Criminal appeal challenging lifer allowed

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 28 Sep 2017 10:48:56

Legal Correspondent,

A DIVISION bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court comprising Chief Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Vijay Kumar Shukla has allowed criminal appeal filed by Ram Sumiran Kevat and others challenging judgement passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Sidhi, in Sessions Trial convicting appellants for an offence under Sections 302 and sentencing them to life imprisonment with fine.

The division bench in its order said that in present case, statement of wife is categorical that the deceased has not taken meal but still semidigested food is found in small intestine create serious doubt on prosecution evidence as the entire prosecution story hinges on the fact that the deceased has not taken food and has gone to fish pond to take care of his fish. The division bench added that the entire prosecution story is surrounded by suspicious circumstances, which does not inspire confidence.

Therefore, since prosecution evidence is unreliable we accept present appeal and grant benefit of doubt to the accused. Accordingly, the appeal stands allowed. The appellants/accused are acquitted of offence under Sections 302 read with Section 149 and Section 148 of IPC.

They be released forthwith, if not required in connection with any other case. Challenge in present appeal is to judgement passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Sidhi, in Sessions Trial convicting appellants for an offence under Sections 302 read with Section 149 and Section 148 of IPC and vide separate order sentencing them to life imprisonment with Rs 300 fine.

The prosecution case was set in motion on statement of Motilal Yadav made to ASI - R N Mishra on July 1, 2004, at about 4.30 am. The statement is that his cousin Gorelal Yadav has a fish pond in Kevatan Mohalla. But, some people belonging to Kevat caste, resident of Kukran Mohalla, used to steal fish. On June 30, 2004, Gorelal went towards the pond to protect fish.

In the meantime, Gorelal raised alarm that he is being beaten by people belonging to Kevat caste. On hearing the alarm raised by Gorelal, he alongwith his family members Munna Yadav, Bhole Yadav, Bhai Lal, Bhaiya Lal Yadav reached the spot, where they saw Ram Sumiran Kevat, Ram Karan Kevat, Motilal Kevat, Ramcharan Kevat, Munna Lala Kevat and Rampal Kevat thrashing Gorelal. They were abusing him and saying that the pond is not just yours. When Munna Yadav and Bhola Yadav intervened, they were also beaten black and blue.

Gorelal was dragged into the house of Rampal and was beaten, due to which he succumbed and dead body was lying in the house. At that time Bhola Yadav, Bhailal, Bhaiyalal and Munnalal were present.

On the basis of such report FIR was lodged. Investigations were started by R N Mishra, ASI. He recovered the body of Gorelal from the house of Rampal. After taking the body in possession vide memo, it was sent for postmortem. He also recorded statements of Bhailal, Keshkali Yadav, Bhailal Yadav, Bhaiyalal Yadav, Bhole Yadav, Munna Lal Yadav and Motilal Yadav. He sent Bhole Yadav and Munna Lal for medical examination. The accused Motilal Kevat, Ramcharan Kevat, Ram Sumiram Kevat and Ramkaran Kevat were investigated on July 2, 2004. On disclosure statement of Ram Sumiran, a wooden plank (Baseda), Ballam from Ramkaran, Lathi from Motilal and Ramcharan were recovered, which were taken into possession vide memos.

Accused Ram Sumiran, Rampal, Motilal, Ramkaran and Ramcharan were arrested on July 2, 2004, whereas accused Munnalal was arrested on September 23, 2004. He took into possession blood stained soil from the field of Ram Sumiran. He prepared a site plan of the site on July 1, 2004. Articles including blood stained soil, wooden lathi recovered from Motilal, Ballam from Ramkaran, wooden plank (Baseda) recovered from Ram Sumiran and lathi recovered from Ramcharan were sent for examination by Forensic Science Laboratory, Sagar. On completion of investigation a report under Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure was filed before the learned Trial Court. The accused denied their guilt and claimed trial.