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Friday, August 23, 2013

When sec. 304 Part II applies - “ 300. Murder.- xx xx xx Exception 4.- Culpable homicide is not murder if it is committed without premeditation in a sudden fight in the heat of passion upon a sudden quarrel and without the offender having taken undue advantage or acted in a cruel or unusual manner. Explanation.- It is immaterial in such cases which party offers the provocation or commits the first assault.” The help of Exception 4 can be invoked if death is caused (a) without premeditation; (b) in a sudden fight; (c) without the offender’s having taken undue advantage or acted in a cruel or unusual manner; and (d) the fight must have been with the person killed. To bring a case within Exception 4 all the ingredients mentioned in it must be found. It is to be noted that the “fight” occurring in Exception 4 to Section 300 IPC is defined in IPC. It takes two to make a fight. Heat of passion requires that there must be no time for the passions to cool down and in this case, the parties have worked themselves into a fury on account of the verbal altercation in the beginning. A fight is a combat between two and more persons whether with or without weapons. It is not possible to enunciate any general rule as to what shall be deemed to be a sudden quarrel. It is a question of fact and whether a quarrel is sudden or not must necessarily depend upon the proved facts of each case…..“ In this background when we consider the facts of the present case, we have no manner of doubt that Exception 4 to Section 300 of the IPC is not at all attracted. In the case in hand, the convicts had entered the room of the daughter of the deceased in midnight, molested her and the poor father, perhaps because of his age, could not do anything other than to abuse the convicts. He gave choicest abuses but did not fight with the convicts. Verbal abuses are not fight as it is well settled that at least two persons are needed to fight. Therefore, this ingredient is not satisfied. Then, can it be said that the crime has been committed in a heat of passion? If time is taken to cool down, then the crime cannot be said to have been committed in a heat of passion. It is the specific case of the prosecution, which in fact, has also been accepted by the High Court that “when her father Tikeswar abused them, the accused Khageswar being annoyed brought a budia from his house, which is nearby, and dealt blows to her father and accused Dusasan brought a lathi and assaulted her father.” This clearly shows that both the convicts had sufficient time to cool down and therefore, it cannot be said that the crime was committed in a heat of passion. So far as the convict, Kampa @ Sricharan Naik is concerned, he is convicted with the aid of Section 34 of the IPC. All of them have come together and participated in the crime which goes to show that these convicts shared the common intention. In the face of what we have observed above, it is clear that the High Court erred in holding that the offence for which the convicts can be held guilty shall be Section 304 Part II of the IPC. In the result, we allow this appeal, set aside that portion of the judgment of the High Court whereby it had altered the conviction of the respondents from Section 302/34 of the IPC to that of Section 304/34 of the IPC and restore that of the trial court. The respondents, if have not already undergone the sentence awarded by the trial court, shall forthwith be taken into custody to serve out the remainder of the sentence.

                        published in    http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=40685                                     
 REPORTABLE


                       IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                       CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                      CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1249 OF 2013
               (@SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL) No.4928 of 2011)


           STATE OF ORISSA                         … APPELLANT

                                   VERSUS

           KHAGA @ KHAGESWAR NAIK & ORS.               …RESPONDENTS


                               J U D G M E N T



           CHANDRAMAULI KR. PRASAD, J.

                       State of Orissa, aggrieved by the judgment and order
           dated 1st September, 2009 passed in Criminal  Appeal  No.274  of
           1997 whereby the Division Bench of the High  Court  has  altered
           the conviction of the respondents from Section 302/34 to Section
           304 Part II of the Indian Penal Code (hereinafter to be referred
           to as ‘the IPC’), has preferred this Special Leave Petition.


                       Leave granted.


                       In the present appeal, as we are concerned with  the
           nature of the  offence  said  to  have  been  committed  by  the
           respondents (hereinafter to be referred to as  ‘the  convicts’),
           we shall refer to only  those  facts  which  are  necessary  for
           decision on the said issue.  Occurrence in the present case  had
           taken place in Raghunathpali, a hamlet within  the  district  of
           Sambalpur in the State of Orissa. As  usual,  on  11th  October,
           1995 Mohini Naik and her father, Tikeshwar Naik were sleeping at
           their home in separate rooms  adjoining  each  other.  When  the
           entire village was fast asleep, the convicts came to their house
           at 11.00 P.M. and knocked the door in which Mohini,  the  rustic
           villager was sleeping. She was asked to open  the  door  of  her
           room. She could recognize the convict Khageswar from  his  voice
           and on enquiry as  to  who  was  knocking  the  door,  Khageswar
           disclosed his name. She  opened  the  door  and  saw  the  three
           convicts standing at the door.  Two of them i.e.  Khageswar  and
           Kampa entered into her room and molested her. She  raised  alarm
           whereupon her father, Tikeshwar woke up and arrived at the  spot
           and abused the convicts  in  obscene  language.  All  the  three
           convicts caught hold of her father, assaulted him by  kicks  and
           blows and dragged him towards the orchard. He  was  followed  by
           his daughter,  Mohini,  the  informant  of  the  case.  She  was
           threatened that if she will come out, they will kill her. Mohini
           saw her father being assaulted from a distance by Khageswar  and
           Dusasan. While Tikeswar  was  abusing  the  convicts,  Khageswar
           brought one ‘budia’ from  his  house  and  gave  blows  to  him.
           Similarly, convict Dusasan brought a ‘lathi’ from his  home  and
           assaulted her father. Ultimately, Mohini could see the dead body
           of her father lying  in  ‘Nala’  at  about  3.00  P.M.  on  12th
           October, 1995.


                        Police  after  usual  investigation  submitted  the
           charge-sheet and the convicts were ultimately committed  to  the
           Court of Session to face the trial. The  convicts  were  charged
           for commission of the offences  under  Sections  457,354,506,302
           and 201/34 of the IPC.  They pleaded not guilty and  claimed  to
           be tried. Their defence is  false  implication  but  no  defence
           witness has been examined.


                 The trial court on appreciation of  evidence  came  to  the
           conclusion that the prosecution has been able to prove its  case
           beyond  all  reasonable   doubt   against   the   convicts   and
           accordingly, it  convicted  them  for  offences  under  Sections
           457,354,506,302, 201/34 of the IPC. On appeal,  the  High  Court
           accepted  the  case  of  the  prosecution  but  held  that   the
           allegations proved construed an offence under Section 304Part-II
           of the IPC. Accordingly, while maintaining the conviction of the
           respondents under Sections 457,354,506 and 201/34  of  the  IPC,
           the High Court altered their conviction from Section  302/34  of
           the IPC to that of Section 304 Part II of the IPC and  sentenced
           them to undergo rigorous imprisonment  for  a  period  of  eight
           years for offence under Section 304, Part II of the  IPC.  While
           doing so, the High Court observed as follows:


                                   “  17.  We,  however,  find   that   the
                          prosecution has  failed  to  establish  that  the
                          accused  persons  had   any   prior   motive   or
                          pre-meditation to  kill  deceased   Tikeswar  and
                          admittedly, the prosecution has not been able  to
                          establish  that  there  was  any  enmity  between
                          deceased Tikeswar or his daughter Mohini  (P.W.4)
                          with the accused persons. It appears, the accused
                          persons who had gone to the  house  of  P.W.4  to
                          commit sexual act, on being abused by Tikeswar in
                          obscene  language,  got  provoked  and   attacked
                          Tikeswar  in a fit of anger and on  the  spur  of
                          the moment, without any prior planning or design.
                          The act of the accused persons appears to be more
                          by way of  sudden  retaliation  in  the  heat  of
                          passion, on being abused by deceased Tikeswar  in
                          obscene language and was not      pre-planned  or
                          intentional. Accordingly, we feel,  the  interest
                          of  justice  would  be  best   served,   if   the
                          conviction of the accused persons  under  Section
                          302/34 IPC is modified and reduced to  one  under
                          Section 304 Part II IPC. The  conviction  of  the
                          accused persons under Sections 457/354/506/201/34
                          IPC needs no interference.”




                 This is how the appellant- State of Orissa is before us and
           challenges the alteration of conviction from Section  302/34  to
           that of Section 304 Part II of the IPC.




                       Mr. Radha Shyam Jena, learned counsel  appearing  on
           behalf of the appellant submits that the
           allegations proved clearly make out a case of murder  punishable
           under Section 302 of  the  IPC  and  the  High  Court  erred  in
           altering the same to Section  304  Part  II  of  the  IPC.  Mrs.
           Rachana Joshi Issar, learned counsel appearing on behalf of  the
           respondents supports the judgment of the High Court and contends
           that the offence having been committed without pre-meditation in
           a heat of passion, Exception 4 to Section  300  of  the  IPC  is
           clearly attracted and hence the allegation  proved  is  culpable
           homicide not amounting to murder. Accordingly, she submits  that
           the order of the High Court does not call for any interference.


                       The rival  submission  necessitates  examination  of
           Exception 4 to Section 300 of the IPC, same reads as follows:






                            “ 300. Murder.-


                                  xx         xx         xx


                          Exception 4.- Culpable homicide is not murder  if
                          it is committed without premeditation in a sudden
                          fight in  the  heat  of  passion  upon  a  sudden
                          quarrel and without  the  offender  having  taken
                          undue advantage or acted in a  cruel  or  unusual
                          manner.


                          Explanation.- It  is  immaterial  in  such  cases
                          which party offers the provocation or commits the
                          first assault.”




           From a plain reading of the aforesaid exception  it  is  evident
           that it shall be attracted only  if  the  death  is  caused  (i)
           without premeditation, (ii) in a sudden fight  and  (iii)  in  a
           heat of passion upon a sudden quarrel. If all these  ingredients
           are satisfied, the exception will come into play only  when  the
           Court comes to the conclusion that the offender  had  not  taken
           undue advantage or acted in a cruel  or  unusual  manner.  Above
           all, this section would be attracted when the  fight  had  taken
           place with the person killed.




                 The aforesaid view finds support from a  judgment  of  this
           Court in Pappu vs. State of M.P. (2006) 7 SCC 391  in  which  it
           has been held as follows:


                          “13…… The help of Exception 4 can be  invoked  if
                          death is caused (a) without premeditation; (b) in
                          a sudden fight; (c) without the offender’s having
                          taken undue advantage or  acted  in  a  cruel  or
                          unusual manner; and (d) the fight must have  been
                          with the person killed. To bring  a  case  within
                          Exception 4 all the ingredients mentioned  in  it
                          must be found. It is to be noted that the “fight”
                          occurring in Exception 4 to Section  300  IPC  is
                          defined in IPC. It takes two  to  make  a  fight.
                          Heat of passion requires that there  must  be  no
                          time for the passions to cool down  and  in  this
                          case, the parties have worked themselves  into  a
                          fury on account of the verbal altercation in  the
                          beginning. A fight is a combat  between  two  and
                          more persons whether with or without weapons.  It
                          is not possible to enunciate any general rule  as
                          to what shall be deemed to be a  sudden  quarrel.
                          It is a question of fact and whether a quarrel is
                          sudden or not must necessarily  depend  upon  the
                          proved facts of each case…..“


                       In this background when we consider the facts of the
           present case, we have no manner of doubt  that  Exception  4  to
           Section 300 of the IPC is not at all attracted. In the  case  in
           hand, the convicts had entered the room of the daughter  of  the
           deceased in midnight, molested her and the poor father,  perhaps
           because of his age, could not do anything other  than  to  abuse
           the convicts. He gave choicest abuses but did not fight with the
           convicts. Verbal abuses are not fight as it is well settled that
           at least two  persons  are  needed  to  fight.  Therefore,  this
           ingredient is not satisfied.


                       Then, can  it  be  said  that  the  crime  has  been
           committed in a heat of passion? If time is taken to  cool  down,
           then the crime cannot be said to have been committed in  a  heat
           of passion. It is the specific case of the prosecution, which in
           fact, has also been accepted by the High Court  that  “when  her
           father Tikeswar abused them, the accused Khageswar being annoyed
           brought a budia from his house, which is nearby, and dealt blows
           to her father and accused Dusasan brought a lathi and  assaulted
           her father.” This clearly  shows  that  both  the  convicts  had
           sufficient time to cool down and therefore, it  cannot  be  said
           that the crime was committed in a heat of passion.


                       So far as the convict, Kampa  @  Sricharan  Naik  is
           concerned, he is convicted with the aid of  Section  34  of  the
           IPC. All of them have come  together  and  participated  in  the
           crime which goes to show that these convicts shared  the  common
           intention.


                       In the face of what we have observed  above,  it  is
           clear that the High Court erred in holding that the offence  for
           which the convicts can be held guilty shall be Section 304  Part
           II of the IPC.


                       In the result, we allow this appeal, set aside  that
           portion of the judgment of the High Court whereby it had altered
           the conviction of the respondents from Section 302/34 of the IPC
           to that of Section 304/34 of the IPC and  restore  that  of  the
           trial court. The respondents, if have not already undergone  the
           sentence awarded by the trial court, shall  forthwith  be  taken
           into custody  to  serve  out  the  remainder  of  the  sentence.







                                             ........................J
                                       [R.M.LODHA]


                                   ........................J
                                       [CHANDRAMAULI KR. PRASAD]

           NEW DELHI
           AUGUST 23, 2013.







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