Murder Trial | R. Jayapal v. State of Tamil Nadu, Crl.A. No. 56 of 2010 09-08-2019 SC

SUPREME COURT OF INDIA | Abhay Manohar Sapre & Dinesh Maheshwari, JJ. R. Jayapal v. State of Tamil Nadu, Crl.A. No. 56 of 2010 09-08-2019

The India Penal Code, 1860 - Section 302 - Murder - In the given circumstances, the likelihood of the deceased, who was on inimical terms with the wife of the accused, having given the reasons for provocation by way of aggression or attempted intrusion into the house of the accused is not ruled out. The incident in question took place without any premeditation, in a sudden fight in the heat of passion upon a sudden quarrel, when the deceased attempted entry into his house; and the accused did neither take any undue advantage nor acted in a cruel or unusual manner. A fortiori, Court inclined to extend the benefit of Exception 4 of Section 300 IPC to the accused. However, the act of the accused leading to the death having been with the intention of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death, the accused deserves to be convicted for the offence under Part-I of Section 304 IPC.


The upshot of the discussion foregoing is that the projected story of the prosecution cannot be accepted, particularly for the reason that the accused No. 2 and accused No. 3 have been acquitted and their acquittal has attained finality. Then, the prosecution has not been able to remove all the obvious doubts as to the place and manner of occurrence, particularly as to who was the aggressor and how it started. On the other hand, the defence version that the deceased barged into the house of the appellant with 5-6 persons and assaulted and molested his wife is also unacceptable for want of cogent and convincing evidence. However, the preponderance remains that the occurrence, in all likelihood, took place just at the door-step of the house of the appellant. In the given circumstances, the likelihood of the deceased, who was on inimical terms with the wife of the appellant, having given the reasons for provocation by way of aggression or attempted intrusion into the house of the appellant is not ruled out. In view of the foregoing and in the overall circumstances of this case, we are inclined to accept the alternative case of the appellant that the incident in question took place without any premeditation, in a sudden fight in the heat of passion upon a sudden quarrel, when the deceased attempted entry into his house; and the appellant did neither take any undue advantage nor acted in a cruel or unusual manner. A fortiori, we are inclined to extend the benefit of Exception 4 of Section 300 IPC to the appellant. However, the act of the appellant leading to the death having been with the intention of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death, the appellant deserves to be convicted for the offence under Part-I of Section 304 IPC. Accordingly and in view of the above, this appeal is partly allowed to the extent and in the manner that conviction of the appellant under Section 302 IPC is altered to the one under Part-I of Section 304 IPC and the appellant is sentenced to undergo imprisonment for a period of ten years. The other part of sentence as regards fine and default stipulation is maintained. [Paras 18, 20 & 21]

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