Section 304: Punishment for Culpable Homicide not amounting to murder
CASE: Mangesh v State of Maharashtra (2011)
DATE OF JUDGEMENT: 5th January, 2011
The appellant’s sister, Sandhya had a love affair with Prashant (the deceased victim) for about 2-3 years. The appellant was fully aware of the said affair and had been expressing his disapproval. The appellant had also had altercations with Prashant several times. The appellant found his sister, Sandhya and Prakash chatting with each other at about 9:15 p.m. at a short distance from his home, on 30th April, 2003. Getting angry by watching them spending time together, the appellant further assaulted Prashant thrice, with a knife and ran away from the spot.
The appellant’s sister, Sandhya then stopped a police jeep passing through. The police helped shift Prashant (the deceased) to the hospital. On the way to the hospital, Prashant made a statement to PSI, Bhaurao Meshram which was treated as FIR under Section 307 IPC (attempt to murder). Following the aforementioned events, Prashant died before reaching the hospital and his FIR, was thus, converted to one under Section 302 IPC (punishment for murder).
Prashant made two dying declarations, one to the PSI in the police jeep and another to Mr. Prakash, Special Judicial Magistrate on 1st May, 2003 stating that the appellant had caused knife injuries to him.
After the investigation was concluded, a charge sheet was filed against the appellant under Section 302 IPC. The prosecution examined several witnesses, however, the main eye witness to the whole incident, Sandhya did not support the case of the prosecution.
ARGUMENTS RAISED IN FAVOUR OF THE APPELLANT:
The trial court, after hearing the arguments of both sides and after considering the evidence on record, convicted the appellant under Section 302 IPC (murder) in accordance with the judgement and order dated 16th March, 2004.
The appellant further filed an appeal to challenge the previous conviction under Section 302 IPC.
It was later found that the facts and circumstances of the case required alteration of the conviction of the appellant from Section 302 IPC to Section 304 IPC and thus, the ends of justice were met by sentencing the appellant to ten years of rigorous imprisonment and the appeal was then disposed of.
I am of the opinion that the latter judgement did true to the appellant because the evidence shows a clear lack of intention to kill and since the appellant was already in disagreement of his sister’s affair with Prakash, it can be observed that this case was simply a case of lost control in the heat of passion.