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Criminal Appeal Nos. 1478 of 2005 and 452 of 2006

Decided On: 13.05.2009

Appellants: Santosh Kumar Satishbhushan Bariyar and Ors. Vs. Respondent: State of Maharashtra

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
S.B. Sinha and Cyriac Joseph


S.B. Sinha, J.


1. These two appeals arise out of a common judgment of conviction and sentence dated 12th August, 2005 passed by the High Court of Judicature at Bombay in Confirmation Case No. 2 of 2004 and three connected appeals; one filed by the State and two by the accused, whereby and whereunder it confirmed and accepted the reference made to it in terms of Section 366 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 in the case of Santoshkumar Satishbhushan Bariyar (appellant in Criminal Case No. 1478 of 2005), and upheld the conviction and sentence of life imprisonment in the case of the other accused (respondents in Criminal Appeal No. 452 of 2006).

2. Whereas Criminal Appeal No. 1478 of 2005 has been preferred by Santoshkumar Satishbhushan Bariyar (A1) (hereinafter referred to as "the appellant"), the State has filed Criminal Appeal No. 452 of 2006 praying for enhancement of sentence for Sanjeevkumar Mahendraprasad Roy (A2) and Sanotshkumar Shrijailal Roy (A3).

3. Leave in these matters was granted by this Court by orders dated 28th October, 2005 and 17th April, 2006 respectively.


4 . The facts in brief are that the accused were said to have hatched a conspiracy to abduct either one Abhijeet Kothari or one Kartikraj (the deceased) and to demand a ransom of Rs. 10 lacs from the victim's family. Kartikraj was the one who was eventually kidnapped. He was working as a junior clerk in Central Railways at Pune. Ramraj, his father (PW-49) was, at the relevant time, working as Manager in NABARD, Hyderabad. Santosh Ramraj (PW-50), the younger brother of the deceased was staying with his father.

5 . Santosh Ramraj received a phone call on 8th August, 2001 at his residential telephone number disclosed by the caller, that his brother Kartikraj was in his custody. Ransom for a sum of Rs. 10 lacs was allegedly demanded. He was threatened that if the said amount was not paid within 24 hours then Kartikraj would be killed. The family of the deceased is said to have received some more threatening calls thereafter. Ramraj (PW-49), the father of the deceased also talked to the caller and asked him to give them time till the next day morning so that he could make arrangements for the money.

6. Ramraj (PW-49) thereafter talked to his friend Dattatraya Bhandange (PW-2) who, at the relevant time, was working as Manager in NABARD, Pune. Bhandange (PW-2) did his best to trace out Kartikraj but failed in his attempts.

7. A draft of the First Information Report was faxed by Ramraj to Bhandange's (PW-2)'s Pune office, requesting him to lodge the same at the concerned Police Station. A photograph of Kartikraj was also sent along.

8. Pursuant thereto, a First Information Report was lodged for offences punishable under Sections 363 and 387 of the Indian Penal Code. The investigation was handed over to the Crime Branch. Santoshraj (PW-2) informed the Investigating Officer, API Lotlikar on telephone that he had again received a ........