Vs. State of Haryana  INSC 139 (22 February 1994)
K. Jayachandra (J) Reddy, K. Jayachandra (J) Ray, G.N. (J)
1994 SCC (2) 551 JT 1994 (2) 102 1994 SCALE (1)706
Judgment of the Court was delivered by JAYACHANDRA REDDY, J.- Special leave
granted limited to the question of nature of offence and the sentence to be
awarded and the question is whether the accused exceeded the right of private defence.
are three appellants. They along with six others were tried for offences
punishable under Sections 147, 148, 302/149 and 323/149 IPC. The trial court
acquitted four persons and convicted the three appellants along with two others
namely Badel and Chav Khan, who died subsequently.
appeal by these three appellants was dismissed by the High Court. Hence the
the accused, the material witnesses and the deceased belong to Village Siraswa
in Gurgaon District. On April
16, 1989 at about 11.30 a.m. bullocks belonging to the complainant party entered
into the wheat fields of Kamal accused and started grazing there. Risal and
Abdul, two of the appellants herein felt offended as the cut wheat crop was
being eaten. by the bullocks. Therefore they started beating the animals. Udey
Singh, brother of From the Judgment and Order dated July 6, 1992 of the Punjab
and Haryana High Court in Crl. A. No. 62-DB of 1990 552 Jai Singh, informant
came running and asked the accused not to beat the bullocks. They left the
bullocks and threatened to beat Udey Singh who ran to his father Asru, the
deceased and complained. Then Asru, the deceased followed by Jai Singh, PW 5, Anwar,
PW 6 and Jam Khan and Dalmer reached the place and they found the two
appellants taking away the bullocks. The prosecution party protested and the
accused apprehended danger and raised a lalkara to teach the complainant a
lesson whereupon, according to the prosecution, the accused party reached there
with arms and a quarrel took place which led to a fight during which both sides
received injuries. After the fight, the injured deceased was taken to the
hospital on a camel cart but he died on the way. His son Jai Singh, PW 5 gave a
report to the police and S.I., PW 7 registered the crime, took up the
investigation, held the inquest and sent the dead body for postmortem. The
doctor, PW 1, who conducted the postmortem, found a punctured wound on the left
scapular region and an incised wound on the scalp with swelling. On internal
examination he found the fracture of the skull bones. He opined that the death
was due to shock and haemorrhage due to this injury. The doctor also examined
witnesses including Jai Singh, PW 5 and Anwar, PW 6. The accused had also a
number of injuries on them. According to the prosecution witnesses, out of the
three appellants, Risal attempted to give a farsa blow to the deceased but he
saved himself by turning back and Abdul gave a farsa blow on the head of the
deceased and the two other accused Badel and Chav Khan also dealt blows on the
deceased and when the witnesses intervened they were also beaten up. On the
side of the accused, Chav Khan who died subsequently, received five injuries
including an incised wound on the hand.
one of the appellants herein, received four injuries including a lacerated
injury on the head. Badel, another accused received two injuries including a
lacerated injury on the head. Before the High Court, it was, however, contended
that the prosecution party was the aggressor because its bullocks entered the
field of the accused and started eating cut wheat crop and thereafter the
complainant side along with the deceased and others came and attacked them. The
trial court and the High Court held that the right of self-defence put forward
by the accused is not probable and that a large number of injuries on the side
of the complainant party suggest that they were attacked by the accused and
therefore the accused actually participated in the assault pursuant to a
prearranged plan and therefore they had no right of self-defence.
have examined the evidence along with the medical evidence. It is not in
dispute that the accused also received a large number of injuries. It is well
settled that the accused need not prove the plea of self-defenece beyond all
reasonable doubt but if by preponderance of probabilities their plea becomes
plausible then they have to be given that benefit. In the instant case, the
plea put forward by the accused appears to be plausible. However, by inflicting
some incised injuries on the deceased they seem to have exceeded the same.
the result the conviction of the appellants under Sections 302/149 IPC is
altered to one under Section 304 Part I IPC and each of them is sentenced to
undergo seven years' RI. The other convictions and sentences, are, however, confirmed.
The sentences shall run concurrently.
the appeal is partly allowed to the extent indicated above.