Case Briefs
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Tularam Vs. State of M.P.


Author:  Parnika Choudhary, 3rd year student at Bharati Vidyapeeth University.


Date of Decision: May 2, 2018 

Bench: Madan B. Lokur & Deepak Gupta

Statutes Involved:  Section 299 of IPC, Section 300 of IPC

 

Issues in Question:

  • Whether Tularam intended for Bhadri Lodhi to face death?

Background of the Case:

  • Tularam was charged with and found guilty of murdering Bhadri Lodhi after an incident on June 9, 2002.
  • At around 6 p.m. on that date, an argument broke out between Ramnath and Raju at Ramnath’s flour mill. After closing his flour mill and coming home, Ramnath was approached by Raju at around 7.30 p.m. A dispute erupted between the two, and in the midst of it, they were joined by Bipatlal Lodhi, Raju’s grandpa, who arrived with a lathi, Santu, Ramnath’s nephew Bhadri Lodhi, Ramnath’s brother.
  • The squabble turned into a brawl, and Tularam, Raju’s uncle, arrived with a Ballam to add to the chaos. Sakharam (also an accused, but not before us) jumped into the battle with a lathi. Tularam wounded Bhadri Lodhi on the left side of his chest with the Ballam during the dispute that grew violent, and he fell down. After that, Bhadri Lodhi was carried home and proclaimed dead.
  • The prosecution called numerous eyewitnesses during the trial that followed the altercation and killing of Bhadri Lodhi, including Ramnath, Maltibai, Mahasingh, Shanta Bai, Singh Singh Gond Jogi Lodhi, and Hori Lal. Each of these witnesses verified the incident and that Tularam had used a Ballam to puncture Bhadri Lodhi’s left side of the chest. After that an autopsy by Dr S.N., the injuries were confirmed. 
  • Tularam was found guilty of murdering Bhadri Lodhi under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code based on these basic facts, which were not in question.
  • According to the facts of this case, all of the elements of Exception 4 to Section 300 of the IPC are present. Tularam is not found to have taken undue advantage of his carrying a Ballam in the sense of inflicting any other serious injury, except a contusion to Ramnath (finding of both courts), and Tularam is not found to have taken undue advantage of his carrying a Ballam in the sense of inflicting any other serious injury, except a contusion to Ramnath. Given this, it is impossible to conclude that Tularam intended to murder Bhadri Lodhi or give him such severe harm.

Judgment:

  • Tularam was found guilty of murdering Bhadri Lodhi under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code based on these basic facts, which were not in question.
  • Tularam’s conviction of an offence punishable under Section 302 of the IPC is overturned in light of the circumstances, but he is convicted of an offence punishable under the second half of Section 304 of the IPC. 
  • Culpable homicide is defined as causing death by performing an act with the aim of causing death, or with the knowledge that the conduct complained of is likely to cause death, or with the knowledge that the act complained of is likely to cause death. 
  • The first two categories necessitate the intent or possibility of causing death, but the third category is limited to the knowledge that the conduct complained of is likely to cause death. The crime of responsible homicide is definitely established in the circumstances of this case.
  • According to Section 300 of the IPC, culpable homicide is murder if the act that causes the death is done with the aim of causing death or the conduct complained of is so imminently hazardous that it must in all likelihood cause death or “such physical damage as is likely to induce death.” There are various exceptions to the rule that responsible homicide is not murder, and we’re interested in Exception 4 which says, Culpable homicide is not murder if it is done in the heat of passion during a sudden dispute and without the offender taking undue advantage or acting in a harsh or unusual manner.”
  • To put a case into Exception 4, all of the components listed must be located. It’s worth noting that the “battle” in Exception 4 to Section 300 IPC isn’t specified in the IPC. A fight is a physical confrontation between two or more people, with or without weapons. It is impossible to establish a universal guideline as to what constitutes a sudden dispute. It’s an issue of fact, and whether a disagreement is sudden or not must always be determined by the facts of each instance. It is not enough to establish that there was a spur-of-the-moment dispute with no premeditation in order to invoke Exception 4. It must also be demonstrated that the perpetrator did not take unfair advantage of the victim or act in a harsh or unusual manner.

Critical Analysis: 

  • Based on the facts, we have decided that the elements of murder as specified in the IPC do not exist in this case. Tularam’s objective was to harm Bhadri Lodhi’s body, and penetrating Bhadri Lodhi’s chest with a spear might be deadly.
  • It’s difficult to tell whether someone is plotting to kill someone. Because he penetrated Bhadri Lodhi’s chest with a Ballam, the Trial, as well as the High Court, concluded Tularam intended to murder him. Tularam did not plan to murder Bhadri Lodhi, according to the evidence, and none of the eyewitnesses has said that Tularam meant to kill Bhadri Lodhi. During the fight, Tularam certainly punctured Bhadri Lodhi’s chest, but there is no proof that he intended to murder him. Tularam, but on the other hand, would have realized that a spear entering the left side of the chest would almost surely end in death.

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