State of Madhya Pradesh  Insc 512 (28 September 2001)
Banerjee & K.G. Balakrishnan K.G. Balakrishnan, J.
Addha, son of Rooplal, was tried by the First Additional Court of Sessions, Mandla
[Madhya Pradesh], along with four others, or the offence punishable under
Section 302 read with Section 149 IPC. The Sessions Court held that there was
no unlawful assembly as alleged by the prosecution and the appellant was found
guilty of the offence punishable under Section 302 for having caused the death
of one Sher Singh. Two other accused, namely, Rooplal and Buddhulal were found
guilty of the offence punishable under Section 324 IPC. The conviction and
sentence of the accused were confirmed by the High Court.
incident in question took place on 19.7.1986 at about 9.00 PM. PW-1 Jugal Kishore, along with PW-3 Mishridas, was
returning from the nearby flourmill and they saw accused Buddhulal in a wordy
altercation with PW-4, Pancham. Jugal Kishore intervened and tried to dissuade
them from quarreling. At that time, Buddhulals father Rooplal came there and
took his son to his house. But on reaching their house, Buddhulal and Rooplal
started hurling abusive words at PW-1, Jugal Kishore. On hearing this, deceased
Sher Singh, PW-2 Gulab and some others persons came to the place of occurrence
and there ensued a quarrel. It is alleged that while Buddhulal was armed with
an axe, Rooplal was armed with a Bichua and Addha was having a Lathi. It is the
prosecutions case that Rooplal inflicted an injury on PW-1 Jugal Kishore and Buddhulal
dealt a blow on the arm of Gulab. It is also the prosecutions case that Addha
dealt 2-3 blows on the head and chest of the deceased Sher Singh. Deceased Sher
Singh fell on the ground. He was taken to the nearby hospital where he was
next day by about 9.20
AM, PW-1 Jugal Kishore
gave the F.I. statement before the police and PW-6, Sub-Inspector of Nainpur
Police Station, took over the investigation. He held inquest on the body of the
deceased and the dead body was then sent for post mortem examination. PW-8
conducted the post-mortem and it was revealed that 7th and 8th ribs of left
side of the chest of the deceased were fractured. PW-8 deposed that the
injuries on the head and the ribs were sufficient in the ordinary course of
nature to cause death of the victim.
heard the learned counsel on both sides. The counsel for the appellant
contended that the prosecution case is not true and correct and that PW-1 Jugal
Kishore, deceased Sher Singh, PW-2 Gulab and others came and attacked the
accused. It was also contended that the accused Rooplal and others had
sustained injuries in the course of the incident. It was argued that the
prosecution failed to prove that appellant Addha caused the vital injuries to
the deceased Sher Singh. We find some force in the above contention.
to PW-1 Jugal Kishore, when he was coming along with PW-3 Mishridas, he saw Buddhulal
and PW-4 Pancham quarrelling. He intervened in the quarrel and tried to send
them away. By the time the first accused Rooplal also reached there and took Buddhulal
home. PW-1 also alleges that he was severely abused by the first accused Rooplal.
The incident is alleged to have taken place near the house of Rooplal. Even
according to the F.I. statement given by PW-1 before the police, after the
first incident of quarrel between Buddhulal and Pancham, PW-1 Jugal Kishore and
others proceeded to the house of Rooplal. When they reached the house of Rooplal,
the accused persons started attacking PW-1 Jugal Kishore and others. PW-2 Gulab
has deposed that his house is located about half a mile from the place of
incident. It is certain that he along with PW-1 and others must have come to
the house of the accused with an intention to pick up a quarrel with them and
there ensued the attack and the counter-attack and in that incident, PW-1, PW-2
and the deceased Sher Singh sustained injuries. It is also pertinent to note
that in the F.I. statement, PW-1 has not stated that the appellant caused any
injuries to the deceased Sher Singh on his head. In the F.I. statement, it is
only stated that appellant Addha had given a Lathi blow on the ribs of Sher
Singh and as a result thereof Sher Singh sat down and later died. The other
accused were also armed with Lathis. There is also evidence to the effect that
there was complete darkness and it was not possible to see who had caused the
injuries. PW-2 admitted in his cross-examination that when he proceeded from
his house to the place of incident, it was dark. PW-4 also admitted in the
cross-examination that there was complete darkness and he could identify only
some of them.
view of the failure of PW-1 to mention the details of attack by the appellant
as against deceased Sher Singh and in view of the fact that the entire incident
happened pursuant to a quarrel between two groups of people and that the
appellant had no deliberate intention to cause death of Sher Singh, we do not
think that an offence under Section 302 IPC had been made out against the
appellant. The incident was the result of a sudden quarrel between the two
groups and in that melee the appellant must have used a Lathi which caused
injury to Sher Singh which ultimately resulted in his death. In that background
it is difficult to hold that the appellant committed the offence of murder. The
offence would only come under Section 304 Part II of the Indian Penal Code.
we acquit the appellant of the offence under Section 302 IPC and find him
guilty of offence punishable under Section 304 Part-II of IPC.
told that the appellant has been undergoing imprisonment ever since the date of
Sessions Courts judgment, which was pronounced on 28.9.1988. Therefore, we hold
that the sentence already undergone by the appellant is sufficient to meet the
ends of justice. In the circumstances of the case, appellant Addha, son of Rooplal
is directed to be released forthwith, if not required in any other case. The
appeal would stand allowed accordingly.
(U.C. Banerjee) J ( K.G. Balakrishnan ) September 28, 2001.