Dhupa Chamar V/s. State Of Bihar

Intention is different from motive. It is the intention with which the act is done that makes difference, in arriving at a conclusion whether the offence is culpable homicide or murder.

Case name:Dhupa Chamar V/s. State Of Bihar
Case number:Appeal (Crl.) 1087  Of  2000
Court:Supreme Court of India
Bench:Hon’ble Justice U. C. Banerjee Hon’ble Justice B. N. Agrawal
Decided on:August 2nd, 2002
Relevant Act/Sections:Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Sec.148, 149, 300, 304 323 and 302)

BRIEF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:

  • There was an incident of assault by fists and slaps between Ramu Chamar, son of Sankeshiya Devi and Tokha Chamar, due to which appellants armed with bhalas, Ram Hoshiar Chamar with lathi and Swaminath Chamar and Rajbali Chamar with brickbats came near the house of Ramu Chamar and started abusing his family members whereupon, villagers Khedaru Chamar ,Jhagaru Chamar , informant’s son Dharam Chamar , Karam Chamar and Ram Patia Devi, besides Sharda Devi arrived there. 
  • Ram Patia Devi made a protest whereupon Dhupa Chamar gave a bhala blow on the left side of her neck and the same was pulled out forcibly from the neck as a result of which she fell down and died instantaneously.
  • Tokha Chamar assaulted Dharam Chamar in the abdomen with bhala. Adalat Chamar inflicted bhala injury to Sharda Devi. Rajbali Chamar and Swaminath Chamar hurled brickbats upon Karam Chamar. 
  • Ram Hoshiar Chamar gave lathi blow to Ramu. Doma Chamar gave bhala blow in the abdomen of the informant when she protested against the action of the accused persons as a result of which she fell down and thereupon injured Dharam Chamar and Sharda Devi were taken to the hospital where Dharam Chamar was declared as brought dead.
  • Procedural history:-
  • Stating the aforesaid facts, fard beyan of Sankeshiya Devi was recorded by the police at the place of occurrence itself on the very same day at 11.00 a.m. on the basis of which formal first information report was drawn up.
  • The police took up investigation and on completion thereof submitted charge sheet, on receipt whereof cognizance was taken and all the seven accused persons including the appellants were committed to the court of Sessions to face trial.
  • Upon conclusion of trial, the learned Sessions Judge, while acquitting the three accused persons referred to above of the charge under Section 302/149 of the Penal Code, convicted the appellants as stated above.
  • On appeal being preferred, the convictions and sentences have been upheld by the High Court with this modification only that conviction of appellant No. 2-Tokha Chamar under section 302 has been converted into one under Sections 302/149 of the Penal Code.
  • Hence, this appeal by special leave was presented.

ISSUE BEFORE THE COURT:

  • Whether the act of the appellant in the case amounts to murder?

RATIO OF THE COURT

  • Intention is different from motive. It is the intention with which the act is done that makes difference, in arriving at a conclusion whether the offence is culpable homicide or murder.
  • The court referring to the high authority of Vivian Bose, J., with whom Jafer Imam and P.B. Gajendragadkar, JJ. agreed in the case of Virsa Singh v. State of Punjab AIR 1958 SC 465, where it was held that “First, it must establish, quite objectively, that a bodily injury is present; Secondly, the nature of the injury must be proved; These are purely objective investigations. Thirdly, it must be proved that there was an intention to inflict that particular bodily injury, that is to say, that it was not accidental or unintentional, or that some other kind of injury was intended. Fourthly, it must be proved that the injury of the type just described made up of the three elements set out above is sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of nature.
  • Also the court observed that in the case of Gudar Dusadh v. State of Bihar, AIR 1972 SC 952, one lathi blow was inflicted on the head which proved to be fatal. While upholding the conviction under Section 302 of the Penal Code, H.R.Khanna, J., observed, “The fact that the appellant gave only one blow on the head would not mitigate the offence of the appellant and make him guilty of the offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The blow on the head of Ramlal with lathi was plainly given with some force and resulted in a 3″ long fracture of the left parietal bone. Ramlal deceased died instantaneously and as such, there arose no occasion for giving a second blow to him. As the injury on the head was deliberate and not accidental and as the injury was sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death, the case against the appellant would fall squarely within the ambit of clause “3rdly” of Section 300, Indian Penal Code.”
  • The court held that in the case, Clause Thirdly of Section 300 is fully attracted. It appeared that the accused persons came armed with deadly weapons and there was an altercation and exchange of hot words where after Dhupa Chamar assaulted victim Ram Patia Devi with a bhala causing injury on the chest rupturing important blood vessels and cutting of aorta and other artery resulting in her instantaneous death.
  • In view of the nature of injury whereby important blood vessels were ruptured in as much aorta and artery were cut and when the doctor opined that death was caused as a result of severe haemorrhage and shock due to the rupture of great veins, undoubtedly, it could be reasonably inferred there from that such a solitary injury inflicted upon the deceased was sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of nature.
  • Conviction under Section 302 simpliciter was unwarranted as according to medical evidence injuries found on victim Dharam Chamar were neither sufficient to cause death nor likely to cause death, the same being simple and he died as a result of toxaemia.
  • In relation to conviction of these appellants under other sections, learned counsel appearing on their behalf could not point out any infirmity.

DECISION HELD BY COURT:

  • Appeal of Dhupa Chamar failed and the same was accordingly dismissed. 
  • Appeal of Tokha Chamar, Doma Chamar and Adalat Chamar  was allowed in part, their conviction and sentence under Section 302/149 of the Penal Code were set aside and they were acquitted of this charge.
  • Their convictions and sentences under other sections were confirmed, but as they had already served out the sentences awarded there under, they were directed to be released forthwith.

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