Criminal Appeal No. 140 of 2004. Case: 1. Anjani Chaudhary, 2. Kin Kin Chaudhary Vs State of Bihar, [Alongwith Criminal Appeal No. 1739 of 2010 (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 5187 of 2003)]. Supreme Court

Case Number:Criminal Appeal No. 140 of 2004
Party Name:1. Anjani Chaudhary, 2. Kin Kin Chaudhary Vs State of Bihar, [Alongwith Criminal Appeal No. 1739 of 2010 (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 5187 of 2003)]
Counsel:For Appellant: S. C. Patel, Jai Prakash Narayan Gupta, Pankaj Kr. Singh, Advs. and For Respondent: Chandan Kumar (for Gopal Singh), Adv.
Judges:Harjit Singh Bedi and Chandramauli Kr. Prasad, JJ.
Issue:Indian Penal Code - Sections 34, 302
Citation:AIR 2011 SC 292, 2011 CriLJ 318, 2011 (1) JCC 468 (SC), 2010 (11) SCALE 388, 2011 (2) SCC 747
Judgement Date:October 26, 2010
Court:Supreme Court
 
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Judgment:

Harjit Singh Bedi, J.

  1. These appeals by way of special leave arise out of the following facts:

  2. On 6th February, 1989 at about 2:45 p.m., the first informant Ram Pukar Chaudhary (PW-2), had gone to ease himself when he heard some sounds coming from outside his house. On returning, he saw his nephews Anjani Chaudhary armed with a pistol and a lathi, Bhimsen Chaudhary armed Crl. Appeal Nos. 140/2004 & 1739/2010 with a farsa and KinKin Chaudhary armed with a bhala assaulting his brother Prem Kumar Chaudhary, killing him on the spot. PW-2 raised an alarm, whereafter Satyadeo Chaudhary (PW-1), Madan Chaudhary (PW-5) and Ahsarfi Chaudhary (PW-4) also reached the site and saw part of the alleged occurrence. The motive for the murder was that the family property had been partitioned amongst the four brothers and their mother, and the mother had started living with the deceased Prem Kumar Chaudhary and had also executed a gift-deed in respect of her land in favour of PW-2's wife on which PW-2's brothers Mukti Chaudhary and Ram Pukar Chaudhary as well as the appellants had raised a dispute. On receiving information about the incident, a police party reached the village and recorded the statement of PW-2 and on that basis and after due investigation a charge-sheet was submitted against the appellants under Section 302/34 of the Indian Penal Code, to which they pleaded not guilty and were brought to trial.

  3. The prosecution, in support of its case, examined inter alia:

    PW-3 Ramadhaar Chaudhary who proved the F.I.R (Exhibit-2), CW-2 Sikan Shahani proved the gift deed dated 15th December, 1987 executed between Suhagwati in favour of Dharamsheela Devi and several other formal witnesses who proved the animosity and prolonged litigation between the Crl. Appeal Nos. 140/2004 & 1739/2010 warring brothers. PW-4- Ahsarfi Chaudhary and PW-5 Madan Chaudhary who had been named as eye-witnesses, however, turned hostile and did not support the prosecution.The prosecution, accordingly, fell back on the eye-witnesses; PW-1 Satyadeo Chaudhary, PW-2 Ram Pukar Prakash Chaudhary, PW-13-Ram Padarath Chaudhary and PW-14 Tarawati Devi, the wife of deceased.

  4. The Trial Court held that the evidence of PW-14 could not be believed as her presence had not been noted in the FIR. The court then went into the eye-witness account of Satyadeo Chaudhary PW-1 and observed that though he belonged to a village at a distance of about eight miles from the place of incident...

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