24 June 2024


Judgments

Supreme Court

The State of Uttar Pradesh Vs. Faquirey

MANU/SC/0174/2019

11.02.2019

Criminal

When provocation was voluntary on part of offender, benefit of Exception I to Section 300 of IPC cannot be given

The Respondent was convicted under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and sentenced to undergo life imprisonment by the Trial Court. The High Court converted the conviction to an offence under Section 304 Part I, of IPC and sentenced the Respondent to 10 years rigorous imprisonment. Aggrieved thereby, the State of Uttar Pradesh is in appeal.

The judgment of the High Court is liable to be set aside and the judgment of the Trial Court to be restored. There is no dispute that, the shot fired from the pistol by the Respondent is due to the grudge that he had against the deceased. Immediately after the deceased arrived at the place of incident, the Respondent's attention was diverted from the dispute that was being settled in the Panchayat. He turned to the deceased and shot him in view of his past conduct relating to the visit of the deceased to his house to become close with his wife.

There is no dispute that the shot fired from the pistol by the Respondent is due to the grudge that he had against the deceased. Immediately after the deceased arrived at the place of incident, the Respondent's attention was diverted from the dispute that was being settled in the Panchayat. He turned to the deceased and shot him in view of his past conduct relating to the visit of the deceased to his house to become close with his wife.

According to Exception I to Section 300 of IPC, culpable homicide is not murder if offender causes death of person who gave provocation, whilst deprived of power of self-control by grave and sudden provocation. It would be relevant to refer to the First Proviso to Exception I which provides that the provocation should be one which is not sought or voluntarily provoked by the offender as an excuse for killing or doing harm to any person. No overt act is alleged against the deceased by which it can be stated that, the Respondent was provoked. From the proved facts of this case, it appears that the provocation was voluntary on the part of the offender. Such provocation cannot come to the rescue of the Respondent to claim that he is not liable to be convicted under Section 302 of IPC.

The High Court committed a serious error in converting the conviction of the Respondent from under Section 302 of IPC to under Section 304 Part I of IPC, without proper appreciation of the scope of Section 300 of IPC. There was no submission made on behalf of the Respondent before the High Court on the merits of the matter. If the offence committed by the Respondent is murder, he has to undergo the imprisonment provided under Section 302 of IPC. Though the Respondent has undergone imprisonment for a period of 10 years, the Respondent is liable to go back to jail to undergo the remaining sentence on being sentenced to life imprisonment.

The judgment of the High Court is set aside and the judgment of the Trial Court convicting the Respondent under Section 302 of IPC and sentencing him to life imprisonment is restored. The Respondent is directed to surrender within a period of four weeks to serve the remaining sentence. Accordingly, the appeal is allowed.

Tags : Sentence Conversion Legality

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