Allahabad HC dismisses appeal of four murder convicts
The Allahabad high court has dismissed an appeal challenging life sentence of four convicts who had killed one Riazuddin by crushing him under a tractor nearly 18 years ago as he was selected as “Shiksha Mitra” (para teacher) while one of the accused Pratap Singh from the same village could not succeed and so harboured animosity against him.
Riazuddin was a resident of Nauli Fatuabad village of Buduan district and the incident had occurred in November 2003. The court affirmed the lower court judgment and directed three out of the four appellants, Sadhu, Devendra and Srikrishna, who were on bail, to surrender immediately before the trial court to serve out the sentence. The fourth convict Pratap Singh is already in jail. His bail plea was not allowed on an earlier date.
The bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice JJ Munir passed the order in an appeal filed by Pratap Singh, Sadhu, Devendra and Srikrishna who were convicted by the court of additional sessions judge, Budaun. The prosecution case was that a First Information Report (FIR) was lodged on November 11, 2003 by Sirajudin, father of the deceased, at Ushait police station of Budaun.
As per the FIR, on November 11, 2003, Riazuddin was riding a tonga to Kadar Chowk when he was intercepted at an isolated place and waylaid by the four appellants who came along riding a tractor. They forced Riazuddin to get down from the carriage, physically assaulted him and threw him in front of the tractor and then Pratap Singh crushed him to death under the wheels of the tractor.
Appellants’ plea was that the prosecution could not establish the motive to kill the victim and that too brutally. State government counsel submitted that both Riazuddin and Pratap Singh had vied for the position of “Shiksha Mitra” and the former’s appointment to the said position had left Pratap Singh seething with anger which led to the crime.
The court, after hearing the concerned parties, observed, “Motive is not very relevant in a case of direct evidence, where a dependable ocular version is available. Once there is evidence forthcoming on the basis of an eye-witness account, that is consistently narrated by multiple witnesses, motive is hardly relevant.”
“Appellants, in their statements under Section 313 of the Code, have not assigned any particular motive to the witnesses to falsely implicate them,” added the bench while dismissing the appeal.