gujarat high court

Gujarat High Court: In a criminal appeal under Section 374 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (‘CrPC’) against the Judgment and Order Additional Sessions Judge, whereby, the convict was convicted for the offence punishable under Section 302 of the Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’) and sentenced to undergo life imprisonment, the Division Bench of A.S. Supehia and M.R. Mengdey*, JJ. dismissed the appeal for being devoid of merits and upheld life sentence granted by Additional Sessions Judge.

Factual Matrix

In the matter at hand, the convict’s daughter saw the convict outside the house in a frightened condition and his clothes were stained in blood and escaped from the house. On entering the house, the convict’s daughter saw her mother (‘deceased’) in a pool of blood on the floor and she said that her father had hit her with a hammer. The daughter took her mother to the hospital and informed her relative/ informant, who lodged a First Information Report (‘FIR’) against the convict. Upon completion of the investigation the chargesheet was framed for offences under Section 302 and 498(A) of the IPC. The Additional Sessions Judge found the convict guilty and sentenced him to imprisonment for life for offence under Section 302 of the IPC and rigorous imprisonment for offence under Section 498(A) of the IPC. Hence, the present appeal.

Analysis and Decision

1. Whether the convict hit the deceased with a hammer and was guilty of the charges?

The Court perused the daughter’s deposition, whereby it was stated that when she returned from school, she saw the convict in a frightened condition and his clothes were blood-stained and pushed her and uttered in local language “Maro Kam Ho Gayo” and ran away from the place and that she found her mother lying in pool of blood and upon asking the deceased had replied that convict had hit her with a hammer. The Court said that from the daughter’s deposition, two factors points towards the guilt of the convict. Firstly, that the daughter saw the convict tensed and frightened and his clothes were blood stained and that he ran away from the place. Secondly, the deceased’s statement being considered as oral dying declaration before the daughter.

The Court also perused the son’s statement, though he was not a witness to the incident but stated important facts and instances significant to the matter. The Court noted that the son of the convict and deceased had stated the incidents of convict beating the deceased and that the convict was of suspicious nature. The Court also noted the fact that the deceased had obtained a public notice against the convict, declaring that she was the sole owner of the flat and the convict had no right to transfer or alienate the flat. Hence, the Court considered the said fact as a clear motive to commit the offence.

The Court also noted that only the convict and the deceased were present in the house during the incident and the convict had failed to explain as to under what circumstances the deceased sustained the fatal injuries. Therefore, the Court said that the circumstances, which were duly proved against the convict, clearly indicated the complicity of the convict in the offence in question and hence, it was proved beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution that it was the convict, who had hit the deceased with a hammer on her head.

2. Whether the convict’s act in hitting the deceased with a hammer on her head falls under exception (4) to Section 300 of the IPC?

Regarding the deceased’s injury, the Court perused the post-mortem report and noted that the deceased had suffered more than one injury in the incident. The Court also perused the doctor’s statement, that the deceased was hit with such force that a piece of the skull bone had broken, which was found absent at the time of conducting the post-mortem. Therefore, the Court said that looking at the force with which the injury was inflicted, it can be gathered that the only intention the convict had in inflicting such a blow to the deceased was to kill her. Regarding the contention of grave and sudden provocation, the Court said that the there was nothing on record to indicate that any quarrel had taken place between the deceased and the convict prior to the incident. Thus, the Court said that the convict’s act and conduct did not fall within the ambit of exception 4 to the Section 300 of the IPC.

Therefore, the Court dismissed the appeal, being devoid of merits and confirmed the Additional Sessions Judge’s Judgment and Order of convicting the deceased of the said offences.

[Maheshkumar Dhisalal Jangid v. State of Gujarat, 2023 SCC OnLine Guj 3001, Decided on: 15-09-2023]

*Judgment Authored by: Justice M.R. Mengdey

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For the convict: Advocate PV Patadiya, Advocate Ronak Raval

*Deeksha Dabas, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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