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OFFENCE OF ROBBERY

CRIMINAL LAW - I RESEARCH PROJECT



Submitted To: Prof (Dr.) G S BAJPAI
Submitted By: Suniti Sampat (Roll No. 71)
Tarun Agarwal (Roll no. 72)
Thejaswi Melarkode (Roll No. 73)
First Year - Second Semester








National Law University, Delhi
2014
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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Topics Pg. No.

Table of Cases......3
Table of Abbreviations.4

Introduction......5
Landmark Cases.....6-18
Cases B/W 2001 to 2007...19-34
Cases B/W 2008 to 20013.35-53

Conclusion..54

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TABLE OF CASES

Landmark Cases
Abdul Rashid and Ors. Vs. Nausher Ali6
Karmum v. Emperor decided.8
Bishambhar Nath and another v. Emperor...................12
Sheo Murar and Ors. v. State16
Cases (2001-2007)
Ashfaq v. State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi)...19
Aslam v. State of Rajasthan.23
Niranjan Singh v. State of M.P....27
State of Karnataka v. David Rozario..30
Cases (2008-20013)
Anil S/O. Lilachand Sarjare v. State Of Maharashtra.35
Venu @ Venugopal and Ors. v. State of Karnataka....39
Amarjit Singh v. State NCT Of Delhi.44
Rajesh @ Rajbir v. State.49



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TABLE OF ABBREVIATIONS

AIR All India Reporter
Art. Article
Cri LJ Criminal Law Journal
Ed. Edition.
Govt. Government
Ors. Others
Pg. No. Page No.
SC Supreme Court
Sec. Section
Ibid. ibidem
v. versus
Vol. Volume
Vis--vis face to face








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INTRODUCTION
The topic which will be researched in this project is the criminal offence of robbery. Section
390 of IPC, 1860 deals with the offence of Robbery. It defines robbery as either theft or
extortion. Theft is" robbery" if, in order to the committing of the theft, or in committing the
theft, or in carrying away or attempting to carry away property obtained by the theft, the
offender, for that end, voluntarily causes or attempts to cause to any person death or hurt or
wrongful restraint, or fear of instant death or of instant hurt, or of instant wrongful restraint.
While, Extortion is" robbery" if the offender, at the time of committing the extortion, is in the
presence of the person put in fear, and commits the extortion by putting that person in fear of
instant death, of instant hurt, or of instant wrongful restraint to that person or to some other
person, and, by so putting in fear, induces the person, so put in fear then and there to deliver
up the thing extorted.
Sec. 392 deals with the punishment for robbery. Section 394 of the IPC prescribes the
punishment for voluntarily causing hurt while committing or attempting to commit robbery.
Section 397 of the IPC prescribes the punishment for causing grievous hurt or attempting to
cause death or grievous hurt to any person at the time of committing robbery while Section 398
of the IPC prescribes the punishment if the offender is armed with any deadly weapon while
attempting to commit robbery. Robbery is an aggravated form of either theft or extortion.
The opening words of Section 390, IPC, show that there cannot be any robbery, if there
is no theft or extortion. Both in theft and extortion, dishonesty is an essential ingredient.
So, if there is no element of dishonesty in an act, there can be no offence of theft or
extortion and consequently there cannot be an offence of robbery. Similarly, removal of
movable property from the possession of another is a necessary element to constitute an
offence of theft. If
-
this element is absent, then there is no theft and consequently, there will
be no robbery either. Thus, in order to verify whether a particular act would amount to
a robbery or not, one has to first establish that the offence has essential ingredients of theft
or extortion, since robbery is nothing but an aggravated form of theft and extortion.'
Theft or extortion or attempt to commit any one of t he two is an inevitable ingredient
for robbery. Theft becomes robbery, if, in order to facilitate the committing of theft or
in attempting to carry away the stolen property, the offender (i.e. the thief) voluntarily
causes or attempts to cause death, hurt or wrongful restraint or fear of instant death,
instant hurt or instant wrongful restraint.
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LANDMARK CASES
Abdul Rashid and Ors. Vs. Nausher Ali on 10 April, 1979
1979 Cri LJ 1158
Calcutta High Court
Abdul Rashid and Ors.Appellant
Nausher Ali.Respondent
Bench : Justice Monoj Kumar Mukherjee
The brief facts of the case are as follows. On the 5
th
of June, 1979, the petitioners had formed
an unlawful assembly along with some other unknown persons. After this, they trespassed into
the land of the complainant, being armed with various weapons. They then started removing
the til crops which had been cultivated by the complainant. On getting this information, the
complainant went to the land and protested. The accused persons threatened the complainant
saying that in case he made an attempt to enter into the land in the future, he will be killed. The
other allegation the complainant made is that the accused persons were frequently giving out
that they would set fire to the house of the complainant and do other mischief. In his initial
deposition the complainant gave the statement that when he protested, the accused persons
abused him in filthy language and chased him with lathis. Some of the witnesses from the
complainants side deposed to the effect that when the complainant protested, the accused
abused him and threatened to kill him. In the context of the allegations made by the complainant
and the statements of the witnesses examined on his behalf, the matter for determination is
whether the materials on record make out a prima facie case under Sections 395/397 of the
I.P.C.
Contentions:
Prosecution: The prosecution contends that the accused threatened to kill the complainant and
set fire to the house of the complainant. Further, the accused used filthy language and chased
the complainant with lathis. Hence, a prima facie case under Sections 395/397 is made
Defence: The contention of the defence was that the materials that are on record do not make
out a prima facie case under Sections 395/ 397 of the I.P.C. The defence also contended that
the learned Magistrate was not justified in issuing process against the accused under the
aforementioned section.
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Issues Framed:
1) Whether, in light of the allegations made by the complainant and the statement of
the witnesses on his behalf, the materials on record make out a prima facie case under
Sections 395/397 of the I.P.C?

LAWS & PROVISIONS APPLIED
The Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 395 of the Indian Penal Code
Section 397 of the Indian Penal Code
Section 390 of the Indian Penal Code

Cases Relied
Cases relied on by:
Prosecution :
_
Defence:
_
The Court:
_

Judgement: The proceeding of the case from the stage the learned Magistrate took cognizance
was quashed and the learned Magistrate was directed to proceed with the complaint in
accordance with the provisions of law.
1. For transformation of an offence of theft to one under robbery, the case must
satisfy the requirements of Section 390 of the I.P.C. "Theft" may be treated
as "robbery" under the said section if, during the commission of theft, or in
committing the theft, or in carrying away or attempting to carry away property
obtained by the theft, the offender, for that end, voluntarily causes or attempts
to cause to any person death or hurt, or wrongful restraint, or fear of instant
death or of instant hurt, or of instant wrongful restraint. The essence of
robbery hence is that the offender for the end of committing theft, or carrying
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away or attempting to carry away the looted property, voluntarily causes or
attempts to cause to any person death or hurt or wrongful restraint or fear of
instant death or of instant hurt or of instant wrongful restraint. The use of
violence will not ipso facto convert the offence of theft into robbery unless
the violence is committed for one of the ends specified in that section.
2. Judging the facts of the instant case in the light of Section 390 of I.P.C, the
court did not find any allegation whatsoever to show prima facie that the
threat was meted out by the petitioners for any of the ends mentioned in the
Section 390 of the I.P.C. In absence of any specific averment or allegation to
that effect, the court was of the view that the learned Magistrate was not
justified in holding that a prima facie case under Sections 395/397 of the
I.P.C. was made out on the materials on record.
3. In view of the foregoing discussion, the application succeeded and the Rule
was made absolute. The proceeding of C. R. Case No. 340 of 1978 from the
stage the learned Magistrate took cognizance was quashed and the learned
Magistrate wasdirected to proceed with the complaint in accordance with the
provisions of the law.
Sentencing:
The application succeeded
Obiter
When "robbery" is committed by five or more persons, it meets the requirements of
the definition of "dacoity" under Section 391 of the I.P.C.

2. Karmum v. Emperor decided on 4
th
March,1933
AIR 1933 Lahore 407
Lahore High Court
Karmum and others..Appellants
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Emperor..Defendant
Bench: Judge Agha Haidar
The following are the brief facts of the case. On the night between 13th/14th August 1932,
Mt. Karam Bhari, Prosecution Witness 3, wife of Hussain. Bakhsh Patwari, P.W. 10,
accompanied by her two sons, namely, Haidar Ali, aged 16, and Rahmat Ullah, aged 10,
alighted at the Kanjwani, Railway Station, at about twelve o'clock at night and took shelter
in the passengers' shed. After half an hour the two accused, namely, Karmun and Mokha,
also came to the Railway Station. One of them took his seat on a bench, which was lying
there, while the other lay down on the floor and went to sleep. The man, who was sitting on
the bench, after some time went out and, after having washed himself, said his prayer and,
returning to the passengers' shed, again took his seat on the bench. He awoke the man who
was sleeping on the floor and then both of them went out and returned after about half an
hour. Again, one of them sat down on the bench while the other went to sleep on the floor.
Shortly, afterwards both of them went out. While these preliminary manoeuvres were taking
place, Mt. Karam. Bhari was sitting quite alert . She was wide awake and was holding in her
hands a bundle containing her valuables in front of her. All of a sudden one of the culprits
came from behind and caught hold of the bundle which Mt. Karam Bhari was holding
.Thereafter, they tried to run away with it. Mt. Karam Bhari however kept her grip on the
bundle and, was in fact dragged 2 or 3 karams along with it as the culprit, who had first
pounced upon it, tried to make good his escape. In the end she lost her hold on the bundle
and the two culprits, made away with the booty. According to the prosecution, some days
afterwards the two culprits, namely, Karmun and Mokha, were traced and the police
managed to recover some stolen property from their possession. In fact it is stated that they
themselves produced the stolen property. Hayatu accused, according to the prosecution, is
also alleged to have produced part of the stolen property.
Contentions:
Prosecution: 1) the conditions for theft have been fulfilled
2) It can qualify as an aggravated form of theft i.e. robbery
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Defence: 1) The statement of the complainant cannot be completely relied upon and there is
no case of theft
2) Does not qualify as robbery, which is an aggravated form of theft
Issues framed:
1. Have all conditions of theft have been fulfilled?
2. Does this case qualify as an aggravated form of theft, which is robbery?
3. Was the hurt caused voluntarily for that end? For that end means to
facilitate theft.
Laws and Provisions Applied
Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 392 of the Indian Penal Code
Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code
Cases referred to:
Prosecution:
-
Defence:
-
The court:
1) Thomas Gnosil (1824) 1 C. P.304
2) Edwards (1783) 1Cox 32
Judgement: The words "for that end" and "voluntarily" are of relevance. Before a person
can be convicted of robbery the prosecution has to prove that hurt was caused for the end,
namely, in order to facilitate the committing of the theft or in committing the theft or in
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carrying away or attempting to carry away the property obtained by the theft. In the present
case, the object of the accused was to steal the bundle and run away with it It cannot be said
that because Mt. Karam Bhari was dragged to a distance of 2 or 3 karams along with the
bundle, they voluntarily caused hurt to her for that end. In fact, far from voluntarily dragging
and thereby causing hurt to Mt. Karam Bhari who was stuck to her bundle, they would have
been mightily pleased had she had not held fast to the bundle at all and allowed them to carry
it away without any let or hindrance. The hurt contemplated must be a conscious and
voluntary act on the part of the thief for the purpose of overpowering resistance on the part
of the victim, quite separate and distinct from the act of theft itself. In an English case
reported as Thomas Gnosil (1824) 1 C. P.304, the accused, while walking behind a woman
in a street, forcibly pulled the shawl, which she was wearing on her shoulders, and in doing
so, used considerable violence which must have at least caused her bodily shock. It was held
that, inasmuch as violence was not used for the purpose of overpowering the lady, but only
to get possession of her shawl, the accused was not guilty of highway robbery. Again, in
another case reported as Edwards (1783) 1Cox 32, a person, while cutting a string by which
a basket was suspended, with the intention of stealing it, accidentally cut the wrist of the
owner who tried to seize and retain the basket and prevent the thief from running away with
it. It was held that the offence committed was theft and not robbery. In the present case the
hurt caused to Mt. Karam Bhari took the shape of her being dragged away a short distance
and was merely an accidental circumstance which followed in the natural course of events
from the act of asportation as described above. In the opinion of the court, the two accused,
namely, Karam and Mokha, are not guilty of robbery. They are however clearly guilty of the
offence of theft which, in the present case, is of a serious nature, as the victim was an
unprotected woman who happened to be all alone at a wayside railway station.
Sentencing: The appeal was allowed to some extent. The conviction and sentencing under
Section 392 was set aside. He was convicted under Section 379 and sentenced to three years
rigorous imprisonment. The conviction of Hayatu was set aside.



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Bishambhar Nath and another v. Emperor on 23
rd
April, 1941
Bishambhar Nath.Appellant
EmperorRespondent
Bench: Justice Ghulam Hasan

The following are the brief facts of the case. on 11th November 1940, the applicants went
to a carnival show held at Hardoi, where the applicants tried their luck at what is known as
dart shooting stall. This stall had a table placed in the middle which had different colours
painted on it. There was a board with similar colours just behind the table. Those who wanted
to bet were given three darts to shoot at the board at the colour selected by them. The
customers paid one anna at least for each set of darts. Filas, the applicant, along with his
companions, started the betting at about 8 P.M. and this went on for about three hours.
At about 11 P.M. Filas bet Rs. 2 on a white colour and threw all his three darts. These did
not hit a white colour at the board, but they hit a black colour. Filas demanded his money
back claiming that he had bet on a black colour and had consequently won the game. The
manager in charge of the stall refused to accept this claim and asserted that he had really
placed his bet on a white colour. This led to an altercation between Filas on one side and the
manager on the other. There was an exchange of not words between the two persons. All the
four accused including Filas tore down the cloth surrounding the booth, entered the enclosure
and began to belabour the manager, Maqbul Husain P.W. 1, and his assistant Agha Khan,
P.W. 2, with fists, kicks and lathis. The accused had overpowered the two persons, and
removed the cash box and the money lying on the table. The cash box which contained Rs.
114 was turned down by Filas, an accused, and its money was taken away by all of them.
There were a number of spectators at the spot, and it is somewhat remarkable that the carnival
staff which had arrived at the spot on hearing the alarm was not able to arrest the accused
with the help of the spectators. It is stated that this is due to the fact that the accused were
armed with lathis. The accused disappeared with the booty. The two police constables who
were on duty at the carnival premises, arrived at the spot after the accused had run away.
Maqbul Husain, the manager, received six injuries while his companion, Agha Khan,
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received three. These injuries were simple. Maqbul Husain was advised to lodge a report at
the police station by the constables, who remained at the scene to guard the scene of
occurrence. They detained some persons who were eye-witnesses of the occurrence there.
Maqbul Husain made the first information report at the police station at 12.30 A.M. In this
report, the facts stated above are substantially repeated. The important fact which needs
special mention is that the report says that upon an altercation ensuing between the manager
and Filas accused on the question whether he had bet on a white colour or a black colour,
Filas and his companions looted all the cash in the cash box and the other money which was
lying on the table, and that when they were restrained from doing so then Filas and his
companions began to beat Maqbul Husain and Agha Khan with their lathis.
The Sub-Inspector arrived at the scene of the occurrence soon after the report was made and
examined the witnesses to the occurrence. He arrested all the accused except Filas who had
absconded. The accused denied the charge and put up a counter story which had been rejected
by the learned Magistrate and the learned Additional Sessions Judge. The learned Magistrate
upon a consideration of the entire prosecution evidence concluded that all the accused were
present at the shooting stall as stated by the prosecution witnesses, and that they took part in
the assault upon the manager and his servant and that they further robbed them of the money.
He held that all the accused were guilty of an offence under S. 394, Penal Code, and
sentenced each of them to undergo one year's rigorous imprisonment and pay a fine of Ss. 50.
Contentions:
Prosecution:
1) the necessary ingredients of robbery are present
Defence:
1) the necessary ingredients of the offence under S. 394, Penal Code have not been
established and a conviction under the aforementioned section is not legally
sustainable
2) According to the first information report, the beating followed the theft of cash, but
according to the evidence of the prosecution, the beating preceded the theft. The hurt
was not caused for the end of committing robbery.
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3) The pnly person liable is Filas, who removed the cash from the box
Issues Framed
1) Whether the injury was caused before or after the theft occurred?
2) Whether the hurt caused was in relation to, or was done in order to facilitate
robbery?
3) Whether all the essentials of theft have been fulfilled?
Laws and Provisions Applied
Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 323 of the Indian Penal Code
Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code
Section 390 of the Indian Penal Code
Section 394 of the Indian Penal Code
Cases Referred to:
Prosecution:
Defence:
The Court:
1) Karuppa Gounden v. Emperor, AIR 1918 Mad 821: 38 IC 730 : 18 Cr LJ 346
2) Karmun v. Emperor, AIR 1933 Lah 407: 147 IC 99 : 35 Cr LJ 297 : 35 PLR
186
Judgement:
In the present case it cannot be contended with any show of reason that whatever injury
was caused, it was caused when the assault was made upon the stall manager and his servant
with the primary object of enabling the accused to commit the theft. I am satisfied, therefore,
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that the assault or the beating had no relation whatever to the commission of the theft,
although there is no doubt of the fact that the theft was committed at the same time or
immediately afterwards. The court opines that the accused are not guilty of an offence under
S. 394, Penal Code. Hence, sets aside their convictions on the charge of robbery. The result
of this finding is that all the accused will, however, be liable under S. 323, Penal Code. 6.
As regards the question whether the applicants are guilty of an offence under S. 379, Penal
Code, the learned counsel on behalf of the applicants has argued that the only person liable
under this section is Filas, who according to the evidence of Kartar Singh, P.W. 6, in the
main case and of Matroo, P.W. 4, in the cognate case, alone removed the cash. This argument
ignores the other prosecution evidence on record which is unanimously points that all the
four accused removed the cash. This evidence was accepted by both the Courts below, and
it is not open to the applicants to urge in revision that in preference to that evidence the
evidence of these two witnesses, namely Matroo, P.W. 4 and Kartar Singh, p.w. 6, should be
given greater weight. The court held that all the applicants committed the theft of the cash
and are consequently liable under S. 379, Penal Code. In the opinion of the court, the ends
of justice will be sufficiently met if Bishambhar, Hitta Singh and Beche Lal, accused, are
sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for six months each and a fine of Rs. 50 each under
S. 379, Penal Code. Roop Narain alias Filas, who appears to have taken the leading part,
deserves no reduction in sentence. He is accordingly sentenced to one year's rigorous
imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 50 under S. 379, Penal Code. In default of payment of fine,
each accused will undergo another six weeks rigorous imprisonment. The result is that I
allow the revision applications in part, set aside the convictions and sentences of the
applicants under S. 394, Penal Code, convict them under Ss.323, Penal Code and 379, Penal
Code, and sentence them as stated above. The sentences of rigorous imprisonment under
Ss. 323, Penal Code and 379, Penal Code, shall run concurrently.

Sentencing:
The conviction of the applicants under S. 394, Penal Code, was altered to one under S. 323,
Penal Code, and the sentence reduced to three months rigorous imprisonment under the latter
section. Bishambhar, Hitta Singh and Beche Lal, accused, are sentenced to rigorous
imprisonment for six months each and a fine of Rs. 50 each under S. 379, Penal Code. Roop
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Narain alias Filas, who appears to have taken the leading part, according to the court,
deserves no reduction in sentence. He is sentenced to one year's rigorous imprisonment and
a fine of Rs. 50 under S. 379, Penal Code. In default of payment of fine, each accused will
undergo another six weeks rigorous imprisonment. The revision applications were allowed
in part, convictions and sentences of the applicants under S. 394 set aside Penal Code. The
court convicted them under Ss.323, Penal Code and 379, Penal Code, and sentence them as
stated above. The sentences of rigorous imprisonment under Ss. 323, Penal Code and 379,
Penal Code, shall run concurrently.

Sheo Murar and Ors. v. State on 21
st
April, 1954
AIR1955All128, 1955CriLJ336
Allahabad High Court
Sheo Murar..Appellant
State.Respondent
Bench : Justice Randhir Singh
The following are the brief facts of the case. The complainant alleged that his gram crop was
being stealthily removed from his field. When he noticed the loss on the 17th March and again
on 18
th
March, hecomplained to the Mukhia, who asked him if there was someone he suspected
of the theft. The complainant told the Mukhia that he had no idea about who had committed
the theft. The Mukhia advice to him was to keep a watch and find out who the culprits are.
The complainant hence sat stealthily near the 'mend' of his field on the evening of 19
th
March,
1952. At about 7 p.m. the four applicants came to the field with lathis in their hands. The
applicants looked on all sides after which they started uprooting gram plants. Just then, the
complainant emerged from his hiding and challenged the applicants. The applicants then
chased the complainant, abused him and decamped. A complaint was then made to the
Panchayati Adalat. The Panchayati Adalat held the applicants guilty and fined them Rs. 30/-
under Sections 379/511 and Rs. 25/- and Rs. 20/- respectively under Sections 504 and 506,
Penal Code. The applicants went for revision under Section 85, Panchayat Raj Act, to the Sub-
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Divisional Magistrate who dismissed this application. The applicants then came up to this
Court in revision.
Contentions:
Prosecution:
The applicants are guilty under Sections 379/511 and respectively under Sections 504 and 506.
Defence:
1) This amounts to a case of robbery. Hence, the Panchayat Raj has no jurisdiction to try
such a case.
Issues Framed:
1) Whether this amounts to a case of robbery?
2) Does the Panchayat have jurisdiction in this case?
Laws and Provisions Applied:
Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 390 of the Indian Penal Code
Cases Referred to
Prosecution:
_
Defence:
1) Sant Prasad and Ors. vs. State (01.06.1951 - ALLHC) AIR 1952 All 785
Court:
1) Sant Prasad and Ors. vs. State (01.06.1951 - ALLHC) AIR 1952 All 785
18


Judgement
The only point which has been pressed on behalf of the applicants was that the facts
disclosed in the complaint amount to an offence of robbery under Section 390, Penal
Code, and this case could not be heard by a Panchayati Adalat. Reliance has been
placed on a decision of this Court in -- 'Sant Prasad v. The State: AIR 1952 All 785
(A). Section 390 has defined the offence of robbery and the relevant provisions of
robbery as follows: "Theft is "robbery" if, in order to the committing of the theft, or
in committing the theft or in carrying away or attempting to carry away property
obtained by the theft, the offender, for that end. voluntarily causes or attempts to
cause to any person death or hurt or wrongful restraint, or fear of instant death or of
instant hurt, or of instant wrongful restraint." Hence, it is indicative of the fact that
theft would have become robbery only if in the committing of the theft or in order
to the committing of theft or carrying away or attempting to carry away property
obtained by theft, force was applied. In the present case the Panchayati Adalat itself
found and it was also alleged that the culprits neither took away the property nor
attempted to use force while committing theft. They were detected and in order to
escape away, it appears, they made use of force. Such an offence would not be
covered by the definition of the word "robbery" as given in Section 390 of the Indian
Penal Code.
2) In the reported case of 'Sant Prasad v. The State: AIR 1952 All 785 (A) referred to
above, it was during the act of committing theft and during the carrying away stolen
property that hurt was caused. It was held under those circumstances that the
offence did amount to robbery. But the reported case has no application to the facts
of the present case. The applicants did not make use of force or any show of force
in the act of committing theft or in attempting to take away stolen property in the
present case and the offence which they have been found guilty could not, therefore
be said to be robbery. The court hence held that the Panchayati Adalat had
jurisdiction to take cognizance of the case.
Sentencing: The application for revision has been dismissed.
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CASES (2001-07)

1. Ashfaq v. State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi) 2004 Cri LJ 936.
Criminal Appeal No. 1296 of 2002 with Criminal Appeal No. 1479 of 2003.
By The Honble Supreme Court
Ashfaq.. APPELLANT
State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi)..RESPONDENT
BENCH: Honble Doraiswamy Raju and Dr. Arijit Pasayat, JJ.

Brief Facts are as follows Appeals in this case have been filed by two of the four
accused Ashfaq and Haroon in the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India. On 9.11.1991,
at about 7.15 p.m., prosecution witness Bal Kishan, owner of the house, was
witnessing a TV programme in the inner room of his house in the company of his
wife Smt. Raj Rani. The accused persons entered their house and on enquiry by Bal
Kishan when he came out of the room, was told by one of the four persons that they
were sent by one Mahabir Thekedar for white washing of their house. Among the
four accused, one was already known on account of having white washed their house.
So, Bal Kishan told them one of them that he only had already white washed the
house, and enquired about the need for it again. As the conversation was going on
like that, the accused closed the door and one of the boys took out a country-made
pistol and other took out their knives and by using such threat with such weapons
they pushed both the inmates Bal Kishan and Smt. Raj Rani inside and demanded
the keys of the almirah. Smt. Raj Rani the wife tried her best to befool them and told
them that the keys were with her daughter who resides at a different place. But as
expected she was not believed and they started searching all around here and there
for the keys and during this course one of the relatives of owner, Manoj Kumar, also
arrived there. At that point of time one of the boys opened the door and brought the
new comer also inside and ordered them all to hand over their belongings, which
included a sum of Rs. 1400/- and Rs. 200/- from Manoj Kumar. When the search
was being made, one of the accused asked Bal Kishan for the sten gun belonging to
his father, and in the process they were finally able to lay their hands on it.
Thereupon, the Sten gun with the magazine and cartridges were also taken away by
them after bolting the door from outside. On raising an alarm by the inmates the
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neighbours came and opened the door. It appears that, the accused also removed the
gold chain in the temple which was also said to be missing. The above appellants
were tried before the learned Additional Sessions Judge along with two others by
name Ikrar and Shahid for charges under Section 452 IPC, Section 392 IPC and
Section 397 IPC read with Section 34 IPC. Haroon was also charged for an offence
under of the Arms Act. One of the accused Shahid, absconded and was also declared
as Proclaimed offender, after following procedure under Sections 82 &83 of the
Cr.P.C.

CONTENTIONS
I. Prosecution
The contentions of the prosecution, i.e. the respondent of this criminal appeal
case, are as follows:
1. Learned Counsel contended that the evidence on record sufficiently
established, the guilt of the accused and the reasons assigned by the
Courts below are fortified by sufficient material and consequently no
interference is called for with the concurrent findings of the Courts below.
II. Defence
The contentions of the defence, i.e. the appellants of this criminal case, are
as follows:
1. It was contended that the identification of the accused in the Court
without holding a proper test identification parade earlier and at the
relevant point of time renders the evidence wholly unreliable and
completely vitiated the judgments of the Courts below and that no
reliance whatsoever could be placed on the testimony of the witnesses in
question to indict the appellants.
2. Counsel urged further that even according to the PWs it was only one
person who was said to be in possession of the country-made pistol and
in the absence of any recovery of the same or proof by concrete materials
of the role of others individually as the accused, no conviction under
Section 397 r/w Section 34 of the Penal Code was permissible and that
the necessary ingredient, to attract Section 397 of the Penal Code was
also said to be conspicuous by their absence in this case.
21

3. It was also contended that on the facts and circumstances of the case,
when it was not shown by any evidence that the deadly weapon was
actually used or put into any use as such, Section 397 IPC cannot at all
be resorted to.

ISSUES FRAMED
The issues framed as per the above contentions were:
1.) Whether the Test Identification Parade in a robbery case, at the relevant time, is
dependent on the facts and circumstances of the case or is it always necessary for
the purpose of reliable evidence during the trial?
2.) Whether knife unlike the country made pistol, comes under the category of deadly
weapons for the purpose of Sec. 397 of IPC?
3.) Whether the actual commission of grievous hurt/death with the deadly weapon is
essential to satisfy the word uses for the purpose of Sec. 397, IPC?

LAWS AND PROVISIONS APPLIED
Section 25 of the Arms Act, 1959.
Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Section 392 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Section 395 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Section 397 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Section 398 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Section 452 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

CASES RELIED
Cases Relied on by:
The Defence
1. Shravan Dashrath Datrange v. State of Maharashtra 1998 Crl. L.J. 1196
The Court
1. Ramanbhai Naranbhai Patel and Ors. v. State of Gujarat 1999 Cri LJ 5013.
2. Phool Kumar. v. Delhi Administration AIR 1975 SC 905.

22

JUDGEMENT
This appeal was dismissed.
1. As a matter of general principle, the point urged with reference to the omission to
conduct earlier the test identification Parade may be correct, the question as to
whether there is any violation of the same in a given case would very much depend
on the facts and circumstances of each case and there cannot be any abstract general
formula for universal and ready application in all cases (Relied on Ramanbhai Patel
Case).

2. So far as the contention urged as to the applicability of Section 397 IPC and the
alleged lack of proof of the necessary ingredients therefore, is concerned it
proceeds, in courts view, upon a misconception that unless the deadly weapon has
been actually used to inflict any injury in the commission of the offence as such,
the essential ingredient to attract the said provocation could not be held to have been
proved and substantiated. We are of the view that the said claim on behalf of the
appellants proceeds upon a too narrow construction of the provision and meaning
of the words "Uses" found in Section 397 IPC. In Phool Kumar. v.
Delhi Administration case, it was observed as follows:
When the offence of robbery is committed by an offender being armed with a
deadly weapon which was within the vision of the victim so as to be capable of
creating a terror in his mind, the offender must be deemed to have used that deadly
weapon in the commission of the robbery. On the other hand, if an offender was
armed with a deadly weapon at the time of attempting to commit a robbery, then
the weapon was not put to any fruitful use because it would have been of use only
when the offender succeeded in committing the robbery."

3. The further plea that one accused alone, was in any event in possession of the
country-made pistol and the others could not have been vicariously held liable under
Section 397 IPC with the assistance of Section 34 IPC over-looks the other vital
facts on record found by the Courts below that the others were also armed with and
used their knives and that knife is equally a deadly weapon, for purposes of
Section 397 IPC.

23

SENTENCING
Following this observation, the Supreme Court, in this case, dismissed the
appeal and upheld the sentence imposed on the accused by the Trial Court
and the High Court.
OBITER
The provisions of Section 397, does not create any new substantive offence as such
but merely serves as complementary to Section 392 and 395 by regulating the
punishment already provided for dacoity by fixing a minimum term of imprisonment
when the dacoity committed was found attendant upon certain aggravating
circumstances viz., use of a deadly weapon, or causing of grievous hurt or attempting
to cause death or grievous hurt.

2. Aslam v. State of Rajasthan, AIR 2009 SC 363.
Criminal Appeal No. 1531.
In Honble Supreme Court of India.
Aslam @ Deewan..APPELLANT
State of Rajasthan..RESPONDENT
BENCH: Dr. Arijit Pasayat and Mukundakam Sharma, JJ.


The background facts in a nutshell are as follows:
In a written report lodged by Jagdish Soni (PW-1) it was mentioned that on 24.4.2002
at about 8.30 to 8.45 p.m. his brother-in-law Shri Nand Kishore was looted by some
miscreants in between Partanion-Ka-Rasta and Gali Mahadev, who inflicted grievous
blow on his head by iron rod and snatched his bag and ran away. He was got admitted
in the Bangar Hospital.
On the basis of the above report, the police registered a chalked FIR under Section 392
IPC. During investigation of the case, accused Waseem was arrested by the police on
2.5.2002 at Kadkad-duma Court premise, Delhi, at about 3.00 p.m., and accused-
appellant Aslam was arrested on 11.5.2002 in the house of Sheokat Bhai, near Bilala
Masjit, Delhi. Accused Waseem gave an information under Section 27 of the Indian
Evidence Act, 1872 about the place of incident; he gave another information in respect
24

of shop from where he took one cycle on rent for the said incident, and the bag, which
was looted on the date of the incident, and told the address of the place where these
articles are lying. He gave the third information under Section 27 of the Evidence Act
about Rs. 10,000/- which were given to some property dealer to purchase a plot. In
pursuance of the aforesaid information, a sum of Rs.10,000/- was recovered in presence
of witnesses. The other recoveries were also made in pursuance of the information
given by the accused. The iron rod which was used for inflicting injury on the person
of injured Nand Kishore was also seized. The handbag and other gold items were
recovered as per the information of the accused persons. The other informations were
also given by the accused persons under Section 27 of the Evidence Act and recovery
was effected at their instance and information given in writing by them voluntarily.

CONTENSIONS

I. Prosecution
The contentions of the prosecution, i.e. the respondent of this criminal appeal
case, are as follows:
1. Learned Counsel for the State supported the judgment and requested the court
to dismiss the appeal.

II. Defence
The contentions of the defence, i.e. the appellant of this criminal appeal case, are
as follows:
1. It was submitted that the evidence adduced by the prosecution was not
sufficient to fasten the guilt on the appellant for offence punishable under
Section 394 IPC.
2. Defence contended that victim might have had the opportunity to see the
accused persons earlier and therefore Test Identification Parade is vitiated.
3. Defence counsel contended that the appellant has already suffered custody
for a considerable length of time, so his sentence should be reduced.


25

ISSUES FRAMED
The issues framed as per the above contentions were:
1. Whether persons can be held Jointly Liable under Section 394 despite not
causing hurt during the commission of Robbery?
2. Whether there is any question of reducing sentence of the accused?
3. Whether TI Parade was vitiated from the plea of accused that victim
might have had the opportunity to see him before?

LAWS & PROVISIONS APPLIED
Section 27 of Indian evidence Act, 1872.
Section 392 of Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Section 394 of Indian Penal Code, 1860.

CASES RELIED
Cases Relied on by:
The Prosecution
-
The Defence
-
The Court
-
JUDGEMENT
Appeal is dismissed.
1. Section 394 postulates and contemplates the causing of harm during commission of
robbery or in attempting to commit robbery when such causing of hurt is hardly
necessary to facilitate the commission of robbery. Section 394 applies to cases
where during the course of robbery voluntary hurt is caused. Section 394 classifies
two distinct class of persons.
26

Firstly, those who actually cause hurt and secondly those who do not actually
cause hurt but are "jointly concerned" in the commission of offence of robbery.
The second class of persons may not be concerned in the causing of hurt, but
they become liable independently of the knowledge of its likelihood or a
reasonable belief in its probability.
2. In the instant case test identification parade was held. The accused persons were
identified during investigation by the injured Nand Kishore Soni in the presence of
A.C.J.M, Mukesh Jat. Victim identified the articles which were recovered in the
presence of the Magistrate Arti Bhardwaj.
3. As the identification proceeding was conducted by Mukesh Jat, the Judicial
Magistrate, the stand that victim may have got opportunity to see the accused
persons earlier was found to be without any substance by both the Trial Court and
the High Court. The identification of the articles was done in the identification
proceedings carried out by Arti Bhardwaj, Judicial Magistrate.
4. So far as the sentence is concerned, the minimum is ten years. Therefore, there is
no question of reducing the sentence, though the appellant's stand was that the
appellant has already suffered custody for a considerable length of time. Same is of
no consequence. The Trial Court has also noted that both the accused persons are
habitual offenders and appeals involving similar offences were pending before the
High Court.

SENTENCE
Since in the instant case minimum sentence had been awarded, Supreme Court founded
no reason to interfere with the appeal and upheld the sentence of Trial and High Courts.

OBITER
Section 394 describes punishment for voluntary causing hurt in committing or
attempting to commit robbery. The offence under this section is more serious offence
than one under Section 392.




27

3. Niranjan Singh v. State of M.P., 2007 Cri LJ 3523.
Criminal Appeal Nos. 487 of 2001 and 868 of 2002.
In the Honble Supreme Court of India.
Niranjan Singh. APPELLANT.
State of Madhya Pradesh..RESPONDENT.
BENCH - Dr. Arijit Pasayat and B.P. Singh, JJ.

Background facts in a nutshell are as follows:
On 2nd June 1986 the accused persons had entered the shop of Babulal while he was in
the process of closing. One shutter was already put and one shutter was still to be put.
Accused entered the shop at about 9.15 p.m. and asked for a sum of Rs.1001/- from
Babulal and asked him the reason why he had offered only two 'Ilachis' when the three
persons had come to the shop the previous day. At that time injured Babulal and his
brother Munnalal were present and they were settling the account. Babulal was having
Rs.400/- in his hands. Ramsahay and Niranjan asked to hand over Rs.1000/-. On refusal
of the Babulal, Ramsahay inflicted one injury on his right arm with a knife. Another
injury was caused on left side of chest by knife. Niranjan Singh snatched the 400 rupees.
It was alleged that one more boy was accompanying the accused persons whose name
was not known. The incident was witnessed by Santosh Kumar and Jinendra Kumar.
On medical examination of injured Babulal one injury was found on the left side of
chest below the nipple and the other injury was on the left arm. Both the injuries were
caused by hard and sharp weapon. The clothes of Babulal were seized which carried
corresponding sign of insertion of knife. A knife was recovered from the possession of
accused Niranjan. Accused Sitaram was put up for identification parade by Mulle Singh
who was Sarpanch of the village. The money which was allegedly looted could not be
recovered from the accused. The accused abjured the guilt. Accused Sitaram contended
that he was falsely implicated in the case. Accused Niranjan took the defence that he
was standing in front of the shop of Munnalal and accused Ramsahay was demanding
money from Babulal which was due from him. On that altercation took place between
Munnalal and Ramsahay and there was a scuffle. The accused intervened and separated
the two. As the accused Niranjan sided with Ramasahay, his name was also mentioned
in the array of accused. Ramsahay took the plea that Rs.1050/- were due from Babulal
on account of purchase of 'Char' which was payable to his uncle and when money was
28

demanded an altercation took place. No incident of robbery took place. Knife was not
recovered from him.

CONTENSIONS
I. Prosecution
The contentions of the prosecution, i.e. the respondent of this criminal appeal
case, are as follows:
1. Counsel contended that for attracting Section 397 IPC it is not necessary
that grievous hurt should be found.
2. He further contended that Ingredients of the provision are satisfied if the
evidence on record establishes that grievous hurt was intended.

II. Defence
The contentions of the defence, i.e. the appellant of this criminal appeal case, are
as follows:
1. Though several points were urged by the Defence, the primary stand was that
ingredients under Section 397 IPC were not made out as no grievous hurt was
found.

ISSUES FRAMED
The issues framed as per the above contentions were:
1. Knife blow given on the chest below the nipple Section 397 whether
attracted?
2. What are the ingredients for Section 397?

LAWS & PROVISIONS APPLIED
Section 320 of Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Section 392 of Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Section 395 of Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Section 397 Indian Penal Code, 1860.



29

CASES RELIED
Cases Relied on by:
The Prosecution
-
The Defence
-
The Court
-
JUDGEMENT
The Appeal is dismissed.
1. The ingredients of the offence are as under:
The commission of robbery or dacoity as described in Section 392 and 395
respectively;
the accused-
(a) used a deadly weapon, or
(b) caused grievous hurt, or
(c) attempted to cause death or grievous hurt;
he did so at the time of committing the robbery or dacoity.

2. Grievous hurt is defined in Section 320 IPC. This Section reads as follows:
Grievous hurt: The following kinds of hurt only are designated as "grievous":
First - Emasculation
Secondly - Permanent privation of the sight of either eye.
Thirdly - Permanent privation of the hearing of either ear.
Fourthly - Privation of any member of joint.
Fifthly - Destruction or permanent impairing of the powers of any member or
join.
Sixthly - Permanent disfiguration of the head or face.
Seventhly - Fracture or dislocation of a bone or tooth.
Eighthly - Any hurt which endangers life or which causes the sufferer to be
during the space of twenty days in severe bodily paid, or unable to follow his
ordinary pursuits.
30


3. The facts of the instant case show that Section 397 IPC was rightly applied. Any
hurt which endangers life is a grievous hurt. It would be seen that one of the injuries
was caused just below the nipple. The term "endangers life" is much stronger than
the expression "dangerous to life". Apart from that in the provision "attempt" to
cause grievous hurt attracts its application. The question whether the accused
attempted to cause death or grievous hurt would depend upon the factual scenario.
In the instant case knife blow was given on the chest just below the nipple.
Considering the place where injury was inflicted i.e. on the chest the High Court
was right in its view about the applicability of Section 397 IPC.

SENTENCE
Supreme Court dismissed the appeal and upheld the sentence given by High Court.
OBITER
Any hurt, which endangers life, is a grievous hurt.

4. State of Karnataka v. David Rozario, 2002 Cri LJ 4127.
Decided On: 17.09.2002
In Honble Supreme Court of India
State of Karnataka..APPLELLANT
David Razario and Anr..RESPONDENT
BENCH: Honble U.C. Banerjee and Dr. Arijit Pasayat, JJ.

The deceased had three children who reside abroad. She was staying alone in her house
in the evening of 20.12.1986. A maid-servant Tayarmma was working in her house and
also worked in the house of Mrs. Joyce, wife of Holmes. The maid servant as usual
served coffee to the deceased and went to the house of Mrs. Joyce to work there, and
was there till about 8.00 p.m. Thereafter, she left the place to go to her house, which
was situated on the back side of deceased's house. When she was near the house of the
deceased, she saw the electric lights in the house of the deceased were burning, and also
noticed that the front door of the house was closed. While the back door was open she
entered the house of the deceased through back door and came to the hall, where she
31

saw the deceased sitting on a chair with blood all over the body. The deceased had
sustained head injury, which was bleeding. The maid servant ran out screaming to the
house of Mrs. Joyce and brought her husband along with her to the house of deceased.
They also called some another person. They took the deceased in injured condition to
the Nursing Home of Bikram Chand. Since the deceased had sustained injuries on the
head, in spite of treatment she could not regain consciousness and passed away around
mid-night. Police was informed and First information report was accordingly recorded
and investigation was undertaken. On 26.12.1986 information was gathered by the
Investigating Officer about one tape recorder which was missing from the house of the
deceased. The tape recorder was of foreign make. It came to light that the said tape
recorder was gifted by her daughter to the deceased. Some days after the date of the
incident the accused persons were arrested in another case of theft of a T.V. set.
Accused No. 2 led the Investigating Officer and others to a shop where Dilip Ghodke,
the owner of the shop was asked to bring the tape recorder which accused had sold to
him, after redeeming the same from the pawn broker Mohammed Ilyas. Relevant pawn
ticket receipts were seized by the Investigating Officer. On the basis of the information
given by the accused persons recovery was made of the weapon i.e. an Iron Rod. The
Additional Sessions Judge on the basis of evidence on record found the accused-
appellants guilty under Section 302 r/w Section 34 and Section 392 r/w Section 34 of
the IPC, 1860. They were sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life and rigorous
imprisonment for a period of 5 years respectively for the aforesaid two offences. But,
the Division Bench of the Karnataka High Court set aside the conviction and State filed
an appeal in the Supreme Court to set aside the decision of respective High Court.

CONTENTIONS
I. Prosecution
The contentions of the prosecution, i.e. the appellant of this criminal appeal case,
are as follows:
1. Learned counsel for appellant-State submitted that the High Court by a
sketchy and practically non-reasoned order has set aside the conviction.
II. Defence
The contentions of the prosecution, i.e. the appellant of this criminal appeal case,
are as follows:

32


1. Learned counsel for the respondent on the other hand submitted that the High
Court has rightly stressed upon the fact that the tape recorder was of very small
value and two persons could not have taken the life of an elder lady.
2. He also contended that, Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 was applied
by the trial court to record conviction when the same cannot be the only
foundation for conviction.

ISSUES FRAMED
The issues framed as per the above contentions were:
1. Whether commission of theft of an article of very small value with murder
be put into the category of Robbery with the murder?
2. Whether the evidence relating to recovery is sufficient to fasten guilt on
the accused?
3. Whether prosecution case was based only on the evidence in terms of Section
27 or also on other evidence?

LAWS & PROVISIONS APPLIED
Section 34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Section 302 of Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Section 392 of Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Section 25 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
Section 26 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
Section 27 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
Section 114 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

CASES RELIED
Cases Relied on by:
The Prosecution
-
The Defence
-
33

The Court
1. Md. Inayatollah v. State of Maharashtra 1976 Cri LJ 481.
2. Delhi Admn. v. Balakrishan 1972 Cri LJ 1.
3. Palukuri Kotayya v. Emperor AIR 1947 PC 67.
4. State of Maharashtra v. Danu Gopinath Shirde and Ors. 2000 Cri LJ
2301.

JUDGEMENT
The appeal is allowed.
1. Plea that no one would kill an old lady for a small thing like tape recorder, is
really based on suppositions. Robbery can be made of articles which are easy
to be disposed of. Articles of a particular category, for example, electronic goods
may be preferred. Without going into the merits of that case, it can only be said
by way of illustration that there may be fascination for selling goods of
particular category which are easy to carry and are easily disposable. In view of
the credible evidence on record, it is not necessary to fathom as to what was in
the mind of the accused or find out why valuable articles were not lifted. This
is not a case where the prosecution case rests only on the evidence in terms of
Section 27 of the Evidence Act. That was only one of the pieces of evidence. It
is, therefore, not necessary to decide the question as to whether conviction can
be recorded only on the basis of such recovery.
2. Section 27 of the Evidence Act is by way of proviso to Sections 25 to 26
and a statement even by way of confession made in police custody which
distinctly relates to the fact discovered is admissible in evidence against the
accused. This position was succinctly dealt with by this Court in Delhi Admn.
V. Balakrishan and Md. Inayatollah v. State of Maharashtra cases. The words
so much of such information" as relates distinctly to the fact thereby
discovered, are very important and the whole force of the section concentrates
on them. Clearly the extent of the information admissible must depend on the
exact nature of the fact discovered to which such information is required to
relate. The object of the provision i.e. Section 27 was to provide for the
34

admission of evidence which but for the existence of the section could not in
consequence of the preceding sections, be admitted in evidence. It would
appear that under Section 27 as it stands in order to render the evidence
leading to discovery of any fact admissible, the information must come from
any accused in custody of the police.
3. It is now well settled that recovery of an object is not discovery of fact
envisaged in the section. Decision of Privy Council in Palukuri Kotayya v.
Emperor AIR 1947 PC 67, is the most quoted authority for supporting the
interpretation that the "fact discovered" envisaged in the section embraces
the place from which the object was produced, the knowledge of the
accused as to it, but the information given must relate distinctly to that
effect. No doubt, the information permitted to be admitted in evidence is
confirmed to that portion of the information which "distinctly relates to the
fact thereby discovered". But the information to get admissibility need not
be so truncated as to make it insensible or incomprehensible. The extent of
information admitted should be consistent with understandability. Mere
statement that the accused led the police and the witnesses to the place where
he had concealed the article is not indicative of the information given.
SENTENCE
The impugned order of the High Court is set aside, and that of the trial Court is
restored.

OBITER
It is, therefore, necessary for the benefit of both the accused and prosecution
that information given should be recorded and proved and if not so recorded,
the exact information must be adduced through evidence.






35

CASES (2008-13)
1. Anil S/O. Lilachand Sarjare v. State Of Maharashtra on 6 February, 2012
Criminal Appeal No. 427 of 2007
Bombay High Court (Nagpur Bench, Nagpur)
Anil S/O. Lilachand Sarjare ... APPELLANT
State of Maharashtra ... RESPONDENT
BENCH: Justice M. N. Gilani

The brief facts of this case are as follows. On 28.11.2006, at about 11 p.m., the
complainant, Imran Khan, was returning home when he was stopped by four persons
on a motorcycle who demanded his mobile phone. When he refused to part with it, one
of the culprits dealt him a knife-blow on his abdomen. Imran Khan raised an alarm
which caught the attention of passers-by. Imran Khan succeeded in catching hold of
one of the culprits but the others fled away. Police soon arrived on the spot and Imran
Khan was taken to a hospital where his statement was recorded and on that basis a
complaint was filed with the Police Station in Nagpur. The first accused, who was
apprehended on the spot, was carried to the police station for interrogation. On
29.11.2006, the second accused was also arrested and during investigation, one knife
and one motorcycle found lying on the spot were seized. The statements of the passers-
by witnesses were also recorded. On 21.12.2006, the third accused was also arrested
and at his instance, one motorcycle, a mobile handset and some clothes were seized.
After the investigation, the charge sheet was submitted. According to Imran Khan, the
first accused whom he had apprehended was the one who had stabbed him. The
prosecution, in the court of the learned Sessions Judge, examined 12 witnesses. After
considering the evidence, mainly that of the complainant Imran Khan which was
supported by medical evidence, and two other passers-by witnesses, the learned
Sessions Judge convicted the first accused of an offence punishable under S.307 r/w
S.34 and under S.397 r/w S.34 of the IPC and sentenced him to four years and seven
years rigorous imprisonment respectively. The two sentences were ordered to run
concurrently. The other two accused were acquitted due to lack of sufficient evidence.
The appellant-accused, in this case, has challenged his conviction under S.307 r/w S.34
and under S.397 r/w S.34 of the IPC and submitted for the judgment to be set aside. We
shall mainly focus on the basis of his conviction under S.397 r/w S.34 of the IPC.
36


CONTENTIONS
I . Prosecution
The contentions of the prosecution, i.e. the respondents of this criminal appeal
case, are as follows:
1. Learned counsel for the respondent-State contended that there is
overwhelming evidence to bring home guilt of the accused under S.397
r/w S.34 and under S.307 r/w S.34 of the IPC and submitted for the
appeal to be dismissed.

I I . Defence
The contentions of the defence, i.e. the appellant of this criminal appeal case,
are as follows:
1. Learned counsel for the accused-appellant contended that the learned
Sessions Judge had committed an error in appreciating the evidence that
was brought on record by the prosecution. He contended that the
averments in the FIR (first information report) do not point to the theft
of the mobile phone and that the facts, at the most, point to an attempt
to commit robbery.
2. The learned counsel further criticized the conviction of the accused for
the offence under S. 397 r/w S. 34 of the IPC. According to him, there
was no evidence to point out that the accused was in possession of the
knife or that he was the author of the injury sustained by the complainant
Imran Khan. His next submission was that the framing of the offence
under S.397 r/w S.34 of the IPC was itself incorrect.
3. Further, there was no proof that the accused-appellant had dealt the
knife-blow on the person of Imran Khan and hence, his conviction under
S.307 r/w S.34 of the IPC was wholly unwarranted. He, therefore,
submitted that the impugned judgment of the learned Sessions Judge be
set aside.

ISSUES FRAMED
37

The issues framed as per the above contentions were:
1. Whether the accused-appellant was the author of the injury sustained by the
complainant, Imran Khan?
2. Whether the offence was only an attempt to commit robbery since there was no proven
theft involved?
3. Whether the conviction of the accused-appellant under S.307 r/w S.34 is sustainable?
4. Whether the conviction of the accused-appellant under S.397 r/w S.34 is sustainable?

LAWS & PROVISIONS APPLIED
The Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 34 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 392 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 395 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 397 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 398 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860

CASES RELIED
Cases relied on by:
Prosecution:
-
Defence:
-
The Court:
1) Emperor vs. Ali Mirza AIR 1924 Cal 643
2) Dulli and Ors. vs. Emperor AIR 1925 All 305
3) Phool Kumar vs. Delhi Administration 1975 AIR 905
4) Ashfaq vs. State (Govt. Of NCT Of Delhi) AIR 2004 SC 1253
5) Mahabir Singh vs. State Of U.P. 1997 Cri L.J. 1703
6) Rajjo alias Gingin and Etc. vs. The State 1999 Cri L.J. 2996
7) Kushal and Ors. vs. State 2003 Cri L.J. 3458
38


JUDGEMENT
This appeal was partly allowed.
1. Since the evidence adduced did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused-
appellant was in possession of the knife and that he was the author of the knife blow to
Imran Khan, the High Court sets aside the order for convicting the appellant under S.
307 r/w S. 34 of the IPC. The witness testimonies are also contradictory which aid the
accused-appellant in creating reasonable doubt in the minds of the judges as to whether
he stabbed the complainant or not.
2. Since there was no record as to whether the mobile phone was stolen or not and also
since Imran Khan, the complainant, claims that he did not hand over the phone to the
accused, the offence would only amount to an attempt to commit robbery. There was
also no proof provided of a common intention among the four culprits so as to hold
them liable under S. 307 r/w S. 34 and S. 397 r/w S. 34 of the IPC. Hence, accused
cannot be charged under S. 34 read with the other two sections.
Also, when the charge was framed under S.397, which embodies the ingredients of
voluntarily causing hurt or attempting to cause death in commission of robbery, then
there was no necessity of charging the accused under S.307 of the IPC.
3. Most importantly, the High Court held that S. 397 and S. 398 of the IPC do not create
any substantial offence but they only serve to regulate the measure of punishment when
certain facts have been found in an aggravated situation. Therefore, there cannot be a
charge simply under S.397 of the IPC. The charge has to be either under S. 392 r/w S.
397 or under S. 394 r/w S. 397 of the IPC. Moreover, since S. 397 does not refer to any
substantial offence, S. 34 of the IPC would be inapplicable. The word "offender" in
S.397 refers only to the person(s) who is proved to have actually used the deadly
weapon and not to the others, who, in combination with such person(s), have committed
robbery. Therefore, S.34 of IPC has no application in construction of S.397 and S.398
though it may be r/w Ss. 392 or 394 of the IPC to determine the substantial offence.
4. In the light of the aforesaid legal position and in the premise of the evidence brought
on record, the conviction of the accused under S. 397 r/w S. 34 and S. 307 r/w S. 34 of
the IPC were set aside. Instead, the accused was held liable to be convicted for an
offence punishable under S. 394 r/w S. 34 of the IPC.
39

SENTENCING
The appellant-accused was convicted for an offence punishable under S.394 r/w S.34 of the
IPC and sentenced to suffer Rigorous Imprisonment for two years and to pay a fine of Rs.500/-
(Rs. Five Hundred Only), in default of which he was to suffer Rigorous Imprisonment for one
month.
OBITER
Section 397 and 398 of the Penal Code do not create any offence but regulate the measure of
punishment when certain facts are found. Section 34 of the Penal Code has no application in
the construction of Ss. 397 and 398, although it may be read with Ss. 392 and 395 to determine
the substantive offence which is created.

2. Venu @ Venugopal and Ors. v. State of Karnataka on 30 January, 2008
Criminal Appeal No. 221 of 2008
Supreme Court of India
Venu @ Venugopal and Ors. ... PETITIONER/APPELLANT
State of Karnataka ... RESPONDENT
BENCH: Justice Arijit Pasayat & Justice P. Sathasivam
The brief facts of this case are as follows. On 24.06.2001, the two complainants were
travelling on the highway on a Bajaj scooter when they were intercepted by four of the
accused persons who robbed them of their gold ornaments including a gold chain, gold
earrings, a thali and some cash and also their scooter by threatening them with a knife. The
accused then tied the legs and hands of the two complainants and threatened them against
escaping and getting out of the place for about ten minutes after their departure. The
victims, after freeing themselves, made their way to the nearest police station and lodged a
First Information Report as on 25.06.2001. The Traffic Police then caught three of the
accused going on the stolen scooter that they had robbed from the complainants. They also
discovered deadly weapons including knives, pistols and an iron rod, hidden inside the
40

scooter. On interrogation, the accused persons admitted to the commission of the offence.
At the instance of one of the accused, some of the gold jewellery was recovered from a
pawn broker, who later became a witness for the prosecution. The gold earrings and the
chain were recovered from another witness who testified that the stolen items were pledged
to him by one of the accused. The accused were identified by the complainants as the
persons who had robbed them. The prosecution claimed that the identification of the
accused persons by the two victims coupled with the recovery of the jewellery at the
instance of the accused and seizure of the scooter from three of the accused unfailingly
established the guilt of the four accused who had committed the robbery. The investigating
agency submitted a charge sheet for the alleged commission of an offence punishable under
Section 395 of IPC. Section 395 pertains to dacoity. The case was split up against another
three accused as they were absconding.
The learned Additional Sessions Judge after considering the evidence on hand convicted
the accused of the offence punishable under S. 395 of the IPC. The two other accused, who
were absconding, were acquitted due to the insufficiency of evidence. Considering the
gravity of the offence, a custodial sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of Rs.
5,000/- on each was imposed. In appeal to the Karnataka High Court, the High Court found
that the offence committed was covered under Section 392 IPC but, considering the gravity
of the offence, upheld the sentence. This appeal was admitted through a Special Leave
Petition by the Supreme Court of India.
CONTENTIONS
I . Appellant
The contentions of the accused-appellants of this criminal appeal case are as
follows:
1. Learned counsel for the appellants submitted that the evidence of the
complainant victims does not show that any knife was used for the
robbery.
2. It was also submitted that since the appellants have suffered custody of
more than nearly 8 years, the sentence deserves to be reduced to the
period already undergone.
41

I I . Respondent
The contentions of the respondent-State of this criminal appeal case are as
follows:
1. Learned counsel for the respondent-State submitted that there is no
minimum sentence prescribed for robbery and that the maximum
sentence is 10 years.
2. It is also submitted that since the robbery was committed on the highway
at about 9.00 p.m., the sentence can be extended up to 14 years and
considering the gravity of the offence and the commonality of large scale
highway robberies, no leniency should be shown.
ISSUES FRAMED
The issues framed as per the above contentions were:
1. Whether robbery was committed or not?
2. Whether highway robbery was committed or not?
3. Whether there must be reduction of the sentence imposed on the accused?

LAWS & PROVISIONS APPLIED
The Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 390 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 392 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 395 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860

CASES RELIED
Cases relied on by:
Appellant:
42

-
Respondent:
-
The Court:
1) State of Karnataka vs. Puttaraja 2004 (1) SCC 475
JUDGEMENT
The appeal was dismissed.
1. The Judges considered the essential ingredients which were required for the
commission of robbery and concluded that the offence in this case, did amount
to robbery. The essential ingredients for the commission of robbery are as
follows:
i. Accused committed theft.
ii. Accused voluntarily caused or attempted to cause:
a. Death, hurt or wrongful restraint.
b. Fear of instant death, hurt or wrongful restraint.
iii. He did either act for the end:
a. To commit theft.
b. While committing theft.
c. In carrying away or in the attempt to carry away property
obtained by the theft.
2. Section 392 of the IPC provides the punishment for robbery. It is the punishment
for the offence defined in Section 390. The punishment is higher (up to 14 years)
if it is committed on a highway between sunset and sunrise. Since it was
established that the offence in this case was committed on a public road, which
was not disputed as a highway, and since it was committed between sunset and
sunrise (9:00 p.m.), deterrent punishment was called for.
43

3. It was observed by this Court in the case of State of Karnataka v. Puttaraja as
follows:
"Imposition of sentence without considering its effect on the social order in
many cases may be in reality a futile exercise. The social impact of the crime
e.g. where it relates to offences against women like the case at hand, dacoity,
kidnapping, misappropriation of public money, treason and other offences
involving moral turpitude or moral delinquency which have great impact and
serious repercussions on social order and public interest, cannot be lost sight
of and per se require exemplary treatment. Any liberal attitude by imposing
meagre sentences or taking too sympathetic a view merely on account of lapse
of time or considerations personal to the accused only in respect of such
offences will be resultwise counterproductive in the long run and against
societal interest which needs to be cared for and strengthened by the required
string of deterrence inbuilt in the sentencing system."
Following this observation, the Supreme Court, in this case, dismissed the
appeal in view of the larger societal interest of preventing crimes such as
highway robberies.

SENTENCING
The Supreme Court upheld the sentence imposed on the accused by the Trial Court and the
High Court and dismissed the appeal.

OBITER
The punishment for an offence of robbery (S. 390) is higher if it is committed on the highway
between sunset and sunrise and imposing a meagre sentence in such cases would go against
the larger societal interest.

44

3. Amarjit Singh v. State NCT Of Delhi on 3 November, 2009
Criminal M. C. No. 1330 of 2007
Delhi High Court
Amarjit Singh ... APPELLANT/PETITIONER
State NCT of Delhi ... RESPONDENT
BENCH: Justice Indermeet Kaur
The brief facts of this case are as follows. On 17.03.2001, at around 6.00 p.m., the
complainant Radhey Shyam was driving a canter (a light-duty commercial vehicle)
owned by Prem Singh Sharma when he was stopped by a Maruti Esteem car on the
road. Four well-built persons got out of the Maruti car and forced Radhey Shyam and
his helper to forcibly get out of the canter. The keys and the canter were forcibly taken
away by the four men. On the basis of this complaint, an investigation was set into
motion. In the course of the investigation, the name of the current petitioner, Amarjit
Singh, had cropped up. It was found that the petitioner in this case was the financer of
the canter and the owner of the Inter State Finance Company. It was alleged that he had
instigated the four persons, who were his employees, to forcibly recover the canter from
Radhey Shyam. The Court of the ACMM (Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate),
on 28.05.2005, had passed an order against all the five accused persons for framing of
charge under S. 392 r/w S. 120-B of the IPC. The framing of the formal charge was
kept in abeyance under the orders of the Additional Sessions Judge. On 02.02.2006, the
order of the ACMM was affirmed in revision by the Additional Sessions Judge. It was
held that an offence under S. 392 r/w S. 120-B of the IPC had been made out. On
18.08.2006, formal charges were framed against the accused persons, including the
present petitioner, under S. 392 r/w S. 120-B of the IPC, as also a separate criminal
charge under S. 120-B of the IPC for criminal conspiracy. A letter written by Amarjit
Singh to his recovery agent Pawan Kumar, one of the other co-accused, authorizing the
repossession of the canter was considered by the Court to uphold the view taken by the
ACMM that a prima facie case had been made out. In the present petition, the orders
45

of the Court of ACMM and the Additional Sessions Judge framing the said charges
against the accused petitioner have been challenged.
CONTENTIONS
I . Appellant
The contentions of the accused-appellant are as follows:
1. Learned counsel for the appellants submitted that the perusal of the FIR
does not disclose the ingredients of an offence under Section 392 of the
IPC. The role of the petitioner Amarjit Singh had also not been entailed
therein. Attention was drawn to the definition of robbery as contained
in Section 390 of the IPC. Robbery is either theft or extortion, and both
theft and extortion emphasis on the offender. The explanation contained
in Section 390 was also highlighted. It was submitted that in the absence
of the presence of the person on the spot where the offence was
committed, the ingredients of Section 390 are not made out. And
therefore, the charge framed under Section 392, which is the penal
provision for robbery, is unsustainable.
2. The petitioner also submitted that Section 390 is contained in Chapter
XVII of the IPC and that Chapter-XVII of the IPC relates to offences
against property and each of these offences speak of the presence of the
offender, in the absence of which an offence under this Chapter cannot
be sustained. The only exception mentioned is dacoity (Section 391 of
the IPC). Also, criminal conspiracy which is defined under Section 120-
A of the IPC cannot be clubbed with the offence under Section 392 of
the IPC. It is not the case of the prosecution that the petitioner was
present at the time when the offence was committed i.e., when the canter
was forcibly taken away from Radhey Shyam. The presence of the
petitioner at the time of the commission of the offence is a necessary
pre-requisite to establish the offence under Section 392 of the IPC. This
not being the position in the present case, the impugned order of the
framing of charges under Section 392 r/w Section 120-B of the IPC and
of Section 120-B of the IPC is liable to be set aside.
46

3. It was also submitted that the offence under Section 397 of the IPC
pertains to the actual offender and that it is an individual offence and
applying the same analogy to the offence under Section 392 of the IPC,
which is contained in the same Chapter, relating to an offence against
property in the absence of the presence of the petitioner at the spot of
the commission of the offence, Section 392 of the IPC is not made out.
4. Learned counsel for the petitioner also submitted that the dispute
between the parties, if any, arose out of a civil liability based on a hire-
purchase agreement where admittedly certain amounts were due from
the employer of Radhey Shyam, i.e., Prem Singh Sharma and that this
could not have become the subject matter of a criminal trial.
I I . Respondent
The counter-contentions of the respondent-State are as follows:
1. Attention was drawn to Chapter XVI of the IPC i.e., the offences
affecting the human body. Section 341 is the penal provision for
wrongful restraint and it is explained that the physical presence of the
obstructer is not necessary in such cases. It was submitted that it is, thus,
clear that there is no chapter-wise distinction in the IPC and the presence
of a person at the time of the commission of an offence may or may not
be material depending upon the facts of each case. Otherwise, the
provisions of Section 120-B of the IPC would become redundant.
2. Also, under Section 397 of the IPC, the emphasis is on the word "uses"
and it is the usage of the deadly weapon by the offender which makes
the offence an individual offence. It was submitted that the same analogy
cannot be applied to the provisions of Section 392 of the IPC.
3. It was further submitted that the guidelines set up by the Supreme Court
in the 2002 case of Amitabh Verma v. Commissioner of Police have to
be followed by financial companies in the strict sense before they
exercise their powers to repossess any vehicle.
4. A writ petition seeking the quashing of this FIR was also dismissed vide
order of the Division Bench of this Court dated 05.04.2002.
47

ISSUES FRAMED
The issues framed as per the above contentions were:
1. Whether an offence under Section 390 of the IPC can be made out against a person if
there was no presence of the person on the spot where the offence was committed?
2. Whether the role of the petitioner in the offence can be taken into account considering
that his particular role in the offence was not mentioned in the FIR?
3. Whether there was an offence of robbery under Section 390 of the IPC and of criminal
conspiracy under Section 120-A of the IPC?
4. Whether an offence under Section 392 of the IPC can be clubbed with an offence of
conspiracy under Section 120-B of the IPC?
LAWS & PROVISIONS APPLIED
The Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 390 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 392 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 397 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 34 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 120-A of The Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 120-B of The Indian Penal Code, 1860
CASES RELIED
Cases relied on by:
Appellant:
1) S. D. Dutrange v. State of Maharashtra 1997(2) Crime 47
2) W. A. Chauriappa v. State of Maharashtra 1995 Cri. L. J. 4042
Respondent:
1) Madala Peraiah & Ors. v. Voruganti Chendriah AIR 1954 Madras 247
2) Ashfaq v. State AIR 2004 SC 1253
48

3) Amitabh Verma v. Commissioner of Police 2002(3) JCC 2118
The Court:
1) Keshav Tyagi v. State 2007 DLT 672
2) Munna v. State AIR 2003 SC 3805
JUDGEMENT
The petition was dismissed by the High Court.
1. Although the FIR in this case was initially registered under S. 392 r/w S. 34 of the IPC
against the four persons who physically repossessed the vehicle from Radhey Shyam,
thereafter, in the course of investigation, the role of the present petitioner Amarjit
Singh was unravelled. The role of the present petitioner figured only in the course of
the investigation and it is obvious that for this reason his name was not mentioned in
the FIR. It is settled law that an FIR is not an encyclopedia expected to contain all the
details of the prosecution case. The letter written by Amarjit Singh to his recovery
agent Pawan Kumar, one of the other co-accused, authorizing the repossession of the
canter was considered by the Court to establish the role of the present accused.
2. The charge sheet was initially filed under S. 392 r/w S. 34 of the IPC. But on the
material before the Court, the charge had thereafter been framed under S. 392 r/w S.
120-B of the IPC. Section 120-A, which defines a criminal conspiracy, includes the
doing of an illegal act or the doing of a legal act by illegal means. The evidence on
record had established that it was at the behest of Amarjit Singh that the canter was
forcibly repossessed. It was a robbery committed on a highway. The ingredients of
Section 392 of the IPC are clearly attracted. Offence was also committed at the asking
and at the instigation of Amarjit Singh and the criminal conspiracy had been hatched
on his initiation and therefore, Section 120-B of the IPC is also rightly attracted.
3. The court also dismissed the submission by the appellant-accused that Section 392 of
the IPC cannot be clubbed with an offence under Section 120-B of the IPC. Also,
Section 120-B is a substantive offence in itself. It held that the intention of the
legislature was not to make the provisions of S. 120-B of the IPC so as to be
incompatible to be read with S. 392 of the IPC. A co-joint reading of Section 392 and
120-B of the IPC would dismiss any such contention as was presented by the counsel
49

for the petitioner. Also, the Supreme Court has upheld convictions under S. 392 r/w S.
120-B in the cases of Keshav Tyagi v. State and Munna v. State and hence, the
arguments of the petitioner are without any merit.
4. The Court, in the present case, also held that the participation of an accused without
being present at the spot is clearly covered by Section 120-B of the IPC. The Court
also held that an offence under Section 392 of the IPC is not individual in the sense as
it is under Section 397 of the IPC and that Section 397 only serves to increase the
liability on the person who uses a deadly weapon and serves no other purpose.
SENTENCING
The Delhi High Court, after dismissing the petition, directed the Trial Court to take up the case
expeditiously.
OBITER
Unless it has been provided, the presence of the person in the spot of the commission of an
offence of robbery is not necessary in order to hold him liable.

4. Rajesh @ Rajbir v. State on 11 March, 2010
Criminal Appeal No. 54 of 2005
Delhi High Court
Rajesh @ Rajbir ... APPELLANT
State ... RESPONDENT
BENCH: Justice V. K. Jain

The brief facts of this case are as follows. On 08.11.2001, the complainant Vedpal filed a
complaint alleging that while he was boarding a bus to go someplace that day, he was
surrounded by 3-4 boys who started manhandling him and that one of them removed Rs.
5,300 /- which he was carrying in the pocket of his pant. When the complainant tried to
hold his hand to stop him, the boy handed over the money to his associate. One of the other
associates removed the complainants purse which was kept in his hip pocket. The
complainant then dragged the boy, whose hand he had caught, out of the bus. The boys
50

associates also got out in order to help their accomplice. The boy, who the complainant had
dragged out, then pulled out a knife and gave a blow to the complainants left knee, as a
result of which he fell down. His other companion gave a blow on the complainants pocket.
The complainant, despite being injured, managed to catch one of them. He was also dealt
a knife blow on his back by one of the boys other companions. In the meantime, PCR
officials who had witnessed the incident from the other side of the road came to the
complainants aid. Seeing this, the other boys ran away. The person, whom the complainant
Vedpal had apprehended is the appellant Rajesh. He was identified as the person who had
dealt a knife blow to the complainants knee and a knife and some of the complainants
money (Rs. 4,400/-) were recovered from him. The prosecution examined 14 witnesses in
support of its case, including the PCR officials and the driver and conductor of the bus,
while the defence examined none. The trial court, after considering the evidence, convicted
the appellant under S. 394 r/w S. 397 of the IPC. The appellant was awarded the minimum
prescribed punishment of seven years for his offence of robbery. The appellant has
challenged his conviction by the Trial Court through this appeal case. The contentions of
the appellant are mainly based on two grounds, which are highlighted below.


CONTENTIONS
I . Appellant
The contentions of the accused-appellant are as follows:
1. The learned counsel for the appellant tried to disprove the prosecutions case
by pointing out certain contradictions among the prosecution witnesses
testimonies. He submitted that, due to these discrepancies, the guilt of the
appellant had not been established beyond reasonable doubt and therefore,
the conviction was liable to be set aside.
2. He also submitted that since no opinion was obtained from a doctor as to
whether the injury caused to the person was caused by the knife alleged to
have been recovered from the appellant, therefore, Section 397 cannot be
applied in this case.

I I . Respondent
The contentions of the respondent-State are as follows:
51

1. The State submitted that the conviction by the Trial Court was correct
and that the appellant was liable for an offence under S. 394 r/w S. 397
of the IPC.
ISSUES FRAMED
The issues framed as per the above contentions were:
1. Whether certain contradictions in the witnesses testimonies can lead to questioning
of the conviction or acquittal of an accused?
2. Whether the proven usage of a deadly weapon is necessary to attract the liability
under Section 397 of the IPC?
LAWS & PROVISIONS APPLIED
The Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 390 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 394 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 397 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 313 of The Criminal Procedure Code, 1973
CASES RELIED
Cases relied on by:
Appellant:
-
Respondent:
-
The Court:
1) Krishna Mochi v. State 2002 IV AD (SC) 45
2) Duli Chand v. State of Haryana and Anr. AIR 1999 SC 3717
3) Dhanvir and Ors. v. The State 85 (2000) DLT 711
4) Phool Kumar v. Delhi Administration AIR 1975 SC 905
5) Salim v. State 1987 (3) Crimes 794
6) State of Maharashtra v. Vinayak 1997 Cri. L. J. 3988

52

JUDGEMENT
The appeal was dismissed by the High Court.
1. The High Court, in this particular case, dismissed the contention of the appellant which
sought to question the reliability of the prosecutions case by pointing out certain
contradictions in the testimonies of the prosecutions witnesses. The High Court held
that the contradictions singled out by the accused-appellants counsel in this case were
peripheral and trivial to the core of the case and that it is improper to reject the
testimonies of witnesses on account of minor variations in trivial details. It is not
imperative that the testimonies of all the witnesses must corroborate with one another
even on minor issues and details. It is also an accepted legal position that if the Trial
Court found the testimony of a witness to be honest and reliable then, the Appellate
Court should not take a stand to the contrary, unless it is backed up with sufficient
reason. Also, it was held by the Supreme Court in the case of Krishna Mochi v. State in
2002, that normal discrepancies in the testimonies of witnesses due to the normal errors
of memory due to the passage of time and due to mental disposition are always present
and that it is not proper to reject the truthful testimony of a witness on such grounds.
The High Court held that the contradictions highlighted by the counsel for the accused-
appellant do not destroy the credibility and reliability of the complaint as backed up by
the witnesses.
2. The second contention of the appellant, which is more pertinent in the commission of
an offence of robbery and questioned the application of S. 397 of the IPC in this case,
was also dismissed by the High Court. The High Court declared this contention as
totally misconceived. It was held that even if a person carries a deadly weapon and it is
seen by the victim in the commission of the robbery, then it will amount to the use of
that weapon in the commission of the offence. The testimonies of the complainant and
the witnesses also confirm that the accused, Rajbir, was indeed the person who
committed the crime of robbing and causing injury to the complainant. It is thus clear
that his offence falls under S. 390 of the IPC. It was also declared by this Court in the
case of Salim v. State that it is inappropriate to categorise a knife or to fix its size for it
to be held as deadly weapon. The Bombay High Court, held in the case of State of
Maharashtra v. Vinayak that a knife is a deadly weapon under the ambit of the
expression deadly weapon under S. 397 of the IPC irrespective of its size and that
any knife is a deadly weapon.
53

SENTENCING
The High Court of Delhi dismissed the appeal and upheld the sentence of the Trial Court in
sentencing him to the minimum prescribed punishment of seven years imprisonment. It also
upheld the fine imposed on the accused by the Trial Court. However, on default of the payment
of the fine, the High Court reduced his sentence to 15 days rigorous imprisonment instead of
three months as was declared by the Trial Court.
OBITER
Even if a person carries a deadly weapon and it is seen by the victim in the commission of the
offence of robbery, then it will amount to the use of that weapon in the commission of the said
offence.

54

CONCLUSION
Robbery has been a serious offence since the inception of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. It is
seen as a grave crime against the society. Since it is perceived as a serious crime, the courts
have clearly stipulated the essentials through interpretations from time to time that constitute
this crime. This project throws light on the various interpretations by various courts in India
over the past hundred and fifty years. On the basis of cases analysed in this project it has been
noticed that much importance is given to the fulfilment of the essential ingredients in the period
before the year 2001. The pertinent question deliberated on by the courts during this period
was - to what end the violence was used during the commission of the offence?
As far as the cases which we have dealt with during the period between 2001 and 2013,
emphasis has been placed by the courts with regard to finer details and construction of the
provisions laid down in the IPC with respect to definition and punishments imposed for the
commission of this offence. Courts have attempted to deal with various questions of law that
have been raised pertaining to the ambit and scope of Section 390 and the subsequent sections
which deal with the punishments of the various offences of robbery.
Some changes were proposed by the Fifth Law Commission, in its Forty Second report on the
Indian Penal Code relating to robbery and dacoity. The Law Commission, expressing its
satisfaction over the existing definition of robbery, suggested no changes in Section 390.
However, it recommended some changes in the provisions dealing with punishment for robbery
and dacoity, but these recommendations did not materialise as the 1978 Bill lapsed in 1979 due
to the dissolution of the Lok Sabha.
1

After analysing the landmark cases and the more recent ones (from 2001-2013), we can notice
a change in the approach of the courts while addressing this crime. The recent cases seem to
indicate that the courts have started laying greater emphasis on the sentencing and punishment.
Much deliberation has been done by the courts on this particular aspect. Since, the landmark
cases have clearly defined the essential ingredients of this offence, more importance is now
being given to the scope and ambit of the various provisions which deal with the punishments
for the crime of robbery. Scope of this offence has been scrutinised by the courts taking into
account the need of prevention of this serious crime in current times and society.

1
PSA PILLAI, CRIMINAL LAW 1048 (10
th
ed., 2008).