Read Order:  Nirmal Singh v. State of Punjab 

Tulip Kanth

Chandigarh, November 18, 2021: While dismissing the Petition, filed under Section 438 of the CrPC, for grant of anticipatory bail to the petitioner, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has opined that plea of alibi is a matter of evidence and the documents in question are matter of trial which require to be proved during trial

Herein, the present case was registered on the statement of Massa Singh (complainant) who stated that his younger brother Major Singh (unmarried) had good relations with Manjinder Singh who is brother of petitioner. Manjinder Singh was running a social worker channel and the work of chit fund (committee). Major Singh had invested in 2/3 committees with Manjinder Singh. 

The terms of these committees had already been over and an amount of Rs. 4.5 lakhs was due towards Manjinder Singh. On March 11,2021, Major Singh went to the house of Manjinder Singh to collect money but he did not return. Accordingly, the FIR was registered under Section 365 of the IPC at Police Station Verowal.

Later, In the month of March, the complainant got recorded supplementary statement to the effect that son of his uncle namely Dalbir Singh received an information regarding a dead body lying in the canal minor at T-Point, Vadala Kalan, whereupon, complainant alongwith Dalbir Singh went there and found that the same belonged to his younger brother Major Singh. Complainant raised suspicion that his brother had been murdered as he did not return on March 11,.2021 from the house of Manjinder Singh.

In the interregnum, Manjinder Singh was arrested by the police and during investigation, Manjinder Singh made a disclosure statement that on March 11,2021, Major Singh had come to his house for demanding his money and his brothers, Nirmal Singh and Pargat Singh were also present. After exchange of hot words, Manjinder Singh caught hold of Major Singh with the help of his brothers and they administered him intoxicating tablets after dissolving them in juice. 

Nirmal Singh, petitioner, caught hold of Major Singh from his arms and Pargat Singh handed over a ghotna to Manjinder Singh. Manjinder Singh hit the same on the head of Major Singh whereupon he fell down and died. Thereafter, legs and arms of Major Singh were tied; wrapped in a sheet and put in car. Thereafter, Manjinder Singh and his brothers threw the dead body in a drain bridge of village Vadala Kalan.

The counsel for the petitioner stated that there was no question of his being present in the house on the day of occurrence or making of extra judicial confession to Puran Singh on March 15,2021. He had strained relations with his brother Manjinder Singh and had been falsely implicated in the case.

The Bench of Justice Sant Parkash observed that there was no cogent evidence to believe that petitioner had strained relations with his brother Manjinder Singh and thus,there was no occasion for Manjinder Singh to lie or to implicate his own brother.

Referring to the petitioner’s argument that the entire prosecution story stood falsified from the fact that Puran Singh got recorded his statement that the petitioner met him on March 15,2021, whereas the petitioner had already joined his duties on March 14,2021, the Bench held that this argument stood rebutted from the supplementary statement of Puran Singh recorded under Section 164 Cr.P.C. wherein he clarified that he met petitioner on March 12,2021 and he (petitioner) made an extra judicial confession regarding murder of Major Singh.

The Bench also brought forth another glaring circumstance which was sufficient to draw an inference that petitioner was present at the time of alleged occurrence. The tower locations of petitioner’s mobile had been collected by the Investigating Agency showing his presence in his house on the day of occurrence. 

“Be that as it may, the plea of alibi is a matter of evidence and the documents annexed are matter of trial which require to be proved during trial”, said the Bench.

 Keeping in view the totality of facts & circumstances, the Court noted that the custodial interrogation of the present petitioner would be necessary in order to reveal the circumstances leading to the murder of Major Singh. The offence alleged to have been committed by the petitioner and the co-accused is very serious in nature and taking into consideration the mode and manner of the commission of offence, the Bench concluded that no ground was made out to extend extraordinary jurisdiction of granting anticipatory bail.

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