Sita Ram vs The State Of Rajasthan on 28 October, 2021


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Supreme Court of India

Sita Ram vs The State Of Rajasthan on 28 October, 2021

Author: Uday Umesh Lalit

Bench: Uday Umesh Lalit, S. Ravindra Bhat, Hon’Ble Ms. Trivedi

                                                                                                     1

                                          IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                                         CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION



                                         CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.462 OF 2019


                   SITA RAM & ORS.                                              …Appellants


                                                         VERSUS


                   STATE OF RAJASTHAN                                               …Respondent



                                                     O R D E R

This appeal by special leave is directed

against the judgment and final order dated

21.09.2016 passed by the High Court of Judicature

for Rajasthan at Jaipur Bench, Jaipur in D.B.

Criminal Appeal No.175 of 1983.

The crime in the instant case was registered

pursuant to the reporting made by one Moti Ram to

the effect that on 02.08.1982 when his mother and

Signature Not Verified
wife, in the company of his brother Phoolchand, had
Digitally signed by Dr.
Mukesh Nasa
Date: 2021.10.29
14:27:59 IST
Reason:

gone to the agricultural field situated at Khasra

No.210, Hanumaan son of Noparam, Mangu son of
2

Noparam, Surja son of Noparam, Sitaram son of

Hanuman, Jagdish son of Mangu, Prahlad son of Surja,

Ganesh son of Mangu, Mangla s/o Hanuman, Mahabaksh

son of Hanuman, Tulchi wife of Hanuman, Fuli w/o

Mangu, Rama w/o Surja, Anchli w/o Jagdish, Gulabi

w/o Sitaram, Mangli daughter of Mangu, Guldi d/o

Hanuman, Sankri d/o Surjaram, Sajan s/o Hanuman,

came there armed with sickles and cudgels and

started assaulting his mother and wife. His younger

brother Phoolchand ran back to the residence and

reported the incident to his father Ghadsee Ram and

brother Shyam Lal upon which they ran to the place

of incident. The assailants opened an assault on

them, which resulted in Ghadsee Ram sustaining

injury on his head and back while his brother Shyam

Lal sustained grave injuries with sickle.

On such reporting, initially crime under

Sections 147, 148, 325, 324, 323, 149 read with 382

of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (‘the IPC’, for

short) was registered with Police Station Khatu

Shyamji, District Sikar, Rajasthan.
3

After the death of Ghadsee Ram, the offence

under Section 302 of the IPC came to be added.

In the post-mortem conducted by PW4 Dr. M.M.

Mishra, deceased Ghadsee Ram was found to be having

following external injuries:

“1. Stitched wound 2” long, on left parietal
area of scalp, transerves.

2. Swelling 2” x 1” on left temporal area of
scalp.

3. Lacerated wound, 1” x 1/5” x 1/5” on right
occipital area of scalp.

4. Bruise 2” x 2”, on left frontal area of
scalp.

5. Abrasion 1½” x ½” on upper 1/3rd on left
leg, front.

6. Lacerated wound 3/4” x 1/10” x 1/10” on left
cheek.

7. Bruise 2” x 1” on middle of right arm,
laterally.

8. Abrasion 2” x 1” on lower 1/3rd of right leg
medially.

9. Abrasion 1” x 1/10”, on middle left leg,
medially.

10. Abrasion 4” x 1/2” on the middle of right
chest, back, oblique.

11. Abrasion 1/2” x 1/10” on back, left huber
area.

4

12. Abrasion 1/2” x 1/2” on left knee, back.

13. Abrasion 1/2” x 1/4”, on right knee front.

14. Bruise 2” x 2” on back of left hand.

15. Bruise 1” x 1” on back of left wrist.”

The post-mortem also indicated the following

internal injuries:

“1. There was fracture of left frontal bone of
skull.

2. There was sub-dural haematoma on left
parietal bone below the fracture site.

3. There was laceration of brain on left
frontal bone.

4. There were fractures of III and IV
untacarpats of left hand.

5. There was fracture of upper end of felmla.”

According to the medical report, the internal

injuries caused as a result of external injuries

were sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to

cause death. According to the medical opinion, all

the injuries were caused by a blunt object such as

“Lathi” and all injuries were ante-mortem.
5

Meera wife of Moti Ram who was injured in the

transaction had suffered following injuries:

“1. Lacerated wound, 1 ¾” x ¼” x 3/8” on left
parietal region of scalp.

2. Bruise, 2½” x 1”, on lower ½ of lateral side
of left thigh.

3. Abrasion, 1/2” x 1/8” on left cheek.

4. Echymosis with tenderness on lower 1/3rd of
left thigh, just alone knee joint, anteris-
laterally.”

Ms. Barji, the mother of the informant was found

to have suffered the following injuries:

“1. Incised wound 5/8” x 1/8” x 3/8”, on upper
1/3rd of right leg on front.

2. Swelling with cripitation at II metacarpal
bone on left hand.

3. Complained of pain with tenderness on lower
½ of left leg on lateral side.

4. Bruise, 3” x 1”, on middle 1/3rd, of right
thigh on lateral side.

5. Complained of pain on left humber region of
back.”

It is pertinent to mention here that two of the

persons from the side of the accused also suffered

injuries in the transaction.

6

Accused Jagdish was found to have received the

following injuries:

“1. Incised wound 1” x 3/8” x 1”, on left side
of neck.

2. Bruise with echymosis, 3” x 1 ½”, on lower ½
of left leg on lateral side.”

According to the medical opinion on record,

injury no.1 was caused by a sharp cutting weapon.

Another accused Prahlad had suffered the

following injuries.

“1. Incised wound, 2¼” x 1” x 3/8”, on dorsum of
left hand torrards thumb.

2. Incised wound, 1½” x 1/8” x 1/8”, on lower
1/3rd of left forearm on back on radial
side.

3. Abrasion 1/2” x 1/8”, on upper 1/3rd of left
forearm on radial side.”

In this case also, injuries no.1 and 2 were

caused by sharp cutting weapon.

It must also be noted that the Investigating

Officer PW11 Mr. Amilal accepted the fact that with

respect to the same transaction, there were two
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cross versions in the form of First Information

Report filed in the present case as well as the

reporting made at the instance of the side of the

accused. As a matter of fact, reporting made by the

accused was earlier in point of time pursuant to

which First Information Report No.75 of 1982 in

respect of the offences punishable under Sections

447 and 323 of the IPC was registered.

Out of 16 persons, who were sent up for trial,

the Trial Court convicted eight male persons while

acquitting rest of the accused including four female

accused. Those eight persons, namely, Hanuman,

Manguram, Surja Ram, Sitaram, Mangla Ram, Prahlad,

Jagdish and Ganesh, were found guilty of the

offences punishable under Sections 147, 302/149,

325/149 and 323 of the IPC and sentenced to suffer

life imprisonment in respect of the offences

punishable under Section 302 and 302/149 IPC and for

other subsidiary sentences for the remaining

offences.

8

The convicted accused being aggrieved, filed

D.B. Criminal Appeal No.175 of 1983 in the High

Court.

During the pendency of said appeal, the

convicted accused Hanuman, Mangoo Ram, Surja Ram and

Jagdish died whereafter proceedings with respect to

these accused stood abated.

While considering the role played by rest of the

convicted accused, the High Court by its judgment

and order dated 21.09.2016, which is presently under

challenge, did not find any case for interference.

Affirming the view taken by the Trial Court, the

appeal was dismissed by the High Court

During the pendency of the instant proceedings,

a submission was raised that appellants no.2 to 4,

namely, Mangla Ram, Prahlad and Ganesh were

juveniles on the date when the incident had occurred

and, as such, they were entitled to the benefit in

terms of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection

of Children) Act, 2000 (‘the J.J. Act, 2000’, for

short) and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection
9

of Children) Act, 2015 (‘the J.J. Act, 2015’, for

short).

Since this Court in Abuzar Hossain alias Gulam

Hossain v. State of West Bengal,(2012) 10 SCC 489,

had ruled that the claim of juvenility could be

raised at any stage and even for the first time

before this Court though not pressed before the

Trial Court and the Appellate Court by order dated

06.03.2019 this Court referred the issue of

juvenility of the appellants no.2 to 4 for

consideration by the Sessions Court, District,

Sikar, Rajasthan.

The Report in that behalf has since then been

received, according to which convicted

accused/appellants no.3 and 4, namely, Prahlad and

Ganesh respectively, were juveniles on the day of

the incident. In view of the said assertion, said

convicts/accused were directed to be released on

bail, which facility these two accused are still

enjoying.

10

We have heard Mr. Ashok Arora, learned Advocate

for the appellants and Mr. Harsha Vinoy, learned

Advocate for the State.

Considering the totality of the circumstances on

record, it emerges:

a) The deceased had died as a result of injuries

which were suffered by a blunt object, such as,

lathi.

b) Not a single injury could be associated with

any sharp cutting weapon.

c) Similarly, most of the injuries suffered by the

injured prosecution witnesses were also by a

blunt object.

d) The record indicates that the place of

occurrence was in an agricultural field

situated at Khasra No.210.

e) The evidence suggests that said agricultural

field was a subject matter of dispute between

the parties.

f) Two of the accused persons themselves also

suffered injuries and some of those injuries

were by sharp cutting weapons.

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g) The incident was stated to have occurred when

initially there was an exchange of words

between the ladies which then got converted

into an incident where blows were exchanged.

In the premises, in our considered view, the

matter would be covered by Exception fourthly to

Section 300 IPC and as such, the crime in question

would not be “murder” but “culpable homicide not

amounting to murder”.

In the totality of the circumstances, in our

view, all the accused would be principally guilty of

the offences under Section 304-II and Section 304-II

read with Section 149 of the IPC.

We have been given to understand that the

accused Sita Ram and Mangla Ram have completed

about six years of sentence. In the fitness of

things, the appropriate sentence for the principal

offence under Section 304-II and 304-II read with

149 of the IPC ought to be six years of

imprisonment. If the accused have completed six

years of sentence, they be released forth-with
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unless their custody is required in connection with

any other offence.

As regards, two of the accused, namely, Prahlad

and Ganesh, whose juvenility has been confirmed by

the concerned Sessions Judge, we direct that they be

dealt with in terms of Section 20 of the J.J. Act,

2000 and Section 25 of the J.J. Act, 2015.

With these observations, the instant appeal

stands allowed to the extent indicated hereinabove.

………………….J.

(UDAY UMESH LALIT)

………………….J.

(S. RAVINDRA BHAT)

………………….J.

(BELA M. TRIVEDI)

New Delhi,
October 28, 2021.



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