Citation: 1958 AIR (SC) 465, 1958 SCR 1495.

Bench: S.J. Imam, P.B. Gajendragadkar and Vivian Bose, JJ.

Date of judgment: 11.3.1958 

Facts: Virsa Singh, along with five other members made an unlawful assembly and attacked one Khem Singh with a spear to injure him and as result of injury in the abdomen his abdomen was fractured and three coils of intestines came out of the wound which was around 2” * ½ inches which led to his death. According to the Post Mortem Report, the Doctor stated that “the injury was sufficient to cause the death in the ordinary course of nature”. 

Issues: 

  1. What offence is made out as having been committed by the appellant?
  2. Whether a person can escape from punishment with respect to injury caused which led to death when there is a lack of intention?

Judgement:

Trial Court: The accused was tried under Sec 302 of IPC individually along with the other five accused under Sections 302,324, and 323 read with Sec 149 of IPC. 

The Judge was under the opinion that the common intention was to injure and not death and was caused due to rash action. Therefore he applied Section 300(3) in the case and convicted the appellant under Sec 302 of IPC and was sentenced to imprisonment for life. Whereas the remaining five were acquitted of the charge under 302 but were convicted under Sec 326,324 and 323 read with 149 of  IPC. 

High Court: The court acquitted all the accused except Virsa Singh, whose conviction was confirmed. 

Supreme Court: It was argued that the prosecution has failed to prove that there was an intention to cause death. 

The prosecution must prove the following four facts to bring an action under Section 300(3);

  1. It must establish quite objectively, that a bodily injury is present.
  2. The nature of the injury must be proved.
  3. It must be proved that it was not accidental or unintentional or that some other third kind of injury was intended. 
  4. It must be proved that injury must be sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of nature. 

The court, after observing all the facts of the case stated that the accused used so much force that it penetrated the bowels, and three coils of the intestines came out of the wound, it would be preserved to conclude that he did not intend to inflict the injury as he did. Therefore the court dismissed the appeal. 

Personal Comment

The Judgement given was perfectly fair because the intention of the person is very much difficult to prove, and in order to come up for a conclusion of such cases, the intention must be inferred from the nature of the injury and is the best possible way for bringing an action. 

                                                          (By – Durga Bhatt)

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