NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Tuesday reduced the 12-year sentence awarded to a man in a murder case over stealing of a pigeon, noting that the incident happened on the spur of the moment and was not premeditated.
A bench of Justices R Subhash Reddy and Hrishikesh Roy allowed an appeal by a man challenging his conviction under 304 Part I (Causing death by negligence) of IPC and reduced the term to seven years.
The top court said it is clear from the evidence and other material placed on record that there was no intention to kill the deceased.
“It is clear from the evidence on record that the scuffle had taken place on the spur of the moment and a sudden fight had taken place in the heat of passion upon a sudden quarrel.
“It was not a premeditated one and as there was no intention on the part of the appellant and co-accused either to cause death or cause such bodily injury as is likely to cause death, the High Court ought not to have convicted the appellant for the offence under Section 304 Part I (Causing death by negligence) of IPC,” the bench said.
The accused Kala Singh and the deceased had a sudden fight as the deceased had stolen the pigeon of the man and the co-accused (Kehar Singh) gave a blow with his rod on the head of the deceased resulting in his death, as per the prosecution.
It further alleged that thereafter the appellant and co-accused threw the dead body of the deceased, Shamber Singh, in the minor canal.
The apex court said that in absence of any intention on the part of the accused, it was of the view that it is a clear case where the conviction of the appellant is to be modified to one under Section 304 Part II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of Indian Penal Code by maintaining the conviction for the offence under Section 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence) IPC.
The apex court altered the sentence and directed the man to undergo rigorous imprisonment for seven years, along with the fine of Rs 10,000 imposed by the Punjab & Haryana High Court.
The bench, however, maintained his conviction for the offence under Section 201 IPC and sentence of three years’ rigorous imprisonment along with fine of Rs 500.
The high court had earlier modified the conviction from Section 302 (murder) IPC to Section 304 Part I read with Section 34 (common intention), IPC, and sentenced him to 12 years’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10,000.
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