The Allahabad High Court has upheld the life sentence awarded to a murder convict by the District and Sessions Judge, Kanpur Dehat in 1996.
The Division Bench of Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Om Prakash Tripathi passed this order while hearing a Criminal Appeal filed by Chhunna.
The appellant has preferred the criminal appeal aggrieved by the orders dated 12.03.1996 and 13.03.1996, passed by the District and Sessions Judge, Kanpur Dehat in Sessions Trial “State vs Chhunna and others” Police Station Sheorajpur, District Kanpur Dehat, convicting and sentencing the appellant to undergo life imprisonment under Section 302 of IPC with a fine of Rs 3,000, in default thereof, to undergo one year rigorous additional imprisonment.
The prosecution case is as follows:
Subhash Chandra Mishra, the complainant, s/o late Sunderlal Mishra, r/o Village Dubiana, P.S Sheorajpur, District Kanpur Dehat lodged the first information report on 23.03.1995 alleging that the deceased Sunder Lal r/o village Dubiana, Police Station Sheorajpur, District Kanpur Dehat, had his flour mill towards east of his house at a distance of about 1-1/2 furlong near GT Road.
On 22.03.1995 at about 8:00 PM, Sunder Lal died, his son Subhash Chandra and Rakesh were busy grinding flour. One Amit, a resident of village Baharampur, came to the said flour mill for grinding his wheat. Accused Chhunna and Dinesh, who were relatives of Amit, were also with him. The accused wanted to get their wheat grinded first, breaking the line of other customers, Subhash Chandra and his brother Rakesh asked them to get the wheat grinded on their turn. On that occasion, accused Chhunna and Dinesh threatened them. Thereafter, Amit went to his house after getting his wheat ground.
On the night of 22.03.1995, Sunder Lal, the deceased, was sleeping inside the premises of a flour mill on a Takhat. His son Rakesh and Suresh Kumar, brother-in-law of Subhash Chandra, were sleeping on another charpai near the deceased. A lighted lantern was hanging inside the premises. At about 11:45 PM Sunder Lal died. Hearing his cries, Rakesh and Suresh Kumar woke up and observed that Chhunna was inflicting knife blows on the deceased. On the challenge given by Rakesh and Suresh, Chhunna fled away. Both Rakesh and Suresh chased Chhunna and observed that accused Dinesh was standing on the gate of the flour mill. Both accused fled away in the dark. Hearing the alarm, the other persons of the village also came to the spot.
Sunder Lal had fallen down on the ground and had profuse bleeding from the injuries he sustained. Injured were taken to the P.H.C Sheorajpur at about 3:00 AM. He was attended there by the pharmacist as the doctor was not present. After providing first aid, he was referred to L.L.R Hospital, Kanpur City. But before being shifted to L.L.R Hospital, the deceased succumbed to his injuries at 5:10 AM.
On 24.03.1995, the Investigating Officer interrogated Rakesh and Suresh Pandey. He apprehended accused Chhunna and Dinesh. On the pointing of Chhunna accused, I.O recovered a blood-stained knife, the weapon of assault, sealed it and prepared a recovery memo.
The cognizance of the offence had been taken by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kanpur Dehat, who committed the case to the Court of Sessions for trial on 5.7.1995.
Accused Chhunna was charged with the offence punishable under Section 302 IPC while accused Dinesh was charged with the offence punishable under Section 302/34 IPC. The accused pleaded not guilty and contended that they being workers of Bahujan Samaj Party were falsely implicated on account of enmity and Party-Bandi.
The Court noted that,
According to the prosecution, Sunder Lal died on account of knife injuries. The accused have not disputed identity, death and cause of the death of deceased Sunder Lal.
As far as the FIR of this case is concerned, the occurrence took place on the night of 22.03.1995 at about 11:45 PM inside the flour mill premises of the deceased, situated in Village Dubiana, Police Station Sheorajpur, District Kanpur Dehat. Thereafter the deceased was taken to the P.H.C by Khatola (small cot) at about 3:00 AM. Doctor was not present therefore, the Pharmacist had attended the patient and after primary treatment, referred the injured to L.L.R Hospital, Kanpur City.
But before being shifted to L.L.R Hospital, the deceased Sunder Lal expired at 5:10 AM and thereafter complainant prepared a written report and on the basis of written report, FIR against the accused was lodged at about 6:50 a.m on 23.03.1995, i.e, after one hour and 40 minutes after death. It is also proved that due to serious injuries, the complainant was busy in treatment to save the life of his father, after death, information was given to the police station. FIR of the case has been lodged promptly without unnecessary delay and without any legal consultation.
So far as the motive of the incident is concerned, counsel for the appellant submitted that the appellant has weak motive to cause the incident. The appellant has been falsely implicated in the case, being a member of BSP.
It is a case of eye-witness account of those who had seen the occurrence and in case of eye-witness, direct evidence, motive becomes immaterial, the Court said.
On the basis of above discussion, the Court cleared that the prosecution has successfully proved the manner of occurrence that accused Chhunna was the real assailant who inflicted the fatal blow on scrotum, inguinal region of the deceased. The nature of ante-mortem injuries of the deceased were such that it could cause his death in all probabilities. This shows that accused Chhunna had every intention and knowledge that injury caused by him would result in the death of the deceased. Therefore, the prosecution has successfully proved the guilt of accused Chhunna for the offence punishable under Section 302 IPC. It is a murder made with cool mind in a planned way four hours after altercation on the same day. It is not a case of grave and sudden provocation.
Co-accused Dinesh was not found guilty by the trial Court and was acquitted for the charge under Section 302/34 IPC. The State of Uttar Pradesh had not filed any appeal against the acquittal of co-accused Dinesh and no such appeal has been brought before us, the Court further said.
On the basis of above discussion, the Court of the view that the orders of the trial court dated 12.03.1996 and 13.03.1996 passed by the District and Sessions Judge, Kanpur Dehat in Sessions Trial “State vs. Chhunna and others”, Police Station Sheorajpur, District Kanpur Dehat, convicting and sentencing the accused appellant Chhunna to undergo life imprisonment under Section 302 IPC with fine of Rs.3,000, in default thereof, to undergo one year rigorous additional imprisonment, is hereby confirmed. During trial, the accused appellant Chhunna was on bail.
During appeal, the appellant Chhunna was on bail. The appellant was arrested on 21.01.2020 in execution of the non-bailable-warrant and is detained in the District Jail, Mati, Kanpur Dehat at present.
“The accused appellant Chhunna is directed to serve out the remaining period of his sentence. The bail bonds filed by the appellant are forfeited and sureties are discharged,” the Court directed while dismissing the appeal.