DB releases convict on bail after 11 years of jail

JAMMU, JAN 4: Division Bench of J&K High Court at Jammu comprising of Chief Justice Badar Durez Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Kumar have suspended life imprisonment sentence and granted bail to a convict namely Tara Chand by Sessions Judge Jammu in 2014, who was sentenced under section 302 RPC (murder) of his wife .
The convict Tara Chand had filed an appeal before the Division Bench of the High Court against the sentence and punishment through Advocate Aseem Sawhney, Shiv Dev Thakur and Anil Kumar Sharma.
The Court after hearing elaborate arguments of Advocate Aseem Sawhney released the convict on bail who has been released after facing a jail term of 11 years. Advocate Sawhney appearing for the appellant/applicant submitted that the convict has been in custody for almost 11 years from 18.02.2007 till date. He submitted that the appellant/applicant was convicted under section 302 RPC for murder of his wife, Raj Kumari who died due to burn injuries.
DB observed that Counsel for the appellant, there is sufficient doubt in the case as to whether the appellant/applicant was the cause of burn injuries as result of which Late Raj Kumari passed away. He submitted that strong doubts are created because of the testimony of PW-10, Mohit Baburia, who was their son and was aged 9 years at the time of occurrence. He was 14 years old when he testified in Court, According to the ld Counsel for the appellant/applicant, the said PW-10 Mohit Baburia has clearly stated that his parents used to quarrel off and on, and that, on several occasions, his mother Raj Kumari, had threatened to kill herself. He has pointed out that the witness stated that on previous day there was an altercation between his parents. On the date of occurrence, according to said witness, his mother Raj Kumari was down stairs when she got burnt whereas his father, Tara Chand (Appellant/Applicant), was upstairs with him. This according to the Ld. Counsel for the appellant/applicant is clear testimony of the fact that appellant/applicant was not the person who caused burn injuries on Raj Kumari to which she succumbed five days later in hospital. He further submitted that PW-10 Mohit Baburia was declared hostile and was cross-examined by the prosecution but prosecution has not been able to shake this part of the testimony that when Late Raj Kumari caught fire, she was down stairs and was screaming and Tara Chand (appellant/applicant) was upstairs with said witness.
Court further observed that another aspect of the matter which has been highlighted by the Counsel Aseem Sawhney is that the trial court placed reliance on the so called dying declaration dated 14.02.2007, which is said to have been made by Late Raj Kumari in hospital. “According to him, the dying declaration which has been recorded is not in the words of Raj Kumari but that of the Police personnel. He further submitted that there is doubt as to scribed the dying declaration. Moreover, he submitted that the Executive Magistrate/Naib-Tehsildar, PW-16 Jagbir Singh admitted his signatures on so-called dying declaration, exhibit P-4, but at the same time of the said witness has stated that nobody else signed the said document in his presence, which means that even so called declarant, that is, Late Raj Kumari, had not signed the same in his presence, the High Court recorded in its order.
DB observed that testimony of Mohit Baburia who was the son of the deceased and appellant/applicant cannot be ignored, and the so called dying declaration shrouded in doubt. Having conduct all the circumstances of the case as indicated above, we are of the view that the appellant/applicant is entitled for the grant of suspension of sentence and for being related on bail till the disposal of the appeal. Consequently, the sentence of the appellants/ applicant stands suspended for the duration of the appeal and he is directed to be released on bail on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 1 lakh with two sureties of the like amount to the satisfaction of the Registrar Judicial of this Court. The appellant/applicant shall not leave the State without permission of this Court and shall be present in Court on each date of hearing. (JNF)