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Report No. 35

Case No. 51

Rangappa Goundan (in re:), AIR 1935 Lah 337

(Cornish and K.S. Menon JJ.)

(Judgment by Cornish J.)

ILR 16 Lah 1137

Young C.J. and Abdul Rashid J.

(Judgment by the Chief Justice)

In this case the High Court enhanced the sentence of transportation for life to death in the case of all the three accused. The facts of the case were, that the three accused murdered one P who was acting as a lambardar and who used to assist the police in criminal matters. He used to give information to the police concerning crimes committed by two of the accused. Some days before the murder, a relation of one of the accused told P that he should stop giving information to the police, failing which something would happen to him.

Thereafter, P and his nephew were attacked by the three accused who had hidden themselves to wait for P's arrival. 15 injuries were inflicted on P, out of which 10 were on the head. The Sessions Judge awarded the lesser sentence on the ground that it could not be said which of the accused gave a fatal blow.

The High Court rejected this approach. The mere fact it was impossible to say who actually inflicted the fatal wound was not a reason for a lesser punishment when the court was satisfied that there was a common intention to murder, brutally carried out and that all persons took part in the beating, the result of which was death. In this case there were no less than 10 wounds on the head; and probably each of the accused gave a blow on the head; the only other alternative was that while only one accused was beating the head, the others were giving blows on the body. It would make no difference if either of these alternatives was the fact. Hence the sentences were enhanced to death.

Case No. 52

Aziz Begum v. Emperor, AIR 1937 Lah 689 (691)

(Young C.J. and Monroe J.)

(Judgment by Monroe J.)

A girl of less than 17 years was a party to a murder in which her husband and others were the chief actors. Her statement as approver led to a successful investigation and to the conviction of the principal criminal, though she failed to earn her pardon. She was sentenced to transportation for life, by the Sessions Judge, after conviction under section 302.

The High Court, while confirming the conviction, observed that her situation was not an enviable one, since the husband and mother were determined on the murder. Her statement had led to successful investigation and conviction of the criminal. She had already suffered by the birth of her child in jail. Recommendation was made to Local Government to reduce the sentence of transportation of life, under section 401 Criminal Procedure Code.

Case No. 53

Infanticide by young mother (of her own son)

Mt. Talian v. Emperor, AIR 1938 Lah 473 (DB)

(Young C.J. and Monroe J.)

(Judgment by Young C.J.)

Need for lenient view was stressed on the ground that child-birth occasionally produced peculiar reaction. Sentence of transportation for life upheld, but Government was requested to reduce it to short period.

Case No. 54

Mahabir Singh v. Emperor, AIR 1946 Cal 36: ILR (1944) 2 Cal 287

Five persons were convicted under sections 396 and 120B/395 Indian Penal Code. The Sessions Judge refrained from passing the death penalty, as the murders (of 3 persons) could not be specifically fixed on any one of the accused. He sentenced them to eight years' rigorous imprisonment. The High Court enhanced the sentence to transportation for life.

In view of the fact that the prisoners were tried before the Sessions Court in December, 1942, and a certain amount of delay was occasioned by the necessity of making a reference to the Full Bench, the High Court refrained from passing the death sentence. But for this, the High Court observed, it could imagine no more suitable case than this for the maximum sentence. It observed, that it was precisely for such a case that section 396 was enacted.

Case No. 55

Emperor v. Ram Singh, AIR 1948 Lah 24

(Marton and Khosla JJ.)

(Judgment by Marton J.)

In this case, on an appeal by the State, the High Court set aside the acquittal of the respondent for the murder of a woman. While noting that considerable time had elapsed since the acquittal by the Sessions Judge was announced, the High Court awarded the sentence of death in these words:-

"I, however, feel strongly that the learned Sessions Judge should undoubtedly have sentenced Ram Singh to death and as there are not intrinsic circumstances warranting leniency, I consider it the duty of this Court now to do what should have been done at the trial".

It appears that before committing murder, the accused had sexual intercourse with the woman murdered and so also had the approver. After the murder, the accused and the approver robbed the woman of ornaments.

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