A N CHANDRA Vs. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: ALLAHABAD)
A N Chandra
STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH
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(1.)The appellant was tried for an offence punishable under S. 302, Indian Penal Code for committing the murder of one Sani alias Dal Bahadur on 2/10/1969 at about 7.30 p. m. in Kothi Rajni Kunj, Mauza Ballupur, in Dehradun District by shooting the deceased with a gun. The trial court acquitted him holding that the appellant fired the shot in exercise of his right of private defence. The State preferred an appeal against the said order of acquittal. The High court reversed the findings of the trial court and convicted the appellant under S. 302 Indian Penal Code and sentenced him to imprisonment for life. Aggrieved by the judgment of the High court, the appellant has preferred the present appeal.
(2.)Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that the version given by the two eye-witnesses is discrepant and is conflicting regarding the place of occurrence and that the witnesses have not come out with the whole truth regarding the genesis of the occurrence. He further submitted that the High court erred in reversing the order of acquittal inasmuch as the injuries found on the accused appellant would themselves go to show that the violence was used against him and the appellant only acted in exercise of his right of self-defence. Lastly, he contended that only one injury was inflicted and therefore the offence will not amount to murder.
(3.)The prosecution case is as follows. The appellant and Public Witness 2 John Daniel had their quarters in the same building known as 4, Ballupur Road, Dehradun. The appellant occupied his quarter about 3-4 months before the occurrence. Public Witness 2 was living in his quarter along with his wife Public Witness 1, and his brother-in-law the deceased. Public Witness 2 was employed at Dalanwala and in his absence the accused used to cut jokes with Public Witness 1. On 2/10/1969 at about 7.30 p. m. while Public Witness 1 was waiting for her husband at the gate the appellant teased her and addressed her as prostitute. After Public Witness 2 her husband, her father and brother-in-law, the deceased returned, Public Witness 1 complained to them. Thereupon her father, Public Witness 2 and the deceased chastised the appellant and a scuffle ensued. The appellant apologised for his mistake. Then the accused went into his house and came back with a gun and shouted that he would teach a lesson to them. The deceased tried to pacify him but the appellant fired his gun. The deceased was hit on the chest and a grazing pellet caused injury to Public Witness 2 below the left eye. Public Witness 2 took the deceased to the hospital in a scooter. At about 11 o'clock he died. Public Witness 5 the Head Constable of the local police station on receiving the information went to the place of incident. He arrested the appellant from his quarter and recovered a gun. There was an empty shell of cartridge in the gun. He took the appellant as well as the recovered articles to the police station. Public Witness 3 the Head Moharrir at the Cantonment Police Station registered the case. Public Witness 14, the Medical Officer, Doon Hospital examined the injured and found one lacerated injury on the chest and an abrasion on the stomach. Public Witness 7, another Head Constable on receipt of the information of the death, made an entry in the general diary and Public Witness 12 the Sub-Inspector of Police reached the hospital and held the inquest. The post-mortem was conducted by Dr R. P. Srivastava, Public Witness 11. He found one lacerated wound 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" chest cavity deep just internal to right nipple. The wound was between 4th and 5th ribs and multiple gunshot wounds some separate and some coalescing extended from the right clavicle up to 2" below the joint of the midbone of the chest and then up to 9 1/2" below the midline of the right maxilla. Another gunshot wound 1/10" in diameter x skin deep, 1" to the left of umblicus and another gunshot wound 1/10" in diameter above the middle of right inguinal ligament. On internal examination he found multiple lacerated wound. There was a lacerated wound 1/10" x 1/10" cavity deep on the right upper part of the chest (auricle). There was another lacerated wound 1/10" x 1/10" cavity deep on the anterior surface of the lower part of the heart (on the right ventricle). There was a gunshot wound on the right surface of the stomach which was cavity deep. He also found six lacerated wounds 1/5" x 1/5" in the liver. The doctor opined that the death was due to shock and haemorrhage and the injuries were sufficient in the ordinary course ofnature to cause death. After completion of the investigation the chargesheet was laid.
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