Husband calling Wife a Prostitute is sudden and grave provocation

Nawaz Vs The State Rep By Inspector of police

Supreme Court

22/01/2019

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1941/2010

About/from the judgment:

The Supreme Court has ruled that a husband calling his wife a prostitute would amount to sudden and grave provocation under Exception I of Section 300 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

 

Consequently, the death caused due to such provocation would be punishable for culpable homicide not amounting to murder under Section 304 of IPC, ruled a Bench of Justices Mohan M Shantanagoudar and Dinesh Maheshwari.

 

In the instant case, the Accused No. 1 had an illicit relationship with Accused no. 2 Nawaz. The Accused no. 1 was the wife of the deceased.

 

The deceased used to suspect the fidelity of Accused No. 1 as well as his daughter’s integrity. On the date of the incident at about 9.00 am, the deceased quarrelled with Accused No.1 and called her a ‘prostitute’. He also told her that Accused No. 1 has converted their daughter into a prostitute as well.

 

At that point of time, Accused No. 2 came from the first floor and asked the deceased not to quarrel with Accused No. 1 and her daughters. Since the deceased did not stop, Accused No. 2 slapped the face of the deceased. Immediately thereafter, both the accused throttled the deceased with the help of a towel and burnt the dead body to try to conceal the offence.

 

The trial court as well as the High Court convicted both the accused for the offences punishable under Section 302 and Section 201 of IPC.

 

The Supreme Court after going through the material on record held that the case may fall under Section 304 Part I of IPC inasmuch as the offence may fall under explanation 1 of Section 300.

 

This was because, the act of the deceased in calling his wife and daughter prostitutes amounted to sudden and grave provocation and this led to the incident resulting in the death of the husband.

 

“Immediately, after hearing the deceased calling the Accused No. 1 and her daughter as prostitutes, the Accused No. 2 suddenly slapped the cheek of the deceased. Immediately, after receipt of said assault, the deceased fell down unconscious and thereafter he was throttled to death. Everything has occurred in the fraction of a minute. Since the accused, because of the aforesaid conduct of the deceased calling accused No. 1 and her daughter as prostitute, was deprived of the power of self­control. The sudden provocation by the deceased has resulted in the incident in question. 13. The deceased provoked the accused No.1 by uttering the word ‘prostitute.”

 

In our society, no lady would like to be called prostitute by her husband, the Court said concluding that the incident was a result of sudden and grave provocation.

 

The Court, therefore, modified the judgment of the trial court and High Court and convicted the accused under Section 304 Part I of IPC instead of Section 302. It sentenced the accused to rigorous imprisonment of ten years.

Read the Judgment

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