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Death by Single Blow on Vital Part of Body fall Under Section 302 of IPC [Read the judgment]

Author: Ankita Karn [REVA University, Bangalore]

Supreme Court has reiterated that even in a case of death by a single blow on the vital part of the body, then the case may fall under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and it is given in the case of State of Madhya Pradesh versus Kalicharan and others.

In a very recent judgement in State of Madhya Pradesh vs. Kalicharan and others, Supreme Court held that when the death is caused by a single blow on a vital part of the body, Section 302 of IPC may become applicable which deals with murder.

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In this case the accused Kalicharan, Amar Singh, Kedar, Abhilakh, Ramgopal, Tejsingh, Gangaram and Vedari were indulge in a fight, by seeing the facts and circumstances it was clearly shown that there was a free fight and earlier The Madhya Pradesh High Court has rightly acquitted them for the offences under Sections 148, 302/149 and 325/149 of the IPC. The same judgement was also passed in Kanwarlal v. State of M.P. (2002) 7 SCC 152. The Supreme Court in State of Madhya Pradesh vs Kalicharan held that since it was a free fight and during the ongoing fight the accused used the blunt side of a farsa which hits the head of the victim and amount to a fatal injury.

The High Court of Madhya Pradesh had earlier awarded the accused a term of rigorous imprisonment of Five years along with a fine of Rs 5000.Rigorous Punishment by interpretation means hard labour. Hard labour is not defined either in the Indian Penal Code, or in the Jail Manuals. Rigorous Imprisonment as a form of punishment started off in the British era, when it meant breaking rocks and making roads. Now the Supreme Court Bench of Justices M R Shah and A S Bopanna have set aside the earlier judgment of the High Court in this particular case and altered the conviction of the accused from Murder to Culpable Homicide under the Provision of Indian Penal Code, Section 304 part II.

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It was further noted that:

As held by this Court in catena of decisions, even in a case of a single blow, but on the vital part of the body, the case may fall under Section 302 of the IPC and the accused can be held guilty for the offence under Section 302 of the IPC.

The conviction of the of the accused Ramavtar is altered from Section 302 of the IPC to Section 304 Part I of the IPC and is sentenced to undergo eight years R.I. with a fine ofRs.5000/­ and in default to further undergo R.I. for six months.

Read the Judgment: Click here!

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