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Gandi Doddabasappa v. State of Karnataka - (Supreme Court) (28 Feb 2017)

Accused committed murder of pregnant daughter sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life



Instant criminal appeal arises from judgment and final order passed by High Court of Karnataka wherein High Court has set aside order of acquittal passed by Sessions Court and instead convicted Appellant for an offence punishable under Section 304, Part I of Indian Penal Code, 1860 and sentenced him to undergo 10 years of rigorous imprisonment for killing his daughter.

High Court has found that, fatal injuries suffered by deceased were established from contents of postmortem report proved by doctor. Further, Doctor opined that the injury found on the body of deceased can be attributed to the sickle recovered from the scene of offence. He has further opined that, injuries were sufficient to cause her death. The use of sickle during assault, fortifies conclusion reached by Courts below about homicidal death and including that, injuries resulted in instant death of deceased. Supreme Court opined that, finding of guilt recorded against accused (appellant) by High Court is unexceptionable and does not warrant any interference.

High Court has made no attempt to explain as to how case on hand would be covered by one of five exceptions given in Section 300 of IPC. Unless the case falls under one of specified exception, it cannot be brought under first part or second part of Section 304 of IPC. The first exception will be attracted only if it is possible to hold that, accused whilst deprived of power of self-control by grave and sudden provocation, caused death. From established facts on record, it is seen that Appellant followed his daughter into the women’s public toilet of village and assaulted her. The fatal injuries resulted in her instant death. The first exception, therefore, will have no application. The second exception will be attracted in cases where accused, in exercise in good faith of right of private defence, exceeds power given to him by law and caused injuries resulting in death of victim without premeditation and without any intention of doing more harm than is necessary for purpose of such defence. Even this exception, will have no application to fact situation of present case. The third exception has no application to the present case. The fourth exception is attracted when the crime is committed without premeditation in a sudden fight in the heat of passion upon a sudden quarrel and without the offender having taken undue advantage or acted in a cruel or unusual manner. Even this exception has no application to the fact situation of present case. Fifth exception is attracted when person whose death is caused, being above the age of 18 years, suffers death or takes the risk of death with his own consent. Significantly, the defence of the appellant as evinced from his statement under Section 313 of Cr.P.C. is of complete denial and being falsely implicated.

None of exceptions in Section 300 of IPC is attracted in the present case. It would necessarily follow that accused committed murder of his daughter who was in the advanced stage of pregnancy and for which he was liable to be punished with either imprisonment for life or death under Section 302 of IPC alone. In the peculiar factual background of this case, it is not a fit case to impose death penalty. Appeal preferred by Appellant deserves to be dismissed; and show cause notice issued by this Court for enhancement of sentence is made absolute – thereby convicting Appellant for offence punishable under Section 302 of IPC and sentencing him to undergo imprisonment for life.


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