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Oamanakkuttam & Ors. v. State of Kerala (2020) - Ss. 302, 324, 326 & 308 r/w S. 34 IPC

Vishesh Kumar ,
  03 December 2020       Share Bookmark

Court :
Supreme Court of India
Brief :
The following judgement deals with Sections 320, 324, 326 and 308 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860, which focusses on Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means,Attempt to commit culpable homicide along with grievous hurt
Citation :
Criminal Appeal No. 800 Of 2020

JUDEGMENT SUMMARY:Omanakkuttan & Ors. vs. State of Kerala

DATE OF JUDGEMENT:20H November, 2020

JUDGES: Hon'ble Ashok Bhushan and R. Subhash Reddy, JJ

PARTIES:Omanakkuttan & Ors. (Appellant) &

State of Kerala (Respondents)

SUBJECT: The following judgement deals with Sections 320, 324, 326 and 308 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860, which focusses on Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means,Attempt to commit culpable homicide along with grievous hurt

IMPORTANT PROVISIONS:

Indian Penal Code, 1860

Section 324 of Indian Penal Code, 1860

Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means.- Whoever, except in the case provided for by section 334, volun­tarily causes hurt by means of any instrument for shooting, stab­bing or cutting, or any instrument which, used as weapon of offence, is likely to cause death, or by means of fire or any heated substance, or by means of any poison or any corrosive substance, or by means of any explosive substance or by means of any substance which it is deleterious to the human body to in­hale, to swallow, or to receive into the blood, or by means of any animal, shall be punished with imprisonment of either de­scription for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

Section 320 of Indian Penal Code, 1860

Grievous hurt. - The following kinds of hurt only are desig­nated as “grievous”:-

  • (First) - Emasculation.
  • (Secondly) - Permanent privation of the sight of either eye.
  • (Thirdly) - Permanent privation of the hearing of either ear,
  • (Fourthly) - Privation of any member or joint.
  • (Fifthly) - Destruction or permanent impairing of the powers of any member or joint.
  • (Sixthly) - Permanent disfiguration of the head or face.
  • (Seventhly) - Fracture or dislocation of a bone or tooth.
  • (Eighthly) - Any hurt which endangers life or which causes the sufferer to be during the space of twenty days in severe bodily pain, or unable to follow his ordinary pursuits.

Section 326 of Indian Penal Code, 1860

Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means- Whoever, except in the case provided for by section 335, voluntarily causes grievous hurt by means of any instrument for shooting, stabbing or cutting, or any instrument which, used as a weapon of offence, is likely to cause death, or by means of fire or any heated substance, or by means of any poison or any corrosive substance, or by means of any explosive substance, or by means of any substance which it is deleterious to the human body to inhale, to swallow, or to re­ceive into the blood, or by means of any animal, shall be pun­ished with 1[imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 308 of Indian Penal Code, 1860

Attempt to commit culpable homicide.- Whoever does any act with such intention or knowledge and under such circumstances that, if he by that act caused death, he would be guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both; and, if hurt is caused to any person by such act, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, or with fine, or with both. Illustration A, on grave and sudden provocation, fires a pistol at Z, under such circumstances that if he thereby caused death he would be guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. A has com­mitted the offence defined in this section.

Section 34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860

Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention. - When a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of the common intention of all, each of such persons is liable for that act in the same manner as if it were done by him alone.

OVERVIEW

1. This criminal appeal is filed by the accused/A1 to A3, in Sessions Case No. 20 of 2004, on the file of Additional Sessions Judge, (Adhoc)- 1, Kottayam Division, aggrieved by the judgment of conviction and sentence dated 20.04.2004 and the judgment dated 23.02.2018 in criminal appeal No. 711 of 2004, passed by the High Court of Kerala, at Ernakulam.

2. The appellants/accused A1 to A3, were tried for offence punishable under Sections 324, 326 and 308 read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (for short 'IPC'). On conclusion of trial, by appreciating oral and documentary evidence on record, learned Sessions Judge by judgment dated 20.04.2004, convicted them for the aforesaid offences. They were sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for five years each, for the offence under Section 308 read with Section 34 IPC and for offence under Section 326 IPC, they were sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for five years and also to pay a fine of Rs. 5000/- each, in default of payment of fine, to undergo simple imprisonment for a period of two years each. The fine amount was ordered to be paid to PW-1, as compensation. No separate sentence is awarded for the offence under Section 324 IPC.

3. Aggrieved by the conviction recorded and sentence imposed by the Court of Additional Sessions Judge, (Adhoc-1) of Kottayam Division, the appellants herein have preferred appeal in criminal appeal no.711 of 2004, before the High Court of Kerala, at Ernakulam.

4. Vide judgment dated 23.02.2018, in criminal appeal No.711 of 2004, the High Court while confirming the conviction, has modified the sentence of rigorous imprisonment for a period of three years and to pay a compensation of Rs.25,000/- for the offence under Section 308 read with Section 34 IPC and in default to undergo simple imprisonment for two years. While maintaining the conviction for offence under Section 326 IPC, reduced the sentence to three years rigorous imprisonment and to pay compensation of Rs.25,000/- and in default to undergo simple imprisonment for two years. At the same time, the High Court has not awarded any separate sentence for offence under Section 324 IPC.

5. Bench heard Mr. Adolf Mathew, learned counsel appearing for the appellants and Mr. NisheRajenShonker, learned counsel appearing for the State of Kerala.

6. This Court, vide order dated 06.05.2019, issued notice on the quantum of sentence only.

7. At the outset, learned counsel for the appellants has submitted that appellant nos. 1 and 2 have already served the sentence. As such, he was not pressing the appeal for appellant Nos. 1 & 2 and confined his submissions for appellant No.3 only.

8. It was submitted that though there was no sufficient evidence to prove the guilt of the accused, for the offence alleged, the Trial Court has convicted the appellants and imposed a sentence and same was erroneously confirmed in appeal by the High Court. It was submitted that there was no light at the alleged place of occurrence and they were apprehended after 10 months of the incident. It was further submitted that in any event the alleged incident was occurred on 13.01.2002, and that the appellants as well as injured are relatives, as such a leniency may be shown in imposing the sentence. Further it was submitted that in view of his poor economic condition, he cannot afford to pay compensation of Rs.25,000/- for offence under Section 308 read with Section 34 of IPC and compensation of Rs.25,000/- for offence under Section 326 IPC.

9. Learned counsel for the appellants made a request to reduce the sentence as well as compensation awarded by the High Court. On the other hand, learned counsel appearing for the respondent-State, has submitted that multiple fractures were inflicted by the appellants on the injured.

10. Although learned counsel made his submissions on the merits of the matter, as this Court has issued notice only on quantum of sentence, we are not inclined to go into the merits of conviction recorded. At the same time, considering the fact that the incident occurred on 13.01.2002 and the 3rd appellant herein has already served more than two years of sentence, and further considering the totality of facts and circumstances of the case, we are of the view that it is a fit case to modify the sentence and reduce the compensation of Rs.25,000/- each for offence under Section 308 read with Section 34 IPC and for conviction under Section 326 IPC.

CONCLUSION

While maintaining the conviction recorded by the Trial Court, as confirmed by the High Court, for the offence under Section 308 read with Section 34 IPC and also under Section 326 IPC, bench reduced the sentence imposed on the 3rd appellant, for the period already undergone. The compensation awarded for the offence under Section 308 read with Section 34 IPC is reduced to Rs.5,000/-and similarly compensation of Rs.25,000/- awarded for offence under Section 326 IPC was also reduced to Rs.5,000/-. If the compensation, as awarded, is not paid, the same shall be paid within a period of two months from today to PW-1.

At the same time, the judgment of the Trial Court, for the offence under Section 324 IPC, as confirmed by the High Court is confirmed.This criminal appeal was allowed partly, so far as appellant No.3 is concerned, to the extent indicated above and the conviction recorded and sentence imposed by the High Court, stands modified accordingly.

The leave was granted accordingly.

 
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