With Criminal Appeal No. 868 of 2002
Dr. Arijit Pasayat, J
11. Both these appeals are directed
against the common judgment of a learned Single Judge of the Madhya
Pradesh High Court, Jabalpur Bench, dismissing the appeal filed by the
appellants, challenging their conviction for offences punishable under
Sections 392 and 397 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (in short the IPC )
in terms of the order passed by the learned Third Additional Sessions
Judge, Sagar. On each count the appellants were directed to undergo 7
years rigorous imprisonment with fine of Rs.500/-.
Background facts in a nutshell
are as follows:
On 2nd June 1986 the accused persons had entered the shop of Babulal
(PW-1) while he was in the process of closing. One shutter was already
put and one shutter was still to be put. The entered the shop at about
9.15 p.m. and asked for a sum of Rs.1001/- from the injured Babulal and
asked him the reason why he had offered only two Ilachis when the three
persons had come to the shop the previous day. At the relevant time
injured Babulal and his brother Munnalal (PW 4) were present and they
were settling the account. Babulal was having Rs.400/- in his hands.
Ramsahay and Niranjan asked to hand over Rs.1000/-. On refusal of the
complainant Babulal, Ramsahay inflicted one injury on his right arm with
a knife. Another injury was caused on left side of chest by knife.
Rs.400/- which the complainant had in his hands were snatched by
Niranjan Singh. It is alleged that one more boy was accompanying the
accused persons whose name was not known. The incident was witnessed by
Santosh Kumar (PW3) and Jinendra Kumar.
Injured Babulal was referred for
medical examination to Dr. Anand Singhai (PW 7) who found two injuries.
One injury 1 x = was found on the left side of chest below the nipple
and the other injury = x < was on the left arm. Both the injuries were
caused by hard and sharp weapon. The clothes of Babulal were seized
which carried corresponding sign of insertion of knife.
From the possession of accused
Niranjan as per information given by him, a knife was recovered. Accused
Sitaram was put up for identification parade by Mulle Singh (PW2) who
was Sarpanch of the village. The identification parade was allegedly
held near the paper mill. The money which was allegedly looted could not
be recovered from the accused.
The accused abjured the guilt.
Accused Sitaram contended that he was falsely implicated in the case.
Accused Niranjan took the defence that he was standing in front of the
shop of Munnalal and accused Ramsahay was demanding money from Babulal
which was due from him. On that altercation took place between Munnalal
and Ramsahay and there was a scuffle. The accused intervened and
separated the two. As the accused (Niranjan) sided with Ramasahay, his
name was also mentioned in the array of accused. Ramsahay took the plea
that Rs.1050/- were due from Babulal on account of purchase of Char
which was payable to his uncle and when money was demanded an
altercation took place. No incident of robbery took place. Knife was not
recovered from him.
3. Placing reliance on the evidence
of eye witnesses i.e. PWs 1, 4, 5 & 6 more particularly that of the
injured witnesses Babu Lal (PW-1) and Munna Lal (PW-4), the trial Court
found the accused persons guilty. He also placed reliance on the
evidence of PW 3 - Santosh who had seen the incident from a distance and
reaching the spot had seen the accused persons running away.
4. In appeal though several points
were urged, the primary stand was that ingredients under Section 397 IPC
were not made out as no grievous hurt was found. The prosecution took
the stand that for attracting Section 397 IPC it is not necessary that
grievous hurt should be found. Ingredients of the provision are
satisfied if the evidence on record establishes that grievous hurt was
intended. The High Court did not accept the aforesaid plea of accused
and dismissed the appeal.
5. Stand taken before the High Court
was reiterated in these appeals. It was submitted that for attracting
Section 397 IPC grievous hurt must have resulted from the assault.
6. Learned counsel for the State on
the other hand supported the judgments of the trial court and the High
7. The ingredients of the offence
are as under:
(1) The commission of robbery or dacoity as described in Section 392 and
(2) the accused-
(a) used a deadly weapon, or
(b) caused grievous hurt, or
(c) attempted to cause death or grievous hurt;
(3) he did so at the time of
committing the robbery or dacoity.
hurt is defined in Section 320 IPC. This Section reads as follows:
Grievous hurt : The following kinds of hurt only are designated as
First Emasculation Secondly Permanent privation of the sight of either
Thirdly Permanent privation of the
hearing of either ear.
Fourthly Privation of any member of
Fifthly Destruction or permanent
impairing of the powers of any member or join.
Sixthly Permanent disfiguration of
the head or face.
Seventhly Fracture or dislocation of
a bone or tooth.
Eighthly Any hurt which endangers
life or which causes the sufferer to be during the space of twenty days
in severe bodily paid, or unable to follow his ordinary pursuits.
9. The facts of the instant case
show that Section 397 IPC was rightly applied. Any hurt which endangers
life is a grievous hurt. It would be seen that one of the injuries was
caused just below the nipple. The term endangers life is much stronger
than the expression dangerous to life . Apart from that in the provision
attempt to cause grievous hurt attracts its application. The question
whether the accused attempted to cause death or grievous hurt would
depend upon the factual scenario. In the instant case knife blow was
given on the chest just below the nipple. Considering the place where
injury was inflicted i.e. on the chest the High Court was right in its
view about the applicability of Section 397 IPC.
10. Appeals are dismissed.
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