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Hukam Singh And

Ors vs State
Of Rajasthan

Submitted to: Submitted by:

The killers of an advocates clerk arranged a funeral pyre by
themselves and cremated the victim in the sight of his bereaved
widow and son. Police charge-sheeted six persons including the
appellants for those acts. But the Sessions Court acquitted them
all. As the High Court reversed the order of acquittal as against
the appellants and convicted them for murder they filed this
appeal as of right under Section 379 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure (for short the Code). We heard detailed arguments of
Shri Uday Umesh Lalit , Advocate for the appellants and Ms.
Anjali Doshi , Advocate for the State of Rajasthan .Munshi
Singh was an advocates clerk who was murdered in the vicinity
of his own house by using a pistol and other lethal weapons at

about 7 P.M. on 29.6.1981. The prosecution case is the
Appeallent Hukam Singh (who was ranked as A.1 in the trial
court) and his brother Harnam Singh (A.5) and the latters sons
Jaswant Singh (A.2) and Balwant Singh (A.4) had some axe to
grind against deceased Munshi Singh. On the evening of the
fateful day Munshi Singh alighted from a bus near his house and
was proceeding to his house. His son Bhupender Pal (PW.4)
took over a bag of cattle-feed which his father brought from the
bazar and he too was walking alittle ahead of his father. All the
appellants were at thebus stop variously armed. On sighting the
deceased one among the appellants (Hukam Singh) made an
exhortation to finish him off and then Darshan Singh (who died

before the trial started) fired his pistol which hit the deceased on
his back. He slumped down on the spot.
Seeing the above mishap befallen his father PW.4Bhupender Pal
rushed to rescue him. Munshi Singh wife on hearing the
commotion flew down from her house and reached her husband.
All the accused assaulted both of them as wellas the deceased.
Then the assailants dragged the deceasedalong the ground and
brought him to their courtyard. Theymade a pyre with firewood
splinters and put the body of Munshi Singh on it and set it
ablaze while his wife and son were looking on aghast.
The police was alerted and they reached the spot but to find only
the burnt remaining of Munshi Singh and the smouldering

embers of the dying pyre. They extinguished the flames and
salvaged whatever remained on the corpse. A team of doctors
conducted post-mortem examination among whom PW.8 Dr.
Rajendra Kumar gave evidence that the dead body reached such
a stage of burnt condition that it was impossible to form an
opinion regarding the cause of death. However, they recovered a
metallic substance from the skeleton which could be the
embedded remnant of firing the pistol.

Section 313 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973
313. Power to examine the accused.
(1) In every inquiry or trial, for the purpose of enabling the
accused personally to explain any circumstances appearing in
the evidence against him, the Court-
(a) may at any stage, without previously warning the accused,
put such questions to him as the Court considers necessary;
(b) shall, after the witnesses for the prosecution have been
examined and before he is called on for his defence, question
him generally on the case: Provided that in a summons- case,
where the Court has dispensed with the personal attendance of

the accused, it may also dispense with his examination under
clause (b).
(2) No oath shall be administered to the accused when he is
examined under sub- section (1).
(3) The accused shall not render himself liable to punishment by
refusing to answer such questions, or by giving false answers to
(4) The answers given by the accused may be taken into
consideration in such inquiry or trial, and put in evidence for or
against him in any other inquiry into, or trial for, any other
offence which such answers may tend to show he has

Section 226 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973

226. Opening case for prosecution. When the accused appears or
is brought before the Court in pursuance of a commitment of the
case under section 209, the prosecutor shall open his case by
describing the charge brought against the accused and stating by
what evidence he proposes to prove the guilt of the accused.

Section 231 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973
231. Evidence for prosecution.
(1) On the date so fixed, the Judge shall proceed to take all such
evidence as may be produced in support of the prosecution.

(2) The Judge may, in his discretion, permit the cross-
examination of any witness to be deferreduntil any other
witness or witnesses have been examined or recall any witness
for further cross- examination.

We bestowed serious consideration to the above contention. If
the evidence of PW4 Bhupender Pal and PW.5 Ram Pyare is
believable the role played by each of the appellants can be

discerned with reasonable degree of certainty. It is not as minor
as sought to be dubbed by the learned counsel. Starting with
their convergence at the bus stop, presumably waiting for the
return of the deceased after his days work, the fact that all were
variously armed, the fact that they all joined together in
inflicting blows on the fallen victim and also on his wife and son
who rushed to the rescue of their bread-winner, and the fact that
they all jointly dragged the deceased up to the pyre and set him
ablaze are very material in deciding whether they all had the
common object of liquidating the deceased on that very evening.
On a scrutiny of the evidence and consideration of the
arguments seriously pressed into the service by the learned
counsel we have no reason to dissent from the finding arrived by

the Division Bench of the High Court that all the appellants are
liable to be convicted of the offence.

found against them. We, therefore, affirm the conviction and
sentence passed on them and dismiss this appeal.

Gujarat High Court
1. Ravsaheb vs Unknown on 14 November, 2011

2.Balwan Singh vs State Of Haryana on 20 July, 2012
thataccused Balwan committed the murder of his daughter by
giving electric shock on her mouth. This statement itself shows
thepresence of accused at the house as it is a case of
circumstantial evidence and PW1 complainant Manphool Singh
and PW2 Kuldeepare not the eyewitnesses, therefore, the

presence of accused Balwan is to be proved from the
circumstances. Rekha(deceased)was married with accused
Balwan about five months earlier to theoccurrence and Balwan,
being husband of Rekha, is supposed to bepresent in his house
unless he takes the plea of alibi which he hasnot taken. There is
no cogent evidence on record to prove thataccused was not
present in the house on that day. Even theaccused in his
statement recorded under Section313Cr.P.C. has nottaken the
plea that he was not present in the house. No suggestionwas put
to PW1 complainant Manphool Singh and PW2 Kuldeep
thataccused was not present at the house. Secondly,
as regards theplace of occurrence, there is neither any

suggestion nor any iota ofevidence to show that death has not
been caused in the house of theaccused. There
Rekha was lying on the cot. Evenno suggestion of any type that
death took place at some other placeand not in the house was put
to the witnesses. The only suggestiongiven to PW1 Manphool
Singh complainant and PW2 Kuldeep is thatCriminal Appeal
No.D-512-DB of 2008 -9-Rekha had committed suicide. Except
this suggestion, no evidence ison record to show that Rekha had
committed suicide. The oralstatements of PWs have been duly
supported by medical evidencei.e. PW5 Dr.Suresh Kumar, who
deposed that the cause of death inthis case was electric
shock leading to vaso vagal shock which wasanti mortem in
nature and sufficient to cause death in ordinary courseof nature.

In cross examination, question was asked to the
doctorregarding the possibility of death of Rekha
by accidental fall of nakedelectric wire on the face which the
doctor replied that it cannot beruled out. The appellant is not
contesting regarding cause of deathof Rekha (deceased) that
she died due to electric shock. The next argument of
learned counsel for the appellantthat the prosecution has not
proved the supply of electricity