Niranjan Singh Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh  Insc 695 (14 June 2007)
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT & B.P. SINGH
With CRIMINAL APPEAL No. 868 of 2002 Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT, J.
1. Both these appeals are directed against the common judgment of a learned
Single Judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, Jabalpur Bench, dismissing the
appeal filed by the appellants, challenging their conviction for offences
punishable under Sections 392 and 397 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (in short
the IPC) in terms of the order passed by the learned Third Additional
Sessions Judge, Sagar. On each count the appellants were directed to undergo 7
years rigorous imprisonment with fine of Rs.500/-.
2. Background facts in a nutshell are as follows:
On 2nd June 1986 the accused persons had entered the shop of Babulal (PW-1)
while he was in the process of closing.
One shutter was already put and one shutter was still to be put. They
entered the shop at about 9.15 p.m. and asked for a sum of Rs.1001/- from the
injured Babulal and asked him the reason why he had offered only two
Ilachis when the three persons had come to the shop the previous day.
At the relevant time injured Babulal and his brother Munnalal (PW 4) were
present and they were settling the account. Babulal was having Rs.400/- in his
hands. Ramsahay and Niranjan asked to hand over Rs.1000/-. On refusal of the
complainant Babulal, Ramsahay inflicted one injury on his right arm with a
knife. Another injury was caused on left side of chest by knife.
Rs.400/- which the complainant had in his hands were snatched by Niranjan
Singh. It is alleged that one more boy was accompanying the accused persons
whose name was not known. The incident was witnessed by Santosh Kumar (PW3) and
Injured Babulal was referred for medical examination to Dr. Anand Singhai
(PW 7) who found two injuries. One injury 1 x = was found on the
left side of chest below the nipple and the other injury = x < was
on the left arm. Both the injuries were caused by hard and sharp weapon. The
clothes of Babulal were seized which carried corresponding sign of insertion of
From the possession of accused Niranjan as per information given by him, a
knife was recovered. Accused Sitaram was put up for identification parade by
Mulle Singh (PW2) who was Sarpanch of the village. The identification parade
was allegedly held near the paper mill. The money which was allegedly looted
could not be recovered from the accused.
The accused abjured the guilt. Accused Sitaram contended that he was falsely
implicated in the case. Accused Niranjan took the defence that he was standing
in front of the shop of Munnalal and accused Ramsahay was demanding money from
Babulal which was due from him. On that altercation took place between Munnalal
and Ramsahay and there was a scuffle. The accused intervened and separated the
two. As the accused (Niranjan) sided with Ramasahay, his name was also
mentioned in the array of accused. Ramsahay took the plea that Rs.1050/- were
due from Babulal on account of purchase of Char which was payable to
his uncle and when money was demanded an altercation took place. No incident of
robbery took place. Knife was not recovered from him.
3. Placing reliance on the evidence of eye witnesses i.e. PWs 1, 4, 5 &
6 more particularly that of the injured witnesses Babu Lal (PW-1) and Munna Lal
(PW-4), the trial Court found the accused persons guilty. He also placed
reliance on the evidence of PW 3 - Santosh who had seen the incident from a
distance and reaching the spot had seen the accused persons running away.
4. In appeal though several points were urged, the primary stand was that
ingredients under Section 397 IPC were not made out as no grievous hurt was
found. The prosecution took the stand that for attracting Section 397 IPC it is
not necessary that grievous hurt should be found. Ingredients of the provision
are satisfied if the evidence on record establishes that grievous hurt was
intended. The High Court did not accept the aforesaid plea of accused and
dismissed the appeal.
5. Stand taken before the High Court was reiterated in these appeals. It was
submitted that for attracting Section 397 IPC grievous hurt must have resulted
from the assault.
6. Learned counsel for the State on the other hand supported the judgments
of the trial court and the High Court.
7. The ingredients of the offence are as under:
(1) The commission of robbery or dacoity as described in Section 392 and 395
(2) the accused- (a) used a deadly weapon, or (b) caused grievous hurt, or
(c) attempted to cause death or grievous hurt;
(3) he did so at the time of committing the robbery or dacoity.
8. Grievous hurt is defined in Section 320 IPC. This Section reads as
Grievous hurt : The following kinds of hurt only are designated as
grievous:- First Emasculation Secondly Permanent privation of the
sight of either eye.
Thirdly Permanent privation of the hearing of either ear.
Fourthly Privation of any member of joint.
Fifthly Destruction or permanent imparing of the powers of any member or
Sixthly Permanent disfiguration of the head or face.
Seventhly Fracture or dislocation of a bone or tooth.
Eighthly Any hurt which endangers life or which causes the sufferer to be
during the space of twenty days in severe bodily paid, or unable to follow his
9. The facts of the instant case show that Section 397 IPC was rightly
applied. Any hurt which endangers life is a grievous hurt. It would be seen
that one of the injuries was caused just below the nipple. The term
endangers life is much stronger than the expression dangerous to
life. Apart from that in the provision attempt to cause grievous
hurt attracts its application. The question whether the accused attempted to
cause death or grievous hurt would depend upon the factual scenario. In the
instant case knife blow was given on the chest just below the nipple.
Considering the place where injury was inflicted i.e. on the chest the High
Court was right in its view about the applicability of Section 397 IPC.
10. Appeals are dismissed.