Criminal law

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N. The branch of law that deals with the prosecution and punishment of criminals; the body of law that determines what constitutes a crime and what constitutes suitable punishment.

Introduction to Criminal Law

The concept of crime is a highly-debatable issue and the subject matter of criminology also varies accordingly both in its nature and scope since broadly speaking, criminology is the systematic study of crime in all its aspects. Criminologists like Sutherland, Gellin and Clinnard have either rejected the legal definition or have extended the criminological researches beyond the limits of criminal behavior laid down by law. Among those who have opposed such an approach are Paul Tappan and Jerome Hall who are of the opinion that criminology is synonymous with the sociology of criminal law. The view that crime is an undesirable social behavior is in particular reflected in the field of juvenile delinquency since delinquency is a wider term than criminality.

Definition of Crime

Many jurists have defined crime in their own ways some of which are as under:

• Blackstone defined crime as an act committed or omitted in violation of a public law either forbidding or commanding it.

• Stephen observed a crime is a violation of a right considered in reference to the evil tendency of such violation as regards the community at large.

• Oxford Dictionary defines crime as an act punishable by law as forbidden by statute or injurious to the public welfare.


When India came under the domain of East India Company, Britishers wanted to preserve status quo but the defects of Mohammedan Criminal Law were noticed and before the Indian Penal Code came into force the English Criminal Law, modified by various Acts was applied in the Presidency-town of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras while courts in the interior were mainly guided by Muslim Criminal Law.

The local Governments in the interior framed Regulations to remove the glaring defects of the Muslim Criminal Law. In the Presidency of Bombay there was a revision of the administration of Justice in 1827 and the law to be followed in criminal cases was set forth in a Regulation but the position in the other Presidencies remained precisely where it was. The Indian Penal Code drafted by the first Indian Law Commission presided over by Lord Macaulay and the draft was submitted to the Governor-General of India-in-Council in 1837 and after revision by several persons Sir Barnes Peacock, Sir J.W. Colville and other Judges of the Calcutta High Court—The draft was finalised in 1850.

It was submitted to the Governor-General-in-Council in 1856 and received the assent of the Governor-General on October 6, 1860. It was intended to put it into force from the 1st May, 1861 but enforcement was postponed till the 1st January, 1862, the interval being utilised by the publication of the Code in vernacular for general information and mastery of grasp by Indian Judges and officers of the new law contained in the Code. These steps were found necessary as the Indian Penal Code completely revolutionised the then existing Criminal Law. Livingstone’s Code and the Code of Napoleon as also English and Indian law provided the background on which the Indian penal Code has been prepared. Constitutional changes since August, 1947 have led to revisions and change, in many sections of the Code. The members of the Law Commission which prepared the draft when submitting the draft made the following observations as to nature of the proposed law: “We cannot admit that a Penal Code is by any means to be considered as a body of Ethics that the Legislature ought to punish acts merely because those acts are immoral, or that because an act is not punished at all, it follows that the Legislature considers that act as innocent.

Many things which are not punishable are morally worse than many things which are punishable. The man who treats a generous benefactor with gross ingratitude and insolvence deserves more severe reprehension than the man who aims a blow in a passion, or breaks a window in a frolic; yet we have punishments for assault and mischief, and none for ingratitude.

The rich man who refuses a mouthful of rice to save a fellow-creature from death may be a far worse man than the starving wretch who snatches and devours the rice; yet we punish the latter for theft and we do not punish the former for hard-heartedness”.

Objectives of Criminal Law

The main objectives of the criminal justice system can be categorized as follows:

• To prevent the occurrence of crime.

• To punish the transgressors and the criminals.

• To rehabilitate the transgressors and the criminals.

• To compensate the victims as far as possible.

• To maintain law and order in the society.

• To deter the offenders from committing any criminal act in the future Elements of Crime: There are four elements which go to constitute a crime, these are:-

• Human being

• Mens rea or guilty intention

• Actus reus or illegal act or omission

• Injury to another human being

Human Being-

The first element requires that the wrongful act must be committed by a human being. In ancient times, when criminal law was largely dominated by the idea of retribution, punishments were inflicted on animals also for the injury caused by them, for example, a pig was burnt in Paris for having devoured a child, a horse was killed for having kicked a man. But now, if an animal causes an injury we hold not the animal liable but its owner liable for such injury.

So the first element of crime is a human being who- must be under the legal obligation to act in a particular manner and should be a fit subject for awarding appropriate punishment.

Section 11 of the Indian Penal Code provides that word ‘person’ includes a company or association or body of persons whether incorporated or not. The word ‘person’ includes artificial or juridical persons.

Mens Rea-

The second important essential element of a crime is mens rea or evil intent or guilty mind. There can be no crime of any nature without mens rea or an evil mind. Every crime requires a mental element and that is considered as the fundamental principle of criminal liability. The basic requirement of the principle mens rea is that the accused must have been aware of those elements in his act which make the crime with which he is charged.

There is a well known maxim in this regard, i.e. “actus non facitreum nisi mens sit rea” which means that, the guilty intention and guilty act together constitute a crime. It comes from the maxim that no person can be punished in a proceeding of criminal nature unless it can be showed that he had a guilty mind.

Application of Mens Rea in Indian Penal Code

Technically, the application of mens rea is not applied to the offences under IPC. Every offence is very clear under IPC 1860. The definition not only states what accused might have done, that also states about the state of his mind with regard to the act when he was doing it. Each definition of the offence is complete in itself. The word Mens Rea are not used anywhere in IPC. However, the equivalent words to those of mens rea in the IPC Code used are: Dishonestly (s. 24), Fraudulently (s. 25), reason to believe (s. 26) and voluntarily (s. 39)

Case Laws:

Sankaran Sukumaran V/s Krishnan Saraswathi (1984 Cr Lj 317) SC held that mens rea is an essential ingredient of the offence under section 494 (bigamy), where the second marriage has been entered in a bonafide belief that the first marriage was not subsisting, no offence under this section committed.

C. Veerudu v. State of Andhra Pradesh, SC held that under section 498 A, cruelty means “willful conduct”. Willful conduct includes mens rea. Actus Reus [Guilty Act or Omission] –

The third essential element of a crime is actus reus. In other words, some overt act or illegal omission must take place in pursuance of the guilty intention. Actus reus is the manifestation of mens rea in the external world. Prof. Kenny was the first writer to use the term ‘actus reus’. He has defined the term thus- “such result of human conduct as the law seeks to prevent”. For example, A repeatedly stabbed B and thereby caused serious injury to his heart and lungs because of this injury B died. A stabbed B with an intention to cause death of B. Here A’s act of repeated stabbing and injuring of B is conduct, the result of such conduct is the death of B


The fourth requirement of a crime is injury to another person or to the society at large. The injury should be illegally caused to any person in body, mind, reputation or property as according to Section 44 of IPC, 1860 the injury denotes any harm whatever illegally caused to any person in body, mind, reputation or property.

Strict Liability

Strict liability or liability without fault does not require someone to prove that there was an intent behind the act. It can be proved only by showing that the act has been committed and there is no need to prove mens rea or intent. As per the doctrine of strict liability, the defendant can be held liable even if he was unaware of the results his act could have or that he was doing something wrong. In strict liability cases there is no need to show culpable mental state. The only important thing to be proved is that a crime has been committed. Causing pollution, mislabeling drugs as well as concealing weapons while inside an aircraft is also considered strict liability. These offenses are of major importance in criminal law.

Personal Crimes

Offenses against the Person”: These are crimes that result in physical or mental harm to another person. Personal crimes include:

• Assault

• Battery

• False Imprisonment

• Kidnapping

• Homicide – crimes such as first and second degree, murder, and involuntary manslaughter, and vehicular homicide

• Rape, statutory rape, sexual assault and other offenses of a sexual nature


Assault is defined in section 351 of IPC as :

351. Assault.—Whoever makes any gesture, or any preparation intending or knowing it to be likely that such gesture or prepa­ration will cause any person present to apprehend that he who makes that gesture or preparation is about to use criminal force to that person, is said to commit an assault. Explanation.—Mere words do not amount to an assault. But the words which a person uses may give to his gestures or preparation such a meaning as may make those gestures or preparations amount to an assault. Illustrations

(a) A shakes his fist at Z, intending or knowing it to be likely that he may thereby cause Z to believe that A is about to strike Z, A has committed an assault.

(b) A begins to unloose the muzzle of a ferocious dog, intending or knowing it to be likely that he may thereby cause Z to believe that he is about to cause the dog to attack Z. A has committed an assault upon Z.

(c) A takes up a stick, saying to Z, “I will give you a beating”. Here, though the words used by A could in no case amount to an assault, and though the mere gesture, unaccompanied by any other circumstances, might not amount to an assault, the gesture ex­plained by the words may amount to an assault.

Sec 352 states punishment for assault or criminal force otherwise than on grave provocation as : Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any person otherwise than on grave and sudden provocation given by that person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.


A battery is an intentional act that results in offensive or harmful contact with someone else's person, without that person's consent. A battery can sometimes be seen as a completed assault, although that's not a perfect definition. Making incidental contact with someone -- bumping into them, in other words -- while walking through a crowd isn't going to amount to battery; but intentionally pushing people in that same crowd out of the way may be enough. Also, the defendant need not actually touch the plaintiff using his or her body; the contact may be indirect -- intentionally hitting another person’s car with your own could be considered battery. Attery.


Acts that constitute battery could include:

• playing a joke on a person, where the "punchline" involves offensive contact

• performing surgery on the wrong area of a person's body

• throwing an object that strikes a person, and

• poisoning a person's drink.

Again, as we touched on in the "assault" section above, this "battery" definition is pretty standard in civil lawsuits nationwide. But state criminal statutes differ in the language they use to define "battery," and in many states, the definitions for the crimes of "assault" and "battery" may have a fair amount of overlap, or one term (i.e. "assault" or "assault and battery") may encompass both crimes Examples of acts that do not constitute a battery include:

• tapping a person on the shoulder to ask a question, and

• injuries that occur in the normal course of a sport (since, by agreeing to play the sport, the participant has consented to contact that is common in the game)


361. Kidnapping from lawful guardianship.—Whoever takes or entices any minor under 1[sixteen] years of age if a male, or under 2[eighteen] years of age if a female, or any person of unsound mind, out of the keeping of the lawful guardian of such minor or person of unsound mind, without the consent of such guardian, is said to kidnap such minor or person from lawful guardianship.

Explanation.—The words “lawful guardian” in this section include any person lawfully entrusted with the care or custody of such minor or other person. (Exception) —This section does not extend to the act of any person who in good faith believes himself to be the father of an ille­gitimate child, or who in good faith believes himself to be entitled to lawful custody of such child, unless such act is committed for an immoral or unlawful purpose.


(Manipur) —In section 361 for the words ‘eighteen’ substitute the word ‘fifteen’. Holding the accused liable for kidnapping under section 363, the Supreme Court said that the mere circumstances that his act was not the immediate cause of her leaving her parental home or guardian’s custody would constitute no valid defence and would not absolve him from the offence of kidnapping.

Property Offences

Property crime is a category of crime that includes, among other crimes, burglary, larceny, theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, shoplifting, and vandalism. Property crime is a crime to obtain money, property, or some other benefit. This may involve force, or the threat of force, in cases like robbery or extortion. Since these crimes are committed in order to enrich the perpetrator they are considered property crimes. Crimes against property are divided into two groups: destroyed property and stolen property. When property is destroyed, it could be called arson or vandalism. Examples of the act of stealing property is robbery or embezzlement.

Property crimes are high-volume crimes, with cash, electronics (e.g. televisions), power tools, cameras, and jewelry often targeted. "Hot products" tend to be items that are concealable, removable, available, valuable, and enjoyable, with an ease of "disposal" being the most important characteristic.

Property is mainly divided into two parts, namely movable and immovable. Any offence which is committed in regard to any property whether it is movable or immovable is punishable under the provisions of the law of Crimes or the Indian Penal Code. These offences and the punishments relating to them are explained in details in sections 378 to 460 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Act No. XLV of 1860). The offences which are mainly recognized in the said Code are ten in number. Theft.Extortion.Robbery and dacoity.Criminal misappropriation of property.Criminal breach of trust. Receiving stolen property Cheating. Fraudulent deed and disposition of property.Mischief. Criminal trespass


Theft is the act of intentionally depriving someone of his or her property. Theft is defined under IPC as Section 378 in The Indian Penal Code 378. Theft.—Whoever, intending to take dishonestly any moveable property out of the possession of any person without that per­son’s consent, moves that property in order to such taking, is said to commit theft. Explanation 1.—A thing so long as it is attached to the earth, not being movable property, is not the subject of theft; but it becomes capable of being the subject of theft as soon as it is severed from the earth. Explanation 2.—A moving effected by the same act which affects the severance may be a theft. Explanation 3.—A person is said to cause a thing to move by removing an obstacle which prevented it from moving or by sepa­rating it from any other thing, as well as by actually moving it. Explanation 4.—A person, who by any means causes an animal to move, is said to move that animal, and to move everything which, in consequence of the motion so caused, is moved by that animal. Explanation 5.—The consent mentioned in the definition may be express or implied, and may be given either by the person in possession, or by any person having for that purpose authority either express or implied.


(a) A cuts down a tree on Z’s ground, with the intention of dis­honestly taking the tree out of Z’s possession without Z’s con­sent. Here, as soon as A has severed the tree in order to such taking, he has committed theft.

(b) A puts a bait for dogs in his pocket, and thus induces Z’s dog to follow it. Here, if A’s intention be dishonestly to take the dog out of Z’s possession without Z’s consent. A has commit­ted theft as soon as Z’s dog has begun to follow A.

(c) A meets a bullock carrying a box of treasure. He drives the bullock in a certain direction, in order that he may dishonestly take the treasure. As soon as the bullock begins to move, A has committed theft of the treasure.

(d) A, being Z’s servant, and entrusted by Z with the care of Z’s plate, dishonestly runs away with the plate, without Z’s consent. A has committed theft.

(e) Z, going on a journey, entrusts his plate to A, the keeper of the warehouse, till Z shall return. A carries the plate to a goldsmith and sells it. Here the plate was not in Z’s possession. It could not therefore be taken out of Z’s possession, and A has not committed theft, though he may have committed criminal breach of trust.

(f) A finds a ring belonging to Z on a table in the house which Z occupies. Here the ring is in Z’s possession, and if A dishonest­ly removes it, A commits theft.

(g) A finds a ring lying on the highroad, not in the possession of any person. A by taking it, commits no theft, though he may commit criminal misappropriation of property.

(h) A sees a ring belonging to Z lying on a table in Z’s house. Not venturing to misappropriate the ring immediately for fear of search and detection, A hides the ring in a place where it is highly improbable that it will ever be found by Z, with the intention of taking the ring from the hiding place and selling it when the loss is forgotten. Here A, at the time of first moving the ring, commits theft.

(i) A delivers his watch to Z, a jeweller, to be regulated. Z carries it to his shop. A, not owing to the jeweller any debt for which the jeweller might lawfully detain the watch as a security, enters the shop openly, takes his watch by force out of Z’s hand, and carries it away. Here A, though he may have committed crimi­nal trespass and assault, has not committed theft, in as much as what he did was not done dishonestly.

(j) If A owes money to Z for repairing the watch, and if Z re­tains the watch lawfully as a security for the debt, and A takes the watch out of Z’s possession, with the intention of depriving Z of the property as a security for his debt, he commits theft, in as much as he takes it dishonestly.

(k) Again, if A, having pawned his watch to Z, takes it out of Z’s possession without Z’s consent, not having paid what he borrowed on the watch, he commits theft, though the watch is his own property in as much as he takes it dishonestly.

(l) A takes an article belonging to Z out of Z’s possession, without Z’s consent, with the intention of keeping it until he obtains money from Z as a reward for its restoration. Here A takes dishonestly; A has therefore committed theft.

(m) A, being on friendly terms with Z, goes into Z’s library in Z’s absence, and takes away a book without Z’s express consent for the purpose merely of reading it, and with the intention of returning it. Here, it is probable that A may have conceived that he had Z’s implied consent to use Z’s book. If this was A’s impression, A has not committed theft.

(n) A asks charity from Z’s wife. She gives A money, food and clothes, which A knows to belong to Z her husband. Here it is probable that A may conceive that Z’s wife is authorised to give away alms. If this was A’s impression, A has not committed theft.

(o) A is the paramour of Z’s wife. She gives a valuable property, which A knows to belong to her husband Z, and to be such property as she has no authority from Z to give. If A takes the property dishonestly, he commits theft.

(p) A, in good faith, believing property belonging to Z to be A’s own property, takes that property out of B’s possession. Here, as A does not take dishonestly, he does not commit theft. Comments Ingredients The delay in hearing of appeal for long period is no cause for not interfering with an order of acquittal which was based on conjectures and surmises, resulting in gross failure of justice; State of Rajasthan v. Shanker, 2000 Cr LJ 266 (Raj). Taking need not be permanent It is not necessary that the taking should be of a permanent character, or that the accused should have derived any profit. A temporary removal of an office file from the office of a Chief Engineer and making it available to a private person for a day or two amounts to the offence of theft; Pyare Lal Bhargava v. State of Rajasthan, AIR 1963 SC 1094.


Section 383 in The Indian Penal Code

383. Extortion.—Whoever intentionally puts any person in fear of any injury to that person, or to any other, and thereby dishon­estly induces the person so put in fear to deliver to any person any property or valuable security, or anything signed or sealed which may be converted into a valuable security, commits “extor­tion”. Illustrations

(a) A threatens to publish a defamatory libel concerning Z unless Z gives him money. He thus induces Z to give him money. A has committed extortion.

(b) A threatens Z that he will keep Z’s child in wrongful con­finement, unless Z will sign and deliver to A a promissory note binding Z to pay certain monies to A. Z signs and delivers the note. A has committed extortion.

(c) A threatens to send club-men to plough up Z’s field unless Z will sign and deliver to B a bond binding Z under a penalty to deliver certain produce to B, and thereby induces Z to sign and deliver the bond. A has committed extortion.

(d) A, by putting Z in fear of grievous hurt, dishonestly induces Z to sign or affix his seal to a blank paper and deliver it to A. Z signs and delivers the paper to A. Here, as the paper so signed may be converted into a valuable security. A has committed extor­tion.

The word ‘injury’ is defined in Section 44 of IPC as denoting ‘any harm whatever illegally caused to any person, in body, mind, reputation or property. The injury contemplated must be one which the accused himself can inflict or cause to be inflicted and the threat of divine punishment will not come under it.

The essence of Section 383 is dishonest inducement and obtaining delivery of property in consequence of such inducement. Therefore, an intention to cause wrongful loss or gain is essential; merely causing of wrongful loss would not be sufficient.

For an offence under Section 384 actual delivery of property by the person put in fear of injury is essential. Where a person through fear offers no resistance to the carrying off of his property, but does not deliver any of the property to those who carry it away, the offence committed is not extortion but robbery. The offence of extortion is not complete until delivery of property by the person put in fear. But incomplete deeds may be the subject of extortion. For instance, A signs his name to a promissory note in which date and amount etc. are not filled up and delivers it to B, the offence of extortion is committed because promissory note can be completed and used as valuable security.

Mala in se v. mala prohibitia

While crimes are typically broken into degrees or classes to punish appropriately, all offensescan be divided into 'mala in se' and 'mala prohibita' laws. Both are Latin legal terms, mala in semeaning crimes that are thought to be inherently evil or morally wrong, and thus will be widelyregarded as crimes regardless of jurisdiction. Mala in se offenses are felonies, property crimes,immoral acts and corrupt acts by public officials. Mala prohibita, on the other hand, refers tooffenses that do not have wrongfulness associated with them. Parking in a restricted area, drivingthe wrong way down a one-way street, jaywalking or unlicensed fishing are examples of acts thatare prohibited by statute, but without which are not considered wrong. Mala prohibita statutes areusually imposed strictly, as there does not need to be mens rea component for punishment under those offenses, just the act itself. For this reason, it can be argued that offenses that are mala prohibita are not really crimes at all.

International Criminal Law

International criminal law is a body of public international law designed to prohibit certain categories of conduct commonly viewed as serious atrocities and to make perpetrators of such conduct criminally accountable for their perpetration. The core crimes under international law are genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression.

"Classical" international law governs the relationships, rights, and responsibilities of states. Criminal law generally deals with prohibitions addressed to individuals, and penal sanctions for violation of those prohibition imposed by individual states. International criminal law comprises elements of both in that although its sources are those of international law, its consequences are penal sanctions imposed on individuals.

The importance of prosecuting international crimes

The prosecution of severe international crimes including genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes is necessary to enforce international criminal law and deliver justice to victims.

This is an important component of transitional justice, or the process of transforming societies into rights-respecting democracies and addressing past human rights violations.

Investigations and trials of leaders who have committed crimes and caused mass political or military atrocities is a key demand of victims of human rights abuses. Prosecution of such criminals can play a key role in restoring dignity to victims, and restoring trusting relationships in society.

International Criminal Court

The International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt)[2] is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal that sits in The Hague in the Netherlands. The ICC has the jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The ICC is intended to complement existing national judicial systems and it may therefore only exercise its jurisdiction when certain conditions are met, such as when national courts are unwilling or unable to prosecute criminals or when the United Nations Security Council or individual states refer situations to the Court. The ICC began functioning on 1 July 2002, the date that the Rome Statute entered into force. The Rome Statute is a multilateral treaty which serves as the ICC's foundational and governing document. States which become party to the Rome Statute, for example by ratifying it, become member states of the ICC. Currently, there are 123 states which are party to the Rome Statute and therefore members of the ICC.

The ICC has four principal organs: the Presidency, the Judicial Divisions, the Office of the Prosecutor, and the Registry. The President is the most senior judge chosen by his or her peers in the Judicial Division, which hears cases before the Court. The Office of the Prosecutor is headed by the Prosecutor who investigates crimes and initiates proceedings before the Judicial Division. The Registry is headed by the Registrar and is charged with managing all the administrative functions of the ICC, including the headquarters, detention unit, and public defense office.

The Office of the Prosecutor has opened ten official investigations and is also conducting an additional eleven preliminary examinations. Thus far, 39 individuals have been indicted in the ICC, including Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony, Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo, and Congolese vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba.

Case Laws

1. Avinash v. State [2015 STPL (Web) 1566 DELHI (Del)]

Criminal Law- Anticipatory Bail- Cruelty- Indian Penal Code- Sections 498-A, 406, 34, Criminal Procedure Code, 1973- Section 438- In this present case bail was granted to husband along with condition to pay Rs. 50,000 to wife for meeting day to day expenses of the child- Question that arose was whether that this compensation to be paid as a condition to the bail can be termed as unreasonable which can have the effect of buying the bail-

Held- that the complainant being lady, dependent on her parents- suggestion by court for making provisions for the immediate need of the child cannot be described as buying the bail- Condition imposed.

2. RichpalKharra V. State [2015 STPL (Web) 1578 Rajasthan (RAJ) Criminal Law- Rape- DNA Test of accused mandatory in nature- Criminal procedure code, 1973, Section 53 A- DNA Test of accused- In this present case the complainant who alleged rape on her self told the police that she was not interested in pursuing the matter and that no offence of rape had taken place with her- Police filed negative report-

Held - Section 53-A of CrPC is mandatory in nature. Accused was directed to provide sample for DNA testing to be sent by investigating officer to the FSL and then FSL to bring the report to the court and court may pursue the matter further , if necessary.

3. Vinod Kumar vs. State of Haryana [ Criminal appeal no. 1401 of 2008]

Criminal Law- Kidnapping of a 3 year old– Indian Penal Code , sections 363, 109, 364-A- The present case is that Vinod Kumar (the accused) worked as a domestic help in the house of Jagbir Singh, and kidnapped their 3 years old son, left a letter addressed to the father of Jagbir Singh for a ransom of Rs. 1 Lakh- Trial court acquitted the accused and said the witness were not independent and were interested witnesses- High court reversed the ruling of the trial court and said that the evidence on record and the statement of the witnesses corroborated and hence accused was guilty- Accused also admitted face of writing the letter for ransom – Accused could not explain how the boy reached Delhi railway station from where he was recovered – Held, no reason to interfere with the decision of the High court and appeal dismissed.

4. Darga Ram v. State of Rajhasthan [ Criminal Appeal no. 513 of 2008]

Criminal Law- Rape and murder of 7 year old child by a juvenile– In the instant case the accused who was deaf and dumb and a juvenile at the time of the occurrence of the incident, raped one child who was attending a jagran and killed her brutally by crushing her head with a stone- Held the heinous crime attracted conviction by the trial and High Court alike- After considering the evidence, age of the accused the accused was decided to be a juvenile at the time of commission of offence and had been in jail for the last 14 years- the appeal succeeded in part and the conviction under Section 302 and 376 of the Indian Penal Code and the sentence awarded to him is set aside.

5. Dilip Kumar vs. State of West Bengal [ Criminal Appeal no. 82 of 2015 arising out of SLP (Crl) No. 9447/2012

Criminal Law- Sentence of Life imprisonment is reduced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment–

In the instant case the accused attacked the complainant and others while they were working in the paddy field and caused the death of one- court held in this case that it would fall under the fourth exception of Section 300 of sudden fight without any premeditation and without taking any undue advantage of the situation.

Held that the accused’s conviction under 302/34 of IPC is modified to 304 and hence the sentence reduced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment.

6. MansoorAlam v. State of Utar Pradesh & ANR [Criminal Appeal No. 91 of 2015 arising out of SLP (CRL) no. 9247 or 2013] Criminal Law- Grant of Bail– Indian Penal Code Section 302, 34 and 120 B-

In instant case accused shot a bullet and killed another, the High court granted bail to accused on the ground that there were only two fatal injuries and the rest were injuries on non-vital parts of the body-

Held, that order of high court is set aside and accused to remain in prison.- Bail refused

7. Ahmed Shah & ANR. v. State of Rajhasthan [ Criminal Appeal no. 17/2009] Criminal Case- Conviction under Section 302/ 34 of IPC or Section 304– In the present case the accused being 7 in number formed an unlawful assembly armed with weapons to take possession of the fields of the claimant- on spot due to a scuffle they caused injuries on complainant and his partners- 2 died as a result of those injuries- Court held that the conviction would be under Section 304 instead of Section 302 because this case fell within the fourth exception of Section 300 of murder, which states murder in case of sudden fight, which is to be without premeditation, sudden in nature, without the offender having taken undue advantage or acted in a cruel manner, the fight must have been with the persons killed- The accused inflicted injuries on the neck etc, knowing it would cause death rest they fell within the fourth exception of Section 300-

Held – no reason to interfere with the order of the High of conviction only the sections were changed.

8. In the case of Jacob Mathew (Dr.) vs. State of Punjab and Anr. III (2005) CPJ 9 (SC) (Criminal Appeal)

In this case a cancer patient in an advanced stage died due to non-availability of an oxygen cylinder in the room, the Supreme Court considered three weighty issues: first, negligence in the context of the medical profession necessarily calls for treatment with difference; second, the difference between occupational negligence and medical negligence has to be properly understood; and third the standard to be applied to hold a medical professorial as negligent has to be carefully considered.

Held: The apex court further held that there is no case that the accused doctor was not a qualified doctor to treat the patient was made and therefore the accused appellant cannot be prosecuted under Section 304 A of IPC for the non- availability of an oxygen cylinder though he may be liable under civil law.

9. In Nikesh Tarachand Shah v Union of IndiaWrit Petition (Criminal) 67/2017, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 1355, two-judge bench. The issue was whether Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002, on the grant of bail, violates the right to equality and right to life. The court noted that Section 45(1) imposes the following further conditions for release on bail:

The court should be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the accused is not guilty (not in relation to an offence under the act, but to a separate offence found under Part A of the schedule only); and that he or she is not likely to commit an offence while on bail.

Held: The court held that Section 45(1) was unconstitutional insofar as it imposes the two further conditions for release on bail, and therefore violates the right to equality and the right to life under the Constitution.

10.Himmat Singh v. Bhagwana Ram, 1988 Cri LJ 614 (Raj) There were fodder tali in a residential colony to which fodder was brought daily during the night by trucks which were unloaded in the morning. This caused intolerable noise, emanating offensive smell and spreading dust-containing particles of fodder cut.

Held: It was held as public nuisance.

11.Harmeeta Singh v RajatTaneja102 (2003) DLT 822 the wife was deserted by her husband within 6 months of marriage as she was compelled to leave the matrimonial home within 3 months of joining her husband in the US. She filed a suit for maintenance under the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act in India.

Held: The High Court disposed of the interim application in the suit by passing an order of restraint against the husband from continuing with the proceedings in the US court in the divorce petition filed by the husband there and also asking him to place a copy of the order of the High Court before the US court.