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Anda v/s The State Of Rajasthan

Case Brief:
Anda And Ors. vs The State Of Rajasthan
AIR 1966 SC 148 - Date of judgement - 9 March, 1965
Citations: 1957 SC 474 - AIR 1961 Guj 16 - Supreme Court of India
  1. Wanchoo, Kailas Nath, Justice
  2. Hidayatullah, Mohammad, Justice
  3. Mudholkar, Janardan Raghunath, Justice
  4. Sikri, Sarv Mittra, Justice
Names of parties:
Appellant - Anda And Ors.
Respondent - State of Rajasthan

Case Facts:
Behrun was the son of Girdhari Jat. He was attacked by several people and got hurt badly. As a result, he died on June 29, 1961, the same day of the attack. The respondent showed that Girdhari Jat and his son Behrun were not friendly with the appellants. The event took place in the village of Hindas early in the morning, between 5 and 5:30 AM, when Behrun was there to take care of his farms.

As he made his way, he crossed the house of Bhagu, who was originally charged but later found not guilty. While there, Anda and Roopla beat him up and caught him. As he was being dragged inside, Behrun screamed for help and tried to run away. He even held on tight to the door frame to try to avoid being dragged inside, but the attackers hit him on the hands with lathis to break his grip. A friend named Mooda (Prosecution Witness 8) heard the screams and tried to help the victim but was pushed away.

Behrun is taken to the hospital after being beaten badly and checked out by Mr. C.L. Sablok, who is the Medical Officer in Charge of the Merta City Dispensary. At the hospital, he looked at Behrun's wound when he was barely living, but it was during the autopsy, after Behrun had died, that he saw the wound more clearly.

The report went into depth about the different injuries that were done to Behrun's body and what killed him.There were 30 wounds and bruises on the body of the person who had died. As he worked on the autopsy report, the doctor came to the conclusion that the person had died from shock and syncope caused by multiple cuts and bruises. Which, on their own, weren't enough to cause that death, but when put together, they were enough to cause death in normal course of nature.

Legal Issues Raised
The legal issue raised this case is whether the wrong committed by the appellant comes under culpable homicide amounting not to murder under ipc section 299[1] or is it a murder under IPC section 300[2].

Rule of Law
Indian constitution
Article 136 - Article 136 of the Indian Constitution gives the Supreme Court the power to grant special leave to appeal from any judgment, decree, determination, sentence, or order passed by any court or tribunal in India, except for military tribunals and court-martials. This means that the Supreme Court can choose to hear an appeal from any case, regardless of whether it was originally appealed to a lower court.

The current case cited many provisions from the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

Section 34[3] of the Indian Penal Code pertains to acts committed by multiple individuals in the pursuit of a shared goal.

This clause stipulates that in cases where multiple individuals engage in a criminal act with a shared intention to perform said act, each person involved is held accountable as if the crime was carried out by a single individual. The term "common intention" denotes the existence of premeditation, namely, a prearranged agreement and active participation of all individuals within the collective in the execution of that plan.

Section 35[4] pertains to acts that are deemed unlawful due to their commission with a criminal knowledge or intention.

The text primarily discusses the concept of joint culpability in relation to the collective pursuit of a shared action, accompanied by criminal awareness or intent. This would result in the equitable imposition of liability onto all individuals involved in the commission of the offense.

Section 38[5] Individuals involved in criminal activities may potentially be held accountable for several offenses.

The statement elucidates that in instances where multiple perpetrators are engaged in the commission of a criminal act, they may be held accountable for distinct offenses. In the given scenario, if individual A initiates an assault on person X at a gravesite due to a sudden provocation, and individual B, motivated by animosity towards person Z, also participates in the assault, resulting in the death of person Z, the legal liability of A would be categorized as culpable homicide not equal to murder. However, B would be held accountable for the offense of murder.

Section 299[6] of the legal code pertains to the offense of culpable homicide.

According to Section 299, culpable murder is defined as the act of one individual causing the death of another human being, for which the perpetrator bears legal or moral responsibility.

Section 300 of the legal code pertains to the offense of murder.

A murder might be understood as a specific manifestation of responsible homicide. Every instance of murder can be classified as culpable homicide, but not every instance of culpable homicide can be classified as murder. Culpable homicide might be classified as a broader category, while murder can be seen as a specific type within this category.

Section 302[7] of the legal code pertains to the prescribed penalties for the crime of murder.

This section encompasses the provisions pertaining to the penalization of the act of Murder, which encompasses the imposition of life imprisonment as well as the possibility of capital punishment.

Contention of the parties
Contention of the Respondent:
The appellants were clearly motivated by a common intention to kill Bherun, as evidenced by their prior agreement and the circumstances of his visit. This is supported by Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, which states that when several people commit an act in furtherance of a common intention, each person is liable for the act as if it were done by them alone. Therefore, the court correctly invoked this section in this case.

The appellants also claimed that the accused committed murder under Section 300(1) and (3) of the IPC, which deals with culpable homicide committed with the intention to cause death or with the knowledge that the act is so dangerous that it is likely to cause death. This is a more serious offense than culpable homicide not amounting to murder, which is punishable under Section 299 of the IPC.

Contention of Appellant:
The main factor in deciding whether a crime is murder or culpable homicide not amounting to murder is whether the intended harm was significant enough to typically cause death. If the harm was not severe enough to cause death under normal circumstances, meaning that the chance of death was not high enough, then the crime is considered culpable homicide not amounting to murder or a less serious offense.

In other words, murder is defined as killing someone with the intention to kill them or with the knowledge that your actions are so dangerous that they are likely to kill them. Culpable homicide not amounting to murder, on the other hand, is killing someone without the intention to kill them or the knowledge that your actions are likely to kill them.

The key difference between these two offenses is the degree of harm that was intended. If the intended harm was significant enough to typically cause death, then the crime is murder. If the intended harm was not significant enough to typically cause death, then the crime is culpable homicide not amounting to murder or a less serious offense.

The appeal was dismissed and the order of the high court was upheld. All the four accused were convicted of Murder under section 302 read with section 34 of IPC.

RATIO DECIDENDI (reason behind the decision)
"No case can, of course, be an authority on facts. In the last case inference was drawn from facts which were different. It is always a question of fact as to whether the accused shared a particular knowledge or intent. One must look for a common intention, that is to say, some prior concert and what that common intention is.

It is not necessary that there should be an appreciable passage of time between the formation of the intent and the act for common intention may be formed at any time. Next one must look for the requisite ingredient that the injuries which were intended to be caused were sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of nature.

Next, we must see if the accused possessed the knowledge that the injuries, they were intending to cause were sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death. When these circumstances are found and death is, in fact, caused by injuries which are intended to be caused and which are, sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death the resulting offence of each participant is murder."[12][8]

Thus, the ratio defines a criterion on how to decide whether a death caused by multiple assailants under circumstances like of the case itself is Murder or not and that section 34 is applicable only on case to case basis.


Oswal Danji Tejsi Vs. State[9]
Three people were convicted of causing serious injury to another person, but not murder. The victim was attacked by the three people and suffered 21 injuries, two of which were fatal. The court found that the attackers did not intend to kill the victim, but that their actions were still serious enough to be considered grievous hurt.

Justice Hidayatullah criticized the court's decision, arguing that the judges should have considered the fact that the injuries inflicted were sufficient to cause death. He believed that the attackers should have been convicted of murder.

Brij Bhukhan And Ors. vs The State Of Uttar Pradesh[10]
The appellant, who was sentenced to death for killing a passerby, has filed an appeal against the verdict. The appeal was rejected and the death sentence was affirmed.

The court found that the appellant inflicted multiple injuries on the victim with the intention of killing him. The court also found that, when considered together, the injuries were of a severity capable of resulting in death.

The court has the jurisdiction to examine the severity of the injuries inflicted and determine whether, when considered together, they were significant enough to result in death under normal circumstances. In this particular case, the court found that the appellant's actions amounted to murder under Clause 3 of Section 300 of the Indian Penal Code.

Present status of the judgement
The judgement is still valid and it has not been overruled by a higher bench.

  1. Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Act No. 45 of 1860), § 299.
  2. Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Act No. 45 of 1860), § 300.
  3. Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Act No. 45 of 1860), § 34.
  4. Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Act No. 45 of 1860), § 35.
  5. Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Act No. 45 of 1860), § 38.
  6. Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Act No. 45 of 1860), § 299.
  7. Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Act No. 45 of 1860), § 302.
  8. Anda And Ors. vs The State Of Rajasthan, AIR 1966 SC 148.
  9. Oswal Danji Tejsi Vs. State, AIR 1961 Guj 16.
  10. Brij Bhukhan And Ors. vs The State Of Uttar Pradesh, 1957 SC 474.

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