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Judiciary

'No common intention to kill,' SC alters conviction from murder to culpable homicide not amounting to murder [Read Judgment]

By Jhanak Singh      08 February, 2024 04:55 PM      0 Comments
No common intention to kill SC alters conviction from murder to culpable homicide not amounting to murder

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has altered conviction of a man from murder to culpable homicide not amounting to murder and reduced his sentence from life imprisonment to 10 years jail, after finding the common intention with the other three accused to cause the murder of the victim was not established.

A bench of Justices B R Gavai and P S Narasimha confirmed conviction and sentence of life imprisonment awarded to three accused in the murder case.

Four accused challenged Telangana High Court's judgement which confirmed the trial court's order of conviction and sentence.

Having examined the facts of the case, the bench said both the courts have mechanically drawn an inference against A3 merely based on his presence near the scene of offence and his familial relations with the other accused.

“A reading of the judgment and order passed by the trial as well as the High Court would indicate that neither the prosecution or defence, nor the court, have focussed on the role of A-3 as evidenced by the oral and documentary evidence. There is nothing to attribute A-3 with the intent to murder the deceased,” the bench said.

The accused, 1 to 4, belong to the same family, and the deceased, come from the same village in Telangana. The incident had occurred in November 2001.

According to the prosecution, the sister of the deceased and the wife of A-4 were political aspirants and they contested the Gram Panchayat elections. The sister of the deceased succeeded and the wife of A-4 lost and that, unfortunately, led to animosity between the two groups, eventually leading to the murder of the deceased.

The court, however, noted as per eye witnesses account, A3 hit the deceased on the head with a stone. Accused No. 1 continued the attack and hit the deceased with an axe and, largely, the witnesses recounted a consistent narrative of the attack, identifying the weapons used and the roles of each accused.

The bench pointed out that while the axe was used by other accused to assault the deceased, A3 never took the axe.

“Under these circumstances, we hold that A-3 did not share a common intention to commit the murder of the deceased. Additionally, there is no evidence that A-3 came along with the other accused evidencing a common intention," the court said.

The bench, however, said there is certainly no escape from coming to the conclusion that A-3 should have had the knowledge that the use of a stone to hit the head of the deceased is likely to cause death.

 

[Read Judgment]
 



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