Partly allowing a criminal appeal filed by one Parshuram Shankar Kamble, the Bombay High Court has set aside his murder conviction and held him guilty under Section 304 (ii) of the Indian Penal Code (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and sentenced him to 10 years’ imprisonment.
However, Kamble’s lawyers argued that their client has already under gone the sentence awarded, as he has been in jail for eight years already since his conviction, 10 years, if remission period is included.
The division bench of Justice RM Savant and Justice SS Jadhav accepted the submission and ordered Kamble’s release.
According to the prosecution, the incident took place 26 years ago on June 13, 1991, when complainant Bapu Chavan was sitting outside his house with his wife Sharda.
At 10 pm, the accused came there and started abusing Sharda, he continued to abuse her for about 15 minutes, during this time Chavan and Sharda went inside the house, however, the abusing did not stop.
Afterwards, both Sharda and Bapu Chavan came out and asked the accused the reason for such abuse. Following this, the accused is said to have run inside his house and came back with a knife. He then stabbed Sharda more than once.
Following this, all the neighbours came out of their houses and one of them, Surekha Shivekar, threw a tava at the accused, who then pounced on her and assaulted her as well.
Sharda was then taken to a hospital where she was declared dead before admission.
After the accused was arrested, an investigation was carried out and charge sheet was filed before the sessions court.
Observations and Final Order
After hearing the submissions made by counsel for the accused and the Additional Public Prosecutor, the court noted that act of going to his hut and coming back with knife was deliberate act on the part of the accused with an intention to cause harm to the deceased Sharda.
“The prosecution has by leading evidence proved that the injuries caused by the knife were cause for the death of the deceased,”the court said.
However, the court also accepted the argument submitted by counsel for accused BJ Sarwade.
Sarwade had said that there was no previous enmity between the accused and the deceased and that there was no motive which can be attributed to the accused for stabbing the deceased. It was also submitted that this case was covered by the part II of Section 304 of the IPC. T
With regards to this submission, the court observed: “In the said context, it is required to be noted that the accused and the deceased were neighbours, there is no motive alleged against the accused, the act of the accused of going to his hut and coming back with a knife and stabbing the deceased can be attributed to a fit of rage of the accused. It cannot be said that the accused had any intention to kill the deceased.
In our view, therefore the instant case is covered by part II of Section 304 of the IPC. Hence the conviction of the accused under,Section 302 of the IPC would have to be set aside and substituted by the conviction under Section 304 part II of the IPC.”