सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने अपने एक ऐतिहासिक फैसले में कहा है कि अगर परिवार पर कोई हमला करता है, तो बचाव में व्यक्ति कानून अपने हाथ में ले सकता है
नई दिल्ली। सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने अपने एक ऐतिहासिक फैसले में कहा है कि अगर परिवार पर कोई हमला करता है, तो बचाव में व्यक्ति कानून अपने हाथ में ले सकता है। देश की शीर्ष अदालत ने आत्मरक्षा के अधिकार के व्यापक दायरे की व्याख्या करते हुए यह बात कही है।
सुप्रीम कोर्ट का यह फैसला उन दो व्यक्तियों के मामले में आया है, जिन्हें अपने पड़ोसियों पर हमले के आरोप में ट्रायल कोर्ट ने दोषी करार दिया था। बाद में राजस्थान हाई कोर्ट ने ट्रायल कोर्ट के फैसले को बरकरार रखते हुए दोषियों को दो साल के कठोर कारावास की सजा सुनाई थी।
मगर सुप्रीम कोर्ट में जस्टिस दीपक मिश्रा और जस्टिस शिव कीर्ति सिंह की पीठ ने तथ्यों के बारे में थोड़ी विसंगतियां पाई। यह सही था कि दोनों दोषियों ने अपने पड़ोसियों पर हमले किए थे, मगर पुलिस इस बात को पेश करने में नाकाम रही थी कि दोनों ये हमले क्यों किए थे।
सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने जाना, हमले की वजह
ये हमले उस वक्त किए गए, जब दोषियों के माता-पिता पर तेज और कुंद चीजों से कई वार गिए गए, जिससे बुरी तरह जख्मी पिता ने बाद में दम तोड़ दिया।
पीठ ने क्या कहा
पीठ ने कहा कि आवेदनकर्ताओं ने दावा किया है कि जब उन्होंने देखा कि उनके मां-बाप को बुरी तरह से पीटा जा रहा है, तब उन्होंने अपना बल प्रयोग किया। जस्टिस सिंह ने अपना फैसला लिखते हुए इस बात को रेखांकित किया कि यह अहम कारक था, जिसे अभियोजन पक्ष ने मजबूती से नहीं रखा, जिससे दोनों को दोषी करार दिया गया।
घटना की वजह होती है अहम
सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने कहा कि मुकदमे के दौरान इस बात को जाना ही नहीं गया कि आखिर घटना की मूल वजह क्या थी और न ही आरोपी पर लगे जख्मों की वजह जानने की कोशिश की गई। साथ ही अभियोजन पक्ष आरोपियों के पिता की मौत की वजह का पता लगा पाने में नाकाम रहा है। ऐसे में आवेदनकर्ताओं को संदेह का फायदा मिल जाता है
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.416 OF 2016
(Arising out of SLP(Crl.) No. 2301 of 2016)
Bhagwan Sahai and Anr. …..Appellants
State of Rajasthan …..Respondent
J U D G M E N T
SHIVA KIRTI SINGH, J.
1. Both the appellants have assailed the impugned judgment of the High
Court of Judicature for Rajasthan at Jaipur Bench whereby Criminal Appeal
No. 1235 of 2011 was disposed of by the impugned judgment and order dated
14.1.2016. The High Court set aside the conviction of the appellants under
Sections 307 and 307/34 of the IPC respectively but found them guilty under
section 308/34 of the IPC. The High Court also set aside appellant’s
conviction under Section 326 and 326/34 IPC respectively in view of their
being found guilty under Section 308/34 of the IPC but maintained the
conviction under Sections 323 and 324 of the IPC. For the offences under
Section 308/34 IPC the appellants were inflicted with punishment of two
years rigorous imprisonment alongwith a fine of Rs.500/- with a default
clause. For offences under Sections 323 and 324 of the IPC, the lesser
sentence awarded by the trial court were maintained.
In order to appreciate the submissions advanced on behalf of the appellants
that even if the allegations against them were to be accepted as true, they
are entitled to acquittal on the plea of right of private defence of
person, it is necessary to notice the prosecution case, the injuries on
appellant No.1 and his parents, including his father who received serious
injuries that proved fatal and whether the prosecution have been able to
offer any explanation for the injuries on the side of the accused.
According to the prosecution case, two appellants who are brothers
alongwith female family members, Guddi Devi, Seema and Gulab Devi formed an
unlawful assembly in their village on 4.5.2008 at 10.00 a.m. Armed with
lethal weapons they went near the “Bada” of Jagram and caused injuries to
Sajana Devi with blunt weapon, simple injury to Jagram and his wife Malli
Devi with blunt as well as incised weapon and also caused simple as well as
grievous injuries to Kailash Chand with blunt and incised weapon.
According to prosecution the offences under Sections 147, 148, 323, 324,
326 and 327 read with Section 149 of the IPC were committed by the accused
persons on account of old enmity between the parties.
The defence of the accused persons is denial of the occurrence in the
manner alleged. According to the accused persons, the prosecution case is
false. They examined Dr. Suresh Chand Meena and Bhagwan Sahai Meena as PW1
and PW2 and also proved documentary evidence-exhibits D1 to D11. The
defence witnesses were examined to support the contention that the members
of the prosecution party had beaten one Kanchan, father of the appellants
and as a result he subsequently died. These injuries were proved by Dr.
Suresh Chand Meena who also proved injuries of Gulab Devi and others.
The Trial Court noticed the defence case but failed to discuss the same.
The defence witnesses were neither commented upon nor there was any comment
upon the defence exhibits and injuries sustained on their side.
The High Court in the impugned judgment has taken a mechanical note of the
defence witnesses 1 and 2 and thereafter has given the following
observations while noticing the injuries of Kanchan, and of the appellant
Bhagwan Sahai Meena and his mother Gulab Devi:-
“Appellants were tried in case arising out of cross version. It is to
be noted that in the occurrence, Kanchan father of both the appellants had
died. Appellant Bhagwan Sahai, his mother Gulab Devi acquitted accused,
Seema acquitted accused and appellant Satish had suffered injuries
alongwith Jalli Devi. In respect of cross case, a separate appeal has been
filed bearing D.B. Criminal Appeal No.1255/2011. The trial court had given
a finding that there was a free fight between both the parties and
therefore, had convicted the accused for their individual liability.
In the occurrence, Kanchan Lal father of the appellants had received
“1. Lacerated wound with bleeding 6 cm x 1 cm bone deep on left
parietal region of scalp.
2. Lacerated wound with bleeding 2 cm x ½ cm on occipital region of
Bhagwan Sahai appellant also received two injuries and the same were
noted in the injury report as under:-
“1. Lacerated wound 3 cm x ½ cm x ½ cm on palmar aspect of base of
2. Lacerated wound 1½ cm x ½ cm x ½ cm on right parietal region of
Gulab Devi mother of both the appellants had also received two
injuries and same are noted as under:-
“1. Lacerated wound with bleeding 1 cm x ½ cm x ½ cm on forehead.
2. Bruise (reddish) 10 cm x 2 cm over right shoulder.”
The High Court has also noted that both the sides had taken a plea that
the land in question where the occurrence had taken place is in their
possession. One of the injured Malli Devi-PW6 also deposed, as noted by
the High Court, that the parties were having dispute with the accused over
land. The High Court has also noted the Judgment of this Court in the case
of Lakshmi Singh and others v. State of Bihar which was relied upon by
the counsel for the accused persons in support of private defence and for
acquittal on the ground of non-explanation of death and injuries on the
side of the accused. The High Court drew correct inferences from the
aforesaid judgment but proceeded to convict the appellants on the
misconceived ground that since both the parties had withheld the origin and
genesis of the occurrence and since it cannot be determined as to which
party was the aggressor, the case had to be decided against the accused
persons treating it as a case of free fight between the parties.
The aforesaid view of the High Court is devoid of legal merits. Once the
Court came to a finding that the prosecution has suppressed the genesis and
origin of the occurrence and also failed to explain the injuries on the
person of the accused including death of father of the appellants, the only
possible and probable course left open was to grant benefit of doubt to the
appellants. The appellants can legitimately claim right to use force once
they saw their parents being assaulted and when actually it has been shown
that due to such assault and injury their father subsequently died. In the
given facts, adverse inference must be drawn against the prosecution for
not offering any explanation much less a plausible one. Drawing of such
adverse inference is given a go-bye in the case of free fight mainly
because the occurrence in that case may take place at different spots and
in such a manner that a witness may not reasonably be expected to see and
therefore explain the injuries sustained by the defence party. This is not
the factual situation in the present case.
Therefore, we have no hesitation in allowing the appeal and acquitting the
appellants of all the charges. We order accordingly. They shall be
released from jail custody forthwith, if not required in any other case.
The appeal is allowed.
[SHIVA KIRTI SINGH]
June 03, 2016.
 1976 (4) SCC 394