27 July 2021 6:25 AM GMT
The Supreme Court observed that production of injury report is not a sine qua non for establishing the case for the offence under Section 323 Indian Penal Code.In this case, the accused are convicted for the offences under Section 323 and 147 IPC and are sentenced to undergo six months simple imprisonment. The accused had allegedly formed an unlawful assembly "to snatch the voters list and...
The Supreme Court observed that production of injury report is not a sine qua non for establishing the case for the offence under Section 323 Indian Penal Code.
In this case, the accused are convicted for the offences under Section 323 and 147 IPC and are sentenced to undergo six months simple imprisonment. The accused had allegedly formed an unlawful assembly "to snatch the voters list and to cast bogus voting" and attacked some political workers during an election.
One of the contentions raised by the accused was that no injury report was brought on record and therefore they cannot be convicted for the offence under Section 323 IPC.
The bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed that the evidence of injured witnesses is entitled to a great weight and very cogent and convincing grounds are required to discard their evidence. The court further noted that all the witnesses were consistent in their statements and they have fully supported the case of the prosecution
"8....It may be that there might not be any serious injuries and/or visible injuries, the hospital might not have issued the injury report. However, production of an injury report for the offence under Section 323 IPC is not a sine qua non for establishing the case for the offence under Section 323 IPC. Section 323 IPC is a punishable section for voluntarily causing hurt. "Hurt" is defined under Section 319 IPC. As per Section 319 IPC, whoever causes bodily pain, disease or infirmity to any person is said to cause "hurt". Therefore, even causing bodily pain can be said to be causing "hurt". Therefore, in the facts and circumstances of the case, no error has been committed by the courts below for convicting the accused under Section 323 IPC.", the bench said.
The court further observed that the presence of all the accused persons at the time of incident and their active participation has been established and proved by the prosecution by examining the witnesses who are the independent witnesses and injured witnesses also. "Thus, once the unlawful assembly is established in prosecution of the common object, i.e., in the present case, "to snatch the voters list and to cast bogus voting", each member of the unlawful assembly is guilty of the offence of rioting. The use of the force, even though it be the slightest possible character by any one member of the assembly, once established as unlawful constitutes rioting. It is not necessary that force or violence must be by all but the liability accrues to all the members of the unlawful assembly. As rightly submitted by the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the State, some may encourage by words, others by signs while others may actually cause hurt and yet all the members of the unlawful assembly would be equally guilty of rioting.", the bench said while upholding the conviction under Section 147 IPC also.
Also from the judgment:
Booth Capturing & Bogus Voting Affects Rule Of Law & Democracy; Should Be Dealt With Iron Hands: Supreme Court
Case: Lakshman Singh Vs. State of Bihar [ CrA 606 OF 2021]Coram: Justices DY Chandrachud and MR ShahCitation: LL 2021 SC 319
Click here to Read/Download Judgment