Ratan Singh Vs. State
of M.P. & ANR.  INSC 822 (24 April 2009)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 825 OF 2009
(Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No. 732 of 2008) Ratan Singh ....Appellant Versus
State of M.P. & Anr. ....Respondents
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT,
in this appeal is to the order passed by a learned Single Judge of the Madhya
Pradesh High Court allowing the petition filed by respondent no.2. The High
Court by the impugned order accepted the petition filed under Section 482 of
the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (in short the `Code'). Respondent no.2 had
filed the petition questioning framing of charges against him along with
co-accused for offence punishable under Sections 307, 148, 323 read with
Section 149, 307 read with Section 149, 341 and 294 of the Indian Penal Code,
1860 (in short the `IPC'). The petition was filed primarily on two grounds. One
was that the present respondent no.2 had suffered injuries in the incident
which admittedly had happened at two different places at a distance of 7 kms.
from each other and, therefore, the case was falsely foisted. The other was
that injuries were simple in nature and no injury was found on the vital part
of the body and, therefore, Section 307 read with Section 149 IPC has no application.
The High Court accepted the latter submissions and held that framing of charge
for offence punishable under Section 302 or 307 read with Section 149 IPC is an
abuse of process of court.
counsel for the appellant submitted that the scope and ambit of Section 307 has
not been kept in view. The stand was supported by learned counsel for the
State. Learned counsel for the respondent no.2, on the other hand, supported
is to be noted that the alleged offences are of very serious nature.
Section 307 relates
to attempt to murder. It reads as follows:
any act with such intention or knowledge, and under such circumstances that, if
he by that act caused death, he would be guilty of murder, shall be punished
with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten
years, and shall also be liable to fine; and, if hurt is caused to any person
by such act, the offender shall be liable either to (imprisonment for life), or
to such punishment as is hereinbefore mentioned."
justify a conviction under this Section, it is not essential that bodily injury
capable of causing death should have been inflicted. Although the nature of
injury actually caused may often give considerable assistance in coming to a finding
as to the intention of the accused, such intention may also be deduced from
other circumstances, and may even, in some cases, be ascertained without any
reference at all to actual wounds. The Section makes a distinction between an
act of the accused and its result, if any. Such an act may not be attended by
any result so far as the person assaulted is concerned, but still there may be
cases in which the culprit would be liable under this Section. It is not
necessary that the injury actually caused to the victim of the assault should
be sufficient under ordinary circumstances to cause the death of the person
assaulted. What the Court has to see is whether the act, irrespective of its
result, was done with the intention or knowledge and under circumstances
mentioned in the Section. An attempt in order to be criminal need not be the
penultimate act. It is sufficient in law, if there is present an intent coupled
with some overt act in execution thereof.
is sufficient to justify a conviction under Section 307 if there is present an
intent coupled with some overt act in execution thereof. It is not essential
that bodily injury capable of causing death should have been inflicted. The
Section makes a distinction between the act of the accused and its result, if
any. The Court has to see whether the act, irrespective of its result, was done
with the intention or knowledge and under circumstances mentioned in the
Section. Therefore, an accused charged under Section 307 IPC cannot be
acquitted merely because the injuries inflicted on the victim were in the
nature of a simple hurt.
position was highlighted in State of Maharashtra v. Balram Bama Patil and Ors.
(1983 (2) SCC 28), Girija Shanker v. State of Uttar Pradesh (2004 (3) SCC 793),
R. Parkash v. State of Karnataka (JT 2004 (2) SC 348) and State of M.P. v.
Saleem @ Chamaru and Anr. (2005 (5) SCC 554) and, State of Madhya Pradesh v.
Imrat and Anr. 2008 (11) SCC 523.
Sarju Prasad v. State of Bihar (AIR 1965 SC 843) it was observed in para 6 that
the mere fact that the injury actually inflicted by the accused did not cut any
vital organ of the victim, is not by itself sufficient to take the act out of
the purview of Section 307.
there was intention to kill or knowledge that death will be caused is a
question of fact and would depend on the facts of a given case.
that the injury inflicted by the accused was simple or minor will not by itself
rule out application of Section 307 IPC. The determinative question is
intention or knowledge, as the case may be, and not nature of the injury. The
basic differences between Sections 333 and 325 IPC are that Section 325 gets
attracted where grievous hurt is caused whereas Section 333 gets attracted if
such hurt is caused to a public servant.
307 deals with two situations so far as the sentence is concerned. Firstly,
whoever does any act with such intention or knowledge, and under such
circumstances that, if he by that act caused death, he would be guilty of murder,
shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may
extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine; and secondly if hurt is
caused to any person by such act the offender shall be liable either to
imprisonment for life or to such punishment as indicated in the first part i.e.
10 years. The maximum punishment provided for Section 333 is imprisonment of
either description for a term which may extend to 10 years with a liability to
view of what has been stated above, the impugned order of the High Court is
clearly unsustainable. The scope of interference under Section 482 of the Code
at the present juncture as was done by the High Court is clearly unsustainable.
The appeal is accordingly allowed. It is made clear that we have not expressed
any opinion on merits of the case and this appeal is being decided keeping in
view the parameters relating to exercise of power under Section 482 of the
(Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT)