Commuting the life sentence of a murder convict, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has imposed a lesser sentence of five years imprisonment on the accused by holding him guilty of mere culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
In October 2009, the Madurai Fast Track Court II had sentenced the accused Mayan to life imprisonment on charges of murdering one Peer Mohammed. The prosecution charge was that during the course of a heated arguments, Mayan had stabbed Mohammed on the lower part of his left side neck. Mohammed later died.
In his appeal, Mayan submitted that he had no intention to kill Mohammed and had merely inflicted a single injury on him. The postmortem report also showed that the deceased appeared to have died due to shock and haemorrhage due to stab injury on the neck.
However, the doctor who was a prosecution witness in the case did not say that the said single wound was sufficient, in the ordinary course of nature, to cause death. Instead, he has stated that the deceased appeared to have died due to shock and haemorrhage due to stab injury.
Accepting his argument, a bench comprising Justices S Rajeswaran and T Mathivanan held that the act of the accused constitutes an offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
“No doubt, the offence of culpable homicide supposes an intention, or knowledge of likelihood of causing death. In the absence of such intention or knowledge, the offence committed may be grievous hurt or simple hurt,” the bench observed and modified the conviction and sentence imposed on the accused under Section 302 IPC to one under Section 304 Part II IPC.