1. This case has been referred by the learned Sessions Judge of Ghazipur for confirmation of the death sentence passed on one Abdul Alim alias Allan for the murder of a youth named Babu on the evening of the 27th 'March. We feel that there is very little that we can add to the admirable judgment of the learned Sessions Judge who has considered every point both for and against the accused. In fact, the argument which has been addressed to us has been, based almost entirely on the question of sentence. This Allan is a man of about 45 or 50 years of age, who appears to be of a quarrelsome disposition and he is on very bad terms with his younger brother Mallan. Recently there had been fresh cause of annoyance between these two brothers and it must be assumed, that the feelings of Allan towards his brother and those persons who are connected with his brother were extremely bitter. On this occasion he had gone out in the evening after breaking his fast, for it was the month of Ramzan, and he met this Babu in a narrow lane. Babu at once made a taunting remark. He said to him:
You cannot pay me a small debt of three rupees, and you go about dressed like a Rais.
2. Such a remark amounts to a provocation and a man might be excused for possibly giving a youth of this kind a box on the ears for making it. Allan at once attacked Babu, got the better of him and threw him on the ground. He then drew a knife from his pocket and stabbed Babu in three places, finally dealing a blow with tremendous force which penetrated into his lungs and killed him.
3. The offence is one of murder. None of the exceptions detailed in the Indian Penal Code which would constitute an offence of culpable homicide apply. But we are of opinion that in a case of this kind where there has been provocation, where there is no premeditation, and where the crime has been committed in the heat of passion, it is not-necessary to inflict the death penalty.
4. We, therefore, allow the appeal on the question of sentence only and commute the sentence of death to one of transportation for life.