Proper Method to Deal with Criminal Case of Two Versions

Proper Method to Deal with Criminal Case of Two Versions Benefit of doubt Case Laws Criminal Appeal Criminal Law Cross Version Knowledge - Criminal Law Lahore High Court Litigation & Arbitration Motive Murder Solutions - Criminal Law Mr. Justice Shehram Sarwar Ch. in his judgment has decided the issue regarding proper method to deal with criminal case of two versions in Criminal Appeal No. 1113 of 2010.

1. Ejaz Hussain (appellant) was tried by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Alipur District Muzaffargarh in case FIR No.166 dated 27.05.2007, offence under Section 302 PPC read with Section 34 PPC registered at Police Station Saddar Alipur District Muzaffargarh for the murder of Mst. Shazia Bibi (deceased) sister of the complainant. Vide judgment dated 28.10.2010 passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Alipur, the appellant has been convicted under section 302(b) PPC and sentenced to death. Assailing the above conviction and sentence, the appellant has filed the appeal in hand whereas the learned trial court has sent Murder Reference No. 198 of 2010 for confirmation or otherwise of Ejaz Hussain, appellant’s sentence of death, as required under Section 374, Code of Criminal Procedure. As both these matters have arisen out of the same judgment, therefore, shall be decided together through this single judgment.

2. Prosecution story, as set out in the FIR (Ex.PA/1) registered on the statement (Ex.PA) of Gull Muhammad, complainant (PW.2), is that he was a labourer. About 5/6 months earlier, marriage of Mst.Shazia Bibi sister of the complainant was solemnized with Ejaz Hussain (appellant) son of Karim Bakhsh Patafi but often there had been quarrel between sister of the complainant and the appellant on petty matters. They were implored but the appellant did not restrain. On 26.05.2007 at around 2.00 p.m. the complainant was informed by some children that the appellant was beating Mst. Shazia Bibi sister of the complainant and he proceeded to her house. When he (complainant) reached near the house of his sister, he heard hue and cry of his sister. Meanwhile, Hafeez Ullah (PW.3) paternal uncle of the complainant and Haq Nawaz son of Gull Saad reached there. The complainant told them that Ejaz Hussain was beating his sister. The complainant and other PWs entered the house and witnessed that Ejaz Hussain and Riaz Hussain sons of Karim Bakhsh were giving fist blows to the sister of complainant. Ejaz Hussain was catching hold of her from her arms whereas Riaz Hussain was holding a rassi wrapped around her neck. Within their view, both of them (appellant and his brother) told them that because of sustaining electric current, she was raising alarm. The complainant and other PWs attended Mst. Shazia Bibi and buried her in the roori. Riaz Hussain and Ejaz Hussain decamped from there immediately. While the complainant party keeping Mst. Shazia Bibi in the roori, she died and they took her to their house. The heirs of the accused persons beseeched the complainant party not to initiate any proceedings but they did not concede. Motive behind the occurrence as alleged in the FIR was that there was an altercation between sister of the complainant and Ejaz Hussain and due to that grudge, both the accused, in consultation with each other, committed her murder by beating and strangulating her with rassa.

3. During trial, Riaz Hussain co-accused of the appellant did not appear and proceedings under Sections 87/88 of the Code of Criminal Procedure were initiated against him. The appellant was summoned by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Alipur District Muzaffargarh to face the trial. Copies of relevant documents were provided to him, as required under Section 265-C, Code of Criminal Procedure and formal charge under Sections 302 PPC read with Section 34 PPC was framed against him on 01.08.2007, to which he pleaded not guilty and claimed trial. After the close of prosecution evidence, statement of the appellant under Section 342, Code of Criminal Procedure was recorded on 20.10.2010, wherein he refuted all the allegations of the prosecution and professed his innocence. In answer to a question as to why the case against him and why the prosecution witnesses had deposed against him, Ejaz Hussain (appellant) stated as under:

“The case of the prosecution, as setup before this court is false and fabricated. In fact the murder of my wife Shazia was committed by the complainant Gul-Muhammad and other PWs and in order to save their skin, they have manipulated a story falsely implicating me in this murder case. It is worth-mentioning that I had filed a petition for registration of FIR against the PWs which was dismissed vide order dated 16.9.2009, by the then learned ASJ/Justice of Peace, against that order of dismissal I filed writ petition No.7636/2009. The Hon’ble Lahore High Court, Multan-Bench vide order dated 13.10.2009, made a direction to the I.O./SHO P/S Sadar Alipur, to bring on record my version and proceed in the matter in accordance with law, but neither my statement was recorded nor the I.O. conducted proceedings in the case in accordance with law and thereby, he violated the directions of Hon’ble Lahore High Court, very glaringly. No independent witness has appeared against me to give evidence. All the PWs examined by the prosecution are having prejudice and interested witnesses and their evidence does not carry any weight.”

The appellant did not opt to appear as his own witness, in disproof of the allegations levelled against him, as provided under Section 340(2), Code of Criminal Procedure. However, he produced copy of writ petition No.7636/2009 (Ex.DA) alongwith copy of order dated 13.10.2009, of this Court, copy of petition under Section 22-A/22-B, Cr.P.C. titled Hazoor Bakhsh vs. SHO P/S Saddar, Alipur alongwith order dated 21.06.2007 passed by learned Addl. Sessions Judge/Justice of Peace, Alipur (Ex.DB), copy of affidavit of Gull Muhammad (Mark ‘A’) and statements of Hafeez Ullah son of Sher Muhammad, Haq Nawaz son of Gull Muhammad, Saeed Ahmad son of Ghulam Hussain in present case FIR No.166/2007 recorded before the police (Mark ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’) as defence evidence. After conclusion of the trial, the learned trial court convicted and sentenced the appellant as detailed above. Hence this appeal and murder reference.

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