Del HC | Paper cutter blade not a ‘deadly weapon’ so as to constitute an offence under S. 397 IPC

Delhi High Court: A.K. Pathak, J., modified the appellant’s conviction and sentence while allowing his appeal filed against the order of the trial court whereby he was convicted for an offence under Section 397 IPC (robbery or dacoity, with attempt to cause death and grievous hurt).

As per the victim, on the day of the incident, he was standing at a bus stand when the appellant along with one another robbed him of his phone and wallet by placing a paper cutter blade on his belly. The appellant was apprehended, however, the other person ran away. He was tried and convicted by the trial court aforestated.

Sunita Arora, Advocate for the appellant pressed the appeal only on the point that no offence under Section 397 was made out, and at best the appellant could be convicted for an offence under Section 392 (punishment for robbery).

Perusing the record, the High Court found favour with the appellant’s submission that the paper cutter blade which was recovered could not be termed as a “deadly weapon” within the meaning of Section 397. Discussing earlier cases, the Court held that the prosecution failed to show that the appellant used any “deadly weapon” while committing robbery and therefore ingredients of offence under Section 397 were not attracted in the case. Resultantly, the appellant’s conviction was altered to Section 392. Also, on his appeal for leniency in a sentence, the Court reduced appellant’s sentence to the period of imprisonment already undergone by him. [Guddu v. State, 2019 SCC OnLine Del 7855, decided on 19-03-2019]

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