Jugut Ram v The State of Chhattisgarh
Criminal Appeal no. 616 of 2020
Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No.7416 of 2018, decided on 16 September 2020
Bench: R.F. Nariman, Navin Sinha, Indira Banerjee, JJ.
Relevant Provisions of Law: Section 302 of Indian Penal Code (IPC)
The present appeal was filed against conviction under Section 302 IPC which had been upheld by the High Court as well as Session Court. As per the record of the present case, there existed a civil land dispute between the parties, the assault took place while the deceased was harvesting his crops. The appellant assaulted him with a lathi on the head and the deceased expired in the hospital the next day.
Whether the conviction under S.302 IPC is justified?
The Court altered the conviction of the appellant from Section 302 IPC to Section 304 Part II, IPC because on appreciation of evidence, the Court came to the conclusion that the assault was not premeditated but had taken place in a heat of passion due to a land dispute, if the appellant
had the intention
View of Court on lathi blow
The Supreme Court pointed out that an assault on the head with a lathi is always a question fact in each case, whether there was intention to cause death or only knowledge that death was likely to occur. Relying on the facts and precedent set in the case of Gurmukh Singh vs. State of Haryana, (2009) 15 SCC 635, wherein the deceased had succumbed to his injury 3 days after the assault and that the assault was made on the spur of the moment without premeditation, the conviction was altered from one under Section 302 to Section 304 Part II and a sentence of seven years was handed, and, that of Mohd. Shakeel vs. State of A.P., (2007) 3 SCC 119, where, under similar circumstances, the conviction was altered and the appellant was sentenced to the period undergone since 1999. The court altered the conviction of appellant from Section 302 IPC to Section 304 Part II, IPC and directed that the appellant was to be set at liberty.