Criminal Appeal No. 357 of 2005. Case: State of Rajasthan Vs Thakur Singh. Supreme Court (India)

Case NumberCriminal Appeal No. 357 of 2005
JudgesMadan B. Lokur and Sharad Arvind Bobde, JJ.
IssueIndian Evidence Act, 1872 - Sections 101, 106; Indian Penal Code (IPC) - Sections 302, 324, 326; Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) - Section 313
Judgement DateJune 30, 2014
CourtSupreme Court (India)


Madan B. Lokur, J.

1. The question for consideration is whether the facts and circumstances of the case require the application of Section 106 of the Evidence Act, 1872 and if so, whether the Respondent/accused is guilty of the murder of his wife Dhapu Kunwar. In our opinion, both questions need to be answered in the affirmative and the High Court rendered a decision, perverse in law, in acquitting Thakur Singh and reversing the decision of the Trial Court.

The Facts

2. According to the first information report (FIR) lodged by Himmat Singh (PW-2), the Respondent/accused Thakur Singh was married to Dhapu Kunwar and they had a daughter aged about one year. Thakur Singh was working as a labourer or lorry driver in Ahmedabad. Since he was not feeling well, he was brought to the family home in Hingwania in Rajasthan on 25th February, 1999 where he stayed the whole day.

3. On 26th February, 1999 Thakur Singh's brother Bagh Singh (PW-3) was sent to fetch his brother-in-law Gotu Singh (brother of Dhapu Kunwar) who then came to Hingwania. He seems to have stayed overnight and on 27th February, 1999 Gotu Singh and Thakur Singh were together for most of the day. In the evening at about 4.30 p.m. on 27th February, 1999 Gotu Singh went to Gundli and stayed there overnight. He came back to Hingwania the next morning (28th February, 1999) at about 7.45 a.m.

4. However, before Gotu Singh arrived in Hingwania on 28th February, 1999 Thakur Singh took his wife Dhapu Kunwar and their daughter inside a room and bolted it from within. Thereafter, Himmat Singh and Gotu Singh went from Hingwania by bus to Chanderiya to meet Thakur Singh's elder brother Shyam Singh (PW-1). While Gotu Singh did not return to Hingwania, Himmat Singh returned along with Shyam Singh. This was at about 4.30 p.m.

5. Throughout the day Thakur Singh had locked himself up in a room along with Dhapu Kunwar and their daughter. Other ladies in the house, namely, the wife of Bhag Singh, (Chanda Kunwar PW-18) wife of Pratap Singh (PW-6) and (Pushpa Kunwar PW-20) wife of Ram Singh (PW-7) tried to persuade Thakur Singh to open the door of the room but he did not do so. Later in the evening, after Himmat Singh returned with Shyam Singh, they removed the 'kelu' from above the house and it was then discovered that Thakur Singh had killed Dhapu Kunwar. The door of the house was broken open and Thakur Singh was caught and tied by his brothers and other relatives.

6. At about 6.15 p.m. on the same day, that is 28th February, 1999 Himmat Singh lodged an FIR in the police station giving the facts mentioned above. There is a positive assertion in the FIR that Thakur Singh had killed Dhapu Kunwar. Soon after the FIR was registered, the investigating officer Kuber Singh (PW-23) arrived at the place of the occurrence and took charge of the investigations and arrested Thakur Singh on the basis of the allegations made in the FIR.

Proceedings in the Trial Court

7. On completion of investigations, Kuber Singh filed a charge sheet against Thakur Singh alleging the commission of offences punishable Under Sections 302, 326 and 324 of the Indian Penal Code (Indian Penal Code). The Upper District & Sessions Judge (Fast Track) Chittorgarh who heard the case being Sessions Case No. 90/2001 convicted Thakur Singh and found him guilty of an offence punishable Under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code and sentenced him to undergo imprisonment for life and a...

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