HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
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(1.) THE appellant, Narain Das, was committed to the Court of Session to stand his trial of an offence under Section 302, Penal Code. The learned Sessions Judge convicted him of an offence under Section 326, Penal Code and sentenced him to transportation for life. This appeal was originally filed through the Superintendent of the jail. Subsequently Mr. K. C. Pandit, Advocate, appeared on behalf of the appellant and argued the appeal.
(2.) THE prosecution case was that on 30 12 1952 the appellant committed the murder of one Dila Ram, Pujari of Deota Chhatarmukh of Mehlan under the following circumstances :
A Pu1a ceremony was to be held that day and, In accordance with local custom, goats were to be sacrificed, at the temple. The appellant and Dila Ram (victim in this case) belonged to the Jharik family and the arrangement was that the first goat to be sacrificed that day was to be provided by the appellant. Early in the morning Dila Ram shouted from the courtyard of the temple to the appellant (who was at his house close by) asking him to bring the goat but the appellant gave no answer. Dila Ram again shouted for the goat but the appellant kept quiet. Dila Ram them climbed to the third storey of the temple and stood leaning against the Tailing of the veranda, with his face towards the courtyard. After twenty or twentyfive minutes the appellant went to the veranda, where Dila Ram was standing, and attacked him with a darat, causing a very serious injury on the left side of the head. As a result of the impact Dila Ram fell from the veranda to the courtyard below. He succumbed to his injury within an hour or so. The matter was reported to the police by Dila Ram's son. The dead body was sent to Snowden Hospital, Simla, for postmortem examination.
The appellant's case was that he was present at the temple throughout the night and that Dila Ram had demanded the goat, but he expressed his inability to supply it as no payment had been made. This led to an exchange of hot words and Dila Ram slapped him. In self defence the appellant raised both his hands and touched the hands of Dila Ram, with the result that the latter lost his balance and fell down to the courtyard. He denied that he had attacked Dila Ram with a darat. While falling, Dila Ram struck his head against the roof of the chabutra.
(3.) THE following points for determination arise in this case:
1. Whether the appellant caused the death of Dila Ram? 2. If so, what offence is brought home to him? and 3. Is it open to this Court to alter, if necessary, the conviction of the appellant to one under Section 302, I.P.C.? ;
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