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IPC PROJECT

RANVEER SINGH V. St of M.P

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
I would like to thank my CRPC teacher, Dr.Pushpinder Kaur, for giving me an opportunity to work on this project. Without her support and cooperation, this project would not have been possible. I would also like to thank the library staff for making available the books required. In the end, I also want to thank my family and friends for their support.

TABLE OF CASES
State v. Dhiria Bhavji, AIR 1963 Guj. 78 Vidhya Singh v. st of M.P, AIR 1971 SC 1857 Ranjit Singh v. State AIR 1957 Punj. 306. Mukhtiar Singh v. State of Punjab, 1975 Cri. L.J. 132 Parichhat And Ors. vs The State Of Madhya Pradesh, (1972) 4 SCC 694 Yogendra Morarji vs State Of Gujarat (1980) 2 SCC.218 Mohammad Iqbal v. The State of Madhya Pradesh (2012) Cri L J 337 Deo Narain v. State of U. P AIR 1973 SC 473 Raghbir Singh v. State of Haryana AIR 2009 SC 1223 Hari Ram v. State of Haryana AIR 1983 SC 185 Jagtar Singh v. State of Punjab AIR 1983 SC 463 Sikandar Singh & Ors. vs State Of Bihar (2010) IV Cr. L. J. 3854(S.C) Arun vs State Of Maharashtra [2009] INSC 518

RIGHT TO PRIVATE DEFENCE


Section 96 to 106 of the penal code states the law relating to the right of private defence of person and property. The provisions contained in these sections give authority to a man to use necessary force against an assailant or wrong-doer for the purpose of protecting ones own body and property as also anothers body and property when immediate aid from the state machinery is not readily available and in so doing he is not answerable in law for his deeds. The right of private defence is absolutely necessary for the protection of ones life, liberty and property. It is a right inherent in a man. But the kind and amount of force is minutely regulated by law. The use of force to protect ones property and person is called the right of private defence 1 . The right of private defence of body or property commences only on reasonable apprehension of danger. This reasonable apprehension of danger to either body or property arises from an attempt or threat to commit the offence. The apprehension should be such as would be entertained by a reasonable person at the crucial time. It would, however, not extend to superstitious fears.2 Likewise, every threat cannot justify a man to take up arms. He must pause and think whether the threat is intended to be put into immediate execution and whether the person uttering the threat has the capacity to carry it out. Section 96 of the IPC says that, Nothing is an offence, which is done in the exercise of the right of private defence. Right of private defence cannot be said to be an offence in return. The right of self-defence under Section 96 is not absolute but is clearly qualified by Section 99 which says that the right in no case extends to the inflicting of more harm than it is necessary for the purpose of defence. It is well settled that in a free fight, no right of private defence is available to either party and each individual is responsible for his own acts. While it is true that law does not expect from the person, whose life is placed in danger, to weigh, with nice precision, the extent and the degrees of the force which he employs in his defence, it also does not countenance that the person claiming such a right should resort to force which is out of all proportion to the injuries received or threatened and far in excess of the requirement of the case. The onus of proving the right of
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Gaur, k. D , Indian Penal Code, pg 391 State v. Dhiria Bhavji, AIR 1963 Guj. 78.

private defence is upon the person who wants to plead it. It is not the law that failure to setup such a defence would foreclose this right to rely on the exception once and for all. It is axiomatic that burden on the accused to prove any fact can be discharged either through defence evidence or even through prosecution evidence by showing a preponderance of probability. The right of self-defence is a very valuable right, serving a social purpose and should not be construed narrowly3. It is true that no case of right of private defence of person has been pleaded by the accused not put forth in the cross-examination to the eye-witnesses but it is well settled that if there is a reasonable probability of the accused having acted in exercise of right of private defence, the benefit of such a plea can still be given to them. The right of private defence, as the name suggests, is an act of defence and not of an offence4. Consequently, it cannot be allowed to be used as a shield to justify an aggression. This requires a very careful weighing of the facts and circumstances of each case to decide as to whether the accused had in fact acted under this right. The Punjab High Court also held in Ranjit Singh v. State5 that there could be no right to private defence in a case where the deceased started running away from the place. Where a boy in a street was raising a cloud of dust and a passer-by therefore chased the boy and beat him, it was held that the passer-by committed no offence. His act was one in exercise of the right of private defence. No precise yardstick can be provided to fix such a distance, since it depends upon the situation, the weapon used, the background and the degree of the thirst to attack etc. The right of private defence will completely absolve a persons from all guilt even when he causes If the death the of another person was in the the following actual situations assailant,
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i.e and

deceased

If the offence committed by the deceased which occasioned the cause of the exercise of the right of private defence of body and property falls within anyone of the six or four categories enumerated in Sections 100 and 103 of the penal code. Section 97 of the IPC limits exercise of the right of private defence to the extent of absolute necessity. It must not be more than necessary for defending aggression. There must be

3 4

Vidhya Singh v. st of M.P, AIR 1971 SC 1857 http://www.legalserviceindia.com/article/l470-Private-Defence.html 5 AIR 1957 Punj. 306. 6 Misra, S.N, Indian Penal Code, pg 238

reasonable apprehension of danger that comes from the aggressor in the form of aggression 7. Reasonable apprehension depends upon the state of a persons mind and also the situation in which he is placed at that relevant time8. The question of the accrual of the right of the private defence, however, does not depend upon an injury being caused to the man in question. The right could be exercised if a reasonable apprehension of causing grievous injury can be established. The right of private defence is purely preventive and not punitive or retributive. Where a lathi blow was given on his fathers head, his son, the accused, gave a blow with a ballam on the chest of the deceased. The court decided that the accused has obviously exceeded his right of private defence9. Setion 100 of the IPC talks of the cases where Right to private defence of body extends to causing death. To invoke the provisions of sec 100, I.P.C., four conditions must exist: That the person exercising the right of private defense must be free from fault in bringing about the encounter. There must be present an impending peril to life or of great bodily harm There must be no safe or reasonable mode of escape by retreat; There must have been a necessity for taking the life. Moreover before taking the life of a person four cardinal conditions must be present10: (a) the accused must be free from fault in bringing the encounter; (b) presence of impending peril to life or of great bodily harm, either real or apparent as to create an honest belief of existing necessity; (c) no safe or reasonable mode of escape by retreat; and (d) a necessity for taking assailants life.

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http://indianlawcases.com/-Right%20of%20Private%20Defence Mukhtiar Singh v. State of Punjab, 1975 Cri. L.J. 132. 9 Parichhat And Ors. vs The State Of Madhya Pradesh, (1972) 4 SCC 694 10 http://www.articlesbase.com/criminal-articles/right-of-private-defense-under-indian-penal-code-3317497.html

In Yogendra Morarji vs State Of Gujarat11 The supreme court discussed in detail the extent and the limitations of the right of private defence of body. One of the aspects emphasized by the court was that there must be no safe or reasonable mode of escape by retreat for the person confronted with an impending peril to life or of grave bodily harm except by inflicting death on the assailant. This aspect has create quite a confusion in the law as it indirectly suggests that once should first try to see the possibility of a retreat than to defend by using force which is contrary to the principle that the law does not encourage cowardice on the part of one who is attacked.

Ranveer Singh v. state of M.P[2009(2) Cr L J 1534 SC]


Facts of the case Complainant Lakhansinghs cousin Pappu, on 31.5.1990 had a quarrel with Kanthshree, sisterin-law of appellant. Due to that incident when on 1.6.1990 at 6.00 a.m. Pappu was going to answer natures call, he was surrounded by appellant Ranveer Singh and his son Munnu alias Prithviraj and was thrashed to ground. When he shouted, complainant Lakhansingh, Vasudev and Vrindawan reached the spot alongwith Lalita alias Firki, sister of the complainant

Lakhansingh and his cousin Sunil. Seeing them, appellant asked his son Prithviraj alias Munnu to bring his licensed rifle from the home. Prithviraj alias Munnu brought the gun from the house. On exhortation of the present appellant, Munnu fired a gun shot which caused injury to Lalita on the left thigh. Lalita was taken to the hospital in a bullock cart but on the way she succumbed to the injury sustained by her. Report of the incident was lodged on 1.6.1990 at about 7 A.M. at police station Dehat, Bhind. On the basis of the report lodged by Lakhansingh, police registered a criminal case against the present appellant and his son Prithviraj alias Munnu. Said Prithviraj alias Munnu being a minor, his case was referred to the Juvenile Court. So far as the present appellant is concerned, the matter was investigated by the police and challan was filed against him.

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(1980) 2 SCC.218

Issues raised The question considered by the court was the alleged exercise of right of private defence. Section 96, IPC provides that nothing is an offence which is done in the exercise of the right of private defence. The Section does not define the expression `right of private defence'. It merely indicates that nothing is an offence which is done in the exercise of such right. Whether in a particular set of circumstances, a person legitimately acted in the exercise of the right of private defence is a question of fact to be determined on the facts and circumstances of each case. No test in the abstract for determining such a question can be laid down. In determining this question of fact, the Court shall consider all the surrounding circumstances. It is not necessary for the accused to plead in so many words that he acted in self-defence. If the circumstances show that the right of private defence was legitimately exercised, it is open to the Court to consider such a plea. Under Section 105 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (in short `the Evidence Act'), the burden of proof is on the accused, who sets up the plea of self-defence, and, in the absence of proof, it is not possible for the Court to presume the truth of the plea of self-defence. The Court shall presume the absence of such circumstances. It is for the accused to place necessary material on record either by himself adducing positive evidence or by eliciting necessary facts from the witnesses examined for the prosecution. Under this section, an accused taking the plea of the right of private defence is not necessarily required to call evidence; he can establish his plea by reference to circumstances transpiring from the prosecution evidence itself. Hence, the question in this case is a question of assessing the true effect of the prosecution evidence, and not a question of the accused discharging any burden. Where the right of private defence is pleaded, the defence must be a reasonable and probable version satisfying the Court that the harm caused by the accused was necessary for either warding off the attack or for forestalling the further reasonable apprehension from the side of the accused. Sections 100 to 101 define the extent of the right of private defence of body. If a person has a right of private defence of body under Section 97, that right extends under Section 100 to causing death if there is reasonable apprehension that death or grievous hurt would be the consequence of the assault.

A plea of right of private defence cannot be based on surmises and speculation. While considering whether the right of private defence is available to an accused, it is not relevant whether he may have a chance to inflict severe and mortal injury on the aggressor. In order to find whether the right of private defence is available to an accused, the entire incident must be examined with care and viewed in its proper setting. Section 97 deals with the subject matter of right of private defence. The plea of right of self defence may relate to the body or property (i) of the person exercising the right; or (ii) of any other person; and the right may be exercised in the case of any offence against the body, and in the case of offences of theft, robbery, mischief or criminal trespass, and attempts at such offences in relation to property. Section 99 lays down the limits of the right of private defence. Sections 96 and 98 give a right of private defence against certain offences and acts. The right given under Sections 96 to 98 and 100 to 106 is controlled by Section 99. To claim a right of private defence extending to voluntary causing of death, the accused must show that there were circumstances giving rise to reasonable grounds for apprehending that either death or grievous hurt would be caused to him. The burden is on the accused to show that he had a right of private defence which extended to causing of death. Sections 100 and 101, IPC define the limit and extent of right of private defence. The right of private defence is essentially a defensive right circumscribed by the governing statute i.e. the IPC, available only when the circumstances clearly justify it. It should not be allowed to be pleaded or availed as a pretext for a vindictive, aggressive or retributive purpose of offence. It is a right of defence, not of retribution, expected to repel unlawful aggression and not as retaliatory measure. While providing for exercise of the right, care has been taken in IPC not to provide a mechanism whereby an attack may be a pretence for killing. A right to defend does not include a right to launch an offensive, particularly when the need to defend no longer survived.

HELD The court dismissed the appeal and held that the accused had exceeded his right of private defence and was liable to be convicted under section 304 Part I read with sections 109 and 34 I.P. Code. It was also held that whether in a particular set of circumstances, a person legitimately acted in the exercise of the right of private defence is a question of fact to be determined on the facts and circumstances of each case. No test in the abstract for determining such a question can be laid down. In determining this question of fact, the court must consider all the surrounding circumstances. In order to find whether right of private defence is available or not, the injuries received by the accused and whether the accused had time to recourse to public authorities are all relevant factors to be considered. ANALYSIS OF THE JUDGMENT The court in this case has rightly held that the appellant in committing the crime has undoubtedly exceeded his right of private defence as there was not enough reasonable apprehension of danger when the complainant along with his cousin and some other people reached the spot.

THREE RECENT JUDGMENTS

Mohammad Iqbal v. The State of Madhya Pradesh (2012) Cri L J 337 FACTS
Deceased-Khemchand was tenant of the appellant. He was residing in his tenanted premises along with his family members namely Rohni Prasad , Moolchandra and Bhupendra Kumar Agrawal since 10 years. The deceased was running a grocery-shop in the front portion of the premises and the back portion was used for residential purpose. Rohni Prasad and Moolchandra are real brothers of the deceased. Bhupendra Kumar Agrawal is the son of the deceased. There was dispute relating to vacating the premises between the appellant and the deceased. The case of the prosecution is that on 27-12-1987 at about 10.00 a.m., the appellant along with Sampatlal Sharma, Himkalyan and Takeshwar Sharma went to the back portion of the premises where he met deceased-Khemchand. He asked the deceased as to why they have thrown out the tijori (iron safe) from the shop? The deceased replied that it was only kept there (in back portion of the house) since long. On this account, hot exchanges begun between the appellant and the deceased and both went inside the shop. The allegations are that the appellant took out a knife from his waist and gave a knife blow to the deceased and he also gave a knife blow to Rohni Prasad. The appellant chased Rohni Prasad, but he was caught by Sampatlal Sharma. Deceased-Khemchand took a bicycle for going to the police station, but he fell down on the way and became unconscious. Rohni Prasad, Moolchandra and Sampatlal Sharma took the deceased to the clinic of Dr. P.C. Kundu, who gave him first-aid and thereafter he was shifted to Baikunthpur, Hospital. Rohni Prasad reported the matter to police station, Patna, on which, the First Information Report was registered u/S. 307, IPC.

ARGUMENTS RAISED BY THE APPELANTS That the appellant inflicted single injury to the deceased in right of private defence, therefore, he was entitled to get acquitted. The counsel for the appelants referred to the decisions of Deo Narain v. State of U. P12 and Raghbir Singh v. State of Haryana13. That in the facts and circumstances of the case, an offence u/S. 302, IPC would not be made out and the appellant would be liable for punishment under some lesser Section preferably Part-II of Section 304, IPC. The decisions which he referred to in this regard were, Hari Ram v. State of Haryana14 and Jagtar Singh v. State of Punjab.15 HELD That the injury caused to the deceased by the appellant was unintentional and it was not caused with an intention to commit murder of the deceased. Even the injury received on the kidney was not intended and it cannot be said that the appellant was having an intention to commit murder of the deceased or to cause that particular injury to the kidney of the deceased. That in the above situation, an offence u/S. 302, IPC would not be made out and the appellant would be liable for punishment under Part-II of Section 304, IPC. The conviction of the appellant u/S. 324, IPC cannot be sustained. The court partly allowed this appeal and set-aside the conviction and sentences awarded to the appellant u/Ss. 302 and 324, IPC. Instead thereof, it convict the appellant u/S. 304, Part II, IPC and sentenced him to undergo R.I. for 7 years.

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AIR 1973 SC 473 AIR 2009 SC 1223.


AIR 1983 SC 185 AIR 1983 SC 463

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Sikandar Singh & Ors. vs State Of Bihar (2010) IV Cr. L. J. 3854(S.C)


Facts of the case There was a piece of land in front of the cattle shed of the deceased Upendra Singh where his cattle used to graze. There was dispute between the parties over the land and a title suit in respect thereof was pending. In the morning of 23rd December 1987 at about 9-10 a.m., when the deceased was cleaning the said land, accused Rajeshwar Singh happened to reach there and protested against the act of the deceased, saying that the land belonged to him. Ignoring the protest, the deceased continued cleaning the land. Some heated arguments ensued between them. Accused Nagina Singh (since dead), also happened to be at the spot. Having got infuriated and enraged, he exhorted Rajeshwar Singh to eliminate the deceased. Soon thereafter Rajeshwar Singh went to his house and came back with a gun. He was accompanied by Sheo Jee Singh, Awadhesh Singh (since dead), Sikandar Singh, Harendra Singh, Shankar Singh and Besh Lal Singh, all armed with lethal weapons such as spear, farsa and lathi. They exchanged hot and abusive language with the deceased. Accused Rajeshwar Singh fired at the deceased as a result of which he sustained injuries on his chest, abdomen, arm and forearm. In the meantime, Rajendra Singh (PW-4) came there and tried to save his brother Upendra Singh but he was also shot at by Rajeshwar Singh as a result of which he also sustained injuries on his head, forehead and cheek. Upendra Singh, the deceased, succumbed to the injuries and died instantaneously at the spot. Overhearing the cries, certain villagers including Jagdish Singh (PW-1), Samhoot Singh (PW-2), Harihar Singh (PW-3) and Chandrama Singh rushed to the spot and witnessed the incident. PW5-Gupteshwar Singh (uncle of the deceased) rushed to the police station and on the basis of his statement, a First Information Report (FIR) was recorded at about 1.00 p.m. on the same day.

ARGUMENTS RAISED BY THE APPELANTS Counsel appearing for the appellants has assailed the conviction of the appellants mainly on the ground that there is no evidence on record to show the meeting of minds of the appellants as to the common object to do away with the deceased. It was thus, argued that all the appellants cannot be held guilty for having committed offence under Section 302 read with Section 149 IPC He also said the plea of self defence raised by the appellants has not been properly appreciated by the courts below. It was strenuously urged that admittedly, there was long drawn land dispute between closely related parties who were locked in a series of proceedings and litigations in respect of the land on which the incident took place, the issue regarding ownership of the land being still pending, the deceased and his brother had no business to clean the land and, in fact by their action they instigated the appellants and, therefore, even if the version of the prosecution is taken at its face value, that the deceased died because of the injuries suffered in the brawl, the complainant party must be held to be the aggressors and whatever the appellants did was by way of self defence. ARGUMENTS RAISED BY THE STATE That the period of applicability of order under Section 144 Cr.P.C. having expired, the said order had no bearing in so far as the assembly of the accused was concerned. It was argued that the evidence of PW-4 and PW-5 is unimpeachable, which prove that after altercation with the deceased, Rajeshwar Singh went inside his house and brought with him the appellants, who all armed with deadly weapons, came out with the common object to do away with the deceased.

HELD
Having examined the present case in the light of the evidence on record, the court came to the conclusion that all the appellants are liable to be convicted for offence punishable under Section 302 IPC with the aid of Section 149 IPC. That right of private defence of life and property cannot be exercised against an unarmed person. In the light of the evidence on record, we have no hesitation in holding that the appellants were in fact, aggressors and being members of the aggressors party none of the appellants can claim right of self defence. The right to defend does not include a right to launch an offensive or aggression. In our opinion, therefore, the appellants have failed to establish that they were exercising right of private defence.

Arun vs State Of Maharashtra [2009] INSC 518


Facts of the case Appellant and the deceased Sampatrao Gopal Khandekar were real brothers. They had two other brothers by name Haribhau and Indakar. Deceased and his brothers were separate in residence and there was a 2 partition effected between the brothers. Deceased Sampatrao was in possession of his share of the ancestral lands and also had some self acquired land at village Kolhewadi. His two brothers i.e. the present appellant and Indakar (A-3) who were residents of village Kolhewadi, had a dispute with the deceased Sampatrao as the partition and its terms were not acceptable to them. Sampatrao and wife Mangalabai had filed Regular Suit No.285 of 1996 in the Court of the Civil Judge, Junior Division at Kaij for a declaration of title and injunction in respect of five lands which were the suit property in that suit. The suit was filed against two brothers i.e. the present appellant and A-3 Indakar as well as some other members of their family. The incident in question took place on 22nd November 1996. On 22nd December, 1996, in the morning, deceased Sampatrao took PW-11 Bhairu to his field. Adjoining to the field of deceased Sampatrao, was the field of accused No.2. At the spot, there was some discussion between

deceased Sampatrao and accused No.2 pertaining to the supply of water to his field and to the field of accused No.1. Accused No.3 4 Indakar was also present at the spot. After this incident, the deceased Sampatrao and PW-11 Bhairu came walking through the fields the school situated at village Lahuri. They reached the Lahuri school at about 11.45 a.m. got the office room opened through a Peon and were sitting in the office. At that time, accused Nos.1 and 3 came running towards the school. A-1 Arun, who was also working as a peon in the said school, latched the door of the office room from outside and from the window he told PW-11 Bhairu that if he wanted to save himself, he should come out. Sampatrao told his brother Arun that Bhairu was his servant and that he would not leave. Sampatrao then locked the door of the office from inside, shutting out accused No.1 Arun. Accused No.1 Arun then climbed on to the roof of the office, which was a tin shed. He bent a sheet of tin on the roof of the said office and from the opening so created, he jumped into the office room. After jumping into the office room he took out chilly powder from his right pocket and threw it into the eyes of deceased Sampatrao. He then picked up an iron hammer and with this iron hammer as well as a brick which had been stored in the room along with other bricks kept for construction purposes, he hit the deceased Sampatrao pressed his neck and inflicted eight blows on the head of the deceased. Accused No.1 was also carrying a wire on his waist and he used this wire also to beat Sampatrao. Accused No.1 threw a brick which struck the forehead of Bhairu and also beat Bhairu with the wire. Bhairu fell down and pretended to be dead. The accused Nos.1 to 3, thereafter, left the place and went together to the side of Lahuri village. This entire incident was over by about 1.00 p.m. PW-11 Bhairu then went in a jeep to Police Station, Kaij. He narrated the entire incident to the police and the police recorded his FIR on the same day.

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE APPELANTS In support of the appeal, learned counsel for the appellant submitted that there was an earlier FIR which was suppressed and after deliberation report was lodged which was treated as a FIR. It was the deceased who was the aggressor and the appellant was exercising his right of private defence. ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE RESPONDENTS The counsel for the respondent-State submitted that the FIR was promptly lodged. The injuries stated to have been sustained by the accused are simple in nature. The evidence of PWs 8, 10 and 11 is clear, cogent and credible and, therefore, there is no scope for any interference. HELD The right of private defence is essentially a defensive right circumscribed by the governing statute i.e. the IPC, available only when the 17 circumstances clearly justify it. It should not be allowed to be pleaded or availed as a pretext for a vindictive, aggressive or retributive purpose of offence. It is a right of defense, not of retribution, expected to repel unlawful aggression and not as retaliatory measure. To claim a right of private defence extending to voluntary causing of death, the accused must show that there were circumstances giving rise to reasonable grounds for apprehending that either death or grievous hurt would be caused to him. The burden is on the accused to show that he had a right of private defence which extended to causing of death.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Books Referred: Misra, S.N, Indian Penal Code, Central Law Publications, eighteenth Ed, 2012 Gaur, Shri Narain, The Indian Penal Code, 1860, Dwivedi &co.Allahabad, 2006 Vibhute, K.I, PSA Pillais Criminal Law, 10th Ed, Lexis Butterworths Wadhwa Nagpur, 2010 Sarkar, S.C, Sarkars Commentary on the Indian Penal code, 1860, Dwivedi Law Agency, 2006 Websites Referred: www.manupatra.com www.legalservicesindia.com www.scribd.com www.indiankanoon.com www.indianlawcases.com www.articlesbase.com/criminal-articles/right-of-private-defense-under-indian-penal-code3317497.html

www.vakilno1.com http://www.indiancurrents.org/indiancrm/upload/8589Page%2047.pdf