BADAL MURMU AND ORS. V. STATE OF WEST BENGAL

BADAL MURMU AND ORS. V. STATE OF WEST BENGAL

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1502 OF 2004                                                                                                                 JUDGEMENT on March 5, 2014.

The appellants and the prosecution witnesses belong to Santhal Community of village Mobarakpur. In March, 1989, deceased-Jhore Soren killed the hen of one Bhagbat. A Salish was called and the deceased was asked to give one hen and two handies of country liquor to Bhagbat as a penalty. One day deceased-Jhore Soren and PW-7 Kanka were called to the courtyard of one Saheb Hasda on the pretext that a meeting was to be held. There they were tied with a rope against one bamboo pole and one Kul tree respectively by the appellants. The appellants were armed with lathis, tangies (sharp cutting weapons) etc. and started assaulting deceased-Jhore Soren and PW-7 Kanka. PW-7 Kanka managed to escape. The appellants continued to beat deceased Jhore Soren till death. In Additional Sessions Court, the appellants were convicted for offences punishable under Section 148 and Section 302 read with Section 149 of the IPC and sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life for causing death of one Jhore Soren (“deceased-Jhore Soren”). The appellants’ appeal was dismissed by the High Court. Hence, the Supreme Court gave the verdict that the appellants are in jail for almost 14 years. Apart from the legal angle, this, in our view, is a case where justice must be tempered with mercy, and therefore convicting the appellants for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and sentencing them for the period already undergone by them by resorting to Section 304 Part II of the IPC will meet the ends of justice…read more