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Natural to feel ashamed on being labelled impotent - Sentence of imprisonment reduced
Nandu Dada Survase Vs State of Maharashtra
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1106 OF 2012
About/from the judgment:
The Court reduced the sentence to twelve years of imprisonment already undergone, after noting that the wife had shouted on a busy road that the convict (her husband) was impotent
A man convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for killing his wife had his sentence commuted to 12 years imprisonment by the Bombay High Court on the ground that the act was a result of sudden and grave provocation and not a pre-meditated one.
A Court reduced the sentence after noting that the wife had shouted on a busy road that the convict (her husband) was impotent, and it was natural for a man to feel ashamed upon being so labelled.
The Court noted that on the fateful day, suddenly upon seeing the accused by chance, the deceased had not just obstructed his way by holding his neck, by pulling his shirt but had started hurling abuses and had levelled scathing remarks.
"The incident had occurred on a busy road near the residential house of Ananda More. The loud allegations made by the deceased were heard by one and all. It was quite natural for the man to feel ashamed upon being referred as impotent," the Court said.
It, therefore, concluded that the act by the accused was not a premeditated one but one which came out of sudden and grave provocation and that the appellant had no criminal intention to murder his wife.
"It is true that the incident of assault is outcome of a grave and sudden provocation. The accused was deprived of his self-control and hence, he could not have any restraint upon himself while mounting assault. It was not a pre-meditated act," the judgment said.
Hence, only the offence under Section 304(II) (culpable homicide likely to cause death) of the Indian Penal Code can be maintained.
“It was not a pre-meditated act. He was on his way for work and therefore, was carrying a sickle in his bag. The offence committed by the accused falls under Exception 4 to Section 300,” the Court emphasised before stating clearly that the accused deserved to be convicted only under Section 304(II) to meet the ends of justice.
The Court passed the judgment on an appeal challenging the conviction of the appellant by a trial court under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), after which he was sentenced to undergo life imprisonment.
The appellant had allegedly assaulted the deceased when they both got into a heated altercation at a bus stop. During the course of the heated exchange, the deceased is said to have suddenly and gravely provoked the appellant. Infuriated by the same, the accused supposedly assaulted the deceased with a sickle he was carrying for work.
After a prosecution witness, who was also the investigating officer, demonstrated the omissions and discrepancies in the evidence of their witnesses, the element of sudden and grave provocation by the deceased was proven.
The three witnesses were all members of the deceased's family and claimed that the deceased had been attacked without any provocation.
The appellant's counsel, advocate Shraddha Sawant, however requested the Court to consider the circumstances surrounding the occurrence.
The Court considered the lawyer's plea and noted that the appellant and the deceased had been married for 15 years and had three children together. They had been separated for four years prior to the event and had not interfered in each other's lives until the day of the incident.
Prior to being killed, the deceased had not only hindered the appellant's path by grasping his neck and yanking his shirt, but had also begun shouting obscenities which deprived the accused of his self-control.
The Court, therefore, allowed the appeal in part and commuted his sentence to the period of incarceration already undergone (12 years).
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