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Bhupendrasinh A. Chudasama Vs State of Gujarat

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Citation: Bhupendrasinh A. Chudasama Vs State of Gujarat, Criminal Appeal No. 567 of 1997 (SC)

Date of Judgement:04/11/1997

Equivalent Citation: Criminal Appeal No. 567 of 1997 (SC)

Case No.: Criminal Appeal No. 567 of 1997

Case type: Criminal Appeal

Petitioner:Bhupendrasinh A. Chudasama

Respondent: State of Gujrat

Bench: Hob’ble Justice M.K. Mukherjee, Hon’ble Justice K.T. Thomas

Court: Supreme Court of India

Statutes Referred:

  • Indian Penal Code, 1860; Sections 96-107
  • Code of Criminal Procedure, 1908; Section 313 
  • Indian Evidence Act, 1872; Section 106 

Facts:

  • The victim of the gun shot was Ukadbhai Radvabhai. Head Constable of S.R.P. who was posted alongside other police personnel at Khampla Dam site which was then in peril on account of heavy rainfall.
  • Appellant was allotted to an equivalent platoon and was placed below the deceased. Some Skirmishes developed and deceased had taken the appellant to task on the bottom of dereliction within the discharge of the work allotted to him.
  • On the evening of 02/07/1983 had noted the appellant walking near the tower of the Dam. He aimed his rifle at the deceased and pumped four bullets into his vital parts which caused his end during a trice.
  • Post-mortem examination of the body revealed, inter alia, one fire arm wound on the rear of the proper shoulder with blackening of the skin and its exit wound was on the left axilla with an enormous hollow cavity through which lung tissues protruded; another entry wound on the proper scapula, its exit wound on the 5th vertebra with tearing of skin and muscle over a neighbourhood of 3″ x 3″, another entry wound below the left gluteal fold with blackening of the skin and its exit would was on the upper gluteal fold.
  • There was no dispute that death of deceased was to be piercing of bullets from a fireman. during this case appellant did own the act of firing the rifle.
  • Armed constable of Special Reserved Police said:

“I was doing patrolling duty with the service rifle, and at about 7.45 P.M. when it had been absolute dark, I came near the bridge for proceeding towards the worth tower. Then I saw a flame near the tower and saw somebody moving. I suspected that some miscreant was close to commit mischief with fire on the valve tower. As I couldn’t identify the moving person thanks to want of sunshine, I shouted at him to prevent. But there was no reply. So, I proceeded further and repeated the shout, and still there was no reply. I had to fire in discharge of my duties. I heard the sound of something falling down. I then reported the incident to the persons who were within the office. When constable Laxmansinh and Jayantrajsinh arrived after seeing the body of the victim they informed me that it had been Ukadbhai Radvabhai who received bullet injuries.”

Issue involved:

Whether appellant is entitled to the aforesaid restricted right of Private Defence of Property?

Contention of Petitioner:

The counsel for the petitioner contended that:

  • The petitioner’s learned counsel argued that because the appellant was doing his official duties, he was entitled to acquittal.
  • The Counsel argued that no one may claim exemption from culpable Homicide simply because they killed another person while performing official duties unless the killing falls within one of the exclusions listed in Chapter IV of the IPC.
  • Alternately, learned counsel argued that appellant’s actions were justified under Section 103 of the Indian Penal Code.
  • A person who deliberately causes the death of another person in the exercise of their right to private property defence is protected under this provision.
  • In this case there was no pleas at all and the counsel urged to the Court that the appellant did not have any apprehension of causing death or grievous hurt.

Contention of Respondent:

The counsel of Respondent contended that:

  • The counsel contended that, the fact that the accused shot his own colleague at close range without knowing who his target was, reeks of a complete lack of care and prudence.
  • The counsel urged and stated that, it appears to the Respondent that appellant did not even consider making a claim that his killing of the dead was caused by accident or misfortune, let alone the other elements required to establish a right under the exception.
  • Furthermore, The Counsel stated that, any argument on that topic should be rejected outright at the threshold.

Ratio decidendi:

Right of personal defence only was examined by the court under Section 313 of the code. supreme court has noted that the has not disclosed to any of prosecution witnesses that the was unable to spot his immediate superior and thought him to be a miscreant and observed that “no such question with reference to the mistaken identity was put to the other prosecution witnesses during the cross-examination.”

Judgement:

The court held that, there is no scope that appellant had any right of personal defence to property. Accordingly, and there was order of the conviction and sentence which cause dismiss of the appeal.

The Appeal was Dismissed.

Conclusion:

One armed constable of Special Reserved Police (SRP) who was shot at his immediate superior (Head Constable) while the latter was walking around Khampla Dam site (in Gujarat State) during twilight hours of a cloudy day in July 1983. The victim died on the spot.

Appellant was charged and tried for murder, but the judge entertained doubt about his complicity and acquitted him. However, a Division Bench of the High Court of Gujarat, while re-appraising the entire evidence on an appeal filed by the State, felt no speck of doubt that it had been a cold-blooded murder perpetrated by the appellant.

Accordingly, the acquittal was reversed and therefore the appellant was sentenced to imprisonment for all times. Appellant was thus entitled to file his appeal, as of right.

Drafted By: Bharti Verma, Chanderprabhu Jain College of Higher Studies and School of Law

Published On: September 17, 2021, at 19:14 IST