of Andhra Pradesh Vs. Naragudem Papireddy & Ors
 Insc 122 (25
N Santosh Hegde & B P Singh. Santosh Hegde,J.
short question which arises for our consideration in this appeal is whether the
High Court was justified in concluding that the convicted appellants before it
were not guilty of an offence punishable under section 302 IPC as has been held
by the trial court and holding the said appellants guilty of a lesser offence
punishable under sections 324 and 325 IPC ?
purpose of deciding this question, we will deal with only such facts as are
necessary for disposal of this appeal.
view of the findings of the trial court as affirmed by the High Court against
which there is no appeal by the convicted accused, the fact that in the
incident as alleged by the prosecution on 8.4.1989 at 4.45 a.m. PWs.2 and 3
suffered injuries as also the fact that in the second incident which took place
at 5.15 a.m. the mother and brother of PWs.2 and 3 were injured and because of
the injuries so suffered one of the victims Narsimha Reddy died on 13.4.1989,
is not disputed.
the incidents as found by the trial court and the High Court against the
appellants has become final. In that background, the trial court convicted A-1,
A-2, A-5 to A-8 of the offence under section 324 IPC. It convicted A-3 and A-4
of an offence under section 324 read with 149 IPC.
A-5 and A-8 were convicted for offence under section 324 IPC for causing hurt
and A-7 were found guilty of offence under section 324 read with section 149
A-5 to A-7 were found guilty of an offence punishable under section 302 IPC.
A-4 and A-8 were found guilty under section 302 read with section 149. A-1 to
A-9 and A-10 were acquitted of the charge under section 323 IPC. It awarded a
sentence of 1 year to all the convicted accused under section 148 and those
convicted under section 324 read with 149 IPC and awarded imprisonment for life
to those convicted under section 302 read with section 149 IPC.
appeal filed against the said judgment to the High Court of Judicature, Andhra
Pradesh, the High Court allowed the said appeal in part and convicted A-1, A-6
and A-7 for an offence punishable under section 325 read with 34 IPC and
sentenced them to undergo RI for 3 years and to pay a fine of Rs.5,000/- in
default to undergo RI for 6 months. They were further convicted for an offence
punishable under section 324 read with section 34 IPC and sentenced to undergo
RI for 6 months each. Both the sentences were directed to run concurrently.
High Court convicted accused 2, 5 and 8 for an offence under section 324 read
with 34 IPC and the High Court held that the sentence already undergone would
suffice for the said offence. However, they were imposed a fine of Rs.1,000
each, in default to undergo RI for a period of 3 months each. A- 1, A-2 and A-5
to A-8 were acquitted of the charges framed against them.
this appeal the State of Andhra
Pradesh contends that
the High Court was in error in coming to the conclusion that the acts of the
accused which caused the death of Narsimha Reddy would not amount to an offence
punishable under section 302 IPC. Learned Additional Solicitor General
appearing for the State submitted the High Court having accepted the finding of
facts of courts below and having noticed the fact that nearly 8 persons armed
with deadly weapons had assaulted 4 persons, out of which to the deceased, they
caused such grievous injuries knowing very well that the said injuries would in
the normal course cause the death of the victim, it could not have found them
guilty of offence under section 325 only. He also submitted from the material
on record it is clear that all those persons who assaulted the deceased, had
also the intention to kill the deceased.
counsel for the respondents, of course, has justified the judgment of the High
point to be considered by us in this appeal, therefore is whether the
respondents before us did cause the injury to deceased Narsimha Reddy with an
intention of causing his death or caused the same with an intention of causing
grievous hurt only. This we can primarily gather from the injuries suffered by
the deceased and from the medical evidence in this regard.
the doctor who was then In-charge of the Orthopedic Department, Osmania General Hospital, Hyderabad, examined the deceased on 8.4.1989
at about 10.40 a.m. and he found the following injuries
on his person :
Fracture of right ulna;
Fracture of left ulna;
Fracture of right fibula;
Fracture of 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th metacarpals left.
noticed that the patient was conscious at the time of examination and there was
no injury on any vital part of the body. PW-16 who after seeing the post mortem
report given by Dr. Smt. Rajagopalan with whose handwriting he was familiar,
stated in his evidence that which is in conformity with the post mortem report.
In the said report, it is noted that corresponding to the external injuries the
following internal injuries were found :
Fracture of right ulna lower 1/4th
Fracture of left ulna lower 1/4th
Fracture of right fibula lower 1/3rd 4. Fracture of 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th
post mortem report the cause of death is noted as multiple fracture. We have
also noticed the fact that the deceased in this case suffered these injuries on
8.4.1989 and died about 5 days later on 13.4.1989. A perusal of the injuries as
stated by the doctor PW-14 who first saw the victim as also the post mortem
report commented upon by PW-16, we notice the assailants i.e. the respondents
herein, caused injuries which led to the fracture of the two hands and the
right fibula along with fracture of 4 metacarpal bones. Keeping in mind the
fact that these injuries had been caused by lathis and the assailants have not
used any sharp-edged weapon nor have they attacked the victim on any vital part
of the body like head or chest leading to injuries to the internal organs or to
haemorrhage, merely from the injuries noted hereinabove, it is extremely
difficult for us to accept the argument of the State that the High Court was
not justified in coming to the conclusion that the injuries caused to the
deceased would not be one attracting the provision of section 302 IPC. Learned
counsel for the State then argued that these injuries cannot be read in
isolation but will have to be appreciated or noticed in the background of the
evidence led by the prosecution through eye-witnesses including injured
eye-witnesses. According to the learned counsel, it is clear from the evidence
of these witnesses that all the accused persons who were armed with deadly
weapons came with one and the only intention of causing the death of not only
the deceased but also PWs.2 and 3 because of the enmity they entertained with
the deceased and his family.
it should be noted that the family of the deceased and that of the accused are
closely related descending from a common ancestor. The victim's father and some
of the assailants are direct brothers. Between them, there was some dispute
with regard to their ancestral property which was pending in a civil court.
That is stated to be the motive. PWs.2 and 3 stated in their evidence that in
the morning of 8.4.1989 at about 4.45 a.m. all the accused persons came and
beat them mercilessly all over the body with sticks, iron rods and knives, but
a perusal of their injury does not support their case at all because all that
is suffered by these witnesses are minor injuries which are mostly in the
nature of abrasions. There are no incised injuries corresponding to the use of
a sharp-edged weapon. If really the intention of the assailants was to murder
these victims, it will be very difficult to comprehend that they would come
armed only with lathis and assault the victims only on non-vital parts of body
that too in case of PWs.2 and 3 causing minor injuries. In regard to the
assault on the victim it is to be seen that the very same group moved
thereafter to the house of mother of PWs.2 and 3 where the deceased was
residing, called him out and assaulted him, causing the abovenoted 4 grievous
injuries. It is to be noted herein also that if really the intention was to
cause the death of this victim we fail to understand why at least one of the
assailants did not wield his weapon so as to attack the victim on a vital part
of the body. The nature of injuries and the manner of attack as stated by the
victims themselves indicates that the respondents did not have either the
intention to cause the death of Narsimha Reddy, or to cause injuries which they
knew to be so imminently dangerous as would cause his death in all probability.
counsel then relied upon a judgment of this Court in State of Andhra Pradesh v. Rayavarapu Punnayya and Anr.
(1976 4 SCC 382) to substantiate his argument that even attack by lathis
causing fracture which leads to death, could be construed as an act of murder
punishable under section 302 IPC. We have no doubt that there may be cases like
in the case of Rayavarapu (supra) where from the material on record the
intention of the parties would be clear that they intended to cause the death
or had the knowledge that their acts would cause death of the victim. In the
said case it is to be noted that the assailants went on pounding on the legs of
the victim who was quite old which indicated the intention of the assailants;
in the instant case as noted above, we do not find any such material on record
to come to a similar conclusion.
the reasons stated above, we find no merit in this appeal. The appeal fails and
the same is hereby dismissed.