The Supreme Court on April 29, 2019, in the case of Govind Singh v. The State of Chhattisgarh
has reiterated that death caused in a sudden quarrel without premeditation would be culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
A Bench comprising of JusticesR. Banumathi
and R. Subhash Reddy
was hearing an appeal against the judgment passed by the Chhattisgarh High Court wherein the High Court had affirmed the conviction of the appellant under Section 302 IPC
and sentence of life imprisonment imposed upon the appellant. In this case, the appellant and the deceased, his daughter, got into a quarrel that led to the appellant throwing a chimney lamp at his daughter in a fit of anger. The daughter sustained injuries from the chimney lamp and was taken to a hospital.
During her treatment, the victim succumbed to her injuries. However, she gave a dying declaration against the appellant prior to her death on the basis of which the Trial Court charged the appellant with murder. Thereafter, the order was affirmed by the High Court, causing the aggrieved appellant to appeal against the same before the Supreme Court. The court noting that the entire occurrence was in a spur of moment said that “There was quarrel between the father and daughter as to where the bulb is to be put on. In the sudden quarrel and in spur of the moment, the appellant threw the chimney lamp on his daughter. The occurrence was sudden and there was no premeditation. The chimney lamp was burning there which the appellant had picked up and thrown on the deceased. Since the occurrence was in sudden quarrel and there was no premeditation, the act of the accused would fall under Exception 4 to Section 300.” Thus, observing that the act would fall under Exception 4
of Section 300
IPC, the court modified the conviction of the appellant in the case from murder Section 302 of the IPC to culpable homicide not amounting to murder. “The conviction of the appellant-accused under Section 302 IPC is modified as conviction under Section 304
Part-II IPC. The sentence of life imprisonment imposed upon the appellant is reduced to the period already undergone by the appellant accused. The appellant-accused is ordered to be released forthwith unless his presence is required in any other case,” the court stated. [Read Judgment]