HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
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Panigrahi, J. -
(1.) The appellant, Ulla Mahapatra, is a boy of about twelve years of age. He has been convicted of an offence under Section 302, Penal Code for causing the death of a Dandasi boy named Ranka Naik and has been sentenced to transportation for life.
(2.) The case for the prosecution is that on the afternoon of 20th April 1949, the appellant Ulla was getting palm fruits plucked from a tree standing on his land. Another boy named Khallia had been engaged to cut the fruits. The appellant was gathering the fruits from the ground and carrying them to his cow-shed in a basket and he was being assisted in this work by two other boys, Bhagawan and Prahlad, It is said that Khallia got down from the tree after cutting down all the fruits from it and was eating a fruit that had fallen on the ground. At that time the deceased boy, Ranka, arrived at the spot, on his way home after a bath, accompanied by another boy friend named Nakula of the village. Ranka picked up a fruit from the ground whereupon the appellant protested and demanded its price. Ranka thereafter threw the fruit and is said to have remarked that he would cut the appellant to pieces if ever he went to the Tope for plucking palm-fruits. At this the appellant got excited and told the deceased that he would not allow aim to do so, as he himself would cut Ranka to bits then and there. So saying, the appellant, true to his word, struck Ranka with a kathi on the left side of his chest, just below the collar bone. The deceased fell down and died on the spot. Khallia immediately went to the village and gave out what bad happened and the Karji took down a statement from him. The Sub-Inspector of Police who happened to be in the adjoining village arrived on the spot at 5 p. m., on hearing about the occurrence, on the same day. The post-mortem was held on the body of the deceased at about 8 p. m, and the corpse was sent to the hospital at Purushottampur. A vigorous search was made for the appellant and the kathi with which he is alleged to have killed Ranka (M. O. II) but the appellant could not be traced nor could the weapon be recovered. The appellant, however, surrendered himself at the Police Station the nest day.
(3.) The plea of the appellant was that the death of Ranka was brought about by an accident. According to his defence, Khallia dropped his knife (with which he had been cutting fruits) from the tree just, as he was about to get down and as Ranka was looking up, the knife of Khallia fell on his collar bone and caused the fatal injury.;
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