Introduction: On 8th October 2003 an altercation took place between two
parties. The respondent, to kill Dashrath Singh, shot him with a firearm and
caused bleeding injuries on his right thigh. The brother of Dashrath Singh filed
a complaint on the same day at Gwalior Police Station.
It was stated in the complaint that there was an enmity between the parties over
a love marriage which was opposed by the families as well as a dispute over a
disc cable connection business. The allegation against the accused was that
armed with deadly weapons they formed an illegal assembly with a common motive
of causing harm to the injured.
The judgement of the High Court was set aside and the order of conviction was
restored by the trial court under Section 307 of the Penal Code as well as the
sentence awarded of rigorous imprisonment of 3 years and a fine of Rs.1000. The
appeal was accordingly allowed.
After referring to several judgements such as State of Maharashtra v. Balram
Bama Patil, State of M.P v. Saleem, and Jage Ram v. State of Haryana led to
the conclusion that "proof of grievous or life threatening hurt is not a sine
qua non for the offence under Section 307 of the Penal Code. The intention of
the accused can be ascertained from the actual injury, if any, as well as from
surrounding circumstances. Among other things, the nature of the weapon used and
the severity of the blows inflicted can be considered to infer intent".
The writer disagrees with the conclusion made by the Court in paragraph 13 of
the case which says that “proof of grievous or life-threatening hurt is not a
sine qua non for the offence under Section 307 of the Penal Code” as it was
given in Jage Ram v. State of Haryana where the Court in State of Madhya Pradesh
v. Kanha alias Omprakash took reference from that the nature of the injury is
one of the circumstances which has been given in Jage Ram case to find out the
intention of the accused before making the accused guilty of the act under
Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code. By looking at the nature of the injury as
one of the circumstances the Court convicted the second appellant under Section
307 IPC and this was unable to be questioned.
Sine Qua Non means a necessary condition without which something is not
possible. In the State of Maharashtra v. Balram Bama Patil, the “nature of
injury may often give considerable assistance in coming to a finding as to the
intention of the accused”. This can be one of the necessary conditions to hold
the accused liable for the act.
Therefore, the High court was wrong in saying that the proof of grievous or
life-threatening hurt is not necessary as it may become necessary according to
Balram Bama Patil case and nature of injury became one of the circumstances
under Jage Ram v.State of Haryana case. This is why the writer disagrees with
the conclusion that “proof of grievous or life threatening hurt is not a sine
qua non for the offence under Section 307 of the Penal Code”.
The decision of the trial Court was appropriate and conforms with the existing
law. The reasoning was consistent with the previous reasoning in similar cases
such as Jage Ram v. State of Haryana as circumstances such as nature of the
weapon, the weapon used, and injury were looked into just like in this case the
accused was convicted as the firearm caused eleven punctured wounds and there
was bleeding and Pasupuleti Siva case where it was held that the intention to
cause death was attributable to accused since the victim was strangulated after
throwing telephonic wire around his neck and letting him die. This case followed
on similar lines like these two cases.
The trial court set aside the judgement of the High Court and was right in doing
so by clearly examining from a deeper point of view like weapon used and not
just convict under Section 324 of the Indian Penal Code for simple hurt. The
writer felt it was a lot more than that. This was a grave offense and the Trial
Court was right in setting aside the High Court’s judgment. The omission led to
the strengthening of the decision instead of weakening.
This will have a policy implication and encourage courts to examine such cases
from a broader point of view and the writer truly agrees with the decision of
the trial court in this case