Sukhbir Singh v. State of Haryana -
Supreme Court of India
Citation: AIR 2002 SC 1168 [LNIND 2002 SC 134] -
Bench: R.P. Sethi & K.G. Balakrishnan -
Date of judgment: 20/02/2002
Lachhman (deceased) and his brother Gulab Singh were smoking hukka and chatting
in Lachhmanís residence. While Ram Niwas, son of Lachhman (deceased) was
sweeping the street in front of his house with a broom then some mud splashes
stuck Sukhbir Singh at a time when he was passing in the street. Sukhbir Singh
felt offended and is alleged to have abused Ram Niwas.
When Sukhbir Singh and
Ram Niwas were abusing each other, Lachhman separated them and gave two slaps to
Sukhbir Singh. Sukhbir Singh went away declaring that a lesson would be taught
to them. After Sometime all the 9 accused persons came at the spot. Sukhbir
Singh, Behari and Ram Chander, accused were carrying bhalas, accused Pala, Tara
and Baijit were carrying gandasas and accused Kidara, Darya and Raj were
carrying jailwas. Sukhbir Singh challenged Lachhman to come out so that a lesson
could be taught to him.
When Lachhman proceeded towards the door of his house
saying that the matter should not be aggravated and as soon as he reached the
door of his house, accused Sukhbir Singh gave two thrust-blows with his bhala on
the upper-right portion of his chest. Lachhman fell down, after accused Ram
Chander caught hold of the legs of Lachhman and dragged him out in the street.
Accused Behari gave a bhala-blow on the left side of the chest of Lachhman.
Whether under the facts and circumstances of the case the accused can avail
that benefit of Exception 4 of section 300 of I.P.C.?
Exception 4 of section 300, I.P.C.
The petitioner has contended that there was no enmity between the parties and
there is no allegation by the Prosecution that before the occurrence the
appellant and others had premeditated. It is well clear from the facts of the
case that the occurrence took place when Sukhbir Singh got mud splashes on
account of sweeping to the street by Ram Niwas and a quarrel started.
quarrel appeared to be sudden on account of heat of passion. There was no
sufficient lapse of time between the quarrel and then fight which means that the
occurrence was "sudden" within the meaning of Exception 4 of section 300, I.P.C.
Learned counsel for the State of Haryana relied upon Virender v. State (NCT) of
Delhi [IV (2000) CCR 266 (SC)]. We have perused the aforesaid judgment and find
it totally distinguishable because in that case nothing was shown to the court
that the occurrence had taken place in a sudden fight and in the heat of
It was held by the Supreme Court that, to avail the benefit of Exception 4, the
defense is required to
Probabilise that the offence was committed without premeditation in a sudden
fight, in the heat of passion upon a sudden quarrel and the offender had not
taken any undue advantage and the offender had not acted in a cruel or unusual
manner. The exception is based upon the principle that in the absence of
premeditation and on account of total deprivation of self-control but on account
of heat of passion, the offence was committed which, normally a man of sober
urges would not resort to.
Sudden fight, though not defined under the Act,
Implies mutual provocation. It has been held by the courts that a fight is not
per se palliating circumstance and only unpremeditated fight as such. The time
gap between quarrel and the fight is an important consideration to decide the
applicability of the incident. If there intervenes a sufficient time for passion
to subside, giving the accused time to come to normalcy and the fight takes
place thereafter, the killing would be murder but if the time gap is not
sufficient, the accused may be held entitled to the benefit of this exception.
In the instant case, concededly, there was no enmity between the parties and
there is no allegation of the prosecution that before the occurrence, the
appellant and others had pre-meditated. As noticed earlier, occurrence took
place when Sukhbir Singh got mud splashes on account of sweeping of the street
by Ram Niwas and a quarrel ensued. The deceased gave slaps to the appellant for
no fault of his. The quarrel appeared to be sudden, on account of heat of
The accused went home and came armed in the company of others though
without telling them his intention to commit the ultimate crime of murder. The
time gap between the quarrel and the fight is stated to be a few minutes only.
According to Gulab Singh when Sukhbir Singh was passing in the street and some
mud got splashed on his clothes, he abused Ram Niwas. They both grappled with
each other whereupon Lachhman (deceased) intervened and separated them. Accused
Sukhbir had abused Lachhman who gave him two slaps. The said accused thereafter
went to his home after staring that he would teach him a lesson for the slaps
which had been given to him.
After some time he, along with other accused
persons, came at the spot and the fight took place. His own house is at a
different place. There is a street in between his house and the house of Lachhman (deceased). On the northern side of his house, the house of the
appellant is situated. Similarly Ram Niwas has stated that after the quarrel the
accused went towards his house and within a few minutes he came back with other
accused persons. It is, therefore, probable that there was no sufficient lapse
of time between the quarrel and then fight which means that the occurrence was
"sudden" within the meaning of Exception 4 of section 300, I.P.C.
we are of the opinion that in the absence of the existence of common object
Sukhbir Singh is proved to have committed the offence of culpable homicide
without pre-meditation in a sudden fight in the heat of passion upon a sudden
quarrel and did not act in a cruel or unusual manner and his case is covered by
Exception 4 of Section 300 IPC which is punishable under Section 304 (Part I) of
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Anamanamudi Sabari Deeksha Choudary
Authentication No: AP111424626240-24-0421