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Offence committed with an momentary impulse can be a case of exception in the case of bodily injury likely to cause death : High Court of Calcutta

Offence committed with an momentary impulse can be a case of exception in the case of bodily injury likely to cause death : High Court of Calcutta

Any offence committed in a momentary impulse on the part of the appellant, it cannot be held that the appellant committed that offence of murder within the meaning of section 300 of the Indian penal code rather it can be construed that the appellant committed the offence with the intention of causing such bodily injury as was likely to cause death, within the meaning of section 299 of the IPC, upheld by the High Court of Calcutta, by the learned bench of the Honourable Justice Ishan Chandra Das and the Honourable Justice Ashim Kumar Roy in the case of Radha Kantha Sheet V. The state of West Bengal, C.R.A.No.110 of 2009.

 

FACTS

The appellant was an employer of the victim (Tapan Pramanik) and on the 17th May, 1999 at about 3 P.M. the victim demanded money, due from the appellant and there was an altercation between the two. All on a sudden the appellant took a ‘Hansua’ (a Sharp cutting weapon) from the nearby green coconut shop of one Narayan Rana Singha and gave a fatal blow on the left side of his head causing serious bleedings injuries. Seeing such incident, the local people rushed to place of occurrence to save the victim who fell down in a nearby pond. The victim was brought to Moyna P.H.C. The father of the victim was informed about the incident and as the condition of his son was serious; the victim was brought to Tamluk District Hospital and thereafter to P.G. Hospital for better management but said victim ultimately succumbed the injury on the 20th day of January 1999. The written complaint dated 17th day of May 1999 & the endorsement of the Officer-in-Charge, local police station (Moyna Police Station) in the written complaint clearly revealed that the father of the victim lodged the written complaint at about 20.05 hours on the 17th day of May 1999 before the Officer-in-Charge of Moyna Police Station narrating the incident which took place at village Arang Kiyarana, Police Station Moyna, (Midnapore, now Purba Medinipur). It is revealed from the said written complaint that the appellant hit the victim at the place of occurrence causing grievous injury on his head by a Sharp Cutting Weapon (‘Hansua’). On receipt of such written complaint the Officer-in-Charge of the police station concerned a case started against the appellant alleging Commission of the Offence Punishable under Section 326 of the Indian Penal Code but subsequently on the death of the victim, Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code was added and on completion of investigation, the charge-sheet was submitted against him.

CONTENTION

The advocate representing the appellant unerringly pointed that the appellant hit the victim all on a sudden and such blow with ‘Hansua’ was given once only. A careful scrutiny of the oral testimony of the ocular witnesses overwhelmingly established that the appellant committed such offence on the spur of the moment. From such a momentary impulse on the part of the appellant, it cannot be held that the appellant committed that offence of murder within the meaning of Section 300 of the Indian Penal Code rather it can be construed that the appellant committed the offence with the intention of causing such bodily injury as was likely to cause death, within the meaning of Section 299 of the Indian Penal Code.

The advocate mentioned that it had been observed that the appellant hit the victim on his head once only causing profuse bleeding and he ultimately succumbed to the injury. The incriminating circumstances, as emerging from the facts and circumstances, clearly pointed that the offence was not pre-planned rather it was committed on the spur of the moment and ultimately claimed the life of the victim. Learned Advocate representing the appellant emphatically submitted that the death of the victim was caused by doing an act with the knowledge that it was likely to cause death but without intention to cause death or to cause such bodily injury as was likely to cause death. In this context it would not be improper to bear in mind that the victim was an employee under the appellant and there was an altercation between the two immediately before the unfortunate incident.

JUDGEMENT

This appeal assails the judgment and order of conviction dated January 16, 2009 and January 17, 2009 respectively passed by learned Additional Sessions Judge, 1st Court, Tamluk, Purba Medinipur in S.T. No. 5(4) 2006 arising out of S.C. No. 18(8) 2005 wherein the appellant was found guilty of the offence punishable under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code and was sentenced to suffer imprisonment for life and to pay a fine of rupees 10,000/- id to suffer R.I. for one year. It was upheld by the court that the appellant committed the offence punishable under Section 304 Part II, as pointed out earlier and not the offence punishable under Section 302 of the code, since there is no evidence on record to establish that the appellant was a habitual offender or he had any criminal background.

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Judgement reviewed by – Rani Banerjee

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