CHHERTURAM @ CHAINU Versus STATE OF CHHATTISGARH

CHHERTURAM @ CHAINU Versus STATE OF CHHATTISGARH

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले



REPORTABLE
 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.1317 OF 2022
CHHERTURAM @ CHAINU …Appellant
Versus
STATE OF CHHATTISGARH …Respondent
J U D G M E N T
SANJAY KISHAN KAUL, J.
1. We are faced with a case of patricide albeit both the father and the
son were drinking together.
2. In the intervening night of 26th and 27th July, 2010, between 10.00
pm and 12.30 am, the effect of alcohol may have resulted in a quarrel
inter se the father and the son. The informer, Chamruram (PW-8), who is
a neighbour, on reaching their house found the appellant assaulting his
father, Goienda, the deceased, with Nagar Wood. The deceased fell to
1
the ground and died. In the presence of the appellant’s brother, PW-4,
the appellant admitted that he killed his father. The FIR was lodged by
PW-8 in the Police Station Darima next morning and the appellant was
arrested on 28.07.2010. On his disclosure statement regarding a lungi as
well as Nagar Wood, the same were found at the courtyard of his house
and then sent to Forensic Science Laboratory, Raipur, for chemical
examination.
3. It is necessary to set out the result of the autopsy, which opined
that the injuries on the dead body were caused by some hard and blunt
object between half to two hours of death. These injuries were stated to
be fatal to life and sufficient to cause death to the deceased. There were
eleven injuries found, as under:
“1. On the right side of the head of the deceased a torn wound was
present from front to back in the parietal region to a depth of
2.5x1/4xinch to the depth of the bone;
2. On the front of the head 2x1 / 4 inch size dark blue torn wound
was there, on which swelling was present all around;
3. On the back left side of the head 4 inches rounded one contusion
was present, inside which blood clot was present;
4. 3x2 inch size one contusion was present near left ear;
5. On the front and left side of the neck 6x4 inch part swelling and
2
blue colored contusions were present;
6. On the left cheek in the 4x4 inch part, there were contusions
with swelling;
7. The sternum bone on the chest was broken and there was a
blood clot beneath it and there was a blue colour contusion,
present on the chest;
8. On the right chest, in 4x4 inch area, contusion was present due
to which the second, third, fourth rib were broken and blood had
accumulated beneath the broken rib;
9. On the left chest there was a 6x2 inch size contusion present and
beneath it the first, second, third and fourth ribs were broken and
blood clot had accumulated beneath the broken ribs;
10. On the back and left abdominal side, 3 contusions were
present, which were of 3X2, 5X2 inches and 7X2 inches in size;
and
11. The left eye was red in color and swelling was present in it.”
On an internal examination of the dead body, alcohol was found
present inside the deceased’s stomach. The cause of death was stated to
be haemorrhage shock caused by the fatal injuries to the vital organs and
death was homicidal in nature.
4. On completion of investigation, a charge sheet was filed before the
Judicial Magistrate, 1st Class, Ambikapur, who committed the case to the
3
court of Sessions. Charges were framed under Section 302 of the Indian
Penal Code (hereinafter referred to as ‘the IPC’) on 08.03.2011 and the
prosecution examined ten witnesses.
5. The appellant pleaded innocence in his statement under Section
313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (hereinafter referred to as ‘the
CrPC’) but admitted that he and the deceased were residing together in
the same house.
6. The learned Additional Sessions Judge vide the judgment dated
15.10.2012 convicted the appellant finding him guilty of causing a
homicidal death amounting to murder under Sections 302 of the IPC and
sentenced to undergo RI for life with a fine of Rs.1,000/- and in default
to undergo additional RI for four months. It was opined that the case of
the prosecution was based on direct evidence, judicial confession, seizure
based on appellant’s statement and on circumstantial evidence that the
body of the deceased was found in the appellant’s house.
7. On appeal being preferred before the High Court, the same was
dismissed by the impugned judgment dated 08.04.2015. The evidence
was analysed threadbare including the statement of neighbours, who
4
were prosecution witnesses stating that the appellant and the deceased
were residing in the same house and on being informed about the death
of the deceased, they went to the house and saw the dead body of the
deceased.
8. On the Special Leave Petition being preferred, notice was issued
on 18.07.2022. The only aspect, on which notice was issued on
18.07.2022, was on the plea of the learned counsel for the appellant that
the present case would fall under Section 304 Part-I of the IPC and not
Section 302 of the IPC. The appellant had already undergone actual
sentence of twelve years by then.
9. Arguments have been heard on the aforesaid aspect after grant of
leave on 22.08.2022.
Submissions on behalf of the Appellant:
10. Learned counsel for the appellant contended that both the appellant
and the deceased were consuming liquor and started fighting under the
influence of liquor. In this altercation, the appellant picked up a Nagar
Wood and inflicted few injuries to his father, which resultantly caused
death. There was no motivation and intention, which means that the
5
essential ingredients of Section 300 of IPC were absent and the
conviction under Section 302 of IPC was erroneous. Moreover, alcohol
was also found in the stomach of the deceased.
11. It may be noticed that the learned counsel for the appellant sought
to contend on the aspect of whether the conviction could be based on the
last seen theory. However, that is not the aspect on which notice was
issued.
Submissions on behalf of the Respondent:
12. Learned counsel for the respondent sought to initially contend that
in case of the homicide committed within the privacy of a house, there is
burden on the inmates to offer a cogent explanation for the crime
committed. The testimonies of witnesses established the crime. Once
again, we have to say that that is not an aspect, which is required to be
examined by us in view of the limited notice issued.
13. On the issue of the nature of offence, learned counsel for the State
relied upon the judgment in Surain Singh v. State of Punjab1
 to make
out a case under Exception 4 of Section 300 of the IPC. Section 300
1
(2017) 5 SCC 796
6
reads as under:
“300. Murder.—Except in the cases hereinafter excepted,
culpable homicide is murder, if the act by which the death is
caused is done with the intention of causing death, or—
Secondly —If it is done with the intention of causing such
bodily injury as the offender knows to be likely to cause the
death of the person to whom the harm is caused, or—
Thirdly —If it is done with the intention of causing bodily
injury to any person and the bodily injury intended to be
inflicted is sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause
death, or—
Fourthly —If the person committing the act knows that it is so
imminently dangerous that it must, in all probability, cause
death or such bodily injury as is likely to cause death, and
commits such act without any excuse for incurring the risk of
causing death or such injury as aforesaid.
xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx
Exception 4.—Culpable homicide is not murder if it is
committed without premeditation in a sudden fight in the heat
of passion upon a sudden quarrel and without the offender
having taken undue advantage or acted in a cruel or unusual
manner.
Explanation.—It is immaterial in such cases which party offers
the provocation or commits the first assault.”
14. In order to make out a case under Exception 4 aforesaid, it was
pleaded that there were two essential ingredients: (i) the accused did not
act with premeditation, and (ii) the accused did not act in a cruel or brutal
7
manner taking advantage of the situation. Hence the nature of injuries is
an important factor in determining whether the death was caused due to a
sudden fight.
15. Learned counsel referred to the judgment in Manokaran v. State
of T.N.2
, wherein this Court refused to entertain the case within
Exception 4 of Section 300 of the IPC due to the nature of injuries, which
showed cruelty and brutality meted out to injure a person on the root of
the neck.
16. In applying the said principles to the facts of the present case, it is
submitted that there were eleven injuries on the vital areas such as skull,
chest and abdomen leading to breaking of sternum as well as second,
third and fourth rib to demonstrate that the appellant acted with brutality.
Hence, the present case cannot fall under the Fourth Exception to Section
300 of IPC.
17. Learned counsel for the respondent also made a reference to
Section 86 of the IPC, which reads as under:
“86. Offence requiring a particular intent or knowledge
committed by one who is intoxicated.—In cases where an act
2
(2010) 15 SCC 562
8
done is not an offence unless done with a particular knowledge
or intent, a person who does the act in a state of intoxication
shall be liable to be dealt with as if he had the same knowledge
as he would have had if he had not been intoxicated, unless the
thing which intoxicated him was administered to him without
his knowledge or against his will.”
18. It was, thus, the submission made by the respondent that merely
because the appellant and the deceased had consumed liquor together,
full knowledge is liable to be attributed to the appellant and the defence
of being under the influence of liquor is not something which was
available to him.
19. It was further contended that the benefit of Section 300 Fourthly
extends to act committed by an offender with the knowledge that the
result of such acts will be death approximates a practical certainty/a very
high degree of probability. The nature of injuries in the present case
indicates that death was a practical certainty. Therefore, the conviction
of the appellant was liable to be sustained under Section 302 of the IPC.3
Conclusion:
20. We have examined within the limited contours of the aforesaid
facts and the principles of law enunciated. There is no doubt that the
3 A.P. v. Rayavarapu Punnayya (1976) 4 SCC 382
9
parties were closely related, being the father and the son. There was no
prior dispute. Liquor got the better of the appellant. That, however, is no
defence in view of Section 86 of the IPC.
21. We have to thus turn to the fact that there was no prior intent but in
the sudden fight, injuries were inflicted. It is necessary to look to the
injuries in this behalf which had been enumerated hereinabove. There
were eleven injuries! It is not only the number of injuries but where and
in what manner they were inflicted, even if it is by a piece of Nagar
Wood and not by a dangerous weapon. There were multiple injuries on
the head – on the right side, on the front side, on the back left side, near
the left ear, on the front and left side of the neck and on the left cheek.
The sternum bone on the chest was broken and there was a blood clot
beneath it. On the right chest, 4X4 inch area contusion was present due to
which the second, third, fourth rib were broken and blood had
accumulated beneath the broken rib. Similarly on the left chest, there was
a 6X2 inches size contusion. The contusions were also present on the
back and left abdominal side. It is clearly a case of mercilessly beating on
all the vital parts of the body and reigning blows, albeit with a wood
piece, on head and on different parts of the head again and again. With
10
these kinds of blows, there would be no possibility of the deceased
surviving. Maybe it was under the influence of liquor, but the nature of
blows was such that the endeavour was to end the life of the deceased,
the father. It was certainly an act in a cruel and brutal manner taking
advantage of the situation even if there was no pre-meditation. The
factual scenario would, thus, fall within the ratio of Manokaran4
 case.
22. Sympathy for the son in such a scenario would be misplaced. The
victim was the father. The appellant must take the consequences of such
merciless attack on his father. There is no cause made out for application
of Exception 4 of Section 300.
23. The only redeeming feature is that the appellant has already
undergone 12 years of sentence and on completion of the sentence, as per
remission policy, he would be liable to be considered for release. The
only aspect which we are inclined to consider is to issue a direction to the
State to consider the case of the appellant for remission, the moment he
completes the mandatory sentence as per the policy for such
consideration.
4
(supra)
11
24. The appeal is accordingly disposed of in the aforesaid terms
leaving the parties to bear their own costs.
………………………J.
[Sanjay Kishan Kaul]
 ............... ....……………………J.
[Pamidighantam Sri Narasimha]
New Delhi.
September 13, 2022.
12

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

100 Questions on Indian Constitution for UPSC 2020 Pre Exam

संविधान की प्रमुख विशेषताओं का उल्लेख | Characteristics of the Constitution of India

भारतीय संविधान से संबंधित 100 महत्वपूर्ण प्रश्न उतर