“Offence occurred at the spur of the moment”; Tripura High Court modifies sentence

Tripura High Court

Tripura High Court: The Division Bench of T. Amarnath Goud and Arindam Lodh, JJ. partly allowed an appeal holding that there was no motive to kill or cause any grievous injury to the victim. The appeal was filed against the judgment and order of conviction for the offence punishable under Sections 447, 326, 307 Penal Code, 1860 and sentenced him to suffer R.I. for 10 years with default stipulation.

Prosecution’s case being that on 11-09-2014 the appellant entered into the house of the complainant and started shouting and abusing him, and at that time nephew of the complainant arrived there and asked the reason of his shouting and then the accused got furious and attacked him taking out a dagger due to which he sustained grievous bleeding injury on his abdomen and the accused was so furious that after striking once he was in desperate mode to strike repeatedly as to kill the victim.

Counsel for the appellant submitted that the prosecution had miserably failed to establish the charges leveled against the convict-appellant. He submitted that there was a scuffling between the accused-appellant and the victim and in course of such scuffling, the accused-appellant had also sustained severe injuries on his person caused by the victim and his relatives. It was further argued that if there was any assault or attack, as alleged, the same occurred at the heat of the moment and there was no intention on the part of the accused-appellant to cause any such injury to the victim.

PP supported the findings of the trial court while convicting the accused.

The Court revisited the evidences let in by the prosecution witnesses(PW) and defence witnesses(DW) in order to appreciate the submissions by the counsels and opined that it transpires clearly that initially there was an altercation between the accused-appellant and the victim which ultimately turned down into scuffling between them and it is further evident from the cross-examination of PW-6 and PW-8 that there existed some land dispute between the accused-appellant and the victim prior to the incident. Thus, it can be presumed that since there exist some dispute between the accused and the family of the victim, an altercation took place between the accused and the victim in regard to the land dispute and the accused-appellant on the heat of anger had committed such offence punishable under penal code, which act of the appellant was not at all intentional or that the appellant had no motive to kill or cause any grievous injury to the victim.

The Court held that the trial court had fairly convicted the appellant based on material evidence produced by the prosecution and there was no infirmity in the impugned findings regarding conviction however, the Court was of the opinion that considering the facts in its entirety, it seems that the offence occurred at the spur of the moment; the appellant had no intention or motive to kill the victim; the appellant does not have any criminal antecedent in his past life; he is not required in any other criminal case except the one in question.

The Court thus, partly allowing the appeal modified the sentence of the appellant from 10 years to that of 7 years.

[Chandan Adhikari v. State of Tripura, 2022 SCC OnLine Tri 492, decided on 06-07-2022]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr A. Das, Advocate, for the Appellant(s);

Mr Ratan Datta, PP, Mr S. Debnath, Addl. PP, Advocates, for the Respondent(s).

*Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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