S.S. Sandhawalia, C.J.
1 to 12. x x x x
13. As was noticed at the outset, Mr, Mulla had confined his argument to the vain attempt to bring the case of the appellant within the narrow confines of Exception I to Section 300, IPC It was submitted that the appellant, when he arrived at village Nathewala, had of course no inkling that Mithu Singh deceased or his brother would be present thereat. The meeting of the appellant and his victim was consequ-. ently labelled as sudden and unintentional. On these premises, it was submitted that, in the context of some conjugal estrangement between Jusjit Singh and his wife, the appellant was suddenly provoked to launch the fatal assault and, therefore, is entitled to the benefit of the aforesaid Exception.
14. I am afraid, on the established facts in the present case, it is not even remotely possible to subscribe to the above contention. Though the language of Exception I to Section 300, IPC is well known, yet it might be aptly quoted :
Culpable homicide is not murder if the offender, whilst deprived of the power of self-control by grave and sudden provocation, causes the death of the person who gave the provocation or causes the death of any other person by mistake or accident
15. To come within the four corners of the aforesaid provision, it has to be shown not only that the provocation was sudden but that it was also grave and this gravity is measured by the deprivation of self-control in which it must have resulted. In my view, herein all the basic ingredients of the plea seem to be lacking. The facts disclose that the appellant had voluntarily imbibed liquor whilst the deceased and his companions had not participated therein and were cold sober. The tenor of the prosecution evidence then is that the appellant, who along with his companions seems to have come to the house with dubious intentions, had himself raised some wordy wrangle with Jasjit Singh P.W. The defence did not, in the least, attempt to probe or elaborate the nature of the argument between the two. In this purely wordy exchange, as was perhaps to be expected, the deceased had merely sided with Jasjit Singh P. W, whose hospitality they were enjoying that day. A mere wordy dual in this context can hardly be termed as provocation, and if at all, it certainly is not one which can either be labelled as grave or sudden in the special context of the capital crime of murder. It has again to be borne in mind that the oral differences, if any, were mainly between Jasjit Singh P.W. and the appellant whilst Mithu Singh deceased was merely an ancillary participant. As I view the law, a mere exchange of unsavoury language, without more, is not what Exception-1 envisages as grave and sudden provocation thus reducing an offence of capital nature to merely a minor one. Equally, there seems to be less than nothing here to Indicate that the appellant had been driven into such an excruciating rage so as to be deprived of the power of self-control altogether. Therefore, neither of the essential pre-requisites deli-herately stipulated by the language of Exception-1 to Section 300, IPC seems to be satisfied.
16. It has then to be borne in mind that the plea of the appellant was not only one of bald denial but indeed the stand taken by him was that he was not even present at the spot and had been falsely implicated. Therefore, far from even remotely attempting to establish, that the provocation was so grave and sudden as to deprive him of all power of self-control, the plea in fact was that he was never there at the spot. Not only in his statement Under Section 313, Cr.P.C. 1973, but even in the cross-examination of the witnesses it was not even suggested, far from being elicited that the occurrence had been occasioned by some grave and sudden provocation and consequent deprival of the power of self-control.
17. Though it is well settled that the onus on a person accused of criminal offence is relatively light for discharging the burden of proof, yet it is equally axiomatic that, when a general or special Exception in the Penal Code is pleaded by the accused, Section 105, Evidence Act, raises the presumption against him and also throws the burden on him to rebut that presumption. See K, M. Nanavati v. State of Maharashtra : AIR1962SC605 . Herein, as already noticed, even a plea to that effect was not taken and nothing whatsover has been elicited from the prosecution witnesses, which can even remotely discharge such a burden, however light.
18. It must, therefore, be held that the prosecution has been able to establish the charge of murder against the appellant to the hilt. The appeal is,. therefore, without merit and we are constrained to dismiss the same.
B.S. Yadav, J.
19. I agree.