Proof Of Grievous/Life Threatening Hurt Not Necessary For Conviction Under Section 307 IPC [Attempt To Murder]: SC [Read Judgment]
“The lack of forensic evidence to prove grievous or a life-threatening injury cannot be a basis to hold that Section 307 is inapplicable.”
The Supreme Court has observed that proof of grievous or life-threatening hurt is not a sine qua non for the offence under Section 307 [Attempt to Murder] of the Indian Penal Code.
The bench comprising Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah set aside the Madhya Pradesh High Court judgment that had acquitted the accused from attempt to murder charges on the ground that there was no evidence to prove that the injuries caused to the deceased were grievous in nature or life-threatening. The High court had held that the offence would fall under Section 324 instead of Section 307 of the Penal Code.
In the appeal (State of Madhya Pradesh vs. Kanha @ Omprakash) filed by the state, the bench examined the provisions of Section 307 IPC and observed:
The first part of Section 307 refers to "an act with such intention or knowledge, and under such circumstances that, if he by that act caused death, he would be guilty of murder". The second part of Section 307, which carries a heavier punishment, refers to "hurt‟ caused in pursuance of such an "act‟.
Referring to some earlier judgments on this subject, the bench said:
"The above judgments of this Court lead us to the conclusion that proof of grievous or life-threatening hurt is not a sine qua non for the offence under Section 307 of the Penal Code. The intention of the accused can be ascertained from the actual injury, if any, as well as from surrounding circumstances. Among other things, the nature of the weapon used and the severity of the blows inflicted can be considered to infer intent."
Referring to the evidence on record, the bench observed that the nature of the injuries shows that there were eleven punctured wounds caused by a firearm and that the circumstances clearly indicate that there was an intention to murder. The court also observed that the lack of forensic evidence to prove grievous or a life-threatening injury cannot be a basis to hold that Section 307 is inapplicable.
The bench then set aside the high court judgment and convicted the accused under Section 307 IPC. It also awarded sentence of rigorous imprisonment of 3 years and a fine of Rs 1000.