swaminatha Iyer, 25 C. W. N. 630: A. I. R. 1921 25 that it is of the utmost importance that a certificate should show clearly upon what ground it is based; and in Ernest Hugh Canning v. Soobran Partab A. I. R. 1941106: 197 I. C. 118 that a case in which no legal principle is involved and in which there are concurrent findings of fact by the lower Court does not warrant the grant of a certificate that it is a fit case for appeal. The Federal Court has accepted all these principles in Moolji Jaitha & Co. v. Khandesh Spinning and Weaving Mills Ltd., 1950 S. C. J. 51: A. I. R 1950 83. No rules under Article 145(1)(c), Constitution of India, appear to have been made by the Supreme Court. In Kapil Deo Singh v. King, 1950 M. W. N. Crl. 83: A. I. R. 1950 , cited by Mr. Jayarama Aiyar himself, the Federal Court, has, following similar Privy Council rulings, held that it will not interfere with the course of justice in criminal cases in the free fashion of a fully constituted Court of Criminal Appeal, and that it will interfere only where it is shown that injustice of a serious and substantial character has occurred. The same ruling will, obviously, apply to the Supreme Court, which has taken the placeof the Federal Court now. It is impossible for us to say that this is a special case, orone of great public or private importance orthat 'injustice of a serious and substantialcharacter' has occurred to any one of the tenpetitioners by our decision, in other words, thatit is a fit case for appeal. This petition, therefore,deserves to be and is hereby dismissed.


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