17 June 2024


High Court of Punjab and Haryana

Paramjit Singh and Ors. Vs. State of Punjab




Existence of right of private defence can be established based on preponderance of probabilities and said right has to be widely interpreted

In present case, FIR came to be registered under Sections 307, 326, 323, 324, 452, 429, 506, 148 and 149 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and Sections 25, 27 of the Arms act, 1959. A total of seven persons were named as accused, out of whom four were acquitted. The appeals have been filed by three persons.

Learned Sessions Judge also found on the basis of evidence on record that, the property on which the occurrence took place was infact in the possession of the accused persons on the date of the incident as possession thereof had been handed over to them in execution of a decree. Thus, all accused were acquitted of the charges under Sections 452, 148 and 149 of IPC. He, however, held that the accused persons had no right of private defence and, thus, convicted Bakshi Ram and Paramjit Singh under Section 308 of IPC and Section 27 of the Arms Act, 1959, Rajinder Kumar was convicted under Section 324 of IPC.

The Appellants submits that, the finding of the learned Sessions Judge that the Appellants did not possess the right of private defence is flawed and is based on failure to appreciate the evidence on record. The evidence on record and the circumstances of the case clearly establish that, the complainant party trespassed into the property of the accused persons and in exercise of right of private defence some injuries were caused to two persons.

The complainant side came to the place of occurrence in a group in the dead of night, even though they were unarmed. The only possible inference is that, they had come to take forcible possession. This act is covered by the definition of criminal trespass as given in Section 441 of IPC and in respect of the offence of criminal trespass, right of private defence is provided under Section 104 of IPC. It extends to causing any harm except death.

From the evidence of Doctor, it is also proved that the injuries caused were simple in nature and on non-vital parts of the body. It would, thus, be safe to hold that accused Bakshi Ram and Paramjit Singh used their .12 bore guns only to ward of the trespassers and not to cause death. The argument of learned State counsel that the right of private defence had been exceeded because fire arms were used against unarmed persons can not be accepted, keeping in view the time of the incident and number of persons present. According to the prosecution itself, five persons from the complainant side were present at the spot.

Moreover, according to the judgment of Satya Narain Yadav's case, existence of the right of private defence can be established based on preponderance of probabilities and the said right has to be widely interpreted. The place of dispute, time thereof and manner in which it took place, makes it extremely likely that the Appellants used their respective weapons with the aim of thwarting an attempt of forcible dispossession. Their action cannot be said to be in excess of their right of private defence keeping in view the state of injuries and their nature. The appeals are accordingly allowed; the impugned judgment of conviction and order of sentence, are set aside and the Appellants are acquitted of the charges, framed against them.

Tags : Private defence Charges Legality

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