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Saturday, May 16, 2015

whether Exception 4 really applies and, if so, whether the injury was inflicted with the intention of causing death or of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death. The circumstances of the case to which we have referred in the earlier part of this judgment, however, leave no manner of doubt that the incident was without any pre-meditation and a sudden fight upon a sudden quarrel. The injuries upon the deceased were inflicted in the heat of passion and without the appellant taking any undue advantage or acting in a cruel or unusual manner. The fact situation of the case, therefore, attracts Exception 4 especially when in terms of explanation to Exception 4, it is immaterial in such cases which party offers the provocation or commits the first assault. That being so, the offence committed by the author of the injury is not murder but culpable homicide not amounting to murder punishable under Section 304 of the IPC. 17. Coming then to the question whether the act committed by Har Chand- appellant was with intention to cause death or of causing such bodily injury as was likely to cause death, we are of the opinion that even when the act may not have been committed with the intention of causing death, the same was intended to cause such bodily injury as was likely to cause death, within the meaning of Section 304 Part I.

                                             REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                       CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
                       CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.2279 OF 2009

Ramanlal  and Anr.                                 …Appellants

                                   Versus

State of Haryana                             …Respondent


                                    WITH

                       CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.1351 OF 2010


Bhagat Singh and Anr.                        ...Appellants

                                   Versus

State of Haryana                             ...Respondent



                               J U D G M E N T

T.S. THAKUR, J.

1.    These two appeals by special leave assail a common judgment and  order
dated 7th May, 2009 passed by a Division Bench of the High Court  of  Punjab
and Haryana at Chandigarh whereby Criminal Appeal No.631 of  2000  filed  by
the appellants challenging their conviction for  offences  punishable  under
Sections 323, 325, 302 read with Section 149 of the IPC has  been  dismissed
and the sentence of life imprisonment awarded to each one  of  them  by  the
trial Court affirmed.

2.    The prosecution case in a nutshell is that on 2nd July, 1998 at  about
10 O’ clock in the morning Ved Pal and  his  brother  Gopal,  now  deceased,
were watering their fields in village  Doongriwala,  district  Faridabad  in
the State of Haryana.  At about 12.00 noon  Jai  Pal,  son  of  Nihar  Singh
entered their field in which the two brothers had grown  their  paddy  crop.
Deceased-Gopal appears to have objected  to  Jai  Pal’s  trespass  into  the
paddy crop to which objection Jai Pal gave an abusive reply  insisting  that
he would pass through the paddy crop regardless of Gopal’s objection.  While
this altercation was going on between deceased-Gopal and Jai Pal, 10  to  12
persons appeared on the spot armed with lathis, pharsas  and  ballams.  They
included Har Chand, Digamber and Bhagat Singh sons of  Jairam;  Rajbir,  Lal
and Bhola sons of Har Chand; Jagdish  son  of  Girraj;  Rattan  Lal  son  of
Jagdish; Naresh and Rajkumar sons of Ramesh all Jats by caste and  residents
of village Doongriwala.  They  are  alleged  to  have  given  a  lalkara  to
eliminate Ved Pal and deceased Gopal and  assaulted  both  of  them  causing
several injuries including an injury on the head of the deceased-Gopal  that
felled him to the ground. The injured were removed to the hospital at  Hodal
for treatment where Ved Pal made a  statement  which  was  made  before  ASI
Narain Singh that led to the registration of  a  case  against  the  persons
aforementioned for offences punishable under Sections 148, 149, 323 and  307
of the IPC. With Gopal succumbing to the injuries in  the  Escorts  Hospital
at Faridabad, the offence under Section 307 of the IPC  was  converted  into
one of murder punishable under Section 302 of the IPC. Investigation by  the
police led to the arrest of accused Har Chand, Digambar and Jagdish  on  3rd
July, 1998. Several recoveries from the accused persons  are  said  to  have
been made in the course of investigation which culminated  in  filing  of  a
charge-sheet against ten persons in all excluding Bhagat Singh  son  of  Jai
Ram who even though named in the FIR,  was  found  innocent  while  Jai  Pal
being a juvenile was referred to the Juvenile Court at  Faridabad.  The  net
result was that nine out of those named in  the  FIR  only  were  eventually
committed to  face  the  trial  before  the  Additional  Sessions  Judge  at
Faridabad for offences under Sections  148,  323,  325  and  302  read  with
Section 149 of the IPC.  At the trial, Bhagat Singh son of Jai Ram was  also
added as an accused under Section 319 of the Cr.P.C, taking  the  number  of
those accused to face the trial to ten in all.

3.    In support of its case,  the  prosecution  examined  as  many  as  ten
witnesses. These included the first informant  Ved  Pal  examined  as  PW-1;
Prakash examined as PW-2;  Kishan  Singh  examined  as  PW-3;  Satbir  Singh
examined as PW-4 and Drs. HK Mishra, VR Gupta and SP Jayant examined as  PWs
5, 6 and 10 respectively. The remaining  witnesses  happened  to  be  police
officials including the investigating officer. The accused did not lead  any
evidence in defence. In their statements recorded under Section 313  of  the
Cr.P.C., they alleged false implication.  It was further  alleged  that  Jai
Prakash and Har Chand alone were present on the spot  at  the  time  of  the
incident and that the  remaining  nine  accused  persons  had  been  falsely
implicated.  Their further case was that on the  fateful  day  Jai  Pal  was
watering his fields when deceased Gopal tried to  commit  sodomy  upon  him.
Har Chand  noticed  this  attempt  of  the  deceased  and  objected  to  it,
whereupon deceased Gopal inflicted a lathi  blow  upon  the  person  of  Har
Chand.  Har Chand, in exercise of the right of private defence  and  with  a
view to rescuing Jai Pal, inflicted a lathi blow on  deceased  Gopal,  while
Jai Pal caused injuries to Ved Pal in the incident.

4.    The Trial Court appraised the evidence adduced by the prosecution  and
came to the conclusion that the depositions of PW1-Ved Pal  and  PW2-Prakash
were completely reliable. The Trial Court rejected the contention  urged  on
behalf of the accused persons that the delay in the lodging of the  FIR  was
not satisfactorily explained or that the  prosecution  ought  to  suffer  on
account of its failure to explain the  injuries  sustained  by  the  accused
persons. The Trial Court also rejected the  contention  that  there  was  no
motive  for  the  commission  of  the  offence  or  that   there   was   any
contradiction between the medical and ocular evidence led in the case.   The
Trial Court  on  that  reasoning  sentenced  all  the  ten  accused  persons
arraigned before it to undergo imprisonment for life under  Section  302  of
the IPC and a fine of Rs.5,000/- each.  In default of payment of fine,  they
were directed to undergo further rigorous imprisonment for a period  of  one
year each.  They were also sentenced to under rigorous  imprisonment  for  a
period of one year and a fine of  Rs.1,000/-  with  a  default  sentence  of
three months each under Section 325 of the IPC. For the offences  punishable
under Sections 323 and 148 of the IPC the accused were sentenced  to  pay  a
fine of Rs.1,000/- each. No default sentence in  regard  to  those  offences
was, however, awarded.

5.    Aggrieved  by  the  conviction  and  sentence  awarded  to  them,  the
appellants filed Criminal Appeal No.631 of 2000 before  the  High  Court  of
Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh, which was disposed of along with  Criminal
Revision No.345 of 2001 filed by Ved Pal-the first  informant  by  a  common
judgment and order  impugned  in  these  appeals.  The  High  Court  upon  a
reappraisal of the evidence adduced at the  trial  came  to  the  conclusion
that the appeal filed by Digamber, Rajbir,  Lala,  Bhola,  Jagdish  and  Raj
Kapoor deserved to be allowed, while the same  deserved  dismissal  qua  Har
Chand, Raman Lal, Naresh and Bhagat Singh. That is  precisely  the  backdrop
in which Har Chand, Raman Lal, Naresh and Bhagat  Singh  are  before  us  in
these appeals by special leave assailing their conviction and  the  sentence
awarded to them.
6.    On behalf of the appellants it was argued that the  courts  below  had
fallen in  error  in  convicting  the  appellants  by  placing  an  implicit
reliance upon the depositions of PW1-Ved Pal  and  PW2-Prakash  and  in  the
process, ignoring the defence version about the  genesis  of  the  incident.
It was contended that the incident had occurred on account of  an  attempted
act of sodomy by the deceased upon Jaipal to which the  appellant-Har  Chand
had objected resulting in lathi blows  being  inflicted  by  the  two  sides
rivals to each other. The argument needs notice only  to  be  rejected.   We
say so because there is nothing in the evidence to  probablise  the  defence
version that the incident in question had  taken  place  on  account  of  an
attempt on the part of Gopal to sodomise Jaipal.  There  are  no  tell  tale
signs of any such attempt having been made.  Not only that, the defence  has
not taken care to examine Jaipal the alleged victim of the attempted act  as
a witness to prove that any such attempt was at all made  by  the  deceased-
Gopal. We have, therefore, no hesitation in rejecting the argument that  the
defence version was a probable version which could not  be  given  credence.
The courts below have, in our opinion, rightly rejected the defence  version
for which there was no factual foundation whatsoever in the evidence.
7.    It was next argued by learned counsel for  the  appellants  that  with
the acquittal  of  6  out  of  10  accused  persons,  the  charge  that  the
appellants constituted  an  unlawful  assembly  ought  to  fail  and  as  an
inevitable consequence thereof, the conviction of the appellants for  murder
with the help of Section 149 of  the  IPC  rendered  unsustainable.  It  was
contended that acquittal of other accused persons alleged to be  members  of
the unlawful assembly, implied  that  the  said  accused  had  been  falsely
implicated in the case or that they, even if physically present on the  spot
as alleged, did not share the common object of the convicted accused.
8.    Section 141 of the IPC defines unlawful assembly as under:
“141. Unlawful assembly.—An assembly of five or more persons  is  designated
an “unlawful assembly”, if the common object of the persons  composing  that
assembly is—

(First) — To overawe by criminal force, or show  of  criminal  force,  1[the
Central or any State Government or Parliament  or  the  Legislature  of  any
State], or any public servant in the exercise of the lawful  power  of  such
public servant; or

(Second) — To resist the execution of any law, or of any legal process; or

(Third) — To commit any mischief or criminal trespass, or other offence; or

(Fourth) — By means of criminal force, or show of  criminal  force,  to  any
person, to take or obtain possession of any  property,  or  to  deprive  any
person of the enjoyment of a right of way, or of the use of water  or  other
incorporeal right of which he is in possession or enjoyment, or  to  enforce
any right or supposed right; or

(Fifth) — By means of criminal force, or show of criminal force,  to  compel
any person to do what he is not legally bound to do, or to omit to  do  what
he is legally entitled to do.

Explanation.—An assembly which was  not  unlawful  when  it  assembled,  may
subsequently become an unlawful assembly.”



9.    In terms of Section 149  of  the  IPC  every  member  of  an  unlawful
assembly is guilty of the offence committed  by  any  other  member  of  the
assembly in prosecution of the  common  object.   Section  149  of  the  IPC
reads:

      “149. Every member of unlawful assembly guilty  of  offence  committed
in prosecution of common object.—If an offence is committed  by  any  member
of an unlawful  assembly  in  prosecution  of  the  common  object  of  that
assembly, or such as the members of that assembly knew to be  likely  to  be
committed in prosecution of that object, every person who, at  the  time  of
the committing of that offence, is a member of the same assembly, is  guilty
of that offence.”



10.   The question is whether acquittal  of  some  of  the  accused  persons
reducing the number of those convicted to less than  5  has  the  effect  of
taking the case out of the purview of Section 149 (supra).   A  Constitution
Bench of this Court has in Mohan Singh   v.   State  of  Punjab[1]  examined
that question and authoritatively answered the same. The  prosecution  story
in that case also was that on the date of the  incident  5  accused  persons
composed an unlawful assembly and that in prosecution of the  common  object
of the said  assembly,  they  committed  rioting  while  armed  with  deadly
weapons. The prosecution alleged that in pursuance of the common  object  of
the assembly Gurdip Singh was murdered and injuries caused to Harnam  Singh.
The prosecution alleged that although the  fatal  injury  was  inflicted  by
only one of the accused persons on Gurudip Singh’s head since the  same  was
in prosecution of the common object of  unlawful  assembly,  all  those  who
were members of the  assembly  were  guilty  under  Section  302  read  with
Section 149 of the IPC. On behalf of the defence  it  was  argued  that  the
constructive criminal liability under Section 149 did not arise once two  of
the accused who were alleged to be members of that assembly  were  acquitted
thereby reducing the number comprising the assembly to three  persons  only.
This Court while dealing with that contention conceived  of  three  possible
situations  and  the  legal  position  applicable  to  each  one   of   such
situations. This Court observed:
“8. The true legal position in regard to the  essential  ingredients  of  an
offence specified by s. 149 are not in doubt.  Section  149  prescribes  for
vicarious or constructive criminal liability for all members of an  unlawful
assembly where an offence is committed by any member  of  such  an  unlawful
assembly in prosecution of the common object of that  assembly  or  such  as
the members  of  that  assembly  knew  to  be  likely  to  be  committed  in
prosecution of that object. It  would  thus  be  noticed  that  one  of  the
essential ingredients of section 149 is that  the  offence  must  have  been
committed by any member of an unlawful assembly, and S.141  makes  it  clear
that it is only where five or more persons constituted an assembly  that  an
unlawful assembly is born, provided, of course; the  other  requirements  of
the said section as to the common  object  of  the  persons  composing  that
assembly are satisfied. In other words, it is an essential condition  of  an
unlawful assembly that its membership must be five or  more.  The  argument,
therefore, is that as soon as the  two  Piara  Singhs  were  acquitted,  the
membership of the assembly was reduced from five to three and that  made  S.
141 inapplicable which inevitably leads to the result that S. 149 cannot  be
invoked against the appellants. In our opinion, on the facts of  this  case,
this argument has to be upheld. We have  already  observed  that  the  point
raised by the appellants has to be dealt with on the  assumption  that  only
five persons were named in the charge  as  persons  composing  the  unlawful
assembly and evidence led in the course of the trial  is  confined  only  to
the said five persons. If that be so, as soon  as  two  of  the  five  named
persons are acquitted, the assembly must be deemed to have been composed  of
only three persons and that  clearly  cannot  be  regarded  as  an  unlawful
assembly.”

9.    In dealing with the question as to the applicability of S.149 in  such
cases it is necessary to bear in mind the several categories of cases  which
come before the Criminal Courts for their decision. If five or more  persons
are named in the charge as  composing  an  unlawful  assembly  and  evidence
adduced by the prosecution proves that charge against all of them,  that  is
a very clear case where S.149 can be invoked. It is, however, not  necessary
that five or more persons must be convicted before a charge under S.149  can
be successfully brought home to any members of  the  unlawful  assembly.  It
may be that less than five  persons  may  be  charged  and  convicted  under
S.302/149 if the charge is that the persons before  the  Court,  along  with
others named constituted an unlawful assembly; the other  persons  so  named
may not be available for trial along with their companions for  the  reason,
for instance, that they have absconded. In such a case, the fact  that  less
than  five  persons  are  before  the  Court  does  not  make  section   149
inapplicable for the simple reason that both the  charge  and  the  evidence
seek to prove that the persons before the court and others number more  than
five in all and as Such, they  together  constitute  an  unlawful  assembly.
Therefore, in order to bring home a charge under S.149 it is  not  necessary
that five or more persons must necessarily be brought before the  court  and
convicted. Similarly, less than five persons may be charged under s. 149  if
the prosecution case is  that  the  persons  before  the  Court  and  others
numbering in all more than five composed an unlawful assembly, these  others
being persons not identified and so not named. In such a case,  if  evidence
shows that the persons before the Court  along  with  unidentified  and  un-
named assailants or members composed an unlawful assembly, those before  the
Court,  can  be  convicted  under  section  149  though  the  unnamed.   and
unidentified persons are not traced and charged. Cases may also arise  where
in the charge, the prosecution names five or more persons and  alleges  that
they constituted an unlawful assembly. In such cases,  if  both  the  charge
and the evidence are confined to the persons named in the charge and out  of
the persons so named two or more are acquitted  leaving,  before  the  court
less than five persons to be tried, then s. 149 cannot be invoked.  Even  in
such cases, it is possible  that  though  the  charge  names  five  or  more
persons is composing an unlawful assembly, evidence  may  nevertheless  show
that the unlawful assembly consisted of some other persons as well who  were
not identified and so not named. In such cases, either the  trial  court  or
even the High Court in appeal may be able to come  to  the  conclusion  that
the acquittal of some of the persons named in the charge and tried will  not
necessarily displace the charge under section 149  because  along  with  the
two or three  persons  convicted  were  others  who  composed  the  unlawful
assembly but who have not been identified and so have  not  been  named.  In
such cases the acquittal of one or more persons named  in  the  charge  does
not affect the validity of the  charge  under  section  149  because-on  the
evidence the court of facts  is  able  to  reach  the  conclusion  that  the
persons composing the unlawful assembly nevertheless were five or more  than
five. It is true that in the last category of cases, the court will have  to
be very careful in reaching the said conclusion. But there is no  legal  bar
which prevents the court from reaching such a  conclusion.  The  failure  to
refer in the charge to other members of the unlawful assembly  un-named  and
unidentified may conceivably raise the point as to whether  prejudice  would
be caused to the persons before the Court by reason of  the  fact  that  the
charge did not indicate that un-named  persons  also  were  members  of  the
unlawful assembly. But apart from the question of such prejudice  which  may
have to be carefully considered, there is no legal bar preventing the  court
of facts from holding that though the charge specified  only  five  or  more
persons, the unlawful assembly in fact consisted of other persons  who  were
not named and identified. That appears to be  the  true  legal  position  in
respect of the several categories of cases which may fall to be  tried  when
a charge under section 149 is framed.”

                                        (emphasis supplied)


11.   To the same effect is the decision of  this  Court  in  Nagamalleswara
Rao (K) and Ors. v. State of Andhra Pradesh[2] where this Court observed:
“However, the learned Judges over-looked that  since  the  accused  who  are
convicted were only four in number and the prosecution has  not  proved  the
involvement of other persons and the courts below  have  acquitted  all  the
other accused of all  the  offences,  section  149  cannot  be  invoked  for
convicting the four appellants herein. The learned Judges were  not  correct
in stating that A1, A2, A5 and A11 "can be held to be  the  members  of  the
unlawful assembly along with some others unidentified persons’ on the  facts
and circumstances of this case. The charge was not that accused 1, 2, 5  and
11 "and others’ or "and other unidentified persons" formed into an  unlawful
assembly but it is that "you accused 1 to 15" who formed  into  an  unlawful
assembly. It is not the  prosecution  case  that  apart  from  the  said  15
persons there were other persons who were involved in the  crime.  When  the
11 other accused were acquitted it  means  that  their  involvement  in  the
offence had not been proved. It would not also be permissible to  assume  or
conclude that others named or unnamed  acted  conjointly  with  the  charged
accused in the case unless the charge itself specifically said so and  there
was evidence to  conclude  that  some  others  also  were  involved  in  the
commission  of  the  offence  conjointly  with  the   charged   accused   in
furtherance of a common object.”


12.   Applying the above principles to the case at hand, we are of the  view
that the provisions of Section 149 of the IPC are  no  longer  available  to
the prosecution for convicting the appellants whose number is reduced  to  4
consequent upon the acquittal of the remaining accused  persons.  The  facts
of the case at hand are not covered by situations one and  two  referred  to
in Mohan Singh’s case (supra). It is a case which,  in  our  opinion,  falls
more appropriately in situation three where the prosecution  had  named  all
those constituting the unlawful assembly, but,  only  four  of  those  named
were eventually convicted, thereby reducing the number to  less  than  five.
There is no evidence to suggest that any one, apart from the  persons  named
in the charge-sheet were members of the unlawful assembly, but, were  either
not available  or  remained  unidentified.  Such  being  the  position,  the
conviction of the appellants with the help of Section 149 of  the  IPC  does
not appear to be legally sustainable.
13.   The third and the only other submission made by  learned  counsel  for
the appellants related to the nature of the offence committed by Har  Chand,
the author of the fatal injury.  It was urged that the incident in  question
had taken place without any pre-meditation in a sudden fight  because  of  a
sudden quarrel following Jai Pal’s insistence  to  enter  the  crop  growing
field of the complainant.  Injuries were caused by  those  involved  in  the
fight to each other. Appellant-Har Chand had not taken any  undue  advantage
nor had he acted in a cruel or unusual manner.  The  case,  therefore,  fell
within Exception 4 to Section 300 of the IPC.  The fact that Har  Chand  had
inflicted a single injury on the head  of  the  deceased-Gopal  showed  that
there was no intention to kill deceased-Gopal, other injuries  inflicted  by
the remaining accused being only simple in nature.  The  offence,  according
to the learned counsel,  could  not,  therefore,  be  graver  than  culpable
homicide not amounting to murder punishable under  Section  304  Part-II  of
the IPC.
14.   The locus classicus on the interpretation of Sections 299 and  300  of
the IPC is the often quoted decision of this Court in Virsa Singh  v.  State
of Punjab[3] where Vivian Bose, J. speaking for  the  Court,  explained  the
ingredients that must be satisfied for a  culpable  homicide  to  amount  to
murder.  Dealing with clause ‘Thirdly’ under Section 300  of  the  IPC,  the
Court explained the essentials of that clause in the following words:
“12. To put it shortly, the  prosecution  must  prove  the  following  facts
before it can bring a case under Section 300 ‘thirdly’;

First, it must  establish,  quite  objectively,  that  a  bodily  injury  is
present.

Secondly, the nature of the injury must be proved; These are
purely objective investigations.

Thirdly, it must be proved that there  was  an  intention  to  inflict  that
particular bodily injury, that is to say, that  it  was  not  accidental  or
unintentional, or that some other kind of injury was intended.

Once these three elements are proved to be  present,  the  enquiry  proceeds
further and,

Fourthly, it must be proved that the injury of the type just described  made
up of the three elements set out above is sufficient to cause death  in  the
ordinary course of nature. This part of the enquiry is purely objective  and
inferential and has nothing to do with the intention of the offender.”


15.   The Court then goes on to explain the  third  ingredient  referred  to
the above passage and makes the following observations which bring home  the
essence of the third ingredient in simple words:
“The question is not whether the prisoner  intended  to  inflict  a  serious
injury or a trivial one but whether he intended to inflict the  injury  that
is proved to be present. If he can show that he did not, or if the  totality
of the circumstances justify such an inference, then, of course, the  intent
that the section requires is not proved. But if there is nothing beyond  the
injury and the fact that the  appellant  inflicted  it,  the  only  possible
inference is that he  intended  to  inflict  it.  Whether  he  knew  of  its
seriousness, or intended serious consequences, is neither  here  nor  there.
The question, so far as the  intention  is  concerned,  is  not  whether  he
intended to kill, or  to  inflict  an  injury  of  a  particular  degree  of
seriousness, but whether he intended to inflict the injury in question;  and
once the existence of the injury is proved the intention to  cause  it  will
be presumed unless the evidence or the  circumstances  warrant  an  opposite
conclusion.”


16.   Applying the above to the case at  hand,  we  have  no  difficulty  in
holding that keeping in view the nature of the injury,  the  vital  part  of
the body on which the same was inflicted and the weapon used by the  accused
appellant-Har Chand, and the medical evidence,  that  the  said  injury  was
sufficient in the ordinary course to cause death, culpable  homicide  would,
in the case at hand,  tantamount  to  murder  but  for  the  application  of
Exception 4 to Section 300. The question, however, is  whether  Exception  4
really applies and, if  so,  whether  the  injury  was  inflicted  with  the
intention of causing death or of causing such bodily injury as is likely  to
cause death.  The circumstances of the case to which  we  have  referred  in
the earlier part of this judgment, however, leave no manner  of  doubt  that
the incident was without any  pre-meditation  and  a  sudden  fight  upon  a
sudden quarrel.  The injuries upon the deceased were inflicted in  the  heat
of passion and without the appellant taking any undue  advantage  or  acting
in a cruel or unusual manner.  The fact situation of  the  case,  therefore,
attracts Exception 4 especially when in terms of  explanation  to  Exception
4, it is immaterial in such cases which  party  offers  the  provocation  or
commits the first assault.  That being so,  the  offence  committed  by  the
author of the injury is not murder but culpable homicide  not  amounting  to
murder punishable under Section 304 of the IPC.
17.   Coming then to the question whether the act committed  by  Har  Chand-
appellant was with intention to  cause  death  or  of  causing  such  bodily
injury as was likely to cause death, we are of the opinion  that  even  when
the act may not have been committed with the  intention  of  causing  death,
the same was intended to cause such bodily injury as  was  likely  to  cause
death, within the meaning of Section 304 Part I.
18.   In the result, we allow these appeals in part  and  to  the  following
extent:
The conviction of the appellants under Section 302  read  with  Section  149
IPC and the sentence of imprisonment for life awarded to them is set aside.
Appellant Har Chand is, instead, convicted  under  Section  304  Part-I  and
sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of eight  years  and
a fine of Rs.5000/-.  In default payment of fine he  shall  undergo  further
imprisonment for a period of six months.  His conviction  and  sentence  for
offences punishable under Section 325 shall remain unaffected  and  so  also
the fine and default sentence awarded to him.
The  conviction  of  Appellants-Raman  Lal,  Naresh  and  Bhagat  Singh  for
offences punishable under Sections 325 and 323 of the IPC and  the  sentence
awarded to them  shall  stand  affirmed.  They  shall  be  set  free  unless
required in connection of any other case, as  they  have  already  undergone
the imprisonment awarded to them.




                                                    ………………….....…………….…..…J.
                                                               (T.S. THAKUR)



                                                   …………………………….....…….…..…J.
                                                     (ROHINTON FALI NARIMAN)
New Delhi
May 15, 2015
-----------------------
[1]    AIR 1963 SC 174
[2]    (1991)2 SCC532
[3]    AIR 1958 SC 465


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