Ram Das Vs. State of
M.P.  INSC 60 (13 January 2009)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 47 OF 2009
[Arising 0ut of S.L.P. (Crl.) No.7738 OF 2008] Ramdas ..... Appellant Versus
State of Madhya Pradesh ..... Respondent ORDER Lokeshwar Singh Panta, J.
appeal arises out of judgment dated 26.10.2007 passed by the High Court of
Madhya Pradesh, Bench at Gwalior, whereby and whereunder the appeal preferred
by the appellant has been partly allowed. By the impugned judgment, the learned
Single Judge of the High Court altered the conviction of the appellant from
Section 307 of the Indian 2 Penal Code (for short `IPC') to Section 324 IPC
recorded by the learned Sessions Judge, Morena, in Sessions Trial No. 190/1999
and sentenced him to suffer rigorous imprisonment for 3 years instead of 7
years as imposed by the trial judge.
Fine of Rs.2,000/-,
out of which a sum of Rs.1,500/- was ordered to be paid to Smt. Shakuntla Bai
(PW-4) widow of deceased Krishna Sharma, has not been interfered with.
incident leading to the prosecution of the appellant occurred on 20.08.1994 at
Village Purawas Khurd, Police Station Sihoniy, District Morena, Madhya Pradesh.
According to the prosecution, one month prior to the day of the incident, Shri
Krishna Sharma purchased a she-buffalo from appellant Ramdas for a
consideration of Rs.5,000/-. It was agreed between the parties that the amount
of consideration would be paid after birth of calf of she-buffalo. On
19.08.1994, calf of she-buffalo was born. On the day of incident, i.e. 20.08.1994,
at about 10 a.m. Shri Krishna Sharma went to the house of the appellant for the
payment of Rs.5,000/- where Sheetal Prasad co-accused was also present. The
appellant made a demand of Rs. 150/- towards interest 3 amount for which Shri
Krishna Sharma did not agree because there was no such agreement between the
parties to pay the interest of Rs.150/-. On this trivial issue, some
altercation took place between the parties, as a result whereof the appellant
dealt sickle blow on the back of the person of Shri Krishna Sharma. As a result
of the said injury, blood started coming from the wound. The incident had been
witnessed by Rajaram (PW-2), Ram Kishan (PW-3), Smt. Shakuntla Bai (PW- 4) and
Ram Swaroop (PW-5). After causing injury to the victim, the appellant and
Sheetal Prasad both had fled from the scene of occurrence.
Krishna Sharma, injured, lodged First Information Report under Sections
323/324/504/34 of IPC in the Police Station against the accused persons, on the
basis of which the investigation was conducted by Lal Singh Yadav (PW-8) who
recorded the statements of the witnesses, inspected the place of the occurrence
and arrested the accused. Shri Krishna Sharma was medically examined by Dr.
Jagdish Karkot (PW-7) on the same day who found following injuries on his
4 "One incised
wound on the left side back of patient in the size of 1.4 cm x 2 mm x 1.3
Shri Krishna Sharma died on 01.07.1996 (near about 2 years after the incident).
Therefore, Section 302 IPC was added in the chargesheet.
learned Sessions Judge, on the basis of the evidence, charge-sheeted the
appellant and the co-accused Sheetal Prasad under Sections 302/34 IPC.
the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and claimed to be tried. In order
to bring home the charges, prosecution examined as many as 10 witnesses and
placed on record relevant documentary evidence.
learned Sessions Judge, on scrutiny of the entire evidence on record, held the
appellant guilty of the offence punishable under Section 307 IPC and,
accordingly, sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 7 years and to
pay a fine of Rs. 2,000/-. Out of the said amount, a sum of Rs. 1,500/- has
been ordered to be paid to Smt.
Shakuntla Bai (PW-4),
widow of deceased Shri Krishna Sharma. However, no tangible and convincing
evidence has 5 been found against co-accused Sheetal Prasad, therefore, he was
aggrieved, the appellant filed appeal under Section 374 (2) of Code of Criminal
Procedure, 1973 (for short `Cr.P.C') before the High Court. The learned Single
Judge of the High Court allowed the appeal in part and altered the conviction
of the appellant from Section 307 IPC to Section 324 IPC and imposed the
aforesaid sentence upon him.
aggrieved thereby and dissatisfied with the judgment of the High Court, this
appeal by special leave has been preferred in this Court.
heard Mr. T.S. Doabia, learned Senior Advocate for the appellant, this Court
issued notice to the State of Madhya Pradesh confined to the question of
quantum of sentence. Mr. Govind Goel, learned counsel has appeared on behalf of
the State. Mr. T.S. Doabia, learned Senior Advocate, states at the Bar that the
appellant has already undergone about 15 months of imprisonment in terms of the
order of the High Court.
our close scrutiny of the testimony of eye-witnesses - PWs 2 and 3 and having
gone through the First Information Report (Ex.P/1), it is clear that on the
date of the incident, all of a sudden altercation ensued between the appellant
and deceased Shri Krishna Sharma on the issue of payment of Rs. 150/- as
interest amount. There is no evidence on record to indicate that there was any
previous enmity between the appellant and the deceased. The appellant is an
single blow of sickle had been inflicted by the appellant on the back of the
deceased. Dr. P.R. Pendharkar (PW-1) conducted an autopsy on the dead body of
Shri Krishna Sharma who as stated above died on 01.07.1996.
According to Dr. P.R.
Pendharkar, 11 injuries were found on the dead body of the deceased, out of
which injury no. 10 was incised wound allegedly inflicted by the appellant on
the back side of the deceased. In the opinion of the doctor, injury nos. 1 to 9
were in the nature of `Ulcers' and indirect outcome of injury no. 10. The
opinion of the doctor proves that the deceased had not died due to direct
result of injury no. 10 sustained by him. It is also pertinent to mention that
the 7 occurrence had taken place on 20.08.1994 and since then the appellant
has been prosecuting the present case for the last more than 14 years in
various courts and in that process he undoubtedly has undergone mental agony
and financial sufferings. In this view of the matter, in our considered opinion
we feel that justice would be sub-served if the sentence imposed by the High
Court, is reduced to the sentence already undergone by the appellant.
the aforementioned reasons while maintaining the conviction of the appellant
under Section 324 IPC, the sentence of 3 years imposed by the learned Single
Judge of the High Court is reduced to imprisonment already suffered by the
who is in custody, is directed to be set at liberty and released forthwith
unless wanted in connection with any other case.
the above modification, the appeal is partly allowed.
(Lokeshwar Singh Panta)