Karamat Husain and Tudball, JJ.
1. The four appellants Kanhai, Diwan, Karan Singh and Ganga Sahai have been convicted of the offence of murder and have been sentenced to transportation for life. They appeal. They were originally tried and convicted by the Assistant Sessions Judge under Section 325, Indian Penal Code, and sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment each. They appealed to this Court and the learned Judge before whom their appeals came set aside the convictions and sentences and ordered them to be re-tried for the offence of murder under Section 302, Indian Penal Code. They have now been tried and convicted of that offence. The facts established by the evidence are briefly as follows: In the month of August last, when there was a great demand for water for the purpose of irrigation and all cultivators were eager to get as much water as possible, the deceased was watering his field early in the morning before day-break, when the four accused, armed with lathis, went up to him and demanded that he should cease irrigating his field, so that they might irrigate their own. A wrangle ensued. The deceased was unarmed and defenceless. Finding that he was obstinate and would not give way, the four accused attacked him with their lathis. The medical evidence shows that several blows were inflicted on the skull, which resulted in the compound fracture thereof, the bones being broken into many pieces. In addition to these injuries on the head there were six injuries on other parts of the body. It is therefore quite clear that the accused inflicted a very severe beating, and that most of the injuries must have been inflicted when the deceased was lying on the ground. It is urged in their defence that the evidence does not disclose which of the injuries were inflicted by each of the accused respectively; that their common intention cannot possibly have been more than to voluntarily cause grievous hurt to the deceased, and that therefore, they ought to have been convicted under Section 325 of the Indian Penal Code. We are unable to agree with this contention. The circumstances of the case and the fact that the accused were all armed with lathis; that the deceased was defenceless and unarmed; that the beating must have been a prolonged one, and that several blows were inflicted on the skull completely smashing it, leave very little doubt that the intention of the accused was to inflict such bodily injury as was likely to cause death. The fourth clause of Section 300 of the Indian Penal Code applies, and the accused have been rightly convicted of the offence of murder as defined in the Code. The lesser of the two sentences has been imposed, and there is no doubt as to the guilt of the accused. We therefore dismiss the appeal and maintain the convictions and sentences.