22 April 2019


Judgments

Supreme Court

Prabhu Dayal Vs. The State of Rajasthan

MANU/SC/0684/2018

04.07.2018

Criminal

FIR need not contain an exhaustive account of the incident

The judgment and order of conviction passed by the High Court, relating to the conviction of the Appellant, is the subject matter of present appeal. By the impugned judgment, the High Court has affirmed the judgment of conviction passed by the Additional Sessions Judge. Ten Accused were tried, including the Appellant herein, for the offences punishable under Sections 147, 148, 307, 302, 459, 460, 120B, 118, and 176 read with Section 149 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and Sections 3/25 of the Arms Act.

It is settled law that, the FIR need not contain an exhaustive account of the incident. It is a common phenomenon that, the witnesses are rustic and can develop a tendency to exaggerate. This, however, does not mean that, the entire testimony of such witnesses is falsehood. Minor contradictions in the testimony of the witnesses are not fatal to the case of the prosecution. Present Court, in State of U.P. v. M.K. Anthony, held that, inconsistencies and discrepancies alone do not merit the rejection of the evidence as a whole. The Trial Court as well as the High Court is also justified in concluding that, the Appellant is liable to be convicted under Section 149 of the IPC, as he is one of the members of the unlawful assembly who had come to the scene of occurrence with the common object of committing the murder of deceased.

In Masalti v. State of U.P. it was observed that, any member of the unlawful assembly can be prosecuted for the criminal act; it need not to be proved that he had committed an overt act. The Forensic Science Laboratory report discloses that, the samples collected from the scene of the offence had bloodstains of human origin. However, since the bloodstains were disintegrated by the time the bloodstains were examined by the Forensic Science Laboratory, the blood group could not be determined. For the same, the Accused cannot be unpunished, more particularly when the bloodstains were found of human origin.

The misfired cartridge, the fired cartridge, and the country made pistols were subjected to the examination of the Forensic Science Laboratory. It was clearly stated in the Forensic Laboratory's Reports that, the country made pistol contained in packet 'H' was in working order. However, it has a tendency to mis-fire the ammunition. It is also stated that, the cartridge found in the very packet was fire-worthy ammunition. The report of the Ballistic Expert further makes it clear that, based on stereo and comparison microscopic examination, the 12-bore cartridge case from packet 'G' could have been fired from a 12-bore country made pistol. Hence, it is clear that out of the two pistols seized, one pistol had got a tendency to mis-fire and the other had fire-worthy ammunition. Thus, the reports of the Forensic Science Laboratory fully support the case of the prosecution, as it is the evidence of the witnesses that deceased was fired at by Gyan Singh as well as the Appellant herein. Among the shots fired, one of the gunshots was mis-fired. The fact remains, that all the five members including the Appellant were members of the unlawful assembly which had the common object of committing the murder of the deceased. Hence, the trial Court and the High Court are justified in convicting the Accused having regard to the evidence on record. Accordingly, the appeal stands dismissed and the sentence of life imprisonment imposed upon the Appellant stands confirmed.

Relevant

State of U.P. v. M.K. Anthony,MANU/SC/0123/1984
, Masalti v. State of U.P. MANU/SC/0074/1964

Tags : Unlawful assembly Conviction Validity

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