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The State of Rajasthan Vs. Kanhaiya Lal - (Supreme Court) (10 Apr 2019)

Nature of weapon used and vital part of body where blow was struck are sufficient to prove intention of Accused to cause death



Present appeal arises from the judgment and Order of a Division Bench of the High Court passed in Criminal Appeal. The High Court, while allowing the appeal filed by the Respondent, convicted him under Section 304 Part I of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) instead of Section 302 of the IPC. The State preferred present appeal against the said decision. Issue raised in present matter is applicability of Section 304 Part I of IPC.

In the case of Arun Raj, present Court observed and held that, there is no fixed Rule that, whenever a single blow is inflicted, Section 302 of IPC would not be attracted. It is observed by present Court that, nature of weapon used and vital part of the body where blow was struck, prove beyond reasonable doubt the intention of the Accused to cause death of deceased. Once these ingredients are proved, it is irrelevant whether there was a single blow struck or multiple blows.

The judgment of the High Court is manifestly perverse and is totally contrary to the evidence on record. As per PW15, Doctor, a fracture of 4 cm length was found in the parietal and occipital. He also stated that, said head injury was sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of nature. Thus, the Accused used a deadly weapon-axe on the vital part of the body-head, which proved to be fatal.

A single blow on the vital part of the body like head and that too by deadly weapon-axe and used with force which proved to be fatal, was sufficient to hold that it was a case of murder within the definition of Section 300 of the IPC. Merely because the altercation might have taken place much earlier and not immediately prior to and/or at the time of commission of the offence, it cannot be inferred that, there was no intention on the part of the Accused to cause death of the deceased.

Therefore, the High Court has committed a grave error in converting/altering the conviction from Section 302 of IPC to Section 304 Part I of IPC. Thus, the judgment of the High Court is manifestly perverse and is totally contrary to the evidence on record. The impugned judgment of the High Court was set aside and the judgment of the trial Court convicting the Accused under Section 302 of IPC was restored. Appeal allowed.

Relevant : Arun Raj v. Union of India MANU/SC/0383/2010


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