Facts and Proceeds –
Chauhan, the father of the boy Om Prakash who was a govt. employee was taken to be a rich man. Ram Bharosey and Ram Chandra, the main accused persons used to visit his house regularly. The accused had planned the scheme to kidnap his son several days before they actually took action. The first time when they tried, there were villagers on the bank, due to which the plans could not be given shape. On the next day, 9th June, they took the boy to the banks of the Jamuna river by enticing him to be taught how to swim. The two accused persons held the legs and hands of the boy and drowned him until the movement stopped after 5-7 minutes. After that he was stabbed three times in the stomach and pushed into the current. The knife used was thrown in the river too. The accused Ram Chandra wrote letters to the father, Chauhan from 10th June till the 4th of July. Around 10 letters were written on different dates, negotiating the price of the deal, threatening to behead his son, telling him not to approach the police and also telling him where to deliver the money. The main content was that if Rs. 10,000/- was not paid to the ‘Zalim Daku, Ram Chandra’s letter head name, the son would be beheaded and the head sent to the father.
The whole time, Ram Chandra and Ram Bharosy acted as/deceited to be the allies of the petitioner and acted as if they were looking for the boy too. Ram Chandra and Ram bharosey, kept advising the petitioner to pay the money and get rid of the Zalim Daku. He wrote a letter to the petitioner to convey that if he was ready to pay the money, he should put two marks on the wall of his house and if not the head of his son shall be sent to him. The petitioner drew the marks on his wall and also wrote that he was ready to pay Rs. 3,000/-In the end Rs. 5,000/- were agreed upon and the father, before handing over the money got the currency’s numbers noted with a magistrate. Afterwards a note was recovered from a shopkeeper near the railway station where the money was asked to be delivered, which bore the same number as one of the notes that were noted by the magistrate. The shopkeeper told that Ram Bharosey had bought beetle leaves and had given that 10 rupee note to him. The accused were arrested and subsequently the case was filed. When the police investigated, around 4700/- were found in Ram Chandra’s house under the ground. Later, a hand writing expert also confirmed that the letters were written by Ram Chandra. The accused were arrested on 6th July, 1952. Ram Chandra made a confession before the lower court. Both the accused were convicted under section 120-B(Conspiracy), 302(Murder), 201(Disappearance of Evidence), 364(Kidnapping in order to Murder) and 386(Extortion) of IPC.
Issue before the Supreme Court: Whether the charges of Murder and conspiracy specifically are maintainable against the accused persons along with the other charges?
Judgment and It’s analysis:
Though the Sessions Court and the HC found the accused persons guilty, SC waived a few charges and found that the Sessions Court had not taken complete measures while taking the statements of the accused. Thus the offense of murder and conspiracy could not be fully established as the accused even retracted from his statements in the end. However, Ram Chandra and Ram Bharosey were still convicted for Kidnap, Extortion and Disappearance of Evidence as the SC did not find any point in differing from the judgment of the lower courts in that respect. The hand writing was matched as Ram Chandra’s, his conduct showed prior knowledge of events, the accused persons forced the petitioner to pay the money, the accused even confessed of the same, however, it was retracted subsequently and lastly, the money was recovered from the accused persons. Satya Prakash could not be held in the charge of conspiracy or murder, as that offence could not be established against any person. In the end, the appeals by the accused persons – Ram Chandra and Ram Bharosey were dismissed.
The judgment given seems to be one with a big amount of analyzing and mind application involved, however, with all due respect, if the accused were found to have written the letters and holding the money, they could also have been held guilty for the offence of murder and conspiracy. Specific evidences of the same should not have been necessary to hold something so obvious.
The judgment is a landmark one and also holds a message to the society to be alert and not take people close to you for granted and unchecked.