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Report No. 35

Case No. 41

Emperor v. Bhagwan Din, AIR 1931 Oudh 89(1)

(Raza and Pullan JJ.)

Accused was found guilty of murdering a small boy of six, for his ornaments. He was sentenced to transportation for life. For imposing the lesser sentence, the Sessions Judge had given three reasons-(i) the accused was a young lad of 18; (ii) he may still reform; and (iii) there was no premeditation. The Local Government applied in revision for enhancement. The Chief Court heard the appeal of the accused also regarding conviction. The Chief Court upheld the conviction.

As to sentence, the Chief Court observed that there is no law which justifies a court in not passing a sentence of death on any person merely because he is young. All persons who can understand the nature of their acts are liable to the extreme penalty of the law. Youth may be taken into consideration where the accused is not able to understand the nature of his act or acts under the influence of others.

But this was deliberate murder for greed. Next, the consideration that the accused may still reform "should be excluded entirely in all questions where a capital sentence can be inflicted. It is not for the legislature to reform murderers." The sentence of death was primarily a deterrent one. The lesser sentence was imposed where some extenuating circumstance was there and it was not necessary in the interest of the public at large that the sentence of death should be inflicted. The sentence was enhanced to death.

Case No. 42

Tiri v. Emperor, AIR 1931 Rang 171

(Maung Ba and Dunkley JJ.)

Youth alone is not an extenuating circumstance, but it can be taken into consideration with other facts.

In the case under discussion a young man, probably under 18, had been sentenced to death for murder of his own uncle because of some dispute regarding flow of water in a channel. The injury was an incised wound, cutting right through the spine. The High Court dismissed the appeal of the accused against the conviction, and regarded the sentence as quite proper, as this was a cold-blooded and premeditated murder at a time when the deceased was peacefully engaged in his plough and was unarmed.

Case No. 43

Aung Hla v. Emperor, AIR 1931 Rang 235: ILR 9 Rang 494 (Special Bench)

(Page C.J., Mya Bund, Baguley JJ.)

(Judgment by Page C.J.)

In this case, 103 persons in all were charged under section 131, Indian Penal Code (waging war against the King). Of these, 15 were sentenced to death 56 to transportation for life, 5 discharged, 24 acquitted and there were found to have absconded. Persons sentenced to death or transportation for life appealed to the High Court, and the High Court also served notices against 23 of the accused for enhancement of their sentence of transportation to death. Ultimately, the High Court confirmed the conviction of several persons, and enhanced the sentences of 3 persons.

It stressed the gravity of the offence under section 121 describing it as the most grievous offence that can be committed against the State, and said, that rebels who waged war were guilty of the most heinous of all crimes. The judgment also contained a lengthy discussion of the meaning of section 30, Evidence Act. (Waging war in this case was constituted by deliberate attack on the armed forces, to prevent collection of taxes).

Case No. 44

Gul v. Emperor, AIR 1932 Lah 483

(Agha Haidra J.)

This was a case of rape of a young girl, discussed here to show the unusual circumstances in which it was committed. The girl aged 16 or 17 years had gone to the hills for cutting grass with her sister and other young children at about "rotiwela" (between 10 and 11 in the morning) M and A (accused) met them. Both were armed with a gun, and M also carried a big dagger. They got hold of the girl and dragged her to the hills. On her offering resistance, M struck her several times with the buttend and of the gun. The accompanying three children could offer no resistance and returned to the village. Before help could come, the girl had already been raped by M (apparently, twice). She was alleged to have been raped by A also.

The trying Magistrate (empowered under section 30 Criminal Procedure Code) had sentenced both M and A to three years' rigorous imprisonment under section 366, and as regards the offence under section 376 Indian Penal Code M was sentenced to three years' and A to one year's rigorous imprisonment. The sentences were to run consecutively.

The High Court, while dismissing their appeal, enhanced the sentence of M under section 376 from three years' to five years, in view of the circumstances of the case and in view of the fact that the accused were armed with deadly weapons and by a show of brute force they overawed the children and ragged away the girl at the point of the gun, and committed rape. (A was acquitted of rape, as his part in relation to that offence was not very clear.).

Case No. 45

Nawab v. Emperor, AIR 1932 Lah 308

(Shadi Lal C.J. & Abdul Qadir J.)

(Judgment by Abdul Qadir J.)

This was a case of murder committed by youth of tender age, who was provoked by the conduct of the deceased in having sexual intercourse with a relative of the accused in an open manner three days before the murder. Case was recommended for exercise by the local Government of its prerogative of mercy.

(Age of the Youth was taken to be 15 or 16 years.).

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