Criminal Appeal No. 2051 of 2014 (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 1235 of 2012). Case: State of M.P. Vs Shivshankar. Supreme Court (India)

Case NumberCriminal Appeal No. 2051 of 2014 (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 1235 of 2012)
CounselFor Appellant: C.D. Singh, Adv. and For Respondents: Vipin Kumar and Deepak Goel, Advs.
JudgesV. Gopala Gowda and A.K. Goel, JJ.
IssueIndian Penal Code (IPC) - Sections 299, 300, 302, 304
Judgement DateSeptember 16, 2014
CourtSupreme Court (India)


A.K. Goel, J.

1. Leave granted.

2. This appeal has been preferred against the judgment dated 10th July, 2008 of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh, Jabalpur Bench at Gwalior in Criminal Appeal No. 292 of 2005 altering the conviction of the Respondent from Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (Indian Penal Code) to 304 Part-I of the Indian Penal Code reducing the sentence from life imprisonment to rigorous imprisonment for seven years while upholding the sentence to pay a fine of Rs. 10,000/-, in default to undergo two years further rigorous imprisonment.

3. The case of the prosecution is that on 2nd March, 1999 after celebration of Holi festival, sugar cakes (Batase) were being distributed in front of the house of the complainant by Ramlachhin Gurjar (PW 10). Complainant Ramsewak (PW 4) and his brothers Ramnaresh (PW 6), Vinod (PW 7) and deceased Satish were standing near the temple. An altercation took place on account of Mukesh taking some sugar cakes without the permission of PW 10. The Respondent slapped PW 4 and his brothers. This led to further altercation between the accused and the complainant party. The accused went inside his house, brought the licensed gun of his brother and fired a shot hitting the deceased on the stomach. Apart from the accused, acquitted co-accused Shrichand and Shyamsunder had Kattas and Mukesh and Badshah were having 12 bore single barrel guns. The acquitted co-accused also fired in the air. The deceased succumbed to his injuries. Thereafter, Ramsewak lodged First Information Report. After investigation, the accused were sent up for trial. The prosecution case against the Respondent was proved by three eye witnesses Ramsewak (PW 4), Ramnaresh (PW 6) and Vinod (PW 7) who were brothers of the deceased, apart from other corroborating evidence. The Respondent was convicted Under Section 302, Indian Penal Code while others were acquitted.

4. The Respondent preferred an appeal before the High Court, but in view of clear evidence of firing of gun shot by him causing death of the deceased, only challenge was to the nature of the offence. It was submitted that quarrel took place suddenly and the accused had no intention to cause the death of the deceased. Firing in the air by the co accused showed that the intention was not to cause the death. The accused fired only one shot and in the circumstances no offence Under Section 302, Indian Penal Code was made out.

5. The above plea prevailed with the High Court. It was held as follows:

10. Considering the entire scenario of the case, it is clear that the incident occurred suddenly and without premeditation and therefore it cannot be gathered that the intention of the Appellant was to intentionally cause the death of the deceased and therefore, the conviction of the Appellant under Section 302 of Indian Penal Code is not sustainable in law. But at the same time, it is equally important to note that the Appellant brought the licensed gun from his house and then he fired which hit over the abdomen of the deceased resulting into his death. Thus, we are of the considered view that looking to the facts and circumstances, this is a case of culpable homicide not amounting...

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