Topic: Pedda Narayana & Ors vs State Of Andhra Pradesh - FIR

Pedda Narayana & Ors vs State Of Andhra Pradesh
Equivalent citations: 1975 AIR 1252, 1975 SCR 84 - Bench: Fazalali, S Murtaza -
CITATION: 1975 AIR 1252    / 1975 SCR 84 /1975 SCC (4) 153 - CITATOR INFO : RF     1986 SC 250     (39)/R     1991 SC1853     (8) / D     1992 SC 49     (15) / R     1992 SC 891     (15) - DATE OF JUDGMENT: 08/04/1975


Evidence-Appreciation    of-Omission of     details in First and Inquest Report-Effect of-Code of Criminal Procedure (Act 5 of 1898) s. 174-Scope of.


The first accused borrowed money from the deceased and as the money was not repaid the deceased filed a suit against him. Angered by being drawn into litigation, A. 1 to A. 3 and three others came upon the deceased in a jeep driven by A. 4, and A. 1 to A. 3 getting down from the jeep stabbed the deceased with daggers and while the deceased was falling down carried him away in the jeep. The companion of     the deceased at the time when the occurrence took place gave the first information to    the police. Three days after     the incident the dead body was recovered, and inquest was held. The four accused were charged with offences of     murder     and kidnapping, but the trial court acquitted them for     the reasons     : (i) the First Information did not    contain     the overt acts attributed to each of the accused; (ii) details of the overt acts were not mentioned in the Inquest Report and therefore it must be inferred that the eye witnesses did not mention the overt acts to the police; (iii) there was no reliable evidence identifying the dead body, and (iv)     the motive was not sufficient to impel the accused to murder the deceased.

On appeal the High Court convicted A. 1 to A. 3 for offences tinder s. 302 read with ss. 34 and 148 and under s. 364 read with s. 34 I.P.C.- A. 4 was convicted under s. 302 read with s. 149 and under s. 364 read with s.-34, I.P.C. Dismissing the     appeal to this Court of A. 1 to A. 3     and allowing that of A. 4,

HELD : The High Court rightly believed the evidence of     the prosecution witnesses and there was no error in its approach to the case. [91 A-B].

(1) The witness who gave the first information must    have been extremely     perturbed having seen the attack on     his companion. Even so, all the essential details which a first information should contain are there.     The names of     the accused     and the circumstances of the murderous assault     are mentioned. Shorn of    minute    detail    the broad picture presented by the prosecution was mentioned in the first information which was lodged soon after the occurrence. it is neither customary nor necessary to mention every minute detail in the first information. [88 A-C]

(2) The object of the inquest proceedings under s. 174     Cr. P.C. is merely to ascertain whether a person has died under suspicious circumstances or whether    it was     a case of unnatural death, and if so, what was the apparent cause of death.     The question regarding the details as to how     the deceased was assaulted or who assaulted him or     under    what circumstances is foreign to the proceedings.     Therefore, neither     in practice nor in law was it     necessary for     the police    to have mentioned details of all the overt acts of the accused in the inquest report. From such     absence of details     in the inquest report it was wrong to presume    that the witnesses    did not mention the details to     the police during investigation. [89 C-E]

(3) The dead body was identifiable and was identified by the son of the deceased, the witness who gave the first information and a co-villager. [90 E]


(4) Various persons react to circumstances in different ways and it is difficult to say when a motive would be sufficient for a crime. Moreover,     in view of     the independent testimony of eye witnesses, whom the High Court has believed the question of motive become academic. [90G- H].

(5) This is not a case where two views are possible.     The only possible view is that taken by the High Court and     the High Court rightly reversed the acquittal under s. 417     Cr. P. C. [91 C-D].

6(a) The medical evidence showes that the deceased must have died before the body was put in the jeep and so the charge of kidnapping fails. [91D-E].

(b) As regards A. 4 there is no reliable evidence to prove actual    complicity in the murder. He is a young boy of 18 engaged as a driver. His name is not mentioned in the first information to the police as having taken any part in     the assault. [91 H].

(c) Therefore,     he could not be convicted for    murder.     He could be guilty of the offence under s. 201 I. P. C. but he was acquitted of that charge by the trial court. The    High Court had not convicted him under that section and no appeal against his acquittal has been filed in this Court and hence he could not be convicted of that offence either. [92 C-D].


CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Criminal Appeal No. 92 of 1971.

From the Judgment and Order dated the 31st December, 1970 of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in Criminal Appeal No. 868 of 1969.

P. Basi Reddy and G. Narayanarao, for the appellants. P. Rama Reddy and P. P. Rao, for the respondent. The Judgment of the Court was delivered by FAZAL ALI, J.-Appellants A-1 to A-3 have been convicted under s. 302 read with s. 34 I.P.C. as also under s.     148 I.P.C. They are also convicted under S. 364 read with s. 34 I.P.C.    A-1 to A-3 have been sentenced to imprisonment     for life under s. 302 read with S. 34 and A-4 has been awarded the same sentence under s. 302 read with s. 149 I.P.C. Under s 364 read with s. 34 the four appellants have been awarded five years rigorous imprisonment each. In view of     the sentences passed, no separate sentence was imposed under ss. 147 and 148 I. P. C. The accused had been acquitted by     the Additional Sessions Judge, Anantpur, in the State of Andhra Pradesh. On appeal against acquittal filed by the State before    the High Court of Andhra Pradesh, the     appeal     was allowed     and the appellants A-1 to A-4 were convicted     and sentenced as mentioned above.    Against     these    convictions, the present appellants have preferred this appeal to    this Court.     As the High Court had awarded the sentence of    life imprisonment after reversing the order of acquittal passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, the appeal to the Supreme Court lies even on facts and as a matter of right under s. 2 of the     Supreme Court (Enlargement of     Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction) Act, 1970.

The prosecution case may conveniently be divided into    four separate parts-Part-I constitutes the immediate motive     for the murder


of the     deceased; Part 11 relates, to     the visit of     the deceased to Anantpur where he was shadowed and threatened and forms the genesis of the occurrence; Part III consists of the actual murderous assault on the deceased resulting in his death and the last part-Part IV-relates to the recovery of the dead body three days after the occurrence. This is rather    an unfortunate case where the appellants sought to hit upon a preconceived plan to do away with the life of the deceased animated by rancor and hatred resulting    from the act of the deceased in embroiling the accused in a litigation over a monetary transaction.

In order to understand the    case put forward by     the prosecution it may be necessary to give briefly a resume of the four stages of-. the prosecution case. Part-I.     The story of the prosecution begins with,     the purchase of a jeep by A-1 and his brother being jeep    No. A.I.A.     2781    from one Kona     Rama Subbareddi for a consideration of Rs.    6,000/-. In order to meet     the consideration of the jeep A-1 and his brother had borrowed a sum of Rs. 6,900/- on April 18, 1964 from the deceased after executing a promissory note in his favour. As     this money was not paid by A-1 to the deceased, the deceased brought a suit in the Court of the Subordinate Judge, Anantpur     for realisation of the amount. Some time in the year 1969     A-1 filed an Insolvency Petition before the Subordinate Judge showin-     his debts to the tune o@ Rs. 1,96,000/-. The    suit filed by the deceased was posted on February 6, 1969     for evidence to be given by A-1 and this appears to have    been the immediate provocation and occasion- for planning     the murder of the deceased by the appellants.

Part-II. In view of the fact that the suit was posted to February 6, 1969 the deceased along with P. W.     1-who    will hereafter be referred to as Chinna-proceeded to Anantpur on February 5, 1969 and reached there at 8-30 P.M. It is    said that while P.W. 1 China and the deceased were alighting from the bus they saw A-1, A-2 and A-4 sitting in the jeep    near the petrol pump which is situated near the bus-stand. Chinna    and the deceased then went to the house of N. Narayana Rao, P.W. 20 who was their counsel and stayed there for the night.     On the next day i.e. February 6, 1969     the suit was adjourned and after the adjournment of the    case Chinna    and the deceased went to the place where they    were staying     and on the way some persons    with big mustaches appear    to have threatened them. Chinna, however, did     not take the threat seriously and proceeded to his destination. Part-III. On the night of February 6, 1969 the deceased and Chinna went to witness a picture called "Tenali Ramakrishna" in Raghuveera    Talkies     and it is said     that some of     the accused     had also followed the deceased and went to see     the cinema    show. After returning from the picture, while     the two persons namely Chinna and the deceased were proceeding south to north and had covered 20 feet from the hotel where they had taken their food, suddenly a jeep came and stopped near the deceased. According to the prosecution A-1 to A-3 87

got down from the jeep along with three other strangers     and surrounded the     deceased. Chinna was about one bara    away from the deceased. Thereafter A-2 stabbed the deceased with a dagger on his stomach and A-1 stabbed him on the left side of the chest and when the deceased was about to fall A-3 is said to have stabbed the deceased with a dagger on his    left knee.    When Chinna P.W. I wanted to intervene he     was threatened by the three stranger-who were armed With daggers and was pushed aside     by those strangers.     Before     the deceased could fall down on the ground he was put into the jeep and carried away.

Part-IV. On February 9, 1969 P.W. 16 and the Inspector of Tadipatri Went to Cherlepalli for     the purpose     of investigation where P.W. 16 received information that a dead body was lying near the Railway gate at Taticherla.    The, police    party proceeded to that place and found a dead    body lying on its back with injuries on the body. The body    was, however, in a bloated condition. Subsequently.proceedings for inquest under s. 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure were taken and after the usual investigation a    charge-sheet was submitted against the appellants. We might mention here that the F.I.R. in the case was lodged by P.W. I Chinna on February 6, 1969 before the     Sub-Inspector    of Police, Anantpur Police Station and is Ext. P-1 in the case. The learned Additional Sessions Judge after consideration of the evidence produced     before him acquitted    the accused without     considering,, the intrinsic merits of the evidence produced before him on purely general grounds and what he called    inherent improbabilities arising out of the case. The High Court in appeal against the acquittal of     the accused found that the learned Additional Sessions Judge was not at all justified in acquitting the accused and that     the reasons     given    by him were wholly untenable    in law     and accordingly the High Court reversed tile order of acquittal and convicted    A-1 to     A-4. The acquittal of A-5    was, however, upheld by the High Court and we are not concerned with him in this appeal.

The learned counsel appearing for the appellants tried to support     the judgment of the learned Additional Sessions Judge and pointed out a number of    circumstances which according to him cast a serious doubt on the veracity of the prosecution case. In the first place, it was    argued    that the learned Additional Sessions Judge rightly held that as the F.I.R. did not contain the overt acts attributed to each of the accused, the story of the prosecution must be held to be an after-thought. Dealing with this aspect of the matter the High Court pointed out that the F.I.R. was lodged    soon after the occurrence    and there was no occasion for     the informant to have mentioned all the material particulars in the F.     I. R. which had to be narrated and proved at     the trial.     We find ourselves in complete agreement with     the reasons     given by the High Court. In fact we find from     the perusal of Ext.     P1 that all the essential details that     the F.I.R.    should contain are given there.     The names of the accused are clearly mentioned, the circumstances leading to the murderous assault on the deceased Linganna have 88

been set out.    It has also been mentioned that the accused got down from     the jeep along     with three strangers     and stabbed the deceased and then carried him away in the jeep. It is    also mentioned that the occurrence had    taken place because     the deceased had filed a civil suit    against     A-1 which constituted the motive for the, murder. Thus shorn of minutes     detail the    broad picture    presented by     the prosecution was undoubtedly revealed in the F.I.R. which was lodged    very soon after the occurrence.     In our opinion, it is neither, customary not necessary to mention every minute detail    in the F.I.R. Chinna P.W.1 must have been extremely perturbed because the deceased Linganna had been suddenly attacked by a number of assailants and his body was carried away.    It is in that state of mental agony that he was     not able to give    further     details in the F.I.R. We    are, therefore, clearly of the opinion that the reasons given by the learned Additional Sessions Judge     for rejecting     the prosecution case are wholly untenable in law. Another point taken by the learned Additional Sessions Judge was that in the inquest report details of the    overt acts' committed by the various accused have not been mentioned in the relevant column. The learned Judge in fact has assumed without     any legal justification that because    the details were not mentioned in the requisite column of    the inquest report,     therefore, the presumption will be that the     eye witnesses did not mention the overt acts in their statements before    the police. To begin with it seems to us that     the learned Additional Session Judges" approach     is legally erroneous. A statement recorded by the police during     the investigation,    is not     at all admissible and     the proper procedure is     to confront    the witnesses     with     the contradictions    when they are examined and then ask     the Investigating Officer regarding those contradictions.    This does not appear to have done in this case. Further more, proceedings for inquest under s. 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure have     a very limited scope. Section 174 of     the Code as it then stood read as follows :

"174. Police to enquire and     report     on suicide. etc.

(1) The     officer in charge of a police station or some other police officer specially empowered     by the State    Government in

that behalf, on receiving information that a person-

(a) has committed suicide; or

(b) has     been killed by another, or by an animal, or by machinery, or by an accident; or (c) has     died under circumstances raising a reasonable suspicion that some other person has committed an offence; shall     immediately give intimation     thereof to the nearest Magistrate empowered to hold inquests,    and, unless otherwise directed by     any    rule prescribed by the State Government, or by any general or special order of the    District or Sub divisional Magistrate, shall     proceed to the place where the body of such deceased person is and there, in the presence of two or more respectable inhabitants     of     the neighborhood, shall make an investigation     and draw up a report


of the apparent cause of death, describing such wounds, fractures,     bruises and other marks of injury as may be found on the body, and stating in what manner, or by what weapon or instrument (if any) such marks appear to have been inflicted.

(2) * * *     *

(3) When there is any doubt regarding     the cause of death, or when for any other reason the police officer considers it expedient so to do, he shall, subject to such rules as     the State Government may prescribe in this behalf, forward the body, with a view to its being examined,     to the nearest Civil Surgeon; or other qualified medical man appointed in    this behalf by the State Government, if the state of the weather and the distance admit of    its, being so     forwarded without risk of    such putrefaction on the road as would render    such examination useless."

A perusal of this provision would clearly show that     the object    or the     proceedings under s.     174 is merely to ascertain whether a person has died under     suspicious circumstances or an unnatural death and if so what is     the apparent cause     of the death.    The question regarding     the details     as to bow the deceased was assaulted or     who assaulted him or under what circumstances he was assaulted appears     to us to be foreign to the ambit and scope of     the proceedings under s. 174.     In these circumstances, therefore, neither in practice nor in law was it necessary for the police to have mentioned these details in     the inquest     report. The High Court has adverted to this point and has rightly pointed out as follows

"The learned Sessions Judge bad    also stated that the details regarding the weapons armed by each of the accused and which accused     had attacked    on which part of the body of     the deceased    are not found in the inquest report and from this he sought to draw the inference that the statements of the witness now, found recorded under section 161 Cr. P.C. could not have been the statements then read over to the panchayatdars. Column 9 of the inquest report shows that the injuries on the deceased    were caused by knives and daggers. Column 11     (a) shows that Al to A3,    A4 and     A5 with 3 strangers     came in the jeep driven by A4,     got down the     jeep,    stabbed     the deceased    with daggers and knives, pushed P.W. 1, lifted     the deceased, put him in the jeep, and drove' away the jeep     and death was the result of     the injuries inflicted. The object of holding any inquest as can    be seen from    Section 174 Cr.P.C. is to find whether a person died a natural death, or a homicidal death or due to suicide. It was therefore not necessary to enter all the details of the overt-acts in the inquest report. From the mere fact that these details were not noted in the inquest report it cannot be concluded that the statements given by the witnesses and read over at


the inquest did not contain those overt-acts and the statements now produced are those of the witnesses which were taken later."

The High Court has thus rightly explained that the omissions in the     inquest report are not sufficient to put     the prosecution out of Court and     the learned    Additional Sessions Judge     was not at all justified in rejecting     the prosecution case in view of this alleged infirmity. The learned Additional Sessions Judge was- also of     the opinion that there was no reliable evidence to identify     the dead body of the deceased Linganna and on that     ground     the prosecution case could be rejected. This line of reasoning adopted by the Additional Sessions Judge is not borne out by the facts. The High Court pointed out in their judgment that there, was sufficient evidence before the Court to identify the body of the deceased. It is true that the dead body of the deceased was bloated but     P.W. 16 the    Sub- Inspector deposed in his evidence that the features of     the body were quite clear and visible. The photographs of     the body were taken by P.W. 19 and on seeing the photographs the High Court was satisfied that the     body    was easily identifiable.    P.W. I Chinna who was fully known to     the deceased and who had accompanied him to Anantpur and in whose presence the murder took place said that he went to the place where the body was lying and identified the body. The High Court also pointed out that P.W. I said that     the belt, M.O. 6 which was usually worn by the deceased was also found on the dead body, which completely clinches the issue. Although P.W. I was cross-examined at very great length it was not suggested to him that the dead body found was     not that of the deceased.     The body of the deceased was    also identified by another co-villager, and also by the son of the deceased. In these circumstances, therefore, there     was abundant evidence to prove the identification of the    dead body and the finding of the learned    Additional Sessions Judge is based on a misreading of the evidence on    this point.

The learned Sessions Judge further held that     the motive ascribed to the appellants for committing the murder of     the deceased was not sufficient to impel them to plan    the murder    of the     deceased. This finding of    the learned Sessions Judge     is based purely on speculation. Various persons     react to circumstances in different ways and it is difficult to weigh the reaction of the persons in golden scales    with absolute computorised accuracy. There is no doubt that the deceased had drawn the accused     in a    long litigation involving thousands of rupees as a result of which he had to attend the Court at Anantpur     on various dates.     The sequence    of circumstances under which     the deceased was murdered clearly shows that there could     not have been any other motive but the institution of the suit. The High Court has also pointed out that the prosecution has established good and sufficient motive for the murder of the deceased. Futher more, in view of the independent testimony of P.Ws 1, 2 and 3 whom the High Court has believed, and we see no reason to differ from the view of the High Court, the question of motive becomes more or less academic. On    this point also, in our opinion, the learned Additional Sessions Judge has taken an absolutely wrong view.


We have been taken through the entire evidence of P.W. 1, 2 & 3 who are independent witnesses and against whom no animus has been established by the accused and we do not see     any reason    to disbelieve    their evidence. The    High Court, therefore, rightly believed their evidence in order to accept    the prosecution case. We do not find any error of law in the approach made by the High Court. It was, however, submitted by Mr. Basi Reddy, learned counsel     for the appellants that this was a case in which another     view was also possible on    the evidence    and, therefore, the High Court ought not to have interfered    with the order of acquittal passed by the     learned Additional Sessions Judge, as held by this Court     in several cases. After going through the evidence and circumstances of the present     case, however, we are clearly of the opinion    that the ratio of    the cases decided by this Court is wholly inapplicable to the instant    case and, therefore,     the contention advanced by the counsel for the appellants in this Court is overruled. This is not at all a case where a second    view was possible. On the other hand it was a    case where the learned Additional     Sessions Judge had given untenable reasons and     where his approach was not    only perverse, but also     legally erroneous. In    such circumstances,    it can not be disputed that the     High Court had ample powers to reverse the order of acquittal under s. 417 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

As regards the case of A-4, we find that it stands on a different footing and there does not appear to be any legal evidence against this appellant. We are also satisfied that there is no reliable evidence to prove the charge under s. 364 I.P.C. According to the medical evidence the deceased sustained as many as six injuries. The position and     the nature of the injuries particularly on the various parts of the body clearly show that they must have been inflicted on the deceased outside the jeep and not when the body     was carried in the jeep of A-1. The medical evidence also shows that the deceased could have died instantly within minutes of the occurrence. On the other hand there is absolutely no evidence to show that any injury was inflicted either    when the deceased was put into the jeep or when he    was carried away in the jeep. From these circumstances, therefore, it is manifest that all the six injuries must have been caused during    the course of the occurrence on the spot before     the body was put    into the jeep and in all probability     the deceased must have died at the spot. If this was so,    then the charge under s.364 I.P.C. must necessarily fail, because there was no question of kidnapping the deceased for     the deceased had died even before he was kidnapped. So far as A-1 to A-4 are concerned, this question is more or    less academic because they have already been convicted by     the High Court under s. 302 read with s. 34 and A-4 under s. 302 read with s. 149 I.P.C. As regards A-4 is concerned, we     are satisfied that there is no reliable evidence to prove     his actual    complicity in the murder of the deceased. The    case of the     prosecution is that A-4 who is a young     boy of 18 years was employed as a driver of the jeep after the    same was purchased by A-1. It is true that A-4 had taken A-1 to A-3 to the scene of occurrence.     But this was a part of     his duty and that by itself would not show a complicity in     the offence     of murder which was committed later. Although in the course of the trial the


witnesses have stated that this appellant also tried to take the body in the jeep while he was sitting there or that he had come out of the jeep, this evidence cannot be accepted because     it is nowhere mentioned in the F.I.R. that A-4     had taken any part in the assault on the deceased. There is only a reference to the three strangers and A-1 to A-3     and there is no reference to A-4 excepting that he was driving the jeep. In these circumstances we are unable to agree that A-4 had    shared the common object of murdering     the deceased at any stage. The only offence that     could    have been committed by A-4 was under s. 201 I.P.C. because after the deceased was put into the jeep he knew fully well    that he had been assaulted by the appellants and was being taken away for the purpose     of disposal of the    dead body. Unfortunately, however, though A-4 was charged under s. 201 he was acquitted by the learned Additional Sessions Judge and even the High Court has not convicted him     under    that section. No appeal against his acquittal has been filed in this Court. In these circumstances therefore     it is     not possible for us to convict him for the first time under s. 201 I.P.C. in     the present appeal.     For these reasons therefore it follows that A-4, namely, Budekula Kullayappa is entitled to acquittal as his complicity in     the actual assault     on the deceased has not been proved.    Nor has it been proved that he had shared the common object of     the crime with others.

The result is that convictions and sentences passed on     all the appellants under s. 364 read with s. 34 I.P.C. are     set aside.     The orders of conviction and sentence under s.     302 read with s. 34 in so far as A-1 to A-3 are concerned     are upheld.     The appeal of A-4 is allowed and the order of     the High Court convicting him under s. 147 and under s. 302 read with s. 149 is set aside and he is acquitted and is directed to be    released forthwith. The appeals of A-1 to A-3     are dismissed.

V.P.S.     Appeals

partly allowed

Re: Pedda Narayana & Ors vs State Of Andhra Pradesh - FIR

First information Report:
The basic purpose of filing FIR is to set the criminal law into motion and not to state all the minute details therein. The information under section 154 of Cr.P.C is generally known a s F.I.R though 'first is not used in the code. F.I.R is not the be all and end all of every criminal case and is not sunstantive evidence . It can be used only for limited purposes, like corroborating the maker thereof or as one of res-gestae or for being tendered in a proper case u/sec 32 (1) of Evidence Act or part of informant's conduct u/sec 8 of Evidence Act. (AIR 1963 AP 252). … 126-1.html