Exception 4 to Section 302 envisages that accused must not act in a cruel or unusual manner

Delhi High Court: A Division Bench comprising of Vipin Sanghi and P.S. Teji, JJ. dismissed a criminal appeal filed under Section 374 CrPC against the order passed by the trial court whereby the appellant was convicted for an offence punishable under Section 302.

The appellant was convicted for the murder of a lady by stabbing her with a knife and was sentenced to undergo life imprisonment by the trial court. The appellant challenged the said order in the appeal to the High Court submitting that he was having an illicit relationship with the deceased. On the day of the incident, the husband of the appellant caught both of them red-handed and had a fight with the appellant which resulted in the death of the deceased. In the alternative, learned counsel for the appellant suggested that even if the accused was held guilty, his case would fall under Section 304 Part II and not under Section 302 IPC.

The High Court perused the record and held that the impugned order required no interference. The Court observed that to bring a case under Exception 4 to Section 302, it has to be established that the act was committed without premeditation, in a sudden fight in the heat of passion upon a sudden quarrel, without the offender having taken undue advantage and not having acted in a cruel or unusual manner. However in the present case, based on examination of the weapon used, the severity of blows, etc., the Court held that the benefit of the said exception was not available to the appellant. Further, the incident took place in the room of the deceased, this showed that the appellant carried the knife, which was not a normal kitchen knife, to the room of the deceased to fatally injure her. In the circumstances, the Court held that no interference was necessary with the order of the trial court. The appeal was, therefore, dismissed.  [Ajay v. State,2018 SCC OnLine Del 9633, dated 05-07-2018]

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