Sunday, 24 March 2019

Whether offence U/S 307 of IPC is made out even if injury is not on vital part of victim

The act of stabbing a person with a sharp knife,
which is a dangerous weapon, near his vital
organs, would ordinarily lead to the death of the
victim.
The weapon of offence was a 4inch
long
knife which is a dangerous weapon. The
Accused /Respondent No. 1 had assaulted the
Complainant with the said knife, and inflicted

multiple injuries on his chest, scapula, back, and
buttocks. The multiple blows inflicted by the
Accused /Respondent No. 1 would prove the
intention of causing bodily injury likely to cause
the death of the victim. Stabbing a person with a
knife, near his vital organs would in most
circumstances lead to the death of the victim,
thereby falling squarely within the meaning of
Section 307.
5.6 Section 307 uses the term “hurt” which has been
explained in Section 319, I.P.C.; and not
“grievous hurt” within the meaning of Section 320
I.P.C.
If a person causes hurt with the intention or
knowledge that he may cause death, it would
attract Section 307.
This Court in R. Prakash v. State of
Karnataka,(2004) 9 SCC 27 held that :
“…The first blow was on a vital part,
that is on the temporal region. Even
though other blows were on nonvital
parts, that does not take away the
rigor of Section 307 IPC……. It is
sufficient to justify a conviction
under Section 307 if there is present

an intent coupled with some overt act
in execution thereof. It is not essential
that bodily injury capable of causing
death should have been inflicted.
Although the nature of injury actually
caused may often give considerable
assistance in coming to a finding as to
the intention of the accused, such
intention may also be deduced from
other circumstances, and may even, in
some cases, be ascertained without
any reference at all to actual wounds.
The Sections makes a distinction
between the act of the accused and its
result, if any. The Court has to see
whether the act, irrespective of its
result, was done with the intention or
knowledge and under circumstances
mentioned in the Section.”
(emphasis supplied)
If the assailant acts with the intention or
knowledge that such action might cause death,
and hurt is caused, then the provisions of Section
307 I.P.C. would be applicable. There is no
requirement for the injury to be on a “vital part”
of the body, merely causing ‘hurt’ is sufficient to
attract S. 307 I.P.C. 

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1190 OF 2009

State of Madhya Pradesh  Harjeet Singh

Dated:February 19, 2019

INDU MALHOTRA, J.

1. The present Criminal Appeal has been filed by the State
of Madhya Pradesh against the judgment and order dated
03.01.2006 passed by the Gwalior Bench of the Madhya
Pradesh High Court, in Criminal Appeal No. 657/1998.
The Criminal Appeal was filed by the Respondents
against their conviction under Section 307 of the Indian
Penal Code (hereinafter referred to as “Section 307”). The

High Court reduced the conviction of the Respondents
from Section 307 to Section 324 of the Indian Penal Code
(hereinafter referred to as “Section 324”).
2. The facts of the case, briefly stated, are as under:
2.1 The case of the Complainant – Sukhdev, as
recorded in the F.I.R., is that on 12.11.1997 the
ComplainantSukhdev
along with his brothers –
Balveer Yadav and Deshraj Yadav, had gone to
the District Court, Ashok Nagar to attend the
hearing of their case against Accused
/Respondent No. 1 – Harjeet Singh. After the
hearing, at around noon, the Complainant –
Sukhdev and his brothers crossed the road, and
were standing in front of the Jail, when Ramji Lal
– Accused /Respondent No. 2 alongwith an
unidentified assailant called Sardar caught hold
of Balveer Yadav and Deshraj Yadav. The Accused
/Respondent No. 1 – Harjeet Singh grabbed the
Complainant – Sukhdev, and stabbed him several
times with a knife, inflicting blows on the chest,
scapula, back, and hips.
2
Accused /Respondent Nos. 1 and 2, alongwith
Sardar ran away from the spot. The Complainant
– Sukhdev further stated that he would be able to
identify Harjeet Singh, and the two assailants
once he sees them.
2.2 Immediately after the assault on 12.11.1997, the
Complainant – Sukhdev was admitted to the Civil
Hospital, Ashok Nagar for treatment.
2.3 The medical examination of the Complainant –
Sukhdev was conducted by Dr. M. Bhagat –
P.W.6 at the Civil Hospital, Ashok Nagar, which
recorded the following injuries :
(i) Stab Wound – 3.5 x 1 cm – deep in the chest
cavity, over the left side of the chest.
(ii) Spindle shaped incised wound – 3 x 2 cm –
muscle deep, present on the upper region of
the right buttocks.
(iii) Stab Wound – 2 x 1 cm – over subscapula
region, left side. Bleeding was present.
(iv) Stab Wound – 1 x 1 cm – over illeal region of
hip, left side. Bleeding was present.
3
The medical report further stated that the
injuries were caused by a sharpedged,
pointed
object.
2.4 The Complainant – Sukhdev was referred to the
District Hospital, Guna wherein XRay
of his
chest region was conducted by P.W. 8 – Dr.
Raghuvanshi. The Report states that there was
“haziness in lungs, left side of chest, present due
to trauma of chest”.
Dr. Raghuvanshi – P.W. 8 stated in his
deposition that the lungs of the Complainant –
Sukhdev suffered injury, which resulted in blood
seeping in the lungs, leading to haziness in the XRay
image.
2.5 On 24.11.1997, the Accused /Respondent Nos. 1
and 2 were arrested by the Police. The weapon of
offence i.e. the knife allegedly used by Accused
/Respondent No. 1 was recovered from the
bushes next to the bridge, on the statement given
by Accused /Respondent No. 1.

2.6 The Spot Map of the crime scene was prepared,
samples of bloodstained
soil, and ordinary soil,
were recovered from the scene of the crime.
2.7 The Accused /Respondent No. 1 was charged
under Section 307, while Accused /Respondent
No. 2 was charged under Section 307 read with
Section 34 of the I.P.C.
2.8 The case was registered as Case No. 10/98 before
the First Addl. Sessions Judge, Ashok Nagar,
Guna District, Madhya Pradesh (Sessions Court).
2.9 The Sessions Court vide Judgment dated
30.11.1998, found Accused /Respondent Nos. 1
and 2 guilty of the offence of ‘attempt to murder’.
The findings of the Sessions Court were as
follows:
i. The Complainant – Sukhdev, and his brothers
– Deshraj Yadav and Balveer Yadav who were
eyewitnesses
of the crime, and were present at
the scene of occurrence, and were examined by
the Court as P.W.s 2, 4, and 5 respectively.
Their evidence was held to be reliable, and was
corroborated by the examination of P.W. 3 – an
independent witness who was an Advocate.

P.W. 3 appeared before the Court, and deposed
that on 12.11.1997 he heard a commotion
outside the Court. On reaching the spot, he
found the Complainant – Sukhdev (P.W. 2)
lying in a pool of blood. On further inquiry, he
was told that the Accused /Respondent No. 1 –
Harjeet Singh had stabbed the Complainant –
Sukhdev (P.W. 2) multiple times.
ii. The medical evidence was held to be sufficient
to prove that the injuries inflicted by
Accused /Respondent No. 1 upon the
Complainant – Sukhdev (P.W. 2) could be fatal.
iii. With respect to Accused /Respondent No. 2 –
Ramji Lal, the F.I.R. stated that the
Accused /Respondent No. 2 along with an
unidentified Sardar held the brothers of the
Complainant (P.W.s 4 and 5), while the
Accused /Respondent No. 1 stabbed the
Complainant – Sukhdev (P.W. 2) multiple
times.
iv. During the trial, the Complainant – Sukhdev
(P.W. 2) deposed that Accused /Respondent
No. 2 – Ramji Lal grabbed him when

Accused /Respondent No. 1 – Harjeet Singh
stabbed him multiple times.
v. The Sessions Court held the prosecution had
proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.
It was held that the Accused /Respondent
No. 2 would be equally guilty. The common
intention of Accused /Respondent No. 2 was
proved by the assistance provided by him to
Accused /Respondent No. 1, in committing the
offence.
vi. The Sessions Court convicted the Accused
/Respondent No. 1 under Section 307,
sentencing him to 5 years R.I. along with a
Fine of Rs. 1000/.
Accused /Respondent No. 2 was convicted
under Section 307 read with Section 34 I.P.C.
and sentenced to 5 years R.I. along with a fine
of Rs. 1000/.
2.10 Both the Accused /Respondents filed a common
appeal to challenge their conviction by the judgment
dated 30.11.1998 before the Madhya Pradesh High
Court being Criminal Appeal No. 657/1998.
2.11 The Madhya Pradesh High Court vide Impugned
Judgment dated 03.01.2006 partly allowed the Appeal
7
filed by the Accused /Respondents. It was held that
the Complainant – Sukhdev (P.W. 2) had nowhere
stated in his deposition/evidence that the intention of
the Accused /Respondents was to commit murder.
The High Court held that the Complainant –
Sukhdev (P.W. 2) suffered four injuries. One of the
injuries was on the left side of the chest. The depth of
this injury was upto the cavity over the left side of the
chest, but the lung was not affected. The other three
injuries sustained by the Complainant – Sukhdev, are
on the back, and the hips. The Accused /Respondents
having an intention to commit murder would never
cause injuries over such “unimportant” parts of the
body.
It was also noted that the knife by which the
injuries were allegedly inflicted had a blade of five
fingers which could not be more than four inches.
With regard to the liability of the Accused
/Respondent No. 2 – Ramji Lal, the High Court held
that there appears to be lack of consistency in the
statements of the Complainant – Sukhdev and his two
brothers who were eyewitnesses
:

a. The first version of the Complainant – Sukhdev
(P.W. 2) which has been written in the Dehati
Nalsi, is that the Accused /Respondent No. 2 –
Ramji Lal, and one unknown Sardar both
caught hold of his two brothers. It is not
mentioned in this document that Accused
/Respondent No. 2 – Ramji Lal or the other
unknown Sardar, caught hold of him at the
time of the incident. Conversely, in paragraph 2
of his statement, the Complainant – Sukhdev
has stated that he was held by Accused
/Respondent No. 2 – Ramji Lal at the time of
the incident, and in paragraph 5 he has stated
that after sustaining the injuries of the knife,
Accused /Respondent No. 2 caught hold of his
brother Deshraj (P.W. 4).
b. On the other hand, Deshraj Yadav (P.W. 4) –
the first brother of the Complainant – Sukhdev,
has stated that he was being held by one
unknown Sardar and not by Accused
/Respondent No. 2.

c. Balveer Yadav (P.W. 5) – the second brother of
the Complainant – Sukhdev, has stated that he
was being held by Accused /Respondent No. 2 –
Ramji Lal and his brother was held by one
unknown Sardar.
The High Court found that there was no
consistency in the deposition of P.Ws 2, 4, and 5
read with the F.I.R. Considering these
circumstances, it was held that there could be no
presumption that Accused /Respondent No. 2 –
Ramji Lal had committed any act having a
common intention with the Accused /Respondent
No. 1 – Harjeet Singh, in causing the injuries to
the Complainant – Sukhdev (P.W. 2).
The mere fact that Accused /Respondent
No. 2 had accompanied Accused /Respondent No.
1 cannot raise the presumption of having
common intention.
It was further held that it was not justifiable
to conclude that the Accused /Respondents had
any intention to commit murder, or cause such
injury which could have been deemed as

sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of
nature. At most, the act of causing the injuries
could be held punishable under Section 324,
I.P.C. as punishment for voluntarily causing
simple hurt.
The High Court converted the conviction of
Accused /Respondent No. 1 from Section 307 to
Section 324 I.P.C. and reduced the sentence to
one year R.I. and a Fine of Rs. 1,000. The period
already undergone would be adjusted in the
sentence awarded to him.
Accused /Respondent No. 2 was acquitted and
his conviction from the charge of Section 307 was
setaside.
3. The State filed the present Special Leave Petition, against
the Judgment and Order of the Madhya Pradesh High
Court dated 03.01.2006. Special leave to appeal was
granted vide Order dated 08.07.2009.
4. We have heard learned Counsel for both the parties,
considered the submissions, and perused the evidence
record.
5. FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS
5.1 In the present case, a perusal of the facts and the
record clearly indicate that the prosecution has

proved beyond reasonable doubt that Accused
/Respondent No. 1 – Harjeet Singh had inflicted
four injuries, on the Complainant by using a
knife.
The oral testimonies of Deshraj Yadav (P.W.
4) and Balveer Yadav (P.W. 5) – the brothers of
the Complainant – Sukhdev who were eye
witnesses, stood corroborated by the medical
evidence.
5.2 The prosecution also examined an independent
witness – Advocate (P.W. 3), who had come to the
Court, and after hearing the commotion, reached
the site of occurrence, where he found the
Complainant – Sukhdev lying in a pool of blood
along with his brothers – P.W.s 4 and 5. The
independent witness – Advocate (P.W. 3) deposed
that on enquiring further about the matter, he
was informed by P.W.s 4 and 5 – the brothers of
the complainant – Sukhdev, that Accused
/Respondent No. 1 – Harjeet Singh had attacked
and stabbed the Complainant.

5.3 Dr. Raghuvanshi – the Radiologist (P.W. 8) has
stated in his deposition that the injury caused to
the Complainant Sukhdev
in the chest had
resulted in blood seeping into the lungs. The
Medical Report records that the first stab wound
was inflicted on the chest of the Complainant,
which injured his lung, and caused bleeding.
Hence, the finding of the High Court that the stab
wound on the chest remained upto the depth of
the cavity over left side of the chest and the lungs
were not affected, is factually incorrect, and
contrary to the medical record.
5.4 The Accused /Respondent No. 1 inflicted other
stab wounds on the scapula, which were bleeding
even at the time when the Complainant –
Sukhdev (P.W. 2) was examined at the Hospital.
There was also a stab wound present on the
upper region of the right buttock, and another
one over the illeal region of the left hip which was
bleeding at the time of the medical examination.

The injuries inflicted on the Complainant –
Sukhdev (P.W. 2) have been corroborated by the
medical evidence on the basis of the medical
reports and the depositions of Dr. Bhagat (P.W. 6)
and Dr. Raghuvanshi (P.W. 8).
Dr. Raghuvanshi (P.W. 8) has stated that
the blood seeping in the left lung of the
Complainant – Sukhdev (P.W. 2), was due to the
injury sustained on the chest. Such an injury
could not be considered to be an injury on an
“unimportant part” of the body.
The findings of the High Court that the
injuries inflicted were on “unimportant parts” of
the Complainant’s body, is erroneous.
5.5 The act of stabbing a person with a sharp knife,
which is a dangerous weapon, near his vital
organs, would ordinarily lead to the death of the
victim.
The weapon of offence was a 4inch
long
knife which is a dangerous weapon. The
Accused /Respondent No. 1 had assaulted the
Complainant with the said knife, and inflicted

multiple injuries on his chest, scapula, back, and
buttocks. The multiple blows inflicted by the
Accused /Respondent No. 1 would prove the
intention of causing bodily injury likely to cause
the death of the victim. Stabbing a person with a
knife, near his vital organs would in most
circumstances lead to the death of the victim,
thereby falling squarely within the meaning of
Section 307.
5.6 Section 307 uses the term “hurt” which has been
explained in Section 319, I.P.C.; and not
“grievous hurt” within the meaning of Section 320
I.P.C.
If a person causes hurt with the intention or
knowledge that he may cause death, it would
attract Section 307.
This Court in R. Prakash v. State of
Karnataka,(2004) 9 SCC 27 held that :
“…The first blow was on a vital part,
that is on the temporal region. Even
though other blows were on nonvital
parts, that does not take away the
rigor of Section 307 IPC……. It is
sufficient to justify a conviction
under Section 307 if there is present

an intent coupled with some overt act
in execution thereof. It is not essential
that bodily injury capable of causing
death should have been inflicted.
Although the nature of injury actually
caused may often give considerable
assistance in coming to a finding as to
the intention of the accused, such
intention may also be deduced from
other circumstances, and may even, in
some cases, be ascertained without
any reference at all to actual wounds.
The Sections makes a distinction
between the act of the accused and its
result, if any. The Court has to see
whether the act, irrespective of its
result, was done with the intention or
knowledge and under circumstances
mentioned in the Section.”
(emphasis supplied)
If the assailant acts with the intention or
knowledge that such action might cause death,
and hurt is caused, then the provisions of Section
307 I.P.C. would be applicable. There is no
requirement for the injury to be on a “vital part”
of the body, merely causing ‘hurt’ is sufficient to
attract S. 307 I.P.C.  State of Madhya Pradesh v. Mohan & Ors, (2013) 14 SCC 116
This Court in Jage Ram v. State of Haryana (2015) 11 SCC 366
held that:
“12. For the purpose of conviction
under Section 307 IPC, prosecution
has to establish (i) the intention to
commit murder and (ii) the act done by
the accused. The burden is on the
prosecution that accused had
attempted to commit the murder of the
prosecution witness. Whether the
accused person intended to commit
murder of another person would
depend upon the facts and
circumstances of each case. To justify
a conviction under Section 307 IPC, it
is not essential that fatal injury
capable of causing death should have
been caused. Although the nature of
injury actually caused may be of
assistance in coming to a finding as to
the intention of the accused, such
intention may also be adduced from
other circumstances. The intention of
the accused is to be gathered from the
circumstances like the nature of the
weapon used, words used by the
accused at the time of the incident,
motive of the accused, parts of the
body where the injury was caused
and the nature of injury and severity
of the blows given etc.”
(emphasis supplied)
This Court in the recent decision of State of
M.P. v. Kanha @ Omprakash Criminal Appeal No. 1589/2018, decided on 04.02.2019. held that:
“The above judgements 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.”
(emphasis supplied)
5.7 In view of the abovementioned
findings, it is
evident that the ingredients of Section 307 have
been made out, as the intention of the
Accused /Respondent No. 1 can be ascertained
clearly from his conduct, and the circumstances
surrounding the offence.
5.8 In the Impugned Judgment, the High Court
incorrectly held that the Prosecution has been
unable to prove that the Accused /Respondent
No. 1 had the intention to commit murder of the
Complainant. The motive of assault by the
Accused /Respondent No. 1 on the Complainant
–Sukhdev (P.W. 2) was clearly established by the
Prosecution, since there was an existing dispute
which was the subject matter of a court case.
5.9 It is evident from the evidence adduced before the
Court, and the circumstances surrounding the
case, that the prosecution has been able to prove
the case against Accused /Respondent No. 1
beyond reasonable doubt. We find that the

prosecution has successfully proved that the
Accused /Respondent No. 1 – Harjeet Singh had
attempted to murder the Complainant – Sukhdeo
and the requirements of Section 307 are made
out from the ocular evidence which are
corroborated by the medical evidence.
5.10 In view of the abovementioned
discussion, the
High Court was in error in reducing the sentence
of Accused /Respondent No. 1 – Harjeet Singh
from Section 307 I.P.C. to Section 324 I.P.C., and
sentencing him to 1 year R.I. along with Fine of
Rs. 1,000.
6. The present Criminal Appeal is partially allowed. The
judgment of the High Court qua Accused /Respondent
No. 1, is setaside,
and the sentence awarded to him by
the Sessions Judge vide Judgment dated 30.11.1998 is
restored. The Accused /Respondent No. 1 is directed to
undergo the remainder of the 5 year Sentence awarded
by the Sessions Court, and surrender before the
Sessions Court, Ashok Nagar, Guna, M.P. within 2
weeks from the date of this Judgment.

7. In so far as the case against Accused /Respondent No. 2
– Ramji Lal is concerned; the prosecution has not been
able to prove beyond reasonable doubt the charge under
Section 307 r. w. Section 34 I.P.C. The High Court has
rightly held that there is lack of consistency in the
deposition of the Prosecution witnesses with respect to
the role of the Accused /Respondent No. 2 – Ramji Lal.
We affirm the judgment of the High Court qua
Accused No. 2, and confirm the Order of acquittal
passed in his favour on 03.01.2006.
The Criminal Appeal along with all pending
Applications, if any, are disposed of in the above
terms.
Ordered accordingly.
…….........................J.
(L. NAGESWARA RAO)
…….........................J.
(INDU MALHOTRA)
New Delhi,
February 19, 2019

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