The criminal appeal is partly allowed by HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH AT INDORE in the case of RAJENDRA SINGH V. THE STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH through HON’BLE JUSTICE VIVEK RUSIA
FACTS OF THE CASE
The facts of the case are that the on 06.07.2012, the complainant- Veeram Lal S/o Kaarulal gave information to the police that they are in possession of the agriculture land situated at Jharda-Fatehpur since last so many years. Today his father- Karulal, brother and son were on this agricultural field, all the accused persons came there with sticks on a tractor and motorcycle and started cultivating the agricultural field and when we objected to this, they assaulted us. Upon this information, an F.I.R. was registered at Crime No.216/12 for the offence under Sections 147, 148, 149, 323 and 506 of IPC. The injured persons as well as these appellants all were medically examined by Dr. K.K. Patidar, Medical Officer, PHC, Narayangarh and all of them were found with injuries of contusions, abrasions and depression etc. Since, Veeram Lal sustained head injuries hence he succumbed, therefore, police have added Section 302 and 307 of IPC. After completion of the investigation, a charge-sheet was filed. The trial was committed to the learned session court where charges against the accused were framed. The appellants denied this by submitting that they are the actual owners and on the date of the incident in fact they were cultivating the land and the complainant party came there and started cultivating the field. They were the aggressor and assaulted the appellants. In right of defence, one of the injuries was caused by one of the appellants turned fatal, therefore, they are innocent and liable to be discharged. The prosecution has examined 19 witnesses and in defence, the appellants have examined 3 witnesses. After evaluating the evidence that came on record, the learned trial court did not give a specific finding that out of 4 appellants who caused the fatal head injury to the deceased and accordingly, the learned Additional Session Judge has convicted all the appellants/accused under Section 302/149 with the aid of 149 of IPC. Hence, this criminal appeal.
In this case, the court have found that the dispute occurred in the agricultural field of the appellants. The members of both complainant as well as accused parties have assaulted each other and all sustained the injuries simple in nature. Learned Additional Session Judge has held that the appellants have also sustained the injuries and the Court has also not recorded that the who caused fatal injury was. The scuffle or assault started suddenly without any premeditation or pre-planned. The appellants are not hardcore criminals but poor agriculturists and they are in jail since their date of arrest. They all are members of one family. So far as the alteration of conviction from section 302 to section 304 -Part II I.P.C. is concerned, it is not the case of the prosecution that the appellant came to the spot in furtherance of the common intention to kill the deceased. They all were cultivating the land, there was a free fight between two groups and all sustained injuries, there was no preplanning or deliberation to kill one of them. Therefore, it was culpable homicide without amounting to murder. It fulfils the ingredients of exception IV of section 300 of I.P.C. The criminal appeal is partly allowed. It is hereby confirmed all the findings given by the learned Additional Session Judge except the conviction which is hereby altered to section 304 Part II of IPC, instead of Section 302 of IPC and accordingly sentence is reduced from LIFE IMPRISONMENT to the period already undergone. The fine amount is maintained imposed by the trial court. The appellants be set free after depositing the fine amount if they are not required to keep in jail in any other case.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY SHREYA NIDHI