of Madhya Pradesh Vs. Harilal  Insc 564 (18 December 2002)
Hegde & Arun Kumar.Santosh Hegde, J.
respondents in the above 3 appeals were charged for offences punishable under
Section 302 read with Section 34 IPC before the learned Additional Sessions
Judge, Sheopuri, M.P. who by his judgment dated 8.9.1983 found the respondents
guilty of the said offence and sentenced them to undergo imprisonment for life.
On appeal, the High Court of Madhya Pradesh, Jabalpur Bench at Gwalior partly
allowed the appeal of the respondents and converted the conviction to one u/s.
304 (Part II) IPC, and sentenced them to imprisonment for the period already
undergone. It is against this judgment of the High Court that the State is in
appeal before us. In view of the peculiar facts of these appeals, it may not be
necessary for us to deal in detail with the prosecution case. Suffice it to say
that according to the prosecution the respondents having entertained certain enmity,
attacked one Lachhu with an axe, iron rod and stones, consequent to which said Lachhu
died. It is stated that Hari Lal, respondent in Crl.A. No.1290 attacked the
deceased with an axe. Respondent in Crl.A. No.1291 Babu attacked with an iron
rod while their mother, respondent in Crl.A. No.1292, Dukhia attacked the
deceased with a stone. Because of the said attack, it is stated that the
deceased suffered 5 injuries out of which injury No.1 was an incised injury
wound, in the left perietal region, injury No.2 was a wound on the occipital bone,
injury No.3 was a depressed fracture on the left perietal bone while injury
Nos.4 and 5 were bruises on the arm and hip. The doctor had opined that injury
Nos.1 and 2 were grievous and on post mortem it was found that they were the
cause of death. The prosecution has examined nearly 24 witnesses. Learned
Sessions Judge having discussed the entire evidence on record had come to the
conclusion that the respondents were guilty of the offence alleged against them
and had sentenced them as stated above, while the High Court has reduced the
sentence to one u/s. 304, Part II, IPC. In these appeals, Mr. Dave, learned
counsel appearing for the State, strongly contended that the High Court in its
judgment had not given any special reasons for having come to the conclusion
that the offence committed by the appellant was not one punishable u/s. 302 IPC
but was one which is punishable u/s. 304, Part II, IPC. He copiously pointed
out from the judgment of the trial court to substantiate his argument why the
respondents should be held guilty of the offence u/s. 302 IPC.
we appreciate the argument of the learned counsel for the appellant that the
High Court was extremely brief while discussing the evidence against the
respondents and had hardly given any reason for reducing the sentence from 302
to 304, Part II, IPC, we should bear in mind the fact that the incident in
question had taken place as far back as on 11.10.1982 and from the records we
find that by the time the High Court delivered its judgment, all the respondents
had served more than 9 years of RI and even these appeals before us were filed
in the year 1995 hence having perused the records, we think at this distance of
time, that too when the respondents have served almost more than 9 years of
imprisonment, we think it not equitable to entertain the argument of learned
counsel for the State to upturn the judgment of the High Court assuming the
same is erroneous. We think substantial justice has been done.
said view of the matter, we dismiss these appeals.