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As regards discrepancy, when the judgment is confronted with discrepancies in evidence on record, it does not necessarily demolish testimony: Calcutta High Court

Since punishment had been awarded in respect of the major charge under Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code, it would be unnecessary to inflict the punishment separately for the charge under Section 324 of the Indian Penal Code since both the sentences was directed to be run concurrently. The Hon’ble High Court at Calcutta before the Hon’ble Mr. Justice Shivakant Prasad held in the matter of Sri Sukumar Mondal vs. The State of West Bengal & Anr. [C.R.A. 717 of 2018].

The facts of the case relate to an instant appeal directed against the judgment dated 09.10.2018 and order dated 10.10.2018 respectively passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Kalyani, Nadia, wherein the appellant was convicted for commission of an offense under Sections 324/307 of the IPC and sentencing him to suffer rigorous imprisonment for three years with a fine of Rs.10,000/- in default to suffer simple imprisonment for a term of three months for the offense under Section 324 of the IPC and further, rigorous imprisonment for a term of seven years with a fine of Rs.20,000/- in default to suffer imprisonment for a term of six for the offenses under punishable under Section 307 of the IPC. These sentences were to be run concurrently.

The case is based on the incident on 17.04.2015, whereby the complaint of Sankari Sarkar, the de facto complainant, and her sister, namely Basanti Mondal, who went to Chakdaha Market by train for purchasing gift items and marriage articles for Basanti Mondal’s daughter’s marriage and decided to invite the appellant, at about 7.30 AM, upon reaching the house of the appellant, they saw that he was cooking. The de facto complainant proposed to cook for the appellant to which the appellant agreed, and hence, prepared glucose water for Sankari Sarkar and Basanti Mondal in two mugs, the appellant requested Sankari Sarkar and Basanti Mondal to drink, who, upon taking a sip, found a bitter taste to the drink. However, the appellant somehow convinced them saying that it was a good drink and that, once drinking it, they would feel better. After consuming such glucose water, the de facto complainant lost her sense in the kitchen, and when she regained her consciousness, she heard the hue and cry and found Basanti’s body found in a pool of blood and her intestine was gushing out of the abdomen and it was muffled around her neck and the appellant was missing. Sankari Sarkar somehow managed to shift Basanti to JNM Hospital, Kalyani, Nadia with the assistance of the local people.

After the conclusion of the investigation, the learned Sessions Judge and hence, the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Kalyani, disposed of the matter for trial under Sections 326/307 of the IPC against the appellant, who abjured the guilty and claimed a trial. The prosecution examined as many as nine witnesses. Upon dissatisfaction with the impugned judgment, the appellant preferred the appeal on the contention that the judgment was against the weight of evidence on record.

Learned counsel for the appellant claimed that there were glaring discrepancies in the statement of the prosecution witnesses. However, all witnesses were declared hostile and deposed falsely in respect of the alleged occurrence. It was also pointed out that the medical evidence adduced in this case did not justify the conviction of the appellant for the charges enforced, and thus, the judgment was considered to be bad in law and liable to be set aside. He also claimed submitted that the appellant had nearly served out the sentence for a period of six years six months and seventeen days as on date, whereas, the report reflected that the appellant had undergone five years eleven months twenty-two days, along with a remission period of 189 days, which counted up to six years six months and seventeen days of rigorous imprisonment served.

The Hon’ble Court was thus, of the opinion, discrepancies had not shaken the prosecution as much as the statement of the victim lady, her deposition and the medical evidence, the medical report did, and that the prosecution had been able to substantiate the charge under Section 307 of the IPC. His Lordship also said that the impugned judgment reflected that the appellant was convicted for the charges under Section 324 of the IPC and Section 307 of the IPC, and therefore since the punishment had been awarded for the major charge as under Section 307 of the IPC, there was no necessity for inflicting the punishment separately for the charge under Section 324 of the IPC.

Hence, the Hon’ble High Court at Calcutta before the Hon’ble Mr. Justice Shivakant Prasad found no ground to interfere with the judgment of conviction. However, since the appellant had been punished with imprisonment for 7 years and to pay a fine of Rs.20,000/- for the major charge under Section 307 of the IPC, the separate sentence under Section 324 of the IPC was not required.

The Hon’ble Court held that the appellant would suffer imprisonment for seven years and to pay a fine of Rs.20,000/- in default to further simple imprisonment for six months which would suffice the justice. The Court also directed the learned Trial Court to remit the entire fine to the victim lady if realized.

Click here to read the Judgment.

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