Criminal Trial and Evidence: Hansaram v. the State of Chhattisgarh
Updated: Jan 20
Citation: 2018 Latest Case law 433 SC Judgment Date: July 2018
Court of jurisdiction: Supreme Court of India
Dev Kumar Sahu lodged an FIR on 11th November 2005. As per the FIR, an appellant runs a Kirana shop in Basantpur village and has been living along with his informants. One day there was a scuffle between the appellant and Krishna Kumar Sahu on 10th November 2005 regarding the non-payment of RS. 130 to the appellant by Krishna Kumar Sahu on the purchase of some material from the shop. The Appellant and his son Virendra Sahu assaulted Krishna Kumar Sahu Signature not verified later in the evening.
Dev Kumar Sahu and his brother Ram Kumar Sahu (Deceased) went towards the Nala side. The Appellant then hit Ram Kumar Sahu on his head with a tangi at a place near the field of Komal Singh. It hit hard on him that he fell down. When the appellant started to run away, Dev Kumar then threw a stick on him that hit the hand. The tangi dropped down from the hand of the Appellant. Ram Kumar Sahu was admitted to the District hospital and he died during the course of treatment in the hospital.
A report for an offence under Section 307 IPC was initially registered in the Janjgir Police Station later the offence was converted to Section 302 IPC. The spot map was prepared by the Patwari and the soil where the bloodstains left were seized. It was then sent for chemical examination and even the clothes of the deceased were also seized. The tangi was seized at the instance of Dev Kumar Sahu.
The Appellant at 6.30 a.m went to the Nala with a toothbrush. Ram Kumar Sahu (Deceased), Krishna Kumar Sahu, Dev Kumar Sahu, and Shail Kumar were standing near the fields of Komal Singh. Krishna Kumar was holding a tangi and others were armed with lathis. The Appellant was afraid and pleaded that he should not be harmed. However, they all started assaulting him from the later side. Krishna Kumar Sahu attacked the Appellant with a tangi on his head. When he realized that he was going to be beaten to death, he took the tangi in his defence which hit the Ram Kumar Sahu (deceased) on his head. Thereafter, he became unconscious leaving tangi on the ground. He spent eight days in the hospital and was discharged thereafter.
After reviewing the evidence it showed that there was a fight between the Deceased and his brothers on one side and the Accused on the other. The Appellant who had examined himself as a witness also stated that he swung the tangi in self-defence when he was being harmed and exclaimed that there is no doubt in mind that the Accused is responsible for the death of Ram Kumar Sahu. There is no dispute that the Appellant is also injured on the head during the incident. However, the prosecution failed to explain the injuries caused to the Appellant.
The Accused was charged under Section 302 IPC for the offence of murder.
The trial Court convicted the Appellant under Section 302 IPC and sentenced him to imprisonment for life and also to pay a fine of Rs.5000/-. The High Court dismissed the appeal filed by the Appellant against the conviction and sentence awarded by the trial Court. Aggrieved, the above Appeal is filed before this Court.
It was finally said after considering various materials on records that the Appellant is not liable for conviction under Section 302 IPC. There is no evidence to show that the murder of Ram Kumar Sahu was a premeditated one. It was also convinced that the Appellant did not have any intention to kill Ram Kumar Sahu. However, the appellant swung the tangi which hit Ram Kumar Sahu on his head, and due to the said injury, Ram Kumar Sahu had died. The Appellant’s conviction under Section 302 of IPC is set aside.
The Appellant is, however, convicted under Section 304 (Part II) IPC and sentenced to undergo imprisonment for a period of seven years. In case, the Appellant has completed the sentence of seven years, he may be released forthwith.
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M. Pooja is a student at Alliance University.
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