Allahabad High Court Judgement

Allahabad High Court Judgement

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JUDGEMENT HEADLINE : In The Absence Of Any Evidence, Conviction Cannot Be Based Merely On The Admissions/confession Of Accused Made In The Examination U/s 313 Cr.P.C
JUDGEMENT TITLE : Balmant Vs. State Of U.P. On 23/11/2007 By Allahabad High Court
CASE NO : CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1840 OF 1985
CORAM : Hon'ble Amar Saran,J. And Hon'ble Vijay Kumar Verma,J.

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD

RESERVED

Criminal Appeal No. 1840 Of 1985

Balwant ........................Appellant

Vs.
State Of U.P....................Respondent




Hon. Amar Saran,J.
Hon. Vijay Kumar Verma,J.

(Delivered By Hon. Vijay Kumar Verma,J).

1. Whether An Accused Can Be Convicted Without Any Evidence Merely On The Basis Of His Admissions/confession Made In The Examination Under Section 313 Of The Code Of Criminal Procedure, Is The Main Question For Consideration Before Us In This Appeal, Which Has Been Preferred Against The Judgment And Order Dated 24.09.1984 Passed By The Sessions Judge Moradabad, In S.T. No. 543 Of 1983, Whereby The Appellant-accused Balwant Has Been Convicted And Sentenced To Undergo Imprisonment For Life Under Section 302 IPC.
2. The Appellant Balwant Was Put On Trial For Committing Murder Of His Wife Smt. Ram Pyari In The Intervening Night Of 6/7-05-1983 At About 4.00 A.m. First Information Report Was Lodged At P.S. Asmauli By Imrat S/o Mokhi R/o Akbarpur Gahra On 07.05.1983. The Case Of Prosecution, As Per FIR (Ext. Ka 1), In Brief, Is That When On Hearing The Shriekes From The House Of Balwant On 07.05.1983 At About 4.00 A.m., The First Informant Imarat And Umrao S/o Moli Along With Phool Singh S/o Chhuttan Reached His House, Flashing Torch Light, They Saw That Balwant Was Throttling His Wife Smt. Ram Pyari Sitting On Her Chest And His Children Were Dragging Him With A View To Save Their Mother. On Reaching These Witnesses, Balwant Fled Away From His House. His Wife Ram Pyari Died Instantaneously On The Cot. The First Informant Imrat Went To P.S. Asmauli And Gave Oral Information About The Aforesaid Incident. The Then Constable Clerk Natthu Lal Rastogi Prepared Chik FIR (Ext. Ka 1) And Registered A Case Under Section 302 IPC Against The Appellant Balwant At Crime No. 119/83 On 07.05.1983 At 8.30 A.M. And Made Entry In GD No. 19 (Ext. Ka 5).
3. On Lodging The FIR, Investigation Was Entrusted To S.I. Bharat Singh (P.W.6), Who Went To The Place Of Incident And Conducted Inquest Proceedings On The Dead Body Of Smt. Ram Pyari, During Which Inquest Report (Ext. Ka 7) And Connected Papers (Ext. Ka 8 To Ka 10) Were Prepared And Thereafter, The Dead Body Was Sent In Sealed Condition For Post-mortem Examination, Which Was Conducted By Dr. D.N. Khanna (P.W.5), On 09.05.1983 At 3.30 P.m.. According To The Post-mortem Report (Ext. Ka 4) The Following Ante-mortem Injuries Were Found On The Person Of Deceased:-
1. Ligature Mark 6 Cm. Broad In The Front Of Neck, Below Thyroid Cartilage, Continuous On The Back And Circular. Bruises And Abrasions Present Round About The Ligature Mark. Base Is Ecchymosed.
2. Contusion 2 X 2 Cm. On The Chin 3 Cm. Below The Lower Lip.
3. Bruises And Abrasions Present In An Area Of 3 X 4 Cm. On The Outer Either Side Of Front Of Neck. They Are Clustered Together.

On Internal Examination, Brain & Its Membrances, Larynx, Trachea & Bronchi, Both Lungs, Pleura, Liver And Gall Bladder, Both Kidneys And Spleen Were Found Congested. Neck Muscles And Neck Blood Vessels Were Lacerated And Congested. Clotted Blood Present In The Neck Muscles. Fracture Of Right Hyoid Bone And Right 2-5 Ribs Was Found.
The Death Was Caused Due To Asphyxia As A Result Of Strangulation (manual & By Ligature).
4. During Investigation, Site Plan (Ext. Ka 14 ) Was Prepared By S.I. Bharat Singh, Who Also Prepared Fard Supurdaginama (Ext. Ka 2 And Ext. Ka 3) Of Torches. Rest Investigation Was Carried Out By S.O. Umesh Chandra Mishra, Who After Completion Of The Investigation Submitted Charge-sheet (Ext. Ka 16).
5. On The Case Being Committed To The Court Of Session For Trial, The Appellant Was Charged Under Section 302 IPC Vide Order Dated 31.10.1983. He Pleaded Not Guilty And Claimed To Be Tried.
6. The Prosecution In Order To Prove Its Case Has Examined Six Witnesses In All In This Case. P.W.1 Imrat, P.W.2 Phool Singh, P.W. 3 Umrao Singh And P.W. 4 Kumari Shanti Were Examined As Eye Witnesses Of The Incident Of Committing Murder Of Smt. Ram Pyari By The Accused Balwant, But These Witnesses Have Not Supported The Case Of Prosecution And They All Have Been Declared Hostile. P.W. 5 Dr. D.N. Khana Has Proved Post-mortem Report (Ext Ka 4). P.W.6 S.I. Bharat Singh Has Proved Chik FIR Ext. Ka 1 And Copy Of G.D. Of Registration Of The Case Ext. Ka 5 By Recognizing The Hand Writing And Signature Of The Then Constable Clerk Nathu Lal. He Has Also Proved Inquest Report Ext. Ka 7) And Connected Papers As Mentioned Above. Charge-sheet Ext. Ka 16 Has Also Been Proved By This Witness By Recognizing The Hand Writing And Signature Of S.O. Umesh Chandra Mishra.
7. In His Statement Recorded Under Section 313 Cr.P.C. The Appellant Has Stated That He Committed The Murder Of His Wife Ram Pyari By Pressing Her Neck Sitting On Her Chest, Due To Which She Died Instantaneously. It Is Further Stated By The Accused That The Witnesses Did Not See Any Incident And When Ram Pyari Died, He Fled Away From The Place Of Occurrence.
8. The Learned Trial Court Taking Into Consideration The Confessional Statement Of The Appellant Recorded In The Examination Under Section 313 Cr. P. C. And Other Evidence On Record, Convicted And Sentenced Him As Mentioned In Para 1 Above. Hence This Appeal.
9. Since The Counsel For The Appellant Did Not Appear To Argue, Hence Dr. Abida Sayeed, Advocate, Was Appointed Amicus Curiae Vide Order Dated 30.10.2007. We Have Heard Learned Amicus Curiae For The Appellant And Learned AGA For The Respondent And Also Perused The Entire Evidence On Record Including Impugned Judgment.
10. In This Case, All The Four Alleged Eye Witnesses Examined By The Prosecution Have Turned Hostile And No Other Substantive Evidence To Prove The Complicity Of The Appellant In The Incident Of Murder Of His Wife Smt. Ram Pyari Has Been Produced. The Appellant Has Been Convicted And Sentenced Mainly On The Basis Of His Confessional Statement Recorded In The Examination Under Section 313 Cr. P. C. Therefore, As Mentioned In Para 1 Above Also, The Main Point For Consideration In This Appeal Is, Whether In The Absence Of Any Substantive Incriminating Evidence Against The Accused, Conviction Can Be Based On His Confessional Statement Recorded In The Examination Under Section 313 Cr. P. C.
11. Placing Reliance On The Case Of Omi @ Om Prakash Vs. State Of U.P. 1985 A.Cr.R. 481, It Was Vehemently Contended By Learned Amicus Curiae That Conviction Of The Appellant On The Basis Of His Confessional Statement Recorded In The Examination Under Section 313 Cr. P. C. Is Bad In Law, Because All The Four Alleged Eye Witnesses Namely Imrat, Phool Singh, Umrao Singh And Km. Shanti Have Not Supported The Case Of Prosecution And There Is No Other Substantive Incriminating Evidence Against The Appellant To Prove His Complicity In The Incident Of Murder Of His Wife Smt. Ram Pyari. In This Regard, It Was Contended By Learned Amicus Curiae That The Answers Given By The Accused In His Examination Under Section 313 Cr. P. C. Is Not Evidence Within The Meaning Of Section 3 Of Indian Evidence Act And Conviction Cannot Be Based Merely On Such Answers Containing Admission Of The Guilt By The Accused. It Was Also Submitted By Learned Amicus Curiae That Examination Of The Appellant Made By The Court Below Under Section 313 Cr.P.C. Is Improper, As Certain Circumstances Which Do Not Appeal In The Evidence, Have Also Been Put To The Appellant And Hence Any Statement Made By Him Cannot Be Take In To Consideration For Convicting Him.
12. The Learned AGA Also Fairly Did Not Seriously Dispute Aforesaid Contentions Made By Learned Amicus Curiae.
13. We Have Given Our Thoughtful Consideration To The Above Mentioned Submissions Made By Learned Amicus Curia. We Find Force In These Submissions. As Mentioned Earlier Also, Four Witnesses Namely P.W.1 Imrat,P.W.2 Phool Singh, P.W. 3 Umrao Singh And P.W. 4 Km. Shanti Have Been Examined By The Prosecution In This Case As Eye Witnesses, But All These Witnesses Have Stated In Their Statements That They Did Not See The Accused Balwant Committing Murder Of His Wife. P.W.1 Imrat Had Lodged The FIR Of This Case. He Has Stated That The Report Was Lodged By The Village Pradhan And On His Saying, He Had Put His Thumb Impression On The Report Without Hearing It. All These Witnesses Have Been Declared Hostile. Barring The Testimony Of These Witnesses, There Is No Other Substantive Incriminating Evidence To Establish The Complicity Of The Appellant In The Incident Of Murder Of His Wife. Therefore, In Our Considered View, In The Absence Of Any Substantive Incriminating Evidence To Establish The Complicity Of The Appellant Balwant In The Incident Of Murder Of His Wife, He Cannot Be Convicted Merely On The Basis Of His Confessional Statement Recorded In The Examination Under Section 313 Cr. P. C. This Court Has Held In The Case Of Omi @ Om Prakash Vs. State Of U.P. (supra) That The Statement By Accused Under Section 313 Cr. P. C. Is Quite Different From A Confessional Statement Made Under Section 164 Cr. P. C. The Expression "may Be Taken Into Consideration" Occurring In Section 313 (4) Cr.P.C. Means At All Events That The Statement Made By The Accused Is Not To Have The Force Of Sworn Evidence And A Conviction Based On Such Statement Alone Cannot Be Maintained". It Is Further Held That If The Prosecution Evidence Is Vague And Insufficient, The Court Cannot Supplement It By Such Statement Of Accused By Taking Up Passages From It.
14. The Hon'ble Supreme Court In The Case Of Mohan Singh Vs. Prem Singh And Another AIR 2002 SC 3582 Has Held That The Statement Made By The Accused Under Section 313 Of The Code Of Criminal Procedure Can Certainly Be Taken Aid Of To Lend Credence To The Evidence Led By The Prosecution, But Only A Part Of Such Statement Under Section 313 Of The Code Cannot Be Made The Sole Basis Of His Conviction.
15. In The Case Of Vijendrajit Ayodhya Prasad Goel Vs. State Of Bombey AIR 1953 SC 247, The Hon'ble Supreme Court Has Held That The Statement Recorded Under Section 313 Cr. P. C. Cannot Be Regarded As Evidence And Conviction Of The Accused Cannot Be Based Merely On This Statement.
16. Therefore, Having Regard The Law Laid Down In The Above Mentioned Rulings, In Instant Case Also, The Appellant Could Not Be Convicted For The Murder Of His Wife Merely On The Basis Of Admissions Made In The Answers Given To The Questions Put To Him In The Examination Under Section 313 Cr. P. C., Because There Is No Other Substantive Incriminating Evidence To Establish His Complicity In The Incident Of Murder Of His Wife. Hence, In Our View, The Conviction And Sentence Of The Appellant Is Not In Accordance With Law.
17. From The Statement Of The Appellant Recorded Under Section 313 Cr. P. C., It Is Observed That The Court Below Did Not Formulate Proper Questions. The Question No. 2 Is That "it Has Come In The Evidence That You Pressed The Neck Of Your Wife Ram Pyari Sitting On Her Chest In The Intervening Night 6/7-05-1983 At About 4.00 A.m. Due To Which She Died On The Place Of Incident, What Have You To Say About It". This Question Cannot Be Put To The Accused In His Examination Under Section 313 Cr. P. C., Because There Is No Evidence On Record To Show That The Accused Had Pressed The Neck Of His Wife In Intervening Night Of 6/7-05-1983 At About 4.00 A.m. No Witness Has Stated In His Statement That The Accused Balwant Had Pressed The Neck Of His Wife On The Alleged Date, Time And Place. Therefore, There Was No Occasion For The Court Below To Put Question No. 2 Before The Accused In The Manner As Mentioned Above. Similarly Question No. 3 Also Can Not Be Put In The Manner As It Has Been Formulated, Because The Witnesses Imrat, Phool Singh, Umrao And Kumari Shanti Had Not Seen The Incident As Stated By Them In Their Statements. Only The Incriminating Circumstances Appearing In The Evidence Against The Accused Can Be Put In The Examination Under Section 313 Cr. P. C. If There Is No Incriminating Circumstance Appearing In The Prosecution Evidence To Explain Which The Accused Could Be Examined, His Examination By The Magistrate Or Judge Is Improper And Any Statement Made By Him Cannot Be Taken Into Consideration For Convicting Him. As Mentioned Above, The Court Below Had Put Certain Circumstances In The Examination Of The Appellant Under Section 313 Cr.P.C., Which Did Not At All Appear In The Evidence Led By The Prosecution. That Being So, In Our Considered View, The Examination Of The Appellant Made By The Court Below Is Improper And Hence Any Statement Containing His Admission For Committing The Murder Of His Wife Made By Him In Answers To The Questions Put To Him In The Examination Under Section 313 Cr. P. C. Cannot Be Taken Into Consideration For Convicting Him.
18. Although The Murder Of Smt. Ram Pyari Was Committed In The House Of Appellant, But In Our View, The Appellant Can Not Be Convicted In This Case With The Aid Of Section 106 Of Indian Evidence Act. The Reason For Our Coming To This Conclusion Is That There Is No Reliable Evidence On Record To Show That In The Fateful Light, The Appellant And The Deceased Had Slept Together In The Room In Which Her Murder Was Committed. Although P.W.1 Imrat And P.W. 2 Umrao Singh Have Stated In Their Statements In Cross-examination That Balwant Was Present At His House On The Day Of Incident, But This Evidence Cannot Be Used Against The Appellant, Because This Circumstance Appearing In The Statements Of These Witnesses Was Not Put To Him In His Examination Under Section 313 Cr.P.C. The Law Is Well Settled That If Any Circumstance Appearing In Evidence Has Not Been Put To The Accused At The Time Of His Examination Under Section 313 Cr.P.C, Then The Evidence Regarding That Circumstance Cannot Be Used Against Him. The Hon'ble Apex Court In The Case Of Basava Raj R. Patil & Others Vs. State Of Karnataka & Others 2000 (41) ACC 1013 Has Held That The Circumstance About Which The Accused Was Not Asked To Explanation Cannot Be Used Against Him. Therefore, In Instant Case Also, On The Basis Of Aforesaid Statements Of The Witnesses Imrat And Umrao Singh, It Cannot Be Presumed With The Appellant Balwant And His Wife Smt. Ram Pyari Had Slept Together In The Fateful Night In The Room In Which Her Murder Was Committed. Moreover, P.W.4 Km. Shanti, Who Is The Daughter Of Deceased And Appellant Has Stated In Her Statement That In The Fateful Night Her Mother Had Slept Alone In The Room (kotha) And Her Father Was Not Present At The House On That Day. Therefore, Seeking Aid Of Section 106 Of Indian Evidence Act, The Appellant Cannot Be Deemed To Have Committed Murder Of The Deceased.
19. For The Reasons Mentioned Here-in-above, This Appeal Has To Be Allowed, As The Conviction And Sentence Of The Appellant Merely On The Basis Of His Confessional Statement Made In The Examination Under Section 313 Cr. P. C. Cannot Be Sustained, Being Wholly Illegal. It Is Worthwhile To Mention That Unfortunately The Appellant Has Served Out The Entire Sentence Imposed By The Court Below Vide Impugned Judgment, As Is Evident From The Report Dated 27.10.2007 Of The Chief Judicial Magistrate Moradabad.
20. In The Result, The Appeal Is Allowed. The Conviction And Sentence Of The Appellant -accused Balwant In S.T. No. 543 Of 1983 Are Set Aside And He Is Acquitted Of The Charge Under Section 302 IPC.
Let The Lower Court Record Along With A Copy Of This Judgment Be Returned Expeditiously.

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