Vs. State of Bihar  Insc 290 (9 May 2001)
Shah & Shivaraj V. Patil Shivaraj V. Patil J.
appeal is by the sole accused who was convicted for offence under Section 302 IPC
and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for life by the Sessions Judge. The High
Court of Patna dismissed the Criminal Appeal No. 239/87(R) by the order dated
15.9.1988 confirming the order of conviction.
appeal by special leave.
short, the prosecution case is that on 14.8.1983 at about 6 A.M. in the morning
Savitri Devi, wife of the informant Thakuri Pandit (PW-9) had gone to ease
herself towards north of her house. In the meantime, the accused Karu Marik
being armed with chhura went there and assaulted with chhura on her chest. She
began crying and wanted to run away but the accused caught hold of her hairs,
threw her on the ground and started giving chhura blows on her abdomen and
back. On raising alarm, her husband (PW-9) and Sita Dhobin (PW-2), Mukesh
(PW-1) and others came there. Seeing them, the accused fled away. PW-9 found
his wife in a pool of blood lying unconscious. He took her to Sadar hospital, Giridih,
and admitted her. Enmity between the accused and PW-9 was said to be the motive.
Furdi bayan of PW-9 was recorded in the hospital by S.I., R.N.Singh. On that
basis, F.I.R. was drawn and a case under Section 307 IPC was registered against
the accused. On 14.8.1983 itself, her dying declaration was recorded by S.N.Prasad,
Judicial Magistrate First Class, Giridih. Savitri Devi died on 22.8.1983 in the
hospital due to the injuries caused to her by the accused. Hence the offence
was altered to one under Section 302 IPC. The accused was tried for an offence
under Section 302 IPC. He pleaded not guilty and his defence was that he had
been falsely implicated in the case out of enmity.
prosecution in all examined 10 witnesses to establish the guilt of the accused.
PW-1 was declared hostile. Accepting the evidence of PW-2 and PW-9, the eye-witnesses
coupled with the dying declaration of the deceased and keeping in view the
evidence of the doctor and the Investigating Officer, the trial court held
accused guilty and convicted him for an offence under Section 302 IPC and
sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for life. On appeal by the
accused, the High Court re-appreciated and scrutinized the evidence objectively
and appropriately and did not see any infirmity in the order passed by the
trial court. In that view, upheld the order of conviction and sentence passed
by the Sessions Court.
perused the judgments of both the courts and looking to the evidence placed on
record, we are of the opinion that the accused was rightly convicted. It must
be stated here itself that this Court on 27.9.1991 issued notice confining it
to the nature of offence only.
we heard learned counsel for the parties.
learned counsel for the appellant submitted that the deceased died in the
hospital after eight days of assault;
of injuries inflicted on the deceased; the weapon used and in the absence of
specific evidence of the doctor as to whether any particular injury or injuries
were sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course, conviction of the
appellant under Section 302 IPC is not justified.
to her, the appellant could be convicted under Section 324 IPC. She pleaded
that the appellant had neither intention to cause death of the deceased nor
such bodily injury which he knew was likely to cause death. On the other hand,
the learned counsel for the respondent-State made submissions supporting the
impugned judgment. He stated that the trial court as well as the High Court,
were right and justified in convicting the accused and sentencing him for life
imprisonment under Section 302 IPC based on the trustworthy and unshaken
evidence of eye-witnesses coupled with the dying declaration. He added that the
case of the appellant is covered by Clause II of Section 300; the doctor has
clearly stated that the injuries inflicted on the deceased were sufficient to
cause death; looking to the nature of the weapon used in the commission of
offence and the parts of the body on which the injuries were inflicted, it
cannot be accepted that the appellant could be convicted for an offence under
Section 324 IPC instead of 302 IPC.
have carefully considered the submissions made by the learned counsel for the
parties. Dr. Sibnarayan Prasad (PW-8) who examined the deceased has stated that
he found the following injuries on the person of deceased Savitri Devi:-
One incised injury on the right side of chest 2x2x6 deep in the cavity.
One incised injury on right side of abdomen 3x2 deep in the cavity.
One incised injury on back 3x2 deep into cavity.
after operation, the following injuries were found:-
Two incised injuries in the transverse colon each 1½x ½x deep into the cavity
of the Lumen.
Four incised injuries on the large intestine each ½x1/2x deep into the cavity
of the Lumen He has deposed that all the injuries were grievous in nature and
dangerous to life and that they could be caused by sharp cutting weapon such as
dagger. He was of the opinion that death of the deceased was due to shock and
hemorrhage and circulatory failure as a result of the above injuries.
manner of causing injuries, the nature of the injuries caused, the part of the
body where they were inflicted, the weapon of assault employed in the
commission of the offence and conduct of the accused are relevant factors in
determining whether the offence committed is one of murder or culpable homicide
not amounting to murder.
most illiterate and rustic person would know and realize that a savage blow
with a short cutting weapon on vital part like chest and abdomen would cause
bodily injury which would result in death. Ordinarily, a man is presumed to
intend necessary consequences of his act. This Court, dealing with the second
clause of Section 300 IPC in Rajwant Singh vs. State of Kerala ( AIR 1966 SC
1874), in para 10 has observed that:- The second clause deals with acts done
with the intention of causing such bodily injury as the offender knows to be
likely to cause the death of the person to whom harm is caused. The mental
attitude here is two-fold.
is first the intention to cause bodily harm and next there is the subjective
knowledge that death will be the likely consequence of the intended injury.
times, the nature of the injury inflicted itself presents a most valuable
evidence of what the intention was but that is not the only way of gauging
intention. Each case must be examined on its merits. Intention being the state
of mind of the offender, no direct evidence as a fact can be produced. It has
to be gathered from the available evidence and the surrounding circumstances in
considering whether the offence is covered by clause I of Section 300 IPC. As
far as clause II of the Section 300 is concerned, it is enough if the accused
had the intention of causing such bodily injury as he knew to be likely to
cause the death of the person to whom the harm is caused. Such intention may be
inferred not merely from the actual consequences of his act, but from the act
case on hand, having regard to the nature of wounds inflicted, it must be
deemed that his intention was at least to cause such bodily injury as was
likely to cause death. The broad facts as deposed by the prosecution witnesses
accepted by the trial court as well as the High Court clearly show that the
appellant gave a blow with chhura on the chest of the deceased. When she tried
to run away, he caught hold of her hair, threw her on the ground and again
assaulted with the chhura on the abdomen and the back of the deceased. This is
the manner in which the injuries were inflicted. The injuries inflicted were
grievous in nature and dangerous to life which resulted in causing death of the
deceased as deposed to by the doctor.
injuries were inflicted by the chhura, a sharp cutting weapon; even an
illiterate and ignorant can be presumed to know that an intense assault with
such weapon on such vital parts of the body would cause death. In criminal
cases, intention or the knowledge under which a person acts is an important
consideration. However, the intention being a mental make up or a state of mind
of an offender, it is difficult to prove directly as a fact, but is to be
inferred from the facts and circumstances of the case. Hence, in the case on
hand, it is not possible to accept the submission that the appellant could be
convicted for the offence under Section 324 IPC.
this view of the matter, we do not find any merit in the contentions urged on
behalf of the appellant. Thus finding no merit in the appeal, it is dismissed.