Try out our Premium Member services: Virtual Legal Assistant, Query Alert Service and an ad-free experience. Free for one month and pay only if you like it.
Supreme Court of India
Sita Ram vs The State Of Rajasthan on 28 October, 2021
Author: Uday Umesh Lalit
Bench: Uday Umesh Lalit, S. Ravindra Bhat, Hon’Ble Ms. Trivedi
1 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.462 OF 2019 SITA RAM & ORS. …Appellants VERSUS STATE OF RAJASTHAN …Respondent O R D E R
This appeal by special leave is directed
against the judgment and final order dated
21.09.2016 passed by the High Court of Judicature
for Rajasthan at Jaipur Bench, Jaipur in D.B.
Criminal Appeal No.175 of 1983.
The crime in the instant case was registered
pursuant to the reporting made by one Moti Ram to
the effect that on 02.08.1982 when his mother and
Signature Not Verified
wife, in the company of his brother Phoolchand, had
Digitally signed by Dr.
gone to the agricultural field situated at Khasra
No.210, Hanumaan son of Noparam, Mangu son of
Noparam, Surja son of Noparam, Sitaram son of
Hanuman, Jagdish son of Mangu, Prahlad son of Surja,
Ganesh son of Mangu, Mangla s/o Hanuman, Mahabaksh
son of Hanuman, Tulchi wife of Hanuman, Fuli w/o
Mangu, Rama w/o Surja, Anchli w/o Jagdish, Gulabi
w/o Sitaram, Mangli daughter of Mangu, Guldi d/o
Hanuman, Sankri d/o Surjaram, Sajan s/o Hanuman,
came there armed with sickles and cudgels and
started assaulting his mother and wife. His younger
brother Phoolchand ran back to the residence and
reported the incident to his father Ghadsee Ram and
brother Shyam Lal upon which they ran to the place
of incident. The assailants opened an assault on
them, which resulted in Ghadsee Ram sustaining
injury on his head and back while his brother Shyam
Lal sustained grave injuries with sickle.
On such reporting, initially crime under
of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (‘the IPC’, for
short) was registered with Police Station Khatu
Shyamji, District Sikar, Rajasthan.
After the death of Ghadsee Ram, the offence
under Section 302 of the IPC came to be added.
In the post-mortem conducted by PW4 Dr. M.M.
Mishra, deceased Ghadsee Ram was found to be having
following external injuries:
“1. Stitched wound 2” long, on left parietal
area of scalp, transerves.
2. Swelling 2” x 1” on left temporal area of
3. Lacerated wound, 1” x 1/5” x 1/5” on right
occipital area of scalp.
4. Bruise 2” x 2”, on left frontal area of
5. Abrasion 1½” x ½” on upper 1/3rd on left
6. Lacerated wound 3/4” x 1/10” x 1/10” on left
7. Bruise 2” x 1” on middle of right arm,
8. Abrasion 2” x 1” on lower 1/3rd of right leg
9. Abrasion 1” x 1/10”, on middle left leg,
10. Abrasion 4” x 1/2” on the middle of right
chest, back, oblique.
11. Abrasion 1/2” x 1/10” on back, left huber
12. Abrasion 1/2” x 1/2” on left knee, back.
13. Abrasion 1/2” x 1/4”, on right knee front.
14. Bruise 2” x 2” on back of left hand.
15. Bruise 1” x 1” on back of left wrist.”
The post-mortem also indicated the following
“1. There was fracture of left frontal bone of
2. There was sub-dural haematoma on left
parietal bone below the fracture site.
3. There was laceration of brain on left
4. There were fractures of III and IV
untacarpats of left hand.
5. There was fracture of upper end of felmla.”
According to the medical report, the internal
injuries caused as a result of external injuries
were sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to
cause death. According to the medical opinion, all
the injuries were caused by a blunt object such as
“Lathi” and all injuries were ante-mortem.
Meera wife of Moti Ram who was injured in the
transaction had suffered following injuries:
“1. Lacerated wound, 1 ¾” x ¼” x 3/8” on left
parietal region of scalp.
2. Bruise, 2½” x 1”, on lower ½ of lateral side
of left thigh.
3. Abrasion, 1/2” x 1/8” on left cheek.
4. Echymosis with tenderness on lower 1/3rd of
left thigh, just alone knee joint, anteris-
Ms. Barji, the mother of the informant was found
to have suffered the following injuries:
“1. Incised wound 5/8” x 1/8” x 3/8”, on upper
1/3rd of right leg on front.
2. Swelling with cripitation at II metacarpal
bone on left hand.
3. Complained of pain with tenderness on lower
½ of left leg on lateral side.
4. Bruise, 3” x 1”, on middle 1/3rd, of right
thigh on lateral side.
5. Complained of pain on left humber region of
It is pertinent to mention here that two of the
persons from the side of the accused also suffered
injuries in the transaction.
Accused Jagdish was found to have received the
“1. Incised wound 1” x 3/8” x 1”, on left side
2. Bruise with echymosis, 3” x 1 ½”, on lower ½
of left leg on lateral side.”
According to the medical opinion on record,
injury no.1 was caused by a sharp cutting weapon.
Another accused Prahlad had suffered the
“1. Incised wound, 2¼” x 1” x 3/8”, on dorsum of
left hand torrards thumb.
2. Incised wound, 1½” x 1/8” x 1/8”, on lower
1/3rd of left forearm on back on radial
3. Abrasion 1/2” x 1/8”, on upper 1/3rd of left
forearm on radial side.”
In this case also, injuries no.1 and 2 were
caused by sharp cutting weapon.
It must also be noted that the Investigating
Officer PW11 Mr. Amilal accepted the fact that with
respect to the same transaction, there were two
cross versions in the form of First Information
Report filed in the present case as well as the
reporting made at the instance of the side of the
accused. As a matter of fact, reporting made by the
accused was earlier in point of time pursuant to
which First Information Report No.75 of 1982 in
respect of the offences punishable under Sections
447 and 323 of the IPC was registered.
Out of 16 persons, who were sent up for trial,
the Trial Court convicted eight male persons while
acquitting rest of the accused including four female
accused. Those eight persons, namely, Hanuman,
Manguram, Surja Ram, Sitaram, Mangla Ram, Prahlad,
Jagdish and Ganesh, were found guilty of the
offences punishable under Sections 147, 302/149,
325/149 and 323 of the IPC and sentenced to suffer
life imprisonment in respect of the offences
punishable under Section 302 and 302/149 IPC and for
other subsidiary sentences for the remaining
The convicted accused being aggrieved, filed
D.B. Criminal Appeal No.175 of 1983 in the High
During the pendency of said appeal, the
convicted accused Hanuman, Mangoo Ram, Surja Ram and
Jagdish died whereafter proceedings with respect to
these accused stood abated.
While considering the role played by rest of the
convicted accused, the High Court by its judgment
and order dated 21.09.2016, which is presently under
challenge, did not find any case for interference.
Affirming the view taken by the Trial Court, the
appeal was dismissed by the High Court
During the pendency of the instant proceedings,
a submission was raised that appellants no.2 to 4,
namely, Mangla Ram, Prahlad and Ganesh were
juveniles on the date when the incident had occurred
and, as such, they were entitled to the benefit in
terms of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection
of Children) Act, 2000 (‘the J.J. Act, 2000’, for
short) and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection
of Children) Act, 2015 (‘the J.J. Act, 2015’, for
Since this Court in Abuzar Hossain alias Gulam
Hossain v. State of West Bengal,(2012) 10 SCC 489,
had ruled that the claim of juvenility could be
raised at any stage and even for the first time
before this Court though not pressed before the
Trial Court and the Appellate Court by order dated
06.03.2019 this Court referred the issue of
juvenility of the appellants no.2 to 4 for
consideration by the Sessions Court, District,
The Report in that behalf has since then been
received, according to which convicted
accused/appellants no.3 and 4, namely, Prahlad and
Ganesh respectively, were juveniles on the day of
the incident. In view of the said assertion, said
convicts/accused were directed to be released on
bail, which facility these two accused are still
We have heard Mr. Ashok Arora, learned Advocate
for the appellants and Mr. Harsha Vinoy, learned
Advocate for the State.
Considering the totality of the circumstances on
record, it emerges:
a) The deceased had died as a result of injuries
which were suffered by a blunt object, such as,
b) Not a single injury could be associated with
any sharp cutting weapon.
c) Similarly, most of the injuries suffered by the
injured prosecution witnesses were also by a
d) The record indicates that the place of
occurrence was in an agricultural field
situated at Khasra No.210.
e) The evidence suggests that said agricultural
field was a subject matter of dispute between
f) Two of the accused persons themselves also
suffered injuries and some of those injuries
were by sharp cutting weapons.
g) The incident was stated to have occurred when
initially there was an exchange of words
between the ladies which then got converted
into an incident where blows were exchanged.
In the premises, in our considered view, the
matter would be covered by Exception fourthly to
Section 300 IPC and as such, the crime in question
would not be “murder” but “culpable homicide not
amounting to murder”.
In the totality of the circumstances, in our
view, all the accused would be principally guilty of
the offences under Section 304-II and Section 304-II
read with Section 149 of the IPC.
We have been given to understand that the
accused Sita Ram and Mangla Ram have completed
about six years of sentence. In the fitness of
things, the appropriate sentence for the principal
offence under Section 304-II and 304-II read with
149 of the IPC ought to be six years of
imprisonment. If the accused have completed six
years of sentence, they be released forth-with
unless their custody is required in connection with
any other offence.
As regards, two of the accused, namely, Prahlad
and Ganesh, whose juvenility has been confirmed by
the concerned Sessions Judge, we direct that they be
dealt with in terms of Section 20 of the J.J. Act,
2000 and Section 25 of the J.J. Act, 2015.
With these observations, the instant appeal
stands allowed to the extent indicated hereinabove.
(UDAY UMESH LALIT)
(S. RAVINDRA BHAT)
(BELA M. TRIVEDI)
October 28, 2021.