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Karnail Singh Vs. State of Punjab - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Appeal No. 262 of 1971
Judge
Reported inAIR1977SC893; 1977CriLJ550; (1976)4SCC816
ActsIndian Penal Code (IPC) - Sections 34, 302 and 326
AppellantKarnail Singh
RespondentState of Punjab
Excerpt:
- [] the appellant filed a suit on a duly completed policy of fire insurance and an unstamped letter of cover in respect of the same kind of insurance, issued by the respondent, to recover from it the loss suffered as a result of the destruction of the insured goods by fire. the respondent admitted liability on the policy but with regard to the letter of cover it contended that the letter was not admissible evidence for want of stamp. held : per sarkar and shah jj. (i) a letter of cover no doubt contains a contract of insurance but it is not a policy of insurance and cannot be admitted in evidence as such under s. 35 of the stamp act. the citizens insurance co. of canada v. william parsons, 7 a.c. 96. (ii) the proper construction of the general exemption in art. 47 of schedule 1 of the..........offence committed. according to the prosecution two persons, viz., the appellant karnail singh and zora singh had assaulted the deceased sarwan singh. zora singh was acquitted by the sessions judge, who found that he was falsely implicated due to enmity. the state did not file any appeal against the acquittal of zora singh but the complainant had filed criminal revision in the high court which was dismissed by the high court. the high court found that karnail singh had assaulted the deceased and it accordingly upheld the conviction of the appellant under section 302 i.p.c. but reduced the sentence to imprisonment for life. according to the prosecution there was some enmity between the deceased sarwan singh and karnail singh resulting from land disputes. on the 20th june, 1970 at about.....
Judgment:

S. Murtaza Fazal Ali, J.

1. This appeal by special leave is directed against the judgment of Punjab and Haryana High Court, which while upholding conviction of the appellant under Section 302 I.P.C. reduced the sentence to imprisonment for life. The appeal is confined to the question of sentence and nature of the offence committed. According to the prosecution two persons, viz., the appellant Karnail Singh and Zora Singh had assaulted the deceased Sarwan Singh. Zora Singh was acquitted by the Sessions Judge, who found that he was falsely implicated due to enmity. The State did not file any appeal against the acquittal of Zora Singh but the complainant had filed Criminal Revision in the High Court which was dismissed by the High Court. The High Court found that Karnail Singh had assaulted the deceased and it accordingly upheld the conviction of the appellant under Section 302 I.P.C. but reduced the sentence to imprisonment for life. According to the prosecution there was some enmity between the deceased Sarwan Singh and Karnail Singh resulting from land disputes. On the 20th June, 1970 at about 5.00 A.M. in the morning while the deceased was sleeping in Khalyan along with his nephew's son Sukhdev Singh the appellant and Zora Singh are alleged to have appeared on the scene and started assaulting the deceased Sarwan Singh with Kirpan indiscriminately on various parts of the body. On alarm being raised P.W. 2 Jeet Singh and P.W. 5 Malkiet Singh, who were also sleeping in their field, came to the spot and witnessed the occurrence. An F.I.R. was lodged by Jeet Singh at 8.45 A.M. at Police Station Sahnewal. The appellant pleaded innocence and contended that he was falsely implicated due to enmity.

2. The prosecution case regarding the assault by the appellant Karnail Singh on Sarwan Singh deceased has been proved beyond reasonable doubt by the two courts below. The short question for consideration in this case is as to what is the nature of the offence that the appellant has committed. As Zora Singh has been acquitted the charge under Section 302/34 I.P.C. disappears and the question now is as to what offence the appellant, who alone must have assaulted the deceased, has committed. In view of the acquittal of Zora Singh there is no evidence to show as to what particular injury was caused on the deceased by the appellant although he was armed with Kirpan. In these circumstances, it is not possible to convict the appellant under Section 302 I.P.C. simpliciter. As however it is indisputable that the accused was armed with Kirpan and used the same in assaulting the deceased, the accused must be held to have committed on offence under Section 326, viz., the offence of grievous hurt, because an injury which is caused was dangerous to life, which ultimately resulted in the death of the deceased. For these reasons we, therefore, allow this appeal to this extent that the conviction of the appellant is altered from one under Section 302 I.P.C. to that under Section 326 I.P.C. and the sentence Is reduced from life imprisonment to 7 years' Rigorous Imprisonment.


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