Girish Singh Vs. State of
INSC 872 (9 May 2008)
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 849 OF 2008 (Arising out of
SLP (Crl.) No.4212 of 2007) Girish Singh ...Appellant Versus State of Uttaranchal
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT, J.
1. Leave granted.
2. Challenge in this appeal is to
the judgment of a learned Single Judge of the Uttaranchal High Court dismissing
the appeal filed by the appellant who was convicted for offence punishable
under Section 304 Part II of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (in short `IPC') and
was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for five years and pay a fine of
Rs.5,000/- with default stipulation.
3. Background facts in a nutshell
are as follows:
Sageer Ansari (hereinafter
referred to as the `deceased') was a carpenter, who used to live in Hotel Hari
Om in Uttarkashi. On 27.3.2005, he was coming from Hari Om Hotel towards
Uttarkashi town. Accused/appellant Girish Singh was coming from opposite
direction towards Sageer Ansari-deceased. When both of them reached near
Tambakhani they had some altercations between them.
Suddenly, accused-appellant Girish
Singh pushed deceased Sageer Ansari from the road. Consequently, Sageer Ansari
fell down from the hill and suffered injuries due to the fall from Uttarkashi -
Tehri Road. The incident took place at 1.00 p.m.
2 PW3 Israil Mian, brother of the
deceased, and PW4 Mazhar Ansari, son of the deceased, who were following Sageer
Ansari (deceased), witnessed the incident. The two rushed to the place of
incident and took the injured to the hospital where he succumbed to the
injuries suffered by him in the incident.
PW3 Israil Mian, brother of the
deceased, lodged first information report (Ext. A-3) with the police station.
Investigation was undertaken and
on completion of investigation charge sheet was filed. As accused abjured
guilt, trial was held.
4. Placing reliance on the
evidence of two eye witnesses i.e.
Israil Mian (PW3) and Mazhar
Ansari (PW4) (brother and son of the deceased respectively), the Trial Court
found the accused-appellant guilty and convicted him and imposed sentence as
5. In appeal before the High Court
the stand of the accused was that this in not a case where Section 304 Part II
IPC is 3 applicable. On the other hand, this is a case where even if the
prosecution version is accepted in toto, it would, at the most, an offence
punishable under Section 304A IPC. Another plea related to acceptance of the
evidence of PWs 3 and 4 on the ground that they are related to the deceased.
Both the pleas were rejected and appeal was dismissed. The stand taken before
the High Court was reiterated by the learned counsel for the appellant.
6. In response, learned counsel
for the respondent-State supported the judgments of the Trial Court as upheld
by the High Court.
7. The plea relating to relative's
evidence has no substance, when such evidence has credence it can be acted
8. Coming to the plea of the
applicability of Section 304-A, it is to be noted that the said provision
relates to death caused by negligence. Section 304-A applies to cases where
there is 4 no intention to cause death and no knowledge that the act done in
all probability will cause death. The provision relates to offences outside the
range of Sections 299 and 300 IPC. It applies only to such acts which are rash
and negligent and are directly the cause of death of another person. Rashness
and negligence are essential elements under Section 304-A. It carves out a
specific offence where death is caused by doing a rash or negligent act and
that act does not amount to culpable homicide under Section 299 or murder in
Section 300 IPC.
Doing an act with the intent to
kill a person or knowledge that doing an act was likely to cause a person's
death is culpable homicide. When the intent or knowledge is the direct
motivating force of the act, Section 304-A IPC has to make room for the graver
and more serious charge of culpable homicide.
9. In order to be encompassed by
the protection under Section 304-A there should be neither intention nor 5
knowledge to cause death. When any of these two elements is found to be
present, Section 304-A has no application.
10. When the background facts are
considered in the light of the legal principles set out above, the inevitable
conclusion is that stand of the appellant is clearly unsustainable.
11. The appeal is without merit,
deserves dismissal, which we direct.
(Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT)
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