Gopal Vs. State of
State of Madhya
Pradesh Vs. Shankarlal and Others
O R D E R
order shall dispose of Criminal Appeal No.1711 of 2007 also as both the appeals
arise out of the common judgment and order passed by the Division Bench of the High
Court of Madhya Pradesh at Indore, in Criminal Appeal No. 328 of 1995,
preferred by accused Gopal and Criminal Appeal No. 429 of 1998 preferred by
accused Shankarlal, Nandlal, Dinesh and Chhote @ Chhotalal decided on
accused were charged and prosecuted for commission of offences punishable under
Section 147, 148, 302/149, 323/149 IPC in the court of 3rd Additional Sessions Judge,
Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh in Sessions Case No. 227 of 1992. The Trial Court pronounced
the judgment on 31.3.1995, holding the accused Gopal guilty for commission of
offences under Sections 148, 302,323/149 IPC, accused Shanker Lal and Nand Lal
under Sections 148,302/149, 323 IPC, accused Chhotelal and Dinesh under Sections
148/302/149,323/149 IPC and awarded punishment together with fine as described
in its judgment.
the said judgment and order, as mentioned hereinabove, two criminal appeals were
preferred before the Division Bench of the High Court, which were disposed of by
the common impugned judgment.
High Court, in the appeal of Gopal, has found him guilty for commission of
offence under Section 304 Part-I IPC and awarded rigorous imprisonment for 10
years, whereas in the other Criminal Appeal, accused Shankarlal, Nandlal and Chhotelal
were found guilty for commission of offence under Section 324 IPC and awarded
sentence to the period already undergone by them with fine of Rs. 200/- each. The
accused Dinesh was not found guilty for any of the offences and was,
has preferred appeal only against that part of the judgment and order, whereby accused
Shankarlal, Nandlal and Chhotelal have been found guilty under Section 324 IPC
and accused Dinesh has been acquitted. Accused Gopal has preferred appeal on
the ground that in view of the free fight between accused and the complainant
party and the nature of injuries sustained by some of the accused persons, he
deserves to be acquitted.
is pertinent to mention here that State has not preferred any appeal against the
judgment of the High Court wherein and where under conviction and sentence awarded
to accused Gopal under Section 302 IPC was altered to one under Section 304
Part-I IPC. In this view of the matter, the State cannot challenge that accused
Gopal should have been convicted under Section 302 IPC.
prosecution story, in short, is as under: That on 30.6.1992, a meeting of a Patidar
Community was convened wherein Ramchandra was not present. On 1.7.1992, a
panchayat meeting was also convened by Ramchandra wherein Shankarlal was
present but, due to some reason, the meeting could not be held. Thereafter, on the
same day, when Tulsiram, Ramchandra, Mitthulal and Shantilal were passing from
the house of Shankarlal, accused Gopal abused them and inflicted knife blow on the
chest of Mitthulal, accused Shankarlal inflicted sword blow on Ramchandra and Nandram
inflicted sword blow on Kalu. Accused Chhotelal inflicted blow by cycle-chain
on Tulsiram. On account of injury sustained by Mitthulal on his chest, caused
by accused Gopal, with the aid of knife, he fell on the ground and died
instantaneously. Accused Dinesh was pelting stones on the injured persons.
report of the incident was lodged by Tulsi Ram vide Exb P-12. Investigation commenced
on the strength of the report lodged by Tulsi Ram. Police prepared spot map and
arrested accused persons and at their instance, weapons of offence were
recovered. Dead body of Mitthulal was sent for post-mortem examination and the injured
were sent to hospital for their medical examination and treatment.
Dr. Deep Vyas conducted post-mortem on the body of the deceased. He had found stab
wound measuring 2" x = " on the abdomen. Omentum was coming out with profuse
bleeding. On internal examination, he found a wound on liver measuring 2"
x 1". The diaphragm was found out. In the opinion of Dr. Deep Vyas,
Mitthulal died due to syncope on account of shock and hemorrhage caused by stab
injury. Exb. P-8 is the post-mortem report.
account of the aforesaid evidence, it could not be disputed before us that
Mitthulal had met with homicidal death.
completion of the investigation, all the accused were charge-sheeted. They pleaded
not guilty to the charges and pleaded that they were falsely implicated in this
case. They had taken a specific defence to the effect that Ramchandra,
Tulsiram, Mitthulal, Kaluram and Shantilal had come to their house and abused them
and started beating accused Shankarlal and on the intervention of accused Gopal,
he too was assaulted by knife. According to them complainant party was the
prosecution, in order to bring home the charges levelled against the accused,
examined witnesses. In defence, the accused had also examined two witnesses. However,
on appreciation of the evidence, available on record, Trial Court found them
guilty for the offences as mentioned hereinabove.
appeal before the High Court, accused Gopal has been found guilty under Section
304 Part-I IPC and was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 10 years,
whereas other accused namely; Shankarlal, Nandlal and Chhotelal have been found
guilty only under Section 324 IPC and have been let off on the period already
undergone which varies from 77 to 79 days with fine, and accused Dinesh has
been completely acquitted of all the charges. Hence, these appeals by accused
Gopal and State of Madhya Pradesh.
have accordingly heard learned counsel appearing for the parties and gone
through the lengthy record.
Subhash Kaushik, learned counsel appearing for the appellant Gopal contended that
from record it proved that the complainant party was not residing in village Harthali.
They along with other persons were called by one Poonamchand to attend the
Panchayat of their community but on the date of incident, the Panchayat could
not be convened and the complainant party, while returning back to Ratlam,
attacked accused Shankarlal in front of his house causing injury to him as well
as to the accused Gopal. Since, injuries were sustained by Shankarlal and Gopal.
They, therefore, had acted in self defence. It was also contended by learned counsel
for the accused Gopal that the prosecution has failed to explain the injuries
sustained by Shankarlal and Gopal and the complainant party was aggressor.
the other hand, Mr. S.K. Dubey, learned senior counsel appearing for the State
has strenuously contended before us that the evidence has not been read
properly inasmuch as accused Gopal deserves to be convicted under Section 302 IPC,
even though he might have inflicted only single injury on the chest of
Mitthulal. It was further contended that Mitthulal had died instantaneously
which shows the nature and the force with which the injury was caused by
accused Gopal on the chest of Mitthulal. It was further contended that other
accused persons could not have been convicted only under Section 324 IPC,
whereas the injuries sustained by the complainant party were serious in nature.
It was also argued that the sentence of period already undergone with fine of
Rs.200/- of each was too lenient and deserves to be enhanced.
mentioned hereinabove, since there is no appeal preferred by the State against
that part of the judgment whereby the accused Gopal has been found guilty for
commission of offence under Section 304 Part-I IPC and acquitted under Section
302 IPC, we are afraid, there cannot be any scope for considering the
conviction of accused Gopal from Section 304 Part-I to 302 IPC.
regards other accused, the High Court has assigned cogent and valid reasons as
to why they have been found guilty for commission of offence under Section 324
IPC. The High Court has also noted that the injuries sustained by the accused
persons have not been explained by the prosecution at all. Apart from the
above, from the evidence of PW-5 Dr. B.E. Boriwal, it has also come on record that
the injuries sustained by injured persons were simple in nature. This aspect of
the matter has been dealt with by the High Court in paras 8 & 9 of the
the light of aforesaid contentions, we are of the considered opinion that the appeal
of accused Gopal can only be allowed in part to the extent that his conviction
has to be upheld under Section 304 Part-I IPC but sentence can be reduced to the
period already undergone by him, which is more than six years. This, according
to us, would meet the end of justice. However, in Criminal Appeal No. 1711 of
2007, we find absolutely no merit or substance and the same deserve to be dismissed.
the result, Criminal Appeal No. 1710 of 2007 filed by accused Gopal is partly
allowed inasmuch as his conviction under Section 304 Part-I IPC is upheld but
sentence is reduced to the period already undergone by him. He be released from
the jail immediately if not required in any other case. Criminal Appeal No.
1711 of 2007 filed by the State is hereby dismissed.
[ASOK KUMAR GANGULY]