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1978 (8) TMI 245

..... . S. Sodhi, Advs. JUDGMENT P.S. Kailasam, J. 1. The two criminal appeals Nos. 59 and 60 of 1972 are by special leave. Criminal Appeal No. 59 of 1972 is preferred by Sarwan Singh, Karnail Singh, Zora Singh and Malkiat Singh, while Criminal Appeal No. 60 of 1972 is by Bachan Singh against their conviction and sentence imposed on them by the trial court and confirmed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Criminal Appeal No. 512 of 1970. this Court granted special leave in both cases limited to the question as to whether the offence committed by the appellants is one punishable under Section 300 I.P.C. or under any part of Section 304 I.P.C. 2. The facts necessary for determining what offence the accused were guilty of may be stated. Sant Singh is the father of Sarwan Singh, Bachan Singh and Mewa Singh. Sarwan Singh is the first appellant in Criminal Appeal No. 59 of 1972 and Bachan Singh is the sole appellant in Criminal Appeal No. 60 of 1972. The deceased Mewa Singh is their brother. Sarwan Singh had two sons, Zora Singh and Karnail Singh who are appellants Nos. 3 and 2 in Criminal Appeal No. 59 of 1972. Sarwan Singh's daughter was married to Malkiat Singh who is the fourth app .....

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..... died at 5.40 p.m. on 9-9-1969. The doctor noted 27 injuries on the person of Mewa Singh. According to the doctor, the cause of death was shock and haemorrhage and the injuries were ante-mortem and sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death. Dr. Jagjit Singh, P.W. 5, examined Mewa Singh on admission to the hospital at 6.45 p.m. on 8-9-1969 and found 27 injuries on Mewa Singh, of which injuries 2 and 3 were grievous. Injuries at 3, 5 to 9, 11 to 17 were caused by sharp-edged weapons. All the injuries, except 2 and 3 were simple in nature. 6. The trial court was of the view that the question for consideration was whether the accused intended to inflict the injuries in question and if once the existence of injuries sufficient to cause death is proved, the intention to cause death will be presumed unless the evidence or the circumstances warrant an opposite conclusion. In this view, the trial court found all the accused guilty under Section 302 read with Section 149 of the Indian Penal Code. The High Court found that the common object was clearly to kill the deceased and the offence fall under Section 300. Thirdly, read with Section 34, Indian Penal Code. 7. The facts o .....

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..... fracture and cutting of the right little finger caused by a sharp-edged weapon. All the other injuries are simple in nature. The injuries Nos. 1 to 3, 5 to 9, 11 to 17 were caused by sharp-edged weapon. Injury No. 1 is incised wound 1 1/2" x 1/6" muscle deep on the left palm in-between the left thumb and index finger. Injury No. 2 is incised wound 3/4" x 1/4" bone deep on the right little finger at its middle. Injury No. 3 is incised wound 1/3" distal to Injury No. 2 at the right little finger cutting the bone underneath. Injury No. 5 is incised wound 2" x 1/4" muscle deep on the left shin at its middle areas. Injury No. 6 is incised wound 1/2" x 1/4" on the left shin. Injury No. 7 is incised wound 1/3" x 1/4" muscle deep on the left shin. Injury No. 8 is incised wound 1/3" x 1/4" muscle deep on the left shin. Injury No. 9 is incised wound 3/4" x 1/3" muscle deep on the left shin. While Injury No. 1 is on the left palm in between the left thumb and index finger, injuries Nos. 2 and 3 on the right little finger at its middle, injuries Nos. 5 to 9 are in the area of the left shin. Most of the injuries are onl .....

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..... cause death which will be an offence punishable under Section 304(1) of the Indian Penal Code. In the circumstances we set aside the conviction under Section 300 read with Section 34 I.P.C. but find the appellants are guilty of an offence punishable under Section 304(1) read with Section 149 I.P.C. and sentence them to five years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of ₹ 3,500/- each. 9. In this case, the death was caused by the brothers in a quarrel regarding water rights. From the records we are satisfied that the accused are possessed with sufficient funds to compensate, at least to some extent, the loss that has been suffered by the dependants of the deceased. 10. The law which enables the Court to direct compensation to be paid to the dependants is found in Section 357 of the CrPC (Act 2 of 1974). The corresponding provision in the 1898 Code was Section 545. Section 545 of the CrPC (Act 5 of 1898) was amended by Act 18 of 1923 and by Act 26 of 1955. The amendment which is relevant for the purpose of our discussion is 545(1)(bb) which, for the first time was inserted by Act 26 of 1955. By this amendment the court is enabled to direct the accused, who caused the death of anoth .....

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..... who has suffered any loss or injury by reason of the act for which the accused person has been so sentenced. The object of the section therefore, is to provide compensation payable to the persons who are entitled to recover damages from the person sentenced even though fine does not form part of the sentence. Though Section 545 of 1898 Code enabled the court only to pay compensation out of the fine that would be imposed under the law, by Section 357(3) when a Court imposes a sentence, of which fine does not form a part, the Court may direct the accused to pay compensation. In awarding compensation it is necessary for the court to decide whether the case is a fit one in which compensation has to be awarded. If it is found that compensation should be paid, then the capacity of the accused to pay a compensation has to be determined. In directing compensation, the object is to collect the fine and pay it to the person who has suffered the loss. The purpose will not be served if the accused is not able to pay the fine or compensation for, imposing a default sentence for non-payment of fine would not achieve the object. If the accused is in a position to pay the compensation to the inju .....

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