IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT PATNA
Criminal Appeal (SJ) No.196 of 2000
=========================================================== AGAINST THE JUDGMENT OF CONVICTION AND ORDER OF SENTENCE DATED 27.5.2000, PASSED IN TRIAL NO. 43 OF 2000 BY SRI SHYAM BADAN SINGH, 1ST ADDITIONAL DISTRICT & SESSIONS JUDGE-CUM-SPECIAL JUDGE, SIWAN.
1. DHRUP SINGH, SON OF MAHADEO SINGH.
2. KUWAR SINGH, SON OF GANESH SINGH.
3. HARENDRA SINGH, SON OF BIDYA SINGH.
4. MAHESH SINGH, SON OF SHIV KUMAR SINGH.
5. ISHWAR SINGH, SON OF BAIJNATH SINGH.
ALL ARE RESIDENTS OF VILLAGE BHAGWANPUR, P.S. G.B. NAGAR, DISTRICT SIWAN.
.... .... APPELLANTS
THE STATE OF BIHAR
.... .... RESPONDENT
=========================================================== Appearance :
For the Appellants : Mr. Arun, Advocate
Mr. Vivekanand Singh, Advocate
For the State : Mr. Abhimanyu Sharma, A.P.P. =========================================================== CORAM: HONOURABLE JUSTICE SMT. SHEEMA ALI KHAN ORAL JUDGMENT
S.A. Khan, J. This appeal is directed against the judgment of conviction and order of sentence dated 27.5.2000, passed in Trial No. 43 of 2000 by the 1st Additional District & Sessions Judge-cum- Special Judge, Siwan by which all the appellants have been convicted under Section 3(i)(x) of The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (hereinafter referred to as „the Act‟) to undergo R.I. for 2 years. Appellant no. 3 Harendra Singh has further been convicted under Section 324 of the Indian Penal 2 Patna High Court CR. APP (SJ) No.196 of 2000 dt.10-07-2012 2/6
Code to undergo R.I. for 1 year. Appellant Nos. 1, 2, 4 and 5 have further been convicted under Section 323 of the Indian Penal Code to undergo R.I. for 6 months. They have also been convicted under Section 341 of the Indian Penal Code but no separate sentence has been imposed. All the appellants have to pay a fine of Rs. 5000/- each under Section 3 (i)(x) of the Act and in default of the payment of fine to undergo R.I. for a period of one year.
2. The occurrence took place on 1.1.1995 at 6 P.M. Arjun Ram the informant has stated that he along with Bijli Ram and Mukul Ram were returning on their bicycles after purchasing fertilizers. Mukul Ram was left behind whereas Bijli Ram and the informant reached Bhagwanpur village, where they saw the appellants except for appellant Harendra Singh waiting for them with Lathis in their hands. It is alleged that they began to assault the informant as well as Bijli Ram with Lathi. In the meantime, Harendra Singh came armed with a knife and assaulted Mukul Ram on the back who had reached the place of occurrence. The motive for the occurrence is that about a few months back one Baliram Singh of Bhagwanpur village had been beaten to death by the villagers which resulted in a criminal case as well as proceeding under Sections 107 and 116 of the Indian Penal Code. It is said that it was due to this reason that this occurrence took place.
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3. The prosecution has examined 4 witnesses and the doctor. P.W. 1 is Mukul Ram who was inflicted a Chhura injury. He supports the prosecution case in the chief. In cross-examination he says that the appellants did not give them (the harijans) proper wages and, therefore, the villagers had decided to institute this case and since Arjun is their leader, therefore, the case has been instituted through him. Apparently this explanation was given because Mukul Ram the person who was assaulted by a knife ought to have been the person to give his Fardbeyan.
4. P.W. 2 supports the case in his chief. There is nothing in his cross-examination which would be of any health to either of the parties. P.W. 3 is the informant of this case. He claims that the said " " took place for about half an hour and that the injuries were serious. His statement is that he had worked earlier as labourer under the appellants, but has now started working with their relations (Patidars).
5. P.W. 4, Balkishun Ram is also supposed to have been injured in the occurrence. This witness is not named in the First Information Report. It is admitted by him that he was not examined by the police under Section 161 Cr.P.C. and, therefore, the evidence given by him has to be examined very carefully especially in view of the fact that P.W. 5, the doctor has stated that he too was injured and 4 Patna High Court CR. APP (SJ) No.196 of 2000 dt.10-07-2012 4/6
has produced an injury report with respect to P.W. 4.
6. At the outset it may be stated by this Court that the facts as stated above do not disclose an offence under the Act. Section 3 of the Act provides as follows:
"3. Punishment for offences of atrocities.-(1) Whoever, not being a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe,-
(i) forces a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe to drink or eat any inedible or obnoxious substance; (x) intentionally insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe in any place within public view;
shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to five years and with fine."
7. The facts disclose that the informant and others were neither insulted nor humiliated by the appellants. In fact the cause of occurrence as disclosed by them is that there was ill-will because the villagers had killed a person from the appellants‟ village. Even during the trial, the prosecution has not led any evidence to show that there was any element of humiliation or intimidation to the members of the Scheduled Caste i.e. the informant, Bijli Ram and Mukul Ram. Therefore, this Court finds that the appellants cannot be held guilty under Section 3(i) (x) of the Act. On perusal of the facts, it would appear that the injuries are simple and superficial in nature and thus, it would appear that the sentence imposed under Section 324 of the 5 Patna High Court CR. APP (SJ) No.196 of 2000 dt.10-07-2012 5/6
Indian Penal Code on appellant no. 3 is not justified. There was neither any intention to kill nor was the injury of such a nature that would indicate the motive of the person inflicting the injury which would justify the conviction under Section 324 of the Indian Penal Code. As far as Section 323 of the Indian Penal Code is concerned, this Court has certain doubts regarding the evidence of the doctor. P.W. 4 Bal Kishun Ram who is neither mentioned in the First Information Report nor examined during the investigation has purportedly received injuries in the said occurrence. It is strange that the Investigating Officer did not examine him and that the informant has not said a word regarding his presence in the First Information Report. Even in Court Arjun Ram does not mention anything about the presence or the injury of Bal Kishun Ram. Under such circumstances, this Court finds it difficult to rely on the injury report produced by the prosecution vis-à-vis Bal Kishun Ram. Infact the injury report of the doctor as a whole would be put under question. Considering the aforesaid facts and that fact that the occurrence took place in the year 1995, this Court finds itself unable to uphold the conviction of the appellants and acquits them as the case of the prosecution has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt.
8. In the result, this appeal is allowed. The judgment of conviction and order of sentence dated 27.5.2000, passed in Trial No. 6 Patna High Court CR. APP (SJ) No.196 of 2000 dt.10-07-2012 6/6
43 of 2000 by the 1st Additional District & Sessions Judge-cum- Special Judge, Siwan is set aside. The appellants are acquitted of the charges levelled against them and they are discharged from the liabilities of their bail bonds furnished earlier in this case. (Sheema Ali Khan, J.)