This particular decision is upheld by the High Court of Odisha through the division bench of Justice R.K Pattanaik in the case of Gobardhan Pradhan v State of Orissa (JCRLA No.87 of 2006).
Bikram Pradhan (PW-1), the brother of the accused lodged as FIR with the Officer-in-Charge of Kesinga Police Station alleging that on 12th April 2005 when he had gone to Rupra Bazar for selling Gud, one Biranchi Majhi of his village informed him that his mother had fallen down and that his presence was urgently required. When he came to the house, he found that his mother had suffered a head injury and his father Nrupa Pradhan (PW-2) informed him that the accused at around 9.30 am had assaulted his mother with a walking stick and when it was broken assaulted her on her with a stone. The accused was also said to have pelted a stone towards his father who tried to intervene.
The deceased died soon after the arrival of PW-1. The accused admitted that he had assaulted his mother with a stick and a stone, but pleaded that he was not in his proper senses at that time. What transpired on the eventful day has come through the evidence of PW-3, the wife of the accused. She stated that at around 9 am on the date of the incident, the accused after taking his bath informed her that he would go to village Gidhamal. The deceased is said to have objected to it and advised the accused to do some work to feed his family. The accused was said to have got annoyed and stated that the old woman was always raising objections. He assaulted her with her own walking stick which then got broken. The deceased fell down crying, hearing which PW-2 sought to intercede. The accused nevertheless, pelted a stone and assaulted the deceased with a stone on the right side of the ear. He then left the place and sat under a tree. The deceased was placed on a cot who arrived and gave her some water. Thereafter, the deceased died.
The Court finds that the doctor (PW-6) described “both the injuries” suffered by the deceased to be “simple in nature”. The fact also remains that the accused did not use any dangerous weapons. He first used the walking stick of the deceased herself and later a stone locally available. Clearly, he acted out of sudden provocation when his mother tried to dissuade him from going to the village. He did not try to flee after attacking her. He is also not shown to have any history of criminal behaviour. On an overall appreciation of the entire evidence, the Court is of the view that the case of the accused would stand covered under Section 304 Part-2 IPC. The accused has spent over 15 years’ in custody. The conviction of the accused is therefore converted from one under Section 302 IPC to Section 304 Part-2 IPC and the sentence awarded to the accused is also modified to the period already undergone. The entire fine amount and the default sentence is waived. The Appellant-Convict shall be released forthwith unless wanted in some other case.
JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NAISARGIKA MISHRA