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Pradeep Vs. The State of Maharashtra - (High Court of Bombay) (20 Sep 2017)

Exception 4 to Section 300 of IPC applies when the act was committed without premeditation, in a sudden fight without the offender having taken undue advantage or acted in a cruel or unusual manner.



In instant appeal, an exception is taken to the judgment and order of Additional Sessions Judge, whereby Appellant is convicted for the offence under Sections 302 and 323 of the Indian Penal Code,1860 (IPC). Appellant fairly concedes that, he is not disputing the occurrence of the incident and assault on the deceased at the hands of the Appellant, as deposed by the prosecution witnesses. However, his only submission is that, the present case cannot fall under Section 302 of IPC, as it stands squarely covered under Section 304 Part I of IPC. According to him, the incident has occurred in a sudden quarrel without any premeditation. It is submitted that, it was not at all a deliberate act on the part of the Appellant and the injuries found on the body of Deceased also do not spell out that, the Appellant has acted in any inhuman or cruel manner.

There is not an iota of evidence on record to show that, there was any sort of aggression or sudden quarrel between the deceased and the Appellant. Conversely, suggestion to that effect was when put up to PW-1, he has flatly denied the same in his cross-examination. It is brought on record through his cross-examination that, there was no scuffling or abuses prior to the stabbing, either between deceased or the Appellant or between PW-1 and the Appellant.

Moreover, if one sees the nature of injuries sustained by the deceased, then it is apparent that these injuries were inflicted on vital parts of body like the chest and abdominal cavity. These two injuries were found fatal as the deceased succumbed to them immediately. He was declared dead, when brought to the hospital. Moreover, Appellant has not stopped after inflicting these two blows only but there was also third blow of the knife inflicted by Appellant on the deceased which has resulted into stab wound over post lateral aspect of his left arm. The Appellant was also inflicting some more blows. However, only because of the physical intervention of PW-1 in obstructing the Appellant by holding the knife, when he was about to assault the deceased again, Appellant could not succeed in doing so and he ran away from the spot. Therefore, it is not a case of single blow which has resulted into the death.

High Court is of opinion that, the nature of injuries which were stab wounds on the vital parts of body is sufficient in itself to infer that these injuries were sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause the death. Further, Explanation 2 to Section 299 of IPC sufficiently answers the submission advanced by learned counsel for the Appellant that, if deceased was brought to the hospital immediately, his life could have been saved. As per said Explanation "where death is caused by bodily injury, the person who causes such bodily injury shall be deemed to have caused the death, although by resorting to proper remedies and skilful treatment the death might have been prevented."

In present case, the nature of injuries, the body part on which they were inflicted and the weapon used, is more than enough to infer that these injuries were sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death. Apex Court in the case of Sukhbir Singh v. State of Haryana, and Shridhar Bhuyan v. State of Orissa, discussed the necessary ingredients for bringing the case under Exception 4 to Section 300 of IPC and held that, "For bringing in operation Exception 4 to Section 300 of IPC, it has to be established that the act was committed without premeditation, in a sudden fight, in the heat of passion upon a sudden quarrel without the offender having taken undue advantage and not having acted in a cruel or unusual manner."

Here, in present case, none of these four ingredients are satisfied. There is no evidence of any fight or quarrel or even of exchange of abuses. There is also no evidence of the act being committed in a heat of passion. It also cannot be accepted that, Appellant has not taken undue advantage or has not acted in a cruel or unusual manner. In the present case, therefore, submission of Appellant that, his case is covered by Exception 4 to Section 300 of IPC cannot be accepted. The Trial Court has appreciated the entire evidence and material on record in its proper perspective. Hence, the conviction of the Appellant recorded by the trial Court under Section 302 and 323 of IPC does not call for any interference. The Appeal is without merits, therefore stands dismissed.

Relevant : State of Rajasthan vs. Shera Ram @ Vishnu Dutta MANU/SC/1428/2011; Sukhbir Singh vs. State of Haryana MANU/SC/0116/2002; Sridhar Bhuyan vs. State of Orissa MANU/SC/0594/2004


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