In section 86 of the IPC the first part speaks of intent or knowledge, the latter part deals only with knowledge which raised a certain element of doubt.So the court referred to various precedents of English Courts as to whether the intent is also presumed to be present even when intoxicated.
Respondent: The State OfPepsu
Citation: 1956 AIR 488
- Justice N. Chandrasekhara Aiyar,J
- Justice Narwarlal H Bhagwati,J
Whether the offence committed by the petitioner fell under section 302 of the IPC or section 304 of the IPC having regard to the provisions of section 86 ofthe Indian Penal Code?
- The appellant Basdev, a retired military Jamadar, is charged with the murder of 15-16 years old boy named Maghar Singh. Both of them were attending. Both of them and others of the same village went to attend a wedding in anothervillage.
- The party that had assembled for the marriage at the bride's house seems to have made itself very merry and much drinking was indulged in. The appellant Jamadar boozed quite a lot and he became very drunk and intoxicated.
- When everyone was settling down in their seats for a midday meal. The appellant asked Maghar Singh, the young boy to step aside a little so that he may occupy a convenient seat. But Maghar Singh did not move. The appellant whipped out a pistol and shot the boy in the abdomen. The injury proved fatal.
- Basdev was charged with murder and the Sessions Judge noticed thathe was highlyintoxicated so there was an absence of motive and premeditation to kill. He was granted a lesser penalty of transportation for life.
- An appeal to the PEPSU High Court at Patiala proved unsuccessful.
- After which a SpecialLeave Petition was filed before the Hon'ble Supreme Court.
- In section 86 of the IPC the first part speaks of intent or knowledge, the latter part deals only with knowledge which raised a certain element of doubt.So the court referred to various precedents of English Courts as to whether theintent is alsopresumed to be present even when intoxicated.
- The court held that so far as knowledge is concerned, we must attribute to the intoxicated man the same knowledge as if he was quite sober. But so far as intent or intention is concerned, we must gather it from the attending general circumstances of the case paying due regard to the degree of intoxication.
- In the present case the court found that although the accused was under the influence of drink, he was not so much under its influence that there was incapacity in him to form the required intention as stated.
- This was proved from facts like the accused was capable of moving himself and talkingcoherently. He walked by himself to the darwaza and also decided for a chair to sit on. He after shooting the deceased tried to escape and after realizing what he had done also asked foran apology. He also did not require and support while he was at the police station. Althoughthe accused was under the influence of drink, he was not so much under its influence that his mind was so obscured by the drink that there was incapacity in him to form the requiredintention as stated.
- So the offence was not reduced from murder to culpable homicide not amounting to murderunder the second part of section 304 of the Indian Penal Code.The conviction and sentence were held right.
The court referred to a judgment of House of Lord's decision in Director of PublicProsecutions v. Beard  16 Cox C.C. 306 where a rule of law was established asfollows:
(1) That insanity, whether produced by drunkenness or otherwise, is a defence to thecrime charged;
(2) That evidence of drunkenness which renders the accused incapable of forming thespecific intent essential to constitute the crime should be taken into consideration withthe other facts proved in order to determine whether or not he had this intent,
(3) That evidence of drunkenness falling short of a proved incapacity in the accused toform the intent necessary to constitute the crime, and merely establishing that hismind was affected by drink so that he more readily gave way to some violent passion,does not rebut the presumption that a man intends the natural consequences of hisacts.