The court has dismissed the appeal against Madhya Pradesh High Court judgement upholding their conviction under Section 148, 302 read with Section 149 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Karulal, Amra, Kachru, Surattram and Bhagirath were accused of murder of one Madhavji. The evidence against the accused who were charged under Section 148, 302 read with Section 149 IPC was considered. On evaluating the evidence, the learned Trial Court found that the six accused ( including lal who died), being armed with lethal weapons, illegally assembled in order to attack the deceased Madhavji, while adverting to the eyewitness PW3 and PW12, the court highlighted the third eyewitness (PW11) who was not related. The trial court also discussed the slight inconsistency in the evidence of PW3 and noted that his examination in chief and cross examination was conducted after long gap of one and a half years. The learned trial court Judge noted that DR. Shrivastav has merely accepted that injuries could be sustained through a fall from some height. But it was then specifically recorded by the learned judge that the Doctor never stated that the injuried were the result of accidental fall. In fact the defence never suggested that the injuries were not the result of the violent attack by the accused on the person of Madhavji. Accordingly , it was concluded that the injuries on the vital parts were inflicted by the accused in furtherance of their common objective.
On the evaluation of the evidence of the eyewitnesses and the post mortem report, the defence plea of false implication was found to be untrue. It was then held that the accused persons had intentionally caused the fatal injuries on the deceased Madhavji and accordingly they were convicted under Section 302 read with 149 IPC and were sentenced to life imprisonment.
The bench, while addressing the contentions made by the accused, where precedents were briefly discussed and has considered the law on evidentiary value of a related witness by reffering to the decisions in Dalip Singh & Ors. Vs State of Punjab , Khurshid Ahmed Vs. State of Jammu and Kashmir. The court noted that, being related to the deceased does not necessarily mean that they will falsely implicate innocent persons. The court stated that an unrelated witness had deposed supporting the testimony of related witnesses in this case.
It was submitted that few of the witnesses has not supported the prosecution case and were declared to be hostile. But there are enough material evidence and trustworthy testimonies which clearly support the case against the accused. The bench observed that the above precedents make it amply clear that the testimony of the related witness, if found to be truthful , can be the basis of conviction and have every reason to believe that PW3 and PW12 were immediately present at the spot and indentified the accused with various deadly weapons in their hands.
Thus court observed that the five persons accused of murder of Madhavji with having the common intention and upholding their conviction under Section 148, 302 read with Section 149 of the Indian Penal Code .