26 May 2020


Judgments

Supreme Court

Nandlal Vs. The State of Maharashtra

MANU/SC/0388/2019

15.03.2019

Criminal

Benefit of Exception 4 to Section 300 of IPC is available only when act is committed without premeditation in a sudden fight in heat of passion

Present appeal arises out of the judgment passed by the High Court by which the High Court affirmed the conviction of the Appellant under Section 302 Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) read with Section 34 of IPC and the sentence of life imprisonment imposed upon him. By the same judgment, the High Court acquitted Accused No. 2 and 3-Parshuram and his son-Sanjay respectively.

The High Court held that, only the Appellant caused fatal injuries to the deceased with lethal weapon and the High Court affirmed the conviction of the Appellant and the sentence of life imprisonment imposed upon him. High Court acquitted Accused No. 2 and 3 holding that, Accused No. 2 and 3 came along with the Appellant to the place of occurrence only in the later part of the incident and that there was no common intention to commit murder of the deceased. The only point falling for consideration is whether the Appellant-Accused has made out a case for modification of his conviction under Section 304 Part II of IPC instead of Section 302 of IPC.

In order to bring the case within Exception 4 to Section 300 of IPC, the following conditions enumerated therein must be satisfied: (i) The act must be committed without premeditation in a sudden fight in the heat of passion; (ii) upon a sudden quarrel; (iii) without the offender's having taken undue advantage; and (iv) the Accused had not acted in a cruel or unusual manner.

Even if the fight is unpremeditated and sudden, if the weapon or manner of retaliation is disproportionate to the offence and if the Accused had taken the undue advantage of the deceased, the Accused cannot be protected under Exception 4 to Section 300 of IPC.

The incident was in a sudden quarrel and there was no premeditation. One of the conditions of Exception 4 is that, the offender ought not to have taken the "undue advantage" or acted in a cruel or unusual manner. The Appellant inflicted a single blow injury with gupti on the left armpit which pierced through the upper end of the left arm and then entered the chest causing fracture of fourth rib and reached till the lung causing rupture of left lung vasculature. Though, the gupti was a dangerous weapon, the Appellant-Accused caused a single injury which pierced into the lung. Having sustained a stick blow from Gopichand-PW-1, in the sudden quarrel and in the heat of passion, the Appellant inflicted the injury on deceased. Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, the case falls within Exception 4 to Section 300 of IPC. The conviction of the Appellant-Accused under Section 302 of IPC is liable to be modified as Section 304 Part II IPC. Appeal is partly allowed.

Tags : Conviction Sentence Legality

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