Anjaiah Vs. State of A.P.  INSC 453 (6 July 2010)
THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.
1166 OF 2010 (ARISING OUT OF SLP(CRL.)NO.7091 OF 2008) SINGAPAGU ANJAIAH ....
The sole petitioner, aggrieved by the judgment and order dated
31.03.2008 passed by the Division Bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in
Criminal Appeal No.611 of 2006 affirming the judgment and order dated 6.4.2006
passed by the II Additional Sessions Judge (Fast Track Court), Mahabubnagar in
Sessions Case No. 175 of 2003, has preferred this petition for grant of special
leave to appeal.
Altogether eight persons, including the appellant were put on
trial for various offences punishable under Section 148, 307/149, 302, 302/149
and 324 of the Indian Penal Code.
The appellant, in particular, was charged for offences of rioting,
attempt to commit murder of S. Ramulu (PW.1), murder of S. Ramalingam and
causing hurt to S. Ramchandriah (PW.5), punishable under Section 148, 307, 302
and 324 of the Indian Penal Code respectively. The trial court acquitted all
the accused persons for the offence under Section 307/149 of the Indian Penal
Code but sentenced all of them for offence under Section 148, 324/149 and
302/149 and sentenced them to undergo imprisonment for life for the offence
under Section 302/149 and rigorous imprisonment for nine months for the offence
under Section 148 and 324/149 of the Indian Penal Code. On appeal, conviction
of all the accused except the appellant under Section 302/149 of the Indian
Penal Code was set aside. However, the conviction of 3 other accused under
other offences have been maintained to which we are not concerned in this
appeal. Appellant's conviction and sentence under Sections 148, 324 and 302 of
the Indian Penal Code has been maintained.
Sole appellant has preferred this appeal against the order of
conviction and sentence.
According to the prosecution, PWs. 1 to 5 and accused persons are
close relatives and they are residents of village Tirumalairi. There was a
dispute between the prosecution party and the accused persons over a pathway
for which an altercation took place earlier between them and a case bearing
Crime No.15 of 1997 was registered at the Police Station Balanagar under
Section 324 of the Indian Penal Code. S. Ramulu (PW.1) and his brothers were
prosecuted in the said case and ultimately they were found guilty and sentenced
to pay a fine of Rs.100/-. According to the prosecution, accused persons were
annoyed on account of their conviction and waiting for an opportunity to take
According to the prosecution, on 9.7.2002 at 7 A.M., S. Ramulu
(PW.1)was on way to his newly constructed house situated at the end of the
village. He noticed one of the accused and two other persons at the house of S.
Thirumalaiah (PW.6). One of the persons at the house of PW.6 was Bichya Naik
who happened to be the Chairman of Watershed Committee. One of the accused and
said Bichya Naik requested PW.6 to provide chairs for the school to which S.
Ramulu (PW.1) replied that the chairs purchased by the Sarpanch could be spared
for the purpose. The said accused did not like that and abused PW.1 for which the
later admonished him. At this, according to the prosecution, the said accused
assaulted PW.1. In the meanwhile, according to the prosecution, the appellant
herein came from behind, held his head and threw him down.
According to the prosecution, accused persons assaulted S. Ramulu
(PW.1), S. Narsimha (PW.2), S. Nagaiah (PW.3), S. Anjaiah (PW.4) and S.
Ramchandriah (PW.5, )and all of them have sustained various injuries on their
person. The present 5 appellant, according to these injured persons, hit the
deceased with a crow bar at his head causing serious injury. A report of the
incident was given by PW.1-S.Ramula to PW.11-Rajender Kulkarni, the Station
House Officer of Balanagar Police Station and on that basis, crime no. 147 of
2002 was registered.
Kulkarni, Sub-Inspector of Police sent all the injured to the Government
Hospital, Shadnagar but Ramalingam succumbed to the injuries on way to the
hospital. All the injured witnesses, namely PW.1 to PW.5 were examined by Dr. Govind
Waghmare (PW.9), Civil Assistant Surgeon who found several injuries on person
of each of those witnesses. Dr. Govind Waghmare (PW.9) also held autopsy on the
dead body of the deceased S. Ramalingam and he found presence of bleeding from
left ear and laceration into bone deep over the vertex in the scalp. He further
found multiple skull fractures on the person of the deceased and in his
opinion, the death was caused due to the haematoma of the brain and multiple
The police, after usual investigations, submitted the charge-sheet
and all the accused persons including the 6 appellant were put on trial. They
denied to have committed the offence and claimed to be tried. The prosecution,
in support of its case, examined altogether 12 witnesses besides various
documentary evidences were produced. The Trial Court as well as the Appellate
Court relying on the evidence of the prosecution witnesses, convicted and
sentenced the appellant as above.
Shri A.T.M. Ranga Ramanujam, learned Senior Counsel appearing on
behalf of the appellant submits that even if the case of the prosecution is
accepted in its entirety, no offence under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code
is made out.
to him, the allegation proved utmost makes out the case under Section 304 Part
II of the Indian Penal Code and accordingly he submitted that conviction under
Section 302 be altered to that of 304 Part II and appellant be sentenced to the
period already undergone by him. In support of the submission, he has placed
reliance on a judgment of this Court in the case of Gurmail Singh & others
vs. State of 7 Punjab (1982) 3 SCC 185 and our attention has been drawn to the
following passage from para 7 of the judgment :
are of the opinion that in the facts found by the High court, it could not be
said that accused 1 Gurmail Singh intended to cause that particular bodily
injury which in fact was found to have been caused. May be, the injury
inflicted may have been found to be sufficient in the ordinary course of nature
to cause death. What ought to be found is that the injury found to be present
was the injury that was intended to be inflicted. It is difficult to say with
confidence in the present case keeping in view the facts found by the High
court that accused 1 Gurmail Singh intended to cause that very injury which was
found to be fatal."
Reliance has also been placed a decision of this Court in Jagtar
Singh vs. State of Punjab (1983) 2 SCC 342 and our attention was drawn to para
8 of the judgment which reads as follows :
The next question is what offence the appellant is shown to have committed? In
a trivial quarrel the appellant wielded a weapon like a knife. The incident
occurred around 1.45 noon. The quarrel was of a trivial nature and even in such
a trivial quarrel the appellant wielded a weapon like a knife and landed a blow
in the chest. In these circumstances, it is a permissible inference that the
appellant at least could be imputed with a knowledge that he was likely to
cause an injury which was likely to cause death. Therefore, the 8 appellant is
shown to have committed an offence under Section 304 Part II of the IPC and a
sentence of imprisonment for five year will meet the ends of justice."
Yet another decision relied on is in the case of Gurmukh Singh vs.
State of Haryana (2009) 15 SCC 635 and our attention was drawn to para 21 and
22 of the judgment which read as follows :
In the instant case, the occurrence had taken place on the spur of the moment.
Only the appellant Gurmukh Singh inflicted a single lathi-blow. The other
accused have not indulged in any overt act. There was no intention or
premeditation in the mind of the appellant to inflict such injuries to the
deceased as were likely to cause death in the ordinary course of nature. On consideration
of the entire evidence including the medical evidence, we are clearly of the
view that the conviction of the appellant cannot be sustained under Section 302
IPC, but the appropriate section under which the appellant ought to be
convicted is Section 304 Part II IPC.
Before we part with the case, we would like to clearly observe that we are not
laying down that in no case of single blow or injury, the accused cannot be
convicted under Section 302 IPC. In cases of single injury, the facts and
circumstances of each case have to be taken into consideration before arriving
at the conclusion whether the accused should be appropriately convicted under
Section 302 IPC or under Section 304 Part II IPC."
Smt. D. Bharathi Reddy, learned counsel appeared on behalf of the
We do not find any substance in the submission of Shri Ramanujam
and the decisions relied on are clearly distinguishable.
In view of the submissions made, we do not deem it expedient to
narrate the entire evidence on record. Suffice it to say that all the injured
witnesses namely P.W. 1 to 5 have consistently stated that the appellant
assaulted the deceased with a crow bar on his head. According to the autopsy
surgeon, Dr. Govind Waghmare, death had occurred due to laceration over the
vertex of the scalp and multiple skull fractures.
In our opinion, as nobody can enter into the mind of the accused,
its intention has to be gathered from the weapon used, the part of the body
chosen for the assault and the 10 nature of the injuries caused. Here, the
appellant had chosen a crow bar as the weapon of offence. He has further chosen
a vital part of the body i.e. head for causing the injury which had caused
multiple fractures of skull. This clearly shows the force with which the
appellant had used the weapon. The cumulative effect of all these factors
irresistibly lead to one and the only conclusion that the appellant intended to
cause death of the deceased.
Now referring to the decision of this Court in the case of Gurmail
Singh (Supra), the same is clearly distinguishable.
said case, on fact, it was found that the accused did not intend to cause the
injury which in fact was found to have been caused and in the said background,
it was held that the accused did not intend to cause death, which is not the
In the case of Jagtar Singh (Supra), the incident was preceded by
a sudden and chance quarrel and in that 11 background, the Court held the
allegation proved to be under Section 304 Part II of the IPC.
In the case of Gurmukh Singh (Supra), the injury found on the
deceased was only depression of skull bone and the occurrence had taken place
in the spur of the moment. In the background of the aforesaid facts, infliction
of single lathi blow was not found enough to infer the intention of the accused
to cause death of the deceased. Here, as pointed out above, the three important
factors enumerated above, clearly lead to the conclusion that appellant
intended to cause death.
Hence, all these decisions are clearly distinguishable.
In the present case, as pointed out above, weapon used, the part
of the body chosen for assault and the intensity with which the appellant
assaulted the deceased clearly go to show that he intended to cause the death
of the deceased.
We do not find any merit in this appeal. It is dismissed
........................................J. ( G.S. SINGHVI )
........................................J. ( C.K. PRASAD )
July 6, 2010.