Bhaja Pradhan vs. State of Orissa : Case Summary

Bhaja Pradhan vs State of Orissa

Author : Ishita Arora

Citation: 1976 CriLJ 1347

Bench: Justice R. Misra and Justice N. Das.


In the present case of Bhaja Pradhan vs State of Orissa, an appeal has been filed by the appellant against the order of conviction and sentence to rigorous imprisonment for life for the offence of murder by the learned Additional Sessions Judge. In this case the court observed that the right of private defence of property under section 103 of IPC has been extended to the voluntary causing of death while under Section 104 of the Code, the right extends to causing any harm to the wrong-doer other than death.

Facts of the case

One day, at night, deceased cautiously entered into the cattle shed of the appellant and killed a goat and then he was carrying the same in a bag. The appellant tried to chase him from behind and gave him some deadly blows with a deadly weapon. Some of the blows were on the vital parts such as his head. It was a dark night and undoubtedly it was not easy for the appellant to know which parts of the body of the deceased he was striking. The appellant chased him to recover his property and due to this assaulted the deceased without having any information that he is hitting his vital parts.

Issues and facts of law

Whether the appellant would be entitled to right of private defence of property?


The court held that the right to private defence was exceeded. The appellant was trying to chase the thief and caused injuries to him.

Hence, the court set aside the conviction of appellant under Section 302 of IPC and convicted the appellant under Section 304 of IPC. The court substituted the sentence of rigorous imprisonment for life by the sentence of ten years rigorous imprisonment.

The appeal was dismissed subject to the above mentioned modifications.