CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.766 OF 2006
These two connected
appeals have been filed against the impugned judgment of the Allahabad
High Court dated 14.12.2005 in Government Appeal No.2083 of 1981.
counsel for the parties and perused the record.The incident in question
took place on the night of 28/29th March, 1980 in village Gaayghat,
Police Station Kalwari, District Basti. There were four accused in the
case. The appellants Ram Charittar and Kishori Lal, who are the brothers
of one Ram Chet, are two of the accused. The other co-accused were Ram
Kumar son of Kishori Lal and Chandrawati wife of the appellant Ram
Charittar. It is alleged that the accused killed Sushila widow of Ram
Chet as well as her two young daughters Bindu and Nandini by throwing
acid on them.
The trial court
acquitted all the accused by its judgment dated 12.5.1981 but in appeal
the High Court convicted the appellants Ram Charittar and Kishori Lal
under Section 302/34 IPC, and sentenced them to life imprisonment, but
gave the benefit of doubt to the other co-accused Ram Kumar and
Chandrawati and thus affirmed their acquittal.
We have carefully
gone through the material on record. It is alleged that the motive for
killing Sushila and her children was to grab her property.
The prosecution case
is that in between the eventful night at about 3 o'clock, cries and
shrieks emanating from the house of Sushila attracted her neighbours
Bhagwati PW-2, Ram Din PW-3, Mangroo PW-4, Prem Narain PW-5 and several
others to the scene. They saw the accused Ram Charittar, Kishori Lal,
Ram Kumar and Chandrawati coming out of the house of the deceased which
was near their own houses. Ram Charittar had in his hand a bottle of
acid. Seeing the witnesses, Ram Charittar dropped the bottle of acid in
the verandah of the deceased. The bottle was broken and the acid
splashed on the floor. The witnesses succeeded in apprehending the
accused Ram Charittar, Kishori Lal and Chandrawati at the spot, but Ram
Kumar made good his escape. Ram Charittar applied some acid to his face
and some acid fell on the face of his wife accused Chandrawati. In the
meantime, Sushila came out with her younger daughter Nandini rolling on
the floor and both of them died near her door. Bindu elder daughter of
Sushila was also badly burnt with acid. While crying she said that 'Badka
Dada' had thrown acid on them. Being badly burnt with acid she was taken
to the District Hospital, where she died.
The post mortem
report of the deceased shows that there are acid burn injuries on large
parts of their bodies including their face, chest, neck, etc. According
to the Doctor the death was due to the corrosive acid burns and shock.
Learned counsel for
the appellant submitted that there were no eye witnesses to the
incident. It is true that there were no eye witnesses to the incident
but there were as many as four witnesses being Bhagwati PW-2, Ram Din
PW-3, Mangroo PW-4, Prem Narain PW-5, who have stated in their evidence
that they saw the accused coming out of the house of Sushila. The
appellant Ram Charittar had an acid bottle in his hand. These witnesses
and other people got hold of Ram Charittar, Kishori Lal and Chandrawati
but Ram Kumar fled away.
The evidence of
these four witnesses is consistent. Thus there is strong circumstantial
evidence against the appellants. We see no reason to disbelieve these
evidences and hence we agree with the view taken by the High Court. The
medical evidence corroborates the evidence of these witnesses and there
is also the dying declaration of Bindu the elder daughter of Sushila.
In the present case,
there was strong motive for the accused to liquidate the deceased to
grab the property. On killing them the accused became the immediate
beneficiary to the estate left by the husband of deceased Sushila. No
enmity with the accused could be proved by the evidence against the
witnesses, and hence we agree with the High Court that some minor
contradictions will not shake their testimony. Thus we dismiss the
appeal of Ram Charittar and Kishori Lal.
As regards the
State's appeal against the acquittal of Ram Kumar and Chandrawati, the
High Court has given these accused the benefit of doubt. We see no
reason to disagree with the view taken by the High Court.
Thus, there is no
force in both these appeals and both are dismissed.
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