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Emperor Vs. Bharat Bipari and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1921Cal501(1),62Ind.Cas.414
AppellantEmperor
RespondentBharat Bipari and anr.
Excerpt:
penal code (act xlv of 1860), section 301, part i - act done with knowledge that death would result--superstitious belief, whether justification for act. - .....of what they did is that they had been led to believe that if they made the offering of this child to the crocodile or crocodiles in the khanjehan ali tank 'with a pure heart' and 'fortified by faith,' the crocodile, though it would doubtless take the child away, would return it unharmed and that thereafter the child would lead a charmed life and attain to a good old age.2. the judge and jury have both apparently accepted the statement of the accused that they were possessed by this superstitious belief and we also have no wish to doubt the conclusion at which on that point the judge and the jury arrived. but for any such absurd belief they could have had no reasonable ground, and any man with any glimmering of common sense must know what will happen to a child if it is placed in.....
Judgment:

1. The fasts are practically undisputed. The two accused before us are husband and wife. They had had a certain number of children, all of whom died in their infancy. They were thus led to believe that there was an evil influence brooding over them and their children and they accordingly made a vow that, in order to exercise this evil influence, they would offer their next born to the crocodiles in a tank known as Khanjehan Ali tank, other wise known as Thakur Dighi, in the Sub Division of Bagerhat, They had another son born to them and when this child was about one month old, they protended with it to this Khanjehan Ali tank. They brought it to the bank of the tank, placed it there near the water's edge and balled to the crocodiles. Two crocodiles appeared and one of the two immediately caught up the child in its mouth and disappeared with it into the water, neither the crocodile nor the child re-appeared and there can be no doubt that the child was devoured by the crocodile. Their explanation of what they did is that they had been led to believe that if they made the offering of this child to the crocodile or crocodiles in the Khanjehan Ali tank 'with a pure heart' and 'fortified by faith,' the crocodile, though it would doubtless take the child away, would return it unharmed and that thereafter the child would lead a charmed life and attain to a good old age.

2. The Judge and Jury have both apparently accepted the statement of the accused that they were possessed by this superstitious belief and we also have no wish to doubt the conclusion at which on that point the Judge and the Jury arrived. But for any such absurd belief they could have had no reasonable ground, and any man with any glimmering of common sense must know what will happen to a child if it is placed in the mouth of a crocodile. We believe that the accused had no intention of causing death to the child but in cur opinion it must be held that what they did they did with knowledge that their act would result in the death of the child.

3. We, therefore, find the accused guilty of the offense punishable under the last clause of Section 304, Indian Penal Code, and sentence them each to two years' rigorous imprisonment.


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