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Allahabad High Court dismisses appeal in murder case

The Allahabad High Court while dismissing the appeal observed that such persons, who committed heinous crime in murdering the deceased by pouring kerosene oil on her and setting her on fire only because she was a strong protester of their illicit relationship, are not entitled to any leniency from us. Such persons, who are black spot in the society, cannot be set at liberty.

The Division Bench of Justice Kaushal Jayendra Thaker and Justice Shiv Shanker Prasad passed this order while hearing a Criminal Appeals filed by Jai Kishan @ Bablu and Smt Anita.

Both the criminal appeals are directed against the judgment dated 20th August, 2013 passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Ghaziabad in Sessions Trial, arising out of Case under Sections 302/120B I.P.C, Police Station-Bahadurgarh, District-Ghaziabad, whereby accused-appellants Jaikishan @ Bablu and Smt Anita have been convicted for an offence Section 302 I.P.C and have been sentenced to life imprisonment along with Rs10,000/- fine for commissioning of offence under Section 302; in default of payment of fine they have to further undergo one year additional imprisonment, whereas the other co-accused Kuberdutt has been acquitted for the offence under Sections 302/120B IPC.

The case proceeds on a written report of the informant, which has been scribed dated 20th July, 2011, wherein it has been stated that he solemnized the marriage of his daughter (deceased Rekha) with Jai Kishan alias Bablu about 14 years ago. Some time ago, the accused-appellant Jai Kishan alias Bablu started establishing illicit relationship with accused-appellant Anita wife of Hari Prakash Sharma village Bhadsyana police station Bahadurgarh, who is a peon in Sarvitaishi Inter College Bhadsyana. Daughter of the informant used to repeatedly object to her husband (accused-appellant Jaikishan) for having illicit relations with accused-appellant Anita. On that objection, her husband used to beat her time and again.

It has further been stated that accused Kuber Dutt, brother-in-law i.e Jeth used to encourage his brother i.e Jaikishan for such illicit relationship.

On 19th July, 2011 at 11:00 p.m (night), as per the conspiracy hatched by accused Kuber Dutt, the accused-appellants Jaikishan and Anita, they poured kerosene on Rekha and set her on fire, due to which Rekha died. Information about the death of the deceased Rekha was given to the informant on telephone by the Village Pradhan, Satish Fauji and he has informed him that in-laws of the deceased Rekha took her in burnt condition to the Hospital at Meerut.

On receiving the said information, the informant reached the Meerut Medical College/Hospital where he was informed that the deceased was referred to the hospital at Delhi. When they were on the way to Delhi by Ambulance along with the deceased Rekha for her treatment, she succumbed to death. Informants reached the Police Station for lodging the FIR along with Ambulance wherein the dead body of the deceased was kept.

Pursuant to the written report dated 20th July, 2011, a FIR came to be registered as Case under Sections 302, 120-B IPC at Police Station-Bahadurgarh, District Meerut.

On the basis of above evidence adduced during the course of trial, the court below after relying upon the documentary as well as oral evidence adduced by the prosecution and after recording categorical findings of facts has come to the conclusion while passing impugned judgment of conviction that the prosecution has been able to fully prove that the accused-appellants have committed the offence of murder of deceased Rekha.

As such, the trial court has found the offence under Sections 302 IPC to have been committed by both the accused appellants and the trial court has not found the offence under Sections 302/120-B IPC against the co-accused Kuber Dutt. The trial court has accordingly convicted the accused-appellants under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code and sentenced him life imprisonment with fine of Rs 10, 000/- for the offence under Sections 302 IPC.

Being aggrieved with the impugned judgment and order of conviction passed by the trial court, the accused-appellant has preferred the jail appeal.

The submission of the counsel for the accused-appellants is that there is no direct evidence connecting the accused-appellants with the commissioning of the crime as the testimony of star independent witness Tanu cannot be said to be reliable as at the time of incident he was aged about 5 years and was under the custody of his maternal grandfather; the motive is absolutely weak; the prosecution case rests on circumstantial evidence in which the accused-appellants have been implicated only on the basis of suspicion that there were illicit relationship between both the accused-appellants and no evidence exist to hold the accused-appellants guilty.

It is further submitted that the trial court has relied upon the statement of Tanu which was recorded by the Investigating Officer after four days of the incident in which there is no whisper of the version as unfolded in the FIR.

It is also submitted that the accused-appellants have not committed the alleged offence, whereas the deceased has committed suicide by pouring kerosene oil on herself and set her on fire, as being a loose temper lady, she used to quarrel with the accused appellant Jaikishan due to suspicion of his having illicit relationship with accused-appellant Anita. Due to the aggressive conduct of the deceased due to suspicion of accused-appellant having illicit relationship with accused appellant Anita, he had made an application before the concerned Police Station.

Counsel for the accused-appellants said that the conviction and sentence passed by the trial court against the accused-appellant is too severe and without considering the evidence available on record. It is next submitted that the accused-appellant has no criminal antecedents to his credit except the present and he was on bail during the course of trial.

Per contra, N.K Sharma, A.G.A for the State, supporting the judgment and order of conviction, submits that the first information report has been lodged promptly naming the accused person; there is clinching evidence to support the prosecution’s case; the incident in which the deceased is alleged to have been murdered by the accused appellant Jaikishan @ Bablu and Anita at about 11:00 p.m which is alleged to have been witnessed by the son of accused-appellant Jaikishan; deceased Rekha is star eye witness of the alleged incident; the place of occurrence has not been disputed by the defence; and the accused-appellants have strong motive or intention and the same has also been explained by the evidence of prosecution. Therefore, the prosecution has proved the charges levelled against the accused appellant beyond reasonable doubt.

“In view of the above discussions and deliberations, we find that the finding of the Court below with regard to accused-appellants Jaikishan @ Bablu and Anita is correct and the guilt of both the accused-appellants have been proved beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution, which is sustainable in the eyes of law. Such accused-appellants, who committed heinous crime in murdering the deceased Rekha by pouring kerosene oil on her and setting her on fire only because she was a strong protester of their illicit relationship, are not entitled to any leniency from us. Such persons, who are black spot in the society, cannot be set at liberty”, the Court observed while dismissing the appeals.

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