26 May 2020


Judgments

Supreme Court

Ganga Ram Sah and Ors. v. State of Bihar

MANU/SC/0077/2017

27.01.2017

Criminal

Intention of members of unlawful assembly can be gathered by nature, number and location of injuries inflicted

In facts of present case, Appellant was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for life for offence punishable under Section 302 of Indian Penal Code,1860 (IPC) and rest of accused persons were also sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for life for offence punishable under Section 302/109 of IPC. Against conviction, these accused persons had preferred two criminal appeals heard together by the High Court and have resulted in dismissal, since High Court has affirmed the conviction and sentence recorded by the trial court.

FIR was registered on basis of fardbayan given by informant immediately after the incident. There is no time lag between incident and FIR. In said FIR, both Appellant Nos. 1 and 3 are specifically named. Insofar as Appellant No. 1 is concerned, specific allegation is made in FIR that it was the exhortation of Appellant No. 1 which led to the said assault. Accused fired two gun shots hitting brother of the informant which caused instant death. Two other eye-witnesses, have also specifically given statement to this effect, thereby supporting the version of the prosecution. These witnesses were cross-examined at length but their testimony could not be shaken. Presence of Appellant at the scene of occurrence has not been denied. Role attributed to him, therefore, stands proved, as rightly held by trial court as well as High Court.

All these persons are convicted under Section 149 of IPC as well. It has also to be borne in mind that Appellant Nos. 1 to 4 are closely related. A dispute had arisen between two groups three days before date of incident in question, which incident was brought to the knowledge of villagers by informant and Panches had advised both groups not to involve in any altercation. Appellants had come with clear motive in mind to bodily harm the members of informant's family and with common objective. A calculated action was spearheaded. All accused persons were very well aware of the consequence of this action. The Courts below, therefore, rightly held that ingredients for the offence under Section 149 of IPC also stood proved. In that event, both Appellants are also equally liable for consequence of causing murder and attempt to murder other victims. Acts and events taken together proved beyond doubt that the common object of the unlawful assembly was not only to cause grievous hurt but to kill the members of the opposite camp.

It is trite law that, common object of unlawful assembly has to be inferred from the membership, the weapons used and the nature of the injuries as well as other surrounding circumstances. Intention of members of unlawful assembly can be gathered by nature, number and location of injuries inflicted. In instant case, repeated gun shots fired by Accused on the person of deceased, and injuries caused by lathis by other accused persons on complainant and his second brother on their heads, clearly demonstrate the objective to cause murder of these persons. Court dismissed the appeal.

Tags : Conviction Validity Unlawful assembly

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