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Prempal and Ors. Vs. State - (High Court of Allahabad) (03 Jan 2019)

Deposition of an injured witness should be relied upon unless there are strong grounds for rejection of his evidence



In present matter, FIR was lodged under Sections 323, 324 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) against four persons alleging that, on 18th February, 1985, they alongwith two other persons assaulted victims by lathi-danda and 'farsa' and caused them injuries. After investigation, charge sheet was submitted against Prempal, Rampal, Bashir and Hukam Singh. Cognizance was taken by the Court concerned. Charges were framed under Sections 323 read with 34 of IPC, 324 read with Section 34 of IPC and 325 read with section 34 of IPC. Accused persons pleaded not guilty and claimed to be tried.

Statements of accused were recorded under Section 313 of Code of Criminal procedure, 1973 (CrPC). They denied offence and contended that they have been falsely implicated on account of enmity but did not adduce any oral evidence. Impugned judgment was passed convicting Prempal, Rampal, Bashir and Hukam Singh under Sections 323 read with Section 34 and 324 read with Section 34 of IPC and sentencing. Against judgment, Criminal Appeal was filed which was dismissed by the Ist Additional Sessions Judge, vide judgment. Hence, present revision.

In the case of Jarnail Singh vs. State of Punjab, it was held that, deposition of an injured witness should be relied upon unless there are strong grounds for rejection of his evidence on the basis of major contradictions and discrepancies for the reason that his presence on the scene stands established in the case and it is proved that he suffered the injuries during the said incident. Further, in the case of Maqsoodan vs. State of U.P., it was held that presence of the injured witnesses at the time and place of the occurrence cannot be doubted as they had received injuries during the course of the incident and they should normally be not disbelieved.

Both injured witnesses categorically stated that, Prempal with 'farsa'(sharp-edged weapon) and Rampal, Bashir and Hukam Singh with sticks(lathi-danda-hard & blunt object) assaulted injured persons at the date, time and place mentioned in the FIR. The evidence of injured persons have been corroborated by the statement of doctor, entry in G.D., statement of P.W. 3 and injury reports. Hence, case against revisionists Prempal and Rampal is proved without reasonable doubt under section 323 read with 34 of IPC and section 324 read with 34 of IPC.

In the case of Lallu Manjhi & Another vs. State of Jharkhand, the Supreme Court has held that, "The Law of Evidence does not require any particular number of witnesses to be examined in proof of a given fact. However, faced with the testimony of a single witness, the Court may classify the oral testimony into three categories, namely (i) wholly reliable, (ii) wholly unreliable, and (iii) neither wholly reliable nor wholly unreliable. In the first two categories there may be no difficulty in accepting or discarding the testimony of the single witness. The difficulty arises in the third category of cases. The court has to be circumspect and has to look for corroboration in material particulars by reliable testimony, direct or circumstantial, before acting upon testimony of a single witness."

The testimony of witnesses P.W. 1 Shankar Singh and P.W.-2 Jagdish are "wholly reliable" and are also corroborated by medical evidence as well as other documentary evidence produced by the prosecution. On the point of conviction, revision dismissed. The revision is dismissed in respect of revisionist no. 1 Prempal and revision in respect of revisionist No. 2 Rampal is partly allowed.

Relevant : Lallu Manjhi & Another vs. State of Jharkhand MANU/SC/0004/2003, Jarnail Singh vs. State of Punjab, MANU/SC/1584/2009, Maqsoodan vs. State of U.P., MANU/SC/0083/1982


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