Author : Ishita Arora
Citation: 1994 SCC, Supl. (1) 320
Bench: Justice K. J. Reddy and Justice N. P. Singh.
In this case of Amrik Singh vs State of Punjab, an appeal was filed by the appellants against the order of conviction by the High Court for offences punishable under section 324,326 and 325 of IPC. In this case, the Supreme Court held that in case of a free fight the question as to who commenced it first may not be much relevant and it has also been held in a number of cases that the participants should be liable for their individual acts.
Facts of the case
The case relates to an occurrence which took place on June 2, 1979 at about 8 p.m. in a village. The accused, the material witnesses and the deceased, Amarjit Singh, belonged to the same village.
On the day of occurrence some witnesses were present in their house. Amrik Singh and other accused came there armed and started abusing them. This led to a quarrel between them. It is stated that in the meantime the other accused also joined them armed with various weapons and exhorted his companions to attack the deceased.
So, he opened the attack. (A-6) attacked the deceased and inflicted an injury with a sharp-edged weapon. During the course of the same occurrence, two witnesses by way of self-defence caused injuries to all the accused. The accused after causing the injuries left the place with their weapons.
The witnesses along with other injured persons including deceased Amarjit Singh were shifted to hospital. The deceased Amarjit Singh was examined and was treated but he died. The other injured persons were also treated and X-rayed. The plea of the accused has been that the deceased and his companions were aggressors and inflicted injuries on the accused persons and they in exercise of their right of self-defence.
The court after due consideration of the evidence held that the time and place of the occurrence and the participation of both sides in the occurrence is not in dispute and that the circumstances would indicate that it was a case of free fight and therefore each of the appellants would be liable for his individual acts. Hence, the present appeal has been filed against the order of High Court.
Issues and facts of law
1. Whether the appellants can be convicted for the offences punishable under section 324, 325, 326 of IPC?
The appeal was dismissed but as the appellants also received numerous injuries their sentences were reduced. The Supreme Court confirmed the conviction of appellants but reduced the term of their rigorous imprisonment.