At, Supreme Court of India
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE N.V. RAMANA & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE PRAFULLA C. PANT
For the Appellant: Sushil Karanjkar, K.N. Rai, Advocates. For the Respondent: Nishant Ramakantrao Katneshwarkar, Advocate.
2. This appeal by special leave is directed against the judgment and order passed by the High Court of Judicature at Bombay, dated 17.01.2014, in Criminal Appeal No. 548 of 2008, whereby the High Court has dismissed the appeal and confirmed the conviction of the appellant f
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r an offence under Section 302 of the IPC.3. A brief reference to the facts of the case may be necessary to deal with the case at hand. Accused-appellant (Firoj Gani Mujawar) and juvenile offender (Isak Hussain Shaik) belonged to the same colony. Deceased (Biru Lakshman Pujari) was residing in the same vicinity with his family. It is an admitted fact that the deceased had acquaintance with the aforesaid accused as he used to work under the father of the accused (Gani Rasul Mujawar) some time ago. It was alleged that the deceased was having an illicit relationship with the mother of the accused. On the day of the incident, at about 8:00 PM to 8:30 PM, one boy informed that the deceased was lying in an injured condition in front of the house of one Chandrakant Pawar. Thereafter one Indubai laxman Pujari admitted the deceased to the Hospital. Based on the above facts, an FIR was registered under Sections 307, 34 of IPC and 37(1), 135 of Bombay Police Act, before Karad City Police Station, being FIR No. 228 of 2004. After the death of the deceased, Section 302 was added subsequently.4. After a full-fledged trial, the trial court convicted the accused under Section 302 of IPC and sentenced him to imprisonment for life and ordered him to pay a fine of L 500, in default, a further imprisonment of one month. Aggrieved by the order of the trial court, the accused-appellant appealed before the High Court. The High Court, while dismissing the appeal, upheld the order of trial court. Therefore, this appeal is filed by the accused before this court.5. There is no dispute as to the fact that this is a case of circumstantial evidence. We are aware of the fact that there were some injuries, but those are not sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death. As per Dr. Jadhav (PW-7), the proximate cause of the death was septicaemia in an operated case. Having regard to the fact that the deceased survived for fifty one days, we are of the opinion that the injury caused was not sufficient to attract Section 302. Further our attention was drawn to the aspect that the deceased was having an illicit relationship with the mother of the accused.6. Taking into consideration all the facts and circumstances of the case and the nature of the injuries, we think that it is a fit case where the conviction can be modified to Section 304 Part I of IPC. Accordingly, conviction of the appellant under Section 302 IPC is modified to Section 304 Part I IPC and he is sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of ten years. The payment of fine and sentence in default thereof, as imposed by the trial court, is affirmed. The appeal is partly allowed to the above extent.