High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Satpal v. State of Haryana - CRA-D-526-DB-1997  RD-P&H 8895 (19 October 2006)
Date of decision : 10.10.06
State of Haryana
Coram: Hon'ble Mr. Justice Virender Singh Hon'ble Mr. Justice A.N. Jindal
Present : Mr. D.R.Punia, Advocate, for the appellant Mr. Sunil Katyal, Deputy Advocate General, Haryana Virender Singh, J.
Appellant Satpal was charged under section 302 IPC for intentionally and knowingly causing death of Ram Bai alias Ram Piari and also under section 324 IPC for voluntarily causing hurt to Ram Sarup PW by means of a sword. He, vide impugned judgment dated 31.5.1997/2.6.1997 stands convicted for the said charges. He has been sentenced to undergo life imprisonment under section 302 IPC and to pay a fine of Rs 1000/-, in default thereof to further undergo RI for six months.
The sentence awarded under section 324 IPC is one year RI. Both the sentences were, however, ordered to run concurrently. Aggrieved by the said judgment of conviction and sentence, he has preferred the instant appeal.
The police was set in motion by PW9 Ram Sarup son of Seetal Dass, resident of Mohalla Khatikan Noharia Bazar, Sirsa who is son-in-law of the deceased Ram Piari. On the basis of his statement recorded by Inspector Dhanpal Singh, (PW8) formal FIR Ex. PB was recorded in Police Station City Sirsa on 3.10.1994 at 7.30 PM. The occurrence is of 6.15 PM.
He stated that he was running a small shop in the house of his mother-in-law and the appellant used to purchase biri, cigarette etc. The shop was situated in one room of the house of his mother-in-law Ram Piari (since deceased) On 3.10.1994 at about evening time when he was present in his shop, the appellant came there and wanted to purchase biri, cigarette on credit basis. He refused to oblige the appellant saying that he had failed to make the payment of earlier amount. Upon this, the appellant picked up a quarrel with the complainant and started abusing him. It is then alleged that Ram Sarup also came out in the street from his shop. Ram Piari his mother-in-law and her tenant Inderjit (PW10) also came out near the place of quarrel. The appellant started abusing Ram Piari whereupon Ram Sarup asked him not to do so. At that time, the appellant was holding a naked sword in his hand and started giving sword blows to Ram Piari which hit on the neck who fell down on the ground and when she was lying down, the appellant caused more injuries to her with the sword on various parts of her body. When Ram Sarup tried to rescue Ram Piari, the appellant gave a sword blow to him which hit him on the left elbow and left arm. An alarm was raised by him and the appellant ran away carrying with him sword.
Ram Piari died at the spot. Ram Sarup went to the Police Station and got the statement recorded.
The investigation was taken over by SI/SHO Dhanpal Singh PW8 who went to the spot, prepared the inquest report, lifted the blood stained earth and put it in a sealed parcel. Rough site plan was also prepared at the sport. Statements of certain witnesses were recorded by him. The dead body of Ram Piari was sent to Civil Hospital, Sirsa for post mortem examination. Ram Sarup was also got medically examined. His clothes and the clothes of Ram Piari deceased were also taken into possession. Thereafter, ASI Naurang Rai PW7 took up the investigation.
He arrested the appellant on 6.10.1994. The blood stained clothes of the appellant were also taken into possession and put in a sealed parcel. These were shirt and trouser. During investigation, the appellant suffered a disclosure statement with regard to concealing of sword and pursuant to the said statement, sword which was stained with blood was taken into possession from the concealed place. Rough sketch of the sword and another rough site plan of the place of recovery were also prepared.
PW 5 Dr. Prithvi Raj Kyasth, Senior Medical Officer, Civil Hospital, Sirsa who had conducted the autopsy on the dead body of Ram Piari found the following injuries on her person:- 1) An incised wound of size 20 x 5 cms was present over the whole of right side of neck and extending to the left side also. In the front and back of neck and only a thick skin flap and muscle flap of about 12 cms was remaining on the left side. The sharply cut skin flap, the muscle mask of the neck on the front and back, the sharply cut thyroid cartilage, trachaea, oesophagus the carotid vessel, the jugular vein were visible in the wound. The sharply cut third cervical vertebra along with the spinal cord was also visible. The clotted and the fluid blood was present in the wound.
2. An incised wound of size 5 x 2 cms was present over the upper part of the middle of chest, with inverted margins.
Clotted blood was present in the wound. On dissection the skin and the muscles were sharply cut. The underlying bone was intact.
3. An incised wound of the size 6 x ½ cm was present on the right side of the chest below clavical with everted margins and was pale looking. There was no clotted blood in the wound and it was skin deep. This was the postmortem wound.
4. An incised wound of size 2 x 1 cm was present over the middle of the left clavical bone deep. Clotted blood was present in the wound.
On dissection, the skin and muscles were seen sharply cut. Underlying bone was intact.
5. An incised wound of 2 x 1 cm muscle deep was present over the left shoulder joint. On dissection the skin and muscles were seen sharply cut but the underlying bone was intact. The clotted blood was present in the wound.
6. An incised wound of 4 x 1 cm was present over the back of left side of chest over the posterior axilliary fold, 25 cms from the left nipple and 10 cm from the mid-line.
On dissection the skin inter coastal muscle were seen sharply cut. The 5th
ribs on the left side were
fractured. The left pleura and the left lung were ruptured.
Clotted and fluid blood of about 500 mls amount was present in the left thoracic cavity. The left diaphragm was sharply cut. The spleen was ruptured and about 200 mls of clotted and fluid blood was present i the peritoneal cavity. The peritonium was also ruptured.
7. An incised wound 1 x 1 cm was present on the back of left side of chest, 9 cm above the injury No. 6. The dissection was same as in injury No. 6.
8. An incised wound of 1 x ½ cm was present over the back of the left palm over the knuckle of the right finger.
Clotted blood was present. On dissection the skin was seen cut, but the underlying bone was intact.
9. An incised wound of size ½ x ¼ cm was present over the left little finger. The clotted blood was present. On dissection only the skin was seen cut and the underlying bone was intact.
In the opinion of the doctor, the injuries to the neck, left lung and the spleen, were sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of nature.
PW4 Dr. R.P.Dahiya, had examined Ram Sarup on 3.10.1994 and had found the following three injuries on his person:-
1. 3 cm x .75 cm cleanicised wound was present on lateral aspect of left elbow joint. Wound was skin deep and was freshly bleeding on cleaning.
2. 6 cm x .05 cm red linear abrasion was present on postero lateral aspect of left arm in lower 1/3rd .
3. 10 cm x .05 cm red linear abrasion was present on posterior lateral aspect of left fore arm in upper 1/3rd .
All the injuries were declared simple in nature. According to the opinion of the doctor, injury no. 1 was caused by sharp edged weapon whereas remaining injuries were caused by blunt weapon.
The main witnesses to the occurrence are Ram Sarup PW9 the complainant who has reiterated his earlier statement. PW10 Inderjit another eye witness has also supported case of Ram Sarup. He was a tenant in the house of Ram Piari where shop of Ram Sarup was situated. The investigation conducted by Inspector Dhanpal Singh and ASI Naurang Rai has already been depicted in the preceding paras. Besides this, the prosecution has also examined PW2 Surinder Kumar who had clicked the photographs of the deceased at the place of occurrence and the same are exhibited as Ex. P/5 to P/12 whereas their negatives are exhibited as Ex. P/1 to P/4. We do not feel the necessity of describing the remaining part of the evidence as the same are of formal character.
The stand taken by the appellant as emerges from his statement under section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is of total denial stating that he has been falsely implicated. No evidence has been led in defence by the appellant.
After appreciating the entire evidence, the appellant now stands convicted and sentenced as indicated herein-above. Hence this appeal.
We have heard Mr. D.R.Punia, learned counsel for the appellant and Mr. Sunil Katyal, learned Deputy Advocate General, Haryana.
With their assistance we have also gone through the entire record.
Mr. Punia has joined issue only with regard to the nature of offence stating that taking the prosecution story as it is, the conviction of the appellant under section 302 IPC is not warranted and he at the most could be convicted under section 304 Part-I or Part-II of Indian Penal Code.
In order to strike home his view point, he contends that admittedly there was no previous enmity between the deceased and the appellant. The deceased had appeared at the scene when the appellant had entered into an altercation with Ram Sarup on account of purchase of biri, cigarette on credit basis.
The deceased, therefore, can be said to be an intervener. The learned counsel then contends that it was a very trivial matter which had flared up all of a sudden without any previous ill-will and therefore, it cannot be held that the appellant had intention to commit murder of Ram Piari. In support of his contentions, Mr. Punia has relied upon two judgments of Supreme Court rendered in K.Ramakrishnan Unnithan vs. State of Kerala, 1999 (2) RCR (Criminal) 219 and Ravi Kumar vs. State of Punjab, 2005(2) Criminal Court Cases 511. Mr. Punia also relies upon other two judgments of Orissa High Court rendered in Kishore Chandra Sahu and Anr. vs.
State of Orissa, 2003(2) Criminal Court Cases 419 (Orissa) and by Rajasthan High Court rendered in Mool Chand vs. State of Rajasthan, 2004(2) Criminal Court Cases 495 (Rajasthan).
Mr. Punia then submits that in case this Court forms a view that the present case falls within the mischief of section 304 Part-II IPC, then in that eventuality, the substantive sentence be reduced, may be to the period already undergone by him, as the occurrence is of the year 1994 and the appellant has undergone a substantial period of his substantive sentence which comes to about six years.
The arguments advanced by the appellant counsel are vehemently opposed by Mr. Katyal contending that there is no dearth of injuries in this case and therefore, the appellant cannot have the benefit of any of the exceptions contained in section 300 IPC. According to him, the appellant has acted in an un-usual manner causing multiple injuries and therefore, it is a case of murder simpliciter punishable under section 302 IPC.
After hearing the rival contentions and going through the entire record especially the injuries on the person of the deceased as noticed by the doctor of autopsy, we are of the considered view that in the present set of circumstances, the appellant had intended the injuries which are found on the person of the deceased and his act would squarely fall under clause thirdly of section 300 of Indian Penal Code. We, in this regard, have once again very minutely perused the injuries on the person of the deceased.
Injury No. 1 is an incised wound of 20 x 5 cm on the right side of neck extending to the left side also. In the front and back of neck, only a thick skin flap and muscle flap were remaining on the left side. It had cut third cervical vertebra. Injury no. 2 is again on a vital part of the body i.e. chest.
Injury no. 6 is also on the left side of the chest over the posterior axilliary fold, 25 cm from the left nipple and 10 cm from the mid-line. It had not only cut certain ribs but also ruptured the left pleura and left lung. Injury no. 7 is again on the left side of the chest. As stated above, the cause of death was on account of injuries to the neck, left lung and the spleen.
From the aforesaid injuries one can very comfortably conclude that the appellant had intended to cause the same. Of course, initially an altercation had ensued between Ram Sarup son-in-law of the deceased and the appellant and the deceased had intervened thereafter, but it can be said that the appellant had no intention to commit the murder of Ram Piari who infact had received many serious injuries on vital parts of her body and died at the spot on account of those injuries only.
The judgment rendered in K.Ramakrishnan Unnithan's case (supra) cited by Mr. Punia is entirely distinguishable on facts. In the said case it was a sudden altercation and the accused had given one blow with a knife which hit in the abdomen. In that situation, their Lordships of Hon'ble the Supreme Court observed that it was difficult to hold that the accused gave the blow in question with the intention of committing murder of the deceased and converted the offence from section 302 IPC to section 304 Part-II IPC. In the instant case, the injuries are in plenty on the person of the deceased and that too on vital parts of the body. There is repetition of blows by the appellant and therefore, the facts of the aforesaid case will not apply in the case in hand.
Another judgment of Supreme Court rendered in Ravi Kumar's case (supra) cited by Mr. Punia, in our view, would again not come at his rescue as the same is also distinguishable on facts. In the said case, no doubt there was a sudden fight as the quarrel had taken place between the accused and the deceased over a trivial matter but the accused had given two injuries with dang (blunt weapon) on the head of the deceased. In that situation it was held that the accused had committed the offence without premeditation, in a sudden fight, without the offender having taken undue advantage or acted in a cruel or unusual manner and therefore, Exception 4 to section 300 IPC was attracted. In that eventuality, the conviction recorded under section 302 IPC was altered to section 304 Part-II IPC. The present case is certainly not of that nature.
The other two judgments cited by Mr. Punia, of two different High Courts are again not of any help to him and can comfortably be distinguished on facts.
In Shankar Narayan Bhadolkar vs. State of Maharashtra 2004(2) RCR (Criminal) 508, their Lordships have observed that the test laid down by Virsa Singh vs State of Punjab, (AIR 1958 SC 465) for the applicability of clause 'Thirdly' is now ingrained in our legal system and has become part of the rule of law. Under clause thirdly of section 300 IPC, culpable homicide is murder, if both the following conditions are satisfied: i.e. (a) that the act which causes death or is done with the intention of causing a bodily injury; and (b) that the injury intended to be inflicted is sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death. It must be proved that there was an intention to inflict that particular bodily injury which, in the ordinary course of nature, was sufficient to cause death, viz., that the injury found to be present was the injury that was intended to be inflicted.
It was further observed that according to the rule laid down in Virsa Singh's case (supra), even if the intention of the accused was limited to the infliction of a bodily injury sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of nature, and did not extend to the intention of causing death, the offence would be murder. Illustration (c) appended to Section 300 clearly brings out this point.
In Vinod Mohan Avasthi vs State of Uttar Pradesh, 1982 SCC (Cri.) 372, where in a sudden fight, the accused had inflicted knife injuries to the left lung and left portion of diaphragm which were sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death, their Lordships while maintaining the conviction of the appellant under section 302 IPC observed that the act fell within the clause Thirdly of section 300 IPC in view of the law laid down in Virsa Singh's case (supra).
We, looking at the number of injuries on the person of the deceased and following the law laid down in Virsa Singh's case (supra) which is reiterated in the other judgments of the Hon'ble Apex Court, do not find any difficulty in holding that the case of the appellant falls within the mischief of section 302 IPC and does not call for diluting the nature of the offence.
As a sequel to the aforesaid discussion, we uphold the conviction of the appellant under section 302 IPC as already recorded by the learned trial court.
Consequently, the instant appeal stands dismissed.
The appellant is stated to be on bail as his substantive sentence was suspended in the year 2000 by this Court as is evident from records. He be now taken in to custody to serve out his remainder of substantive sentence.
( Virender Singh )
( A.N. Jindal )
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