KISHAN vs STATE OF MP Case Summary (1974 SC)

KISHAN vs STATE OF MP Case Summary (1974 SC)

Kishan vs State of MP case is one of the important cases which distinguishes the act of self-defense and murder. According to Section 302 of the IPC, whoever commits the crime of murder shall be punished with death or shall be imprisoned for life and shall also be liable for fine. Section 304 of IPC talks about punishment to culpable homicide not amounting to murder, the accused shall be imprisoned for life and shall also be liable for fine.


Justice YV Chandrachud and Justice Dwivedi.

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  • Damrulal on May 4th 1968 went to the cottage of the deceased Bucha, where at that point, he was supervising the foundation digging near his cabin.
  • Prior to this, a person named Damrulal instructed Bucha to use bricks related to him, to which he replied he used his bricks. A heated argument happened between them, after which Damrulal left, threatening Bucha that he would shortly settle the matter.
  • Later the deceased Bucha was grabbing his feast in verandah of his home, just when Damrulal, Ganesh, appellant along with their brother Har Charan entered at his residence.
  • They dragged Bucha out to a neem tree where he was badly beaten by all the three brothers. Bucha tried to disentangle himself from their hold and grabbed the Khutai lying close, using which he gave three blows on Har Charan, and Har Charan fell on the ground unconscious.
  • Thereafter, the appellant and his two brothers snagged hold of Bucha. The appellant grabbed Khutai from Bucha and gave him two or three blows on his head due to which Bucha fell on ground lifelessly.
  • The appellant and others carried away Har Charan and lodged a complaint or a report with police. They filed soon an FIR after which Bucha died.
  • The Sessions Judge held appellant was not guilty as he was exercising the right of self-defense.
  • An appeal was made by the State in High Court where the Judge convicted the appellant and sentenced him to life imprisonment under Section 302 IPC and convicted Damrulal and Ganesh under section 323 IPC and assessed him with a sentence of 50/- each.
  • An appeal was made by special leave in Supreme Court.


  • Whether the conviction is lawful?


The Judges were of the opinion that,

  • The appellant and his co-accused had gone to the house of Bucha intending to cause physical harm to him, but they were unarmed. Therefore, they did not then have any intention to kill him.
  • When Bucha caught hold of Khutai while escaping from their grip and gave them two or three blows. This was his act in right of self-defense.
  • The appellant grabbed the Khutai from Bucha’s hands and gave him blows due to which he bled and died.
  • Dr. S. N Banerji, who did the autopsy of the dead Bucha, deposed that which these injuries death was inevitable.


The Honorable Court dismissed the appeal and held that medical opinion clearly brings the case of the appellant within the purview of section 300, third clause. So the High Court is right in convicting him under section 302 IPC.


This is one of the important cases which distinguishes the act of self-defense and murder. This case was used to deliver justice in a lot of cases and is relevant to this day.

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