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An infelicitous attempt without a malicious intent

An infelicitous attempt without a malicious intent written by Diksha Sharma student of Government Law College, Mumbai

Ananta Kamilya vs The State of West Bengal

Facts:

Ananta Kamilya inflicted an injury by lathi on the head of the deceased after a heated argument because of which the deceased was taken to different hospitals and departed his life after 7 days. The appellant moved to the Supreme Court seeking relief after being aggrieved by the decision of the High Court of Calcutta, which dismissed the appeal of the appellant and held the accused guilty for the offense committed under Section 302 of the IPC.

Issue:

Whether the appellant was guilty of murder?

Legal Provisions:

Section 300 of the Indian Penal Code – Murder
Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code – Punishment for murder
Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code – Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder

Appellant’s Contention:

The learned counsel submitted that there was no intention on the part of the accused to inflict a serious injury which could have ultimately led to the death of the deceased, which implies that the offense committed does not amount murder. Furthermore, it was submitted that the deceased passed away after 7 days, despite taking the deceased to several different hospitals. Therefore, it was prayed to convict the accused under either Part I or Part II of Section 304 of the IPC.

Respondent’s Contention:

The learned counsel for the state of West Bengal supporting the decision of the High Court of Calcutta, submitted that an act of causing an injury on any vital part of the body could be lethal and, thus, the offense committed would be considered under Section 300 of the IPC, hence, it was prayed to dismiss the appeal.

Observations of the Court:

The court after reviewing the facts of the case and the judgment rendered by the High Court was of the opinion that the accused did not carry a lathi, instead, it was present at the place of the incident. It was only due to a heated argument that the accused on the spur of the moment gave a lathi blow on the head of the deceased, who after sustaining the injury got a fracture. Despite such serious injury, he was taken to the police station, other hospitals, and eventually after the 7th day he died. This shows the grievousness of the injury, which means the death was an outcome of an injury in an argument. Therefore, the case would fall under exception 4 to Section 300.

Judgment:

After looking from all the angles of the scenario, the accused is not guilty of murder and is liable to be punished under Part I of Section 304 of the IPC, sentencing him to undergo imprisonment for 10 years.

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