Velthepu Srinivas vs State Of Andhra Pradesh 2024 INSC 87 :: [2024] 2 S.C.R. 1 – Ss 34, 302, 304 IPC

Indian Penal Code, 1860; 304 Part II –The section provides for two kinds of punishment to two different situations: (1) if the act by which death is caused is done with the intention of causing death or causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death. Here the important ingredient is the “intention”; (2) if the act is done with the knowledge that it is likely to cause death but without any intention to cause death or such bodily injury as is likely to cause death. When a person hits another with a danda on a vital part of the body with such force that the person hit meets his death, knowledge has to be imputed to the accused – Referred to Camilo Vaz v. State of Goa, (2000) 9 SCC 1 – This Court has considered factors such as lack of medical evidence to prove whether the act/injury was individually sufficient to cause death ( Bawa Singh v. State of Punjab, 1993 Supp (2) SCC 754), a single blow on head with a hammer(Sarup Singh v. State of Haryana, (2009) 16 SCC 479) and lack of cogent evidence of the eye-witnesses that the accused shared a common intention to commit murder (Ghana Pradhan & Ors. v. State of Orissa, 1991 Supp (2) SCC 451) as some factors to commute a sentence from Section 302 to Section 304 Part II IPC. (Para 28-29)

Indian Penal Code, 1860; Section 34, 302, 304 Part II –It is not the case of the prosecution that A-3 was along with the other accused while the deceased was dragged to the house. The deposition would reveal that after the other accused assaulted the deceased with sword, A-3 came thereafter and assaulted the deceased with stone lying there – Thus prosecution has not been in a position to establish that A-3 shared the common intention with the other accused to cause the murder of the deceased – Court acquitted A-3 of the conviction and sentence under Section 302 read with Section 34 and convict him under Section 304 Part II. (Para 31-32)

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