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No hard and fast rule that in a case of single injury Section 302 IPC would not be attracted: SC

The SC on Sep 09, 2020 {Stalin vs. State represented by the Inspector of Police} held that motive is not an explicit requirement under the Penal Code, though “motive” may be   helpful   in   proving   the   case   of   the   prosecution   in   a   case   of circumstantial evidence. 

The SC Bench, comprising of Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice R. Subhash Reddy & Justice M.R. Shah observed that it emerges that there is no hard and fast rule that in a case of single injury Section 302 IPC would   not   be   attracted.   It was held that it depends   upon   the   facts   and circumstances of each case. It was further held that the nature of injury, the part of the body where it is caused, the weapon used in causing such injury are the indicators of the fact whether the accused caused the death of the deceased with an intention of causing death or not. It was held that it cannot be laid down as a rule of universal application that whenever the death occurs on account of a single blow, Section 302 IPC is ruled out.

In the present matter before the SC, for conviction under Section 302 IPC, the original accused has preferred the present appeal.

It is the case on behalf of the appellant – accused that as it is a case of single injury, Section 302 IPC shall not be attracted and the   case   would fall   under   Section   304   Part   II   IPC.

The SC held that in the present case, at the place of incident the beer was being served; all of them who participated in the beer party were friends.     It was held that   in   the facts   and circumstances, culpable homicide cannot be said to be a murder within the definition of Section 300 IPC and, therefore, in the facts and   circumstances   of   the   case and   the manner in which the incident started in a beer party, it is of the opinion that Section 302 IPC shall not be attracted.

It was concluded that considering the totality of the facts and circumstances of the case and more particularly that the accused inflicted the blow with a weapon like knife and he inflicted the injury on the deceased on the vital part of the body, it is to be presumed that causing such bodily injury was likely to cause the death. Therefore, the case would fall under Section 304 Part I of the IPC and not under Section 304 Part II of the IPC.

In view of the above, the appeal   was   allowed   in   part by the SC.     It was held by the SC that the   impugned   judgment   and   order passed by the High Court confirming the conviction of the accused for the offence punishable under Section 302 IPC was modified from that of under Section 302 IPC to Section 304 Part I IPC. It was held by the SC that the accused is held guilty for the offence punishable under Section 304 Part I IPC and sentenced to undergo 8 years R.I. with a fine of Rs.10,000/­ and, in default, to further undergo one year R.I. The appeal was allowed to the aforesaid extent by the SC.

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