Citations: Naveen Chandra Vs State of Uttaranchal, (2009) 16 SCC 499: (2010) 3 SCC (Cri) 321: 2006 SCC OnLine SC 1294

Date of Judgement: 27/11/2006

Case No.: Criminal Appeal No. 1224 of 2006 (Arising out of SLP (Criminal) No. 3227of 2006)

Case Type: Criminal Appeal

Petitioner/Appellant: Naveen Chandra

Respondent: State of Uttaranchal

Bench: Hon’ble Mr. Justice Arijit Pasayat & lokeshwar Singh Panta

Court: Supreme Court of India

Statutes Referred:

  • Indian Penal Code, 1860; Section – 34, 96, 97, 98, 100, 101, 102, 103, 105, 106, 300, 302, 366
  • Indian Evidence Act, 1872; Section – 105
  • Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 366

Cases Referred:

  • Kikar Singh Vs State of Rajasthan, 1993 AIR 2426, 1993 SCR (3) 696
  • Babulal Bhagwan Khandare & Anr Vs State of Maharashtra, [2005(10 SCC 404]
  • Munshi Ram And Others Vs Delhi Administration, 1968 AIR 702, 1968 SCR (2) 408
  • 1968 AIR 702, 1968 SCR (2) 408, 1975 AIR 1478, 1975 SCR (3) 933
  • State Of U.P. Vs Mohammad Musheer Khan and Ors, (AIR 1977 SC 2226)
  • Mohinder Pal Jolly Vs State of Punjab, 1979 AIR 577, 1979 SCR (2) 805
  • Salim Zia Vs State Of U.P, 1979 SCR (2) 394
  • Biran Singh And Ors. Vs The State of Bihar, AIR 1975 SC 87
  • Lakshmi Singh And Ors. Vs State of Bihar on 10 September, AIR 1976 SC 2263
  • Sekar @ Raja Sekharan Vs State Rep. By Inspector Of Police, T.N. (2002 (8) SCC 354)
  • Wassan Singh Vs The State of Punjab, 1996 SCC (1) 458
  • Buta Singh Vs The State of Punja, AIR 1991 SC 1316
  • Vidhya Singh Vs State of Madhya Pradesh, AIR 1971 SC 1857


  • On 2.6.2001. All three accused were charged for an offence under Section 302 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 with their common intensions to commit the murder of Ganesh Dutt s/o Prem Ballabh, Smt. Janki Devi w/o Ganesh Dutt and Sandeep s/o Ganesh Dutt (each of them hereinafter described as deceased by respective names), who were uncle, aunt, and cousin of appellant.
  • The relationship between two brothers i.e., Original Accused No.1 Nanda Ballabh and Ganesh Dutta (deceased) were strained on account of family matters. Their houses are almost adjacent to each other and they are all residents of the village of Baira Majhara, Tehsil Kapkot, District Bageshwar.
  • On 2/6/2001 there was an altercation between the families of Nanda Ballabh (Appellant) and Ganesh Dutta (deceased) and during the daytime, Ganesh (deceased) had received an injury to his head.
  • Conciliation was arranged at Accused No.1 Nanda Ballabh on the instance ground that Ganesh Dutta (deceased) was continuously troubling and started hurling abuses at the Accused. It was alleged that Ganesh lost his temper and started abusing again.
  • Therefore, Ganesh was taken back to his home, but he again came back and held the hand of his sister- in law, i.e., Accused No.2., after which there was an altercation between Accused No.1 Nanda Ballabh and Ganesh (deceased).
  • The Appellant then rushed and caused an injury on the head of Ganesh (deceased) by a weapon called “Khukri”. Thereafter the Appellant also attacked on his wife and son which were led to death of all three.
  • Afterward, an F.I.R was lodged by Pooran Chandra (Vice- Chairman of UP) in which it was appears that accused persons had committed the murder of the three deceased persons.
  •  Hence an investigation began. Eyewitnesses were examined to further prosecution version where the Accused persons pleaded for grave and sudden provocation in the exercise of their right to private defence.
  • Thus, the aggrieved appellants filed an appeal against the decision passed by a Division Bench of the Uttaranchal High Court for their conviction under Section 302 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 read with 34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860.

Issues Involved:

  • Whether the right of private defence is available to accused or not?
  • Whether the Appeal is maintainable?

Contention of Appellants:

The counsel for Appellant contented that:

  • The right of private defence was legitimately exercise and also in support of the appeal the Appellant reiterated the stand taken by the High Court.

Contention of Respondents:

The counsel for Respondent contented that:

  • The concept of grave and sudden provocation or incident occurred in course of sudden quarrel or in exercise of right of private defence, has been rightly turned down by the High Court.
  • Furthermore, contented that the High Court was liberal in altering the death sentence to life imprisonment.


Appeal is allowed to the aforesaid extent and hence conviction altered accordingly i.e., Ten years custodial sentence.

Ratio Decidendi:

  • Considering the facts in the light of legal principles the Expection 4 of Section 300 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 is not applicable herein.
  • Further, the Accused though exercised the right of private defence, but exceeded it by continuing attacks after the threat to life had ceased. Hence Section 304 Part I of Indian Penal Code, 1860 is applicable and therefore conviction altered accordingly.


Any act done in the exercise of right of private defence under Section 96 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 cannot be consider as an offence, but in the light of the facts of the case as stated above the Accused exceeded it by continuing attacks after the threat to life. Therefore, this appears to be a case where the provision of Section 304 Part I of Indian Penal Code, 1860 would be applicable. Hence the Accused conviction is altered to ten years custodial sentence and appeal is allowed to the aforesaid extent.

Drafted By: Samanta Rao, CLS – Gitarattan International Business School

Published On: September 28, 2021 at 19:23 IST

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