Gyarsibai vs The State compares Section 299(c) of IPC and Section 300(4) of IPC and at the same time differentiates between the two.
Section- 300(4), 309 of the Indian Penal Code
- The appellant her husband Jagannath and sister-in-law of appellant “Kaisar Bai” used to live together at the same residence.
- There is a constant quarrel between the appellant and sister-in-law. The appellant’s husband sometimes thrashes her for picking up the fight from her sister and to halt the quarrel between the two.
- It is alleged that one such quarrel took place on the morning of 14.8.1951 and the appellant-husband was not at home his sister-in-law asked the appellant to leave home; she left the house with her 3 children and said that on the account of her she would jump into a well.
- Soon after, the appellant went to a well on the village’s edge and threw herself and her children into the well.
- After some time, some inhabitants arrive at the well to gain some water the saw appellant at the edge of the well, and all three of her children died by drowning in the well. The villagers saved the appellant, and she got only minor injuries.
- Whether the accused was guilty of the murder of her 3 children under section 300 of IPC?
- Whether the accused was guilty of the attempt of suicide under section 309 of IPC?
The trial was to be held in Shajapur and convicted the appellant in the sessions court. The prosecution plentifully established the facts, that on the morning on the day of occurring of the event there was a quarrel between the two and Kaisar Bai (mother-in-law) asked the appellant to leave the house and she did the same, she also admitted that Jagannath uses to beat him.
The judge clearly says that I agree with the version given by the prosecution and the appellant herself. She was being socially harassed and she takes these steps to prevent further harm. But the mere act of the appellant jumping into the well with her children because of an ill attitude of her sister-in-law towards her cannot be justified.
The learned counsel found the appellant guilty under section 302 of IPC and held her liable for the murder of her children. But does not state under which clause of section 300 the appellant will be held liable under clause 4 that is an act done without the intention of doing it, we know it was not the intention of the appellant to kill her children but she knows that the particular act is so imminently dangerous that it must probably cause the death, or such bodily injury as is likely to cause death. And none other clause is applicable here.
That being so, Clauses 1, 2, and 3 of section 300 of IPC, which apply to cases in which death is caused by an act done to cause death or cause such bodily injury as is likely to cause the death of a person or sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death cannot apply to the present case.
It will be seen from the 4th clause that if death is caused merely by doing an act knowing that it is so imminently dangerous that it must probably cause death, then the act is not murder as is defined in Clause 4, but is merely culpable homicide not amounting to murder. So that an act done with such knowledge should constitute murder, the essence that it has been committed “with no excuse for incurring the risk of causing death or such bodily injury”.
However, there is a case that came to my attention i.e., Emperor vs Dhirajia in 1940. As regards the appellant’s conviction for the offense of suicide, I think she is rightly convicted of that offense because, when she jumped into the well, she did so while she was conscious of her effort that what she was doing i.e., taking her own life.
The prosecution here amply proves the facts to satisfy the judges and after the hearing was over the appellant has been sentenced to transportation for life under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, and was sentenced to life imprisonment and imprisonment for 6 months for the attempt to suicide.
But considering the circumstances of the case the judges learned that the steps which appellant takes are not normal and she could not be in a normal state of mind when she jumped into a well with her three children, they think that this case is not deserving a serious punishment and appealed to the governor to decrease her punishment to 3 years rigorous imprisonment and 6-month simple imprisonment for the attempt to suicide which have to run concurrently with the other.
As the result, this appeal is dismissed.
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