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'Sudden Provocation Without Premeditation': Supreme Court Orders Release Of Murder Accused Farmer Who Spent 18 Years In Jail

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
10 Feb 2021 3:58 AM GMT
Sudden Provocation Without Premeditation: Supreme Court Orders Release Of Murder Accused Farmer Who Spent 18 Years In Jail
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The Supreme Court today directed release of a murder accused farmer who spent 18 years in jail.The bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and S. Ravindra Bhat held that he is liable to be convicted for the offence under Section 304 Part I of the Indian Penal Code and not under Section 302 IPC. Pardeshiram was accused of murdering one Kartik Ram in an incident which occurred on...

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The Supreme Court today directed release of a murder accused farmer who spent 18 years in jail.

The bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and S. Ravindra Bhat held that he is liable to be convicted for the offence under Section 304 Part I of the Indian Penal Code and not under Section 302 IPC. 

Pardeshiram was accused of murdering one Kartik Ram in an incident which occurred on 30.5.2002. Pursuant to a dispute between them over construction of a wall, Pardeshiram had allegedly assaulted the deceased with a spade and hit him with a stone on his head and as a result, the deceased died. The Trial Court convicted him under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code and sentenced him to life imprisonment. The High Court dismissed his appeal.

In appeal, it was contended that the offence was committed without premeditation in the sudden fight in the heat of passion and, thus, falls within Exception 4 of Section 300 IPC. It was also submitted that the accused and the deceased are members of the family and that the dispute occurred on the question of raising the wall. "The appellant is alleged to have hit the deceased with the Shovel, a common agricultural tool, and later picked up a stone to hit the deceased. Such injuries were caused in the heat of passion as is likely to cause death. Therefore, it will be culpable homicide not amounting to murder falling within the first part of Section 304 IPC.", it was contended..

Taking note of these aspects, the bench observed:

"The accused is an agriculturist, and the Shovel is a part of an agricultural tool that is possessed by agriculturists. The accused was attributed with the first blow with the Shovel followed a hit by a stone on the head of the deceased which was picked up from the street. The accused and the deceased were from the same family. The cause of provocation was sudden, without premeditation. We find that, in the facts and circumstances of the case, it is a case falling under Exception 4 of Section 300 IPC. The injuries were inflicted without premeditation in a sudden fight in the heat of passion upon a sudden quarrel and without the offender having taken advantage or acted cruelly or unusually. In this view of the matter, 3 we find that the appellant is liable to be convicted for an offence under Section 304 Part I." 

The Court therefore sentenced him to the sentence already undergone taking note of the period of custody undergone (eighteen years); the relationship between the accused and the deceased and the background in which the injuries were caused.

CASE: PARDESHIRAM vs. STATE OF M.P. (NOW CHHATTISGARH) [CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1730 OF 2015
CORAM: Justices Hemant Gupta and S. Ravindra Bhat
COUNSEL: Sr. Adv Sanjay R. Hegde
CITATION: LL 2021 SC 73

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