In the case of Rajesh Singh & Ors. V State of U.P., Justice V.S. Sirpurkar reversed the acquittal of Rajesh Singh, Najai Srivastav and Mohan Singh for the murder of an eleven year old boy, Deepak. Giving judgement on 28th March 2011, the judge criticised the “peverse” findings of the original trial court.
Among the inconsistencies found in the trial case were the dismissals of eye witness accounts on “flimsy” grounds. The Father of the boy, Virendra Kumar, had been told that his testimony would be disregarded because he had told the court he was visiting a “paan” shop near the site of the murder. The defence alleged that it was unnatural for him to attend the food shop in question when another was available closer to home. Another witness had his testimony struck off because he told the investigation he had been going to purchase ice, when this was apparently not in his usual routine.
According to the witnesses, Deepak had been beaten in front of a crowd of about 150 people for stealing money. His Father pleaded with the three assailants to stop, but they dragged the boy into a nearby house. After about 30 minutes, the men ran away and Virendra Kumar along with some of his friends went into the home to find Deepak hanged from the roof.
Justice Sirpurkar criticised the lack of focus on the finding of the body at the home of Rajesh Singh:
the trial Court had acquitted the accused persons in a very casual manner.
17. The most important circumstance in this case is the finding of the dead body in the house of one of the accused persons. Surely, the dead body could not have walked inside the house of the accused person. There was absolutely no explanation from the accused persons, more particularly, accused Rajesh as to how the body was found in a hanging position in the house of one of the accused. All the witnesses are unanimous on the point that all the three accused persons went inside the house dragging Deepak with them. This important circumstance was completely lost sight of by the trial Court. That also can be said to be a perversity on the part of the trial Court.
18. As regards the argument of learned counsel for the defence that it was not certain as to which accused actually caused the murder and, therefore, all the three accused persons were bound to be given the benefit of doubt, it has to be said that the argument is without any substance. It is clear that all the three accused persons had taken part in the beating of deceased Deepak and all the accused persons dragged him in the room and closed the door. Therefore, it was up to the accused persons to explain as to how Deepak died. It is very clear that all the three accused persons had acted with common intention of causing the death and, therefore, all the three accused persons would be guilty with the aid of Section 34, IPC. The High Court has rightly held them guilty.
19. In short, after examining the evidence closely, we are of the firm opinion that the acquittal in this case was completely out of the question. The reasoning given by the trial Court was wholly unacceptable and can safely be called perverse. The High Court having noted these defects in the judgment of the trial Court and the casual approach of the trial Court was justified in reversing the acquittal. In our opinion, the appeal has no merits and must be dismissed. It is accordingly dismissed.