Home » News » Killing A Person Hours After A Fight Is Murder And Not ‘Culpable Homicide Not Amounting To Murder’: Bombay High Court

Bombay High Court held that killing a sleeping person hours after picking a fight with him, will fall under the ambit of the graver offence of murder under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and not the lesser offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

The division bench comprising Justice Revati Mohite Dere and Justice Sharmila Deshmukh refused to change the conviction of a truck cleaner from murder to culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The bench upheld his life imprisonment.

We find that the deceased was not assaulted in the heat of passion; that the assault took place much after the quarrel between the Appellant and the deceased; that the Appellant assaulted him when he was asleep; that there was an assault with force on the head, chest and neck of the deceased which was sufficient to cause death; and, that there was no grave and sudden provocation to justify the reduction of the offence. In our opinion, the facts of the case do not warrant reduction of the offence from Section 302 to 304 Part-II,” the bench had held in its order dated September 27.

On Independence Day in 2011, the appellant and the deceased were drinking. The appellant took the deceased’s mobile phone and kept it inside a box in his truck. The deceased informed about the same to his friends. One of his friends called him on his number which rang in the truck.

They got into a quarrel and the appellant claimed that the keys of the box were with the driver. While they were heading to the driver’s house, they had a fight due to which the deceased and his friend returned to the truck and the appellant did not.

When the deceased was sleeping in the rear portion of the truck, the appellant returned with a wooden log and assaulted him. As soon as the friends heard the ruckus, they reached the spot where they found the appellant assaulting the deceased and blood was oozing out from his mouth, eyes and nose.

Scrutinizing the entire material on record, the prosecution had proved the case against the appellant beyond any reasonable doubt.

The bench noted, “The motive for the offence i.e. taking of the mobile phone by the appellant and keeping it in the cabin of the truck is clearly proved through the evidence on record and the seizure panchanama shows recovery of the mobile phone from the cabin of the truck.

Therefore, the High Court bench upheld his conviction and life imprisonment imposed by Session Court order dated July 31, 2013.

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