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To bring the act of an accused within the purview of Section 304 the accused must prove that he had neither taken any undue advantage nor acted in the cruel or unusual manner: Madhya Pradesh High Court

The Madhya Pradesh High Court in the case of Naresh Singh vs State Of M.P. (Cr.A. No. 496 of 2011) upheld that the accused must prove that he had neither taken any undue advantage nor acted in the cruel or unusual manner to bring the act of an accused within the purview of Section 304 Part 1 or 2 IPC.

Facts of the case : On 10-6-2010 at about 22:40, the complainant Biharilal Kushwaha (father of the Appellant), lodged an FIR that at about 22:00, he was sitting outside his house after having his meals. The wife of his elder son was lying on a cot whereas his granddaughter Julie was lying on another cot. His younger son Naresh came along with an axe and scolded his daughter-in-law that not only She objects to consumption of liquor by the Appellant, but is also not ready to marry him, therefore, now he would see who can save her. Accordingly, the Appellant gave an axe blow to her. This witness also came inside the house. His granddaughter also woke up. His daughter-in-law suffered multiple injuries. He and his granddaughter raised an alarm and accordingly, his neighbour Mohammad, Roshan came on the spot. The appellant had run away. While the complainant was taking his daughter-in-law to the hospital jeep of Roshan, she expired on the way. After completing the investigation, a charge sheet was filed by the police for offense under Section 302 of IPC. It was submitted by the Counsel for the Appellant that that since the incident took place all of a sudden, therefore, the act of the Appellant would be punishable under Section 304 of IPC and not under Section 302 of IPC. 

Judgement : The court held that in order to bring the act of an accused within the purview of Section 304 Part 1 or 2 IPC, the accused must prove that he had neither taken any undue advantage nor acted in the cruel or unusual manner.If the number of Chop wounds and incised wounds caused to  the deceased are considered, then it is clear that the Appellant had not only acted in a cruel manner but he also took undue advantage of the position, specifically when there was no other male member inside the house and the father of the Appellant was sleeping outside the house. The Court was of the considered opinion, that the act of the Appellant would not fall within the purview of Section 304 of IPC. Accordingly, his conviction under Section 302 of IPC recorded by the Trial Court was Affirmed. 

JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY: SHUBHANGI CHAUDHARY

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