April 26, 2024 In Uncategorized


A three-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justice B.R. Gavai, Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Sandeep Mehta passed a Judgment dated 25-04-2024 in the matter of Mohd. Ahsan vs. the State of Haryana, Special Leave Petition (Criminal) No.5460/2024 and observed that the incident leading to the death of the Deceased was a result of a sudden fight that arose due to a heated argument between the Appellant and the Deceased, and not due to any premeditation. Hence, the Appellant would be liable to be punished for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.


i) That the Appeal mentioned above filed before the Supreme Court by one, Mohd. Ahsan (Appellant) against the State of Haryana (Respondent), challenged the decision of the Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh (High Court) in Criminal Appeal No. 233 DB of 2007, wherein the Division Bench dismissed the Criminal Appeal filed by Mohd. Ahsan and upheld the Order of Conviction and Sentence dated 25.01.2007. This Order was recorded by the Ld. Sessions Judge in Yamuna Nagar 1 (Trial Court) in Sessions Case No. 09 of 2005.

ii) At around 01:00 a.m. on 18.08.2005, one Jai Singh (PW-13), the SHO of Police Station City, Jagadhri, received telephonic information from P.P. Rakshak Vihar about the death of one, Vikrant @ Chintu (Deceased) who had been admitted to Civil Hospital, Jagadhri, in an injured state. Upon receiving the information, PW-13 and several other police personnel rushed to the Hospital. At the Hospital, PW-13 obtained the medico-legal report (Ex. PC) of the Deceased and recorded the statement of Sh. Devi Dayal Sharma (PW-10), the de-facto Complainant.

iii) Based on PW-10’s Complaint, FIR No. 373 of 2005 was registered at Police Station, City Jagadhri, for the offence punishable under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) (Punishment for murder), against the present Appellant. Subsequently, the post-mortem of the Deceased was conducted on 18.08.2005, which concluded that the cause of death was reported to be shock due to a massive haemorrhage in the left pleural cavity, sufficient to cause death under normal circumstances.

iv) The Prosecution alleged that on 17.08.2005, around 11 pm to 11:30 p.m., PW-10 was having food at Shiv Dhaba opposite Bus Stop, Jagadhri, with Charan Singh and Rajiv Kumar (PW-12), when another group of four men, including the Deceased, arrived at the Dhaba. The Deceased called the waiter using the word “hello,” which annoyed the Accused-Appellant, who was seated in a corner smoking a cigarette.

v) Further, the Accused-Appellant abused the Deceased, initially in the name of his sister, and then physically confronted him. The Accused-Appellant and the Deceased went outside the Dhaba where they were separated by PW-10 and his companions. However, the Accused-Appellant grabbed a glass bottle from his car, broke it on the bonnet, and inflicted five injuries on the Deceased, causing him to bleed profusely and eventually collapsed. The Accused-Appellant then escaped from the scene. Thereafter, one, Neeraj Gulati (PW-11) and others present at the Dhaba transported the Deceased to Aggarwal Hospital and then to Civil Hospital, Jagadhri, where he succumbed to his injuries.

vi) After the investigation concluded, a chargesheet was filed before the Court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Yamuna Nagar, and the case was committed to the Sessions Judge for trial. Consequently, the charges were framed by the Trial Court for the offence punishable under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860 (Punishment of Murder). The Accused-Appellant pleaded not guilty and claimed to be tried.

vii) The Prosecution presented 13 witnesses to establish the guilt of the Accused. but, the Accused-Appellant claimed false implication, stating that he did not use the glass bottle to injure the Deceased. Instead, he asserted that the Deceased had rushed towards him with a broken glass bottle to physically assault him, during which the Deceased fell down and injured himself with the glass bottle.


The Trial Court, vide its Order dated 25.01.2007, found that the Prosecution had established the case against the Appellant beyond reasonable doubt. Consequently, the Appellant was convicted for the offence punishable under Section 302 of IPC and was sentenced to life imprisonment, along with a fine of Rs. 10,000/-.


Aggrieved by the Order dated 25.01.2007, the Accused-Appellant filed a Criminal Appeal No. 233 DB of 2007 before the High Court, whereas the High Court by the Impugned Judgment dated 09.10.2013 dismissed the Criminal Appeal and upheld the Order of the Trial Court.


Aggrieved by the High Court Order dated 09.10.2013, the Accused-Appellant filed a Special Leave Petition (Criminal) No.5460 of 2024 before the Apex Court, wherein the Apex Court vide Judgment dated 25.04.2024 made the following observations:


The Apex Court, vide Order dated 14.12.2022 issued a Notice, limited to the issue whether a conviction under Section 302 of the IPC could be lawfully converted to Part I or Part II of Section 304 of the IPC (Culpable homicide not amounting to murder).


1) The Apex Court stated that from the testimonies of the Prosecution Witnesses, it is evident that there was no premeditation involved in the incident.

2) Further, the altercation occurred because the Accused-Appellant believed that the remarks made by the Deceased, Vikrant @ Chintu, were directed at him, leading to a heated exchange between them. Although the witnesses managed to separate them initially, the Accused-Appellant then retrieved a bottle from his car and attacked the Deceased after breaking it on the bumper of his car.

3) The incident transpired without premeditation, arising from a sudden fight in the heat of passion and upon a sudden quarrel. The evidence does not indicate that the Accused-Appellant took undue advantage or acted cruelly or unusually. Therefore, it was concluded that the present case would be categorised as Culpable Homicide not amounting to murder, as the Accused’s act of causing such bodily injury likely to cause the death of the Deceased, fell under Exception 4 to Section 300 of the IPC (Culpable Homicide), which is reproduced below for easy reference. Hence, the Accused was held be punishable under Part I of Section 304 of IPC (Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder):

Exception 4.—Culpable homicide is not murder if it is committed without premeditation in a sudden fight in the heat of passion upon a sudden quarrel and without the offender’s having taken undue advantage or acted in a cruel or unusual manner.


Based on the aforementioned facts, the Bench determined that the present Appeal deserves to be partly allowed. Hence, the conviction of the Accused-Appellant under Section 302 of the IPC was modified to one under Part I of Section 304 of the IPC. Consequently, the Accused-Appellant was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a period of eight (08) years and a fine of Rs.5,000/- (Rupees Five thousand), with further imprisonment for a period of three (03) months in default of payment of the fine.

The Bench further clarified that the period already spent by the Accused-Appellant in custody would be set off against the aforementioned sentence.


Sakshi Raghuvanshi

Legal Associate

The Indian Lawyer

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