Latest Updates

Penal Code, 1860, Section 302 – Acquittal – Marital discord – Deceased was found hanging with telephone cable wire – High Court acquitted the accused mainly on the basis of evidence of Doctor who conducted the post-mortem -  In the cross examination, Doctor has stated that it could be a case of suicide as the ligature mark was not found on the neck who further stated that the ligature mark is anti-mortem in nature and that if the death is caused by strangulation and the body if put in hanging posture there is every possibility of another ligature mark around the neck - The post mortem report does not disclose the presence of ligature mark around the neck -  High Court arrived at conclusion that the “medical evidence does not conclusively establish that it is a case of homicidal death” and that the accused is entitled to benefit of doubt - When the doctor has given opinion that the suicide cannot be ruled out and the death of the deceased could have been due to suicide which was accepted by the High Court; when the High Court has a view which is a plausible view, we find no good ground to take a different view – Order of  acquittal upheld.(2018)2 SCeJ 1362

 



Indian Penal Code, 1860 (XLV of 1860) S. 300 clause (3), 302 IPC 304 Part I - Condition of deceased at time of admission in hospital was serious and injuries received in the head was dangerous to his life  Doctor opined that condition of the deceased at the time of discharge from hospital was not critical and his condition was stable -  Apparent that the death occurred sixty two days after the occurrence due to septicaemia and it was indirectly due to the injuries sustained by the deceased caused in the incident - Prosecution failed to elicit from the Doctor that the head injury sustained by the deceased was sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death - Having regard to the fact that deceased survived for sixty two days and that his condition was stable when he was discharged from the hospital, the court cannot draw an inference that the intended injury caused was sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death so as to attract clause (3) of Section 300 IPC - Conviction under Section 302 IPC modified to Section 304 Part I IPC. (2016)3 P.L.R. SC 976

Indian Penal Code, 1860 (XLV of 1860) S. 300 Exception 4 -  In terms of explanation to Exception 4, it is immaterial in such cases which party offers the provocation or commits the first assault. (2016)3 P.L.R. SC 632

Penal Code, 1860, Section 302 – Acquittal – Marital discord – Deceased was found hanging with telephone cable wire – High Court acquitted the accused mainly on the basis of evidence of Doctor who conducted the post-mortem -  In the cross examination, Doctor has stated that it could be a case of suicide as the ligature mark was not found on the neck who further stated that the ligature mark is anti-mortem in nature and that if the death is caused by strangulation and the body if put in hanging posture there is every possibility of another ligature mark around the neck - The post mortem report does not disclose the presence of ligature mark around the neck -  High Court arrived at conclusion that the “medical evidence does not conclusively establish that it is a case of homicidal death” and that the accused is entitled to benefit of doubt - When the doctor has given opinion that the suicide cannot be ruled out and the death of the deceased could have been due to suicide which was accepted by the High Court; when the High Court has a view which is a plausible view, we find no good ground to take a different view – Order of  acquittal upheld.  (2018)2 SCeJ 1362

Indian Penal Code, 1860 (XLV of 1860) S. 300 Exception 4 - Keeping in view the nature of the injury, the vital part of the body on which the same was inflicted and the weapon used by the accused, and the medical evidence, that the said injury was sufficient in the ordinary course to cause death, culpable homicide would tantamount to murder but for the application of Exception 4 to Section 300 - The circumstances of the case leave no manner of doubt that the incident was without any pre-meditation and a sudden fight upon a sudden quarrel - The injuries upon the deceased were inflicted in the heat of passion and without the appellant taking any undue advantage or acting in a cruel or unusual manner - The fact situation of the case, therefore, attracts Exception 4 especially when in terms of explanation to Exception 4, it is immaterial in such cases which party offers the provocation or commits the first assault - Offence committed by the author of the injury is not murder but culpable homicide not amounting to murder punishable under Section 304 of the IPC. (2016)3 P.L.R. SC 632

 

Indian Penal Code, 1860 (XLV of 1860) S. 300, 302 IPC,  304 Part 1  - Intention is different from motive -  It is the intention with which the act is done that makes a difference in arriving at a conclusion whether the offence is culpable homicide or murder - Emphasis in Section 300 (3) IPC is on the sufficiency of the injury in the ordinary course of nature to cause death - Sufficiency is the high probability of death in the ordinary course of nature - When the sufficiency exists and death follows, causing of such injury is intended and causing of such offence is murder - For ascertaining the sufficiency of the injury, sometimes the nature of the weapon used, sometimes the part of the body on which the injury is caused and sometimes both are relevant - Depending on the nature of weapon used and situs of the injury, in some cases, the sufficiency of injury to cause death in the ordinary course of nature must be proved and cannot be inferred from the fact that death has, in fact, taken place - Appellant emerged carrying pistol in his hand and fired at the deceased - The weapon used and the manner in which attack was made and the injury was inflicted due to premeditation clearly establish that the appellant intended to cause the injury - Once it is established that the accused intentionally inflicted the injury, then the offence would be murder, if it is sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause the death- Injury was on the inner part of left thigh, which is the non-vital organ - Sufficiency of injury to cause death must be proved and cannot be inferred from the fact that death has taken place - Prosecution has not elicited from the doctors that the gunshot injury on the inner part of left thigh caused rupture of any important blood vessel and that it was sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause the death - Conviction converted form Section 302 IPC to Section 304 Part 1 IPC. (2016)3 P.L.R. SC 235

Indian Penal Code, 1860 (XLV of 1860) S. 302  - Evidence Act,  Section 106 - When an offence like murder is committed in secrecy inside a house, the initial burden to establish the case would undoubtedly be upon the prosecution - In view of Section 106 of the Evidence Act, there will be a corresponding burden on the inmates of the house to give cogent explanation as to how the crime was committed -  The inmates of the house cannot get away by simply keeping quiet and offering no explanation on the supposed premise that the burden to establish its case lies entirely upon the prosecution and there is no duty at all on the accused to offer -  On the date of occurrence, when accused and his father were in the house and when the father of the accused was found dead, it was for the accused to offer an explanation as to how his father sustained injuries - When the accused could not offer any explanation as to the homicidal death of his father, it is a strong circumstance against the accused that he is responsible for the commission of the crime. (2016)3 P.L.R. SC 393

 

Indian Penal Code, 1860 (XLV of 1860) S. 302 read with Section 149 - Legal principles regarding powers of the appellate Court while dealing with an appeal against an order of acquittal reiterated. Held, that five general principles in Chandrappa and Ors. v. State of Karnataka, (2007) 4 SCC 415, as follows: An appellate court has full power to review, reappreciate and reconsider the evidence upon which the order of acquittal is founded. The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 puts no limitation, restriction or condition on exercise of such power and an appellate court on the evidence before it may reach its own conclusion, both on questions of fact and of law. Various expressions, such as, substantial and compelling reasons, good and sufficient grounds, very strong circumstances, distorted conclusions, glaring mistakes, etc. are not intended to curtail extensive powers of an appellate court in an appeal against acquittal. Such phraseologies are more in the nature of flourishes of language to emphasise the reluctance of an appellate court to interfere with acquittal than to curtail the power of the court to review the evidence and to come to its own conclusion. An appellate court, however, must bear in mind that in case of acquittal, there is double presumption in favour of the accused. Firstly, the presumption of innocence is available to him under the fundamental principle of criminal jurisprudence that every person shall be presumed to be innocent unless he is proved guilty by a competent court of law. Secondly, the accused having secured his acquittal, the presumption of his innocence is further reinforced, reaffirmed and strengthened by the trial court. If two reasonable conclusions are possible on the basis of the evidence on record, the appellate court should not disturb the finding of acquittal recorded by the trial court.   (2016)3 P.L.R. SC 554

IPC, Sections 302/149  - Deceased in dying declaration has given a general and omnibus statement about the assault upon the deceased and himself by the accused whcih is not supportd by mdical evidence – Accused was having a twelve bore gun and the other 8 accused were armed with lathis - However, doctor's report shows that deceased had sustained only one injury on the left thigh caused by accused No.1 - Neither the deceased nor injured  had any injury caused by sharp edged weapon - Not pointed out as to which accused did cause injuries to him - His general statement regarding participation of all the accused with different weapons and causing injury to the deceased as well as to himself is not duly corroborated by medical evidence and autopsy surgeon  - In the dying declaration the deceased has deposed that except VP he was not knowing as to who had assaulted him but in the same breath he has stated that he was assaulted by lathi by C and L  - However, his version is not corroborated by medical evidence as he did not suffer even a single scratch on his body except fire arm injury  - Not guilty of offence under S. 302.  (2018-2) SUPREME COURT E@JOURNAL 1273